Category: Brand · 7 min read
The Power of Old-Fashioned Community Building
on October 30, 2018
on October 30, 2018
Just like with cocktails, vinyl, and fashion, old-fashioned business practices are making a comeback. In fact, when it comes to building community (personally and professionally), the old-fashioned methods are as effective today as they were years ago.
These days, building a community is usually done online through Facebook groups and message threads. However, the tips and techniques that build online communities work in the real world, too, and they have the benefit of being less of a compliance risk, to boot. Here’s how to translate those concepts and apply them in real life, the offline, old-fashioned way.
Online: Start a Group
Facebook and LinkedIn groups, Slack channels, and online message threads make it easy to connect and find people that share your same interests and passions. But before the internet and social media, people met in person (gasp!). There’s something about actually meeting people that takes community to a different level than online groups. That real feeling and authenticity is there, and there’s not as much risk involved as there is in an online group.
Offline: Start a Meet Up
So, instead of creating a Facebook group, schedule a time and place to meet, and make it a re-occurring event. Whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly, an in-person get-together is a great way to network, meet like-minded people, and develop friendships. These meet-ups don’t have to be about financial services, but that can be a good place to start.
Online: Respond to a Comment or Thread
One of your clients asks you a question on social media. It’s quick and easy to reply to them, but before you do, consider your other options.
Offline: Respond to Clients With a Personalized Email or a Phone Call
Instead of responding the fastest way, pause and respond with a personalized approach. The most meaningful communications are personal and customized to the specific client. To capitalize on this, send a personalized email or call them. A customized email shows that you’re not sending them a generic message that you sent to all of your clients, and a phone call lets the client know you view them as important and worthy of your time. As you get to know your clients, you’ll also learn their preferred method of contact. Make a note of that and reach out in their preferred way. These methods aren’t necessarily old-fashioned, but they take more thought and intentionality than quickly replying to a comment. Going out of your way to give your clients a great experience can make all the difference.
The most meaningful communications are personal and customized to the specific client.
Online: Post Content or Host a Webinar
Content (like this article), social media posts, and webinars all are effective ways to inform and engage your clients and prospects, and set yourself up as a thought leader. In fact, these are quality ways to generate leads. But, in the end, it does little to build community in the real world.
Offline: Host Live Workshops and Seminars
A comparative, real-world way to do this is to host in-person workshops and seminars. Share your important information face-to-face, and network with the attendees. Establishing this connection shows you are real, available, and knowledgeable. This is what starts connections and strengthens community.
Online: Share Content
Content is king, and you need to share content to be relevant and engage your followers on social media. You can even share articles and videos from credible and reliable sources, which is a simple and effective way to stay active on social media and get conversations started.
Offline: Attend Others’ Events and Engage in Real-Life Conversations
The old-fashioned way of doing this is attending others’ events and hearing what they have to say. Learn from them and then engage with the people around you at the event. Strike up conversations, network a little bit, and hear what they think about the presentation or topic. This leaves more of a lasting impression than a Facebook or LinkedIn share ever will, and is an effective way to meet new people and tell them about your community.
Online and Offline: Mention Someone Else’s Hard Work
A thriving community is one that appreciates and encourages each other, and recognizing good, hard work is an effortless and powerful way to show you’re appreciative of your community. This doesn’t happen as often as it should, and frankly, there’s no limit to how often you should do this. Whether it’s online or offline, you can effectively build your business community by showing appreciation for a job well-done. If others see that your community is welcoming and encouraging, they’ll want to join, too.
A thriving community is one that appreciates and encourages each other.
Build a Strong Community
Building an offline, old-fashioned community isn’t easy, and it takes time and effort, but assembling a group of like-minded people and talking and learning with them, can benefit you and your business. The investment is worth it. A strong community is one that lasts and helps each other, and that’s something worth building.
To help build your community, check out our Brand Builder tools and services. They can help you become a confident, credible resource to current and prospective clients in your area and community.
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