A Network gives you Reach, BUT a Community gives you Power! Networks Connect… Communities Care
A small, passionate community of like-minded people can often accomplish far more than a larger, less-connected group working on the same challenge. Building a dedicated community takes effort, but it’s one of the most effective ways to build your brand, your business, your personal life. The power of relationships scales up when you create opportunities for passionate people to connect. So don’t get hung up on the size of your network. Instead, whether it’s around a cause, a topic of interest, your kids, or developing your next product or service… work on ways to connect that network into, and empower/enable, vibrant communities. Networks are just a series of nodes, communities support each other, look out for each other, and have lifeblood. Don’t underestimate the power of the “collective.”
1. Be Adaptable
Although you’ll approach any community with content, social, and problem-solving methods and tactics, you should not apply cookie-cutter solutions to a unique community. To build a valuable community you need to be able to quickly understand and grasp the unique nature, concerns, desires, and values of each group.
2. Follow Up… Engage, Interact, Be Present.
One of the most important elements of being an effective community builder is fostering genuine relationships with your community. Following up means building trust, and this is the foundation of a strong relationship and hopefully, a future brand, personal, or group advocate.
3. You Really Need to Care About It
Here’s the big difference between a ‘community builder’ and a ‘community manager’: if you’re going to successfully build communities, you really have to care about what you’re doing, because this means being an active participant in the community as well.
4. Learn How to Listen
Listening, in general, is an underrated skill. Too often, however, listening is the first thing to go when we’re pressed for time. Keep creating great content and conversation, but be sure to stay involved in the conversation always.
5. Look People in the Eye Digitally …use the people skills you already have to stay connected digitally in an authentic, human way. Something we have all grown to value and appreciate now more than ever.