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What is a community flywheel?
A community flywheel is a community-centered approach to building a brand, in which your brand joins or creates relevant communities that promote amazing experiences and engagement, translating into sales.
A community flywheel is also a unique and emerging approach to building a business in which your product, your marketing, and your customer experiences can all be delivered simultaneously, and your brand easily generates more value and sales. It’s bringing your superusers together, connecting them, and watching your brand grow with user content, excitement and the network effect.
When you build a community around your brand, you’re creating the opportunity for a community flywheel! For example, a membership community for a shared interest group that charges for admission and includes courses and events will see sales growth because of a community flywheel!
Why a community flywheel?
The biggest problem community flywheels can solve is community leakage in digital products and services. Traditionally, brands would build sales funnels for digital products, then use a collection of platforms (e.g. Kajabi, Zoom, ClickFunnels, Stripe, MailChimp) to deliver a product or service, instead of a single all-in-one membership site platform. The result was a leaky “tech stack” of different platforms that you tried to integrate (hello Zapier) to create a streamlined customer experience.
And most brands fail miserably. Customers become frustrated and even leave when trying to move between platforms. The result is “community leakage” –when you lose revenue because of lousy customer experience.
A community flywheel fixes this. It creates a centralized experience and a “one-stop-shop” for customers.
Instead of a funnel, try a flywheel! While a funnel creates a linear progression to a sale, a flywheel creates a circular relationship in which your product actually creates more sales.
According to McKinsey’s study of community flywheels, a good flywheel includes five things:
- Entering into community with your consumers
- Choosing “hero” products that reflect your brand value
- Mixing them with exciting stories
- Feeding the community with content, which allows your superfans to generate their own.
- Making a transaction effortless