If anyone knows a thing or two about community, it’s Liz Strauss. I got the opportunity to attend her track keynote at BlogWorld LA 2011; here are some take-away key points from her talk:
- “A leader is someone who wants to build something they can’t build alone.”
We all believe we have to build things alone, like help is a four-letter word. But we all need help to build something great. Remember, John Kennedy had no idea how to actually put a man on the moon. Invite people who share your values to help you – and they will bring their friends.
- “In order to know where you’re going you’re really have to have a strategy.”
Strategies are the the same as tactics. According to Liz, “strategy is a realistic system to leverage opportunity.” We all have different opportunities, but you need to have a mission so people will follow you…and you need a vision to have a mission. Missions make roadblocks irrelevant, because you’ll find your way around them.
- “Pick your position. Know where you are.”
When you choose your position, you’re going to attract people to you and help you build your tribe. Notice people: who they are, what they do, and what they notice. And notice people who notice you – those are the people who think like you and share in your vision and mission. Identify your advantages and look for people who need those things. And remember, what you think are your weakness can be turned around into strengths.
- “Cycles, trends, and conditions shine with opportunity.”
Change allows for the chance to grow. “Bad” conditions don’t have to be bad for you – did you know the most businesses were started during the height of the American Great Depression. You can turn challenges into opportunity.
- “Understand that you’re going to have different people in your tribe.”
Support people in every way you can, but realize that people are different. You have apostles, people who execute, two-minute volunteers…understand how your tribe works and value them at every level.
- “Campaigns make sales. Communities make relationships.”
Campaigns are about your products, but you want people to build a relationship with you. That way, when you make mistakes or change your mind, people will follow you.
- “You can’t lead the community and be the community.”
Liz told a great story about her friend who, within a year of owning her first car, got into five (minor) accidents because she had a habit of speaking with her hands to people – she wanted to be a passenger and a driver. You have to lead – and that means setting an example and being in control of your community.
These were just a few of the awesome points she made during her session. Remember, you can pick up a virtual ticket if you want to hear Liz’s entire talk as well as other presentations from BWELA 2011 – as well as special backstage exclusives from Johnny B. Truant!
About the Speaker
Liz Strauss is a brand strategist and the founder of SOBCon, the business strategy workshop event that grew out of her popular Successful-Blog.com. She was named to Dun and Bradstreet’s 68 Most Influential Small Business People on Twitter and awarded the prestigious title of Titan of Web 2.0 at the World Forum “Communication on Top” in Davos, Switzerland.