How to Build Your Business Community
Your squad, your tribe, your people.
OK, no one calls them that anymore but you know what I mean.
Having a network of people around your business is SO important, which is where building a community comes in.
You’re going to be hearing lots of marketers talking about this over the coming months, post lockdown. It’s all about getting people not just to buy from you but to remember you, buy from you again or, at the very least, recommend you to their friends and associates.
The key to a sustainable business
If you’re the kind of person in business who isn’t interested in customer retention, is more about making as much money out of somebody as quickly as possible before moving on, then that’s fine, but this article ain’t for you.
This is for people who want to build a sustainable business. Plus, we all know it’s harder and more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to get an existing customer to repeat purchase or refer you to their network.
Who’s doing it well
A great example is the beer company, Beer52.
They send their customers a case of beer every month. The Beer52 team sources craft ales produced by different microbreweries, which are usually family-owned, then sends you a selection. The case is always accompanied by their magazine called Ferment. This contains stories about that month’s microbreweries, and this is the real nice touch. It brings you into their community.
Now, I significantly cut back on drinking alcohol in the new year. I’d had a good 30-year run at it and thought I’d better look after my health a bit more! So, as a treat every month, I get my eight beers from Beer52 and that is the only alcohol I have.
Instead of buying beer from the shop, where there’s no relationship at all, I chose Beer52. Of course, the beers are great, but to encourage me to keep buying from them, they’ve built this cool community and again the Ferment magazine drives that.
They also have a referral scheme in the form of vouchers, which you can send to friends that give them a couple of free beer. Free beer?! Marvellous!
It’s the little touches
Beer52 has a strong social media presence, as you’d expect, and they partner with a number of other companies that deliver stuff.
Let’s say you buy a shirt online. You’re excited to receive it in the post. You’re in a good frame of mind as you open it. Which is why you’ll usually find various leaflets inside from other businesses, similar in ethos to the shirt company you’ve just bought off.
Beer52 does this a lot with their vouchers, which always stand out as the design is exciting and fun. This is important. You’ve got to be fun to stand out from the crowd. Unless, perhaps you’re a funeral director or something….
(As a business owner, I love seeing Beer52’s marketing as it shows they are investing in growing their brand and, yes, community. They’re not sitting back and hoping their business will thrive by magic.)
Hopefully, at the very least you’re staying in touch with your database by email. This can be a nice little touch too rather than standard and formulaic. Would your emails make me take note? Are they boring or engaging?
Here’s a biggie – are your emails different to your competitors’ emails?
If you’re selling stuff online, the first email that a new customer gets is CRUCIAL. It’s probably a receipt, right? Is it just a “here is a receipt for your order, thank you very much” or has it got some life and spark in it? A funny message or gif, with first name personalisation?
Don’t be afraid to stand out in your community
If you do have an initial email that is different to every other email your customer receives, straightaway they’re going to start buying into you more. Then, of course, you’ve got to nurture that relationship.
Whether that’s sending out a monthly magazine, an e-newsletter, or running Facebook Ads that target people who’ve already bought from you, it’s important to look after that relationship. As I always say, the worst number in marketing is one.
The above of course does require time, effort and money. Which is why most businesses don’t bother. I’d say find the time, make the effort and invest the money. Do what your competitors don’t or won’t.
You need a range of marketing pillars supporting your business. And if you’ve got all these different pillars supporting your business, it doesn’t matter if one falls down because you’ve got all these other pillars in place.
But, all together, they will build a community.
Get people to buy from you, yes, but if you stay in touch with them and are informal and different from your competitors, you’ll have repeat customers and referrers for life. Well, OK, a much longer time than if you hadn’t bothered….
If you need help building a loyal community, feel free to book a Discovery Call with me today.
Take care and stay safe.
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