Community Builder Credibility

November 27, 2013Comments Off on Community Builder Credibility

To build a community, you need credibility with the target audience.

Few (if any) communities are created by outsiders to the topic. 

If you're building a community from scratch, you need someone with deep knowledge, a great reputation, and many existing connections within that field. You need someone that knows who to approach, what to tell them, and will be listened to. 

Every few weeks someone writes to claim the process isn't working. Their target audience isn't responding to their e-mails. Or, more likely, their target audience claims they're too busy to participate in the community. 

If your e-mails don't receive a response (or not a positive response), it's because you're not seen as someone worth responding to.

We get dozens, maybe hundreds, of e-mails a day. We scan our e-mail for the names we recognise, trust, or have value to us and respond to these first. If you're not one of these names, you need to become one of these names (or if you're an employer, hire one of these names). 

In 2008, Seth Godin launched a thriving community in a matter of days. He had the preexisting credibility to do that. He had been blogging, writing books, and responding to every, single, e-mail for over a decade. 

The greater your established body of work, speaking events, and other material within that sector, the more likely you will receive a positive response. This takes time. You can speed things up, but you can't cheat your way to this. 

The CHIP method helps, but has to be understood as part of a long-term plan to build a community. It might take 6 months, possibly longer, to build the sort of credibility where people do respond to your e-mails in a positive way. Until you have that, it's going to be very hard to get that community started. 

A lot of communities right now are failing because the community builder isn't establishing credibility, building connections, and acquiring the knowledge. 

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