How to evolve your products 🌱
Evolving you product through gradual changes
Learn how you can build trust and loyalty within a community
In Episode 2 of Season 2, Morgan invited Guillaume Moubeche, CEO and Co-Founder of Lemlist to go #BehindtheProduct. Lemlist is an outreach tool that allows heightened personalization so you can better build relationships with prospects.
In the episode, Guillaume explains his journey of bootstrapping Lemlist and having limited resources, tools and manpower to grow. As the market of sales automation tools can be large and wide, with hundreds of cutting-edge competitors, these limitations prompted Guillaume and his team to think of creative strategies of marketing and distributing their platform.
To Guillaume, one of the hardest yet most fruitful strategies they’ve done was to create a strong, supportive community around their product. It may have taken them 6-8 months of hard work with little engagement from others in the beginning, but it quickly became yet another competitive advantage for them to have, one that not any company can easily mimic. So how do you go about building one?
First things first, why do YOU want to build a community? If your goal or “why” is to bring your target audience together just to market your product/business to them, it probably won’t work well. People stick to communities that they can benefit from, not be marketed to.
Communities should be focused on providing value first, supporting people first. This would be the very thing that will attract and retain the right people in it. It can of course (and ideally) be relevant to your product or business so you can make use of all the insights gained from it, but remember to focus on the people and what they get out of it - this is what will breed trust and loyalty (which eventually only feeds to your product/business)!
To find ways you can support a specific target audience, we need to understand why people join communities:
Shared Identity: Communities are formed around those who share a common sense of who they are or how they perceive themselves, such as being an alumni of the same University or wanting to surround themselves with other “entrepreneurs”
Shared Purpose: People come together when they want to achieve or make an impact on something… together. This is usually on a grander scale like solving societal problems, such as bringing technology education to third world countries
Shared Objectives: Communities are also formed around specific goals, which don’t necessarily have to depend on numbers. These goals can be as simple as rallying support for a mate, or as complex as getting a government to change a law.
Shared Passions/Interests: A shared interest or passion could be all it takes to bring people together. This could be a specific hobby like Wake Surfing or doing Hackathons, or even just the same interest in Web 3 and the Metaverse.
With these, you can identify your target audience and how you can support them towards their goals.
Once you’ve found a common goal you want to support your target audience in, do some more research on exactly who they are and what appeals to them.
Find out your target audience.
Developers, looking for tech support, jobs and opportunities?
Education entrepreneurs, looking to find other education entrepreneurs to gain support and connections in the industry?
People interested in Web3, and looking for other people who are also building and are experienced within the space?
Find out where to host your community.
Are they mostly on Linkedin? Twitter? Instagram? Discord groups? Slack groups?
Do they usually participate in events, remote and in-person in X location?
Find out what type of content they would expect or like to see.
Do they like talking about ideas and brainstorming solutions together?
Finding people and getting connected with others?
Sharing and discussing insights on their practical experiences?
Find out how you can better connect with them.
Do they appreciate long-form posts?
Or quick, easy-to-digest discussions?
What acronyms do they use, or are fond of?
How often do they communicate with each other?
Once you have a better idea of your community goals, and who your target audience is + where to host your community, get started and provide value already.
Set the bar and standards of the value people can expect. Before they join in, how will they know it will be beneficial for them?
In the beginning of building you community, it might even just be you posting - and that’s okay! Having consistent content and discussions (and a few prompts) will help encourage people to participate. Remember, Guillaume spent 6 months on building his community before there were much action!
When it comes to building your community, quality absolutely trumps quantity - You would prefer to have 100 super-engaged members, than 10,000 who don’t at all. So focus on the quality of people you bring into your community!
Whether it’s deciding to stick to a more niche audience, or members sharing less relevant insights, or the community is getting too busy, like any business - you need to adapt it to how it grows, while sticking to your “why”’s.
This could be:
Building communities are a great way to be in touch with your target audiences and users, but can be quite challenging to start building or maintaining. So find and refine your why’s, listen to your target audience to better connect and attract the right people, focus on giving value first and consistently, and adapt your community to how it grows.
📈 Start building your community ASAP. No one would ever say “I’ve started to build a community too soon.” It would be your biggest asset when it comes to product development and launching.
⏰ Spend time with your users. It will bring you the most valuable insights on how to grow and refine your product.
🧨 To be part of the top 1%, do what the 99% won’t do. Even if it means doing things that are unscalable, like spending time with your users.
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I've been helping entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and innovators build their tech products since 2016!
Bringing outstanding products to life is not easy. But despite that, it's an amazing journey for anyone who wants to innovate, make a change or an impact in any industry.
So I wanted to get on the mic, meet with amazing founders/makers, and share all of their crazy journeys and experiences with you. I hope it educates, inspires and entertains you. Enjoy! ;)
Morgan is the Co-Founder & CEO of Sparkmate. They've built 100+ high-tech products and ventures to solve tomorrow's challenges!