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Strategy that Creates Community

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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.

Who Do You Fight For?

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Session Title: Discover the Hidden Profits in Your Community
Speaker: Michele Price

What if you were missing the key ingredient needed to create a committed community?

No One Was Committed To Fight

Recently I had the opportunity to go see a new movie that has not been released yet called Warrior. Now, I am not a fighting kinda gal. Never been interested in that style of sport (always thought it was senseless). So, it was a huge surprise to me that I would even go see Warrior, much less love it.

Here is what I learned about community, causes, and leadership from that story. When you want people who care about the work you are doing for others, it is critical to find folks, who if they had to, they would fight for your cause. WHY, you ask?

Simple…

When people are willing to pick up arms they are committed. Now many of you probably are not wanting your community to pick up arms, I get that. There is more than one way to tap into that primal part of all our brains that controls the need for protection. WAIT, Michele you say, why would we need to even go there? What is this about fighting and protection.

To have a committed community – understanding emotions, neuroscience, and social media all go hand in hand.

How do you even create the desire for them to participate, if you are not appealing to their primal emotions of caring as well as what is right or wrong?

Now in Warrior you have three main characters that from the outside looking in, appears of people who were just plain sick and made massive amounts of mistakes in their lives.

  1. You have an alcoholic that neither of his sons wants to have a relationship with.
  2. You have two brothers that do not talk with each other.
  3. And then you have the fight.

This story was so masterfully told, that by the end of the movie you are cheering for all three with their warts, their pains, and their wrong choices. WHY?

Because each of them had something that was missing form their lives. That one emotion which changes everything in the world. LOVE.

Now , before you all go “here she goes with the girly stuff”, I am not talking about romantic love… I am not even talking about father and son love… I am talking about Agape love. The kind if love that transcends all situations. The type of love that is core to who we are as humans.

The kind of love that fuels “causes.”

To protect, defend and uplift those who have been hurt, wronged or afflicted.

When you are creating your communities online, how are you tapping into that Agape love?

Do you know what they are willing to fight for?

When you know that, then you have found the key to creating a massively committed and loyal community.

Who Do You Fight For and Why?

Michele Price is the founder of Social Media For Smart People, a new media agency working with businesses creating branding relationships with bloggers, as well as implementing integrated & social media marketing for speakers and authors. Michele @Prosperitygal is the host of Breakthrough Business Strategies radio, Women in Business radio, and #Speakchat.

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