In a society like today, the ability to instantly connect and engage with others is extremely valuable for both businesses and brands. It's not only an added value, but it's also important in order for your brand and business to grow.
When I am working with my fellow creatives, the question of building a community often comes up. It's like an inevitable mission to accomplish and seems unrealistic for them at the time. But in all honesty, it's not. Building a community is knowing what audience you want to attract based on your niche. You have to utilise all of your resources whether it's in or outside of your own home.
So, how do you grow a community? I say stick to what you know and can do best. It's so easy to get caught up in all the platforms that are offered to us and become overwhelmed before even knowing what to do. But getting frustrated and not being able to engage with your audience the right way will be a huge waste of your time.
After noticing what platforms work best for me, I wanted to share some tips that can grow your community whether it's online or in-person building.
Create a Activity in an online platform.
I'm sure you are accustomised to this option. Ever heard of Facebook Groups or Twitter Chats? This is a great way to grow your community online because it provides valuable content shared by like-minded people who are interested in your niche or general topic. It takes time and consistency to build these platforms up, however, the return is absolutely amazing as it continues to grow and becomes a community of your own. Join my Twitter Chats every last Wednesday of the month!
Attend or Speak at a Conference.
I love conferences! It's the perfect opportunity not only to learn new advances in your niche but also connect with other creatives and brands. You would be surprised at how many people are wanting to connect with you and generally interested in who you are. And many conferences have a call for speakers who can contribute their knowledge with others who are attending. This is a great way to grow your community by putting yourself out there for others to learn and gravitate to your brand. Although I haven't been bold enough to speak at a conference, I have been asked and will look into it once my calendar affords me the opportunity.
Interact and Engage Everywhere.
You would be surprised at who you will meet when you engage and interact often, whether it's on an online platform or in-person. Comment on other bloggers posts, introduce yourself and get to know them more. And speak to everyone at meet-ups, small groups, where ever it may be; make your presence known. You never know where a simple gesture may lead.
Make friends that are generally interested in your journey and that will benefit you.
This is often left unsaid because people generally want everyone to be a part of their journey. However, this is unrealistic. Not everyone is interested in what you have to offer and you can't force them to. Find people that are in your same niche and engage with them. Support what they are doing and they will too. Also, don't ignore those that have supported you even if they aren't in your niche. They are your friends and deserve thanks and support as well.
Don't be afraid to be you.
Simple as that. If you are on-line, don't be afraid to share the good and bad days (within reason). It's not a diary to dump hurtful thoughts or information that doesn't align with your brand or business. Share genuine and informative information that will help benefit your audience while adding your personality. It creates a real person behind the images and posts.
Now go and find a group of people that love what you do and are inspired by it. And in that, your community will help take you where you want to go next.