Communities are valuable and important to our society, and they can play an important role in building a strong foundation for future growth. When done correctly, they can provide a sense of belonging and support that can be essential for achieving success. In fact, communities have been shown to play an important role in everything from job satisfaction to physical health. There are many benefits to building and participating in a community, and it is important to consider the various factors that can make a community successful before diving in.
We can build communities in many different ways. We can build them around a common interest, a common goal, or a common cause. The key is how we connect the people. It doesn't matter how large of a community we are building, or how small the community is, what matters are the connections that are being made.
How do we make the connections? There are many ways to do this, but the two most common ways are through face-to-face interactions and through online interactions. Sometimes it depends on the person on how comfortable you are when interacting with people. Note that when meeting people regardless of online or in-person, the person in front of you is also feeling the same. In order to make a connection, it takes effort from both parties. Everyone feels good when they are valued, but sometimes, we just have to break the ice to get to know one another.
Tips to help make connections:
Find ways to make connections through LinkedIn
Write blogs or articles about things you are passionate about
Ask to see if the person would like to meet on a zoom call
Join meetups or eventbrite to scan for local activities
If you are an introvert join discord or slack communities to chat and connect with people
Where do I start if I want to build a community?
1. Start with a Vision: What do you want to accomplish with your community? What do you want to get out of it? What do you want to learn from it? What do you want to teach others about it? What is the WHY? All of these questions are critical when building a community with a purpose.
2. Create a Purpose/Mission statement: This is the foundational document for your community. It will guide you in all of the decisions you make as you build the community.
3. Create and Run Experiments: Not all experiments will work out, but it's important to try new things and learn from them as you build the community. One of the most important things to consider during the experiments is that you are working with people. We want people to connect and we want to help them connect. Start a meetup in person, or do it virtually, start a discord, or slack channel. Try different tools and techniques to connect people.
4. Empower your community members: This is hard, but allow for your members to take certain decisions to move the community forward. Let them run it. It's important to give them the tools and the support, but it's also important to let them make mistakes and learn from them.
5. Create a Steering Committee: This is the group of volunteers who are passionate, and want to help the community grow, but also the gate keepers and people who keep everyone else accountable.
It take a lot of work to build a community, but in the world we live in, it is important that we stay in touch with people and create strong connections. Remember, when building your community, create an environment that is safe, where people can come with positive energy, where people can grow, and where people can come and #transformtogether.
Are you interested in learning more about community building? Come and join us at our kick-off event on October 10th! Click HERE to learn more!