If you have heard the phrase, and have an understanding of the meaning of the phrase, stop reading.
There is nothing new for you to learn here.
With the phrase I have told you everything.
It is the Mayan way of viewing the community.
If you haven’t heard or read the phrase before, please be a little patient. I promise to tell you, in just a second.
I am new to blogging, and I have to tell you that I certainly don’t yet have a big list of followers, or a community, as maybe you do.
If you already have a big online following, and you feel great about it, Congratulations! The Mayan view of community will help expand your community marketing, and will help you generate more and deeper relationships, with significantly increased conversions.
If you don’t, and you’re like me, just beginning on the online audience building journey – these insights are important as well – even more so.
I am building my online community, and it is growing, little by little. I like it that way. I plan to grow it, a step at a time, the way it should be done, by using the Slow Drip Method for Building a Massive Following, and the Mayan view of a community.
I have every expectation and more that it will be successful, because I’m challenging convention, and drawing on ideas and value that goes back centuries.
If this intrigues you – please read on…
What do I know about communities?
I work with a lot of communities. I have been a university psychology professor for 8 years now, and was the psychologist in a very popular T.V. local show (in El Salvador) for adolescents, for two years. I love community building and marketing! And so should you.
If you are like me: In Lakech Ala K’in.
The Mayans, whenever they saw each other, they greeted themselves with that phrase.
It’s modern definition is:
I am another you.
It also means:
I am you, and you are me.
This is the traditional Mayan interpretation.
This greeting was a declaration of honor and respect. It is a statement of unity and oneness.
What does this mean to you?
You are your own target market. You have to treat your audience like you would treat yourself.
If you have online presence, or just like me you are in the process of building an online community, then you are dealing with people. You must not forget this. They are people, just like yourself, and they must never be regarded only as followers, or just numbers, statistics. They are human beings that have decided that what you are saying, or showing them, resonates with them. Like the Mayans say: They are another you.
In a way you exist because of them.
What use would your greatest content be, if no one read it?
Content is King they say. Well I say if content is king, then people, community is queen.
You have to listen before you create. Your community speaks its needs and its wants. If you are good at listening and understanding those needs and wants, only then can you create content, services, products and a business that will last.
If you don’t spend the time listening, engaging and responding to people you will end up with a “great” product that no one has any interest in.
Just like Brian Clark puts it in the book Engagement from Scratch, by Danny Iny of Mirasee:
Most people’s approach to marketing is to start with something they want to sell, and then painfully realizing that people didn’t want to buy it. Social media lets you do a lot of listening before you start talking, and then actually produce something people want and will be willing to buy. I never imagined when I started Copyblogger that I’d be able to turn it into a successful software company, but having the audience allowed me to connect with people who had the skills to create what I, in turn, could sell. Those relationships are what make all the difference, and you create relationships through engagement.
Likewise, Claude Hopkins, in his classic book: Scientific Advertising expressed:
The advertising man studies the consumer. He tries to place himself in the position of the buyer. His success largely depends on doing that to the exclusion of everything else.
As you can see, this knowledge of trying to understand your buyers, followers, community is not new.
What they don’t tell you is that you have to start seeing your followers not as merely numbers, but as possible friends. Interconnection between the wider world and yourself.
You have to see them as a mirror image of yourself; parts of a whole that you contribute to.
Get to know your people, get to know their needs, wants, etc. and by doing so, you will also get to know yourself.
Show Don’t Tell
Start behaving in a way that shows you using your own stuff. Don’t tell, and then act a different way. Just like a picture is worth a thousand words, your behavior is worth a thousand pictures, when you are dealing with people. For them, you are a role model.
Remember you are your first reader. When you start going places with your blog and business that you don’t resonate with – when you don’t have the feeling that your audience is a reflection of yourself – the very best that will happen is that you’ll burn out and lose interest. The worst that could happen is absolute business failure.
If you want to build a lasting connection with someone, you need to be a great role model, and be coming from a place of honest and integrity.
In Lakech Ala K’in.
If you want to be a great role model you must possess three qualities: Being Congruent, Unconditional Acceptance, and Empathy.
- You Have to be Congruent
By being congruent I mean that your thinking patterns, your emotions, and your behavior need to be the same. If one part of the congruency triad is missing, you get what is called a cognitive dissonance. Since your thoughts, emotions and behavior don’t match, people will start seeing the dissonance, and it will repel them.
- You Need to Practice Unconditional Acceptance
You need to accept every person as they really are. No questions asked, and no judgment.
Whenever people feel judged, you break connection. Sometimes that means there won’t be a fit between you – and that is okay. Don’t try to fit an audience member into a mold that doesn’t work for them – that way leads to disappointment.
- You Need to Feel and Demonstrate Empathy
You need to be able to feel empathy with your community. You need to be able to put yourself in their shoes. To be able to feel their “pathos” (that was the greek word for illness), needs, desires, as if they are yours.
A brief note here: These qualities were all mentioned by Carl Rogers, an influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach (or client-centered approach) to psychology, as necessary for being a good psychotherapist. I truly believe, that they are also necessary for building your true community.
For the Mayans, community was themselves and everyone else. They were intimately connected to each other and the world they lived in.
What I invite you to do is to feel the connection, it is real. When you feel it, it will grow. The community will also grow.
I hope you liked this post, felt the connection and In lakech!