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Don’t you love it when you receive a compliment? You likely feel validated, intelligent, successful, and helpful. Of course, you do!
Read on to learn how to build your own community and make your clients your most extensive salesforce.

Even better, don’t you LOVE it when you receive a phone call or an email from a prospective client, and they say, “I’m reaching out to you because my friend Jim said you were the best person to help me with _____”?

If you want the people who already know you, like you, and trust you to build your business for you, they have to be raving fans of your work! 

Who Are These People?

The folks talking about you in their daily life simply because they enjoy working with you and see great value in your solutions – these are your raving fans.

Within your target audience, each person falls into one of these four categories:

  1. Casual connections – They know who you are, your message and what you offer.
  2. Active connections – These folks know you exist, like your content, and have permitted you to give them more. When you launch a new piece of content, they decide whether or not to consume it.
  3. Connected community – They regularly interact with you and others in your community. They enjoy identifying themselves as a part of your community.
  4. Raving Fan – Someone who is so dedicated and loyal to your brand that they can’t imagine living without it. If your brand were to disappear, they would be devastated.

Most of your audience is in the “causal connection” category. Only 20% of your audience will be raving fans. You want to build your own community and increase the number of raving fans.

Related: This Is Why Word-of-Mouth Referrals Should Be Your Number One Metric of Success

To create a profitable, successful business, you need to embrace the 80/20 rule. Focus on your raving fans (the 20%) and convert folks in the other categories into raving fans.

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How to Create Your Tribe of Raving Fans

Right out of the gate, you MUST provide a GREAT first impression. Whether a visitor comes to your website, meets you in person, or is referred to you, if your first impression doesn’t engage them, you’ll lose them. Make sure your presence online and offline is engaging, approachable, and helpful.
Create unique content that’s compelling and specific. Your audience shouldn’t feel like they can get what you offer somewhere else. Share your personal experiences and those of your clients and customers. Showcase “real world” interaction with your products and services.
You have to KNOW your audience and what they are struggling with. Please do your research and ask questions about their pain points. Speak directly to the challenges they are looking to resolve.
Imagine having a conversation with someone you met for the first time. One of you will share something the other one can relate to. That’s how friendships How to Build Your Own Community and Create Raving Fans for Your Brand start. Share interesting things about yourself in your content that your audience can connect with. If you’re quirky, be quirky. If you’re sarcastic, show that side of your personality. Talk about what you’re learning, mistakes you’ve made, and goals you have. BE HUMAN and infuse YOU into your brand. Put MORE you into your brand. Share random facts about you. He pays his voiceover guy to do this. Be human online. CONNECT. Share interesting things about yourself with your audience.
Provide an experience beyond the everyday experience they expect. Look for ways to facilitate conversations and make it easy for people to talk to each other. This is how you create community.

Related: Storytelling Marketing For Small Businesses: How To Captivate Audiences and Capture Market Shares

REMEMBER: Raving fans aren’t created the moment people discover you. The comments create them you make for them over time. Which means you need to be consistent with your marketing efforts. If you promise something, such as a weekly email newsletter, video, or blog post, meet their expectations. Consistency is the fuel that drives results.

Related: The best organic marketing strategies for small business

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Our goal with all forms of marketing our business should be to develop trusting, engaged relationships with the people we are meant to serve.

No matter your business type, you want to position yourself as a problem solver. A trusted, credible, authoritative resource your ideal client will come to again and again.

Remember, the more connected you are with a contact, the fewer sales you need to be, so build your own community and create raving fans for your brand.

If you focus on turning your audience into raving fans, you never have to sell them.

Think about the brands you are most loyal to. What is it about them that keeps you coming back?

Related: Customer Loyalty: Ten Ways to Earn More Repeat Buyers

Share your thoughts below, and let’s discuss how we can apply these strategies to your business!

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How to Build Your Own Community and Create Raving Fans for Your Brand

Article by Sydni Craig-Hart
Is your organization looking to gain market share and deepen loyalty with small businesses, women, or minorities? Sydni Craig-Hart is the CEO of Smart Simple Marketing and a 4th generation entrepreneur. Since 2006, her team, having worked with over 8,000 small businesses in 79 different industries, has been helping companies to drive engagement with sought-after, growing market segments. If you want to increase the value of existing-customer spending, recapture marketing investments, boost customer lifetime value or decrease attrition, contact Sydni to discover how her team is doing this for companies like Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and more.