Finding Balance when it comes to being an entrepreneur is extremely hard. In fact, it’s downright impossible for many. So, the thought of building a community scares the crap out of a lot of people.
Juggling home life, work’s components, fires that need to be put out, children, spouses, or anything else that you could think of, is difficult. But, building a community is probably the last thing that people want to do. And, we’re not even talking about building a community out of your customers.
We’re talking about YOUR community.
We’re talking about friends, allies, and people who will gladly share your content, become part of your content, and work with you to boost your SEO ratings. This is even the added bonus of getting a better SEO rating with your improved traffic! It’s a double post in one!
Bully for you, reader!
Tip #1: You Are Not a Lone Wolf
Okay, I’m going to say something that might rub you the wrong way. But you’re not a one man army. There are a lot of things that you can do for yourself, but you can’t do all of it. In fact, the more you try to do things yourself, the more that tends to slip through the cracks! It’s hard for us to accept, but we can’t be the Lone Wolf all the time, especially as we grow.
Whether you are looking for a mentor to guide you, others who can help you out, or you’re just looking for someone to try new ideas with, reaching out to people can solve those problems.
For example, you’re trying to gather more followers and get more leads. You know that there’s a lady who runs an awesome podcast in your industry. Why not reach out to her and see if she’s looking for interview applicants. You’d get the benefit of her reach, backlinks in the descriptions of the episodes, and you’d have a contact for the future, especially if you bring you’re a game.
When you have other people you work with, webinars, podcasts, videos, and blog posts are easily shared to larger audiences.
That’s why you don’t want to be alone in whatever endeavor you’re going for. Reach out to people, make some friends, and learn how to grow your network.
Tip #2: Find Friends Who Harmonize
You’re on the hunt for friends, but you’re not quite sure where to look. After all, you don’t want to tether yourself to your competition. While being friendly and engaging is okay, you don’t want to split sales with someone in your field. Besides, what happens to that friendship if you start to steal away their customers with value and quality? You’ve made a bitter rival now.
So where are you supposed to find people to network with?
Well, the best thing to do is not to find people directly related to what you’re doing, but rather compliment or harmonize what you’re doing. For example, if you’re in the coaching game, find people who provide products that can help your clients, not coaches that might draw your customers away. If you coach on workplace efficiency and you team up with someone who sells planners, so what if you gain some of their customers? They can use some of yours as well! Neither of you lose business, you both benefit.
Find people who can benefit from you as much as you can benefit from them.
This is how you effectively build a network.
Tip #3: Sharing is Caring
The only reason anyone is ever going to want to take a risk on you is that you’ll provide them with value. Lucky for you, there are a lot of ways that you can build value.
You can give them access to your community and help boost their traffic. Please note, not sharing the content you partner with your community with is a major No-No. It’s a fast way to burn bridges with people and sour all that good work you put in. So, give them access to traffic by promoting your work together.
Another way to provide value is to swap unrelated promotions. Now, do your homework on this one and make sure that it’s something that you’ll actually be interested in. If it checks out and they have something you’d be proud to promote, offer to promote for them if they can do the same.
Finally, get testimonials from them! If you can get a testimonial from someone you leads and prospects might know or be interested in, then that’s gold. The same goes for them. Swap your testimonials and help fuel each other’s fire.
Think of anything else and give it a shot. If they’re not interested, use one of the above! It’ll be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Tip #4: Maintain Relationships
Finally, this seems like a no brainer, but it’s something that we easily forget. Your friends need to be maintained. You don’t want to be opportunistic about this. Don’t be a parasite to them, looking to take their traffic and hope that it’s enough. Promote what you do, support them, and backlink them to help them out.
But, when that’s all over and you’ve moved on, months and years down the road, make sure that you keep reaching out to them. Keep in touch.
If you start a podcast or do videos, ask them if they want to come back on. If you do blogs, don’t forget to touch base with them for another interview or promotion. Even if you don’t have anything to use or they decline, make sure that you keep in touch.
Maintain that relationship, because you never know who is on the rise, who is going to help you out down the road, and who might have gold for you. The same goes for you though! You never know when you might be the boost your friend needs.
So keep in touch!