How to... Build Your Collective
Entrepreneur Scott Heiferman founded Meetup in 2002 in the wake of 9/11. Heiferman had noticed that people’s attitudes and interactions had begun to change. “People were looking after each other, helping each other and meeting up with each other in the wake of the tragedy. From there, Meetup was born, and it continually asks the question ‘Could we use the Internet to get off the Internet and grow local communities in the process?’” says Kristin Hodgson, communications director for Meetup. “It’s all about the power of ‘we’—we’re better when we’re together. Having others who are currently in a similar situation (or have been before) fosters a wonderful community of support.” Meetup now has over 23 million members in 180 countries. Here, Hodgson breaks down how to build a thriving community of your own.
1. Get informed.
“Attend community events that you’re interested in and start asking organizers how they’ve built their tribes.”
2. Gather people around you.
“Organize meet-ups of your own with like-minded people and promote your gatherings or events on social media.”
3. Encourage participation.
“Find people who seem particularly active in your chosen career or passion and invite them to join your newly forming group. Make sure everyone can invite their friends as well.”
4. Stay engaged.
“Cultivate your newly formed community by staying in touch with everyone on the regular. Create a group on social media where your collective can post photos, give updates, ask questions and motivate each other.”
“Community not only builds business but it also creates passion and keeps you motivated. It gives you the energy to make it happen for yourself and for those around you.” – Miki Agrawal, entrepreneur and author of Do Cool Sh*t