Everyone knows the Gig Economy is here to stay. And a quick Google search shows that even though Giggers are often working solo, communities for them are springing up. Check out this article about the Fiverr Community: http://bit.ly/1PJeaw2
Recently, I received an email offering up a new Freelancers Essential Guide to Business and Taxes, by Justin Gomer & Jackson Hille, to help this community navigate this fresh, new world. Usually when I get these emails, the “guides” are thinly veiled sales pitches with little hard, useful information. This one is different. Packed with everything from a tax guide complete with forms to specific suggestions for where to find gigs, this guide hits the mark and then some.
So, if you are a “Gigger” or even thinking about being one, here’s the link: http://formswift.com/independent-contractor-guide#
Why do you want to put time, effort and resources into building a Fiercely Loyal Community?
That’s it. That’s the question you must have a clear, specific answer for as you start this new year. It’s an easy question to blow off or to give a broad-brush answer. I know this because I’ve started my work with most of my clients by asking this question. I’m always astonished at the confused looks and ambiguous answers.
If you want your customers or clients or employees or team members to rally into a Fiercely Loyal community in 2016, you as the leader of this effort MUST know why. Because if you don’t, they certainly won’t and it’s hard to rally around ambiguity and confusion.
I know, I write about this “Why” thing a lot and it’s intentional. No strategy, no tactic, no model can be put to work to help Fierce Loyalty happen until this one question is answered. To help you get specific and clear on your answer, here are three questions to help you and your community leaders:
- What is one, specific and tangible positive outcome your organization will gain by having a Fiercely Loyal community (you can have more, but get one down as clearly and specifically as you can)?
- What is one, specific and tangible positive outcome your customers or clients or employees or team members will gain by being a part of a Fiercely Loyal community (you can have more, but get one down as clearly and specifically as you can)?
- When you are called on the carpet for the money/time/resources this brain-child of yours costing, what argument will you give for continuing? (This WILL happen. At least once. So have your case ready.)
So get to it. What is your “Why”? I’d love to hear your answers in the comments!
I’m neck-deep in a client research project. Sorry, can’t tell you what exactly I’m researching. 🙂 BUT what I can share are directly linked to creating a Fiercely Loyal internal culture, the kind where amazing work gets done and no one is job hopping. Here are some of the highlights of my research:
First the framework: According to Gallup research, lost productivity due to employee disengagement costs more than $450 billion in the U.S. annually. This staggering statistic says there is something very very wrong in the workplace. Organizations know it. One of the ways they are trying to fix it is in the hiring process. Looking for the best talent that’s looking for a job would seem to solve the problem, yes?
Because here’s what I can tell you. Most of the best talent isn’t in the job hunting market. They aren’t officially looking. They may toy with the idea from time to time, but they aren’t about to engage in a “Talent Acquisition Process”. Which means that most hiring managers are starting from the wrong end of the telescope. Here’s what I mean:
- Are you asking for a resume just to get the conversation rolling? You’ve just eliminated 75% of your best candidates because they not only don’t have one, they aren’t going to go to the time and expense of putting one together.
- Do you call your hiring process anything like “Talent Acquisition”? Pens and pencils are acquired. People, especially highly talented ones, are not, nor do they want to be.
- Are you 100% sure that your position MUST be location specific 100% of the time? The best talent out there already have established lives somewhere. Starting the conversation with “You have to uproot your entire life” is a sure way to keep the conversation short, if you ever have one at all.
I know that I’m talking about disrupting an ingrained approach to hiring. In today’s incredibly competitive market, isn’t having the best talent you can find working on your team worth that extra effort? If you don’t think so, I’m betting you’ve got competitors who do.
Earlier this week, I was privileged to be a part of the Gartner International Symposium in Barcelona. From the minute I entered the event space, I could tell this was an event designed to build Fierce Loyalty among its attendees. From staff members positioned in key places wearing shirts emblazoned with “How Can I Help?” to the intentional Meetup software and designated space to the multicultural Prayer Room, this event was setup to be something really special.
I commented on the thoughtful, well-planned touches to one of the event managers and she said “Our entire event planning and production is focused on one thing: make them want to come back again next year.” Wow. Out of all the events I’ve attended, that was a first. In that one sentence, I knew why attendance at their event grew 30% in one year. (Many organizations I know are struggling just to maintain their numbers from last year.)
While my newsletter subscribers will receive a more detailed list (you can subscribe here), I’d like to share three actionable ideas that any event on any budget can use to wow their attendees and “make them want to come back again next year”.
- Make your attendees feel warmly welcomed at every turn. The most striking example of this happened at lunch. As my group walked in, I saw the entire wait staff and event team lining the aisles, heads up, smiles on their faces and a warm hello complete with eye contact. Everyone who walked into that room felt like a VIP.
- Speaking of VIPs, every event has some of those: your best customers, your most senior executives, your strongest alliance partners. Create a special experience just for them. This could be something as simple as a VIP lounge (Gartner’s was more like the Singapore Air Airport Lounge) with extra power hookups, cold drinks and snacks. You could even have a small meet and greet or book signing with one of your speakers.
- Help people connect before the event. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, many many attendees come to an event alone and feeling like an outsider. There are also attendees who know the ropes of the event better than many staff members. Create an intentional online connection point for these two groups and actively make connections for them before anyone leaves for the airport and keep it open during the event. Bonus tip: Have dedicated workstations throughout the event space dedicated to nothing but this online connection point so people can arrange meetups, lunches, dinners, etc.
These are just three of the hundreds of well thought out event details that made Gartner’s event such a standout. None of them are expensive or difficult. They do require planning and effort. The reward? You’ve set the stage for your event attendance to grow 30% in just one year.
What ideas have you seen at events that make you “want to come back next year”? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
PS. These ideasd and how you can harness them will be one of the topics we cover at my DC workshop on November 24! Click http://fierce-loyalty.com/fierce-loyalty-workshop-dc/to learn more and grab your seat!
You know you have them, right? Those communities that come together for a short time and then disband once a thing is accomplished, with members moving on to other communities. Here a few examples of what I mean. Do you host events? The participants in that event are part of a pop-up community. Do you host an online chat or regular webinar? The participants are part of a pop-up community. Do you have teams that come together to work on a specific project? Those team members are part of a pop up community.
You may not have thought of these groups as “communities” before, but they have all the characteristics, needs and functional aspects of a communities. Once you understand that, it becomes easier to get your arms wrapped around how to manage them in an effective way. Here are some tips to help you do that and enhance your ability to rapidly move these short-lived communities into Fierce Loyalty:
- These communities have a short life-span.By remembering that, you can plan for a steeper and more rapid orientation. With more traditional communities, you have time to roll out structure, connection points and support points and build in belonging, recognition and safety. In pop-up communities, all of that must be in place from the minute you hit go (or even before.)
- Participants need more help more quickly to feel a part of the community. Again, because of the fast-moving nature of pop-up communities, there isn’t a lot of time for natural connections and engagement to happen. You want to help members and participants do as much of that as possible from the very start. Proactively establish avenues to get people connected and engaged with other and/or assign that role to your best ambassadors so that no on feels left out.
- In Pop-Up communities, predictability is more critical than ever. Participants need to know how things work and to be able to depend on that throughout the life span of the community. Post schedules, contact information, maps, etc. as far ahead of time as you can. Decide how people will be able to connect with each other before, during and after the pop-up community and let participants know that information. Without a guiding structure, the community will feel chaotic and it’s hard to have warm, fuzzy feelings in the midst of chaos. 🙂
I’m thinking and writing a lot about the idea of the Pop-Up Community right now, so I’d love any thoughts or ideas you’d like to share about it. Have you been part of a Pop-Up Community recently? What was it like? What would’ve made it a better experience? I’d love to talk about all of this in the comments!
PS. These trends and how you can harness them will be one of the topics we cover at my DC workshop on November 24! Click http://fierce-loyalty.com/fierce-loyalty-workshop-dc/ to learn more and grab your seat!