How to Build A Community – Part 1
Why should you build a loyal community?
The idea was introduced to me when I first heard Seth Godin in his book Tribes. The idea of building a group of 1000 loyal followers appealed to me. Like-minded individuals gathered together in the same place learning and growing together. For me the idea just clicked. From there it began a long journey of learning online marketing principles, website building, and finding ways to monetize my efforts.
It turns out that I’m pretty good at understanding marketing principles and building websites. It wasn’t until I landed my day job helping insurance agents, doctors, and aesthetic companies, that I was able to understand how I could use these tools to monetize a business. It was also the time that I learned that most business professionals didn’t understand what to do with online tools such as email, websites, and social media. They also didn’t know how to build any of it either.
Marketing is Marketing
I’ve been learning that most businesses think that their industry is unique. They think their business has some angle that prevents their business from benefiting from using these tools.
Excuses range from their industry is boring, can’t monetize from their efforts, or it’s not worth the time investment. They think they are unique, but they aren’t really. While it could be more difficult, or you have limited your imagination into believing that it’s true, I’ve seen other people come into these very same industries, marching to their own beat and thrive.
You Are Needed
The truth is your industry can not only can thrive, but it desperately needs you to lead people with truth and integrity. They are desperately seeking ways to connect, learn, and grow with you.
Can you imagine a community of 1000 loyal readers, listeners, or watchers? Not only can you build a community, teach online, but you can make a good living with just 1000 loyal followers. You can grow your clientele, sell online products, and even affiliate income.
Gather, Warm, and Close
So no matter where you learn your marketing principles, you are going to see the same basic similarities. I prefer to call it gather, warm and close, as that’s how I learned it, but you can also call it Find, Sell, and Keep as they call it at a place I used to work, or you can call it a funnel. Basically it’s all the same. The general principles are you go to where the people are already spending time, gather them into a particular place. Then you keep them warm with a prepared place, then you close them with an offer.
Imagine a Gym who needs to sell memberships. So they pay a muscle bound guy to stand out on the sidewalk of a busy street and hold a sign pointing to the gym. He’s out there dancing, flexing and did I mention he’s stopping traffic! This is known as the gather principle. The next step is to keep them warm. In this scenario it would be the gym that would need to keep them warm. When a potential client walks in, the employee would welcome them, take them on a tour, and basically keep them interested in the gym while they are still visiting.
The last step is the close principle. This is when the gym employee would ask the potential client to do business with them, and close the sale. You have only so many opportunities to close, and timing is key.
In part two of how to build a community, we will layout how to use the gather, warm and close principles online. In the meantime, I want you to begin thinking of various gather, warm, and close principles might work for you in your industry.