Developing a strong community is essential to building a successful startup.
In previous blog posts, we discussed ‘why Pepcorns?’ and promised you to keep answering the same in the future as we move along. We discussed the need of Pepcorns? why now? how we doing this? and more. You should check it out if you haven’t already. In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about how important is ‘community for startups’…
In every generation, businesses have attempted to engage and build communities. For the same reason, they rely on tricks and marketing. As communities evolved and went digital, it became evident that the influencer economy has gained traction and community influencer becoming more significant. Building in public is the best thing you can do when you are getting started. This keeps your community updated and indulged; a great way to engage with potential customers, investors and brand advocates.
At Pepcorns, we believe in the power of communities built on inclusion. This is something we witness every day in our ecosystem, which allows founders to raise capital from anyone in their network or community, enabling them to turn their network into investors.
The Importance of Community
You’re starting a new business with an idea. How do you get people talking?
Advertising could be an option, but it would take a very good campaign to convince prospects to take an interest in something they have never heard of. Social proof is a strong selling point; no wonder social platforms have tried to capitalize on it with social ads, and consumers have concerns like how their actions are used as proof of legitimacy.
Recommendations are most valuable when they come naturally. A genuine review can be easily distinguished from one that’s prompted by promotion or giveaway. If you can create a community around your business or convince an existing community to take notice of your business then they will do a lot of the hard work, even initial investments that you can later use for growth or expansion.
Personally while building Pepcorns, we found Clubhouse, Telegram, and Newsletter highly effective to communicate. We also experiment with Twitter (and other social FOMO platforms), Discord, and podcasts you can try the same.
Community- Nuts and Bolts
Your product is at immense risk of failure if the users don’t come back, engage or increase the growth rate. When you have a group of people who actively talk about the same thing and share what they are missing in your MVP (Minimum Value Product) or product, it gets much easier to understand what to build next, how to avoid high churn rate and get validation of your product idea.
Canva, Bubble, and recently Clubhouse are a few of our favourites that utilize community significantly. Clubhouse founders took the leverage of their network and community, targeted to the specific niche went beta launching — Founders and VCs — which helped them become the immediate talking point of the tech world.
How to leverage the community
There are three ways you can use communities to boost your business. You can join startup communities to get advice from like-minded entrepreneurs; niche communities to engage with consumers and influencers in your market, and you can also start your own community.
These communities consist of successful entrepreneurs, angels, and veterans who want to help others follow their lead. Discussions may vary from the best ways to source funding to ideas for growth as well as solutions for any problems you may encounter.
If you’re new to running your own business then joining a startup community is an essential step towards success and can help you find a mentor.
Actively participating in industry communities is essential for businesses of all sizes, especially startups that don’t have the marketing bucks and so have to rely more on word of mouth early on. This is your chance to find space in your verticle and connect directly with consumers. Startups leverage these communities to test products and services prior to launch. It’s a great way to get feedback from the most engaged consumers who (if it’s good enough) will then evangelize your business when you launch.
Opinion Makers: Influencers & Brand Advocates
Influencers are the key members of any community; they drive discussion and opinion. It is they who share the hottest content and you want them to talk about you, your product. Their review, feedback or shoutout gets you virality; an essential source of promotion.
The most useful (and important to your success!) reason for using communities as a startup is to raise funds, and there is no better way than Pepcorns. Firstly, you can use those networks, communities and evangelists you’ve developed to help spread the word. The most successful campaigns are those taken up by opinion makers (Influencers).
The premise is simple: For their investment, you promise to give backers special rewards based on their contribution. This could be premium subscriptions to early product availability, your CRPs/equity. This encourages your fans to endorse your business and build Angel’s community around it. This way, you not only get funding for your idea but also build an engaged community that helps you on every step even future funding. Start building your community as early, it’s a game changer.
We will be writing more about harnessing the power of the community in upcoming blogs. Meanwhile, be sure to sign up on Pepcorns to get mail when we write next time!