If you want an active and engaged community, it’s no secret that you must first create and share great content. This content you share attracts your audience by topic and captures them as you interact. Over time and with consistency, you build relationships, and thus the support. Brand advocates are born from this cycle. It’s easier said than done however, so I’ll offer some tips you can take advantage of in the planning stage of your business to ensure this is easy work down the road. The secret is in your branding.
The following exercise is your first step to branding and community building success:
It may seem silly at first, but I find that branding is very much a creative process, which requires an artistic approach for the truest results. Be a kid, write in your brand (which can even be your own name), and attach something to each arrow. These can be attitudes, values, beliefs, concepts, etc. Allow yourself to be free with the arrows, draw more if you have to!
Once you have identified a bunch of things you associate with your brand, you can narrow your focus by prioritizing 5 of these items and listing them below. After doing so, congratulate yourself on creating a solid branding plan, which you can work from to supplement your business plan. Remember in the future that questions about business identity can almost always be answered by consulting this exact diagram.
Since you took the time to plan your ideal topics for the brand, you can now look for ways to create community around each aspect. Think of these ideas like aspects of your own personality — how would you interact with others on each topic? Naturally, you might find text, media, video, events, and actions spring from each. Some of your items might already be keywords, searchable on social networks. You may discover that some of the topics are already communities, which you can leverage and include in your own brand for a great running start.
The trouble in finding brand advocates is often that businesses forget there’s more to a company than the products and services. Although you ultimately look to sales to keep your business running, your relationships are what help you attract and keep those sales. Relationships are built upon substance — often things intangible, endearing, and quite frankly, beautiful. Ask yourself what you want your brand to do, who you want to interact with, and most importantly, who you are as a business entity. With characteristics like these, you will certainly elicit stronger responses from your audience. This can be support, review, word-of-mouth marketing, sales, and much more.
Try it out, tell me what you think, and feel free to connect with me at email@example.com for inquiries.
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