image credit: Lower Lawrenceville
Small businesses are just that… they’re small.
People fall in love with small businesses because they connect with the business’s brand in some way.
If you want your business to grow, building a community will make it happen quicker than trying to do it all by yourself. Tweet that baby!
There are two things that you must know, that you must be crystal clear on, if you want to up your game and grow your community.
- Your Brand
- Your Ideal Customer
What should you start with?
Well some would say that’s like asking what came first… the chicken or the egg.
In my opinion, they’re both a part of each other. You can start with either one and build the other from there. It all depends on what you want.
If you start with developing your brand, then your ideal customer is going to be someone who connects with the pieces of your brand. If you start with your ideal customer, then your brand is going to need to appeal to your customer.
They go together. There’s no right or wrong place to start because they both start with you and what you want for your business.
Let’s talk branding first.
When I say branding, yes your “look”, “design”, and “graphics” are a huge part of that, but what I’m talking about is your why, your reason for doing what you do, your values, and your beliefs.
If you want to build a community around your business, you’re going to need to be obvious with these things so that your customers have no doubt in their mind what your business is about. Everything you do in your business should represent and reflect your brand.
For example, if you’re passionate about being eco-friendly and you want to incorporate that into your business, then you can do the following things to make it a huge part of your brand.
- use words like “eco-friendly”, “earth-friendly”, “recycling”, and “reuse” in your writing
- use recycled or reused packaging and printing materials
- support other earth-friendly businesses
- blog about ways to reuse materials that are typically trashed
- build philanthropy into your business and designate a portion of your profits to go to an earth-friendly cause
If you do this and you do it well, then customers who share the same beliefs will want to support your business, become your people, and share it with their people.
Now let’s talk ideal customers.
Your ideal customer is the person who wants to buy what you make, they don’t fuss about the price of your product, and they don’t need too much convincing to buy it. They may be exactly like someone you know in person or online, or they could be an idea of someone you have in your mind.
Your ideal customer is one person, and they should be at the center of your business. All your business decisions should be based on them… what they want, what they’ll think or like, and what they need.
When you know who your ideal customer is and you gear everything you do in your business towards them, a community will form.
If you’re struggling to figure out who your ideal customer is, hop on over to MeaganVisser.com and sign up to my weekly newsletter. You’ll get my Customer Discovery Report for free. It explains more about the difference in your target market and your ideal customer and how to use each of them in your marketing strategy. Plus you’ll get 2 power packed worksheets and 7 exercises that will help you find your person!
What’s the core of community?
Remember, your brand and your ideal customer start with you. What do you want your business to be about and who do you want it to be for? When you have answers to those questions, you can start building your community.
Can you describe your community in three words? Share with me in the comments below!
What great advice. Building a community around my site and thinking that through is something I need to do with my site. Thank you and I live your site!
Three words to describe my community.
Young, passionate, fun.
Mom, quilter, wannabe sewist.
Imaginative play enthusiast
Okay…Here are my three: eco-conscious, joyful, creative
I love it! I can definitely see your descriptions coming through in what each of you are doing!
I am really aiming to become more involved in my online community and local small town (and Toledo, Ohio metro) community. Great advice and I constantly look to this blog for inspiration on building community.
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