Being well-connected to your community is vital to your business’ success. And I’m not just talking about your community of customers and followers – I’m talking about the actual city or town that you live in.
In business, it’s not just what you know but who you know. A good friend of mine has invested herself in building a brand behind her name. She has become quite a bit of a digital nomad, however, if you walk into our town everyone knows of her. If they don’t physically know her they can at least recognize her from her presence in the community and social media.
Her visibility in the community gains her the social proof to be seen as an authority. People go to her first because they see her and associate her with success for their programs and events. Her name has become synonymous with connectedness.
Being known and having her reputation enter the room before she does lowers people’s concern about working with her, it also builds know, like, and trust factors! This is how you draw people to what you are doing authentically and without having to be salesy.
Interested in seeing the same results yourself? Here’s how you can build relationships in your community.
How to Build Relationships in Your Community
Engaging with your community isn’t just about building your brand and reputation, although it will do that. It’s about having an authentic focus on being involved and caring about the people in your city or town.
Be a Partner or a Sponsor
A great way to build community relations is by being a partner or a sponsor in an academic or charity setting.
What ways can your business connect with a local school or university to hold events or offer internships? Can your company offer scholarships as part of a community-wide contest? What other organizations can you partner with?
You can also look for charity events to sponsor or partner with. If your company has a focus on helping children, for instance, a fun run related to schooling or children’s health would be a great sponsorship.
Fun and Games
Consider having your organization put up a team for a local softball, basketball, or bowling league. Or, look for volleyball leagues, billiards leagues, or beanbag tournaments. Not only will your employees enjoy bonding outside of work, but your business will be a participant in community events.
Whether your company’s team wins or loses is far less important than the fact that your company is involved in the community in a playful, fun way. You don’t always have to be selling or building your brand – sometimes it pays to just relax!
Encouraging individual employees to volunteer in their spare time is great, but why not take the next step and bring together a group from your company to give back to your city? You can even allow people to volunteer for part of their paid hours each month.
There are a ton of different ways to volunteer as a group, including Habitat for Humanity, helping at food banks, cleaning up the sides of the road, and more. Get creative and make a difference!
Why Your Community Matters to Your Business
Your company doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Being connected to your community has been a fundamental part of the health of a business for decades.
Being well-connected to your community not only builds goodwill and brings in customers, it helps you attract the top talent from your area. Your company will be a desirable place to work, and you’ll be able to retain your best workers more easily.
Community connections also help you win major business accounts. Why not be the supplier of choice for the industries in your area? Why not show your commitment to relationships and social responsibility, and reap the rewards of being a good neighbor?
When you take the time and energy to build real, long-term, valuable relationships within your community, you’ll strengthen more than your market position. You’ll also build morale among your staff, become a desirable place to work and reap the intangible rewards of giving back in ways that matter.
Are you ready for valuable relationships in your business? Have you been asking how do I get to the next level, and break through the noise?
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