Remembering what community is
When I was invited to take part in Eli Trier’s project (an e-book about redefining community), I was both honoured and excited – excited to share and honoured to have been seen. Because despite running a business that makes multiple hundreds of thousands of pounds in sales every year, I have a relatively small community. So whenever a stranger gets in touch with me, it feels great to know that my message is reaching new ears and creating new ripples in the world.
The invitation that was made by Eli was to redefine community, but I want to go off brief and share the perspective that redefining is not what you need to do when it comes to creating communities both personally and professionally. It’s about remembering what community is.
For you to build a platform that attracts your dreamboat clients, your soul tribe, the first things you need to tune your senses to are:
- Creating a sense of belonging.
And number 2 is something I have highlighted above and that is:
- Seeing people.
What I mean by that is acknowledging them. I try to welcome as many people as possible to my programmes personally, either with a Facebook post or a personalised video. I firmly believe that this is great for helping people to feel seen and for reassuring them that they are in the right place. When they feel secure, slowly but surely they tell their friends.
In a world where people are often mistaken for numbers, fans or followers, it is forgotten that that the aim, for you or at least (the majority of people reading this), is to see people.
These two pillars will be extremely useful for you when it comes to building your own community.
If you’re following Eli, I know that a big part of your own mission will be to have a desire to create impact, and this is often where the people get confused with the ‘number’ part of the equation. So I suppose for me, if anything was going to be redefined, it would be the idea of impact.
What has been extremely helpful for me in the building of my businesses has been to align with the ripple effect, which was never more apparent than recently when I received a voice note from a client in Botswana who shared with me that the people she was working with had got their hands on the book I had written about hypnobirthing and were singing its praises. While this was great from an ego perspective, I’m sharing this story because my business and the community who still supports me and my growth today actually started in a completely different field.
I started out in the hypnobirthing world, and when it came to coaching and the programmes I created, everything was focused on birth and supporting birth workers in their businesses. I went narrow and advise all of my clients to do the same.
In the pursuit of big numbers, it’s way too easy to try and appeal to a really wide audience and talk about all of the things. The problem with that is you neglect to create the all-important sense of belonging, which is actually way easier to foster when your dreamboats know what they are going to get when they show up on your Facebook page or Instagram account.
So when you think about your message and what you want to share in order to build your community, narrowing in on who they are, their experiences, creating content that talks from their worldview, is what evokes the ‘she/he gets it’ feeling that makes you irresistible and ultimately builds and expands your community. As counter-intuitive as it might feel, owning your niche and only speaking to that one person is how you start to build a tribe of like-minded people who will grow with you.
It was only after being in business for four years and building my business exclusively around baby business owners that I increased the scope of my message and therefore my audience. It was only after I was able to demonstrate proven success in one area that I widened my business to other areas.
Knowing my niche and sharing consistent and relevant content has meant that not only have they evolved with me, but they have also become my biggest advocates as the community and ripple effect continue to thrive.
So to recap on my advice:
- Create a sense of belonging.
- See people.
- Go narrow in your messaging.
I would love to know your biggest takeaway when it comes to building your community from this post, and maybe also from Eli’s e-book Redefining Community, which you can download here. Hit me up on Instagram, I’d love to hear from you.