It is vital to build networks that offer real and tangible value. In other words, if you want to build a business from scratch, you must focus relentlessly on quality, not quantity.
Unfortunately, most people approach their own network or community building efforts all wrong. They focus on vanity metrics such as head count and social-media sharing instead of the meaningful relationships and targeted introductions that produce real results.
Have a look at 6 lessons for buiding your own powerful networking community:
Further curate the already curated
Just because you have thousands of qualified members in your network doesn’t mean that you should connect every person to one another. Every businessperson only needs to meet a handful of the right people at any given point to see real value. Take the time to figure out what tailored connections will serve your members best, and only introduce them to people you think will best answer their questions or fill a void.
Focus on a common ground
More people will want to be part of your network if they can genuinely identify with your vision. Find people who care about what you’re working toward. Some businesses offers its members ways to give back to the next generation of entrepreneurs through mentorship. Conversations often start with this mission in mind
The more connections you have access to, the more you will be able to help others. It goes both ways. Share as much information, services and tools as you can with your network and community. You never know what seemingly insignificant connection can change someone’s professional trajectory. Make sure they come to you to accelerate their objectives and business needs.
Don’t rely on vanity numbers and metrics
Regardless of what “it” might be, if you’re doing something just to drive traffic, it won’t work. Sure, it will take more time and effort to publish meaningful content or sustain genuine relationships on a more one-on-one basis, but it will also get you meaningful results.
Devote real time to helping others
Your goal should always be to guarantee ROI in any engagement. If you ask for your community’s time, be sure to deliver results to make that time well spent. This means devoting real time to figuring out what resources would be most helpful to each specific person.
Be proactive and personalized
The difference between proactive community management and passive account management is the difference between success and failure. You and your team need to care about members beyond sending invoices and promotions — they need to have a concierge-level approach in everything they do. It’s the little things that matter. If you can make someone’s life a little bit easier, your community has done its job. With these strategies in your back pocket, you can build and grow a strong community in any industry.