How to Create Community through Social Media

Jenna Kutcher 

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May 17, 2017



Before you dive in to this episode, I wanted to invite you to my upcoming free class, all about Instagram and how to convert your followers into paying clients with 3 simple shifts to land more inquiries into your inbox. We’ll talk about whispering your message to the right followers (and stop screaming into the void), I’ll share my exact process of getting followers off the app and into my inbox and the number one thing I do in each post in order to speak to my dream clients. Just click here to grab your spot or head over to: www.jkinstagrow.com and I’ll see you guys inside the training!

Creating Community on Social Media

Finding a community can feel a lot like online dating: does she notice me? Does she like me? Does she even know I’m alive? It can feel so isolating. When I first started I believed there were secrets, I thought that everyone had to go it alone in order to find success, in order to grow a business. But the truth is, opening up and finally sharing the imperfect side of being a boss was what started to foster REAL relationships both on and offline. Confession time: I am a huge introvert. I love being alone, I recharge alone, and being on my couch in my attic is my happy place.

When we first think about fostering a community, it’s easy to assume that I’m going to tell you to attend a meet up, show up at a conference, or spend an hour a day commenting on other people’s accounts (ALL BRILLIANT THINGS, but I think this starts with you.)

Community has to start with CONNECTION.

If we are hiding behind our work, we are blending in to already saturated industries and leaving price as our only differentiator. How many of us are sick of being price shopped? (Raises hand)

First, that connection needs to start with you. It’s easy to think that people have to LOVE everything about us to feel connection, but connection often comes in having ONE thing in common (then the friendship grows.) So whether it’s where you live, where you travel to, your love for animals, a cheesy carb, or the fact that you both work from home, having that ONE common denominator can create something more memorable than just a title.

When it comes to community:

  • GIVE FIRST: ask what can I do for you, not what can you do for me?
  • CHOOSE YOUR INFLUENCERS WISELY: You can’t take on a million mentors and have clarity.
  • ASK FOR HELP: we all need it, when you remove the veil you can grow true community.

When you start telling stories, people become impacted by YOU. They fall in love with you, they back you, they support you. When you build your brand around your product/service/business, you are FREE from backing yourself into the corner. When you pivot, they pivot with you.

We have to REFRAME the way we are sharing our work, why are you doing this in the first place? What is driving you? Ask yourself these three things:

  • Why does this matter?
  • Am I doing this story justice?
  • Is this post serving anyone other than me?

There are people that go onto Instagram for pretty photos, there are people that go onto Instagram for inspiration (both visual and through words) and there are people who engage because the both of them together make them take action.

My Social Media Rules:

  • I never share in real time: I want to think about it, write it, edit it, have space from it, and take time to process it.
  • Is the work you’re sharing exemplary of what people will expect from you if they hire you? As a photographer, it’s important that I only post professional images from my DSLR and iphone photography.
  • When you’re hustling for more followers, it’s like hosting a dinner party and your guests are already there waiting for you.


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  1. Loved this podcast! Question for you, I have a large community following as a photographer, BNI member, church, and more…
    but because everyone is my friend, they all expect MAJOR HUGE discounts on my service.

    How do you balance that?! I can’t pay my bills with trades and IOUs.

  2. Heidi Kristine Vodrup says:

    I just LOVE all your podcasts and what you are teaching. True authenticity. I’ve changed my whole approach to my instagram account because of you.
    Thank you

  3. Victoria says:

    Hi Jenna. Thanks so much for your podcast. I work a full time job (dream job) connecting people to the outdoors. BUT, I have a side hobby where I run a family nature club. I started it when I was single and childless and won a grant to take families camping. Now that I’m married and have a 1 year old, I”ve got the itch to get it going again. With that, I’ve seen the power of social media in connecting people. I even won a scholarship to go ice climbing through social media! Your activity where you asked us to think about people we admire but don’t know in real life, I immediate thought of this #outdoorfamilies group of outdoor Moms who I’ve followed since I started my club in 2012. I want to build our little community and get more people in North Texas to get outside with us, because I feel we’re similar to…but different that the majority of the #outdoorfamilies group. Many of them live in cities and states that are kind of “known” for outdoor adventure and recreation. One lives in Yellowstone National Park and others get to travel in an Airstream 24/7 for months at a time. I am so inspired by them, but also have come to love that we live in a place that’s definitely NOT considered outdoorsy, but our little club makes it happen anyway and we’re still part of this larger movement. We visit parks, camp, rock climb, and get outside lots in a big metroplex that is known for commerce and pavement and not scenic views. So, I want to capitalize on our little niche and build a community here, where other “concrete jungle” inhabitants can get outside with us and see the beauty in where we are, even if it’s not those canyons or snow covered peaks. My issue is this. I am not super comfortable sharing our personal life online. I have never liked the idea of people’s kids literally growing up online. I don’t really want people to know my name (unless I know them in person). Don’t want to share my daughter’s or my husband’s names (he doesn’t’ want that either). And we absolutely don’t want her to grow up online. Like you mentioned, I love being alone. I love our privacy. I value personally getting to know someone and that’s where I become an open book, but I don’t like to just let it all out there online. Not until recently, after my daughter turned 1 did I finally post a picture of her and then people online found out we had a baby. My family/friends in real life knew, obviously, but not online folks. Is there a way for us to still build community but keep some privacy and not have ourselves grow older online? Would love any feedback you or your team has. I realize what I do is not a business and honestly, I’m not that it’s even in the cards for the future. I love my job (which doesn’t feel like a job) and I have tons of flexibility. But I want this little club to help show others that you can get outside with little kids, you can get outside in a city I call “ugly” and you can do it on the cheap! Thanks so much for the inspiration and help! P.S. I totally need to update my about page because right now it’s only about our club…because of my issue of not wanting to put us online. Such a dilemma!


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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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