How To Build an Online Community the Harley-Davidson Way

I love Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Except for the fact that they are too expensive and break-down too often. Other than that, they’re great.

Ok, snark aside, Harley-Davidson (from now on abbreviated as H-D), the brand, the company, the …culture? Has accomplished something incredible.

While all other motorcycle manufacturers have taken a nose-dive with their profits, H-D remains incredibly successful. Why?

Because they know how to build a community around their product, and by the time you finish reading this post, you will know H-D’s secret sauce for building a community, and a culture around their brand.

Let’s rev up our engines and pop a wheelie, shall we?

Get Out the Way

If you’re hoping to build a community around your blog, brand, product, service, etc., the best thing you can do is do what H-D has done. Get out the way.

In other words, create an environment for people to congregate in, and enable them to make connections with one another, and then just get out of the way.

All successful implementations of online community building, have that one simple thing in common.

Create an environment for people to congregate together, and get out of the way.

This is why Facebook, Twitter, Triberr, and countless other online communities, are successful. They’ve created a way for the members of those platforms to connect with one another, and less noticeable the technology is, the better.

Less noticeable you are in the online-building equation, the better. Facilitate connections amongst the members, and watch magical effects take place.

How Not To Do It

A notable author and a marketing powerhouse, Jim Kukral, recently asked me how to turn his Author Marketing Club site into a community.

At the moment, authors can submit their books for distribution to readers, and readers can sign up to get a list of free Kindle books delivered to them every day. A neat service, but NOT a community. Why?

Both authors and members are “walled off” from one another. They are visible to Jim, but they are NOT visible to one another.

So, how DO you do it?

Do What Harley Do

Harley-Davidson motorcycles transcend the technology on which they’re built

  • To own a Harley, is the first step in being admitted into an exclusive club.
  • To ride a Harley, it has deeper implications on who you are as a person than riding any other motorcycle.

And Harley-Davidson has accomplished this by creating opportunities for its customers to connect with one another.

THAT is the one and only difference between Harley-Davidson and other motorcycle manufacturers.

And THAT is the only reason Harley-Davidson is successful while others are struggling for market share.

Be like Harley. Facilitate connectivity and just get out the way.

I Practice What Harley Preach

We’re putting on a mini-conference with a maxi-potential.

When I gleam a brilliant piece of insight like this, I not only share it with you, my dear audience, but I also put that shit into action.

Which is why Triberr, Internet Media Labs, and My Blog Guest, are organizing a conference for Bloggers.

The aim of TribeUpNYC is to answer one question. How do we advance the blogging industry?

What is the cutting edge tool, technique, or platform that makes a difference in the lives of Bloggers right now?

  • Something that’s in use by the trailblazers, and the trendsetters of the Blogosphere.
  • Something that hasn’t hit mainstream yet, but will in 6 months.

This is not your father’s conference. This is a TribeUp.

Here’s a special 25% off discount code for the conference. Use diyblog25 during check-out.

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi 🙂

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  • Christina Majaski

    I don’t know. I’ve always found the brand to be trashy. The motorcycles are beautiful, the community is gross (submitting the pic from the blog post as Exhibit A). I dated a Harley guy years ago that insisted on buying me Harley tank tops and tees (for my birthday even). I told him there was no way in hell I was wearing that crap…didn’t listen.