Since the beginning of our animal consciousness, communities have been a part of our lives. In our deepest human desires, we crave togetherness and connectivity.
In our myths of lost kingdoms and the stories of rebels and wars between armies, we all live with an unconscious sense of tribes and societies. And therefore, businesses that focus on communities can thrive beyond their imaginations.
Just by understanding the principles of online community building, I believe you can increase your revenue, create better businesses and leave a long-lasting impact on the planet if you care for it.
You could say that Amazon’s Prime subscription brings shoppers together, while Netflix is creating a class of binge-watchers. The online community model is thriving already. In this post, you will discover three important pillars of the community-based marketing model and more.
You can create online tribes in coaching, e-commerce, SaaS and almost every business. They don’t even have to be like each other. A tribe of busy business owners will be different from a community of students who are learning to code. A yoga community will look different from a tribe of singers and dancers.
But in almost every business, creating communities can be useful. With that said, we can jump into the first pillar of community-based marketing.
Community Development (From Scratch)
What would inspire the first person to join your community? And how we can create a “system” for community growth?
I have helped people grow their communities and have done the same for my business. From working as a 17-year-old salesperson to helping individuals grow thousands of followers and fans, here is what I have learned so far:
“People come for money but stay for the community.”
You can use viral giveaways, Amazon gift cards, and many similar methods to bring people together. Giving something valuable for free attracts people faster. But it’s not everything.
You can also attract people with educational content that they can discover through social media and search engines; this is also a powerful way to turn strangers into an audience.
Once people discover your brand, you can invite them to join your group, channel or whatever place you meet with your tribe. It all starts with one person.
I believe creating communities while not serving them is a sin.
If they’re provided with the right context, communities naturally start conversations, flourish together, walk together, and transform themselves (together). That also creates more opportunities for businesses to offer solutions with minimal effort.
Weekend events, ask-me-anything (AMA) sessions, and “community-only” perks are some tools that you can apply in the beginning to foster engagement.
My big lesson is this: The biggest source of engagement often comes from the clear goal and vision of the tribe. So it’s vital to create a set of rules or guidelines.
Another critical part of a successful community is a sense of belongingness. I have worked in the cryptocurrency industry, which I call an “attention-deficient” industry. Many people are young and hidden behind pseudonyms; they can get panicked quickly, and everything changes rapidly there. Yet in my experience, the success of many ventures in the initial days had a lot to do with the sense of belongingness that people found in them. The latest example is a fun cryptocurrency known as Dogecoin that gained popularity because of a meme.
Once a community grows, it typically develops the need for more solutions.
If people are trying to stay fit in the community, they will require education and tools to achieve their goals. This is where you can monetize the community through your products.
If it’s a business community, creating masterminds and online courses is a wonderful way to create a wildly profitable business while serving your tribe.
The idea of community monetization is simple: Offer what people are looking for. It can not only make you profitable but also create a natural system of long-lasting growth.
I’ve discovered how to use online tribes to create more meaningful and profitable businesses. Often, I’ve seen people who didn’t want to buy my products join me for a sense of belongingness and warmth. I like this part of marketing more than anything. It reminds me more of my humanity.
Marketing is “broadcasting your message to one person at a time,” and communities have a natural power to do this. By creating communities and setting the right context for them, it’s possible to build a business without selling the soul.