How many blog articles have you written? How many social media posts have you created? How many times are you left wondering why you keep doing it day after day when readership is is low and there are no comments and no engagement and there are no prospects and you’re earning no sales?
The “gurus” are all out there telling you how you can do it and appearingly just rolling in the money. Maybe they are and they have the one stop magic formula to help you? Maybe you’ve given them you’re money to help their wallet and what they gave you is formula that simply doesn’t work for you?
How many web designers and graphic artists are telling people the real reason you’re not getting traffic or sales is because your website is not on WordPress or you should just look like everyone else’s.
In all reality, you listen, learn and apply. You’re doing it just you’re being taught to but it’s just not working. Be patient you’re told. I would agree with that but with a few caveats.
Why is it that you’re not getting the results online you need or want?
It’s simple. You haven’t done the hard work of creating your unique community.
What is a Community?
If you have been fortunate enough to live or work in a great community you probably understand. Community is something that is built and earned. It’s not something that just happens because you live next door to someone. At some point in our lives we’ve all lived next door to the person who we just don’t like. They annoy us, say rude things or go out of their way it seems just to get on our nerves.
Are the people like that online? You bet!
Not sure about you but I don’t think that’s a community.
What is a community?
A community is a place where people take the time to get to know one another and want to be around each other. They watch, observer and engage. It may start with a hello in the driveway and move to a conversation while doing hard work. It likely moves from outside to inside where we enjoy a dinner with one another or maybe a football game or a movie.
As we get to know one another better we invite the neighbors over for birthday parties or special events. We watch the house for someone while they go on vacation. We may even take the kids for a few days or watch the dog?
In a community people have nothing but high regards and great things to say about one another. There are disagreements and we work through them together. There is even the occasional fight followed up with hugs.
Eventually, our relationships move to a place that when it’s time to leave it’s painful or sad.
Now that’s building a community!
Building Your Online Community
Building an online community is much the same way. For us the driveway or the yard may be social media. Maybe I followed your page and while I’m doing my thing in my social media yard I am watching you do yours from a distance.
Maybe one day you say something interesting or profound and I can’t help but “Like” it.
After enough likes I may be comfortable enough for stand in the yard and talk to you by leaving a comment and I suddenly realize one day that we’ve been having a lot of interactions.
One day while playing in the yard I notice a post that looks different from the norm that I I’ve seen from you. I like what you’ve said and the title to your link looks interesting. Weren’t we just talking about that on a your Facebook post yesterday? I’m going to accept the invitation to come inside for a meal and read your blog.
I’m so glad I did. I didn’t know that about you, or I didn’t know you knew about a particular subject or had access to a particular person in your blog who could help me?
Dinner was good so I’m continuing the conversation through a comment. Consider it the desert I’ve brought over to share after the meal.
I’m even going to introduce you to my other community I’ve started developing in another neighborhood (Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc).
But wait, it doesn’t stop there. What else can we talk about? How many more times can I be invited to dinner to eat with you?
After all, eating together is the biggest way to create a community. But it’s really cool that I’m not always eating at your house. You’re coming to my house now. You’re sharing me with your other neighborhoods.
WOW! It feels like after reading the fifteenth article and talking with you through comments about many subjects and learning from others at the table who are commenting that we all have a lot in common.
But I want more. I really like you. I’m going to fill out that form or I’m just going to call you.
Now, we’re going on trips together and learning more about one another and suddenly I have a reason to ask for your help.
I’m now willing to buy from you because we really believe in one another and you have what I need.
Building a Community Happens on Purpose
We’ve all met and know about the hermit and loner on the street corner that no one knows. When you see this person it’s just a litany of complaints and gossip about others. Nothing good comes from them. Yet, they think they want friends, neighbors, or customers but their behavior runs people off and they can’t understand why no one comes to their table?
If you want an invitation to someone’s table you have to do the work of getting to know them. We don’t normally eat with people we don’t know, do we?
Start with where you met them. Some get straight invites into the house and for others it starts in the driveway. However you meet, your goal is to build a lasting relationship, it’s to build a community that believes in you so much that they will someday have a reason to buy from you or promote you.
Your goal long-term is to build a support system of people who are there for you as you are there for them.
All deep relationships are predicated on give and take. Are you sending them quality referrals of people who buy from you but would be a great fit for them? Do you share their links in your articles or their social media posts?
Community is not built on “me.” It’s built on “we.” Inside our communities we don’t have competition. I know not everyone is for me. But if I know people who do the same things I do and I know they will do a great job; then let’s do right by the prospect and refer them.
To build a community you have to get rid of the scarcity and selfish mentality. You have to make it about others. In a growing community when you make it about others they will make it about you.
Let me give you an example.
In my CORE Networking group near Washington DC, I got to play in the yard with them for many months as we got to know one another. One of my co-members has a spouse that is starting a company and they have heard me talk about taking a different approach to their business and website:
- Know who you are and what you “really” do
- Know what problems you “really” solve
- Know who you specifically solve them for (ie who you want to invite to your community)
- Know how you will solve it
- Have a purpose for your marketing with strategies to reach them and measurable goals and objectives to fulfill each strategy
We talked and they hired me. Their site is getting ready to go live the first of next week. Chuck Ware has already written me an incredible testimonial. This is the power of a community build right:
“As a first time business owner and having no website development skills, I can honestly say that Don Purdum with Unveil the Web has provided me the guidance and tools that I needed to assist in producing a website that conveys exactly what I wanted it to. Working with Don was a true partnership; he doesn’t just take an idea and come up with a website. He assigned homework on weekly basis, counseled me on what the goal was, as well as provided insight into what I am selling, who I am selling to, how to attract clients and how do I market myself.
With Don’s extensive knowledge and training he is able to simplify what the point was of each assignment and the benefit. This entire process was new to me and working with Don helped give me a clear direction as well as an order to the whole process, and a time line of what needed to be completed so that the site could become a reality.
Don has been a great asset to me and a positive influence in helping me jump start my company through his expertise. Working with Don has been a perfect mentoring scenario, and his coaching and web development skills are outstanding. Don was patient, inquisitive, guiding, thought provoking and dug deep to get a true understanding of the industry and the people I wanted to reach.
I now have a great website and learned so much along the way, thank you Don for all that you have done to provide the Warehouse Academy with a great web site. I strongly urged anyone who is looking to enhance their business, presence on the web or is starting a new to the business from the ground up; Don Purdum and Unveil the Web are the perfect solution.”
The Warehouse Academy, LLC
As a consultant to companies that want to grow their business online and an owner of web design company I’ve learned over ten years that all companies want one thing in the end:
More traffic that converts to more customers
Isn’t that really the bottom line?
But how do you do that?
For one learn how to do it right. I know most people that are spamming wouldn’t do it if they really understood what they were doing and how they are hurting their business.
I have been privileged to build an amazing community of bloggers in a short time that I come to their house to have dinner with them and share a meal. I have learned so much from them that they make it easy to build a community around them.
Here are a few examples of some amazing articles by these amazing bloggers:
Building Trust – ♫ Donna Merrill Tribe – Donna Merrill
My True Story ~ The worst blogging advice I ever got! – Enstine Muki
The Seven Deadly Sins Of A Selfish Website – Adrienne Smith
10 Strategies to Help You Stand Out Online – Rebekah Radice
Who Do You Listen to When Influential Bloggers Don’t Agree? – Sherryl Perry
I meet with at least 25 different influential bloggers every week on their blogs as we engage through comments that contribute to the conversation around the subject. It’s the only way to get to know them and for them to get to know me. In some cases, we’ve even talked on the phone.
Through this blog alone, I have generated at least one opportunity for a call that will turn into a significant consultative or coaching client every week for the last month. That amazes me.
This blog was just launched in May and already in a short time I’ve developed relationships with people where it started in the yard and it moved to the dinner table and beyond.
If you want to grow your business online, you can’t just make the food and hope that people show up. You can’t just write an article and hope that people will love you and work to share you with their audience.
I don’t care what size our business is:
- Mom and Pop’s
- Small business
- Medium business
- Big Business
- Fortune 1000
- Fortune 500
- Fortune 100
It’s all the same principles!
Do you need a little more community proof. Here are a few more examples:
“I’ve been working with Don for 2 solid months now, and in the short period I’ve had the privilege to work with him, the improvement to my organization has already been substantial. His approach of taking you to water but allowing you to decide if you’ll drink is not only effective but enlightening, every week we’ve worked together. I’ve been able to take specific tactics and tools shown to me by Don, directly improving my marketing, sales, production and administration. I can’t wait to see what month 3, 4 and 5 bring! Don – thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your mentorship with us.” ~ Yolanda Teuber – Toober Group
“Don has been instrumental in helping me to see my business as my clients see it and helping me focus on the problems that I can solve for my clients, not the products or services that I sell.” ~ Jon Martin, The Jon Martin
“I highly recommend following Don Purdum. He has provided me with business coaching on the fly several times over the past couple of years, and his guidance is always spot on. This guy knows how to do it right!” ~ Leslie Thompson. Global Web HQ
You have to do the hard work. Build your community right and you will never have to worry about Google again. Do the hard work and you won’t have to make all those cold calls again. Do the hard work and you won’t have to keep writing articles that no one wants to read, comment on or share with their audience.
Do you have a question or comment? If so please share with me in the comments section below. I would love to engage with you!