It is unfortunately common in today’s world to feel like we’re isolated.
We go through our daily routines, strictly interact only with the people we’re supposed to interact with, and only reach out into the world when something benefits us.
This has, in many ways, taken away what many felt was the sense of community in our lives.
The desire for connection with others still exists in our hearts, but we bypass it in our pursuit for our daily priorities, separating ourselves further from something that would be beneficial to us.
A Business and its Community.
Not all businesses are target at a local clientele, far from it, however we have learned from working in the pandemic that we can be (almost) as close to people across the world from us as with people living two feet away from us.
A Community just needs for a space to meet, whether that is virtual or physical.
We have talked about this before; Businesses that present themselves with a human “face” are much easier for their Customers to relate with.
Ease of access is another important factor in order to attract new customers.
While the majority of customers prefer to finalize their shopping transactions online, Businesses with a physical storefront or presence had a 90% superior conversion rate compared to online-only businesses back in 2015.
Now, the world has undergone some very significant changes since then, and with each individual country taking return to life in person at its own pace, we’ll need some more time in order to perform additional research.
While Customers have become less and less reliant on Physical Storefronts, they still need a point of reference.
Having a physical or virtual spot where you can reach out and be reached will further humanize your Business’ presence.
Heading for a quick chat or question at a pop-up stand, or looking at a catalogue online with the option of learning more about the business right now, that will add an element of immediacy to your interaction with your new prospects.
Find your Community.
As we mentioned earlier, a Community isn’t necessarily physical, or linked by a physical location. But as long as individuals will find a place to chat together about a common interest, a Community is coming into existence.
This means, that even if you’re not aware of the existence of a community surrounding you, or your Business, chances are there already is one or more.
It doesn’t need to be centered around You. In fact, it shouldn’t!
Nobody likes someone who makes everything about themselves.
Sure, your spreadsheets will tell you that a business wants to talk from a place of authority, and to have prospective customers buy from them instead of their competitors, but following human rules this just isn’t true.
There will be Leaders in Communities, but nobody likes a Dictator.
This is less complicated than I’m making it sound. Know your worth, but don’t try and monopolize your interlocutors’ time and attention.
You are a part of a greater picture, and you can make your Community better. So does your business, and so do the products that you’re selling.
Social Media will guide you.
How do we find communities around us, then? Luckily, this is where Social Media comes in!
Every Community you’re interested in will have something in common, which will be something that you also possess or are part of.
Your physical location? Sure! Something that one of your products provides, that will break the routine! Absolutely! An aspect of pop culture, that your business deals with? Well that sounds like you!
Once you know what to search for and have some time to look around, fulcrum points will splay themselves before you.
Each Community has its own Rules
Where do people in your Community meet? How do they talk? What methods do they use to communicate?
These factors are all fundamental to understand, if you don’t play by the laws of the land you may end up just looking for a grifter, hopping between communities to make a quick buck and then jumping on to the next one.
You don’t want to make your Community install a different app, or go to a different town in order to talk and meet with you being the host.
Sure, a choice of venue is bound by costs and schedules, but if you’re dragging your prospects away from what they’re used to you better have a good reason for it.
Outreach is a two-way Street
If we’re just looking at the concept of “Outreach”, putting ourselves out there in order to “reach” and interact with others, a good fundamental question to ask ourselves is “what do we do when we’ve reached out?”
If we’re reaching out, are we looking to grasp and latch onto something or to be grasped by someone else?
The cleanest answer I can give you is, it’s gotta be both.
You’re out there to be seen and to promote yourself, but you’re also out there to give something to others.
Be open, be personable, and make sure to have your representatives understand this as well.
In an outreach context, it’s just as important to be able to answer questions and establish yourself as a leader as it is to sell your product and affect your bottom line.
Customers will be interested in evaluating who they’re buying from, and if what’s in front of them is the best option available to them.
As a prospective customer reaching out to a Business will be in the Awareness stage of their Buyer’s Journey, that means that they understand their necessity for something, but they may not have fully realized the specifics of what they need, and what available options best fit the bill.
A Community improves its Members, and its Members improve the Community
Let’s head back to our sense of belonging.
Joining a community and interacting with its members will let you know if that’s where you belong, or if you’d be better off looking at the next option.
While the search for our place in the world is perhaps a never-ending journey, we can help you find the best options available around you.