Connecting Live Networks to Online Networks (Continued)

In my last article, I tossed out a list of 4 ways to integrate your business' online community-network with its' live community-network. Today I want to talk a little bit about why this is so important for your business —it has to do with impact vs. reach.

Live communities (and live interactions in general) tend to have a big impact. Imagine talking to a few potential clients over dinner. You may only get one or two leads, but you'll leave a solid impression.

Online communities, like your Facebook friends or newsletter contacts, are easy to connect with, and can be a very large number of people. Online communities are easy in the sense that, well... I'm writing this article in my pajamas from my apartment. And I mean large in the sense that an article I spent an hour writing will reach over a thousand people.

Easy Access + Large Numbers = High Reach

There's lots more to say about impact and reach, but that's for another article. Right now, we just want to explore mixing up your high impact connections with your high reach connections. The primary challenge of online communities is connecting to people who actually care enough to keep reading, or at least give you their contact information. That's why it's so important to collect contact information at networking events or workshops, because you can leverage the high impact of live connections in the moment into high reach connection through a monthly newsletter or adding them as a Facebook friend.

It all sounds obvious on the face of it, but once you begin to think, "How can I add reach to my high impact connections? How can I make a real impression on all those near-strangers out there?" you'll start seeing great new ways to connect both worlds together.

Before we jump into tips and tricks, I want to mention a few critical concepts:
  • Gathering connections by providing value
  • The impact of strong community identity
  • Spreading one message through many channels
  • Discovering channels with the best mix of impact and reach
...more on this next week.

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