How to Build an AUTHENTIC Online Community | The Journey

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– We're gonna give you tips to build your online community here on The Journey. Hi, I'm Emma, and this
is my co-host Nealey, and I wanna start off with why? Why should I build an online community? – Why? Right? An online
community is, in my opinion, the only way that you are going to elevate your brand to that next level. It's really going to
help differentiate you from everyone else. 'Cause at the end of the day, literally everything's a commodity, but a community is something
that makes you stand out. – All right, so I know
it's really important to not always be focused on selling. Rather, take the time to
position yourself as an expert. This will be a great way to
give back to your community, your fans, your customers,
so think about that when it comes to what you're focused on.

– Right and like you say
in previous episodes, if you've been following
along, you don't want to sell, sell, sell, you want to… – Tell, tell, tell. – Super corny as it is, it is the truth, and while you're doing
that and you're telling and you're positioning
yourself as the expert, it also gives the opportunity
of really learning about your audience 'cause
you're engaging with them, you're talking with them,
you're learning about really what they're doing, and because of that you're figuring out: cool, what are their actual problems? What are they wanting?
What are they needing? Then with that, that's
free market research from your community that
you can really dig into and figure out: cool
what's next for your brand? What other services can you offer to really elevate that? – Yeah, I mean your
customers can show you a lot and enlighten you on a lot of things to help actually benefit your
business in the long run.

– That is a great point, which leads me into the first tip and that's really to make it all about the people because– – I love that. – Without people, you have no business, without business, you have no money and then you're broke and then you can't eat pizza all day. It's a tragedy. – Tragedy. – But you really need
to make it about them and figuring out what they need. – Going into that, I strongly encourage your group to share. I often speak to this one,
talking about social media like, "Hey, social media's rad "'cause it's not all one-way street." It's not a walking billboard,
it's a two-way street. So, encourage, comments, feedback, just like we do here on The Journey. – Asking to comment below, right? And you can do the same thing. Have polls, especially with Instagram and how engaging stories are. Can throw up a quick poll or a question or a quiz now, too, and
just ask your audience a random question that
relates to your business, gets them involved, gets them engaged, and now, it's not just a one-way street we're just yelling at a
person and they're like, "Stop yelling at me!" – Exactly.

– We're actually talking. All right, now another way
we can can really encourage our community and build it and boost it is to recognize our group members, right? – Good tip. – They're putting in the work, especially if like, you're a coach, if you're teaching something online, you have people learning how to do whatever you're doing, right? Show their progress. I know there's a person
by the name of Louis Howes and he has a Facebook community group and he has masterminds and
inner circles and all that stuff and I'll talk about it in a little bit, but one thing he does
really really well is when one of his clients or his followers are doing something like just super great, he'll give them a shout-out like, "Hey, Margaret just launched her new book. "Everyone, give her a shout-out." – Way to go Margaret! – And everyone's like,
"Yeah, that's awesome." – Love your new book! – And that's not something
you have to pay for.

You're literally just giving a shout-out saying, "Hey, I see you.
I wanna recognize you "and I want everyone else to
know how awesome you are." So, that's super impactful and powerful. Just give them a little kudos. – All right, so this is the perfect time to bring up the importance
of setting the tone for the culture. Lead by example. So, don't go and ghost people on your social media just 'cause, I get it, you're busy 'cause then you'll lose the engagement of your fans and followers. So, set the tone, be sure to be engaging, be present, dish out some quality content. Think about it even in your social life. Ya know, you stop inviting your friends to go do things and you stop reaching out, they start to think,
"Ugh, this friendship…" – It's just done. – It's done. – So, perfect segue, right? So, leaning into my next tip is to really be consistent
with your audience, and what that consistency is is really up to you.

You don't have to post every single day, but you do want to be consistent. So, if you wanna make
something where every Thursday, I'm gonna do a Facebook Live or every Friday, I'm gonna
do an Instagram post. – Oo, or every Tuesday,
– Make it… – Tip Tuesday. – I thought you were gonna
go with Taco Tuesday. – Or Motivational Monday. – I'm still about Taco Tuesday, but anyways, make it consistent. Make sure that they can expect it. Now, back to Louis Howes, he has, what he calls an inner circle, which a lot of people call it, rather, and that's basically a
little mastermind group of his community and once a month, he goes on with his community
on a video hangout, right? So, he goes and talks– – What do they do? – They talk to each other. They say, "Hi, how we doing?" Do like, a little icebreakers. Then, he usually has like a special guest that goes on and like,
teaches his audience something super cool. They'll usually have like, a Q & A session with some randomly
selected audience members. They can really have that engagement.

Super cool, right? But he does that–
– Need to check that out. – Every single month and his followers expect that so that they
know that this is happening which also, you keep doing
it, continue to do it so you get more and more
people really bought into you 'cause man, this person's sticking around. They're about it and I
want to be about it, too. – And it's like, what I
was talking about earlier, setting the tone for that culture.

– Yeah. – Another cool thing to do, challenge your community. There's this artist illustrator that I follow on Twitch and she does a WAC, which is
a Weekly Artist Challenge, and it's super fun because you get to see these challenges live and it could be something as simple like, draw a tree or try oil paints or screen printing and then, you get to check it out on a live footage and feed. – Now, with all this fun and game, right, with it comes with
building your community, all these challenges, all this engagement. There is the not-so-fun part and that is to set some ground rules and policies because at the end of the day, we want this community to be really a safe place for everyone. So, those rules, they don't
have to be super strict, but they should be more
common sense, right? – Yeah, so like, if you have a chatroom, you wanna make sure you're mediating that, making sure that there
aren't any trolls out there.

– Block the trolls.
– Play nice! Block the trolls, but play nice.
– Don't pay the troll toll. – (laughs) The troll toll. – It's been awhile since
you heard that, right? – I've never heard that. – Totally derailed you, but yeah keep all the negativity out there. You want your community to be inspiring and you really want, the power
of the community is like– – Positivity. – Bringing people together
with like-mindedness, right? We're all here to help each other and that's what that
community should be about.

So, those rules and policies are there to make sure everyone plays fair. – But, and don't call me
a delusional optimist, but what if I become too successful and I can't handle it all? – Well, other than partying on your yacht, eating all the pizza from
all that success, right? You're gonna need to get some help, and that help is going to
come from your community. You likely already have
people in your community answering questions,
helping you out already. It's time to go back to
what we talked about earlier and recognizing them,
recognizing all the help they've been giving and give them more of an admin type role in
your community saying, "Hey, you been doing an awesome job.

"I want you to keep doing it. "Let's go ahead and make this official. "I wanna make you my admin." So, now they're helping
you with your community, answering those questions,
talking to the people, while you're partying on your yacht or growing your business even more and growing your community and just having fun with it. – Yeah, and then they can
all join me on my yacht. – Absolutely. – Pizza for everyone. – Or there's also ways
you can outsource this. So, if you don't have anyone really active in your community that wants to step up, you can hire admins to go
in and manage that for you. – All right, cool, Nealey. So, now I know how to do it, but where do I do this? – Wherever you want, but no, there are a ton of options that you can use to really
build your community and it's really gonna come down to what your community likes, right, 'cause not every community is the same.

pexels photo 6476591

Your community might like
being on Instagram or Twitter, but others may just want to email, but one of the first
places you can really build that community is just
with an email newsletter. It's one of the earliest
forms of community and simple as just sending a weekly email with all the updates and then they'll maybe reply back to your email and you really start
that relationship there, but what I would recommend for this, is try to make that email newsletter, especially in today's world,
almost exclusive, right, like that email newsletter
is for this specific person trying to achieve this specific thing, 'cause if it's just an email for anyone, they don't really feel a part
of that community, ya know? – Definitely hear ya on the email.

I'm definitely a huge fan of it with businesses that I
follow and engage with, but also, let's not forget blogs. Blogs are a great way to also get– – They're tried and true. – The tried and true. Get the information out and also, make it really easy for
your customers to share. So, one thing I love about
GoDaddy is we have a great blog that we share a ton of topics. Everything ranging from how
to finance your business to how to start a business to– – Or how to build a
community in the links– – How to build a community. – In the links, description below. – Exactly. Or how to be a master on Twitter.

Point is, we put this
information out there for the community and then we make it easy to then share across social channels. – Yeah, and another
way we can really build that community is through a
membership on your website. Now, if you're using WordPress or other popular applications, there are usually plugins that will help you accomplish this, but Louis Howes has that inner circle and that's a membership on a site that people go to that are just apart of his community where he can share that
content directly with them.

So, it's something that
you can potentially do to truly build that community with them. – And another way to build
your online community, forums, a great place to provide feedback, ask questions and… – Talk amongst themselves. – Exactly, bond with the community. – Now, probably my favorite
way to build community, I'm a part of, I lost
count, is through Facebook, and using Facebook groups. It's probably one of the
easiest ways to connect all of your community members together because let's face it, everyone's already on Facebook already.

So, it's one quick share, one quick add, and they're in and now,
you can add your posts, your videos, your
images, and just anything you wanna share with
your community, you can, and a good thing, kinda like forums, is your community can actually
talk amongst themselves, they can start their own conversations, and I've seen lots of relationships build within the community because they're all like-minded people. Some people end up becoming best friends through this community, which is awesome. Are you part of any Facebook groups? – Actually, just part of one. It's like vegans in Southern California, which is very common, but I get to meet a lot
of like-minded people. It's also a great way for me to learn of different restaurants to try, 'cause I recently moved
from L.A. to San Diego and it's a three hour difference. A lot of people go, "That's not that far." No, it's a completely different community and so, it was a great way for me to learn about where to eat, which Farmers Markets to hit. It's super rad. – And that's awesome, and that community is pretty
specific to what you like and your business has a
specific interest group, right, and that community wants to know more about what you do, what service you offer, and there's the rest
of the people that are like-minded, which is super awesome.

– All right, so I've
heard a lot about Slack. I, personally, don't use it
to build my online community. Maybe you could convince me otherwise, but what's all about Slack? What's Slack attack? – What's Slack attack? Always throwing random
things to throw me off and my train of thought but– – (laughs) It never works. – Sometimes, you should see
how many bloopers we have, but so, Slack is
typically a messaging app, but I actually am a part of a pretty big Slack
community out in Phoenix.

So, as you know, I love
WordPress, I'm all about it and there's a lot of
little WordPress meetups and community inside of Phoenix. Now, instead of us having a Facebook group or all these different things, we just actually have a Slack group. So, the entire community in Arizona is apart of that Slack group. So, we talked about upcoming Word camps, upcoming meetups, just talking
about new leads and work and everyone's– – How hot it is there. – Ugh, we try not to talk about that 'cause it's always gross, right, but we're always talking
amongst each other and building that community there and that's just a more
unique way to do that, and it's a different
customer base or client base or whatever you call your customers. So, if Slack works for you, if your audience is already on Slack, they're familiar with it, it's a good way and a good idea to really build that community in a unique way.

– So, I get Slack. I can see where that super beneficial– – Slack attack. – Slack attack. – I'm stealing that now. – I can see where that'd be beneficial to get together some like-minded people, build the online community. I'm a little bit more about the IRL. – What's IRL? – In Real Life. – Okay. – So, there's Meetups. I know that's been super helpful for some of my friends who've moved to new cities as a way to like, ya know, meet new people and get to know their area. I know my good friend Ri, joined a Meetup where it
was like a paint and sip, so like, you get to like
have a little booze, paint a little picture and then, get to meet people, unless they're like, really into their artwork and introvert, then you don't need to know them at all, but it's a chance where you can, I know when I first moved to L.A., L.A.'s huge, right? So, I also joined a Meetup and a bunch of Chambers of Commerce.

Went and did some cool events, went to like arcades. One of the coolest Meetups I went to was just straight up hiking and that was awesome
'cause I not only felt cool, I was out there getting active, but I met some people who enjoy hiking. – That's awesome and sometimes having those meetups or those
events are hard to plan. What I've seen a lot of
really successful people do is they'll piggyback on already big events. So like, big events like
Word Camp is one of them. It's a WordPress conference. People will have little meetups– – Good point. – The day after or the day before, that way, people are already coming to that conference.

They're gonna basically gonna piggyback on all that travel already,
bring that community in and have their own little
meetup, if you will, or little conference,
or little get-together where they can really bring
that community together, have that face to face time and really just bond and connect. – Yeah. – Now, my last point with really building your online
community is maybe think about some barriers to actually
join the community because you may not want
to have everybody come in. Limiting people from joining
might actually be a good thing and there's a couple
ways that you can really determine how best to do that. The first way is just have an
open-ended question, right, or a couple of questions. I know that's super common
with Facebook groups. They usually ask, "Why do
you wanna join this group? "What are you gonna bring to the group?" Things like that, that way, they know that you're not gonna come
in and just troll the group, and then, maybe have a price point to actually join the group.

That way, you know the
people that are joining– – They're committed. – They're committed, they're serious about being a part of your community and you know that they're
gonna put in the work. – Totally. All right, I hope this video inspired you to go out there and build
your online community today. – We hope this video helped. Go ahead and smash that Like button if you got some value out of this video. Add a comment below. Let us know if you're building
your community right now. – And be sure to subscribe. Also, be sure to ring that bell so you are the first to know
when our next video comes out. This is The Journey..

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