Top Ten Ways To Grow A Loyal Community And Increase Conversation

The best strategies to develop loyalty in your brand, increase conversations and dramatically grow a community of ACTIVE folllowers. So maybe you've begun developing a small business but growing community of interested online "fans". Hopefully you're building your dedicated community of fans by being a "trust agent" (Chris Brogan), delivering value and dedicating yourself to "being remarkable" "Seth Godin".
 But, once you've begun to develop this "for community" what are the best strategies to increase loyalty, keep them active and create conversions ?
The marketing guru's who've built hundreds of thousands of people on their "fans lists" for years would say "market them hard".  Yet you know internally that you shouldn't be spamming them relentlessly (because you know it feels to be pitched multiple times a day) with an attractive, shiny headline "spinner bait" being trolled along the top of the email marketing water to lure you into clicking and buying their stuff.
Online marketing has changed dramatically in the 5-10 years since many of those "experts" become successful and accumulated their lists. The everage online navigator is far less naive, there is far more competition to delineate yourself from and thus their methods are terribly outdated. But they already have their huge community to do their "email telemarketing" so what do they care.
In today's marketing climate with so many options out there, the average internet prospect is both "jaded" from being burned & far more intelligent. Trust me, you don't have to try and "mass control" anyone. (Yes, I know , I do like Frank but never liked the product same).
I want to give you 10 things that you can do to grow your community, increase long-term sales and avoid causing them to get the ""bait&switch" sickness (ie. You got me to follow because I believed you brought value and now you deluge me with marketing crap). That "virus" is the most powerful cause for community inactivity, complacency and number shrinkage.
Here are the top 10 ways to develop loyalty in your hand, increase conversions and grow you're community of "active" followers long term :
  1. Provide Personalized Engagement & Acknowledgment Without Hard Selling! (This is #1 for a reason)
  2. It's not social media MARKETING; it's SOCIAL media marketing. They are people who want to be engaged with, by YOU in some form that enriches their day. The individual, no matter how "influential" (or not), deserves to be respected as a human being with value (apart from what you feel they may represent to your bank account). Although I personally auto-tweet helpful content I also interact all the time. Any mentions retweets etc. I always personally send a thank you, check in and see how people are doing, how's their marketing efforts are going, how's their family ets. Without ever even thinking of asking for business. This is true on Facebook, site comments etc. This is a theme you'll see in this list but work to be seen as an ASSET! If you do that, good things ALWAYS happen with your business!
  3. Be A Connector Of The Like Minded & The Center Of The Win-Win Scenarios.
  4. Evangelists are fueled by meeting other believers. If you connect them with each other, the value of your network grows. There's actully a mathematical formula that backs this up . It's called Reed's Law. As Chris Brogan states "work to be at the elbow of every deal you can... be a connector"
  5. Understand Their CORE Motivation
  6. They aren't connecting to you because of what you do. As Simon Sinek brilliantly put it, "people don't buy enough to do the right thing; you want to convince those you are attracting that you are doing it for the right reasons, for their best interest. In today's online marketing climate this has NEVER been more vital! Figure that out and you'll be able to give them more of what they want. In order to do that you need to have profiled who you're the target market is that you are pursuing, what's deeply important to them and what their key motivators are (see told you I like Kern).
  7. Offer Frequent Opportunities To Participate.
  8. Don't just offer simple contents; offer involvement. Trustme; it's the difference between watching the movie "Top Gun" and sitting in the cockpit of an F-18. Nothing creates more trusting loyalty than active participatory opportunities. does a great job with this at the bottom of most of their posts they offer a applicable poll question as well as a compelling comment question. Drudge Retort does a great job of this as well. It's the reason they garner thousands of comments per post!
  9. Keep Your Participation Uniquely Relevant To Them
  10. You don't want to pull a topic "180" that undermines your credibility. If you're at my house and I'm talking about landscaping, you wouldn't blurt out "Hey, when will you finally buy my freakin stuff?" Your social point of contract is "your house"- be kind to your guests. If it appears you are doing one only to get the other then your reputation is already compromised. Yes you are here to make money but there is a science... a method to the online marketing madness using social media. You've got to understand that your relevant helpful content alone cements your reputation and is in itself "marketing".
  11. Be A Quality Content Aggregator.
  12. As you've heard me quote him before, Clay Shirky said, "It's not information overload, It's filter failure. "Be the filter for your community about what's relevant to them and they won't have to go other places.
  13. Offer Social Proof Whenever Possible
  14. Comments, participation & positive reviews do something else, they sell! Robert Cialdini in his book "influence" tell us how much we value the opinions of others and that we subconsciously look for clues in the behaviors of those we identify with as to what we should do. Let your community know what others just like them find valuable. Complimenting yourself makes you an egomaniac, the compliments of others makes you celebrity-like.
  15. Priorotize Providing A Unique Experience
  16. . Create an experience that brings with it positive emotions. When you give your community access to unique and valuable information, interact in a way that makes them feel special etc, it builds loyalty, motivates word of mouth and more marketing then you could personally do from a mountain top.
  17. Make What You Provide Usable
  18. . You want to create something that is memorable and reminds them of your value even when they are not in contact with your site or material. The easiest way to accomplish this is to provide something that is easy to implement and use. Making them say "wow that was cool" is one thing. Making them say "Wow that's amazing and I know exactly where I can use that" is essential to being a trust agent and being seen as an invaluable asset.
  19. Seek Opportunities To Provide Value With "No Strings Attached".
  20. The level of value you provide in your blog/site, the quality of your social media interaction and your free give away content need to be able stand on their own. Give some of your best stuff away "some not all". Why ? Tim Sanders has written a great book called Love is the Killer App and he is 100% give you A, if you do B for me" or here's A just because I think you're cool?"
Don't be naive; we are all working to build an affiliate network. We're building an army of people who will point to your site and tell others how great of a person you are, how great of an asset you are and how you're THEIR friend. They will say it with pride "man you've got to go over the a site called Patrick has got years of great content there and his training seriously rocks (yes shameless plug as an example LOL!). Dont you want thousands of people to say that with pride and boast about you and what you have to offer ?
If you're about herding traffic like sheep into pens that lead to a conversion then you're taking your instructions from the so called "guru" examples that you yourself hate & killing your brand reputation in the process. Work to be seen as an invaluable asset to people and they will point people to you from their network that your valuable content & interactions will convert thus creating a momentous wave.
Brand evangelism truly needs to be the focus of your online marketing social traffic generation. Once you get that, it might take a little bit to turn the battleship but trust me ... It will turn and create more business then you can imagine. It's what I preach, teach and see proven every day.
Your coach & fan 
Pattrick Daugherty
The "Biz Coach"
CEO of Learn2earn it now Training Support

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