We belong somewhere.
To a demographic, a group of people that are fans of a book, show, video game, movie, a persona, a superhero such as Batman, a band such as Metallica, a restaurant or perhaps to people who are united to speak against something that hurt us as a society. The point is we belong. When we belong somewhere we call it a community, a tribe. It is a group of like-minded people who enjoy or agree about the same things and matters as you and others that are of equal.
The benefit of having a community is that we can contribute, we can share experience, knowledge, craft, ideas, brainstorm and as a body collective minds, develop and create movements, campaigns, change or something as simple as developing connections and relationships with other people who might turn into friendships or perhaps something even stronger.
Three Whys of Community
I asked some of the best and most respected entrepreneurs that I have followed for years.
“What can I contribute today,” might be the very best way to become part of a community. Relentless generosity brings us closer together.
Seth Godin, the marketing guru, and author of 18 international bestsellers such as This is Marketing and Tribes, always mentions that we are telling stories, and those stories are meant to add value, add purpose. Value and purpose and contributions that we need to always have present whenever we interact with potential clients – although I do my best to apply it to everyone I meet in the street.
Be helpful, be useful, be real, and listen.
Most people don’t do those things. Building a community or tribe doesn’t work if it’s entirely self-serving, there has to be a clear and valuable benefit to the members to want to join.
A great deal of what it means to be in a community is the Being part. Who are you? What are you doing here? What are you going to bring to the table? How can you help us?
Joining and belonging is about being as authentic, resourceful, and helpful as you can be. I learned early on in life that people would rather be with someone that wishes to learn and work hard alongside others than one who wishes to hardly work alongside others because he wants them to learn to pick up the pace. That right there is the difference between a leader and a boss.
Online shopping and networking have revolutionized consumer and social behavior. Having 24-hour access to anything and everything means that users have many more choices when it comes to buying products (from big box stores to small independent creators) or interacting with others (from comments on a New York Times article to the smallest niche Facebook group). What this means for brands and organizations is establishing a community of dedicated users is more important than ever. Customers and clients expect an accessible, social environment, so the more a business can do to personalize the brand experience, the better customer loyalty will be.
Duncan Gilman – Lighthouse Media
Duncan’s point is very heavy. The experience in today’s world is what makes people have repeat purchases, which tuns into loyal customers, which become word of mouth, the check-in or feedback in the social app. Friend’s recommendations are the main driver for people to make purchases.
Friends and family come to me whenever they want to buy some computer, iPad, cellphone, music instrument, new stereo, tv, alarm system, and now power tools (homeowner alert!)
For music and movies depending on the genre I have specific friends and for live shows, I have other friends. These represent different communities that I know they are part of and are very engaged in.
So what community are you in right now? Which one would you like to be involved with? Does it exist? If it doesn’t, would you create it?
Let me know in the comments or send me a Message on Twitter
Books I recommend
The latest book from Seth Godin. What else can I say but, I am a fan. Seth always creates content and writes books that resonate with you.
Paul Jarvis is a great content creator and entrepreneur that I have followed for years. His courses are simple and so are his websites. I like things to be simple and direct. Company of One caught my attention because it talks about the misconception that bigger is better and success is defined by growing your company. Why? I am like Batman. I work fine by myself or I’ll just freelance a Nightwing and boom, done.
When we travel, we pack our bags with our belongings and set out our course, the adventure, the next gig. If it is an over the weekend, short or business trip there is a preference to have a carry on with us with the most important things we need on an immediate basis, such as medicine, a couple of shirts, shoes, underwear, pants, jeans, and trunks if you fancy a dip in the pool or the ocean. By the way, hello from Puerto Rico! Now, If you are like me, you want to pack your tablet, the music player, the phone, the book reader, a physical book (I like them), chargers for all gadgets, notebooks, and portable gaming device (I still like to play video games.) Then you realize you are packing more than you need. You are willing to take more than you should.
In life, there are times you’re willing to carry things that your don’t need, things that don’t belong to you, or are of no use right now you.
Most people, including myself, tend to carry stuff from our past. Bad experiences, guilt, things that don’t belong to user did at one point in but are no longer relevant as we’ve moved beyond that. You’ve had experiences in the past that have formed, molded, changed, and made you grow; Yet, struggle with on a daily basis because they are that heavy baggage which leaves no room for growth.
You need your baggage to be light and carry only the essential, the tools necessary for that trip such as your knowledge and experiences, the good parts and have enough space left to bring something back, with you, to gain, whether it’s more knowledge and a great experience.
Life is definitely a journey that starts with one step. It will be as many steps and miles as you decide to go. It may be a lifetime or a limited time, but make sure you don’t take more with you than you need. Make sure every step you take leads you to new experiences, to growth. Remember that there is no jumping or leap into success as Jeff Goins author of Art of Work reminds us. You build bridges that connect you to an unknown future and territories so you may conquer it and bring back that knowledge to lead others there. As a leader, entrepreneur, go to person, an expert, you look at things from different angles such as marketing, business, financial, or a customer’s, team’s and CEO’s standpoint. You are able to pivot and stay on your ground. But that can be accomplished as long as you are willing to focus on what’s necessary.
Being aware of the moment and understand you are not to travel heavy but lightly by carrying on your carry on.
In today’s world of social media, forums, blogs, RSS feeds, email newsletters, podcasts, and meetups, is easier than ever to create and develop niche markets and zero-in to more specific wants and need for audiences.
It used to be Rock ‘n’ Roll. Then it became Punk, Metal, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Glam Rock, Power Metal, Heavy British Metal, Punk Metal, Nu Metal, Hardcore Metal, Symphonic Metal, Death Metal, Grind Metal, Gothic Metal, Metal Operas, and I think I heard someone say there’s “Angel Metal”?
The internet used to be about data information sharing from person to person, peer to peer also known as p2p. Napster is the most recognizable and well-known event in the last 20 years because it used the internet and ability to transfer files for distribution from person to person. The only problem was that it share files that were copyrighted.
But a community, followers, fans and many followed immediately because of the revolutionary influence this created in 1999 when the internet was used starting to being used and understood by major corporations and enterprises. Napster allowed the world to notice and put attention on the internet that it was not just the place to look for adult content, connect to your bank account, hack to your heart’s content, or chat. It was also a place to share data and where entertainment could live.
The biggest development in communities came with the very now famous white paper of Bitcoin. It created a movement and provided people something to believe in that was not tangible, personified, unified nor centralized. It was meant for everyone and those who wanted to participate in it, developers, miners, traders, HODLers, and even haters who wanted to attempt to bash it.
Bitcoin: The birth of the Crypto Community
Bitcoin exploded a new world of possibilities and allowed the imagination to run wild for many people. They began to meet, run hackathons, start discussions on how to solve real-life problems with the transparency and efficiency of this technology.
The community took the initial thought of the creator and began evolving it at an accelerated pace. The developers have continued on making sure that Bitcoin stays strong. Other blockchains have been developed with other benefits, add-ons, types of governances, pros and cons. But what do each and every one of them have? Community.
The community is the people who vote, suggest, promote, evangelizes, criticizes for improvement, for growth, for accountability and fearless feedback of how to make something better. They may or may not know of the subject, but you want to be able to scale up and down answers for your products and services so you are able to address newcomers who are foreign to the ideas of your company or entity.
Growing and Developing
Creating, developing and engaging with a community is the most beneficial way to have a successful project and company. Making the community a tribe, where you organically develop a subculture, your own hashtags, your own trends during the week, care for each other and support each other to propel, that is the definition of success today.
Involving community into your project is key. Pat Flynn, creator of Smart Passive Income and Author of Will It Fly? recommends in this book to ask for people close to you what they see you doing. Now, this is for starting a business. But imaging already having a healthy amount of followers and creating a new service or product. Catering to their needs wants, services adding value so they feel like they are gaining more than what they are giving, is the key thing. In the words of the great Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.”
If the incentive created to buy it because it is a product that is new, innovative and it’s great. Those are three words thrown around nowadays so much that is just the same as walking to buy a car and having the salesperson tell me: “I’ll give you free rugs.” But when the incentive to buy something is because the product or service is catered to you, your needs, your budgets, your personality, your idea, your ethos, then the possibility of the community explodes and becomes something greater than you ever imaging. This grows into a movement that can scale upwards and expand aggressively, and I mean this in a positive way.
As we all are about to take some time off during the holiday season, one of the things you might want to start to consider for your business is the following: Is it engaged? Do you have clients that are fans? Clients, that refer you, other clients? Do you listen to their needs and wants to improve and build better products and services for the growth and improvement of your business practice?
The customer is not always right, I can honestly say this after working in retail after and customer service for many years, but every so often we have those great clients, that you really don’t want to let go and would do anything to have repeat business over and over again as much as possible. These are the most important ones. These will be the fuel to promote and propel you and your business.
Build a business around your community and in return, the trust will be built.
On November 22, 1996, the movie Jingle All the Way was released portraying the stress of holidays shopping, and the extent of what a parent is willing to do to buy that toy or a special gift for their child.
As the years have passed, we have seen how the craze of Black Fridays has erupted. Almost everywhere the most sought-after items are flat screen TVs, video gaming consoles, high-end gadgets, video games, and appliances.
Browsing through Google Trends I was curious as to how the interest of Black Friday and now Cyber Monday had climbed. Here is the most interesting data that I would like to share with you in this sense.
In the 90s retailers and brands did not really used to participate in the whole Black Friday thing and they would not make a big deal. Now I remember Some of the 90s Black Friday. You could just wake up early in the morning walk up to the store get your things and walk out. As the years progressed, things started getting out of hand. People would start fights. I guess that’s one of the reasons why Cyber Monday became so big. It just made sense! Why would you after spending such a great time with family the day before, would ruin it by getting grabbed, bumped, pushed, hit, just to save some money while you could do so while in your jammies with a nice cup of coffee and some nice leftovers.
In all honesty with all the benefits of shopping online, the worry and hassle-free, it’s always available, fighting for parking spaces, it makes the online shopping experience a no-brainer. But there are just some items that you rather go down to the brick and mortar store and pick up yourself because you want to make sure that it is what you pay for…plus the company’s policy online for returns is not friendly and you live in Puerto Rico….wait, that’s me.
Top Retailers for Black Friday
Top Items for Black Friday