As humans, our socialisation process – the way in which we are introduced to both social and cultural environments around us – happens in community spaces, varying from schools to workplaces.
As a result, we don’t feel alone in our experiences and seek to connect with other humans. We seek connection based on similar experiences to share topics that matter to us and to those we have in common.
In the modern world we increasingly seek more meaningful connections to find and offer support to other humans, with whom we can build relationships and systems to exchange information. This tendency has been increased with the shift that has been caused by the global pandemic that forced people to stay inside and work from home.
In recent years, we are seeing more communities built online without any of the members ever meeting in person. This takes place in places like Discord servers where one can learn languages or watch others play games, a safe space where people can interact.
How community building creates sharing and collective learning
Community building not only connects people but provides a means to shared experiences. Sharing is empowering and can turn into a source of motivation, inspiration, learning and support. When people are part of a community, they strive to become better, purely because of the environment that is created.
When people share their views and knowledge, they are able to help strengthen those around them. They motivate each other to learn, and it creates a collective action that improves not one, but all members of the community.
A community also creates a safe space where fears can be expressed, and advice can be given to those in need of it.
How community building leads to collective growth and innovation
Collective learning leads to collective growth. Communities provide the opportunity of ongoing exchanges with multiple perspectives, opinions, experiences, and expertise all vital in terms of innovation.
When a community member is unsure of something, they can ask advice from their peers. This advice is valuable to anyone as it sprouts growth and offers the community members to take innovation to solve the problem to help others grow.
How to use communities for your startup
There are three types of community which you can use to boost your startup and to raise funds – a startup community, a niche community, and building your own community.
These communities are valuable to your startup, and you should always aim to be part of at least one of these types of communities. They can help you in a myriad of ways, and give advice based on past experience. It helps with the growth of your startup and sometimes even the success.
With the rise of coworking spaces, who attract entrepreneurs and new business owners, there has been an increase in startup communities.
Startup communities are a place for entrepreneurs and new business owners to support each other, sharing experience and advice. Usually, they are started by successful entrepreneurs and ex startup owners who want to help others follow their lead.
Advice can range from the best ways of sourcing funding, ideas for growth, and solutions for any problems your startup may be encountering. If you are a new startup it can be a great way to find a mentor.
Actively participating in your industry community is essential, especially if you are a startup without a marketing budget and simply rely on word of mouth. It will give you opportunities to make a name for yourself in your sector, to connect directly with consumers, and gives you a platform for testing your products and services prior to launch.
Those consumers who engage positively with your product and services will then go on to promote your business when you launch. Which in turn will help your startup grow, not just in revenue, but also in brand.
Your own community
Word of mouth is still the most effective way to raise awareness and grow your startup. According to an article written by Forbes, 84% of people are more likely to trust a referral or recommendation if it comes from a friend.
Communities are the best social media tool for startups, as online communities can give you a global reach and are often more time and cost effective. An online community can take many forms, for example Google+, Twitter, a forum on your website or a blog encouraging sharing and engagement.
In all cases, influencers will drive the community, shaping the discussions and interactions within it. A strong and engaged community will lead to improved products, learning and innovation as well as growth.
As you can see communities are powerful tools for your startup and they can be the most valuable and honest source of feedback for your startup.
At Velvet Community we strive to offer startups the best possible opportunities. This means that we provide you with tips and tricks (which you can find in our blog section), personal advice and investments. Because of the importance of community, Velvet has created a startup community where startup owners can easily take part.
For more information on our Velvet Community, make sure to follow us on our social platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Or contact us for more information on what we have to offer.