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How to build a community of fans for your business

In today’s episode of the podcast I talk about building a community and how you can build a community that loves you and wants to buy from you.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST

 

  • Be authentic – Be yourself. The way you are online should be the same as how you are in real life. You can’t be anyone else.
  • Not everyone is going to like you and that is OK!
  • By being authentic you will attract the right people for you.
  • Be inclusive – everyone is welcome. Be proactive about showing this.
  • Be consistent – people need to know you are there. Inconsistency can put doubt in your community’s mind.
  • Earn trust – if someone is going to invest time and energy into you, they need to trust you. To earn trust, you need to show up in your community.
  • Don’t let people down – if you say you are going to do something, you need to make sure you do it.
  • Add value to your community – you are going to have to give away some information/support for free.
  • Give your community a reason to engage.
  • Listen to what your community has to say and ask lots of questions.
  • When you have an audience – do things to delight them! Make them feel special and make it exclusive.

 

THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE…

 

Love your community because they are choosing to support you and keep coming back. They deserve to be made to feel special.

 

HIGHLIGHTS YOU SIMPLY CAN’T MISS

 

  • Why building a community is so important 05:13
  • How to build your community 07:25

 

RESOURCES MENTIONED

 

Create Your Dream Business Bootcamp

Inclusivity in marketing podcast episode

 

Transcript

 

Hello and welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. How are you doing? So I am batching ahead again. Someone asked me the other day, how I've managed to do all the things like the podcast and the emails.

And this is how, cause I batch ahead because I sit and do a number of podcasts at once and then they're all ready for the upcoming weeks. And obviously, I have an amazing team that helps me and as I speak, it's actually a Sunday. I don't normally work on a Sunday if I can help it. Although I don't mind working on a weekend, it's actually quite nice when no one needs you or you haven't got to speak to anybody. You can just sit down and crack on. But I'm going away hopefully next week, uh, for a break, which honestly, I cannot wait. I just, I'm praying nothing happens between now and then, like COVID stuff, but yes, I'm hoping that by the time you're listening to this, which is in a couple of weeks, I might still be on a beach somewhere.

Fingers crossed. Anyway, this week, I want to tell you about a couple of things. First thing is the bootcamp is back. I am very excited about the bootcamp. I love doing it last time. I've made some tweaks and improvements added a few different things, shortened it up a little bit, and it's going to be awesome.

It's going to be so so good. So basically the bootcamp is a four-day session with me. That sounds like we're literally going to do it at four days solid as in we'll meet every day, four days, day one, we're going to do a workshop about what does your dream business look like? Because when we talk about creating your dream business, I'm I kind of hate saying it, cause it sounds a bit like, “Oh so I can work on a beach with my laptop.” And actually not everyone wants that.

Not everyone wants a six figure launch. Not everyone wants an online business. Not everyone wants a huge team. The first workshop we do is to really work out. What is it you want for your business? How do you want your business to look? Because then what you can do is you can kind of get off that rat race of trying to compete with other people or think your business isn't good enough if you don't have X, Y, Z, when actually that might be important to them, but that's not important to you.

That's the first thing we're going to do on workshop one on the first day. The next day on the Tuesday, we're going to be doing workshop two, which is looking at how do you get to that dream business. Now we know what you want. What steps can you start to take to get you there? And what plan do you need to put in place then on the Wednesday, we're going to have a coaching call.

So these are the calls I do within my Academy. And it's when anybody can join me and they can ask me anything about their business. And if I was to ask my Academy members, what was the best thing about the Academy? They would probably say a coaching call. You get to literally pick my brains. You get to ask me a question, I'll give you a direct answer back and we do this on Zoom and we do this via a conversation because the fact that normally if you come to me and any good person coaching mentoring. You should be the same. If you come to me and said, “Teresa, should I do this?” I've got about five questions back at you before I can give you the advice that I think is the most suitable. So we've got that on the Wednesday. And then on the Thursday, we're going to finish off with a workshop session on mindset.

Because great if you know what you want to do, know where you want to go, but if your mindset is not in the right place, it's so, so key. If you just think I can't do this, who do I think I am? And all those other horrible things that kind of eat away at us, then basically, you know, that's not going to help you. You could have the best plan and blessed best strategy in the world.

You're never going to do it. That's what we're doing on Thursday. We'll have a celebration party. There's going to be competitions or the prize is worth over $1,400. So it's a great prize. There's going to be other amazing things along the way. We always have a great sense of community in that. So it's going to be awesome.

So if you've not already signed up, please do so it's teresaheathwareing.com/bootcamp. And I will see you in there. I'm very excited. Okay. So this is kind of like fits well with today's discussion because today we're going to be talking about building a community. And how you build a community that loves you or a community that wants to hear from you or wants to buy from you or gives you something. Like how many people have had a Facebook group where no one talks, no one ever says nothing and he feels like you're pulling teeth. So today I want to talk about how do we build a great community. And it's really nice.

Like I said, we're talking about the bootcamp and then I'm talking about this because one of the things I am complimented on a lot is how amazing my members are. Every time we have a guest speaker come in. When we do our online events SOAR and the lovely Biz Paul presents it. He has said to me on so many occasions, he can't get over what an amazing community we have. How amazing the people are. How supportive they are. How genuine they are. How there's no, like sometimes there's yeah, I've been in communities where it feels either clicky or it feels like not engaging. No one's bothered everyone's out for themselves. And honestly like it, I am just in awe that my community is so amazing. And I was really lucky the other day that I was talking to someone about it, who who's in the community.

And I was like, how amazing, how like these people are phenomenal. And she turned right into me. She went “Teresa you do know it's because of you, don't you.” And I was just like, no, whatever. She was like, no, seriously, the reason you have a great community is because of you. And I just thought, and I was completely touched, but, but honestly, in everything we do, so last time we ran the bootcamp, I was looking back at some of the kind of comments in the group and it was all like, this is amazing.

These people are amazing. Love this group, love this community. Build my list whenever we do that, again, loads of amazing comments about the community and whatever, and it's brilliant. I love it. So I thought let's kind of pull apart why I think I've got a nice community and how you can build that community too for your business.

And, and you may be thinking, well, I don't want to build a membership or I don't want to build a Facebook group and that's fine. A community isn't that. A community, I'm part of the Apple community. Cause I love everything Apple have to sell me and I buy pretty much everything Apple has to sell me. It's not just a community when you're trying to build like a membership or a Facebook group, it's about your customers.

It's about what are you putting out there? It's about you. Like, you're listening to my podcast. You may not have even ever followed me on social media. You might not have even opted into one of my emails. It just might be that you are listening to the podcast, but you're part of my community. So what are some of the things that we can do and and how you do it?

So I've got a little list of things that I think are important to me and how I build my communities. Firstly, I think I ever in my intention was never like, oh, I'm going to build this great community. I'm doing this kind of afterwards. I've managed to put together this phenomenal group of people in every kind of, part of my business that I have.

And now I'm looking back to think, “Well, what did I do? And how did I do that?” So it wasn't I ever set out to be amazing at this. Um, and I'm definitely not saying I'm amazing at it. You know, I'm doing all right. So I thought I'd share it. So the first thing I think that I've done is I've been entirely authentic.

I have people meet me and they're like, oh my God, you're just the same. And it's like, yeah, I'm just me. Like, this is who I am, how I am on the podcast, how I am on my bootcamp when I'm doing free training. When I'm in the academy, when I'm at an event, I'm exactly the same. And the reason is so important to be completely yourself is because you can't be anybody else and not everyone's going to like you and that's okay.

And do you know what, that was a really hard thing for me to get my head round, like I'm a people pleaser. I like to be liked. I mean, who kind of doesn't really, but, and so for me in the early days, I wanted everybody to like me. I wanted everyone to want to be part of what I did or be a client or recommend me or whatever it was.

But the truth is they're not going to, like, you could be the most amazingly beautiful person in the world and kind and generous, and someone is still going to go “You're not for me.” So that's okay. But the reason being authentic is so important is because you're only going to attract the right people.

When I look at all my members, my students, people listen to the podcast. There is definitely a theme of the type of person I attract. And that's because I am being authentically me. Now, there are people, like I said, who will listen to a podcast, who will hear me on someone else's and think “This woman is an idiot. Not for me.” And that's all right. That's okay. I'm not for them. But then there are people that listen to it and go, “Oh yeah, I love this. I love how she talks about it. I love what she does.” So being you and do not apologize for it, don't try and hide it. Don't try and match yourself to someone else. Just turn up as you.

And I think that's so, so important. I don't ever think, you know, when I talk about community again, it's not just in the group. It's not just in my Academy. It's on every single thing I do. I am just me and I act like me. Um, the next thing is be inclusive. Okay. So it's never been a case of these types of people are welcome in my community.

Not at all. Everybody's welcome. And when I talk about being inclusive, there's some great episodes I've done about inclusivity and marketing. So if you haven't heard them go and listen to them, but it's simple as things like, you know, make sure that every type of person you deal with is represented, is seen on your marketing, on your social media, make sure that you are really, really kind of proactive about showing that about showing that anybody in any walk of life is welcome in your world. Again, you know, cause I don't want to trap people who don't want to be inclusive, so that's fine. So as long as I am inclusive to people who are quite frankly, not for me, uh, will not join my community.

And that is absolutely fine. So being inclusive is really important, authentic the other kind of key one and then I've got some other good ones to, to talk more specifically about the community and building that is being consistent. Like, people need to know that you are there. So if one day they come to your social media and you're like, I'm on stories.

I'm talking in the DMS, I'm doing all this stuff. And then suddenly three weeks later, there's nothing. And you haven't been around for two weeks. That inconsistency is going to put some doubt in their mind that you can not be trusted. That's not the right word, but if they're going to invest time in, you know, their time in you and their energy in you, are you going to be there.

Also, the other thing that I find and I've seen happen a lot is people pivots. I'm not a big fan of the word pivot. Like if you look back, I have done marketing forever and the flipping day. But don't get me wrong I have tweaked my offering. I have tweaked what I talk about on the podcast. I talk about mindset as well as the marketing side, because I've realized how important that is.

I talk about building a business, running a team because I do all those things. And I know my audience might find that useful. But suddenly I'm not Teresa that is a HR expert or Teresa that that's the tech queen, like I'm just marketing and have always been marketing and business for a long time. And I think sometimes when you see people pivot, so I'm trying to think of a good example, but there's been loads of them and I've seen it so many times where, “Oh, I'm the online course expert.”

“Oh, now I tell you how to build a group.” “Oh, now I'm doing coaching.” “Oh, now I'm doing something else.” And like they'll open a group and then they'll close it and they'll start a podcast and then they'll stop it. Like, it just doesn't sit nice. It just makes you think, what are you? Who are you? What are you doing?

And I've seen it so many times. I've seen it so many times where people start something, they don't, they're not consistent at it. They're not kind of, you know, tenacious with thinking, okay, no, one's showing up right now. No, one's paying attention, but I'll just keep going. They then go, this isn't working pivot.

And then those people that they started to attract they're like “Oh, you're not doing that anymore.” And they lose that community. That kind of consistency is so, so important. Not only from a turning up point of view, but also consistency of message and what you do. Okay. So one of the other things you need to do when you start building that community, so those are kind of like your baseline stuff, if you like, and this is when you start building in you're, you're getting people into your world is you need to earn their trust.

Now people sometimes think about money when they think about this. It's not that it's like. I don't want to hang around or give my time and energy to people who I don't trust. And when I say I don't trust, it's not like, oh, you're a liar. It's just the fact of, okay, this is what I'm coming for. Is this what I'm getting?

So in order to earn their trust, you need to do things like you need to show up. Again, if I've committed into your community and you stop showing up or you stop engaging, then that kind of eats away at that trust I've bet. Um, and I remember, um, I think it was, uh, Uh, Stephen Covey. I can remember his name then.

Uh, Stephen Covey. I was watching one of his YouTube stuff from ages ago of him doing a talk. And he talked about trust as in like a jar of pebbles. And he basically said, or water or whatever you want to put in the jar. But he basically said like, everyone starts off at a certain level. And the more trust you give them, the more you add, the more you add, the more you add when you take it, you like take double amounts.

So for one pebble, you put in, when some, when you do something that makes you feel that you can trust someone, when I do something that loses your trust, I take out like two, three pebbles, or you'll take out two, three pebbles. So the, every time you do something where you break someone's trust, you remove more of that trust.

And then what happens is you hit a deficit and then basically before they can even trust you again, they need to build back up to a level where was their kind of baseline level. I've probably done a terrible job of explaining it. It's really important to build that trust. Gosh, I didn't know how you guys cope with the enlightingness I give you in these podcast episodes. Hilarious. Okay. So show up. Do, as you say, you're going to do so if you tell people like, again, I had an example the other day where someone was like, they needed some customers, they needed their audience to kind of be, you know, buying from them. So they decided to do a live and then literally hours before they thought, no, I'm not gonna do it.

And it's like, no, you've told people, that's what you're going to do. Now you need to do it. Things like when you set a price. So the Academy, when it opens next week, I think. It's going to open again at $59. And when I closed the doors, the next time it opens next year, it's $97. That's what it's going up to.

Now if I said to you, you can join now for 59 and it will grandfather in ie you'll never pay more than that a month. And then next year when I opened the doors again, it's down at 49. Your trust is lost completely. So I'd never do that. So when I say it's going to go up to 97, it's going up to 97. Whether people buy at that price or not, that's the price it's going to be because I am being completely kind of transparent and honest and open.

So you can trust what I say. It's the same. Whereas like, you know, some people, you just think only if I wait a bit, I'm going to get a deal. That's not building the trust. That's not helping you. Okay. And then don't let people down. Again. Unfortunately. You know, more often than I would like where people say they're going to do something and they don't do it, or they don't get back to you.

So if for me, if you are pitching a client or trying to bring someone new into your community, that needs to be fast as anything. So if I've had an email, if I email someone saying, “Yes I'd like to go ahead with your service.” And three weeks later, they haven't emailed me. They're not, I'm not using their service. Because that's a brand new, I'm a brand new client.

I want it to be taken seriously. I want to know that you are going to do what you say you're going to do. So don't let people down. Show up and do, as you say. Okay. The other thing you need to do in this kind of earn trust or the way that you can earn trust is add value. So if people think you are holding back all your information, holding back the best bits, not supporting them, not helping them unless they pay, then that's not going to feel like I can trust you very well.

So at that value, give them that information, support them. So again, I'm just thinking of, um, I was at a food festival yesterday and I bumped into a few people I knew just lovely as well as members, which was really lovely. And I was just thinking about like, I was talking to one of, one of the people I knew about their service and it's a service that I didn't understand, and I had to get them to explain to me.

And it's like, the more she can explain, the more she can add value and tell me why this is good and what, how it works and that sort of thing. And give me some hints and tips if I want to go into her world, then I'm more likely to trust it and I'm more likely to go “Okay, this sounds good.” Okay. So the other thing you need to do is you need to give them a reason to engage.

So when someone's in your community, especially, and I suppose this makes a bit more sense. If you've got a kind of um, Facebook group, but not even that, any social media, any email list, you'd need to give people a reason to engage. Don't get me wrong. It's so lovely when I send out an email and then I get lots of replies back, it's ACE, but that, that happened in the early days.

No, not at all. So you need to encourage this and they ways that you can encourage this are. As simple as asking for a reply. Like I know that sounds really basic, but when was the last time on a post or an email that you said like hit reply or respond below and let me know. You need to ask people, you need to tell them what you want them to do.

So I say it in the nicest and kindness of ways you need to mark it for like the lowest common denominator you need to think about like the most obvious you can be so that everybody understands. So that's the first thing to do. Other things that you can do is recognize them. So one of the things that I like to do is if someone's done something really well, if something's good, then I will make a big point of going “Yeah, that was brilliant.” Mentioned them on the podcast. I did a whole section of, of small business style superstars, small business star superstars. That's not right. Small Business Superstars. I did a whole load of episodes about different people. Some of them were members, some weren't, about how brilliant they are.

And again, that makes people want to engage because they know I'm going to recognize it. Mostly reply, sort of someone acknowledges you as someone retweets. If someone DMS you, if someone comments on your stuff, make sure you comment back. Cause that's going to encourage them to keep doing it, to keep being part of your community.

And you can do things like competitions and rewards. So within the Academy, we do a challenge every other month and we just did a mindset challenge two weeks ago. I think it was. And I always give a prize and the prize is just, did you take part and do all the steps? Like that's it. It's as simple as that.

And the steps are always super easy. It's not like, you know, do a five day meditation or then it's like, literally sit down five minutes and breathe. I gave a prize to someone who had done all the steps. I picked them at random and I sent them a bouquet flowers. Sometimes I will randomly send Marketing That Converts stationery to people or cards at SOAR.

We do a huge competition based on engagement. And for that gosh, there was loads of prizes. There was like loads of free courses from some of the amazing people who spoke. There was one hour coaching call with me. There was, oh, I paid for dinner for someone. I bought someone, some champagne. And doing that again is acknowledging them.

It's going yeah great. It's in bringing them into your community and it's giving them a reason to actually do something. You know, I remember I was at an event once and the speaker got on stage and she was like, chatting away. And it was really nice and looked like she was really engaging. And I went to her Twitter to do something and I realized she followed no one, not one person.

It was zero. And I just thought, God, what does that say about you? That basically says “I don't care about you at all. I don't want to hear what you've got to say. I don't wanna get engaged with you. I don't want to watch your stuff.” And I just thought that's awful. So it's like I said, you know, making sure that you are recognizing these people who are in your community and doing those things is a really great way to do that.

Another thing is listen to what they've got to say and ask them questions. Now, next week on the podcast, I've got a brilliant interview for you. You know, when someone blows my mind and I'm just like, “Oh my goodness. I need you in my world.” That's next week's interview. You're going to love it. But one of the things she's really good at it's Rachel Miller.

She is amazing. And one thing she talks about is, How to get engagement on Facebook organically. I know, right. I thought that can't be done. She literally blew my mind. It was ace. And she talks about asking questions and, and engaging your audience. My one little tip here about asking questions and listening is going, is going to full kind of expanding next week, which you'll love.

It's it's honestly, it's great episode, even if I do say so myself, I mean, I'm in the interview as she gave me all the gold. But asking questions, listening to what they've got to say, because again, that's the whole point. Like when I look at my community, especially in the academy, I don't hardly post anything in the Facebook group.

Like I will post an inspired action. Every Monday we have an inspired action where I encourage them to do one thing that week. But other than that, I just comment. I just reply. Sometimes I celebrate, sometimes I go, this person's brilliant, or I just saw this or, but most of the time, I'm just there on the periphery of the conversation because I want them to have the conversations with each other.

I want them to be talking and me listening to what they've got to say. So that's really, really important that it's not just your audience aren't mad just to listen to you. Wax lyrical about yourself and your business it is about having that two way conversation. Which is why I love it so much when you guys tag me in your social media posts and tell me what you thought of an episode, or when you write me a review, if you haven't written me a review, by the way, I'll just give this little advert interlude of please go to apple, iTunes, wherever you're listening to this and write me a review.

I'd really appreciate that. And when I said once, obviously I don't mean once. Um, but yeah, that'd be great. Thanks. Anyway, so, you know, and tell me what you liked about it. Tell me, if you're listening to this, what do you want me to talk about? Who do you want me to interview? Like, I want to hear these things from you because that means I create things better for you.

The more we listen to our audience. Okay. And then my last one is when you've got an audience. Is do things to delight them, do things that are only available to them. And I want to tell you about something that I've just planned, which, and again, I've seen this happen before where people go, this is for members only, and then they open up to the rest of the world, which quite honestly, for me, I would be really flippin annoyed if I was a member and felt like that was a member only exclusive thing for me.

And then you've just given it to everybody. So why am I even a member? So for me, I genuinely do do exclusive member only stuff. So one of my exclusive member anythings is that they get a members only podcast, which is recordings of the coaching calls. They get the online events SOAR and I get to put amazing speakers in front of them.

And again, not your average speakers, not the people that everyone else gets. These are different and unique and add such value to my Academy, but only academy members get to come to SOAR. No one else. And then, and I can't tell you how excited I am about this, in December this year, I'm putting on a exclusive VIP business retreat, overnight in a hotel, I've planned everything. It's going to be phenomenal. It's like, so if you're in the UK and you've seen the Carlsberg adverts and it's like Carlsberg in case you're not from the UK is a beer, I think it's a beer or a lager. I don't know. Anyway, they're like, if Carlsberg did parties, it'd be like the best party in the world.

If Carlsberg did. I don't know. They just had all these different examples and it was just like the best thing in the world. Well, this is like when Teresa does event, They're like no other. So my event is exclusive use of a boutique hotel in Manchester. Uh, we turn up, we have a champagne reception at 6:00 PM.

Then at 7:30, we sit down for dinner and I will host you with my husband. He'll be joining us. And it's 20 people, only 20 people, because I want it to be exclusive. I want it to be small. Then we have a three-course dinner with wine, obviously. How can I invite you for dinner and not give you wine? Then you go to bed in the most beautiful rooms.

Like I have really high standards. I have the standard of, if I go and stay somewhere, I want that hotel room to better than my own bedroom. My own bedroom is pretty nice to be fair. Because why would I pay to stay somewhere where it's not as nice as my bed, my home. The hotel is beautiful. It's stunning. The rooms are to die for good. So you get to stay over in this amazing boutique hotel. You wake up in the morning, have breakfast, and then at 10 o'clock you've joined me for a full day mastermind on you and your business. And like I said, no more than 20 people. We're going to basically get ready for 2022. I'm going to do kind of hot seats.

We're going to have so much cool stuff in there. There's other lots of prizes, which I can't really tell you about because they don't know yet. So yeah, I've put on this event, 20 persons only, and the only people you will never see me advertise it. Other than here, we talk about it here because it's just for my Academy members.

The only people who are allowed to go, our Academy members. Those sorts of things, build that sense of community. The minute, in fact, I was going to do SOAR in-person and I am going to do SOAR in person. Hopefully next year. But the reason I want it in person is because I want to bring that community together because they're so good online.

They're so supportive. They're so they're the best cheerleaders. I have people come in on most coaching calls and at one point or another, get upset because something's happening in their world and they need some help with it. And I love the fact that they feel comfortable to do that. And everyone is so supportive.

It's amazing. So yeah, I want to bring people together. I want to do these exclusive things. And like I said, it will be exclusive for members only because I cheerlead my community. I support my community and when they are part of it, they get the best bits. So. So why don't you just to think about that?

But like, if I was giving someone who wasn't a student of mine, something more than I was giving a student, that's not fair. So I try and be really fair. And like I said, I've seen it before where people go, this is exclusive. And so people join the membership and then it gets opened up for everybody. And you think, well, well, I would think what the hell was the point in that?

And I think kind of VIP special. And again, if you're trying to build that community and you have a bricks and mortar shop, have a VIP card, have a get on my list and you get invited first, to, I used to go in a gin shop list. Cause obviously I love gin and we'd get invited first to kind of gin tasting nights, or we would get a discount of certain things on certain days or, you know, because the loyalty of being part of her community.

So have a thing. What can you do for your audience? That's maybe a bit special, a bit different that only they get. My social media content bundle, which was on sale a while back and might be again in a few months time that was out to my members first. Oh. And my members get 30% off everything. So anything I sell outwardly, that's not in the membership, they get a discount on.

So it's things like that. That's how we build that community. That's how you build that trust and that loyalty and the kind of reason for people to be in our community. So really hope that helps. I hope I've given you lots of ideas. Kind of gives you some thoughts of what you can do to help build your community.

The bootcamp is open at the moment. I'm pretty sure I can't read my dates. So go to teresaheathwareing.com/bootcamp, come and join me for that. Come and see what that community's like. And if you're nervous, like I remember one of my members who is now one of my biggest, the best members. I remember the fact that first coaching call, she came on, she actually messaged me after seen and “Wasn't gonna do that. Wasn't going to come on and I didn't want to be on camera because I was really embarrassed.” She's like, “I can't believe how comfortable I was and I can't believe how, how great it was to have that part and to do that thing.” And like I said, she's now one of the best in there.

She's so engaging. She's so like kind to everyone else and confident and yeah, it's just awesome. Anyway, anyway, I could literally talk all day about my community. I love you all. It's amazing. And I never take you for granted, not once ever. The fact that you were listening to this kind of makes my heart sing.

It's just insane. I am so lucky, so very lucky. Okay. I'm going to leave you guys to it. Uh, like I said, if you haven't done a review, I'd love that. I would really appreciate that if you want to share on social, I'd love that too. Let me know what you do for your community and how you love them. Um, next week, great episodes of Rachel Miller. You are going to love this, so have a wonderful week and I will see you then.