The # 1 struggle of the Creative. What bothers them most. Defining a Culture of Care.
The big win for us is in building our audience, our tribe, and giving them what they want from us. At first, we do what pleases us because that’s all we know. It starts with an audience of 1: you. You gotta be happy with what you’re putting out there first. Then, as you build up your audience, you can ask them what they want, what’s bothering them, where are they struggling, etc. As you build up, you’re constantly seeking feedback and starting conversations. People want to know you care, so asking them questions and gaining their feedback and making them feel heard are the easiest ways to go about showing it. You’re never done building your audience. There are always more attractive ways to build it up through content development and sharing like audiences.
One of the things creators struggle with the most is consistency. Consistently showing up for your audience, creating and releasing for them on schedule. Well, it is hard! That’s why most people are not consistent with it. They don’t treat it like a job. They treat it more as a hobby. People need to know you’re going to show up, just like you would live and in person. They want to know you’ll be here next week, next month, next year for them or else they don’t want to emotionally invest in you. They want to see you and they want you to see them. They want to learn from you, and want you to gather their feedback. They want to know people like them, and people who also like you. You’re the conduit, the connector, the conductor, the one who makes introductions for people. You bring tons of value to peoples’ lives because you create. People need you showing up consistently creating, not sporadically, not one offs. They need the community leader to bring connection to their lives. We do that by caring how we show up and how often we show up because both of these matter a lot. How do you bring it when you show up as your best self? Showing up consistently as your best self is hard! But possible with discipline and conscientiousness.
Creatives care how they treat people. It’s a big part of the culture we’re creating here. How do you want the culture, the day, the gathering to feel? What intention do we have for this gathering? What’s most important here? What feelings do we want them to feel after it is over? How do we keep them coming back for more? How do we keep them engaged and enthusiastic to be here? This is all in good, solid community management practices. We want a vibrant, engaged, enthused community that is willing to share, collaborate and learn from each other. This is what keeps people coming back for more. They have to look forward to engaging again. Give them great reasons to keep coming back. They come back for the feelings they feel when they’re active and engaged.
So much of this has to do with the culture you create with them. You tell them what you stand for, what you stand against, and tell them repeatedly where you’re going. You future cast a bright future, painting a vivid picture of what the Promised Land looks like as you lead them there. People will love you for this and keep coming back for the culture you’re creating every time you get together. People are longing for more belonging because everybody feels lonely, not connected enough to life. They’re seeking engagement and meaningful pursuits. They’re seeking positive emotional experiences. And they seek them repeatedly. We can’t get enough of them. It is funny how much of culture is the feelings we choose to generate here when people congregate. Which is why we have to consistently ask, How would I like it to feel here?
In this era of social distancing, people long for emotional connection with like minded people. We’ve never felt more distance despite our social media and tech tools. Creative leaders cannot offer enough community and connection. There is always more to be done. Yet simply getting people together today is a really big deal because people have options. They have recordings. They have YouTube and TikTok. They have tons of distractions, so they have to be intentional about showing up. In fact, they should be celebrated for showing up because clearly it is optional. Celebrate them, then! Celebrate their ambition. Celebrate how they’re striving together. One of the best ways to build up your community and solidify the journey that they’re on is to celebrate their positive actions no matter how small and affirm their choice in showing up. People love affirmation because they never get it. Take the time to affirm them and their choices. They will never forget how that makes them feel. People will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you make them feel.