If you’re looking to start a business, you’re going to need an audience who cares about what you’re selling, whether it’s ebooks, goods or services. Sure, using a service like Amazon repricer can ensure new customers always get to see your products, but to have a loyal audience community-building is essential. In fact, many believe that community building is the reason so many startups grow exponentially, take Meta (formerly Facebook) for example, it all started with Mark Zuckerberg’s college network, and today it is the world’s largest social media platform. So, whether you are ready or not, taking the steps to build a community is a step you need to take for the success of your business. But how can you do it? Let’s find out.
5 ways to start building your community before starting a business
1) Understand Why You’re Starting a Community
It is no secret that your startup’s community has a lot of potential when it comes to attracting new customers, users, sales and making more money. However, if you want your startup’s community to really succeed and gain widespread popularity you need to start things off on the right foot. However, to really gain the benefits of a community you need to know your why. So, ask yourself why exactly you want or need a community in place before actually starting one. Is it because of upcoming changes in consumer trends? Or perhaps because you feel people will connect better with your product/company if they feel connected with others who have also purchased it? Ultimately, the reason will be your motivation to stay in events and talk to new people with a specific intention in mind.
2) Understand What Makes an Excellent Community
Once you know why you need a community, it is best to figure out what makes an excellent community and what type of community you want to build. The answer depends on your product or service, so you’ll have to analyse every aspect of your business. For example, if you’re launching a social network, it should be easier for users to meet up in person. If you’re launching an app that makes it easy for users with shared interests to connect online, they shouldn’t have trouble finding each other offline as well. Be aware that communities can be built both online and offline: people who work together in real life may use an app together; and friends from high school or college may stay connected through Facebook.
3) Building your community
When starting any business, you have to build a community of supporters who believe in what you do. This is called your tribe and it can be made up of both people and organisations (like nonprofits or local businesses). Remember that your community doesn’t always have to be a paying customer, it is just as essential to have those who believe in the mission of your business even if for some reason they are unable to purchase your products and/or services. To find opportunities for building your community, first do an analysis of your target audience. Who are they? What are their challenges? Next, look at communities that might already be related or adjacent to yours, yes, this means you can go and look at your competition’s community. And finally, think about how you can build out relationships with these potential partners and allies; it will make everything easier down the road.
4) Leverage Online Resources To Build a Community
As simple as it may sound, leveraging online resources to build your community is important in helping startup communities form. Communities are more than just customers and followers—they’re a group of people who are interested in and passionate about what you do. Getting those early adopters on board from day one can help establish you as an authority figure in your field, even before you have an actual business for them to buy from! This is why some businesses do really well when they start off through crowdfunding, as they not only get the money to fund the business but also find a variety of people who want to support them. You can find your people anywhere from Facebook Groups to scrolling through business related hashtags on Instagram, to reading blogs and joining groups on LinkedIn. The online world is there for you to make connections without moving from your couch at home.
5) Find The Right Community Building Opportunities
While there are all sorts of ways you can try and start building your community for startups, you should choose those that will be most fruitful. In other words, finding opportunities that won’t cost you tons of time, energy or money. One really great option is joining membership communities focused on business growth and learning. There are several coaching platforms that provide this. Not only does this provide you mentorship to grow your business but it also helps you find the right people to connect with. Moreover, you’ll have access to valuable resources, but best of all, there will be plenty of people to gather inspiration and motivation from who are in similar positions as you are right now. These are the people with whom you can create deep and meaningful relationships. When it comes time to launch your business and get customers involved in your products or services, these communities can help make that process easier.
Community building is not always about your social skills but also about the way in which you look for opportunities. Most people don’t realise they are already doing the things required to build a community, so, beware of the times when you are talking to people who will be interested in your products and services, always keep a business card in hand or make sure you collect an email or social media. This way, a one time meeting can turn into a loyal customer base.