Why Building a Community is THE one hinge your marketing swings on

Building a community is THE one hinge your marketing has to swing on if you want to create a successful B2B business. 

Your community is a vital piece of the world you build, in which you nurture high-level customers and motivate and inspire them to explore your world. These valuable individuals do not grow on trees. You have to create them. This takes time.

I'm sure you consider, cogitate, and reflect when it comes to making important decisions or making high-ticket investments.

Inviting these people to join your community is the first step toward deepening the relationship and building the confidence necessary before you can both know that you want to do business together.

Why build a community?

The future of marketing is in building healthy communities. 

In the days of the earliest humans, those who collaborated survived, and those who stayed alone died. As a result, our brains evolved to seek community, because it increased our chances of survival. Communities make us feel safe.

They make us feel we belong... That we are members of a crowd to which only a very few others belong. An exclusive in-the-know group.

We feel protected from the outside world where predators stalk searching for prey.  

Building a purpose-driven community strengthens your brand. Creates advocates. And nurtures your audience. This is the garden where high-level customers grow... Where they get to know you and where confidence grows.

It is the place where you get to be seen not just as an expert but as an authority too.

How do you build a strong community?

First, you have to realize that it is not about you. It's about them, the members. They have to see that there is more in it for them than there is for you.

You are the facilitator. The maitre d'hotel who sets the tone. The one who introduces members to one another. In other words, you are there to create a network for each and every member.

Successful communities grow organically. 

Don't promote the group itself. Promote specific things that happen in the community. These pieces of training or resources must offer a specific outcome and must be something that your ideal client wants.

They must be something specific that they've been trying to figure out for years...  And the only way to get it is to join the community. 

Where to build your community

I'm no fan of Facebook groups in general because I don't want to spend time and energy building a community on land that I don't own. They have a bad reputation for closing people's accounts with little or no explanation. If that happens, you have effectively been locked out of your business.

  • Musicians who had most of their listeners on MySpace had a nasty surprise.
  • Facebook pages have had their interaction rates drop by 95% overnight.
  • Vine content creators were left homeless once the app was closed.
  • YouTubers have been demonetized or had their accounts deleted after years on the platform.

The list goes on. 

Wherever you build your community, you are creating a safe space where members can have their own conversations... In private, if they so wish. They should be able to set up their own cohorts to focus on projects that matter to them.

This is not possible on Facebook where the tech is clunky and out of date.

Your community provides context  

My inbox is stuffed with invitations to join groups that all sound the same...  

"A community for entrepreneurs to share and learn from each other, promote our businesses, and get free pieces of training!"


You can bet I'm NEVER joining any of those groups.
There's no incentive to do so.

The promise is too vague. The 'What's-in-it-for-me' is not obvious. 

A quick look confirms there is just one post after another by the group admin with little or no engagement and certainly almost no posts from the members. 

The number of members you have counts for little.
It's about the quality of those members. 

It's where members gather around the digital campfire

LIVE events are the lifeblood of any community... Either in person or on Zoom calls. 

Think about how you can involve community members. Run regular polls. Make sure that each session has an open mic element. Encourage discussion and make sure that the bias is towards helping them overcome their challenges.

I run weekly 'Start The Week' sessions in the Story Marketing Tribe to leverage members' time and productivity. And on Wednesdays, we have an hour-long 'Co-Working Workshop' to help each other push through projects we are working on.

Just two examples of what's going on in the Tribe to spark ideas for content in your new community.

But there’s more to it than that…

The more you see someone, the faster your relationship develops.
The more conversations you have, the better you get to know them.

And the more you give without the expectation of receiving, the stronger that relationship becomes.

This applies online just as much as in the real world.
Communities are where relationships develop and mature.

Good relationships mean:

  • We’re more open with each other…
  • Our time together is more enjoyable.
  • We’re more open to taking challenging new ideas onboard.
  • And we're more likely to implement the changes that need to be made… Because we want to

Dean Jackson's research showed that, of all the people in our audience, only 3% may be ready to hire you as their coach, at some time. 

Of this 3% only 15% could be ready in the first 90 days.

That means a full 85% of that 3% could buy from you over the course of the next 18 months.

There is therefore a good reason for nurturing the relationship with your audience.

Imagine your community is an organic garden.
Pull the weeds out by the roots (prune inactive members).
Make sure the soil is as fertile as possible by facilitating connections…

We work on our gardens every day to harvest occasionally

We are naturally social creatures who crave friendship and positive interactions, just as much as we crave food and water. The thing is, we are more connected than ever before, yet we have never been so isolated.

We want to feel acknowledged and belong to a community.

It’s a process…

  • Attract
  • Engage
  • Motivate
  • Inspire

The better our relationship with someone, the happier they're going to be about trusting us.

In today’s world, everyone is a skeptic.

It’s not surprising.

We are bombarded with sales messages and Ads every minute of every single day. We are blind to 99.99% of them. If we weren’t, we’d be overwhelmed.

So how do you cut through the noise?

Your audience is made up of a group of sophisticated, well-educated people who are discerning decision-makers.  

They are looking for authenticity.
That means you have to turn up warts and all.

Be open to showing your vulnerability.
That you’ve made those mistakes too.

It means integrity.

Where relationships are concerned, face value is usually without value. People ask a different question to the one they really want to be answered.

They don’t say what they feel
They don’t think what they say
And they don’t feel what they think

A prospect might ask whether he should go on a sabbatical... When he really wants to talk about how to take his life in a different direction. 

A client might ask what you thought about his LIVE video presentation... When he really wants to talk about how not to be so nervous in front of a camera.

Behind the simple questions, there are often much deeper ones that go unasked.

People who build great relationships think about what lies underneath so they can answer that question, too. When you do this, you grow a tribe, an audience who truly love everything you do and are willing to pay good money to work with you.

Then you’ll have a coaching practice that will stand the test of time.

How do you get past the initial resistance? 

The answer is to make the stories we put out hyper-relevant to the ideal prospect.

This starts with being specific about who our ideal client is and who it isn’t. Marketing is about knowing that person better than anyone else so you can put yourself in a position to break the ice.

Relate the conversation that is going on inside their own head.
Spell out the vision they have of a better life they want to lead.

Finish the sentence that starts with the words - If only…  And continues with the word - Then

If only, I could overcome XYZ (the thing they’d pay almost anything to overcome) then ABC will happen (the better future they yearn to lead).


Your ideal prospect has to know that you are talking to them specifically then they are more likely to pay attention, at least initially.

Being relevant gives you the chance to transform someone from being an observer to being a participant. To move from standing watching the game to becoming a player in the game.

Once they join you on the pitch, you have to give them the ball... Give them something that will help them move towards their goal.

This something is called value.
Not just any old pearls of wisdom.

But value, which is tailored to the right person at the right time in the right place.

Tailor the insight to that moment.
Then it becomes actionable.
It becomes valuable.

They give it a try. It works. They feel great. Step forward with a new belief in themselves and a dawning realization that you may be able to help them some more.

You have just made a connection with someone who feels acknowledged.

They want to know more.
They join your community.
The relationship deepens.

And we’re back to where we started.

Communities are the future of marketing. They envelop brands and protect them from the competition and are part of the world-building process. They encourage your people to explore other places that world.

It’s where you plant seeds, germinate them and guide them.

They get to know you.
Build trust in you. 

It’s where you continue to tell stories.

To join the Story Marketing Tribe on Mighty Networks click here (it's Free)

WORK TOGETHER

You don't need another secret tactic or hack that promises much but delivers little -- You need a clear people-focused digital marketing strategy which gives you the mindset and vision you need to succeed. Let's get started.

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As a presentation professional, part of my core proposition is that I take a client’s idea and transform it into a compelling story and presentation. This is exactly what Rory did for my marketing messaging. He understood immediately what I wanted to communicate. Rory has a wide breadth of knowledge in all aspects of online marketing. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.

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Lana Maher
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