Emma and Carla Papas — known together as the Merrymaker Sisters — have built a bustling community based on healthy eating and happy living. Though Emma and Carla are naturally social people, building this community wasn’t entirely easy.
At We Are Podcast, Emma and Carla were kind enough to share their top tips for how they assembled a group of health and wellness enthusiasts — and how they keep them coming back for more.
Here are a few of their best pointers:
Build real relationships
Community members can easily become numbers on a spreadsheet. More members equals more profit, and business owners are not quick to forget that.
But they’re more than that — they’re people above everything else. The goal for any community is build a sense of trust. Members want to feel like they can come to a group, even if it’s online, and spend time with like-minded, kind individuals.
As a community curator, it’s your job to make your voice heard and engage with your tribe. Reach out, have real conversations and make people feel welcome.
Be your amazing self
Any form of being fake is easy to spot. We all know the people: serial entrepreneurs that make a living out of swindling people, or at least from projecting a version of themselves that they think others will be interested in.
Sometimes this works. But it doesn’t if you’re building a community.
Be yourself in all your glorious weirdness. Do spontaneous Facebook Live streams and show your community the quirkier sides of your personality. Your members will find this authenticity contagious, and it will make the tribe feel more like a family than an online group.
Be consistent, but enjoy what you’re doing
You need to be posting a lot. You’re not always going to want to do it, but you need to. We all have days where we feel terrible and don’t want to work. But you still need to get up and give your community members the content they’ve come to expect.
The key is to make sure that everything is okay with you. Are you really doing work that you feel proud of, even on your off days? If not, rethink your strategy.
Learn how to detach
This one may be a bit metaphysical. But learn to separate yourself from your goals.
Accept that some people within your circle are going to enjoy your free content without paying for anything. That’s okay, it’s what people do. The key is to not be offended, and detach yourself from the expectation that everything you do is going to bring some sort of outcome.
Take care of your “Judees”
Emma and Carla have one particular member named Judee. Judee is older and enjoys personally emailing the Papas sisters about nearly everything that the community does. A new product? Judee is there to tell them her opinion. The sisters promote the same product two weeks later? Judee sends them an email to make sure she hasn’t already purchased it.
The sisters didn’t entirely appreciate Judee at first. She was something of a nuisance. But as time went on, they realised that Judee was the best kind of community member. She was tuned in, engaged and genuinely believed in everything that Emma and Carla were doing.
So cherish all of the “Judees” and any other hyper-enthusiastic members you might have. They’re what makes your community great.
Author: Ronsley Vaz
Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.
He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.