I listened to an older interview of Andrews today with Mateo Gutierrez that was essentially on being conscious of your community and building a stronger one. This was an interesting topic to pick out to focus on in my mind, because building a strong community isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when I look at what it takes to build a successful business. Not that I really thought it wasn’t important, I just really didn’t think about it at all, it wasn’t on my mind.
This proved a useful discussion to sit through and take notes on if for no other reason than the fact that it highlights in very specific terms the important role your community plays to your brand and business. And in all candor, when you take the time to consider what the implications of a strong community are, it’s obvious that neglecting the community that comes around your brand and company will come back to haunt you, and a little investment and attention to your community could be that engine that drives you to the top of your industry.
A few things that stood out to me are the fact that when working with your community, the method of pouring gasoline on logs and seeing who can get the biggest flame the quickest is a recipe for failure. You don’t want a flash in the pan here, because you don’t want a viral community that’s here today and then gone tomorrow. A successful community can be judged on the sustainability of the community after the quick press is gone. After all, when the attention dies down, these are the ones that keep your brand growing and vibrant instead of settling on a plateau.
Also, when building a community customize your community tools to your product / business. Don’t force them into a new way of coming together, observe how they are interacting already and facilitate that, sponsor it, support it, and you will draw users to you.
Lastly, when starting out, handpick and recognize leaders in your community. As you engage with your community and recognize leaders in the arena, the free sweat equity will flow. It goes back to rules of management where recognition for a job well done will incite people to freely give the efforts that will serve as the foundation for the larger community you hope will follow.
So with that, check out Andrew’s highlights below, then head over to Mixergy to give it a listen.