Clearly, marketers, product developers and others want to work with the people most passionate about their brand. Sell your products to your brand advocates or – as Mack Collier might call them – your fans.
We know that it’s much easier to keep them than finding new customers! Yes, agreed! But in my community building world we should also make it easy for others who are not brand advocates or fans (yet) to get involved, buy a product or make a donation (in the case of a non-profit).
For example, in the case of fans. Of course, we want to nurture the fans. But everyone – fan or not – can easily buy a singer’s song or album. You can find songs on iTunes, Pandora and other places.
So along those lines, I’ve caught myself drawing up the graphic below a half a dozen times now in the last few months to illustrate this idea.
Let me explain my thinking here.
In the center you have the customers/investors/participants that are always involved. These would be the people that if you have an event, they are there. You’d be surprised if they aren’t. You might even text them: “Hey, did you write down the wrong date?” You know the ones I’m talking about, right?
These people are engaged, care deeply about whatever it is that is going on. You can count on their input, muscle (in the case of volunteer tasks) or dollars (buying a product, helping build that playground, etc.) The arrows signify that they are connected to the other groups. Of course, they could easily move to another involvement level, too, for one reason or another. The same is true for the other groups, too, of course. (It has to be easy for them to move to a higher level, of course.)
The next group out are the people that show up once in a while. We know them, but we won’t be surprised if they aren’t seen all the time.
The next group out hardly ever shows up. They might be on our mailing list, but we wouldn’t know them from Adam. The farther you get out on the circle the less involved people are. So, we shouldn’t spend much time on trying to engage them. Right? Right. Wait, what? Just because they are not involved doesn’t mean they don’t care.
We shouldn’t spend as much time on them as we spend on the brand advocates, but we should give them an easy option to get involved, feel connected and find it easy to step up their level of involvement.
That doesn’t mean we are trying to be everything to everyone, but it means that we make it easy for people to engage and connect with us.
That could be accomplished in a few ways:
- I was asked to be on a committee but couldn’t add any more meetings to my schedule. They offered that they’d keep me on the list and to this point I’m very much not involved … except I read their occasional emails with the minutes and updates from meetings. It would be very easy for me to step up my level of involvement-just because they are staying in touch.
- Share summaries of what’s going on and make them easy to access. Sometimes this is done by email, but why not set up a website or a section of an existing website and share information there? Who knows, somebody from one of the outer circles might decide to get more involved because of the content spotted on that site.
- Offer insights, information, and yes, also some calls to action. I realize that calls to action work to a degree, but are they necessary every time I catch up on a topic? Do I always need to take some formal action to make my experience count? I might just want to read along and that experience might cause me to jump involvement levels down the road.
- Be everywhere people are. I went shopping for clothes the other day … in a store. I didn’t enjoy the experience and ended up leaving …. and then bought a number of clothes in another store’s iPhone app. That store allowed me to engage at the level where I wanted to engage.
What do you think? There’s my call to action, I guess. Feel free to send me your thoughts by email or in the comments (until they turn off in a few days to keep spammers away). You can also visit ChristophTrappe.com and click on the phone icon on the right to give me a call. Whatever works for you. Or you can just read along! Thanks!