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How To Build The Right Tribe For Your Brand

Written by: Kimberly Viera, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Kimberly Viera

What separates a great brand from an average one? Great brands don’t just make products or offer services; they build communities, turning their customers and clients into loyal fans and advocates.

 group of young entrepreneur participate in business conference

Think of major brands we all know like Apple and Starbucks. Their customers don’t just buy from them because they love their products. These brands have a greater meaning and a bigger presence in the lives of their customers. This is due to a sense of community and an identification with what the brand stands for.

A community gets people involved. A highly engaged audience can be easily converted into repeat customers who buy from you consistently for years.


Why are communities important?

Communities raise awareness of your brand and what you stand for and help instill it in the minds of your audience. Your brand (even if you’re a sole practitioner YOU are the brand) needs to stand out among the competition. By creating a loyal group of engaged members, you can set yourself apart.

Communities also provide a great opportunity to offer value. It can be a place where you deliver helpful information, answer questions, and give people a place to talk and network. This additional value, with no strings attached, will make your customers love your brand even more than they already do.

Your brand community gives you direct access to your valued customers. Companies are always looking for insights on their audience’s demographics, feelings, and behaviors. The community you create allows you to interact and listen in on your followers’ conversations, so it’s a great place to learn about them.


Finally, your brand community already exists! Somewhere, people are gathering and talking about your brand (or they will be). Building a community means connecting to these people and getting your brand directly involved so you can reap the benefits.


Define your business goals

There are many things you can do with your brand community. Most businesses use their communities to give their audience more value, learn about audience members, and gradually grow sales. But before you get into the specifics of your community, you need to define your goals as this will guide your other decisions. Your goals might be to:

  • Increase brand awareness. Use your online group to get people talking about you and telling others.

  • Work toward a shared goal. Use your community to help change the world like supply clean water or raise awareness about a social issue.

  • Earn directly. Although it shouldn’t be the focus of your community, you can sell products directly to its members and earn through it.

  • Develop market research. The focus of your community could be to gain insights and feedback.

  • Build your reputation. By helping your audience members directly through your group, you can establish yourself as an authority in your topic area.

  • Nurture leads. Your brand community could be part of your sales funnel. You can use it to qualify and nurture leads.

  • Increase brand loyalty. Your community could be a place where you drive customers to buy more from you.

  • Improve customer onboarding. Use your brand community to help buyers get even more out of your products.

  • Cultivate influencers. You can use your community to interact with your biggest brand advocates and get them to spread the word.

  • Facilitate networking. Give your customers a place to network with each other.

You may have more than one purpose for creating your brand community, but pick one of the above to focus on. This will help you decide how you will build, manage, and promote the community.


What kind of community is right for your business?

What kind of brand community should you create? Your community should offer value and be something your audience is excited to join. Brand community models you can choose from include closed entry, open, subscription, or mastermind. Once you decide which is right for your business, you can then choose your platform.

  • Closed entry. This is a private community that’s closed to the outside world. The advantage of this type of community is its exclusivity. Your members feel like they’re part of something created just for them. The core membership of this community could be people who have already purchased your products. Use this type of community to improve your customer onboarding process.

  • Open model. Anyone can join an open community. This is the right choice if your primary goal is to grow brand awareness. Use this community as an entry point for new people just entering your marketing orbit and a place to demonstrate the value you offer.

  • Subscription model. If you want to earn directly through your online community, you can offer a subscription model. But to keep people subscribed you need to offer tangible value.

  • Mastermind. A mastermind is a peer-to-peer mentoring group where members help each other with their problems. This is a great choice for coaching businesses or online courses. Once people complete a course, they can join the mastermind and keep growing.

You have several options for community building. Social media sites like Facebook include tools and features to help you create a community, and since most people are already there, it’s easy to join.

However, a self-hosted site might work best for you. If you use a social media platform, you are limited by their rules and the features they offer. Self-hosted means you own your site. This might be advantageous if you want to connect your community with your store or blog.


Your role in the community

As you set up your brand’s tribe, define your role in it. You’ll have to act as moderator, creating rules and enforcing them. Rules might include things like no profanity, no negative comments, and no harassment. Also, establish guidelines around promotional posts so that your members aren’t spamming each other.

It’s important that you interact with community members. Exactly how you do this will depend on your goals, but you’ll probably offer help where needed, share your expertise, and join conversations wherever you can.

One interactive role you’ll definitely need to adopt is that of facilitator, especially early on, when there’s not much conversation happening. Start threads and get people talking by asking questions and encouraging them to share their opinions and experiences.

Your role is to also keep the community focused on its members. It shouldn’t be all about you and your brand. Say hi to new members and welcome them into the group. Encourage people to share their successes and celebrate them. This is how you make it a welcoming place where your customers want to be.


Tips on building your community

Once your brand community is set up, you’ll need to promote it across all your platforms. Create a simple message explaining the benefits of joining and communicate this where you can. Think outside the box and create videos and other content to generate interest. Here are a few more tips for attracting members to your community:

  • Use social proof

A great way to get the word out is to use social proof. Get your most vocal members to create short testimonials describing why they enjoy your brand community or how it has helped them. This will demonstrate to others why they need to join.It’s more powerful than a message from you.


  • Partner with influencers

Another way to grow your membership is to partner with influencers in your niche. Identify people who have your community’s target market in their audience and make them an offer. One type of offer is to cross-promote. You can tell your audience about their content and products, and they’ll promote your group to their audience.


  • Share where they’ll see it

Promote your community everywhere you have a presence online and off, being sure to target those places where your ideal audience will see it. Use the short blurb you created that describes succinctly the benefits your community offers and make sure it resonates with your audience. Put this blurb and link in your social media profiles, bio for guest articles and interviews, the sidebar of your blog or website, and anywhere else you might come into contact with potential members.

Once it’s up and running, your brand community will offer a place for your audience members to hang out, learn from you, and get the most value out of what you offer.


Want to learn more about how you can set up your business as a movement and build a meaningful tribe?


Head over here.


Follow me on Facebook and visit my website for more info!

Kimberly Viera Brainz Magazine
 

Kimberly Viera, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kimberly Viera is on a mission to help every woman become financially independent and gain control over her life by starting an online business. As the founder of JoinTheEveolution, she helps women build transformational coaching and wellness businesses that earn them a sustainable living within a year while giving them the time and lifestyle freedom they've been dreaming of. Stop Letting Things Happen. Start Making Them Happen. Join the Evolution.

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