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Build Communities, Sell Stuff, Rinse, Repeat

October 19, 2011

Let’s face it, as human beings we trust our friends and associates’ opinions more than some faceless, soulless marketing or sales pitch.  That’s why, increasingly, if New Market Entrepreneurs want to cut through the clutter, we need to find ways to be advocated.   This is an excellent piece on why its important and what you can do to to make it happen.

15 Tips To Build Communities

1.  Focus on the people. Know who they are, what they want, and how you can help them.

2. Invest in people first, business second. 

3. Quit measuring your success by only Facebook likes. 

4. Your influence and ability to build community is more important than your Klout score.

5. Focus on value to the community. Know what you have to offer. Know what your members have to offer.

6. Empower leaders. Leaders should rise to the top organically. Empower them, not stifle them. They will be your most powerful evangelists.

7. Don’t depend on Klout and other influence scores to determine who should be in your community.You may miss out on your greatest community leaders, clients, partners and even investors if you make decisions on who you should interact with based on a metric that is not related to human connection.

8. Don’t follow your competition. Just because it’s the way your competition is doing something does not mean it’s the right way. Learn from them but do not copy them. Do your own research.

9. Come out from behind the logo and avatar. Show your smiling face. Let us know there is a real person behind the Facebook wall.

10. Treat me as a human being. Talk to me like I have ears, a mouth and a heart. Don’t treat me like a robot and deliver the same message repeatedly. I have good days and bad days just like you. Sometimes I want to be inspired. Other days I want challenged. Vary your message and you may get to know me.

11. Learn more about me than teaching me about you. Don’t send me an email after I have opted into your email newsletter that is filled with 3/4 of information of all the awards you have won, or your fabulous growth when I am waiting on you to return my phone call. I am amazed at the number of these I receive from supposed successful social media and marketing agencies. #fail in my humble opinion.

12. Provide structure but let the community organically grow. Let the people norm, storm, form and perform. If you try to force them from norming to performing you’re pushing against human nature and it human nature will win. Lead them but don’t control them.

13. Be innovative. Don’t just depend on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Leverage the tools to build community on and offline. Host a tweet chat or an offline meetup. I host the #GetRealChat Tuesday nights at 9pm et. We usually have between 12-18 million impressions within an hour timeframe all via Twitter. I’d say tweet chats are living proof of people wanting to connect in real ways.

14. Quit asking me to like you. Instead of begging me to visit or like your Facebook page, provide me a reason to. Spend the time you normally spend spamming me on developing something that provides me value.

15. Share yourself and your brand with me. Share your innards. Don’t be afraid to show your real self. But do so in a way that enables me to connect with you as a human being not as a cash register.

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