You can’t get anywhere without people.

You can have a fantastic vision, well-developed systems, an expensive education, a leadership library, and a slew of business tools. But if you don’t have people, you ain’t goin’ nowhere!

And here’s where leaders often make a false assumption. We assume that social media and online marketing are simply ways of extending our reach to a the anonymous masses of the world.

But here’s the thing about social media (and I include blogging and email under the umbrella of social media)… it’s real.

In other words, social media brings us closer to real people, not just faceless, nameless masses of buyers, donors, or constituents. They have stories. They need you to lead them and they need support from each other whether they know it yet or not.

Successful leaders, whether extrovert or introvert, develop a genuine concern for and connection with people.

This is how communities are built, even online. It’s how churches are started. It’s how brands and businesses go big. It’s how skirmishes turn into revolutions.

And it’s how you can build a successful blog.

I’m a big fan of Ryan Biddulph’s work in the arena of blogging. I read his ebooks and his blog posts and his email newsletters, gladly. I’m also a big fan of Michael Hyatt. And Jeffrey Gitomer. And Paul Sohn. And many others.

And by being a “fan,” I mean I’m part of their communities whether they know me personally or not. I give them permission to send me emails – even promotional ones. I read their stuff and share it with others. And I have my own community, too, and chances are, all of our various communities tend to overlap, and that’s okay.

The point is, you can’t build a brand or a blog or a business without gathering a community, and gathering a community pretty much has to include gathering people in the online space.

If you’re new to all of this, where do you start?

  1. Determine your core values.
  2. Start building an email list.
  3. Start blogging.
  4. Learn the basics of social media.
  5. Serve people. Help people. Add value to people’s lives.

Obviously, each of those is an entire blog, but you get the picture.

Gathering a community means drawing people to yourself, your brand, and the content you offer.

Building that community means connecting the community to itself.

And leading that community means taking them somewhere and helping them to grow and succeed personally.