What Happens When You Make Clients Your Community

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?

5 comments

  1. Emma says:

    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

  2. Emily says:

    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 🙂

  3. 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!

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