From the Influencers

Gini Dietrich on Developing and Sustaining Professional Communities

December 12, 2017

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, lead blogger at Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of the weekly podcast Inside PR.

Gini spent the last six years building a "rabid" social media community of over 40,000 followers – from scratch!

Building an active online community is a dynamic and difficult process.

Today, she shares her secrets on how she did this.

Gini's Strategy

Anyone can build a community of loyal followers, but it takes some work. And here are what Gini recommends:

1.     Constantly Communicate

If you're starting from zero, reach out to people any way possible through grassroots methods.

Comment on things as much as possible and keep sharing things from key people of interest.

Show people you're paying attention to them. Make people wonder who you are and they'll feel compelled to follow you.

2.     Don't Stay Static

Grassroots outreach can quickly become time-consuming as your followers increase and your workload grows.

What works for startups probably won't work once you reach 30,000 followers.

As such, change your tactics. Find new ways to engage your audience and deliver value to them.

Narrow down where and how you should spend your social media time most efficiently.

3.     Build Real Relationships

Remember that behind each profile is a real-life person with feelings, wants, and needs.

Don't be afraid to reach out and ask upfront what they want through surveys and other methods.

Your goal, after all, is to offer them valuable content. It's hard to do this without asking what they want.

Reward folks who pay attention to you. Gini likes to surprise one special follower with a popcorn basket each month.

Take Risks and Don't Give up

No matter your trade or industry, you can develop a targeted and loyal community.

It just takes some work. It also takes some thick skin, so be prepared to take risks and make mistakes. Not everyone will love or appreciate everything you have to say.

Don't beat yourself up when something fails. Gini once took a risk launching an online course without doing proper outreach first. It flopped, but she learned from it and moved on.

Remember to treat your community like human beings by providing value in their lives.

Reward them, and they'll reward you!

Learn from your mistakes and keep reaching out. Your community is out there, and you'll find them.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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