Last Monday night was great and it looks like the Mondays over the next six weeks are going to be fantastic.
Why? Aren’t Mondays supposed to stink?
Monday is webinar night for the 2011 Community Marketing Challenge currently underway. It’s for the exclusive community that Sarah (at Common Sense Marketing) and I have built.
We meet live on Monday evenings with our community members to discuss the minisites we’re all building. There are six weeks of webinars remaining.
This challenge is complete with a private forum at Sarah’s site. It’s shaping up to offer solid ongoing help and encouragement. Our community is becoming more interactive and we’re being sensitive to the requests and needs coming from our participants.
We aren’t accepting more participants nor is this article leading up to a pitch. What I’m getting at is the value this experience is delivering. It’s the type of value that I get excited about and hope other people are finding along their own journey.
Building a business online these days requires you to join a community, build a paid community or encourage one to develop as you publish content. If you aren’t blogging you can still build a community using social media.
Community forums are useful for market research, sharing business ideas, and just general Q&A activity.
Here are the 3 epic areas of value that I’d like to share with you about our project.
As this community matures, it’s going to become rich with actionable ideas and time-saving tools and tips. We’ll also be a test bed of ideas and strategy. We’ve been sharing valuable resources that we find elsewhere on the web. Our group is disclosing our strategies, sites and tools of the trade.
None of us have all the answers. But as a collective we can find the answers faster and benefit from our shared knowledge.
We, the founders, are striving to make it as useful as possible. We’re encouraging interaction and initiating it at every turn. Sarah and I don’t believe in capping our free contributions or holding back. Over delivery is the foundation.
This is the type of trust bank we all will continue to deposit into but we will share the great benefit of drawing from it for a time yet.
Being a part of this project is teaching us about ourselves. How well are we, as the founders, listening or responding to feedback? Are we delivering the message(s) clearly and can we present it so that people can take action today?
We all agree communication in our personal and business relationships is important. The nature of this type of community causes us to tap into and hone our communication skills. We invite constructive criticism and we’ll continue to improve.
All this made me remember a thought-provoking passage:
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” ~Proverbs 27:17
That’s from the Bible but you don’t have to be religious to appreciate its meaning. We do sharpen each other; we challenge each other to communicate, learn and grow.
Our project gives all participants their own story to share. It gives everyone ideas to build upon and a support environment to sharpen our skills. From this experience we can build a new business or advise others. We will have spin off ideas, stand alone products and perhaps write white papers and ebooks.
The are many possibilities and it’s too early to forecast the type or scope of projects this community will spawn. All I know is it’s a certainty.
It will happen.
What matters to me is that this project, even after the initial concept begins to fade one day, will give birth to new ideas. The community will be immortalized through future products created by all of us.
It’s your turn. Do you see the value in growing your own community? Even if it’s free do you see how much value and benefit it yields for those who are involved?
There’s no better time than right now to start planning your next community project. It’s challenging, exciting, and rewarding. You can thank us later for giving you this sneak peek
Please leave your thoughts and answers to these questions in the comments.
Are you going to build your own community this year?
Are you already part of a community that nourishes you and others?