Once you get an inkling of success it’s easy to fall into the ego trap.
You sort of put on blinders.
You begin to forget how much support you had in the beginning.
Success gets to your head and before long you develop some kind of superiority complex.
I’ve seen this time and time again.
People change when they get power.
A Dreadful Occurrence
One of the most unfortunate side effects of success and this inflation of ego is that people get out of touch with their community.
Suddenly they’re too good to respond to every email “because they’re far too busy or their time is more important”. They’re “too good” to stay connected with others that started around the same time because they’re not “on the same level, anymore”.
When you let this type of bull headedness get to you – you’re going to lose your core community.
You’re going to come across as pompous and arrogant. The people that supported you and helped make what you are will abandon ship and then you’re just left with the vapid individuals trying to take you for a ride.
Keeping It Real
Care for your community should be right up there at the top of your list.
When you care – they care.
When they care – they:
- Are more willing to share your content
- Are more willing to leave feedback and comments
- Are more willing to purchase your suggestions
- Are more willing to defend you against naysayers
- Are more willing to reference your work in theirs
The list goes on and on because when they care they feel they are a part of something. Something bigger than you or them. They are part of a community.
So then how do you show the community you really do care?
- Give more than you take – Put every bit of your being into creating valuable resources, products, services, and experiences. Overload them with value. Make it such a wonderful experience they feel compelled to reciprocate.
- Put them on the pedestal – Yes, it’s your brand but they know that. Turn the tables. Make them the star of the show. They’re the ones that provide the support which allows you to do what you do. Placing them front-and-center will give them a great feeling of acceptance in the community. It introduces them to others and encourages the rest to show their passion, too.
- Bring it back to one on one – The sound of ones’ voice or seeing them through a video feed can instantly create a bond. Very few people in business take the time to sit down and have a one-on-one talk with their community members (just for the fun of it). But try it. Spend some of your off-hours getting to know people. Have a laugh. Talk about goals. Keep it light. Really get to know each other. Become friends.
- Remember them – Put in the effort to memorize their name and what they do. This little bit of information may not seem like a lot but on the Web where there are billions of individuals – it’s nice when someone knows you by name.
- Distribute the wealth – Give back monetarily, too. Take part of your profits and reinvest it into the community. It could be something as simple as having a few extra giveaways throughout the year or something as big as offering a scholarship. Think of it like spending time with friends. It’s nice when everyone contributes to something rather than it being one-sided.
Soft. I know. But I want you to think these things over and then come up with concrete plans for your community. Each one of our communities we’re building is different from the next so you’ve got to put in the effort to understand and cater their needs.
Once you really get to know your community you can really begin to give back … and they’ll notice.
It’s that point, with them noticing, that they understand you care and that’s when they really step up to get behind your brand and what it has to offer.
Size Matters Not
Go back. Go back and remember that feeling you had the first time someone visited your site and got in touch. It was like magic. You finally did it. Your hard work paid off.
Over time the number of people grew and it was exciting! It was picking up speed and now there were plenty of people supporting your efforts.
Never let go of that feeling.
It doesn’t matter if you have 10 followers or 10,000. You should truly make the effort to provide an unforgettable experience to each and every one. It may not seem feasible as the community grows but you should sure as hell try your best.
Over to you – What do you do to show your community that you care?