Emily Kristofferson

Building Community Through Launching

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I am honored to be part of Rachael Cook’s ♥ Community Blog Tour! The purpose behind the tour is to give you useful advice on community building. Yesterday, Brittany Becher shared “How to Combat Community-Building Overwhelm” as an introvert. And I can’t wait to read what Cailen Ascher has to say tomorrow.

You’’ll see as you follow along with the ♥ Your Community Blog Tour, that there are so many options when it comes to community building. It’s my wish for you that you take what you learn and really apply it using your unique strengths.

Here’s what worked for me in building community…

Before I did my own telesummit, I thought about it for a long time. You see, I resisted doing one as they seemed to be pitch after pitch with an overwhelming list of speakers.  What changed my mind was managing telesummits for clients that were zero sleaze. And more importantly, I saw that telesummits could work well to build communities. My clients were able to reach out and connect from a place of service and had a genuine interest in bringing others’ views and talent to their audiences.

This year, I knew that I wanted to build my community, so I decided to take the leap towards a telesummit of my own.  I took it one small step at a time. Really, a lot of launching is about taking leaps and I find they’re almost always easier than you think (once you do it). I knew I could do it right. And I also knew that it would play on my strengths and interests.

I started writing and I sent out interview requests. I didn’t focus on who had large lists – what I was after was different perspectives around launching. I wanted entrepreneurs who could address those common obstacles (inner mindset) that come up when launching. Really, I wanted to help and inspire the participants to see that they too can launch. Their greatest gifts can make the world a better place, if only they get them out there. I know that sounds grand but I believe it and I have seen it happen. I have watched my clients flourish, grow their communities and facilitate transformations for their clients. It’s inspiring.

The common theme of my telesummit was launching because it’s my passion. It’s where everything comes together – team, systems, marketing, self-care, planning, technology, list building, promotions, and delivery or service (and more).  Launching can give you the momentum you need and the results you want. And it doesn’t have to be launching a paid offering. Mine wasn’t. You can launch to grow your community. That’s what I did.

What happened in launching my telesummit was amazing. My featured entrepreneurs were all very supportive and shared their best in our interviews. I invited participants to join a Facebook group where they could interact and make the most of the event. It became a buzz filled group of over 115 members with hundreds more signed up for the event. My telesummit far exceeded my expectations in terms of community building.

Here’s what I feel makes community building strategies really successful:

Know your strengths and play to them in building your community.

I did do most of the work alone, but I have the experience and training. I didn’t come up with the idea one day and then start rolling with it. I am a planner at heart. I love the details, so it was super fun for me to map it all out and not let anything drop. But that’s me! That isn’t true for most of my creative clients. It doesn’t have to be a telesummit for you. What feels good to you? What gets you excited around community building?

Use the talent and expertise of others.

I really wanted to feature the expertise of others whose work I admired, and who I knew would bring great value to my audience. I also used the talent of others to help. I had an editor read over most of my writing and a graphic designer create a header image. I also have my coach who held me accountable. Who is your team, or who else could you bring in and use their talent and expertise?

Encourage interaction to build the community.

I wanted results for those who signed up, and I knew the best way to get results was to actually consume the sessions. So I had questions and quotes to help with applying and reflecting on what was shared and taught in the sessions. I even went as far as to offer incentives for each day, which was a lot of fun. I had daily prizes and we randomly selected winners from those who shared their comments/thoughts/ahas from the sessions with the group. The group was hopping!

Promote and don’t promote alone.

It takes serious promotion to get any launch off the ground. Your marketing needs to be effective and it’s a mistake to put it second place. I know there’s a lot to balance as a busy entrepreneur no matter where you are in your journey. But you have to make marketing a priority and you don’t have to do it alone. I had the help of the featured entrepreneurs. I had given them resources but they were amazing – tagging me, posting images, sharing on the day of the interviews and some were able to be active in the group which was great.

Decide and fully step into it.

I based my decisions and actions around the telesummit launch as being a way to grow my community.

I got feedback like…

“This has been a wonderful series. I got so much out of it and feel ready to move forward.”

“I am getting SO MUCH out of these talks! Thank you, thank you!”

“Yes, it was a great week! I’ve learned a lot and am working on a plan to start implementing.”

What is going to work for you as you grow your community?

How can you tap into your unique strengths? How can you make growing your community fun, simpler and even joyful?

“You should be launching!”, said Amy Pearson (one of our featured entrepreneurs). You can do it your way. There’s no cookie cutter approach. There are foundations and a sequence, and you have to have a plan, but it’s your business and it’s your launch.

Launching requires you to stretch yourself. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of doing what needs to be done. Use a launch as the structure for your community building. Challenge yourself to go beyond! Use technology to simplify what you do, hire a coach who will cause you think BIG, and hire help.

Want to know where to start? Pick the date that you are going to launch. Then commit yourself fully to growing a community even if it scares you because it will bring high rewards.

 

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Emily April 18, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Hi Emily! Thanks! I love organizing so it was easy for me but I promise that it doesn’t have to be as intense as you might imagine. You do need plenty of time and a good plan. It was very rewarding!

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