Happy 2015! This year, as you partner with Successiory on your journey to social media community success, I'll take you through the basics - popular or not - of how to create the community that's right for you, your business and your clients.
Back to Basics
For those of us who started using social media socially, who did you connect with online when you first started? Whether social media for you started with Facebook, ICQ, car forums or bulletin boards, most of us started with people we knew, or people recommended by people we knew. Human nature hasn't really changed that much. Even if people find and connect with you on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or other channels, sustainable commitment tends to come from those who know you personally or professionally.
Even if you grew up in a bubble, starting your business means you've done some networking. Perhaps you've joined a board of trade or chamber of commerce in your city, found industry peer organizations or groups of vibrant entrepreneurs. Regardless of your chosen path, in business, you meet people. If you're clear on who you'd like to connect with, those people become collaborators, clients and confidants. These are the people that value, invest in and champion you. These are the people who matter on social media, online community.
Take it Online
Social media community serves a myriad of functions for entrepreneurs, but for solo entrepreneurs, it offers a host of unique support options. You have 24 hours each day. Less, if you value health, productivity and longevity. You'd love to have coffee dates with all of these great people, but can't do it often enough. Social media gives you more time with them. It is community. If you're a solo entrepreneur - a consultant, coach, author, speaker - your personality is what attracts your collaborators, clients and confidants. Social media can magnify your personality, your brand, but not if you're talking to everyone and no one.
If any of this makes sense to you, step back and take a look at your social media community. What is your over-arching strategy? What are your goals? Are your goals feasible based on your schedule? Are you attracting the right people?
A Different Perspective
Despite the popular perspective that "the more followers the better", if you're a solo entrepreneur, 5,000 passive followers can be demoralizing. Focus on engaging the 200 active followers, the small percentage who genuinely do the following for you, your business:
- Value and need
- Invest in
- Champion and promote
This approach, targeted organic growth, generally takes a longer time, but the engagement rate is far higher. It can mean the difference between 0.004% and 2%, at least. The conversations are more in-depth, based on real expertise, questions and encouragement, and the people tend to attract others like themselves to your community.
If you're in Toronto, and are looking for some events to start connecting offline to build your strong online community, here are a few upcoming events I'll be attending:
- Jan 14: Diva Girl Inc, Goal Setting
- Jan 16: Successiory (Inc) Create Your 2015 Content Calendar
- Feb 3: Business Connects
- Feb 18: ICF Conference, Overwhelm
Each have great networking and learning opportunities. More on Successiory's e-news. Hope to see you at a few of these!