How To Build The Space People Want To Join
When you are relatable to someone else, they’re more likely to head to your side.
It’s better to have meaning to the people who commit, than a vague message that people can find everywhere.
When you build people around what you believe in, the stand you make becomes easier for others to commit. By this, I mean a place where people head to that is specific on what they decide (they come to you for information and fun, you give them information and fun).
It’s the overall message you don’t divert from. It’s not vague and gives a reason for people to come back.
You can’t make everyone care, but you can inspire those who do. This is what building community represents.
You have to take the risk and say, ‘I am going to do it this way.’
Let’s share with you what it take to make your stand, to build your tribe.
STEP 1) Simplicity Of What Fires You Up
My whole belief is how we can be self-sufficient without always relying on a middleman to decide who should see us. From the algorithm to a journalist, we can sidestep to get people to us.
In an era dominated by invisible algorithms, it’s important to create approaches and systems that can make an impact on the people you want to bring to your side. When I say ‘you side,’ I mean a place where people visit for a reason, it could be a newsletter, it could be a live event. A side works when people have a compelling reason to return.
In the past, if you wanted your work to be seen or experienced by more than a few people, you needed access to the production and distribution networks. Someone else controlled access to the audience you wanted. Today, you can access your audience and if you want to, build your legacy via a community.
When you have a worldview and something you are willing to fight for, it transcends industry skills, professional activity and technical know-how. This is what others possess in abundance, but if you can show proof from your own experiences and efforts, you stand in a place of one. For me, that’s to continually show how we have the power to cut through the shouting and reach your audience, directly. You become the media in your own right (hence the name, You Are The Media).
Is there a worldview you stand for?
Can you incorporate what you stand for into your work?
Can you pursue curiosity where you know you can’t stop?
This is where you find the pulse to keep going.
STEP 2) Then You Build In Your Values
My approach around self-sufficiency is how businesses can build something that others want to be a part of. You then have to bring yourself to the table, not the industry version of yourself.
When you delve further, it is your values that drive you. This is what keeps you enthused and the spark to never go out. For You Are The Media, it’s about creativity, independence, visibility, experimentation, co-learning and community. In turn, these are the values I stand by.
Your values become the pillars of what you stand for. What happens is that it attracts like-minded people who resonate with your reason. When you recognise your values, it guides the decisions you make. From the content you produce to the partnerships and friendships you make, it all comes back to this place.
When people can see your values in action, they move beyond connections on social media but advocates with a deeper connection.
STEP 3) How To Go About It
Bringing people to you from what you stand for, isn’t a one size fits all approach.
It begins with recognising your audience where your message and voice resonate. It’s easy to follow trends and get sucked in (hands up, I did it with Threads), you need to focus on creating connections and then know you can nurture a space that becomes a community.
Let me break it down into the must-haves when it comes to making your stand so that other people understand and know you are right for them. Some people call it a movement, I feel comfier with ‘your stand.’
🤔 Know the space you want to be vocal about
If your message is just driven by your industry, ‘marketing’ or ‘accountancy’ you fall into the space of what the industry expects from you. What is happening around you that links to your values? It could be fairness, it could be perseverance, it could be confidence. How does this link to the role you serve in your industry? More importantly, how can you pursue ideas as a student and not necessarily the teacher?
🤔 Recognise where your fuel is coming from
Your own intuition and opinion isn’t going to be enough. Where can you discover more that aligns with what you believe in? The answer isn’t always within your industry, it could be outside. It could even be entertainment. This means that you are motivated beyond a commercial dabble (where your work looks like a campaign), otherwise, you’ll run out of steam.
🤔 Find your origin story
Your origin story links to what you do today. It helps to create an association and not an industry term that becomes your glue. Your competitive advantage is the story that surrounds what you do, not the industry you serve. This article on your origin story can help you.
🤔 Find a common theme
Finding a common theme that people can associate with helps people understand. For instance, if you shout about the values of excellent customer service, but people know you put more of a slant on treating everyone as a transaction, you have no meaning. If you shout about innovation in your approach but simply mimic what is out there, you’ll never progress. What is a value that is dear to you that people can stand beside?
🤔 Stay focused
Lean into a focused topic, rather than a broad one, that way you can go deeper, plus you are continually honing your craft to be seen as the person others want to be with. For instance, marketing is a vast topic, but focusing on a small part of the whole industry can make your message more compelling and people, over time, know it’s from you.
🤔 Seek validation
You can’t always lead by your view. It sometimes can be hard to find approaches, but discover people and examples (if you test yourself, even better) that validate everything you are doing. If you start to put others at the front and the work they are producing, it also reflects on what you are looking to achieve. It is important to remember that you can’t think you can do this all by yourself. Your friends and inspiration is right in front of you.
🤔 Always start small
It can be unsettling when you see others parading their huge audiences, but when do they spend time looking to get to know others a bit better? When you begin with a small but engaged group, it enables you to reach out and ask questions so you can share ideas together. This slowly builds momentum and others find out and can see the value of joining in. To get to a worthwhile place, it starts by being with the right people, not everyone.
🤔 Invite people to join in
Just because you have a great landing page, it doesn’t mean people will subscribe. If you have a cause that you believe in, that can be of benefit to others, you have to invite people to join in. Just ask them. Not everyone is going to take you up on your offer, but they may know someone else. Keep being engaged and encouraging. You have to make it easy for people to join in and also to connect with others.
STEP 4) People Need To Know You Care
The reason people stay is they know you care. This is the path to loyalty and long-term commitment.
It’s always about the right people who care about you. This becomes your ignition switch while others are stalling.
Businesses fall into these categories when it comes to something to say (content creation) and other people showing an interest:
- A great company, but no audience
- A sizeable marketplace, but not much to say
- An audience and a marketplace, but struggle to make people care
People only start to care when you have something worthy to come back to. This, in turn, sparks their curiosity and helps build your profile. When you make your stand around what you believe and make that emotional connection, people stay.
You have to create the value by solving a problem or showing people how everything works and what success can look like for them.
You’re putting someone else in the middle of your world. Sharing something generic that others can find in more depth, authority, and detail elsewhere doesn’t work. The result of these practical approaches is for people to build trust. To other people, you become continually relevant, unforgettable, and obvious. What you’re doing is taking your work to a much deeper level where it’s about emotion, not logical delivery.
Making your stand isn’t about gathering the masses; it’s about igniting the right people.
Your worldview, your values – they form the bedrock of your unique domain. It’s all about simplicity, finding that spark that propels you forward.
As you rally people around your cause, you’ll inspire those who resonate with your mission. The ultimate key here is genuine care, a missing piece for so many. Your stand acts as a guiding light, drawing those who share your values and beliefs.
In the end, it’s about crafting a space that welcomes not just for a visit but for a return – a realm of connection, belonging, and shared purpose. Today it is possible to build your space and thrive with the people who truly count.