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What is community-led growth?
Community-led growth is an approach to marketing a product or service that relies on the impact of a group of supporting people to increase brand awareness and even sales. This customer or brand community becomes the driving force behind customer acquisition as the brand grows; usually, word-of-mouth is a significant part of this.
Community has become a common part of many brands’ launch strategy, and the related role of community manager is one of the hottest roles in tech as brands recognize that engaging their users, fans, and potential customers needs to be front-and-center in their marketing. Instagram’s first hire was famously a community manager. This community engagement can happen on social media, through email, or even virtual or live events. But more and more brands are choosing simply to build their own dedicated communities.
At Mighty Networks, our platform supports many successful businesses that are communities first, as creators bring people together around a common goal. This cultural software means that the community itself becomes the product and creates its own culture, as members pay recurring membership fees to belong. But these communities often spin off into other products like courses, events, and coaching.
What this means for community-led growth is that we’re not only seeing successful brands add communities as an afterthought to boost growth. More and more, in the creator economy, the community IS the product, and the other growth comes from it.
Advantages to community-led growth
- It taps into our anthropology: Humans love connecting to each other. We do it naturally. So community-led growth works with how we’re wired–to seek community.
- It scales fast: Tapping the power of community gives you the ability to scale quickly since your conversation around your brand will not only be limited to you. In particular, with an online community, we talk about the network effect, in which each additional member who joins gives the community multiplied value because of their contributions.
- Creates word-of-mouth: The old adage in business is that there’s nothing like word-of-mouth marketing, and community-led growth taps into all the advantages of word-of-mouth, as the network of people who love and care about your products or services snowballs.
Examples of community-led growth
- Designing the New Legal: A community dedicated to educating legal professionals on the intersection between anti-racism and technology.
- Outwild Hub: A community built on a shared love for discovering the outdoors.
- Oiselle Volée: A paid membership community that brings together women runners to get inspired, meet fellow runners, and engage in their home communities.
- The GUILD is a membership community on Mighty Networks for women entrepreneurs to connect, learn, and grow in their business chops.