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12 Ways to Connect With a Community of Fiercely Loyal Fans [Day 24 of 28 Days to BFL]


This is Day 24 of 28 Days of Building Fierce Loyalty. Mike Matchett’s post yesterday on a Heifer International community that was built on loyalty in Nepal was so incredibly moving. I was honored just to read it. We’re shifting gears today with the illustrious Liz Strauss who is giving us 12 practical, do-them-now ways to connect with a fiercely loyal community. And yes, I said do them now. 🙂

12 Ways to Connect With a Community of Fiercely Loyal Fans

By: Liz Strauss| @LizStrauss

Ever been to a great restaurant or hotel where the mood is right; the service is grand; and every perfectly suits you? When you look around don’t you start thinking about when you’ll be back even before you’ve gone? That club or restaurant has made decisions that show they know who you are and that they share your values. How do they connect with you so well that you recognize them immediately? What makes you want to come back and bring your friends?

The businesses we love offer us an immediate sense of connection. Whether our dearest quest is about is about having fun, learning, meeting new people, getting work done, or making millions, people and places that understand our quest win our loyalty. They value us and our quest. They attract and introduce us to others who share the same loyalty. They are a community. We become fiercely loyal fans.

How do we build a community that inspires loyalty like that?

A community of fiercely loyal fans isn’t built. It offers space for a community to create itself. Loyalty like that comes by allowing people to bring who are and participate. Here are 12 ways to connect with a community of fiercely loyal fans.

  1. Be a person (or people) who likes people. People work with, talk with, and relate to other people not a business.
  2. Articulate a clear and passionate vision worth investing in. Live your commitment. Get your hands dirty.
  3. Seek out people who would love what you’re doing. Find them where they are already gathering and talking. Join THEIR conversations. Get to know them.
  4. Be a beginner, but keep the vision. Learn from everyone who’s been anywhere near where you’re going. Learn to sort wrong from unexpected or different. Ideas that jar you could be the best ones.
  5. Invite everyone who “gets” the vision to help build this new thing. Look for ways to include their skills and their passions.
  6. Keep participation efficient and easy. Curb the urge to add cool things that get in the way of conversation and sharing.
  7. Let trust sort things. Model the standards of behavior. Keep rules to a minimum.
  8. Be visible authenticity. Lean toward full disclosure, but avoid over-exposure. Most of us look better with our clothes on.
  9. Protect everyone’s investment. Forgive mistakes. Ignore little missteps. Eradicate what is destructive. Know the difference by holding thing up to trust, values, and the community vision.
  10. Stop doing what isn’t working. Be lethal about keeping things easy, efficient, and meaningful.
  11. Promote your members … and honor your competition! Secure communities need both to thrive and get new ideas.
  12. Encourage mutation. Let the environment change to meet the changing needs of the people it serves.
  13. Celebrate contagion. Make it heroic to share what’s going on!
  14. Be grateful and always about the people. The community wouldn’t be a community without them.

Those are the basics of building a fiercely loyal community. It’s a lot like opening your mind and inviting people to be a part of what you’re thinking. Put your quest out there and make room for folks who want to share it. Be a fan of the folks you meet and align your quest with theirs.

How will you create a community of fiercely loyal fans?



Liz Strauss of is a brand strategist and community builder for corporations, small business, and service professionals. She is founder of SOBCon, a social business workshop that grew out of her website


P.S. If you aren’t already signed up and don’t want to miss out on  28 Days to Building Fierce Loyaltyplease sign up here.

P.P.S. Just in case you missed my announcement about my only live coaching retreat in 2012, you can catch up on the details (like there are only going to be 10 people there) and grab your seat here:

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  • Kathryn Corey

    Love these very practical, no nonsense tips!  “Keep Rules to Minimum” (this would also work well with teenaged children!), “Avoid Over Exposure” – such a temptation to want to tell everything – must know when to shut up!  “Be Lethal about keeping things easy”!  Love this!

    Thanks Sarah!!!

  • Loved the 12 list. The extra two were a real bonus. Thanks.Caro

  • Hi Liz

    Great post! My only answer to your question is… I don’t know, and I’m not sure it’s mine to create right now (work-wise anyway).

    However, I am excited to share your post with those who are involved.

    Thank you!

  • Excellent list, Liz! Thank you. I especially like number 3, 9, 11, and 12.

    and many of them can be summed up in number one –  Be a person who likes people. Great advice.

  • Thanks Liz, these are great ideas!

  • Carla K.

    Number 4 really resonated with me. I think it was Les Brow who said “Treat everyday as if it was your first day in business.” And that is what I get from your statement “Be a beggenner, but keep the vision”. 

    Basically, we should share the excitement of the business daily, embrace the “different” or “unexpected” with  both hands… you never know where it will take you. It may lead you to the person or people who are your most successful “party line” – I use that as the line of people you meet because you have met the person who may have been unexpected.  Also… I am looking at the “different” as an experience you may not have had or the people you come in contact with , may not have had.

    I find this post to be chock full of tips that we as business owners should take into consideration EVERY DaY we are in business.  As number 4 said… You never know where the best idea is going to come from.

    Thank You for this!

    •  #4 was one that resonated with me as well. It can be hard to strike the right balance between being able to take advice and being able to reject ideas that just aren’t right for you. I think we’ve all seen beginners who think they have it all figured out, and are insufferable and/or dismissive when the advice they get isn’t what they wanted, so we want to avoid being that guy… but it’s important to also honor the fact that different strategies will work for different people (or different business models) and practicing discernment is vital. Figuring out why an idea makes us uncomfortable is tough, but so important.

  • rmsorg

    Nicely done Liz and I appreciate the added two!  The one that struck me the most was # 12..  This is so important for businesses everywhere!  It’s always about the people/community!

    Thanks Liz!

  • 10 & 11 are so critical, and yet, I experience my own self-doubts with 10, and a desire to do more with 11. Is it only through experience that we learn to get out of our heads and just do the thing?

  • Pingback: Customer Love + Fierce Loyalty | Find Your New Groove()

  • Hello Liz. Thank you for your insights. Looking at #3…”Seek out people who would love what you’re doing. Find them where they are already gathering and talking. Join THEIR conversations. Get to know them.” It sounds basic, but you really do need to join the conversation of like-minded people. I have met a great many people on Twitter, but gradually my focus has shifted to connecting more deeply with those who share a similar vision with me. I see so many people so concerned with quantity of followers and friends versus finding and connecting with a smaller group of individuals who share a common interest. It is only with this like-minded group that fierce loyalty becomes a possibility. It’s a tribal thing.

    So glad you shared yourself for this series! 

  • Ivana

    ” Promote your members … and honor your competition!” this one I like the best! We usually ignore competition or underestimatethem! Great post! Tnx!
    And the answer: let fans know/feel they matter the most! Give them respect, share with them,… feel with them…
    Tnx Liz anad Sarah!

  • Daniella

    Thanks Liz for this fabulous list! I have learned that #14 – Being grateful about the people in your community is the most important. In real life and in the social media world. Everyone likes to be appreciated. Everyone loves an RT, a SHOUT OUT, a Reply, a Comment, A Favorite, etc..

    Here’s a SHOUT OUT out for Sarah Robinson for this awesome 28 Day Fierce Loyalty Community Building Effort and Success!

  • annettenack

    Thanks so much for your post Liz!  As much as I loved every single part of your list, the one piece that sticks out the most is “Get your hands dirty!”  I think sometimes I’m just scared of doing the work, of getting my hands dirty so to speak.

    Thanks for putting your list out there in a way where I can just get things done!  :  )

  • So simple and often forgotten. Thanks for the reminder, Liz. 

  • What I find is so ever lasting truth…is put others needs in front of my own, in a good way I mean.  Be humble and listen to what it is they are really saying and asking for.  Deep listening is what I call it…with heart!