At JigsawBox we pride ourselves in having an active community of coaches and clients that know how to value each other. For business owners (and we are especially looking at you, JigsawBoxers!) it is an absolute boon to your business to understand the benefit of having one of these communities to yourself and to be out there, actively engaging and dialoguing.
Deeper communication and understanding of who your customer base is means that you can fully cater to and comprehend how you are needed. Ultimately the results of this show up as brand loyalty and increased revenue.
Because of this, I want to share my information on building and maintaining an active community of people who want more from you. Here’s how you can start building it all right now..
1. Know your audience
Sure – you know your audience because they buy from you. Well that’s great… but what about the people who haven’t gotten there yet?
Your community shouldn’t just be your current crop of customers, but it should also be your potential client list. In fact, when it comes to your community by incorporating those current customers you have the unique ability to expand on them as a selling point. After all, who better to promote you than the people that actually learn from you and buy your products?
When you think about building a community start think about who you are targeting. Who is your buyer? Who is your potential customer and what are they wanting from you? What needs do you see from your current crop clients that you haven’t addressed but that you’ve seen often enough to wonder if there is a trend happening there? Answer these questions and use them to guide WHO you are targeting.
2. Find a forum that works for you
If you are anything like me you run with wild abandon at what looks to be the greatest thing that everyone is using and blindly just start analyzing it for your own use without thinking of the future. Stop it! I have learned that a bit of patience can be your best friend.
When looking at the types of forums you want to use – don’t overthink it and keep it simple. Look for forums that are able to be customized and branded, that allow the users to integrate and chat easily, that isn’t confusing. You want your community to do what they do best – connect and talk!
For JigsawBoxers – we are proud to offer you your very own forums. For everyone else, I recommend NING forums as they work beautifully.
3. Promote and Be Active
Once you’ve decided on your forums, then it’s time to start promoting. Go viral with it. Invite people from your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other forms of social media. Make sure that you place banners on your websites and add in links to your newsletters.
Finally, be ACTIVE. So many of us start something up and then expect it to grow on it’s own or expect someone else to do the job we should be doing ourselves. Well here is your moment to shine. Make your presence known and contribute to the community. Let your clients and future customers know you ARE participatory and will be there.
Trust me. They notice.