Community is one of the best Resources for Sales, Support, Feedback & Evangelism.
A good Community can get you significant Sales & Acceptance + boost the morale of your Business. Your Community’s continuing purchase & support will help ride out the hard times in the market. It also provides a Talent Pool for future candidates.
Compiled by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz 5/13
What is Community? A somewhat informal social group that shares common interests. You want to develop a “community” of supporters / users that will help you grow your business.
1. Create something worthy of Community, so that they have something to be proud of and will spread the word about you.
2. Identify & Recruit the Evangelists of your Product ASAP. Ask their help to build Community. Don’t have a formal Compensation program or they’re more like your Sales force. But Reward them when the do significant achievements (as suggested in #9)
3. Assign an Insider to coordinate the Community and make it their top – or near top – priority. It probably shouldn’t be an MBA or Manager, but a less intellectual, enthusiastic Non-Sales person who can champion the advantages \ value of you product or service (ie, Customer Support)
4. Give your Community something to think about/ shout about !!! Is your product customizable, expandable, flexible, intuitive and/or is a powerful tool? Ask how it has helped them. Ask for permission to use their Testimonials. Keep Community informed of your latest developments, especially the ones the’ve been thinking of, and ask for feedback on these – plus any ideas for new applications they may have.
5. Create an “Open” System – which your Community can use to add “value” to your product. Ask for ideas for Add-ons, Plug-ins, Complementary Products. If you don’t develop, ask member of Community to.
6. Welcome Criticism, so you can learn what they don’t like, so you can change it or drop it and maybe get into new Market Niches with the new & improved version.
7. Foster Discussion. Ask for Feedback. Respond to their Feedback and tell them when you implemented it and how it helped you. Knowing you’re listening and doing something about it, will encourage more Feedback & Improvements.
8. Promote your Community thru Social & other Networks (ie, LinkedIn), adding Visitors to the Community, have a Blog where you & Community can contribute, using Crowd-sourcing for resourcing & Promotional Gifts.
9. Rewards for your Community: Special Offers, Give-aways, Loyalty Clothing & other items, Contests, or other Perks.
Comments: How has “Community” worked for your company? Any other factors to consider?