Building a community – a Social Capital Story

build a community

Don’t forget to build your herd.

It doesn’t matter which workshops you went to or what sessions you attended, the real reason you went to Social Capital was to develop connections.

It’s about taking those online relationships offline and developing them further.

Building a community

I’ve talked about building a community before and how important it is for farmers specifically, but this same rules apply to anyone.

I recently attended the Social Capital Conference in Ottawa, and one message that was talked about over and over was community building .

New bloggers seems to think that if you build it they will come, which is utter crap. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Building a business or a blog takes a lot of hard work. Some websites don’t become successful for a very long time.

The reason why you aren’t successful

The main reason many blogs aren’t successful is because they don’t build a community. You need to network.

Without building a community you’re going to fail unless you have a horseshoe in an uncomfortable place.

Community building tidbits

Here’s what I learned:

  • Commenting on blogs is a great way of getting on people’s radar. When you start talking with other commenters,  that’s when the real community building happens.
  • Linking out to authority blogs helps you get noticed.
  • Meeting people in real life is by far the most powerful way you can build a community.

Blog commenting is my favourite way to connect with people. I stick to a blog commenting schedule, believe it or not.

building a community

I do this because I like what they write and it’s a  way of connecting with people who have similar interests.

Linking out to authority blogs is another great way of getting noticed by those websites. It shows that you recognize them as an authority, and who doesn’t like some ego stroking.
It’s also a way of being humble by recognizing you may not be expert enough yet.

Meeting people in real life is extremely powerful. I can’t stress this enough. The first impression you make in person is a hundred times more powerful than anything you can do with your website.

The way you shake someone’s hand, the way you talk, people consider all those factors when you meet in person.

Story time

I moved to Ottawa in 2008. I didn’t know anyone really. It stayed like that for a long time. When I got on Twitter and started attending Tweet ups a year ago, that all changed.

Now when I got to a Tweet up, there is someone there that I met before. It’s because I’ve taken the time to build a community.

That community wasn’t built overnight. In fact it took a year of going to events where I didn’t know anyone. It took many conversations on Twitter and in real life to built the community.

Final thoughts

Next time you hear someone say, “build it and they will come” you can say back to them, “jog on”

How do you build your community? Leave a comment below.

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