Looking to build an engaged community for your business? In this article, we’ll go over 3 simple tips to create a buzzing community around your passion-based brand.
“Community” is the buzzword of 2020 if you’re a passion-based business owner. It’s important to have a network around your business for collaboration, inspiration, or engaging with an audience interested in what you have to offer.
Mind you, meaningful connections don’t just happen. You’re going to have to lay the groundwork and plant seeds along the way. But if you do this well, and you’re able to come off as a genuine and authentic thought leader, you’ll have an audience who is excited to hear from you again and again.
To help you along your way, the team at HeySummit has pulled together our top 3 tips to get your thriving community underway.
As Earl Nightingale once said, “All you need is the plan, the roadmap, and the courage to press on to your destination.”
Let’s jump into the first step: defining your goals.
1. Defining Your Community Goals: What’s the Point?
Before you dive into the “how” of creating a community, you need to better understand “why” you want this community. You’ve got to nail down your vision so you can make your community a place people want to participate in, and a place you’re proud to own.
Are these audience members prospective customers?
Do you want to network with like-minded people?
Will you create a digital think tank for people in your niche?
Knowing you want to create within the community will save your sanity, and give your community members a good experience.
Some things to ask yourself when you’re defining your goals:
- What will I offer my community members?
- How do I want my members to feel when they’re inside the community?
- Do I feel comfortable having live discussions with members?
- How will I moderate the group?
- What conversations do I want to drive in my community?
(You get the idea.)
From here, you should be able to come up with one, clear goal for your community.
Let's say you've recently decided to expand into business coaching because you've been successful in your area of expertise. You want to use the community as a jumping off point for your new coaching program or membership site.
You know there are people out there who are eager to learn how you achieved what you've achieved, and you want to create a resource for people to learn from you. The community serves as a place for you to connect with and learn from potential buyers so your product can be customized to their needs.
Spend some time exploring your members' needs, and you'll find that your community can help you launch to the next level.
Now let’s move on to step #2: choose your platform.
2. Choose Your Community Platform
Finding a platform where you and your community members can get together and chat doesn’t have to be terribly complicated. There are many free and low-cost options for the budding community owner.
There are two ways you can approach this: you could find out where our ideal community members “hang out” (ex. Facebook or LinkedIn), or you could find a web app you like and invite people to join your group (ex. Slack, Circle.io, or Mighty Networks).
As the community owner, it’s up to you to create a good experience (just make sure you create a good experience for yourself, too.)
Some things to ask yourself when you’re choosing your platform:
- What’s my budget for a community space?
- How do I want my forum to look and feel?
- How many people do I want to invite to my community (and how many can my platform-of-choice handle)?
- What content will I put into the platform (and how much can my platform-of-choice handle)?
Once you shop around a bit and land on a platform that makes sense for you, it’s time for the third step: creating a simple editorial calendar.
3. Create an Editorial Calendar, and Schedule Out
Trust us, you don’t want to be racking your brain at 9:00 a.m. every morning to think up a question to ask your group. You’ll burn out!
It’ll be worth your while to take the time to plan out your content with an editorial calendar. Here’s what we suggest:
- Plan out your content objectives for your group (ex. More sales, more engagement, more networking opportunities, etc.)
- Research HOT keywords that can tie in nicely with your content objectives.
- Create a calendar with topics for each day to drive conversations.
- Monitor how your members engage with your content, then optimize your strategy for the next month.
- Schedule out whatever you can!
Some things to ask yourself when creating your editorial calendar:
- What’s interesting to my community members right now?”
- What topics do my members care about the most?”
- What’s a controversial topic that I’m comfortable talking to my group about?”
- What events/networking opportunities/speaking engagements do I have coming up that I can build content around?”
Creating a simple editorial calendar will help you guide the conversation for months to come (without pulling your hair out).
To your success! 🚀