If you’re designing a product or program in today’s world, or even if you’ve already launched one, it can seem impossible to get people’s attention. The competition for attention right now is fierce. When you’re designing a program, it’s imperative to think about ways to connect with people in a manner that makes them feel like they’re sharing a meaningful experience with others, no matter where they are in the world.
If you want to keep people interested in your service or product, you have to keep them engaged. This is where community engagement is key.
People are craving genuine, authentic human connection. You, as the facilitator of a program, have the capacity to create that. It’s up to you to set the tone, and there are a lot of great methods of doing so.
Here are some of the best:
1. Set up a Facebook group specifically for your clients.
If you offer a few different online programs, consider creating private Facebook groups for each of those products, or even a Facebook group for each individual class you teach. When people have a shared common experience, they create meaningful and lasting bonds. Give them a space to connect, share and offer support.
2. Host live Zoom meeting where you can talk to people.
Seeing people’s faces is important for creating a sense of connection. Even if you have a bigger group, if you’re all on Zoom and everyone’s video is on, you can scroll through and see them. Yes, muting mics is usually necessary, but at least if you can see people’s faces you can get a sense of how they are doing and how your content is landing with them. Q&As can be a powerful engagement tool.
3. Give your community a common language.
Common language is a great way to create a sense of community. Think about your language choices when creating your program. What language can you use to help your clients feel more connected? What words would resonate with their experiences? For example, in WILDFIT we use the term “sugar monster” to encapsulate the experience of those sugar cravings that we more often than not end up regretting. It’s an experience the majority of our clients can relate to. By giving your community some common language, they’ll connect faster and easier with you and each other than they would if they had to forge their own common ground.
4. Use the breakout feature in Zoom.
This is the equivalent of setting up mini-workshops inside your presentation, to get your clients engaged in small-group work. They’ll get to meet other people in your programs and make friends; they’ll get some extra help and direction if they need it from their group members; and they’ll ultimately have a better understanding and retention of the information you’re trying to teach them when they work with it in a more hands-on way. You can give them assignments and sort them into groups of any size. Managing breakout rooms is, itself, both art and science. For more tips, check out our blog post: 10 Tips for Running Breakout Rooms.
5. Give your community “assignments” to connect with one another.
Giving people assignments or “homework” forces them to engage with the content. Giving them assignments that require them to work together gives them the opportunity to engage with the community you’ve created. As with the breakout rooms, this reinforces your content while building connection and community around your product.
It’s a noisy world sometimes, but if you leverage your tools and create space for your clients to participate, you can break through that noise to get your message heard. Community engagement is key, and it’s that genuine human connection people are really craving.