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On the latest #BiteSize episode, Morgan Brown talks about how startups can leverage communities to acquire and engage customers by building their own community or being a part of an existing one.

  • MB

    Morgan Brown

    over 4 years ago #

    That was fun - thanks for having me Rahul. Happy to answer any questions here.

    • RV

      Rahul Varshneya

      over 4 years ago #

      Pleasure's all mine! :)

      I do have a query though: what are your pointers (do's or don'ts) to those that are looking to leverage communities by being a part of existing ones?

      • MB

        Morgan Brown

        over 4 years ago #

        Hey @rahulvarshneya - thanks for the follow up question.

        I think the keys to participating in existing communities are:

        Watch the waves before you jump in. When experienced surfers go to surf a new spot, they will spend a good chunk of time just sitting on a beach, watching the waves and getting a feel for the break. They don't rush into the water. They want to see how and where the waves break, etc.

        Inexperienced surfers jump right in. That's a bad idea. You don't know where the rocks and reef are, where the waves break, what the current is doing to other surfers out there, etc.

        Sitting on the beach may not seem like an important part of surfing to the untrained eye. But it's essential and something the best surfers spend a lot of time doing--watching the waves.

        Same thing in a community. Once you join, you should watch the waves for a bit. Get a sense of the cadence of the place. Who the strong voices are, what topics resonate, what content gets shared and discussed, what the community values, hates/etc.

        Don't just jump in and thrash around. Get a feel first before you dive in.

        Once you have a feel, the key is to be helpful. Serve the community first. Too many people want to take from the community before they give. And you have to really give: time, energy, a fresh perspective, etc.

        For example, in nearly two years, I have only posted two links back to my own site on GrowthHackers. I have contributed hundreds of other articles, comments and votes in that time.

        So how do you be helpful?

        You can flag posts that don't belong.
        You can answer newbie questions with links back to older posts.
        You can add context and additional links to discussions.
        You can share interesting, non-self serving content.
        You can work on engaging with the moderators and leadership of communities -- just don't come across as needy. Building relationships with the members of the community is the best way to get lasting value out of participating.

        This one is important:
        Respect and protect the community -- so many people just want to abuse the community for some short-term or short-sighted gain. Like a few clicks on their shitty content marketing. They burn bridges without ever knowing it. These people do not really care about the community. When you stand up for the community, you earn the respect of the people who care about it.

        As you share content, insights and contribute you build up credibility in the community. That credibility is the benefit that you derive.

        Once you've paid enough into the system, you have some leeway to ask for things in return. But again, most people get this wrong. They ask for way too much, way too soon.

        Those are just a few thoughts. Hope that helps.

  • SC

    Simon Cave

    over 4 years ago #

    Love the part when you talk about Twitter

  • DD

    Deandre Durr

    over 4 years ago #

    No tricks, No tactics, No magic bullet

    One Principle: Grow Your Business= Grow your community

    @morgan that was very dope!

  • RT

    Roman Temkin

    over 4 years ago #

    Thanks for this post!

  • MB

    Morgan Brown

    over 4 years ago #

    Glad it was helpful @BrownEyed_Mulgi!