You see a funny meme while scrolling through Instagram, what is the first thing that you do? Before you reach for the like button, you click on the share button and send it across to friends, colleagues, your gang, etc., so you can laugh together. It is in the very nature of humans to find similarities and patterns and fall into groups and communities. Which brings us to the question, What is Community? If one were to go by definitions, a community is a group of people who share a common interest or purpose. However, when it comes to the creator economy, we will have to look at the question ‘what is community’ a little differently.
A community, for creators, is a vital resource, one that provides support, feedback, and opportunities for collaboration and networking. The creator landscape is heavily crowded and gone are the days when gimmicks and tricks could help creators grow. Users are looking for meaningful content that they can resonate with and find value in. Community building is the one thing that’s going to help creators put themselves on the map and differentiate themselves.
Creators are largely dependent on the community that connects with their content. Ironically, creators can often feel like they are working in a vacuum, disconnected from the world around them. Building a community of supportive individuals can be a game-changer for creative endeavours.
Now that what is community is out of the way, let us take a closer look at why community is important for creators and how it can help creators:
Importance of Community
- Encouragement and Engagement
Being a creator can be a challenging feat. A community of supportive individuals can provide the encouragement and motivation you need to keep going, even when the going gets tough. In addition to encouragement, the right group of people will engage with the content better and the importance of engagement when it comes to creator economy need not be reiterated.
- Feedback and Ideas
Creativity is not a smooth terrain. Coming up with content ideas, and making them valuable, interesting, and captivating is a herculean feat and more often than not, there are hiccups and roadblocks along the way. Having a tight-knit group of people to bounce ideas off of and get feedback from can be incredibly valuable. Members of your community may have different perspectives and approaches that can help you to improve your work and think outside of the box. Creators will be able to better understand what’s working and what’s not.
- Visibility and promotion
A strong community can help to promote your work and increase your visibility. As discussed, with better engagement comes better visibility and that leads to promotion. When members of your community share your content or recommend it to others, it can help expose your work to a wider audience.
- Collaboration and networking
A community can also provide opportunities for collaboration and networking. You may meet other creators who are working in similar fields or who have complementary skills, and you can work together on projects or cross-promote each other’s work.
What is Community Building?
We have established what is community and why it is important to build communities.
But what exactly is community building, and how can you go about it? Here’s a step by step guide for creators:
Define your community
The first step in building a community is to define who your community is. What is the type of content that you are creating? You have to define your genre and taste so that you can find your niche. Who are the people you want to connect with? What are their interests and goals? Having a clear understanding of your target community will help you to focus your efforts and create a more cohesive group.
Find your platform
There are many different platforms and tools available for building and monetizing a community. You HAVE to choose the right platform. Juggling multiple platforms will eat into your precious time and that’s not something that creators can afford. Choose the platform that best fits your needs and the needs of your community.
Engage with your community
Building a community isn’t just about getting people to join; it’s also about actively engaging with them. This means responding to comments and messages, asking for feedback, and providing value to your community members. By showing that you care about and value your community, you can foster a sense of belonging and create a more vibrant and active group.
Foster a sense of belonging
A sense of belonging is an important aspect of any community. To foster this sense of belonging, try to create a welcoming and inclusive environment. Encourage members to share their thoughts and experiences, and create opportunities for them to connect with each other. Additionally, respond to the comments that you get, understand their taste, and create and curate content that the community would appreciate and acknowledge. The question that creators should be asking is not ‘what is community’, but instead, it must be what is a meaningful community and how can one maintain the community.
It’s pivotal to provide value to your community. This could mean sharing valuable resources, offering support and guidance, or simply providing a space for people to connect and engage. By delivering value to your community, you can help to build trust and foster a stronger sense of connection.
Overall, building a community can be an invaluable resource for creators. It can provide the support, feedback, and opportunities required to take the creative endeavors to the next level. If you’re a creator, consider building a community of like-minded individuals to support you on your journey.