Earlier today a dear client shared about HighBrow, an online learning startup and how they have built a community of 400,000+ learners by offering to send them an idea a day.
This got me thinking of other brands that have done that.
Back in 2005, when I got into online community building, I came across, A.W.A.D. (a word a day) by Anu Garg an Indian Engineer-turned-Wordsmith who is now based out of Pacific Northwest in the US. I became a fan. Garg has built a huge brand and is globally recognized for his work, thanks to in part to A.W.A.D. that completed 25 years of existence in 2019,
In recent times, The Hustle, Morning Brew, and TheSkimm have built huge businesses on the back or million-plus member communities.
Ryan Holiday applied this same idea to Stoicism and turned it into the DailyStoic website and book later.
Needless to say, the idea of community to grow a business is time tested and can work wonders for the growth of a startup or a personal brand. It can even become the startup itself.
Benefits Of An Engaged Community
An engaged community can make business growth easy.
- You can launch a new project amidst the community, and save a ton of money that you otherwise would spend on promotion and advertising.
- Ask for what your customers want and validate your idea before turning it into a product. That’s ready market intelligence.
- It is also great for building awareness because every day you are top of the mind of the customer. And, you can take the help of your community for initial engagement and sharing of any major content asset you launch.
How to Build A Community
It can be as simple as inviting a few people in your network and asking them if you can send them a daily update. Maria Popova started BrainPickings as an email that she sent to 7 of her friends. It has now turned into a much-loved brand and business that earns Maria millions in annual revenue.
You can be methodical and kickstart it by running online ads to onboard the first set of users, even before you launch it.
Don’t get into analysis paralysis mode about your choice of platform. Choose one that is easier for you to manage. Email or Facebook only, both combined or Slack or Discord all are platforms that are good.
It is important than you can know your goals of starting a community, have a plan to grow, including what you will say and how much time you’ll invest in the growth of your community.
Wish you success as you work to build your community.