I decided to go to BlogWorldExpo this year. I have had this impression that it’s just enormous with tons of vendor booths and people wandering this way and that. I just imagine being somewhat lost in this sea of people.
And then I was looking at the sessions “grid” and there seem to be 10 different ones going on every hour. Holy Moly! I better bring a friend. Honestly, can you really make friends at something so huge?
And then. . . I got a card in the mail. I got a handwritten card from one of the organizers. I can’t even get my friends and family to send handwritten Christmas cards. I immediately took a picture of it, uploaded it to Instagram and thanked them the for the card using the BlogWorldExpo hash tag.
Guess what? They replied and said they looked forward to seeing me. Hmmm. . . What a simple gesture that made me feel so welcome. I certainly wasn’t expecting a handwritten letter from this “giant” event.
Examples of Community Building Extras
Sending physical notes is hard if you don’t have your audience’s addresses. But don’t let that stop you. I have learned time and time again that even the small gesture of welcoming people to your audience is appreciated. At FreeWeeklyMastermind.com we welcome each person as they press the “join” button and have gotten many emails of appreciation because of it. Small isn’t bad.
When teleseminar coach Cyndi Dawson speaks she brings something special for those of her community members who happen to be at the event. And at the NAMS event in Atlanta I know Lynn Terry holds a dinner for her elite community members. Those are great community building gestures.
From the big business side of the world, Choice Hotels (the Comfort Inn / Sleep Inn folks) have little gift bags at the front desk for their frequent stay card holders. I believe the last one I got had an apple and a bottle of water in it. Simple, but most appreciated.
So what kinds of things can you do for your audience that will set you apart?
- Open up a teleseminar line once/month for your community to call, chat or ask questions.
- Take pictures with your fans in person. Upload and tag them on Facebook.
- Friend your community members on other networks and initiate conversations.
- Write an ebook and give your audience pre-publication access in exchange for comments and feedback. If you get their name and address in that process, send a real thank you note.
- Send out TweetUp notices when you travel and invite your community members to come out and meet you. Do that in your own city too.
- When you create products, give long-term community members an extra 10% affiliate commission
Got some other ideas of ways to reward your community? To praise your community? To serve your community? Share them with us.
Dan R Morris is the founder of LettersFromDan.com, a website dedicated to improving your revenue stream from online efforts. Dan is an infomercial producer, niche website owner, product developer, author and Mastermind leader. Dan actively encourages marketers to take that extra step so that “Hope” doesn’t become the marketing plan.
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Those are all great things for sure.
These are great example of building community. I will implement some of them.
Here are a few things I currently do to build community/relationships on my blog:
– Acknowledge even commenter on my blog by either replying to the comment or sending the commenter a thank you email.
– I also visit their sites, read and comment on some of there content
– Following them on Twitter and Facebook
– As for my list, I recently gave them a free copy of a paid product I released
One person who does a great job giving extra to his community is Pat Flynn, I’ve learned a lot from him.
I don’t even know if it’s customer service, per se (though we do take that seriously). I just think it’s good manners to say “thank you.”
Thank you, Dan.
So, wouldn’t you know it? Deb Ng goes the extra mile and comments on blog posts about BlogWorldExpo. What a tremendous example of community building and engagement.
And to reply, I’m not sure about New Media Expo Vegas. With four kids not only does the event have to provide the kind of value yours does, but has to fit into the family schedule. I certainly would like to.
I hope others take notice not only of the content at BlogWorldExpo but the example you’re setting. :)
That’s very cool. In a time when customer service is so important and often seems to be falling by the wayside, this just goes to show that are still a lot of people out there who still care about customer service.
Thanks for blogging about our thank you cards, Dan. I know it sounds really corny, but at BlogWorld we really do appreciate the people who make up our community. An impersonal confirmation letter doesn’t really do enough to show appreciation, though. At least we don’t think so.
There was another reason for sending thank you cards, and that was to hopefully elicit a response from you and the rest of our community. I don’t mean everyone has to blog about it or instagram it, but a lot of people tweeted and sent emails and that enabled us to engage with some members of our community we never spoke to before.
To me – and to us – our community is more offline than online. Sure we tweet and post and do all the stuff that we need to do, but we’re a conference and that means face to face and a more personal relationship. Under my watch, this will never change.
It was good talking to you last night, Dan. I hope you won’t be a stranger.
See you in Las Vegas?