Lakeland Business Leaders Community Guidelines
Updated June, 2017
5,000 people in one room. It tends to get a little noisy. Everyone is here for a reason - and we want to honor everyone who is here for the purpose this group was created. The founder of this group, Chrissanne Long, created this group to encourage authentic relationships, and connections that would make the community stronger. We hope that's something you believe in too.

In order to make sure you are here to make the LBL community a better, more positive and encouraging place, we have to enforce community guidelines. We want you to know, from the get-go what the expectations are, and we want to make sure everyone is safe! The Internet can create amazing connections, but we all have to be aligned and here for the right reasons, in order for LBL to work. Please read these guidelines carefully - and refer to them if you have any questions. Failure to adhere to these very simple rules may be cause for your permanent removal from LBL.

Please enter your First and Last Name
Because this community is about authenticity and accountability - we believe in the power of transparency. Therefore, this is not an anonymous form. Please enter your first and last name to confirm you have agreed to these guidelines.
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Did you include your last name above?
If not, please go back up and add it! We don't want to confuse you with all of the other Johns and Jennifers in Lakeland!
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Your Email Address
In order to keep you connected, and ensure you are aware of any changes to these guidelines, please enter your email address below. We will NEVER share or sell your email address to anyone.
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Posting Guidelines for LBL Facebook Group
By entering the Lakeland Business Leaders group on Facebook, you acknowledge that, in order to post to promote your business (share specials, request likes, tell others about your products or services, recruit for your direct sales team, invite people to your event or in any way promote your business), you must be a premium member. As a FREEMIUM (non-paying) member you are able - actually, encouraged! - to ask for recommendations, share ideas, ask questions and comment on others' posts. You can learn more about premium membership here: https://lakelandconnection.com/lbl-membership-benefits.html
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2. Be kind.
Bullying, drama, toxic energy and negativity are not allowed here. We don’t tolerate any form of disrespect - whether the person is involved in the discussion or not. This does not mean you cannot disagree with someone’s viewpoint, but if you do disagree, you must do so with respect, and with the desire to help - not injure others. We want to encourage spirited debate - we believe that debate, in a healthy, empowering, caring community is exactly what we need to make Lakeland a better place! We do not want to censor your creativity, ideas, thoughts about concepts or suggestions. But we will remove you immediately, without warning if you do not interact with kindness at all times. If you are removed, it will be permanent and there will be no refund of your LBL membership.
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3. Handle disputes directly.
This is not the place to trash talk other businesses, or put other companies down. If you have an issue with another member of the group, a business or public figure, handle it with that person directly. We are all adults and expect everyone to act like adults. This means we are accountable for our actions, and we will not hide behind a Facebook post to take care of our personal or professional grievances. If you feel there is something the LBL Team needs to know, collect screenshots and other records of communication and send them to connect@lakelandconnection.com. We do not want scammers or swindlers in this group. We will take action.
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4. Be a generous contributor.
Many people want to help. And there is always a way you can generously give to others - with referrals, advice, suggestions or just feedback that will help them find solutions. Before you ask for someone to help you, take some time to give your support to others. If you can give 3x more in support to the members with your insight, ideas or encouragement, your contributions than you expect to receive, you will ensure the strength and viability of this group. We all deserve to receive, and we all have much to give.
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5. Be original, honest and ethical.
In the sharing economy, it is extremely important to credit the source of your content. Do not take others’ work and pass it off as your own. If you want to use the content of another member, be sure to ask, or credit them with a mention, or link back to their website. If you feel someone is stealing your intellectual property, write to them directly. Take screenshots, and make sure you have all of the necessary proof to prove the theft. If we discover you are here just to poach ideas, and steal from the members of this community, it is obvious that this is not the place for you, and you will be removed permanently. If you believe the LBL Team should be aware of a situation in which your intellectual property rights are being violated, please email all screenshots and documentation to connect@lakelandconnection.com. We also recommend that you contact an attorney.
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6. SPAM is not allowed - Ever.
By joining the group and choosing to be part of our amazing community, it is ESSENTIAL that you respect the members of the group, as if you know every single one of them personally! Imagine you will see these people later in the day. Will they want to talk to you, or run the other direction? If your message comes from a place that truly wants to help others, you should share it. If it comes from a place that wants to take advantage of the audience that is LBL, please keep it to yourself. Do not add people to your friends list so that you can add them to your own Facebook group, or newsletter list. We ask that you respect the time and effort it has taken to create this environment, and not lessen the value by spamming the members with whom we have worked hard to build trust and mutual respect.
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7. Caveat Emptor
It is your responsibility to vet the businesses and recommendations that are offered through LBL. The LBL Team does not qualify these businesses, other than to verify that the person asking to join the group lives in the Lakeland area. If you decide to hire someone or sign a contract to conduct business with someone as a result of the connections you make in LBL, you assume the risk. Chrissanne Long, and the LBL team are not responsible for any breaches of contract, damages, or lost revenue that result from the relationships you build within this group. We all like to believe that EVERYONE has high standards and conducts business 100% ethically, but this is just not reality. Participating in this LBL community adds a layer of transparency, but it does not protect you from possible scammers, or under qualified professionals. Whenever applicable, ask for licensing, proof of insurance, check Sunbiz.org to confirm they are a legitimate business, and get references from past clients.
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8. Are you right for LBL?
This community is strictly for members of the Lakeland community who want to make authentic connections that will enhance the economic landscape of our great city. Self-serving, selfish motivations and people who are looking for a "free ride” are not a good fit for this online community. Everyone can contribute something meaningful to the conversation - but it requires desire to connect and a willingness to work to make our world a better place. If all of this is too “pie in the sky” for you, that’s ok. If you’re looking for a place to simply promote your business without connecting, or supporting the community, this is not the group for you. Lakeland Business Leaders is not for everyone. If you do not believe this community is for you, you are free to remove yourself from the group at any time.
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Some Things to Remember
We want your experience in LBL to be positive - for you and for the other members of the community. So, it's important that you are aware of some very important details! In a dynamic group of over 3,000 vibrant, passionate people, there are bound to be moments when things are not perfect. Please read these common issues members have and acknowledge your understanding of each.
9. Your posts may be ignored (or missed).
Assume everyone in the group is very busy - and they might not see your post. While there are 3,000 members in this community, not all of them will see your posts! The threads in the Facebook group move fast, and sometimes your posts may not receive any comments. This is not personal. But it might be a sign that you are not connecting with the other members of the group. Before you give up on us, please consider getting more involved in conversations started by other members of the group.
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10. LBL is Powered by Premium Members
Businesses in this group are able to receive referrals and leads without upgrading to premium membership, and that gives us such a great feeling - knowing that our local community is seeking more and more, local businesses - and finding them in LBL. When using LBL to select or refer a business within LBL, please consider a premium member first. It is their commitment to LBL that makes them the core group that makes this group successful! If you need more information about becoming a premium member visit: https://lakelandconnection.com/lbl-membership-benefits.html
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11. "Buy my stuff" is not the LBL way
Every single business owner within LBL wants to succeed. LBL is an excellent way to build connections, and establish know, like and trust with the group. If you are a PREMIUM MEMBER, an occasional offer or promotion is encouraged, but a sure fire way to be completely ignored is to bombard the newsfeed with repetitive, “salesy” posts. The key to success in LBL is to show that you care, to bring VALUE and to become a resource for the other members so that they can learn more about you in a natural, organic AUTHENTIC way. Your sales pitch might be awesome in other groups, but this one is more about getting to know you, and why you are in business and how you bring value to the business community! A good rule of thumb is the 80/20 rule. 80% of your posts should be relationship-building and 20% should be about promotions and sales going on at your awesome business!
Have you checked out Lakeland Connection yet?
As LBL has grown, there we have identified that these online conversations filled a void that was not being filled by any of the other organizations in Lakeland. As we mentioned in #8, the growth of this group has required that we find a way to make it possible for everyone to have a voice, and a place to share their ideas. Lakeland Connection seeks to make it possible for conversations to remain "sticky" and evergreen, lasting longer than the shelf life of a Facebook post. You are invited to join the Lakeland Connection and share your ideas on the forums, add calendar events and blog posts! We look forward to seeing you over here: https://lakelandconnection.com/join
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