First let's define community. Community simply means a place
of like minded or interested people. The strength of a
community is sharing thoughts, ideas, conversations, etc.
This is what neighborhoods, clubs, churches, non profits and
the like do, they form a community around what they are
So how does this translate into business and marketing
opportunities? Let me explain with an example.
You sell oysters and have two options to market yourself. The
first is to display and sell your oysters at a seafood
festival with 5,000 visitors. The second is to advertise in a
well read local publication with 100,000 readers. They both
cost the same, so which one do you pick. I would pick the
festival because each person at the festival has the same
interest as you - Seafood. You have a better chance of
gaining new customers with this community of like minded
people as opposed to a larger more diverse community of
100,000. Quality versus quantity.
But what if you could combine the two and benefit from both
quality and quantity. How? Create your own online community
of people with the same interest that your business has. With
an online community you can have both the quality of
relationships and quantity of marketing to anyone. This is
online marketing at its best.
An online community can help you reach and connect with more
people, more effectively. And the cool part is that you don't
have to do all of the work, you simply need to be the
catalyst and manager of the community. How?
1st - you need to provide the interest, and the place for
people to meet.
2nd - you need to provide the means for people to
communicate, share and keep informed
3rd - you need to manage the community so that it provides a
reason for people to come back and to tell others
A good example is a blog about seafood where you can share
with your community your love, questions, ideas and thoughts
about Seafood. You simply need to start it, post your
thoughts, invite people to participate, and keep the momentum
moving until the community does a lot of it for you. People
will in turn share their thoughts, ideas, etc with the
community too. Your genuine efforts will be rewarded with new
and more loyal customers.
Creating a community around the interests of your business is
one of the most effective forms of online marketing.
So why doesn't everyone do this. Simple. It does not produce
instantaneous results, it requires an investment of time. Yet
the benefits are long lasting and much more rewarding than
multiple instantaneous gains. In fact the return far exceeds
the investment. Start building today and harvest soon there