The issue is not giving me the best email address to contact you on, the issue is whether you are serious about being the best you can be.
The idea of creating a community around your business is something that a lot of us are hesitant about. It may be because we think that it doesn’t really apply to our business, or that it will take a lot of work. However, with the advent of social media, it doesn’t need to be such an arduous task and as Google is the first port of call for most people who are searching for a solution to their problems, it can be a benefit to almost any business. The networking opportunities created by a thriving community can open up a new world.
If you create community of people who are passionate about your products of services then this can really give your business a boost in a number of ways. Firstly, it can help develop a network of ambassadors who will promote your business organically. People are more likely to trust information if it comes from a real customer as opposed to a PR department. If customers receive fantastic service, they’ll want to tell others about it. This has always been the case, but it’s even more important these days thanks to social media. Maintain a great relationship with your community and it will promote your business for you. This promotion can give you fantastic opportunities to network with other people in your industry and respected entrepreneurs in niches different to your own.
Secondly, it will help you climb up the Google rankings. A community of people talking about you and your business creates a lot of hits for the search algorithm so that when a potential customer is searching in your niche or industry, your page is more likely to feature near the top. It will also make networking a whole lot easier as you will be easier to find.
Lastly, creating a community allows you to inject some personality into your business. If you provide no way for your customers to interact with you, your business could come across as bland. How many ‘About Us’ pages have you seen that just seem like the same, generic stuff? With a community, you can engage with your client base, offer content that will be of value and show the personality behind the business. You’re passionate about your business and industry, and others are equally passionate. People network with people so it’s important to get yourself out there. It’s time to harness that passion you have to create some tangible benefits for your business.
With us on this episode of your favourite small business podcast is inventor, entrepreneur and author, Stephen Key, who has some first class advice for those looking to grow and maintain a community of passionate ambassadors.
Issue Challenged in this Small Business Podcast:
How can I cultivate loyal fans who will grow my network for me?
Stephen Key is an inventor, entrepreneur, intellectual property strategist, speaker and author. He has spent the last 30 years coming up with innovative ideas that he has taken to major companies to generate licensing opportunities. He is a regular contributor to both Entrepreneur and Inc. and his website, inventRight, is a treasure trove of fantastic resources.
Stephen’s best-selling book, One Simple Idea: Turn your Dreams into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work, has helped thousands of entrepreneurs around the world build a following and connect with their customers to push their businesses forward.
- Create a YouTube channel. Practice in front of the camera and try to learn to love the camera. You can do this anytime and anywhere. You can become comfortable with yourself and start to critique yourself and improve before putting yourself out there.
- Share your enthusiasm for other people on social media. Make it known that you appreciate other people and people will come back to you. Flattery will get you everywhere!
- Find someone you really look up to and reach out them. We’re all at different levels and sometimes we need reach out to those who could take us to next level. It’s great at opening up conversations.
- “You have to stay on top of social media. In any relationship that you have with someone, if it’s a one-way street, it doesn’t work.”
- “No matter how large we became, we were still very personable.”
- “You have to start slow. You need to be a very good listener and you need to be able to give away good content freely. You also need to have a pointed difference to stand out. As Seth Godin says, you need to be a purple cow, you need to be different. So, your content needs to be unique and it has to have value.”
- “We always make it about our customer. Once they experience that because you’re being authentic and transparent and that creates loyalty.”
- “I learned a very important lesson a few years ago. You’re really doing something right if someone is saying something bad about you. You have a pointed difference and you have an opinion!”
- “Every flaw you have can be picked up very easily on video, but then again it also works in reverse. Every great thing about you can be magnified on it too! Just be yourself and do a little practice, love the camera and the camera will love you back.”
- “My Facebook is a hybrid of my business and personal life. It gives me an opportunity to talk about my business and my real life. Once they see that they become customers or students because they see that I’m a real guy, I have a family and I like to have a good time. He’s human!”
- “It takes time to build that bond, but it only takes seconds to destroy it so you have to be in for the long haul, I believe.”
- Stephen’s Entrepreneur Page: (http://www.entrepreneur.com/author/stephen-key)
- Stephen’s Page: (http://www.inc.com/author/stephen-key)
- One Simple Idea: Turn your Dreams into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work (http://goo.gl/7CUWXY)
- inventRight (http://www.inventright.com/)
- 01:08 Challenged Issue
- 01:32 Stephen’s Introduction
- 04:48 Cultivating a Network
- 08:28 Maintaining the Connection
- 11:05 Common Mistakes
- 13:14 Being Yourself
- 17:34 Video Marketing & YouTube
- 20:46 New Methods for Building a Network
- 27:49 Actionable Tips
- 34:00 Stephen’s Links
Don’t forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!