Building a Community to Market Yourself as a Leader

It's so important to be seen as a leader in your niche if you want to market your business better. This helps your sales because people want to buy from leaders. They want to buy from those they know are influential and experienced. It's also helpful for your branding. If people know you’re a leader, they're going to look up to you. They're going to come to you first for new ideas.

So, the question is, how do you become seen as a leader? There are many different avenues you can take to make this happen. But the way I did it is perhaps the easiest route. I became the leader of a community.

It all started with my 5 Bucks a Day book. This book changed my life and the lives of many others. It was all about my method of focusing on a project that would earn me five dollars a day recurring income at a time and stacking that project with subsequent “five buck a day” projects, essentially achieving a full time income in bite-sized pieces.

People flocked to this product and bought it like crazy. There’s something special about it and its contents and methods have resonated with people from all over the world and from all walks of life. I started to get a lot of questions about it, so I saw the need for a community for the customers of that product. So, I created one.

That free community was successful, so I was inspired to take it to the next level by creating a paid Earn 1K A Day community. The goal with this community was to help Internet marketers achieve their first $1000 day in marketing. I'm proud to say that many, many of the members have gone on to fulfill that goal. This community is still going very strong today—it’s one of the most successful IM communities on the web. I don’t know for sure, but I’d venture to guess that we also have the highest number of success stories of any community our size.

I never set out to become a guru of the Internet marketing community and I still don't. But, by being the leader of the Earn 1K A Day community and now the IMIT community, and by being very successful as an Internet marketer, many people see me as a leader. It's just the natural flow of things. I lead a very powerful and influential Internet marketing community and so I am perceived as an expert.

I treat my members very well and they talk about Earn 1K A Day all over the web. My affiliates are proud to promote the membership site, IMIT, and my other products, but many members are proud to recommend it even if they don't earn a commission. This has done amazing things for my business and my branding.

Several years after I created the Earn 1K A Day community, I decided to create a Facebook community called The IM Inside Track (this is the free group that shares the name of the paid IMIT). Unlike Earn 1K A Day, the IM Inside Track Facebook group is free to join.

The “free” label has enabled my Facebook group to reach over five thousand members and it is steadily growing. I love being the leader of this membership club because it allows me to provide free value to many people who are struggling and who want to better their lives.

Each of these communities serves a different purpose. The paid community is higher-end and includes many incredible resources, valued at several times the monthly fee. Anyone could join Earn 1K A Day and build a sustainable business and find a powerful community that will help them achieve their goals.

Many now-successful marketers have joined Earn 1K A Day and have attributed their success to this paid community. Being the leader of this community has changed my life and the lives of many others.

The free IM Inside Track community has also changed many lives. It does not include nearly as many resources, yet it is also incredibly powerful and helpful. That's because it also includes a strong community, personalized help, and that all-important online human connection.

The paid IMIT community has also changed many lives and its resources are steadily growing.

Being the leader of a community is excellent for sales and branding. People perceive me as an expert. They go on to find me elsewhere on the web.

People who find me on Facebook want to find me on my paid membership sites. People who find me on my paid membership site want to find me on Facebook. People who buy my products go on to join my membership site. People who find my free online community go on to buy my products. It all works in a wonderful web and has done wonders for my business.

If you want to become a powerhouse in your niche, one of the absolute best ways to do that is by building a community. People in any niche crave that community feeling because it's so rare to find online. People go online for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's for the anonymity, or the ease of finding information, or to get something online they can't get anywhere else. But, especially in the Internet marketing niche, they lose that human connection and it can seem impossible to find it until they find something like Earn 1K A Day or The IM Inside Track Facebook group and paid IMIT membership site.

The fact is that, no matter what the niche, we all want a safe place to be and share. You can create a community that's like that for the people you market to. You can create somewhere where people can gather, find value, get that human connection, and more.

You will be seen as the leader and expert. This will help your sales and branding, no matter what you sell online. People will seek you out, join your list, buy your products, and join your online memberships.

To be clear, no matter whether you have a paid or free community, it's not somewhere you just market all the time. It’s not about you—it’s about your members. The community is mostly for sharing, growing, and learning. It's all about providing value and really helping people with that personal connection. It’s more about that one-on-one or group connection than people can’t get from standard products or by reading a blog post and watching videos.

If you want to create a community, it can be a free Facebook group, like the example I've given you. Or, it can be something paid like Earn 1K A Day or IMIT. What you choose depends on your goals and your niche. Each type of community attracts a certain audience, with some overlap, of course. You can choose to create both, like I have. I highly recommend that you start off with just one so you can grow it effectively before you move on to another.

So, where and how are you going to start your group? If you're just starting out in online marketing, I highly recommend you start out with a free Facebook group first. This can help you establish yourself in the niche, show people that you deliver a lot of value, help you grow your list, help you make connections, and more.

If you’ve decided to start a free community, it's important to understand how to get an audience. It can be really helpful to go ahead and join an already-created group in your niche that’s similar to what you might create, for now. This can help you network and get a feel for a unique angle you might take with your group. You want to network with heavy hitters in your niche as well as future members and buyers.

To get an audience, you'll market your free community by driving traffic just as you would anything else. You can advertise it with paid advertising, on your blog, mention it in other groups (only if group owners allow it), use article marketing, search engine optimization, and more. Choose a group name that people might naturally search for – it can help.

If you’ve decided on a paid membership site, you can drive traffic to its sales page in much the same way. However, it can be much harder to get people to join a paid membership site since there is that greater barrier to entry. You can get affiliates on board, give people a free trial entry, and so on. You'll need a great, enticing sales page to get people to try it out, of course.

No matter what, focus on that community feeling if you really want people to join. That's what’s going to set what you are doing apart from everything else on the web.

You'll naturally start to be seen as an expert when you build a community. It's just something that happens as you give of your time and share your expertise. People have questions and you can answer their questions. People have problems and you can help them find the solutions – that means a lot to people.

Your community members will interact with one another. Don't allow any negativity – people need to feel safe. They need to feel like they can ask any question without feeling stupid or afraid of being criticized.

It can also really build your credibility if you welcome expert guests. You can become perceived as an expert simply by association. This can happen even if you're relatively new to your niche, believe it or not.

The point is that you have to focus on providing a lot of value. Your perceived expertise will happen over time, but it can happen much more quickly than you probably ever thought would happen.

How does building a community help you get sales? It's fine to mention what you're working on. Get people excited about what you're working on, whether your community is free or paid. You don't want to overdo it, though. The focus has to be on the people in your community and on helping them. You should allow them to get to know you on a personal level. Get them excited about what's to come.

Link out to get people to join your list with freebie offers of high-value. When you provide value, people will see it and start to seek you out, no matter what.

Start your community today, even if you're scared or don't see yourself as a natural leader. I promise you that you have something to offer to people, even if you don't see it yourself. You can carve out a niche for yourself, and help people in ways you can't even dream of right now. It's amazing to be a leader of a community and it humbles me every day. I can't even imagine where I’d be right now if I weren't the leader of some amazing communities. Now, it's your turn to shine.



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