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’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.