Happy New Year! What are your plans this year to grow your community and network, both locally and online? In November 2015, I was the Featured Article on a new-to-me community, Alignable. Check it out and let me know what you think of my article. Alignable is a B2B, ‘Business to Business’ community. It uniquely finds businesses that are local to your business and helps you connect with them. My initial reaction was that Alignable reminded me of a couple other communities I belong to, Quora and Inbound. Can communities like this be used to build your authority?
Potential client attraction begins with establishing different ways of finding and connecting with your target audience. Online communities are an excellent way of doing that. Being part of a community has many benefits. For me, it’s about building my authority, connecting with likely clients, and finding resources that help me or my clients.
How did I get an article featured on Alignable?
You might be asking: how did I get a Featured article on this community? If you do any guest posting, you know it is not always easy to get your articles on other websites. It takes patience, perseverance, and commitment to Guest blogging.
Never thought of guest blogging? It is a great opportunity, both for the blogger and the website. It introduces the both of you to the other’s audience. A Win-win situation.
When I first started visiting Alignable, I began by commenting on questions that were in their ‘Ask & Learn’ section. I did this when I felt it was appropriate and I had a conversation to contribute beyond “That’s great”. Let me say, I wasn’t trying to get their attention.
I was answering a question on ‘networking’, and based on one of my comments, they invited me to write an article. After the article was posted, they asked me to be a regular contributing author. Yeah!
What a great way to continue to build my community and broaden my social reach. This also helps me to build my network, attracting potential clients because of my knowledge.
If you decide you want to try out Guest Blogging, I have a couple of resources to get you started. Drop me a message and I will send them over to you.
I’m not a blogger, is Alignable or one of the other communities right for me?
Ok. You are not a blogger. That is perfectly fine. You can still create authority without contributing articles. ‘Ask & Learn’ gives you the opportunity to show your authority when answering the questions submitted on Alignable. This model has been repeated on several websites. The aforementioned Quora and Inbound give businesses a platform to ask and answer questions.
How do the three communities compare?
- Quora – established in 2009, over 100 million members – topics on pretty much anything business and even a few non-business related topics.
- Inbound.org – established in 2012, over 100,000 members – topics on pretty much anything to do with Business, Marketing, Social Media, etc.
- Alignable – established 2014 – in over 8000 communities (remember this is local based)- over 1 million members – topics cover anything business, meaning any question a business owner might want to ask.
Here is an Alignable invitation to join for your local area. If you do business with other businesses, I highly recommend this.
I can’t really say what sets these communities apart. All 3 have a great community base that tries to help each other. Alignable has that local connection factor to set it apart, but with a world community.
Consider these B2B communities if one of your goals for the new year is to expand your communities and network. Potential client attraction should be a constant and active endeavor. Need help with working out strategies for client attraction? Over at Custom Growth Group, we work with busy people that are frustrated with their efforts in getting and keeping customers.
5 Minutes to Grow Your Community and Network
I am happy with this new community and wanted to see what can you do in 5 minutes on Alignable. If you are getting started with Alignable or any of the other communities, here are my 5-minute recommendations on getting started:
- First, be sure your profile is filled in with information that leads back to your website and other places to connect on the internet.
- Add your professional photo, plus your businesses logo.
- Fill out your content about what you do, who you serve, and how you help them. (Tip: To keep it to 5 minutes – This is assuming that you have this information already on some other site – copy to your profile.)
- Invite your best clients, business associates, and charitable organizations to view your new profile and join the community.
- Head over to the question section and share your authority by answering questions. On Alignable, this is called ‘Ask & Learn’.
- Ask a question to the community.
- Recommend – give a testimonial to a business that you know. (only an Alignable feature.)
- Private message a local business you haven’t met and arrange a coffee appointment. (only an Alignable feature.)
- Promote an event you’re hosting. (only an Alignable feature.)
How do you establish your authority online? Are you part of a community(s) that your target audience visits? What are those communities and why do you like them? Have you gotten business from them?
photo credit: 5-minute image, Created in Canva
- Smiley funnel image via Pixabay author: via Geralt
- #5 image – andymag via photopin cc
- Penguin trio – via Flicker (my original image was part of an image lot I received when I purchased a computer in 2008) Found the image on Flickr also.