As a psychologist, I can tell you that building a relationship requires trust.
And the only way we can build trust is by showing up when we say we will on a consistent basis.
Why is consistency so important?
Think of an infant who relies on her mother for sustenance, warmth and nurturing.
What happens to that baby if the mother doesn’t consistently feed her? What happens if no one picks her up and snuggles throughout the day? We learn from our first days of life to trust people who are consistent. And that core psychological trait carries through our entire lives.
What does this have to do with building a community?
You are building a relationship and people have to learn to trust you.
The best way to build trust is to show up when you say you will over and over again.
This doesn’t mean you need to post or email daily, or even weekly.
What it does mean is that if you promise a monthly newsletter, you send a monthly newsletter.
Or if you promise engagement on a Facebook page, you engage regularly on that page.
You don’t have to have spectacular insights or spend all your waking hours catering to your community.
What matters is that you keep promises and show up regularly.
If your connection with your community is sporadic, you can get things on a more consistent track starting right now.
- Commit to showing up consistently. Set your intentions so you can achieve the goal.
- Decide on the frequency with which you want to show up. For some folks that’s daily, for others it’s weekly. I do suggest it never be less than monthly.
- Determine how and where you want to show up to your community. Is it Facebook, email, Instagram? No need to spread yourself too thin. Pick one place that feels good to you.
- Set a schedule for showing up and write it down in your planner/calendar system. Saying you’ll send a weekly newsletter, doesn’t mean you will actually send it. If you carve out time to thoughtfully connect with your community on a consistent basis good things will happen.
Blooming a community takes thought, time and caring. Build a community of folks you want to serve and being with them on a consistent basis will feel less like “work” and more like building fulfilling relationships.
Best wishes on growing your special community!
Decide on a schedule for all your online activity and put it on your calendar.
Once you’ve taken action, come visit us on Facebook and tell us what you did and how you felt about it. Was it easy for you to commit to something? Hard? No right or wrong answers here — we’re all just experimenting!
Image credit: Leyton Parker