4 Steps to Building a Community of Raving Fans
This social value in business has become virtually mandatory in 21st-century commerce.
A community of enthusiastic fans is an asset nearly beyond value, and the reason for that is simple: when you build a community around your brand, it becomes one of the world’s best marketing engines. For me, such a community has helped achieve, most recently at IBH Media, my mission of impacting millions of entrepreneurs, and inspiring women around the world in that role particularly. I also have a passion for giving back, so 10% of company revenue goes towards investing in women-led tech and ecommerce startups in Asia.
But how to build yours, you ask?
1. Find Your niche
The first step in finding fans is targeting a specific audience. Pick a specific topic for your business and a potential problem that you can solve. Determining both will create focus — allowing you to hone in on those who will benefit the most. You will then be building an association of people who all have that niche, that need, in common. For example, I built a Clubhouse.com community of over 75,000 entrepreneurs, all of whom want to grow and scale their business.
To engage with an audience and effectively market, you need to know who your ideal buyer is, what they like and dislike and what they want and need. Having this information will help find your demographic and market to it specifically.
2. Be social
After you figure out who that target audience is, go on a mission of identifying what social media it uses. If your audience is composed of millennials and Gen Z members, you’re likely to find them posting on TikTok or Instagram or Facebook. If the intent is to target an older generation, focus on Facebook and/or Linkedin. Always consider expanding your reach to multiple platforms to reach a broader audience, however: one good way to is to utilize audio social platforms like Clubhouse or Greenroom by Spotify, where you can speak to large groups of people live in the moment, and they can hear directly from you. Also, look for people in your niche who are already having success, and learn lessons from them. Do not copy their style, but appreciate what has worked for them and put a unique spin on it.
Reach out to your fans. Connect with them. People desire connection, and engaging makes them feel seen and heard, and thus, they will keep coming back. The first 100 fans are inevitably the most difficult to get, but once you have them, make a point of figuring out why they chose to make that move, and why they choose to stay.
3. Provide value
This is without question the most important step in building your fan community. Clients pay for products and services that benefit them, of course. One way of providing that value is by giving away information, essentially teaching for free. This will also make your audience trust you and be more inclined to believe in your company, and you.
4. Make adjustments
Now that you’re creating quality content that provides value and are engaging with fans, it’s time to analyze the results. What’s working and what isn’t? On social sites, you’re able to look at analytics and see what fans are or aren’t engaging with. Use this information to do more of what is working and correct what isn’t.
Throughout these steps, remember why you’re building a community, instill the answer to that question into everything you do, and make certain you share it with supporters on a consistent basis.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor