213. Building Community Online with Elizabeth Henson

The Game On Girlfriend Podcast

Jan 30 2024 • 36 mins

Figuring out how to reach new audiences outside of paid advertising is a challenge. Social media is loud, and can be negative. Today’s guest, Elizabeth Henson, shares how to build and nurture an online community to leverage your authority.

Elizabeth Henson is the owner of Elizabeth Henson INC., founder of The Messy Success Podcast, and The Community Growth Lab. Elizabeth started out as a wedding photographer and grew her business to six figures. Rather than teach how to use a camera, she realized that she could package her love of building community and leadership with how much people were struggling with their social media groups.

Helping clients get that quick win with their Facebook group was the in to teach about community-based marketing. She notes that in pairing Facebook with an email newsletter, you can create a marketing system that takes one hour a week to run. Unlike Instagram, which requires more branding and content creation, the community aspect of a group – be it on Facebook or similar – means you just have to ask a question.

“80% of your content can be one line or less, and you have permission not to brand things and not make things pretty,” says Elizabeth. “You’re starting conversations versus being on a stage.”

There can be a dark side to social media where people bring negative energy. Elizabeth says it is possible to avoid. As long as you don’t engage or view the negative content, the algorithm will adjust. And social media isn’t going away – online communities are timeless.

One of the forgotten marketing strategies is casting your vision. Elizabeth says she likes to remind people why she does what she does and why the group helps achieve that every week.

Good leadership is more than the title. You spot a great leader when you feel important in their presence, says Elizabeth, who wants to be the best at making other people feel seen and heard. Introverts can be leaders. You don’t have to have a big following to be a leader.

“An influencer can just sell stuff because they have a big audience,” explains Elizabeth. “A leader is going to create a space where someone feels important, even if it's just one person.”

Elizabeth suggests thinking about how you want people to feel.

“You want them to feel like this is bigger than them, that it's more important than them, that this isn't bigger than you as the host,” she says. “If you can kind of treat your business mission like a movement, like you will naturally build community. And that's what makes marketing easy because then they advocate for you.”

One myth about community-based marketing that Elizabeth wants to debunk is that it’s hard and time consuming. Online relationship building is another point in your marketing ecosystem. You can nurture it for an hour a week and see it grow.

Wherever you choose to make your group, remember it’s another place where you can help people, where you can remind them of your offers. It’s not a be-all, end-all strategy, and it doesn’t have to take more than an hour a week to start some conversations and reach your audience.

Connect with Elizabeth Olson: https://elizabethhenson.co/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thecommunitybuilder
Other GoG episodes you might want to check out:

Social Media Call to Action – Be Imperfect https://sarahwalton.com/social-media-call-to-action/

Fall Back In Love With Social Media https://sarahwalton.com/what-to-post-on-social-media/

Social Media is NOT a Marketing Strategy https://sarahwalton.com/social-media-marketing-strategy/

You can check out our podcast interviews on YouTube, too! http://bit.ly/YouTubeSWalton

Thank you so much for listening. I’m so honored that you’re here and would be so grateful if you could leave a quick review on Apple Podcasts by clicking here, scrolling to the bottom and clicking “Write a review.” Then we’ll get to inspire even more people!

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