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February 29, 2024 8 mins

In this episode, Sonja shares several key insights around a vital area that every brand should focus on: Building and engaging with communities. Whether your brand's audience or community is online or in the "real" world, building a community will transform the way you interact with your audience. 

Sonja discusses the resources and tools that small businesses and popular brands use to engage their communities. Later in the episode, we dissect the art of initiating meaningful conversations that echo through the digital realm.

After this episode, anticipate a sneak peek into future discussions with entrepreneurs who share their triumphs and tactics in nurturing communities that are not just vibrant, but fiercely loyal. This is your roadmap to creating a brand presence that resonates authentically with its most valuable asset—its community.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Sonja Crystal Williams (00:11):
Hi everyone, welcome to today's
episode of 10 Minute Marketing.
I'm your host, Sonja CrystalWilliams.
So there's this theme that I'venoticed this season as we've
been recording podcast, a commonthread that a lot of guests
that we've had share and you'llhear from them in some of our

upcoming episodes and thatthread is this drive, whether it
be in person or online, butthis drive for developing
communities, for creatingconnection, for looking at
opportunities to connect withnew audiences or maybe even

nurture the audiences youalready have, and finding ways
online to do that.
So I want you to think aboutthat, whether you're in the seat
of owning and operating abusiness, whether you are on the
marketing team of a brand, andyou're thinking about what other

ways can we tap into ouraudience?
And the simple answer is buildcommunity right?
So when I use the word buildcommunity, community means a lot
of different things to a lot ofdifferent people, but I'm
talking about building communityin the sense of finding a way,

within your niche, to connectyour brand with your followers
in a way that you can speak tothem in a way that you can talk
to them, and sometimes thosecommunities look different just
depending on what medium or whatroute you choose to connect.

A simple example some peoplewill say well, I have a
community of listeners throughmy podcast and that, in fact,
truly is a community.
It is a community of listenersthat you have.
It's one way communication.
However, if you bridge thatcommunity into, let's just say,
for example, a Facebook group,now that becomes a community

where there's opportunity fortwo way conversation, and that's
a huge opportunity that a lotof brands can take advantage of.
Am I building connection withmy audience in a way that allows
for there to be two wayconversations?
It's no longer just me talkingat them, but I'm talking to them

, and I want you to also thinkabout that in the broader sense,
because probably one of thebiggest, I'd say, challenges
that I see a lot of teams thatare managing social media
accounts engage with, or thekind of the thing that I see
happen a lot of cases,especially for brands that are

just getting started on socialmedia, is that the idea is post,
post, post, post content, postcontent, create it, post it,
turn the wheels, turn into acycle, turn into that machine.
But something I want you tothink about is how I engaged, is
my brand in the, even theonline social media network that

I'm on and think about, perhaps, if building connection with
your audience is important andengaging with them is important
to you as maybe one of thetenants or one of your goals of
where you're taking your brandthis year, next year whenever,
this month, next month, whenever, then ask yourself is this

particular platform that I'm on,is this platform allowing me to
build connection?
Is it allowing me to buildcommunity and am I participating
in that community?
Okay, and so simple examplewould be really evaluating if
we're gonna have a presence onInstagram.
Is the purpose of us being onInstagram to simply push out

reels and get people to laughand have fun and hit the like
Or is it to get someone talkingback to us?
Is it to lead them somewhere?
Is it to be open to them,asking questions or leave them
down the path of a conversation?
Is it to bring people togethercollectively?
And so, as you are thinkingstrategically about your purpose

on some of these networks,think about that too.
Think about if, whether or notpart of that purpose is to build
connection, and there's a lotof places where you can build
If we're thinking socialnetworks, facebook groups is a
part of that mix.
If we're thinking about othertools, even beyond the social

media networks, and thinkinginto maybe even SMS or messaging
apps, there's a lot of toolsthat facilitate those
conversation WhatsApp, telegram,groupme there's lots of ways to
get in front of our audience.
If you have a course that yourcompany has launched, you're a
course creator, you represent acourse creator, you're on the

team working for a coursecreator, then there are other
opportunities to facilitatethose communities through some
of those course creation toolslike Mighty Networks or Kajabi
or Thinkific right, just to namea few.
And that's what we're gettingto is to really think about how

do I begin to build, maintainand foster an online community
and really get clear on whatthat should look like, and think
about how you're gonna designand approach that community.
And that design might includeanything from tapping into your
email list, perhaps evenannouncing the launch of some

type of community.
That might include tapping intoyour existing social media
networks organically, intoaudiences that you have that
already exist.
It could also involve usingpaid ads as a way to reach new
people who might have aninterest in the audience.
Or just growing simply word ofmouth Old school, really

spreading the word and thenmaybe nurturing the community in
an online setting, even usingZoom as an example or Teams or
anything like that to facilitatethose conversations.
So If I were to say again thething that my guests have in
common this season many of themis that they are in some way

shaping, creating, building ornurturing thriving online
communities some large, some big.
But even when we think aboutthat, even when we think about
that, remember quality overquantity.
You don't have to have acommunity or build connections
with you know 100,000 people tohave impact.

Even in large companies andwith large brands, if you're
focused on a niche, thatcommunity might be a subset of
A really great example I'llshare with you, coming from a
larger company, is I'm in agroup right now on Slack through
ConvertKit, which is an emailservice provider, and Slack
hosts small many meetups.

There's probably no more thanabout, I'd say, 20 of us in some
of these meetups that they'vebeen hosting on Zoom lately and
then bridging thoseconversations once we talk in
Zoom and meet other creators whouse ConvertKit as an email
We're also chatting in Slack ina group right.
That's a large company that'staken down a subset of a

particular niche of people whouse the product and they're
nurturing those leads and, youknow, probably potentially
upselling in the process, butit's an opportunity for them to
build connection and be in tunewith their audience, and that's
what you truly get out ofcreating or nurturing an online
You have the opportunity to findmore people and expose yourself

to more people who have aninterest in your niche.
You also have an opportunity tonurture the audience that you
have today that currently exists.
Hear what's on their mind,truly understand them, what
makes them tick, what makes themmake certain types of decisions
, what gets them engaged, sothat you can replicate that and
go out and continue to find morepeople to join your audience

who might seem or be similar tothose characteristics of your
ideal customers that you'realready building connection with
So those are my thoughts fortoday and I'll leave you with
knowing that stay tuned for thenext few episodes.
All right, I've got some greatepisodes coming up with
entrepreneurs across the US andabroad In fact that are growing

and building and nurturing andcreating communities in
different ways, and stay tunedso you can hear more about that
Until next time.
Thanks for listening, everyone.
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