People love being apart of something that’s bigger than themselves. People want to feel connected to a big idea, a common leader, and to like-minded people. That’s why building community, or a “tribe”, around your brand is an important part to creating a legacy that goes beyond what you’re doing now. As a leader of your life & business, you have the power to bring people together to help champion your cause and serve people who matter most. In today’s blog post, I’ll share with you the importance of community, 3 levels of community building, and some tips to help equip you to lead it.
Why Community Matters
Relationships are the heartbeat to your life & business. Building connections with and among people will help you tap into resources and potential for new business, raving rans, and super supporters. When you can be the type of leader that brings people together, you can be the kind of person that takes a stand for your beliefs and values and creates a safe place to connect people who share your vision. When you empower people to connect with you, your big idea, and each other, you can create a movement and community that goes beyond your business.
The 3 Levels of Building a Community
Whenever I think of the expert on community building, I look to Seth Godin, who’s a marketing genius because he understands that in this day and age, the economy is built on connections. Meaning, it’s no longer about just making transactions, it’s about building the know, trust, and like factor through building meaningful relationships. In his book, Tribes, he breaks down the 3 levels of community in a easy-to-understand but comprehensive way. As a leader, you can focus on building community in all 3 arenas to build out an effective and fun community.
1. Connect to an Idea
This is your big “why” for your community. When you connect people to an idea that’s bigger than them, you give them something to believe in. Sports fans believe in their local team and the Civil Rights Movement was all about equal rights. Even thought connecting people to an idea may be intangible, it’s important to be able to find the common interest to bond people together. If you’re a business owner, what values does your brand stand for? Perhaps you’re a designer who believes in blending strategy and aesthetics and want to build a community of people who appreciate both. Or maybe you’re mission-minded and donate your proceeds to a human trafficking campaign, attracting people who believe in social entrepreneurship and human justice. For my Facebook community, Authentic Brand Leaders, we bring together women in business who believe in faith-based, servant leadership that’s both fun and fulfilling. Take some time to figure out what your big “idea” is so you can articulate it in a way to attract the right people AND repel the wrong ones.
2. Connect to a Leader
A community functions when it’s connected to a leader — someone to lead them, guide them, and connect them together. Like how Justin Beiber fans are Beliebers or how your favorite high school teacher led the classroom. Your role as the leader of your tribe is to have the ultimate authority (in a good way) to lead by example, pave the way into the unknown, and create a safe environment for your followers to thrive. Yes, YOU are a leader in your own right, and if you focus on serving your people and bringing them together, your community grow and support you because you are growing and supporting them.
3. Connect to Each Other
A group becomes a community when they can interact with each other and feel the bond among like-minded people. That’s why it’s important to use channels so your tribe can communicate with each other. Whether it’s in a Facebook group, a common hashtag, or weekly game night with your small group, it’s essential to “get out of the way” as a leader and let people communicate with one another. Those bonds will be stronger than anything you can imagine and you can be the one who helped facilitate that connection.
I’m a big believer in cultivating meaningful relationships to form a lasting community. Even though these groups may last a season, and people come and go, the relationships built has a specific purpose if it’s connected to an idea, a leader (you), and to each other. What communities have you been apart of that you’re grateful for? What made them something you enjoyed being apart of?
If you’d like to learn more about growing a tribe around who you are and what you are, I created an interactive training & workbooks that guide you to plan and execute creating YOUR community. You can download the video & PDFs by clicking the image below