The Best Asset Your Startup Can Invest In Right Now
As startup founders, we juggle with a lot of different ideas when it comes to determining which investment is best for the business. Is it a software? A hire? A strategy play?
What kind of investment can you make now that will slowly compound into long-lasting benefits later on?
If you’re a budding startup, the best investment your business can make right now isn’t a Chief Marketing Officer or an expensive digital advertising campaign. It isn’t a new storefront or a nicer website either.
Your Startup’s Best Asset
There’s an asset out there that will:
- Protect your business from major losses during economic downturns.
- Create a consistent, steady stream of income for your business.
- Compound in effectiveness and size over time.
- Help you save money in marketing and sales costs over the long-term.
This asset doesn’t need to have a price tag on it and can be acquired in exchange for time. It isn’t something that requires fancy tools or an expert hire, just consistency and commitment.
This asset is community.
I’m not talking about superficial numbers in your email list or your Twitter followers, I’m talking about real community where you talk with your audience and they talk with each other.
A community that has a shared purpose of helping womxn entrepreneurs overcome their biggest challenges, or shared values like only buying eco-conscious beauty products.
Shared purpose and values help people find a go-to place, a home that they can continuously visit to activate their deepest desires. If you can create that home for your audience, you’ve figured out how to anchor people to your business.
This anchoring creates a magnetism to your business that’s effortless. Through this magnetism, you’ll be able to naturally build a fan base that’ll buy whatever you release and you’ll benefit from a steady stream of income because you have a community that’s constantly talking about you.
Community is kind of like having your own QVC show that’s streaming 24/7 — even though the hosts are talking about random things here and there, they’re still socializing in your home and always bringing the attention back to you and what you’ve got to sell.
Over time, your community’s commitment to your brand will result in marketing and sales cost savings for your business (because you now no longer have to spend money on aggressive lead generation). You’ll start reaping the benefits of organic growth (aka $0 marketing) through referrals via your most loyal customers who have nothing but great things to say about you.
Building A Community 101
Community is the best investment any small business owner can make in their business right now, and it’s easy to get started. Here are three starting steps to embark on your build.
1. Mission with an excitable response
To start building a community for your business, start off with a shared purpose or value system, and make sure it’s potent. The test of a potent purpose or value system is by measuring how many people it moves — when presented to your people, your mission should get an excitable response.
Missions that provoke excitable responses are very seldom neutral, they’re usually very opinionated and divisive.
2. Build a home
Find a place that your community can call home. Is it on your Instagram page? A Facebook page? A community space you’ve created outside of a social platform?
Wherever this home is, consistently show up in this space and make it known that this is where you share your deepest, richest conversations and where your community can do the same.
This home shouldn’t be a place for surface-level conversations that anyone can find on the first page of a Google search result — this space should be where you’re able to express opinions that feel uniquely yours, and not like copy written by a marketing consultant.
3. Stoke the fire
Within this home, you have to spend time stoking the fire, especially in the beginning. Ask prompt questions, and always start deeper conversations with those who comment on your posts. You have to act like that person at the party who’s always starting a conversation and bringing life to it.
Stoking the fire requires thoughtful responses — no emojis or one-word responses. A one-word response would be awkward if you were to drop them during a conversation, you should feel the same way when interacting with your community online.
Once you’ve got the swing of things, you’ll be stoking the fire for a while before you see other people in your community stoking the fire with you. You’ll start to see other people in your community coming in hot with conversation-starters and fostering connection once the community has truly taken off.
Once your community hits this traction, this is when you’ll start seeing payouts from the asset you’ve built. You’ll see the payout in the form of solid numbers — sales, audience size, conversion %s, all of it.
Do you have a healthy business or does it need a tune-up? Grab my free checklist to find out.