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Is the current economic cycle you’re in a “new normal”? Is everyone floundering? Is it possible to build your business in any economic environment? The answer to all three questions is yes! We don’t care whether you have been in business for 2 weeks or 20 years; you can build your business in any environment.
We are living in a new normal. We don’t mean that the world is normal now, but that the word “normal” has changed its meaning. It’s not just the new fad diet, or even a new family structure. We live in a world where everything has changed, including our definition of “normal”.
We are in a time of rising uncertainty, with global economies in a state of flux, new technologies shaping the future, and public sectors facing major challenges. As a result, we’re all experiencing greater levels of uncertainty about how to stay ahead.
Global growth, the interconnectedness of markets, the new normal — it all used to be such a mystery. Now, there’s incredible clarity. We’re living in a time when the rules are changing more rapidly than ever before, and companies need to adapt to survive.
The old normal was built on the illusion of easy money and market dominance. The new normal is built on the following principles: Less is More: Every business now has to be a positive sum game. There are no more “ultimate” winners that take all anymore. If you want to be successful, you must have a plan to bring others along with you.
That means building community. And, if you want to build an audience, or even a community, online, you have to build something worth talking about. The connections you make with new people online are going to be the foundation of your business; they’re not just a byproduct of it. Building an audience takes time. It takes work. It takes patience and dedication. And if we’re being honest, it’s not easy.
No matter how small your business, I think it’s important for all entrepreneurs to know how to create a community that helps build trust and loyalty. Here are the top 5 tips for building a successful community online.
1. Pick topics that you audience really cares about. Spend time with you audience online in groups, in chat sessions, and online events. Find out what they really care about and connect the dots to your products and services.
2. Make sure you have some of the same passions as your audience. If you don’t seem like you care, your audience won’t either. So make sure that you really believe in your product or service and people really know that you are there to help them by showing high value to what you are offering.
3. Be real, don’t sound like a corporate robot. Make sure you have an authentic voice when you are communicating. Don’t imitate that 1920s salesman or Mad Men that you think of when you watch old movies or tv shows about business. Just be you and let the people know how you are there to help them.
4. Also, be professional, it’s not a family reunion or house party. That doesn’t mean to share every deep dark secret you have personally or random thought. Be a business person and focus on your products and services. Don’t blur the boundaries by turning your life into a reality show. Your revenue will suffer, you’ll blow your marketing budget and you’ll be hating your life when everyone is still talking about that bad day you had 2 years ago!
5. Build an ecosystem to lighten the load. Learn to share your community with others so that you are not brought to the brink of exhaustion making content. You can find large, small and micro companies, partners and influencers to be your friends. Learn how to make business friends through regular networking.
Need more help making sense of all of this?