3 Elements of Building Your Community

Welcome to episode 376 of Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris.

All right guys, episode 376 is officially started. We’re going to talk about communities today, and I want to talk a little bit about what I mean by that because sometimes there is a confusion about what community can mean and if a community is even possible in regards to a businesses’ audience. And here is the real deal, not only is it possible, it’s critical. Think about your favorite brands. Some people call massive supporters of Apple, for example, fanboys and fangirls or certain movie franchises or whatever the thing may be, Android devices, whatever the thing is. Those are all businesses, and they all have a rabid fan base. That fan base is the community.

So you can have the same thing. In fact, it’s critical that you have the same thing. I would even go as far as saying it’s more valuable for you to have something like that as a small business owner, solopreneur, or micro business owner, whatever category you fall into because your audience is not as necessarily massive from a number perspective. You want them to be really invested in buying you. In buying from you and supporting your brand. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. We’re going to talk about the three aspects of community building that you need to be paying attention to. And this kind of thing is relevant whether you have one person in your community, whether it’s a Facebook like or a name on your email list or a customer, or whatever, or a million.

So, let’s jump in with that today. Before we get started, I want to remind you, like every other episode of this show, it’s sponsored by hitthemicbackstage.com. If you want a great example what a community can do, join us in there. We’ve got massive amounts of trainings and accountability with the community aspects. We’ve got two private forums you can join in on. So we really meet you wherever you’re at. And then we also have what I think is a massively valuable piece, our monthly Member Mastermind. So that’s once a month, we get on live call. We’ve got some hot seat time. You submit questions to me. If you want to jump on live and get some coaching, you can do that. Whatever works for you to get the support you need to actually use this stuff. I’m not looking for you to join a library of trainings and just let it get virtually dusty. I want you to jump in and I want you to take action. So, that’s why the Monthly Mastermind is in place.

If you really, really, really want to uplevel and stay accountable and get stuff done, join us at the BAM, it’s the Backstage Amplifier Mastermind. That gets you a monthly one on one call with me as well. So the place to be, hitthemicbackstage.com. I will see you there, all right.

All right, let’s jump in. Three elements of building a community.

The first one, identify.

You had to have known this was going to be the first one. It all starts with knowing who your customer is. We have this conversation so often and that’s because it’s absolutely critical. It is the first step. You have to know who you’re talking to. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, it’s impossible to connect because you’re not going to be using their language. You’re not going to be speaking to their pain points. You’re not going to be connecting in the way that they connect.

And that could be a location. That could be as simple as using the wrong network. I think so often people come on up to me and they’re like, “So what network should I be on?” Well, who’s your audience? Who’s your customer base? Who do you want to be working with? Because really, that’s the difference maker in a lot of cases, is you’re spending hours and hours and hours on growing your Twitter following, and your audience isn’t there. So why are you spending that time, and potentially money, to build an audience where your audience is not located.

All right, so the first up is identify. Spend some time looking at who they are and remember you need to be specific. There’s a reason that a lot of these programs that you purchase, or a lot of these books you read about customer-based audiences and target audience and I talk about this when I talk about ideal clients. There’s a reason why we talk about building a profile for one person. Not because that’s the only person that you’re going to work with. Although, you would be amazed how many of those one persons … One people? One person? How many people will fit the mold of that one person. There we go.

But also here’s the thing, is the people who are around them, sort of, if you will the donut effect, let’s call them the donut hole and the donut around it it’s still good. It’s still awesome. Still delicious. It’s just not the donut hole. So when you get specific and you know who that target is, you can sort of get those people who are in that sphere around them and who check most of those boxes and they also end up being ideal clients, all right.

I work with several ideal clients. They are not all the exact same person. But I was able to start working with them because I identified who they were. And I’m going to get real honest with you, this is work I still do and I still struggle with. So find a buddy. Look through this with someone else who’s going to challenge you to dig deeper and find out, okay, so what else? And what else? And what do they like? And where do they go? And what do they spend time with? And what brands do they love and obsess over? Get really, really specific to the point where you’re naming them if that helps you. Build this person on paper and if you’re totally lost as to where to even start on this, A, I go back to the advice of find somebody to help you. Whether that’s doing this with your business coach or an accountability buddy or a biz bestie or whatever it is, find someone to do this work with.

Number two, think about who you have been working with. Look at the people who you loved working with. Who just totally fired you up and you were like, “Yes, this is perfect and fantastic and amazing and you’re wonderful.” And think about the people who you could not get off the phone fast enough. That you wanted to run as fast and as far as you could. That information is going to help you make some of these decisions. It’s going to help guide you as you look at, who do I want to be working with and who do I want to avoid like the plague? So look at that and figure out what you need to know to really get the information you need on paper to help you target this audience with ads. With copy. With graphics. With location. Whatever it is, okay?

So, first up identify. I feel like I’ve hammered that into you enough. If you need more help with that and you are uncertain how to do this, join us backstage. That’s where you need to be.

Number two, start connecting.

Now this one can feel kind of weird because it’s like, okay, I know who they are but I don’t know how to get them to talk to me. Well, quality content. Investing a little money in ads. Guess what, ads get a lot less expensive when you know who you’re targeting, okay. You know how to build a target audience now. You know what kind of copy’s going to catch their eye. You know what kind of graphics are going to appeal to them. You know what networks they’re spending time on. Get an ad in front of them and give them something to connect with. Whether that’s a conversation piece. Whether that’s a value piece. Whether that’s an opt-in for something.

When building an audience, especially on Facebook, like let’s say you want to grow your Facebook likes, I really love to run an ad, a paid post, a sponsored post, that’s driving traffic to a podcast episode. Because what happens is I will get likes on my Facebook page from this new audience that are much more quality than if I ran an ad for likes. Because now they’re actually interested in content because they’re seeing content. So I will run an ad to a cold audience that’s just a podcast and sometimes what I’ll do is I’ll include my likes, but also people who …

So I’ll run an ad to … This is going to be difficult to explain on a podcast. We will absolutely do a training on this and if you join us backstage and ask me a question, I’ll actually plan this out. Or plot this out on a paper for you. We’ll run an ad to one post and we’re basically running it with two audiences. One cold and one who is familiar with me. That way the audience that is familiar with me will like and comment and do those kinds of things, so I can get some social proof. And that audience who isn’t familiar with me will see the social proof and the content. I hope that makes sense. If it doesn’t, come over to the Facebook page and ask me and maybe we’ll talk about this on Facebook Live this week.

So that’s what we’re going to start doing, is we’re going to start connecting with them. If your audience is on Instagram, start straight up following them, which sounds much more stalkery than it was intended to. Same thing if your audience is on Twitter. If your audience is on LinkedIn, and that’s where you want to connect with them, start sending out connection requests and personalize them. Actually connect. So don’t just try to get the connection. Start having the conversation.

And that really takes you us into number three, engage.

So the third thing we want to do is that conversation part. So we’ve identified, we’ve connected, and now we’re going to engage. So now we’re going to have those conversations. We’re going to start talking to them. We’re going to start providing them value. We’re going to start being a human and talking to people. I know, it’s crazy, but here’s the deal guys, this is the critical step that so many people skip. It’s not just about broadcasting. It’s not just about putting the content out there. It’s then about engaging. And you know you’re seeing this more and more with even major media brands. They’re responding back to comments. They’re responding back to tweets and Instagram stuff and whatever because guess what, fundamentally people want to be heard. So hear them. Let them know that you hear them, even if it’s just with a like or something like that.

Pay attention to the fact that that connection has to then lead to a conversation. And a conversation involves both people. Not just you. Not just them. But both of you together. So, engage, connect, provide value. Does that make sense? I hope it does. If it doesn’t, let me know on the Facebook page or respond to the email that is sent out with this episode every week because I’m assuming you’re on the list already, right? So you get the emails when new episodes come out. If not, there’s a box at the bottom of the show notes page. Fix that. All right? All right.

I will see you next time, but before that, I will see you on Backstage. Have an awesome rest of your week. I hope your November is going spectacularly. You know what, actually here in the States the Tuesday this episode went live and so today if you’re listening to this right when it goes out. Which, by the way, you’re my favorite. But if you’re listening to this later, I like you a lot too. I want to remind you because I don’t know if I do it enough, how grateful I am that you listen to this show. November celebrated four years of this podcast, which is insane but spectacular.

And I know a lot of you have been listening to this podcast since the beginning. So for all four of those, all 300 and now 76 episodes of this dog and pony show. And I just wanted to remind you, and let you know if you don’t know, I am so incredibly grateful that you take the time out of your week to listen to this show. To read the emails. To hang out with me on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and LinkedIn and all the places. I am so grateful that you’re part of my community and I look forward to many more years of us hanging out together and learning together and growing together and most importantly guys, taking action together.

So even if you’re not here in the States and you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, that’s cool. But I am so incredibly obsessed with gratitude and telling the people in our worlds that we’re grateful for them. So, I’m grateful for you. Thank you, thank you and I’ll see you next week. Bye. 

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