Are You Engaged Enough with Your Tribe?
How do you engage with your tribe when you have an online business?
In our Savvy Circles this past week we spoke about engagement – real engagement – when your work is mostly online.
How do you truly engage with your tribe, your audience, your clients and customers when you’re offering classes and training online?
This is an important topic which is why I intentionally brought it up this week so we could brainstorm, share ideas, and learn from one another.
Do you offer, or want to offer, online training or education? Then this is an incredibly important question to ponder.
We start businesses not only to fuel a passion and create freedom for ourselves but also to create transformation and help others.
We’ve been lead down the path of the 4-hour work week where you set it and forget it … promises of sitting poolside drinking margaritas while the money rolls in. Automation. Hands off. Run without you. Make money while you sleep.
Yes, having some passive products – like books, ebooks, printables or other smaller ticket items – is a great idea. Diversify for sure. It’s a savvy entry into your world and for people to get to know you.
However, when you’re looking to make a real change in people’s lives don’t you want to make sure they’re getting into action, learning and then implementing what they’ve paid you for?
Don’t you want to get them the transformation or knowledge transfer that you’ve promised them.
Approximately 10% of people complete an online course. Only 10%. And the numbers are receding each year. Engagement in courses is even less.
Think of your own virtual library of webinars, courses, programs, pdfs and even books. How many have you finished?
And how many have you actually implemented on and that you can say you’ve gotten results?
One study found that when people work alone on a class the completion rates was 2%. However, when they had a mentor to help them keep accountable the completion rate jumped to 44%!
And when the person was part of an online community they were 5x more engaged and 16x more likely to finish the course.
So it goes to show that you might want to consider how to better engage with the people that you’ve worked so hard to get them to trust you.
What does that mean?
I think it means different things to different business owners.
Here are a few suggestions.
You don’t have to implement all of these.
Some will depend on how much time you want to dedicate to this particular offering and the price point of the course you’re selling.
1 | Encourage a Community
Creating a place for people to congregate is essential. Refrain from having several different places for them to communicate and connect. For instance, having a comment section under the modules, a forum on the site, and a Facebook group leads to less consistency and more confusion for the students and makes it difficult for you to keep up with what is happening in your community.
Facebook Groups are typically the go-to place for community exchange and connections. You can make yours private (select “secret” when setting yours up) and exclusive for that particular program or for your paid community (or even unpaid if you’d like). There are many options on what you can do.
Forums on your site are another option but often people aren’t keen on having to go to yet another place to sign in and interact with people. Most people are perfectly fine hopping on Facebook to communicate with others in a program (even if they’re not fans of FB).
2 | Encourage Sharing
Encourage students to share their progress and results. It helps further other people’s progress when they see how far their peers have come.
One course group I’ve participated in encouraged people to share a graphic or spreadsheet of the path that each person was going to take their students on. From gorgeous simple images to complex spreadsheets, it was so inspiring to see what others had done and helped me create mine much sooner.
This means you may want to think of creative ways for people to share their work.
3 | Be or Have a Mentor
Being engaged may mean regularly checking in with you students individually if possible (and not an impersonal autoresponder) or through making yourself available for a weekly live Q&A.
If you’re pinched for time or rather not make yourself that available, recruit an ambassador that could be a mentor or guide for the group.
I’m currently in a course where we are assigned a mentor (not the lead instructors) that we meet with virtually every other week. He is giving us another layer to the information provided each week as well as available to answer our questions. He even encouraged us as a group to do some of the course work together and invited us to connect on our own. You better believe that I have watched the modules and done the exercises before our calls.
4 | Make it Actionable
If you’re simply providing information without actionable suggestions, guidance and tools to help them implement then people are not going to get the results that you had envisioned.
Create worksheets, checklists, exercises and more to inspire people to take action. Also remember that there are many different learning styles, so provide multiple formats for people to utilize including audio, video, pds, outlines, etc.
If you’re not able or willing to be actively engaged in your program or offering then make sure you have lots of prompts, emails, extra videos or recorded pep-talks to help them stay on track.
Even if you set up the program to simply follow up every few days with an automated email encouraging them forward, that will help people stay on track. Be creative. Think of what works for you and see what others are doing – and doing well at!
Remember why you wanted to create this course or program and the types of transformations that you want to occur. Give your tribe every chance at success by taking a few extra steps to help them on their journey! You’ll be glad you did.
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