Do you want to create something? If yes, then the most important to understand you need to deliver values for people. This nowadays you start several times with community building.
Next to this you need to answer 3 questions clearly.
- What are you doing?
- When are you delivering values?
- How are you delivering values to your audience?
Building a community
Well, community building is a good idea to test out your ideas. If that community interested in your work, or what you are doing, then you have much much more opportunities than without a community.
Because these people are IN FOR YOU, and for your idea, and for your solution.
Which is why it is a good idea to create an audience, aka build a community, who at least get used to you. Where you are recognized.
Maybe you are not having all the skills as an entrepreneur, but at least be recognized by a community.
- If you are not recognized then delivering value has not really have sense.
- If you are an expert, but has no community, well you might have a value, but you can not have the channels and platform where you can deliver them.
What does it mean?
You need to showcase your values on different channels. Community building is a good tool for this.
For example I started back then with
- Facebook groups around 8-10 years ago, yes that was a long time ago, then
- WordPress blogs, then
- started writing a lot on Quora during the pandemic (2 of my articles reached 1 million views: here is one), then started
- building communities on Quora.
My communities have not achieved thousands of people immediately. Oh and I did not build every community of mine up, I have deleted some, modified their names and created new ones. I was experimenting a lot. If I did not create 100+ communities I have created none.
So it is a kind of experimenting and for that I needed TIME a lot of TIME…
Build up communities
I needed 2 years to build up my communities from scratch.
- finding out the idea –
- creating the communities from 0 –
- building it up –
- used my writing skills too to attract people there.
Your skills not develop without practicing them.
Your skills only develop when you are kind of improving them every day.
You can develop your writing, coding, critical thinking, HVAC, building real estates, rental business, engineering, negotiating, selling, trading etc. skills. It will not improve from today to tomorrow, but I know how much it can improve from now to 1 year later.
So what I needed to achieve 125 000+ people in one community? AND 1 to 5 000+ people in other communities.
Well, everyday work, obviously.
- writing several posts,
- moderating the community and
- growing it.
I wanted them to be fully organic and needed to develop with those communities as well.
You need perseverance and dedication to follow through, need to moderate people in those communities, create rules etc.
You need to find out/understand the dynamics, what kind of topics you want to see in that community and that is not enough, you need to understand what others want to see.
Creating rules & guidelines
Since my biggest community is about Human behaviour & Life, the first few months of mine was spent by that declared what I want and do not want to see in that community and what are not my goals.
As did not want people to give each other psychological or medical advice, as that is what doctors need to give who have medical degrees.
No one can help others who has not a medical degree, by giving medical advice, that is what fraudulent people are doing and that was not the goal.
That is why finding out rules and guidelines which you need to develop as the community grow is essential.
An example for that kind of behaviour what Elisabeth Holmes did with Theranos.
She (CEO) and Sunny Balwani (COO and president of Theranos) had no medical degrees. They were going to jail becuase of defrauding investors and patients.
Obviously no one want to go to jail, so needed to find out guidelines to be able to create an environment where people can share their opinion with each other in a normal way.
Life experience sharing
The goal was to create a community where people CAN SHARE their REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES. This might help others too since others can understand how others think and understand their life view and view from different ways.
That is what I have found helpful, since previously shared a lot of experiences of mine on different platforms.
I was reading a lot of experiences from others and found them helpful.
Previously created blogs, and shared experiences there too, created Facebook groups too.
Find out goals and stick to it
So what I am trying to say is you need to find out WHAT is your goal with community building and WHAT IS NOT your goal with your community and audience.
And STICK to your goals, and it is very very difficult several times.
Sometimes you feel there is no sense when you delete the 50th troll questions and answers.
Community building is a process and a long one. You need to have a clear goal in mind what you really want and what you do not want as you will the one who define the framwork, guidelines and rules if you are the one who building it.
It not happens from day 1 to day 2 it is a long game.
Just like writing a blog or choosing professions like being a medical doctor, lawyer or engineer.
A clearly defined goal help the community grow fast.
Well-being of the community
You need to stick to rules, and moderate others while you are in the community building process. Stick to your guidelines what you created to them to make that community kind of well and secure.
The well-being is important not only for a person but for a community as well.
Obviously it is a good idea to create a community on a platform which already have rules and regulations.
So if anything go south the operators of the platform can intervene and stop the whole community from working.
If most people well you will feel good too, people in a community will be
- full of good ideas how to help others with different questions and answers.
However, if you do not keep the community healthy the health of it will deterioriate, just because the well-being of the people will be not good.
Creating new channels
After building this community felt could help people more if I create a Blog.
Previously already had 2 or 3 blogs. Even though I was happy creating a blog, was unwell from the topic.
Created the Blog in July 2022 with this url: www.humanbehaviourandpsychology.com
However, was unwell from the name of it, even if my community was well.
Next to this, had 10+ more communities, so felt something need to change something kind of very fast.
That is why changed the name & url of the blog in April 2023 (2 months ago) to silkandcake.com.
The only reason I did as was fed up with the name and my goal was not to create a Blog which is about medical, or psychological topics.
Changing the name
So changed the url to another url, and deleted a lot of articles, reorganized everything mostly in one night. Since my goal was not to create a blog around psychological topic.
I had a GOAL to create a Blog, where I can write about all kind of topics, which I was interested in and people might be interested in.
Due to this behaviour as a topic can be part of that blog too, but other topics too like experiences, technology, business, design, lifestyle, innovation, travel, inspiration, sustainable development.
Since most topics one way or another related to human behaviour I have created a blog, where I can be creative.
Plus learned SEO and developed writing skills and a very long url maybe not the best idea either.
So what I did?
Changed the url.
Change is good
It was harsh since had several backlinks behind that blog. So obviously lost readers and was a bit unhappy about it.
However, was very happy about the name changing.
I really felt it was the BEST IDEA ever what I did. Since do not have to write about and stick to a topic which even me made uncomfortable. As writing about psychology is something what I think psychologists should who I am not and won’t be.
Plus wanted to create a blog, which is more human centered. And other interesting topics like
- business and
- lifestyle centered.
Gaining back audience
What I did then?
How I gained back followers?
I started again with experiences, which means still have on this blog articles which related to human behaviour especially the older ones, but this is only one topic here.
I do not have to stick to one or two topics. This motivated me to be more creative.
Since felt new inspiration, which is very important for me in order to feel good and write about different topics.
Moreover felt several times that the Human behaviour and Psychology topic just pushed me down as the topic itself not an easy one, and a lot of people misunderstood.
People start to talk about negative behaviour traits of others, even if that was not a goal in my mind when I created the community.
What it was is more like showing that (Human behaviour & Psychology) now Human behaviour & Life is a vast area and not all about bad personality traits. As in that time around 2021 when I created, there was a trend where people write a lot about each other’s negative personality traits.
There were not one or two community with almost the same name like this.
However, felt a better community can be created regarding this topic. That is why I started and created this one.
So if something not working just change the topic. Change is something which might help you to be better in one area of your life and this might have a compound effect aka this might help you in other areas of your life to change of improve them too.
From past to present
However, was still sad a bit about those backlinks I lost due to the url change. So found out what if I redirect old url to the new one. Which might help to grow this Blog and not everything lost.
Building up something is not happening in minutes and days, it takes months, years or decades.
I am happy that have a Blog now where I can write about different topics and not all my past work lost.
Next to this can write about new topics for example design, experience, entertainment, lifestyle.
For me not started with communities.
Community building is just some part of the skill I have gained and built up along the years.
It started with helping in translating in business trips. Webshop creating, social media management, advertising on Facebook, Insta, Twitter, Linkedin, Quora. Creating, succeeding, failing several webshops, and communities.
Then writing blogs, creating again communities on other platforms, then again creating blogs.
Developing my writing skills to be able to write this article all alone without the help of ChatGPT and any kind of AI or bot. Developing my business development skills to create partnerships.
Next to it working in different fields, working with different people all around the world etc.
That is why now have a portfolio what I can showcase. It not has been created in the last 2 days. It took for years to build it up something like this with experiences, communities, posts, articles, blogs and design.
In the beginning of 2022 created another blog as part of the the Greenfrastructures project, which is still let’s say “under construction” and in 2023 the Go Green brand, where found out sustainable brand and design.
How to build an audience?
My advice from experiences are that if you are building something always think through
What are you doing, what is your mission, what are your values?
Next to this ask from yourself:
- Why are you doing it? For me I had goals and had to stick to them.
- When and how will you deliver values? This one is tricky, because several times you just realize while you are doing it whether it has sense or not. You might think it has sense and there is no only for you. Other times new opportunities come up only because you have started something.
- How will you be recognized? Build up something if not working change. I mean change only if you want to change. Several times building up something makes you feel content and happy and you realize what are the really important things in life. Then you are sticking to them instead of sticking to change and building up something. So you might be interested in the learning new skills part while others only interested in the growth part.
For me for example gaining several skills in different areas helped me a lot. As I like to create and find out things and learn too.
Like numbers and growth, but not because of the data itself or customers. But more like interested how can I achieve it by finding out different ways.
While others might have other intentions why they are doing what they are doing.
- Why would people want to turn to you?
Maybe because of your skills or knowledge who knows. But building up something is a lot of time so never forget you have only one life. Which is more important than doing something which might have no sense.
Building audiences to start something
People build communities for different goals and variety of reasons.
Some build them to build a start-up, others build them as a hobby, another people to find out how to build them at all.
If you are let’s say in a start-up ecosystem you might build audiences and communities for the following reasons.
Before you think everyone doing for the same reason that is not true, but if you want to build start-ups here are some reasons why people say it is a good idea to build communities.
For example audience building is crucial for startups to
- validate target market and
- ensure there is sufficient demand for their product or service.
By building an audience, startups can
- gauge interest,
- collect feedback, and
- refine their offerings based on the needs and preferences of their target audience.
However not everyone who build communities want to build start-ups.
So if you want to build them then build and let others build their own life and communities however they want.
Startups need customers to sustain and grow their business. Building an audience helps startups in attracting and acquiring customers more effectively.
By understanding audience’s
- interests, and
- pain points,
these fast growing companies can tailor their marketing messages and strategies to resonate with their target audience and convert them into customers.
Building audience helps companies increase their brand awareness.
Early stages companies often have limited resources compared to established companies, making it crucial for them to reach the right audience with their brand message.
By building an audience through various channels such as
- social media,
- content marketing, and
- community engagement,
startups can enhance their visibility and create a strong brand presence.
Feedback and Iteration
Companies especially startups thrive on feedback to iterate and improve their products or services.
An engaged audience can provide
- valuable insights,
- suggestions, and
- critiques that help startups refine their offerings and
- enhance the overall customer experience.
By actively listening to audience, companies can adapt strategies and offerings to better meet customer needs and stay ahead in the competitive market.
Advocacy and Word-of-Mouth
An audience that is engaged and satisfied with a startup’s offerings can become brand advocates and generate positive word-of-mouth.
These advocates can significantly contribute to the growth of the startup by recommending the product or service to others in their networks.
Building an audience and nurturing relationships with them can lead to a network effect, where satisfied customers become brand ambassadors and help in acquiring new customers.
Audience building and startups are closely connected as audience insights inform product development, marketing strategies, and customer acquisition efforts.
By building an engaged and loyal audience, startups can increase their chances of success by
- validating their market,
- acquiring customers,
- enhancing brand awareness,
- gathering feedback,
- leveraging advocacy and word-of-mouth.
VCs like delivered values
By the way most VCs will tell the same if you tell them
“Hey I have a nice idea. I need a software.”
That is cool, but
- How can you deliver values?
- What are the channels where you do this?
- Do you have an MVP?
- Are you recognized as an expert in your field?
- Can you communicate clearly, demonstrate and deliver your values with expert skills?
- Do you have audiences which stick to you or at least interested in what you are doing?
Well, if you do not have answers, then you will be not better than those self-proclaimed experts aka “doctors, psychologists, and coaches” who are on social media.
Who are creating a video about topics where for example they say this:
“never ask your friends and family’s opinion about your relationship as they will always verify your opinion and this will not help on you as they always on your side…”
(This advice might be good and real if you are in a healthy relationship and a relationship involves two mature adults.)
However, it is a very bad advice if someone let’s say in an unhealthy relationship.
In that case his/her family and friends could help on that person to get out from it fast. However if that person does not speak to them because of a bad advice what someone shared on social media that is not good.
Literally I think those people should be banned out from social media platforms. They might want to deliver value, but forget that the coin has 2 sides. What advice is good for someone not good for others.
Influencers and creators
Share useful advice only
So whatever you do in community building, at least be sure you do not make the world a worse place with your advice what it was previously.
Community building is not easy. If you want to share something at least try to investigate after what you are doing is good and has sense or you are just doing something without brain.
Sharing something without critical thinking and clear feedback has
- no sense and
- 0 value
aka stop wasting your precious time and try to do something more useful with your life.
Or do the opposite and learn fast from your failures to be able to use your past experiences in order to build up something useful.
The decision is always yours.