Guest post by Casey Sollock
You have a community! You have people who love you, listen to you, and want what you have to offer. It is your job to nurture that community. Love them. Build relationships. Even if it’s only a community of a few friends and family, that’s ok. Start there (everyone starts there). Let’s look at four easy ways for you to start building your community today:
1. The first thing you MUST do to start building your community is to offer an amazing FREE report, eBook, CD, or something of high value, in exchange for someone’s name and email address. You only need a first name and an email. The less information someone has to give, the more likely they are to opt-in, and when you are emailing them, you only need their first name. By getting their email, you can now “continue the conversation” with them after they leave your website. Set up a series of autoresponders so they can get to know you after they receive their free special report. Remember, anytime someone lands on your website, you want them to be directed to ONE ACTION…and that should be to give you their name and email in exchange for that free goodie! Make sure your opt-in box is “above the fold” and visible immediately when someone lands on your site. Most people say the top right is the best place. You never want someone to visit your site and then leave without having opted-in to your list. So, make your FREE REPORT irresistible…so good that they can’t wait to get more stuff from you!
2. Start a Facebook group for your people. This is a place where they can get to know you, your philosophy and your message. They can interact with each other and begin to feel part of YOUR community. Remember, this is not a place to constantly post sales-y stuff, offers, etc. This is a place to CONNECT! Be sure to keep the page’s contents fresh. If you aren’t posting on the page consistently, it becomes stale, and people will see a dying community instead of a thriving one! Also, one of my biggest pet peeves is when the page owner posts a question to get a discussion going, and then never responds to any of the answers. Or, the page owner never interacts with anyone on the page. When you have a Facebook page, it is a TWO-WAY conversation (at least). Have fun with your people because they are there to be with you. Interact and make them feel validated. And, you can even post a video! People love this because they get to see you in a new dimension.
3. Start a weekly or biweekly phone call for your community! This is a free call (same day and time each week) where you can teach, have a guest expert on, have a Q & A session, etc.. It’s a time for your fans to get to know you better and get to know each other. You can even feature a member of your community on each of your phone calls. This shows people how much you value them! REMEMBER…and this is important… in order for someone to get the call-in phone number, they have to give you their name and email (thereby becoming a member of your list and your community). Get it? 🙂
4. When you have a list of people who love you (no matter how small), it’s time to start an eNewsletter. This is a fabulous way to create community, foster relationships, validate people, share your expertise, and have people wanting more of what you offer. It’s relatively easy and inexpensive. A newsletter is not a place to focus mainly on selling. Focus on content (sharing what you know) and creating relationships. Be friendly, and make sure your newsletter “tone” is familiar and “girl next door.” It shouldn’t be formal and cold. You want your readers to connect with you and to feel like you are a long-time friend. Share what other members of your community are doing. Spotlight certain people. Have pictures, but not too many graphics. Your newsletter must be consistent. There is no point in doing an inconsistent newsletter. It is something that should go out at least once a week, on the same day, so people know when to expect it. And, it needs to be valuable and worth their time to open!
Can you do these four easy things? Sure you can! And, when you begin to implement them, you will see your community grow and respond to what you have offer. Have fun with this. As always, it starts with the first step. Pick something, and DO IT TODAY!! Woohoo!!
Casey Sollock is a speaker and author who teaches women how to LEAD from a quitting perspective! She loves supporting women as they grow their businesses and create fulfilling and happy lives. What do you need to QUIT to lead your richest life…and business!? Contact Casey for copywriting, editing, and quitting support at Casey@QuitToGrowRich.com