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3 Pillars You Need to Build a Healthy Online Tribe

community management

Many people get frustrated when they first start out trying to build their brand, audience, and influence, because they work very hard on creating content they are passionate about, then they share it with everyone they know, and it seems to go nowhere.  I know I’ve been there.

One way of getting the greatest impact with your content is to build a healthy online tribe.  And to do so, you need to establish 3 key pillars that it will stand upon. 

First, I wanted to share with you a quote that has really resonated with me since I first started out, which I keep in mind whenever I create something new.  I first learned it from one of my heroes, Pat Flynn, over at Smart Passive Income, and that is that… “People will come for your content, but they’ll stay for your community." I want to build off that by saying...

“People will come for your content, and they’ll stay for your community, but they’ll be changed by your challenges.”

The 3 key pillars for building a healthy online community are:

    • Compelling Content

    • Close-knit Community

    • and Challenges that Cause Change

The reason you might be getting frustrated could be because you are missing one of the key pillars or you haven’t connected them in a way that will build momentum towards the desired change that your audience desires.  

By not building these pillars correctly, you’re also going to have to strive extra hard to get your content seen (and shared) by the people who need it most. Luckily, by taking consistent action on the tips we’ll share can have a big impact on the health and engagement within your online community.

Now let’s get into the 3 pillars...

Pillar #1: Create Compelling Content

Compelling content creates emotion by either educating, entertaining or empowering your audience.  Think about the last piece of content you consumed that you really enjoyed. It could have been a helpful tutorial, a meme that made you laugh, or a story that tugged at your heart.   Whatever it was, it likely made you feel something.

Your job as a content creator is to help others solve problems and achieve their goals, but in order to best do this, you must create content that makes them feel that you know what they’re going through and that you have skill and expertise to help them. These could be helpful tips, tutorials or tools that they can use to take the next essential step and make progress towards their goals.

Regardless of what it is that you create, make it remarkable by tying it to their emotions. This will help to deepen the sense of connection between you and your audience.

Pillar #2: Cultivate a Close-knit Community

The healthiest online tribes are focused on cultivating a close-knit community amongst their audience where they can feel safe, ask questions, share experiences, and support one another.  

The best way I have found to do this is through a Facebook group since many people are already on Facebook and groups provide you all the tools you need to engage with your audience in many different ways. Here you can establish what it means to be a part of the tribe, such as the do’s and don’ts, but mainly the benefits of being an active part of the community.

Members can also feel empowered knowing that they have the support from the group, where if they encounter any setbacks or have questions, people with experience are there to encourage them and guide them.

Pillar #3: Craft Challenges that Cause Change

The final pillar is to craft challenges that encourage your audience to take action and apply what they’ve learned from you. Consuming your content is not enough to see change happen, you need to provide the framework necessary for people to take action.  

You could read all the best tips and tutorials in the world and still not move forward. But with challenges, you give your audience the step-by-step guide for what to do in order to make progress, as well as the push they need to get started. Those taking part in the challenge also benefit from being part of the community because they feel a sense of accountability being a part of the group.  

They’ll have extra incentive to stay on course because they do not want to disappoint their fellow members, or they might have a healthy rivalry with another member within the tribe. The best types of challenges involve quick wins that your audience can achieve surrounding the desired change that they all want to have.  

These challenges should be easy for people to take action regardless of what stage of the journey they are at, and short enough for people to be able to complete it.  I’d say somewhere between 1 week to a month.

Example of a Great Online Tribe

One great example of a brand with a thriving online community is Simple Green Smoothies. They consistently put out helpful, easy to follow content about recipes that help you to become your best self, naturally. They have a ton of great engagement with their followers on their social channels, but what’s more impressive is their Simple 7 Green Smoothie Challenge.  

By joining this challenge, members will get green smoothie recipes, a shopping list and a guidebook to help you along each day.   They will also gain private access to their Simple7 Squad Facebook group over 8k active members going through this challenge at the same time.

Why Build a Tribe?

A healthy online community will get more eyes on your content, but even better, your audience will then begin to engage and advocate about you and your brand being the go-to source for your topic and expertise.

To recap, to build a healthy tribe, focus on creating compelling content, work to cultivate community, and provide challenges that lead to the desired change. Do all 3 of these and people will be coming back often, and with friends.

Question of the Day:

Which pillar are you working to improve right now?  And, what are you doing to make it happen? Drop it in comments below!

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