Does building an engaged online community dominates the future of online business?
Have you ever thought about effectiveness of your communication tools and platforms? How to approach better to your clients and make them happy to be around with you? To find all the answers of these questions, keep reading.
The online ocean is now fully dominated by the big fishes like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterst, TikTok and the list goes on. 75% of large companies have at least one online community.They are continuously growing big through these communities but the small entrepreneurs are facing hard time to attract and retain customers.
But there are some problems maintaining these public communities. The more you are involved in these public communities, your data is more open to third parties and to hackers. You are generating revenue for them not for you. Your business strategy should be to protect your clients data and give them a private ad-free space where they can easily interact with one another and create a friendly environment of helping each other. No distractions, no ads, no spam, just a calm space for business.
This article will help you to understand the importance of building a dedicated place for your clients and figure out the ways to do that comfortably. You will also learn how to become more personal to clients and know the tools that grow both your business and the community.
Whether you are a Coach or a Consultant or a Founder or a Community manager or a Small business owner, You are cordially welcome to read the guide.
Want to make a decision quickly? Just looking for a better SaaS tool to communicate with your customers? Jump straight to Circle to start your own business community.
Table of Contents
Communities fuel the tech giants
The success behind every big company is their loyal and repeat customers. When you open an account on Facebook, you become their customer. Every day for some moment, you browse the site and interact with others. You join various groups, pages and make friends. Sometimes you also create groups to achieve a goal. The more you are spending time there, you are adding valuable data to the site.
Facebook and other like minded companies are growing super fast with all these communities. Statistics shows that there are over 620 million groups in facebook alone where LinkedIn has 2 million and Reddit has 130,000 subreddits. They are showing ads, control your feed, control the platform browsing, group rule and control your business substantially.
From here two big questions arise-
- Are these social media providing the entrepreneurs the right tools they need?
- Who owns the audience and who controls them?
Answer to the first question is surely a BIG NO. You have to create content as per their rules. What will happen if they restrict your ID or content? Moreover, No such integration to receive payments for selling service, courses, ebooks etc are out there too.
Before answering the second question, ask yourself first- Do you own the audience in your Facebook group or in any other social media? What happens to your fans and subscribers if they change their policy or shut down completely?
That’s why you should rethink migrating from them and shift your own subscribers and followers to your own platform. Circle is such a platform that gives you freedom and confidence to walk with your own audience and in the long run creates a community that supports each other.
Now let’s introduce you to the Circle and show how it can become a game changer for your business.
What is Circle and what are the benefits of it?
Circle defines itself as an all-in-one community platform for creators and brands. What does this mean to you and to your business?
The inner sense is clear. If you are a solo entrepreneur or a growing team, Circle hosts your community. It provides a dedicated virtual place of meeting and communicating with your clients and serves as an online forum.
Every member of your community can talk and see one another.
You are able to create content around your audience’s needs and share them in different formats.
E-learning communities can be built with Circle.
You can create both a free space and a paid space in this respect.
You can have 1 to 1 live chat, group chat, live streaming, and create events for them.
To monetize your efforts, you can create paid membership access, member directory, receive one time and recurring payments, sell courses, give discounts to members and offer free trials.
You can also assign any member as a moderator and set specific permissions.
You are able to track your most active members, popular discussions and trends with Circle’s advanced analytics tool.
Where social media is limited, Circle is limitless
Let’s have a look at the comparison table what Circle can do for you where social networks provide limited actions.
Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest etc
- Too many spam and irrelevant posts from members.
- No live chat or discussions available.
- No option to receive payments from members.
- Low engagement between members.
- Limited integration with other software.
- Platforms are owned by tech giants.
- Customization is not possible.
- Only selective members join and share specific topics.
- Live chat, Live streaming and Events can be created on the fly.
- Direct integration with Stripe to receive recurring and one time payments.
- Members are engaging and helpful to each other.
- Thousands of integrations and analytics.
- You own the platform and the audience.
- Own branding customization and custom domain are available.
Various content creation, leveling up member engagement and receiving payments in different forms are the core facilities Circle provide.
Pricing plan by Circle
Circle is providing four pricing modules. They are offering Basic, Professional, Business and Enterprise plans.
Basic plan is suitable for starting a simple community with minimum features. You can also accept payments from members with this plan. You will also get access to Circle’s own private community with necessary training. It will cost $49/month.
Professional plan is best for founders and business owners. You will get live streaming, API access and can customize CSS and 100GB storage facility. It will cost $99/month.
Business plan is fit for established businesses and big communities. It has 250 GB storage facility. You can also set your automation workflow in this plan. It costs $219/month.
Enterprise plans are fit for agencies and brands who have a large audience. You will get a dedicated customer success manager and can add unlimited members in the community. All transaction fees will reduce to 0.5% where those fees are 4%, 2% and 1% in the Basic plan and in the Professional plan and in the Business plan respectively. There is 1TB storage offered in this plan also. This plan comes with $399/month.
Here is a comparison chart you can expect with these plans.
Demerits for Circle
- No free plan is available at Circle. Basic plan is a bit costly for beginners.
- Add-ons are expensive.
- Live streaming is not included in the Basic plan.
We have also tried to sort out some alternatives to Circle. And the study finds many alternatives to Circle in the market. But we are mentioning just one best alternative in this respect.
If you are eager to compare with Circle, our suggestion is to try Podia. It has a free plan to start with. There are no transaction fees if you upgrade to paid plans.
There are more alternatives out there. We suggest you to explore as much as you can and find the best fit for you.
Building a business of trust with a strong community network
These days, with competing tech giants, establishing a profitable business is really a daunting task. To sell any digital products or courses or any kind of service, finding the right audience is the most important part of the game. You must also gain trust among your clients and followers.
To do this, You need a live platform where you can share your thoughts,get in touch with them and create content for your audience. When they appreciate your efforts and interact with one another on specific topics, you are on the moon then. You will have your own place of branding and a live community that will pay you off forever.
If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to do that. We will be happy to communicate with you.
Resources to follow
Disclosure: Our team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. We aim to highlight the products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partner.