Earning Your Right to Community

Earning Your Right to Community
Act. Inspire. Lead.

Starting and launching a thriving online community is sooo much more than just expertise.

Forget about traditional qualifications like transcripts or diplomas hanging on the wall. Or badges on your LinkedIn profile. Nobody cares about your "flair."

Social media success depends on what you do, how you do it, and how consistently you do it.

In other words, you have to earn it.

I know, you just thought this was a short cut post to success...and then I hit you with the "get out there and do stuff" right hook combo. Consider this a kick in your digital pants, a call to action. jj

YES, you can do it. But also YES, you have to do something!

The best part? It's permissionless.

You don't need a certificate from an institution, you don't kneed six figures of debt, and you most definitely don't need a seed round from flavor-of-the-month VC.

So, who are these community leaders?

They stand apart from average builders due to their unwavering commitment to action.

Audacious and relentless actions propel them forward, distinguishing them in the online landscape.

Here's a great example:

But it doesn't stop there. This action serves as a guiding compass:

1️⃣ More action leads to more feedback.
2️⃣ More feedback leads to improvement.
3️⃣ Improvement leads to better actions.

It's a continuous cycle of growth.

And it's totally achievable. Here's how you can do it.

Credibility over Expertise

Without establishing credibility through actions, community builders may struggle to gain the trust and respect of their audience.

Building credibility goes beyond just claiming expertise; it's about showcasing your commitment to growth and improvement. When your audience sees your dedication, they're more likely to trust your guidance and insights.

Actions to Take:

  • Document your learning process and experiences, allowing your audience to see your growth over time. Save that sawdust (your notes); it has value!
  • Regularly showcase your progress, demonstrating that you're actively working to improve. Updates matter!
  • Stay up-to-date with industry trends and learn new skills. Practice what you preach for learning!

Embrace Transparency

Failing to admit when you don't know something can erode trust and authenticity in your community.

Transparency is about being honest and open about your expertise level. Admitting when you're uncertain, or lack knowledge can make you more relatable to your audience and foster trust.

Actions to Take:

  • Don't hesitate to acknowledge areas where you lack expertise and express your willingness to learn. "I don't know...but I know the right person..." are the most powerful words you can use as a community leader.
  • Discuss past errors and the valuable lessons you've learned from them, showing your commitment to growth. Not being perfect is an asset, not a liability.
  • Create an environment where your community feels comfortable providing feedback and sharing their knowledge. Regular surveys or group conversations make this happen on the regular.

Take a Value-Centric Approach

Focusing solely on flaunting your expertise can alienate your audience and hinder genuine connection.

A value-centric approach prioritizes providing your audience with content that enriches their lives and addresses their needs. It's about helping and educating, rather than self-promotion.

Actions to Take:

  • Get to know your community's challenges, questions, and interests to tailor your content to their needs. Use their topics as inspiration.
  • Provide actionable advice and solutions to the problems your audience faces. Start the conversation or invite a guest to speak on the topic.
  • Connect with others in your field to share valuable resources and expand the knowledge base of your community. Your network is your net worth.

Solve People's Problems

Failing to address your audience's challenges can result in a disengaged and uninterested community.

Identifying and solving your audience's problems positions you as a valuable resource. When community members see that you provide practical solutions, they're more likely to engage and stay connected.

Actions to Take:

  • Pay close attention to your community's questions, concerns, and pain points, and respond with relevant suggestions. Solutions aren't sustainable advice.
  • Develop step-by-step guides or tutorials that help your audience navigate common challenges. Work with your members to make this possible!
  • Foster conversations within your community where members can share their problems and collaboratively find solutions. Office hours or monthly meetups provide a great forum for group learning.

Teach What You Learn

Failing to share your insights and experiences can limit your community's growth and hinder your own development as an expert.

Teaching what you learn along the way benefits both you and your community. It solidifies your expertise and empowers others to follow in your footsteps.

Actions to Take:

  • Write articles, create videos, or host webinars where members can share their latest discoveries and insights. Let them shine!
  • Establish mentorship programs or peer-to-peer learning opportunities within your community. Even 1-on-1 matchmaking can set a positive trend!
  • Partner with community members on projects that allow them to apply what they've learned. Co-building = community + building!

Engage Actively

Problem: Failing to engage with your audience can result in a disconnected and disinterested community.

Explanation: Active engagement is essential for building a sense of community and fostering a supportive environment. It encourages participation and enhances the overall experience for your members.

Actions to Take:

  • Always acknowledge and respond to comments and questions from your community members. Take the time to learn from everyone!
  • Host meetups to interact directly with your audience. Live beats text every...single...time.
  • Inspire your community to create and share their content, further promoting engagement and collaboration. They post, you share!

By structuring your community-building efforts around these perspectives and taking the suggested actions, you can create a vibrant and supportive online community that thrives on commitment, growth, and shared value.