Everyone is telling you ‘you need to grow a community’ but no one is actually telling you HOW you grow a community, right? I’m NGL growing a community is harder than a following because it involves letting people in, being vulnerable, sharing perspective and opinions regularly with your followers. rather than just relying on cute pics for likes and viral videos (look, if it was easy we’d all be doing it!)
Growing a community is SO much more powerful that just growing a following, because 1. it means your content will feel so much more purposeful for you (and your followers) as an influencer, and 2. Because as I’ve said before you can monetise a community but you can’t monetise a following.
So today I’m gonna give you 4 ways you can start building community with your audience TODAY, rather than just posting to gain followers.
1. Start asking your audience more questions
Your audience won’t feel like a community until you start creating some back and forth dialogue with them. So start asking them questions, and IG stories are great for this- Get them to choose what you have for dinner! Get them to give your recommendations when you’re looking for a certain piece of clothing- ask them to choose what piece of content they’d like you to post next, ask them if they’ve tried any face cleansers they can’t live without- And don’t stop there. Use DM’s/feedback from followers to continue the conversation in stories. Communities have back and forth between the creator and the viewer so make sure your content isn’t one sided.
2. Building on the last point- take it one step further and create EXCLUSIVITY with your audience
You want your audience to feel like your besties in the group chat and what does that look like? It means having inside jokes. It means having common threads throughout your content that the people who in your community get, and the ones who are out wouldn’t get it. You can do this by creating running threads throughout your content where you refer back to past things you’ve said. For example, Emily, can you think of an example here for you? Something you reference consistently in your brand that has the IYKYK factor?
For example: I have been trying out Tretinoin for months now – I am trying to build a skincare routine that supports it because my skin keeps drying out / getting flaky. Lots of my followers have the same problem. So every time I have a setback or find a new product that supports this skin regime I share it with my community. It’s not a one and done share it’s a journey and it regularly features i my content so my followers come along for the ride.
Too often we see influencers sharing the “final results” or “transformation” with little background or context. When you share the journey, followers become way more invested. Not to mention the psychology of hearing you talk about things over and over is comforting and makes them feel like they really know you!
3. Think about things YOU are going through and that your community might be going through, and be the one to open up the conversation
Your audience is attracted to you because they have things in common with you, so it’s likely that they are going through the same shit in life that you are. For example, recently, I was having a really shitty day and posted a rant to my stories talking about how I feel like my body clock is ticking and I have to choose between career success or having a family. When I posted this the engagement on it was HUGE, I got flooded with DMs and all because my audience, many of whom are women in their 30s, were feeling the same things. Your struggles are a huge opportunity to build community and connect deeply with your audience.
4. Stop only looking at your views as your measure of success
When you learn how to create a content strategy effectively, you learn that not all content is created with the intention of getting views. Some content is there purely so people can get to know you. Some are there to nurture your existing audience and build community, not get high views from new people. You need to think about the intention behind the content before you post it and ask, is this to get views? Or is this to build stronger connections with my audience?
Once you start doing these things I promise you no matter how small your audience is, it won’t matter, because you’re gonna have a community of TRUE fans and that’s where the fun AND the money is.
If youre ready to turn your small audience into an engaged community of true fans you can monetise join my FREE MASTERCLASS on August 22nd 2023. Click here to save your seat!