Now that you’ve started a conversation between individuals, it is time to take it to the next level—community! But before you do so, you need to understand this one simple fact: community is not for everyone.
It takes a certain characteristic to involve a community and lead it. The main driving force is this: we all want to leave our mark in this world. If engagement is all about excitement, then community is all about change!
More often than not, your goals already give a preview of what you deem worthy of change. Your actions are propelled by the idea of something that you think is worth changing. A group of individuals yearn for something—that is up to you to figure out. It’s not necessarily something new—it may be something with a solid foundation but had no follow-through. Most of the time, these communities yearn for a sense of direction.
Changing the Rules
Things don’t work and goals don’t align because of faulty sets of rules. Community is all about changing these. Some rules are made to be broken, after all.
Changing these rules would require more effort than any one individual could muster. This is the driving force behind building a community—a plan of action that one person could not do alone. Your story is their story. It’s all about narrative.
Sharing Your Stories
Sharing your stories and finding common ground allows you to capture your community and connecting with them allows you to effect the change that you wish. More importantly, the impact of the story it took to find your community is the same impact that you have to effect after you’ve found your community. The after-narrative is as compelling—if not more.
Challenging the Status Quo
Of course, nothing great ever comes easy. To build things up, you need to tear some things down—but in a good way, of course. Effecting change takes destroying old beliefs and challenging the status quo. If you’re not making enemies, you’re not being effective. Well, not necessarily enemies. The fact is, once you stand up for something, you’re bound to upset someone. It’s part of the deal. Trust that when you’re challenging a belief, you’re doing something worthwhile.
This is a small price to pay considering all the minds you get to be with. If you’re lucky, the minds you get to lead. These people are the true agents of change.
Community is about committing to a brand of change, committing to common goals, committing to compounded efforts to make a common vision happen.
Building a community means cultivating a new culture, and it takes a lot of commitment. Find a memento that illustrates commitment, something members of your community can hold onto as a reminder of their involvement. Once you have a committed bunch of individuals, it’s time to redirect your goals—conversion.
It’s a tedious process to get from point A, which is awareness to point B, engagement, point C, community and finally to conversion—where your efforts take fruition. It’s finally time to convert these supporters to customers.