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4 Tools to Help Grow Your Community

As a solo business owner, you’re probably looking to grow your community of collaborators, fellow business owners, mentors, clients, and customers, right? If you’re impatient like me, the “built it and they will come” mentality just isn’t cutting it for you.

You know that with a little bit of resourcefulness and a touch of proactivity, you can grow your community much quicker than if you post and prey (okay, enough with the business catchphrases, I promise).

Here are 4 tools that will help you on your mission to grow your community:

Click to Tweet

Click to Tweet is a free tool that lets you create pre-drafted messages for Twitter that others can send out. Top startups have incorporated viral sharing into their business models (think: Groupon and Instagram)– think of Click to Tweet as your own little exercise in viral sharing growth hacking.

You may already include Click to Tweets in your blog posts and on Facebook groups, but have you thought to incorporate them on your slides when doing a speaking gig, in your email signature, and in your emails to your list?

Click to Tweet is great for spreading your message, but take it a step further by following up with both those who tweet your messages and those who engage with the message through those who tweeted it out.

In true meta fashion, let’s try it out here:

{Note from Leah: I use the Coschedule Click To Tweet Plugin to format my CTT’s like the above}

FollowerWonk

FollowerWonk is a helpful tool that allows you to search Twitter bios. It might sound relatively limited, but I use it all the time to expand the One Woman Shop community. Once you have a solid understanding of who you’re looking to add to your business’ community, you can perform targeted searches on FollowerWonk and then reach out directly to the individuals you find.

For example, I am always looking to introduce One Woman Shop to female solo business owners, so I regularly search FollowerWonk for “solopreneur,” “solo entrepreneur,” “creative entrepreneur,” and similar terms.

Try searching by location if you’re looking to build your community locally and be sure to search for keyword synonyms so that you don’t miss out on individuals who might add to your community!

Boomerang

Now that you’ve spent some time searching on FollowerWonk, I bet you have a pretty solid list of people you want to reach out to. In my experience, direct outreach via email is hands-down one of the most effective ways of building community, but it can be tough keeping up with all the emails you send.

Enter: Boomerang, a Gmail add-on that lets you “boomerang” emails back to your inbox if the recipient hasn’t responded back yet. After the time frame of your choosing (I generally choose a week or two), Boomerang prompts you to give the person a quick nudge to remind them that you’d love to connect.

P.S. Curious about more ways that you can use Boomerang? Here are 7 creative uses for Boomerang!

Popup Ally

You’ve got a website, so why not super-charge it to grow your community more effectively with a pop-up plugin? If people love your site, they’ll probably like- or at least be okay with- a gentle reminder to join your email list. And hey, if they don’t like your site and your pop-up, no sweat off your back because they’re probably not your ideal community members anyway.

I used to be staunchly against pop-ups on websites, but I was converted when I kept seeing success stories and examples of much higher conversion rates on websites. I finally jumped on board when I started Nathalie Lussier’s 30 Day List Building Challenge and found out about her WordPresss pop-up plugin, which is called Popup Ally. I love the option to only show the pop-up based on exit intent (read: if it looks like your website visitor is about to leave your site). So far, I’ve been really impressed in the increase in conversions on the rate.

Be sure to take it a step further by engaging directly with those who sign up for your email list. I still remember an early member of One Woman Shop complimenting me for sending her a personal email after she joined our email list.

The final step

Notice a common thread in the usage of these 4 tools? The final step is always to form a personal relationship with each individual so that you can find effective ways to work together- just like Leah and I did here!

Let us know in the comments if you have any favorite tools for growing your community or if you plan on trying these out! 

Cristina Roman Cristina Roman is the founder of One Woman Shop, a resource hub and community for female solopreneursand freelancers. In her free time, she loves playing tennis, doing yoga, speaking Spanish, and drinking coffee. Want more tips on growing your community? Get 28 Secrets to Growing Your Community.

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