What if you could take the best skills and techniques of the highest performing people in your industry and combine them into one super-powered digital ninja? Now, imagine that digital ninja is you. That might not be too far-fetched. By engaging with the right communities, you get to download the best practices of those who have been refining their skills for years. That sounds pretty amazing, right? Here’s how to do it:
Find the right community - I’m a web designer and digital marketer. I build almost exclusively on WordPress. I found the WP community very early in my business. The amount of knowledge I’ve gained there has been priceless. Here are the main elements in a good community: generosity, low competitiveness, abundance mentality and attraction of high-performers. I found the WordPress Meetups through Meetup.com. Don’t forget the Missinglettr Facebook page, either. Find out how others are using this great resource.
Serve - Don’t approach the community with a taker’s mentality. Show up with a servant’s heart. Come early and help brew coffee. Stay late and help straighten up chairs. Help the noob with the obvious questions. No matter where you are in your journey, you are a ninja to somebody. Help the person behind you and the person in front of you is more likely to take the time with you.
Observe - Who in the community is all talk and who is walking the walk? The person with the most to offer isn’t always the person with the most to say. When you identify a few people you would like to learn from, try to find ways you can give them value. It’s ok to ask a quick question, but to really learn from someone you need to get to know them. Building relationships is the secret weapon to accessing deeper knowledge. Nobody wants to build a relationship with a taker. Be a giver, first.
Build Your Library - Where are the movers in your community getting their knowledge? What books, podcasts, blogs, or shows are they spending time on? Not only does that increase your knowledge, but it gives you common ground to have meaningful conversations.
Demonstrate - When someone has been kind enough to share their knowledge with you, make a point to circle back around and show them how you put it into use. Mentors hate wasted effort. Showing them you were listening and their knowledge and time wasn’t wasted can be an encouragement to them. Often, serving in community can be thankless. Showing appreciation by action can be very powerful.
Social proof in community has been a game-changer, for me. I need to see other people doing big things. If they can do it, I can do it. You can do it, too! Observe the differences between where you are in how you approach your business, how you deliver your services, how you track your success, and how the big dogs do it. Make a plan to bridge the gap. If you consistently engage with the right community, with a good attitude, and a good blend of humility and hustle, in time, you can become a powerful digital ninja.