10 tips for building a positive community around your business


At a basic level, a successful business is one that generates enough revenue to make a profit every year. However, if business owners want to maintain that success for a long period of time, one strategy that often helps is to create a positive community around your product, service or business. This provides your customers with a place to communicate with each other and with you and your team, fostering loyalty and passion within your fan base.

However, building a community around your business doesn’t happen overnight, and it will take time and a well-thought-out plan to achieve it. To help, 10 members of Council for Young Entrepreneurs share their best tips for building a community — online or otherwise — and why it’s having such an impact on your business.

1. Create an open space where people can connect

The term “community” is used a lot these days, but one thing is clear: if you don’t create meaningful connections between people, you don’t have a community, you have an audience. It’s important to create an open space for your members to talk, and to encourage open dialogue where you or your company don’t always set the tone. Also remember that community is essentially a basic human need: people naturally want to belong and feel that they belong. Let your community know regularly that they are appreciated. Remember that there is no substitute for a personal connection. Online communities are a great starting point for ideas and new friendships, but in real conversations those relationships become real. – Greg Ashton, TO GROW

2. Rally around a target

It’s easiest to build a community around a social cause related to your product or service. For example, if you make or sell beauty products, you can start a community where participants share their favorite makeup looks and build each other’s self-esteem. If there is a common social cause, people respond to it and uplift each other. You can start building this community within your work family. Encourage your team members to interact with your online audience. They have to believe in the cause in order to sell the brand to the community. Be patient. It takes time and effort to establish connections with the community. Share educational and impactful content within your shared space, and soon more members will be encouraged to share their own stories. – Bryce Welker, Crush the GRE

3. Leverage User Generated Content

One piece of advice I have for building both an online and offline community around a product, service or brand is to source content from real customers. The cost of creating content from scratch can be grueling for new brands, especially with ever-increasing demands on content frequency. Paying for professional photography on every social media post is simply not feasible for the vast majority of businesses using these marketing channels. Instead, have someone in the organization with a good eye for design and storytelling compose content from real customers. Countless people post quality content on social media about brands. Reposting is usually welcome, which not only helps build brand loyalty with the creator, but also shows customers that the brand really has a connection with them. – Richard Fong, Help for the disabled

4. Solve a problem without selling

Most companies today strive to build communities to gain traction from their respective audiences and promote their products or services. This is a common mistake that you should avoid. Involvement is the precondition for creating a powerful community. Whether it’s people helping others or companies helping users find appropriate solutions, the primary purpose of a community is to solve the problems of its members. So, if you’re striving to build a community, create one that helps people find the answers they’re looking for — not one that advertises how great your products or services are. This will help you create a community that people want to be a part of. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable shapes

5. Appoint a Dedicated Community Manager

The most important thing you can do when building a community around your product, service or business is to hire the right community manager. This is someone who is responsible for fostering relationships and fostering community involvement. The right community manager has a deep understanding of your product or service and is passionate about its success. They will also be able to effectively communicate your vision to the community and gather others around it. In addition, they will be skilled at managing difficult conversations and able to resolve conflicts quickly and efficiently. An effective community manager will be the glue that holds the community together and ensures that it is a positive, supportive environment for everyone. – Abhijeet Kaldate, Astra WordPress theme

6. Turn customers into brand ambassadors

Create a dedicated brand ambassador program and encourage your loyal customers to get involved. Brand ambassadors are passionate about your product and can help you spread the word. They can help you promote your product on social media, at events and through word of mouth, as well as build a community by creating an online forum or Facebook group where people can ask questions, provide feedback and share tips and tricks. All this needs to be done to build an interactive community around your product. Create a website or blog and offer exclusive content for members only. This will give people an incentive to join and become active members. You can also hold events and meetups for members to get together and interact in person. – Candice Georgiadis, digital day

7. Encourage Customers to Communicate and Share

I believe the best way to build a community is to encourage others to share their thoughts and experiences. People are looking for brands to help with their problems, but they also want a place for open discourse. I recommend sharing interactive posts that encourage your audience to express their views. For example, you can ask a probing question, share a surprising stat, or invite users to share their experiences with others. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

8. Be Sincere

The first step to building a community is being sincere. I’ve seen many people try to harness the power of social media to grow their business and build their brands, but they don’t seem to understand the importance of authenticity. They’re just posting generic messages, or they’re trying to be half too smart. But if you’re not honest, who will trust you? The best thing you can do is just be yourself and share what you love with the world. People will feel connected to you because they can see that there is a real person behind the product or service – and that person cares about what they do! – Brian Greenberg, Insurer

9. Provide Educational Resources

As entrepreneurs, we can’t just focus on the here and now. We must focus on disrupting the industry, driving change and offering products and services that stand the test of time. What better way to do this than to build a community that supports and believes in what we sell? That’s why it’s incredibly important to create consulting and educational services to help clients develop and refine their strategies using industry best practices. Whether you do this through online events, free resources, or online forums is up to you. What’s important is knowing that sometimes being a successful entrepreneur is less about selling something and more about sharing your industry knowledge to help our communities achieve more. – Riccardo Contea, Virtusstroom

10. Find the Right Engagement Platform

First, find a way to differentiate your brand. The more you differentiate your company or product from your competitors, the more interested current and potential users will be. Then set the building blocks for your community. Focus on social media platforms or marketing channels that are interactive and allow you to dive deep – and let your users dive deep with you. It could be Twitch, Discord, Pinterest, a brand podcast and so on. Lean on channels that your audience is already using or that seem to work well for your competitors. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance


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