How to Find Your People
I’ve been in three different conversations this week about how to find people for a specific community. Many companies and organizations feel like it’s looking for a needle in a haystack, so I’ve put together some ideas for locating and recruiting new community members.
How to Find Your People
1) Know who your community is for and what your community is about. The clearer you can articulate who your community is for and what it’s purpose is, the easier it will be to find your people.
2) Proactively search for those who fit your description. A link or banner on your home page is great, but going out to twitterchats, google hangouts, and blogs that focus on your target community members will yield faster and better results.
3) Build a relationship before you start recruiting. After you find places where your target community members are located, resist the temptation to open every conversation with “You should check out our community.” You’ll give off the same vibe as the creepy guy who tells you he loves you after your first coffee date. Instead, participate, help, engage in conversation first.
4) As you are engaging, listen for a few important clues. Clue One – they have a problem your community can help the solve. Clue Two – They imply or directly express the need for belonging to something bigger than themselves, the need to be seen and heard and the need to feel safe in a group of like-minded people.
5) Offer your community as a possible solution. When you pick up these clues, simply and politely offer your community as a possible solution to what they are looking for. It will be just the right thing for some and not the right thing at all for others. Stay out of the convincing business and focus on the ones who step toward you.
Bonus Tip: Once potential community members have stepped toward you and are checking out your community, find immediate ways to make them feel special and a part of things. We crave meaningful connection, so make sure your community offers it to newcomers right away.
If you’re thinking “Gee, this is a lot of work,” I completely agree with you. It is a lot of work. Communities require significant investment to reach Fierce Loyalty. If they were easy to come by, everyone would have one. But that’s a conversation for another day.