How to Build Your Own Community and Create Raving Fans for Your Brand
To create a strong online community for your brand, make sure you execute these four things.
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A community can be formed in many ways. For example, it can be done through social media, offline events or by creating an online forum. In order to create a community on social media, you should post content that will attract people who have similar interests as you. You should also make sure that the content is interesting enough to keep them coming back for more. But basically, you have to execute four main things in order to get going in the right direction:
Define the core values of yourself and your community.
Go live on a regular basis (minimum once a week).
Use the common language of your target audience (through qualitative studies and conversations, you identify pain points and needs of your audience).
Co-creation of content (integrating and tagging people you interviewed in your podcast and from Q&A sessions, for example).
This is how I executed these four steps in order to build my community, and it will also work for your brand if you're willing to execute and answer a couple of questions:
Define the core values of yourself and your community
This first step already was tough for me, because I was not really sure about my core values. "What is a value at all?" I asked myself. I am from Germany, and being on time is also, for many people, a value. I thought about my existing clients and how they think about artificial intelligence. They are all fascinated by AI and use it almost on a daily basis. A common thought that I heard in my live shows was that AI is a strong tool and is here to help human beings. So, I wrote that down: "AI is a tool and not a human replacement."
The other thing that I thought a lot about is that I am very focused on these tools, and I could do this all day long — testing new tools and giving feedback on a regular basis — but most people don't like to test new tools. So, this is a big pain point for a lot of companies, and CEOs struggle to convince their teams because they are afraid of being replaced. So, I wrote down "People and training first. AI second." It made sense for me to define this approach and make sure that our responsibility is to train people so that they can use AI in the right and ethical way.
It is important to find your people and build a community with core values. It can be a blog, podcast or YouTube channel. The idea is that you are building an audience of people who are interested in the same things as you are. However, a community is not just a group of people who share the same interests. It's more than that — it's a group of people who share the same values and beliefs, which creates an emotional connection between them.
Values can be a powerful tool for driving change in your business, but they have to be authentic. Values can be used to influence behavior, create meaning for employees and customers, attract talent, build trust with customers, set standards for quality of service or product and achieve business goals. A company's values should align with its mission statement and create an emotional connection between the company and its customers. Core values should be a clear expression of who you are as a company or organization, as well as what you stand for.
The more clear you are about your core values, the easier it is for you to build trust with customers. So, make sure to ask yourself these questions:
What do you want to stand for as a company?
What do you want to represent?
What are the beliefs that drive your decisions?
Once you have the answers to these questions, make sure they are communicated internally and externally so that they guide every decision and action taken by everyone in the company.
Go live on a regular basis (once a week at minimum)
Going live on a regular basis is one of the core components of community-building. You just have to make sure that it is not only about your products and services. It should go deeper than that and have real value for the people you want in your community — which creates trust. This is a very iterative process! When I first started, I spoke with my interview guests about broader topics like content marketing and sales. Then I was introduced to the world of AI-generated content and thought, "That is really cool! I want to get more knowledge about all these tools and the founders," so I launched a new concept and started interviewing CEOs of software companies.
Going live and interviewing those people helped me to build strong relationships with them, and I also started to work with them more closely. Some became clients, some became cooperation partners, and we support each other. The main point here is that going live and creating content together is a very strong approach to building trust online.
Use the common language of your target audience
This sounds like a big step, but this is really easy to do with a survey that you organize. I did a simple Google Survey and sent it to all my interview guests within the AI niche. They responded with quotes, concerns and struggles they have in their head. One common thing was that they didn't have time to create content for themselves. Even when they are CEO of an AI-generating software, they couldn't sit down for 60 minutes to go live or write a blog article. This was fascinating for me because I didn't have that on the radar, but through this survey, I was stepping into the conversation in their heads and using their own words for my own content campaigns.
Co-creation of content
This is really where the magic happens. Co-creation of content is still under the radar for many entrepreneurs. The idea is simple: People support what they create. This means if you have questions from the chat or live interaction, for example, you can create additional content from their questions. You're repurposing the content they produce. Always mention these people and tag those who appeared in your show. You can upload your live show and create micro-content pieces out of the larger video. People who are tagged are very likely to share it and like it because their name appears in this content. When you do this all the time, people feel appreciated for asking questions and showing up — that's how you build a strong community.
The important thing to remember is that this is an iterative process. A good starting point is getting in touch with potential clients or cooperation partners and speaking with them. As marketers, we should stop being too much in our own heads and start being empathic and getting into the heads of our clients and partners. In order to start your own community, take these steps. and execute them. The journey may not be easy, but it will be worth it.