This week we have a different type of episode. This episode is a crosspost of my (David Spinks’) talk in an episode of the Community Experience (CX) podcast with hosts Jillian Benbow and Tony Bacigalupo. You’ll learn about the number one mistake to avoid when measuring your community impact, identifying and engaging super members in an authentic way, and how a kid with a passion for a Tony Hawk video game became one of the leading voices in the digital community movement. Who is this episode for? First-time community managers and managers of brand new business communities. Three key takeaways: 1. Evolution of the identity of community professionals: In the early days, a community professional was someone who ran a Facebook page, and the community management function was not well understood by organizations. Larger companies found - and often still find - it operationally challenging to build and manage their communities because of their sheer size. Now, professionals in the community space have used their experience in creating communities and conferences like CMX Summit to carve out a unique identity for their profession. 2. How community became a tool for business growth: The lack of directly monetizable assets in the community means they are more likely to divert their profit away from the community towards other initiatives with higher ROI. Community professionals have to navigate the intersection of social norms of connection and business norms of profit to bring out the value of communities for the businesses that commission them. The most powerful way to convey the value of a brand is to convey the value and social benefits of the brand’s community. 3. Easy wins for starter communities: Start with the business objective and use that as a constraint to define what kind of community programs and platforms you invest in. Every objective will have its own set of experts, platforms/tools, protocols, and a customized budget with expected outcomes. Starter communities would find it more efficient to measure business impact if they only focus on one or two parts of the “SPACES model” that David talks about in his book “The Business of Belonging”. Focus on building one-on-one relationships by focusing on conversations centered around the participants’ goals. Notable Quotes: 1. “You find a group of people who are isolated, who don't have a place to express an identity that they have, and you give them that space where their identity is accepted, it's made into the default, it's made into the norm, it's even celebrated. It can be life-changing for people.” 2. “There's no greater way to motivate someone to trust you as a brand than to give them a true sense of belonging, and to say, don't just trust us, we're creating a network, a community, a space where now you can form relationships, you can get support, you can grow your career here. That's, to me, the ultimate form of trust, and that's where the massive opportunity lies for businesses to invest in the community.” 3. “The beauty of community is that there are countless ways that you can build community... At the end of the day, all [that] the community is connecting people to each other so they can help each other and form relationships. There are countless ways you can do that” 4. “Orienting around a business outcome just makes it inherently easier to know exactly what success looks like because it's baked in right from the start” 5. “You don't want to open up a new forum and expect people to just show up and start creating value for each other if you don't have a starting point. In fact, you could end up doing a lot of damage because those people are going to start talking to each other about you and you won't be able to control it, and you might not like what they have to say.” 6. “Relationships are the atomic unit of community. If you break down a community into its atomic units, it's just a bunch of relationships of people with each other.” 7. “You can never force people to engage or to do something they're not intrinsically motivated to do. But what you can do is find the people who are intrinsically motivated, put them in a position where they have influence... now you're showing other people an example of what being a leader in this community can be.” Answers to rapid-fire questions: 1. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A doctor or a lawyer. He picked up a passion for entrepreneurship after he saw a girl in his high school create a wallet for blind people. 2. How do you define community? It is a group of people who are willing to make your problems into their problems. 3. What is something that is on your bucket list that you have done? He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. 4. What is something on your bucket list that you would like to do? He wants to live in a van for an extended period of time with his family. 5. What is a book that you are loving right now? Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters 6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be? Tel Aviv city, Israel. 7. How do you want to be remembered? As someone who just showed up when people needed it.
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