How do you start or create a community, a movement?
I am in the process of doing something a little different than what I normally do. Part of it involves creating an engaged online community. Any ideas of the key drivers of success for this? For a bit of background, the target market is stressed out women with just a smidgen of spiritual awareness.
Helen O'Neill , Founder & MD at The Lioness Factor
Hey there Lisa,
One of the biggest mistakes l have witnessed in the online business community is lack of connection caused through treating peopled differently to in person I.e. I can't see you therefore it's easier to speak , act and be different ie. Not as friendly, too over the top, fake and alot of the time, rude even. People crave connection, now more than ever, so it's critical to be connected within yourself, so you can reach out to others.
It's even more important online, to build and nurture relationships. When we/l get bombarded daily with 'Please open me' stuff, l'm only going to open that which l feel l have a connection with and value. Yes it must be enticing, but my relationship to/with you is going to be the determining factor.
People want to be and feel valued, we appreciate being treated with respect and not as fools. They/we/l want to'feel' as tho you are speaking with me personally, that you're not just trying to flog me something. When you do talk to me about your offer, lm much more likely to get excited if l know its got merit and in my best interests, and l'll know that by your interaction with me.
Be rigorous in ensuring you remain authentic and check in that you are communicating in way that will, enable you to build an audience with your target market (which isn't everyone by the way)
The other thing is value, the most successful Onliners give huge value in their sharing, they are not mean with content.
The other area to consider is layout and ease of connection. A lot make the mistake of cumbersome clunky applications that make it difficult to navigate. Unfortunately, many of us don't have a great deal of patience, so simple clean and fresh works.
And like in any successful business, make sure you are measuring results, if you are not reviewing daily what your numbers are and the returns you are achieving ... or not, thats a recipe for failure and demonstrates you are not in a business, but rather are playing with a hobbie.
All the very best in your venture
Kindest Regards Helen :-)
Edward Plant , Strategic Leader at Lead a Better Business
Creating any solid community is about creating a culture and environment that people want to be involved in. Getting people inspired to support and be involved and most importantly be active.People want to be heard, be in a place they trust those around, be safe and gain value from the community. Maybe have a look at a community that you are involved in and see why you stay in this community and what you get out of it.
Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown
I will echo a few of the items Helen mentioned but through my own perspective.
I think one of the main drivers of good community is a narrow focus (niche) which it sounds like you have. I would also say it is important to have EULA (End User License Agreement) in plain language. Sure you can have a more official/legal version but make a summary of it easily digestible in as few bullet points as possible (e.g. Respect Other Users, Don't Be A Jerk). Let them know up front what type of experience they will have and make sure you enforce it to keep the community healthy.
Another key to focus on is identity. Users may want to keep some of their information private from other users, however, I would focus on having them use real names (at least making their first real name available). It can be easier to form connections with other users when you actually know their name instead of just a random user name. Again, don't make them feel like they have to over share, so look at having some personal settings they can choose between.
Remind them (through various methods) that they are all there because they have things in common. Look to not only engage users with each other but engage with them yourself.