Attract New Customers With A Community

May 6, 2013Comments Off on Attract New Customers With A Community

About half the community plans we review have the same goal; more customers. 

It's tricky to get new customers via a community. Communities are great for reaching current audiences but often poor for reaching new audiences. 

Why would someone that doesn't know you want to participate in a community about you? 

If your goal is to reach a new audience, there are three things to consider:

1) The community can't be about you. If the community is about you, you will only attract your existing customers/clients. The community has to be about the audience (a community for finance professionals) or how the product helps the audience (a community for finance professionals who want productivity hacks). The community needs a unique name. You get to be active participants, not the dominant voice. 

2) You need an existing link to a new audience. How will you reach the people you don't have access to? How will word spread? If there is limited existing contact between the groups, you're going to struggle. If that's the case, you need to build partnerships and gain support from existing popular mediums.

3) How will you convert members into customers? You can't directly sell to this audience. How will you convert members into customers? You can use a tremendous value exchange. You can look for opportunities to highlight leads. You can participate and become a trusted voice that people want to search for. You can simply brand the community and increase familiarity amongst your target audience. 

Be specific about how you will tackle each of these. Force your company through the tough decisions early. 

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