Don’t fool yourself; you may be the genius behind a great new miracle product and the perfectly efficient business you’re trying to build, but you can’t do it all by yourself. You need an entire team of managers, developers, customer service representatives and even someone in charge of HR to take care of the team you’ve built. Oh, and there’s your community of course!
On the scale of familiarity and intimacy with your product, your community exists somewhere between your in-office team and the rest of the general public who probably don’t even know your brand. That makes the community your most lethal division of front-line troops as you move to conquer the minds of consumers around the world.
A happy community will spread the word
These troops are ideologically trained and their continued activity on the battlefield advocating for your product is evidence for others that your brand is one to believe it. But just like soldiers in a real war need to be supplied with food and ammunition to keep up morale and maintain their belief in what they’re fighting for, your community needs to be armed with a good product and know that they are being heard in the highest levels of the hierarchy.
Ok, have we gone too far with the military analogies? To put it simply, members of your community are often the first to try out what you have to offer and if they continue to believe in it, they’ll help you spread the word around the world. That means your products should align with and evolve according to their concerns and desires and they need to constantly be reminded that you’re listening.
Don’t forget, your product is only partially yours; once it’s out in the open, it mostly belongs to the dedicated community of users.
Improving the product
You may have envisioned your product being used in a very specific way, but users may see things very differently. Your community is the perfect testing ground to figure out how the general public will want to use your product and how you can improve it to meet their needs.
Feedback from the community should guide you towards a product or service that caters to the needs of more people, which translates directly into success and increased revenue.
So don’t be afraid to take advice from your community. They are your front-line troops, your filter between you and an entire planet of potential customers and a testing ground that will tell you what works and what doesn’t.