Established in 2010 by Chrissanne Long and Craig Hosking, Lakeland Business Leaders has been helping businesses in the Lakeland area connect to customers who are looking for local solutions – in real-time. Unlike any other business network, LBL helps people looking for referrals in an online forum, driven by the members themselves.
Engagement is Key
In recent years, the Internet has totally changed the way people connect. The Digital Age has made it possible for people to connect more efficiently. With the right conditions, infrequent networking opportunities can be cultivated online to develop into long-lasting, meaningful business relationships. Lakeland Business Leaders has created the right conditions – trust, transparency and consistency.
The Culture of LBL
With so many online platforms available for consumers to share their thoughts – good and bad – about their experience with a business, it’s important that an online community, and its moderators maintain a positive attitude. Over the past 5 years, trust has been built by the members, and the guidelines enforced by its creators. Within LBL there is no bashing of businesses. Members agree to community guidelines, and when these are violated, a moderator steps in to encourage a positive outcome, privately . If a positive outcome is not possible, or the originator of a negative, derogatory post or comment does not wish to take the conversation to a mature, private discussion, the post is deleted. In some cases, members are removed from the group. While the desire is not to censor the members, it is to provide a positive, safe environment that encourages connection.
During a recent month, we captured in this image, there were 7,256 total members, of which 5,586 were actively engaged, contributing 913 posts, 6,200+ comments and 7,400+ reactions.
In 2016, the Lakeland Business Leaders directory began track and measuring the number of leads that our members’ listings receive through the Lakeland Connection website.
Chrissanne and Craig, the creators of LBL are committed to making a meaningful difference in Lakeland, and are always looking for ways to be better advocates for the small businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups in Lakeland. If you would like to know more about LBL, or have additional questions about whether LBL is right for your local business, please contact us.