The element of a community has been around for generations but is losing its power due to population growth. Cities have become overcrowded and lost the connection within neighborhoods. With online and peer-to-peer marketplaces, communities have restored and reinforced the trust that is lacking. Just look at the success of Amazon and AirBnb? Both based on rating systems of its community members and how they have earned trust.
Understand Your Mission and Speak To The People
First question you must ask yourself is, “Do I have a mission statement?”. Once you have that established, ensure that you are speaking to the people. Does it make sense and is it relatable to my target market? Take Airbnb for example and their marketplace for people to list and book places around the world. According to Brian Chesky Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb, their mission is to “help create a world where you can belong anywhere and where people can live in a place, instead of just traveling to it.”
A mission statement does not need to be super complex or wordy but is important that it aligns with your ultimate goal. What does your marketplace want to accomplish by going live? Keep your target market in mind when creating this and put yourself in their shoes. What will your product or service provide to them and more importantly why should they choose yours? Spark some emotion with your mission statement and try to make a positive impact.
Building Trust Within Your Community
Let’s face the facts, without trust you simply will not be able to build a community based marketplace. Trust is key for any successful business but even more vital in the sharing economy. So how can you gain that trust that is so important? The first step would be having a great product or service. Before you start marketing and trying to obtain clients, test your product/service to work out all the bugs and ensure it’s actually ready to go live on the market. It doesn’t necessarily need to be perfect but enough where you and your quality assurance team does not run into any issues.
After you have gone live, monitoring your clients and customers is essential. Getting feedback, fixing their issues, and creating a sense of compassionate will help win over their business. Even if they are not completely satisfied with their purchase, you providing excellent customer service shows you care more than just the money. Your marketplace can’t afford to get bad reviews and negative backlash as the trust barrier will quickly disappear.
If you are skeptical about trusting marketplaces, just think of all the major players that have been around: eBay, Craigslist, Amazon, and more recent AirBnb. These companies all started somewhere and surely did not foresee the success they have today. The crazy part is we use online marketplaces to purchase furniture, electronics, or even sports equipment without physically seeing them in person. We solely rely on the pictures given and the rating system in each of the marketplace. If that doesn’t scream trust then I don’t know what else does.
The great thing about today’s technology driven world is communication is at an all time high. From online forums, Facebook groups, social media channels, and even applications such as Slack, Zoom, or Skype. These forms of communication have helped widen our scope and strengthen trust with others. If we are making a purchase or looking to business with someone across the world, we can simply use one of these communication channels and connect. What better way to strengthen trust and confidence in your services?
Let’s not forget to nurture your connections and social media channels. Stay up to date with the latest trends, blogs, and postings to help get your brand on the map within the community. Create a strong voice with your audience but be open to what others have to say as well. Your success will only go as far as your community does so be sure to stay on the good side.
If you have any further questions or suggestions on how you strengthen your community, feel free to comment below or send us a tweet @MrtkPlacePfm! Happy readings!