Clients Megan R. and Alissa C. (front row) with me at The Queen Bee Market after having coffee together. Dinner afterwards was super fun, too!
When I was presented with the topic of “Community”, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I was a bit lost on what to write about. I don’t host a large blog readership and though I frequent Twitter a lot, I’m just there to chat with friends. I don’t really put a focus on it and I know some would gasp at the thought.
I really thought I would have to bow out of the guest post if I couldn’t think of anything because my numbers weren’t good enough for me to talk from experience or that I wasn’t knowledgeable enough with lots of “How-To for Online Communities” articles under my belt.
Then it hit me: I was struggling with this topic because my community is of a different kind altogether. My community is my clients—past and present. An idea I had never thought of before but a revolutionary one, nonetheless. You see, those who I spend time with on my blog, Twitter, and Google+ are basically my clients or soon to be clients.
Client Megan M. in Nashville became my new favorite go-to local photographer and the hubbs (with me behind the camera) with client Megan R. at WB Studios.
I knew my business goal is to always have a happy client, I just didn’t realize what would naturally develop from this kind of mindset. It may have seemed like a brilliant sales plan at first but now I’m nurturing my client relationships for a different reason: I’ve become good friends with my clients and our small group starts to feel something more like a family.
Yep, family-like. It seems my clients have become friends with each other or were already good buds. When I attend events, it’s refreshing to hangout with people I’ve worked alongside long-term and have gotten to know very well. Even my husband can’t figure out sometimes if I knew a client beforehand or not.
When being introduced, it’s sometimes hard for my clients to nail down what to exactly say when someone asks who I am. (Reminds me of how I introduce my “friend/boss/neighbor” here in San Diego, ha! )
Clients Sue H. (speaking) along with clients Tiffany S. and Angela K. (front row, left and middle) at the National MilSpouse Summit in 2011.
I don’t need large view counts on my Google Analytics or the largest linky party on my blog or retweets galore on my Twitter account. I find pleasure in my small group of friends and am proud of their entrepreneur efforts and am super thankful for the opportunity to have met them.
I plan to keep growing my little community now that I realize who my community is.
Did you ever go through a “Community Identity Crisis” like myself? Did discovering your true community surprise you?
i love this article! I am honored to be in a similar position with my clients and I have found that it has made such a difference in how I communicate with my clients and how I approach my business.
Thanks again, Em
I never thought of this but the same applies to my business! I design accessories, and lots of my clients have also become friends. One of my closest friends now, was orinally a customer.
Love your portfolio! great work through and through 🙂
This was wonderful, Kristen, and made me think about community in a new way. Thanks for sharing!
such a great perspective on community – thanks for sharing! my community is a bit similar to yours in that i have nurtured long-term relationships with customers that now choose me to design, re-design and refer me based on our friendship that has grown from working together for so long. i am truly honored by their friendship — something i never expected at all.
i have such an amazing group of small business entrepreneurs that support my efforts as we work to engage, educate and encourage the small businesses & bloggers that follow & rely on us!
I think this is great! Your friends will love you and refer people to you as naturally as breathing water – I can’t think of a better community than that!
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