How to Build a Community
As changes in our modern workplace continue to rapidly shift, business leaders and executives are increasingly turning to their community to grow revenue. In a recent Pavilion post I highlighted how building mutually beneficial relationships can be leveraged for closing deals.
Selling through community builds trust, boosts loyalty, and fosters a valuable environment in which members share assets, knowledge, and resources. I’ve noted how business leaders can lean on their community to create new connections, trade insights, and build your personal brand — but how do we build a community that can help grow our business and empower others to do the same?
There are many paths to building a community, but there are three that I often point to that can help grow your business: support your existing champions, build your “Top 10”, and lead by example.
Recognize the circles you already run in
The easiest community to engage with is the one you’re already part of. If you look around, you’ll likely find there are communities you’re already active in.
With the rise of social media, as well as hybrid or WFH workplaces, professional communities now come in all shapes and sizes. LinkedIn, Rev Ops Collective, Reforge, and of course Pavilion are all vibrant communities you may already be using to help your business succeed.
Make a short list recognizing these communities as well as your circle of advocates and champions within them. Activate these relationships by finding ways to celebrate and support the people in your corner. Studies have shown that the law of reciprocity works best in trusting relationships wherein the giver has no expectation of return.
Build your top 10
When cultivating new communities outside your established circle of champions, I like to point people to a process I call “Building Your Top 10”. Your top 10 functions like a personal board of directors. A top 10 will ideally consist of five people senior to you as well as five peers or people junior to you.
The senior members of your top 10 are people you can go to for micro-mentoring sessions, people you can introduce your prospects to, or help you add value to your prospects. Those who are junior are connections you hope to support or promising people you may want to hire one day.
Some of the members of your top 10 may already be part of your community. But striking out and making new connections can reap strong rewards for both your business as well as your community. Attending business events and making connections on LinkedIn are valuable ways to start building your top 10. Offer to have virtual coffee with new contacts to start a discussion. Reach out to your favorite podcast hosts and guests with a personal note about something they said that you found valuable.
Get creative in building solid, mutual relationships that can be leveraged in your deals!
Lead by example
In a strong community, the more you give, the more you get! Become an active participant in your community and lead by example by sharing resources and opportunities with those around you.
Make an intro connecting prospects and customers that other community members could benefit from. Add value for your community by sharing assets, content, and industry data. Cultivate a leadership role by making yourself available for mentoring sessions for your junior top 5.
Community building is a two way street. By creating opportunities for those who are close to you, your community will be compelled to return the favor in kind. A healthy community is one built on a solid foundation of trust and mutual understanding.
With Covid spurring a steep rise in remote and hybrid workplaces, the prospect of creating inroads with new communities can feel daunting. But taking stock of your existing communities, building your top 10, and leading by example can help you take the next step in leveraging your community in sales and in life.
About the author
Laura “LG” Guerra has spent 12 years in sales across a variety of growth stages and industries, ranging from $200K ARR to $600M ARR.
She joined Pavilion in 2018 as a member, quickly becoming the Los Angeles Chapter Head before joining full time as the Vice President of Growth in 2020.
Guerra now oversees sales and customer success at Pavilion, focusing on corporate membership, called Pavilion for Teams.
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