How to Build a Community in Seven (Mostly) Easy Steps

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Community drives everything. People need it. As a businessperson or thought leader, it should come as no surprise, then: when you give people community, they become more than just customers/members/students – they become believers.

Most of us understand that, whether it’s a clear-as-day truth or just an intangible feeling we get from our favorite brands. But knowing how to build a community? That’s not something you’re born with.

Are you ready to sprout that initial group from a seedling of an idea? Grow it into a real community. And then monetize it in ways that benefit both users, and entrepreneurs. Find out how

Obviously, there’s much more to it than one blog post can cover (get in touch here to see what I mean), but we can at least get you started … right now, in fact.

 

Check out how to build a community in 7 (mostly) easy steps.

How to build a community


1. Form an identity 

Think about any community you belong to, whether it’s digital or out in the real world. They all exist with the phrase “this is who we are” at the core. Sports fandom, professional associations, and student bodies – they’re all built around identity, and that’s what your community needs, too.

  • Start by ask yourself the question, “who are we?”
  • Then, find a clear way to fully express the “why” of your mission. 


2. Connect with a few early members 

The next thing on our “how to build a community” checklist – well we need to put the "community" in community. Time to get some members. That sounds daunting, but don’t overthink it. We’re not talking about numbers in the thousands … or even dozens. Start with people you know, or friends of friends, but make sure they fit that “who are we” question.

  • Find a few people who feel like you do, invite them to take part 
  • These members will help set the tone for your community, so choose carefully

 

3. Earn the communities trust 

You’ve got to give your community a purpose, a reason to join and stay – and that is best done through involvement. Interact with your early members, get comfortable with each other and invite them to speak into the mission. 

  • Start slow, with regular content posting
  • Schedule a real life meet up, if possible, or get to know one another online 
  • Hear your members' thoughts on the mission

 

4. Encourage connections 

Now you’ve got something going, and it’s time to expand. Once your small community has identity and trust, you can give members ownership in driving growth. Empower them to find new likely members from their own lives, and get those “recruits” involved, too. 

  • Empower members to spread the word
  • Personal connections are the strongest 

 

5. Rewards

I like to think of this as the “gold star phase” of how to build a community. Just like in elementary school, positive reinforcement works wonders in a group environment. Find ways to celebrate your most dedicated and effective members, and that will encourage others to follow suit.

  • Give perks to those helping accomplish community goals 
  • It could be as simple as a newsletter shout out, or actual prizes 

 

6. Never lose the ‘why’ 

As things progress, your community may start to get sidetracked away from the original mission. This is natural, but it’s important to always steer the group back toward its overall goal. 

  • Remember, communities are built on identity and trust

 

7. Continuous growth 

If you make it this far, your community should now be nearly self-sufficient. You’ve got a clearly defined mission and an active group of members, who all feel empowered by each other and want to see it succeed. 

 

Sounds simple enough, yet learning how to build a community is something entire careers are devoted to – like they are here at Cause Machine. This guide can help, but there’s nothing like having a team of experts on your side, each step of the way. Set up a free demo and get your community on the right track today.

 

Cause Machine Solutions

One of the most significant pieces of what sets Cause Machine apart from other technology platforms is where we start… with a community engagement strategy.  We begin all of our work on the foundation of engaging a community well and then begin mapping out the technology to help support that strategy.  We’re certain that you’ll find some great resources and powerful tools in Cause Machine to better engage your community as well. Learn how it can work for you here

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