What is Community Led Growth?

Community led growth is enabling your community to share their excitement, knowledge, and expertise about you. It’s giving them the tools, encouragement, and opportunities to share your mission with the world. 

Creating a movement is very helpful with this. A movement gives members something to believe, it’s a goal we work to achieve together. It’s something our potential audience wants to be a part of. 

By sharing this movement, and helping others adopt it, learn about it, and connect with similar minded people, we create a community that cares about our company, products, and future. 

Each relationship built between the Community Manager and a member is nurtured. As we get to know members we enable them to reach their goals, in the mission we’ve created. If they want to share on social media, we help them create their following and hone their expertise. We share their profile, call out the amazing things they’ve done, and support them to do more. 

We don’t try to tie everything back to our name or product because our company becomes a part of this mission and synonymous with what they are already doing. 

Community Led growth is very similar to creating advocacy. Members who join our community are likely to fall into certain buckets and by identifying those buckets (4 of them), we can create the opportunities they need. 

Laura Ramos from Forrester talks about 4 types of advocacy and I believe that most people who join a community fall into these buckets: educators, career status seekers, evaluators, and collaborators. 

Educators want to teach, they become our most active experts, they care more about giving back than getting the spotlight, but appreciate acknowledgement. 

Career Status Seekers want the opportunity to learn, share, and SHINE. They want to create, get our attention, get the world’s attention, build relationships (more to come on this) and get to the next level of their career. They are massively helpful to getting exposure. 

Evaluators are the people who will be honest and tell us what we need to hear. They’ll tell the community what it needs to hear, they keep us in line, share feedback on products, services, our mission, and direction. They help us adhere to a high level of quality. 

Collaborators are the ones who aren’t usually super active in the community but they want to do more with us. They want to create projects together, build new products together, share their expertise with our company and enable their own. They will build businesses off our company and die with us, if need be. 

Among all of this is the foundation of relationships. A Community professional knows that not only does the community need direction, someone to manage a lot of relationships at scale, and create word of mouth, they also have to build a sense of community that enables members to come together, to meet the right people, learn from each, set the social norms that support their outreach and introductions. 

A community professional knows their audience, how it wants to engage with others, and the technology that is available, then turns visitors into invested members who have a social responsibility to return, contribute, and support. 

All of this is a part of Community and Community led growth, because as these members believe in our products/services and mission, they will invest loyalty, they’ll celebrate our successes and want us to succeed as it feels like they will as well. Community led growth is creating a passion among members to support & grow our company, all while making sure it’s in their best interest as well.