Communities are the new superheroes of the startup world. Entrepreneurs and businesses are discovering that building a community first is the quickest method to introduce and market their product to an existing audience. Building a community first is the secret to success. This is demonstrated by businesses like Clubhouse, TikTok, and Stack Overflow, where engineers find answers to questions and support one another daily. By thoughtfully and deftly allowing people to contribute and receive value through material and experiences, platforms like Wikipedia, Whatsapp, Pagalguy, and CiteHR have carved out a niche within their respective communities. Small firms and creators also utilise communities, so community-led startup is not just a thing in large corporations. In this article, we discuss what community-led startups are, why they are essential, and what steps should be taken in launching community-led startups.
We cannot proceed to know how to launch a community-led startup without getting to know what they are first. Basics are vital as they build the foundation. Below are some basics that you should know about community-led startups.
What is a community Led Startup?
A community-led startup is a method of connecting with your audience and enabling that audience to engage with one another to form a community. In turn, this will enable the community to assist you in developing your future product.
A community-led startup focuses on developing consumer relationships, brand loyalty, credibility, and endorsement. In such a startup, the value is not limited to the product itself but stretches far beyond it. A growth strategy that harnesses the brand community in conjunction with the product or sales-led growth ties back to the brand’s objectives and aims. In some instances, the product might develop a community. Members of the community serve as the company’s customers in a community-driven start-up. To maintain engagement and foster community growth, they also add value for other community members. Often, the startup’s marketing and sales are launched by the local community.
Importance of having a strong community for startups
If we take a walk down memory lane, creating a brand community has traditionally been disregarded and underutilised. Instead of considering it a substantial growth tactic, it has been tagged as an informal gesture.
It is important to cultivate your brand community from the very beginning of the launch of your startup rather than putting it on hold. The importance of community-led startups is vast. If you build a strong community, you will also establish a strong connection with your target market. By speaking with them and observing how they engage with other community members, you can learn about the actual issues that they are dealing with.
The people in your community will be among the first to use the product you eventually introduce. Following the launch of your product, you can obtain real-time feedback from your community, learn about the market, and address customer inquiries. It becomes easier to understand what to create next, how to minimise churn rate, and how to receive validation for your product concept when you have a strong community.
Steps in Launching Community-Led Startups
Now that you have understood what a community-led startup is and why it is important to build a strong community, you need to look at the best and quickest strategy to develop a community. Following are the steps one should take in launching community-led startups.
- Understand your community – Understanding your community is the first and foremost step in launching a community-led startup. You need to know what your community wants to gain their support. You can look into the local Chamber of Commerce and other corporations, attend community gatherings and events to gain a sense of the community and find out what other local companies think of the community by speaking with them. Interacting with the community and forming connections with them like this will help you understand them better. Social media can also be used to network with locals and advertise your business.
- Build a strong brand – Build a strong brand, as your brand is what distinguishes you from other businesses and lets customers know what to anticipate from your business. Drawing in clients and fostering loyalty will become much easier if your brand is powerful.
- Create a community-focused product – The most genuine and significant focus group is your community. Your community members can offer valuable feedback on your product as customers. Thus, you need to create products keeping in mind the wants and needs of your community. The most successful businesses have a devoted following that has developed a community. Consider Starbucks as an example. They based their brand on the idea of community itself, and they specialise in establishing social gathering spots. The ability of a product’s community to keep customers is its most significant advantage. The community serves as an anchor, bringing one patron back into the fold when they lose interest or get momentarily distracted. Creating a community-focused product will ensure that your community has your back.
- Create a launch strategy – The focus of the first month is selecting the best community platform, which is typically a Facebook group, a Slack channel, or a full-featured platform such as Tribe. Your launching strategy should be based on a careful selection of platforms. It should also incorporate your financial and marketing strategy. You should have a well-formed financial plan that directs your community-led startup, such as the money needed to establish the startup and ways to generate revenue. Your launch will be successful if you have finances managed beforehand and have your promotions plans straight.
- Grow and expand your business – Verify your products by enlisting the help of industry professionals. Join hands with other experts to expand the reach of your business. This can include inviting guests and streaming live sessions with them on your channel or articles written by guest experts that you can publish on your website. Using influencer marketing can aid in brand reputation and awareness-building. You can also use offline methods to grow your business. This can be done by hosting your events or sponsoring events that brand ambassadors hold.
Build your community-led startup with Eqvista!
Community-led growth is an alternative GTM (Go-to-market) strategy that works within your current marketing mix. You can pair it with more conventional growth strategies like product-led or sales-led growth to get the best out of it. To be able to launch a community-led startup with laurels will require professional assistance, and Eqvista is here to help you. With the help of Eqvista’s cap table software and industry-leading valuation services, you can manage your startup effectively. Try Eqvista for streamlining equity management in your community-led startup.