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How do you build stronger, more engaged and more loyal communities in an online business environment, where consumers are rewarded for having limited attention span and limitless other options are just a click away? Business expert James Schramko answers this urgent question in his latest business training video as he shares some of his best strategies for nurturing trust, belongingness and commitment in his own online communities.
Sydney, Australia (PRWEB) January 28, 2013
The Internet marketplace is said to be standing in what is tagged as the Trust Economy; experts have often pointed out that the typical e-commerce process wouldn’t work without a high level of confidence and belief between the virtual store owner and the online shopper. In an environment where the consumer is offered almost limitless options, trust is the new currency, a highly valued asset, and a business foundation all at the same time.
Internet business leader James Schramko believes in the old-fashioned saying that trust is earned. And to do this, he says businesses should take time and effort in having frequent, ongoing and engaged communication with customers—and in the Internet, this means knowing how to build communities that will foster their interest and engagement to the brand. In his business training video this week, he shares some of his best strategies that have been proven to support communities that increase brand awareness, brand authority and business revenue.
“Today, customer engagement has replaced customer service; experiences, rather than products, are being marketed; and ongoing conversations, instead of one-time dialogues, are the ones that bring in revenue,” says Schramko, who heads a few vibrant communities online, including the forum platform FastWebFormula.com and business mastermind SilverCircle.
According to Schramko, a strong community is first and foremost about serving the interests of and offering solutions to its members. “Be open-minded about what your members want and what to ask them. Start a discussion about how can you do a better job. These have usually given me the greatest innovations in my business,” he says.
To keep participation active, he also suggests launching challenges and contests regularly. Based from his experience, asking people to do something that stretches their imagination a bit or allows them to go out of their comfort zone creates a stronger community because it enhances their involvement in the group. At the same time, members appreciate the time and effort put into creating various activities and how they demonstrate the value of what the community can offer them.
Another way to keep the conversation going is to share training materials to the group, whether it’s in the form of an article, a PDF, a video or an audio recording. “Case studies are great. When you can summarize something you’ve done well… of something you did well that others can learn from, that always increases value for a community because people relate to it. They place themselves in that situation and they see how they can apply that for their business,” Schramko says.
He also recommends increasing the training component up a notch by offering live training sessions, just like what he does on his weekly calls with SilverCircle and his monthly webinars with FastwebFormula. “Live training brings up the engagement element. People can turn up, they can have a two-way interaction live. You could still record it or take detailed notes for those who can’t make it, and that allows you to create products. Live training is part of being a community and it makes people excited to belong,” he adds.
To further enhance the sense of belongingness and make the community stronger, Schramko also suggests setting up live events for the group. “You can actually get together on a regular basis. For FastWebFormula, we have local meetups all around the world, in London, in Sydney, in Melbourne, Brisbane, and the United States. People getting together face-to-face at a pub or a restaurant, having a beer or a meal, sharing ideas and stories—that really increases community engagement,” he shares.
In online and offline interactions with customers, Schramko believes that creating a series of positive encounters is the key to making meaningful, mutually beneficial and long-term relationships with them. For more tips on how to be an active member of the vibrant online business community, readers can visit http://www.superfastbusiness.com today.
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