Community Power

When people find out I was a TV reporter, they assume I’m really comfortable on camera. 
 
Truth is, it’s hard to look into the lens and convey a professional yet relaxed tone. It takes skill to remember everything you want to say while your monkey brain is convinced that your hair is sticking out and your lipstick is across your front teeth.
 
That’s partly why after three years on-camera, I switched to news producing. I preferred looking after the whole bulletin to overthinking my small part in it. Although, my wardrobe choices may also have been a factor…

Now I’m running a coaching business, I actually love the camera. It’s a fantastic way to build trust with people and let them get to know me as a person.  
 
Mind you, it’s still harder than it looks. I had to do a video in one take for a short course with Carmen Braidwood (Confidence on Camera Coach), explaining how businesses can create an ‘elevator pitch’ that works for them. Doing it in one take was hard. I went for too long and if I’d been able to have a second go, I would have been better. You can watch it here – let me know what you think.
 
Even though my video wasn’t perfect, I felt comfortable sharing it with the other people in Carmen’s course and of course, I don’t mind sharing it with you. I even posted it to my own Facebook page.
 
Why? 
 
Because I feel safe in the community of people that I am choosing to share it with. The biggest critic of my work is pretty much always me; other people are encouraging and supportive.
 
Communities can be like that if we are intentional about them.
 
Carmen Braidwood created a community around her free challenge, setting up a closed Facebook group and establishing the tone as friendly, generous and open-hearted. Even she was amazed by how quickly a bond was formed,
 
‘Your willingness to share your stories, your fears, support one another, and be coached has completely rocked my world!’
 
It takes four elements to form a great community.  
 
First, you need a great pillar– something worthwhile that people are interested in.
 
‘Frankly, if you create a great product, you may not be able to stop a community from forming even if you tried.’Guy Kawasaki, marketer and author.

Then you need a great place to keep sharing and nurturing the budding community. I was thrilled to see this post from artist Sally Edmonds who is up to 8000 followers on Instagram – obviously the place that works for her community. 

Get the first two right and you’ll be on track for the third element of a great community – great people. You’ll attract them but more importantly, you’ll keep them – the ones who are not right for you won’t stick around. 
 
The fourth element depends on you. To build a sustainable, vibrant, worthwhile community, you’ll need great faith. Have faith both in what you’re doing and in the people you’ve invited to be part of it. Let them contribute and, like Carmen, you will be amazed at what you can inspire them to do. 

If you could use a little help building your own community, my individual content coaching sessions might be just what you need. Email to let me know you’re interested in learning more: sherene@sherenestrahan.com 

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