In episode #5 of the Content Callout podcast, Carlos Gil shares what he values above all else in marketing: community. Carlos is a CEO, Keynote Speaker, Author, Social Media Consultant, and Brand Storyteller. He is the author of The End of Marketing: Humanizing Your Brand in the Age of Social Media and AI. In this episode, Carlos talks about the importance of building and interacting with a community. Why? How?
Acknowledge the community that you have
Carlos notes that it’s really simple: “People want to be heard. People want to be acknowledged. You don’t need to give them anything for free to thank them for their business.”
Carlos recently launched Outlaw Masks (which developed out of pure necessity). Carlos had a world tour lined up promoting his new book. Then COVID hit. Within a week, his entire tour was canceled. To make matters worse, he started losing agency clients. Carlos is a staunch proponent of the mantra: “Unless a check is in the bank, it’s really not your money.”
So he quickly cut his losses. He’s still a speaker. He can still reach an audience virtually. But he points out that he had to pivot to stay afloat and generate revenue. So he teamed up with his brother-in-law to get ahead of the curve and create a fashion brand tied to masks. The business has exploded.
They’ve grown it quickly in a short time frame by tapping into the communities they’ve already built. He was vulnerable with his community: “Corona killed my business, but this is what I’ve been able to do.” He’s leveraged his experience in marketing to build something from the ground up.
Engage with your community organically
Every time Carlos has an hour of downtime he’s engaging with as many people as he can on Twitter: “You’d be surprised how many sales we’ve picked up by just engaging with people organically that way, without having to run ads, without having to necessarily sell our souls. It’s just engaging with people.”
Carlos admits that sometimes he feels like he’s struggling with “Imposter Syndrome” as he’s going through the motions of launching a brand from the ground up. But he’s doing the things he’s preaching in his books—and it works. People do not want to be sold to—they want to be engaged with
How do you build a community around your brand?
Carlos asks insightful and meaningful questions when he engages online. Carlos emphasizes that you can’t know what the outcome will be until you just do it. You just have to go for it. You have to be your biggest fan. Not everyone will like you. But you have to focus on the 99% of people that do support you.
You build a community by engaging with your followers, asking meaningful questions, and actually listening and acknowledging their responses. Returning back to his earlier point: everyone just wants to feel heard. But you have the power to take it a step further. You can listen—then adapt and make changes to create a loyal following.
If you do it right, you’ll realize what Carlos has been saying all along: Community is king.
To hear more of Carlos’ thoughts on building a community, social media marketing, and humanizing your brand—listen to episode #5 of the Content Callout podcast!