The Business of Belonging

Book description

"A tactical primer for any business embarking on the critical work of actively building community."—Seth Godin, Author, This is Marketing

"This book perfectly marries the psychology of communities, with the hard-earned secrets of someone who's done the real work over many years. David Spinks is the master of this craft."—Nir Eyal, bestselling author of Hooked and Indistractable

The rise of the internet has brought with it an inexorable, almost shockingly persistent drive toward community. From the first social networks to the GameStop trading revolution, engaged communities have shown the ability to transform industries. Businesses need to harness that power. As business community expert David Spinks shows in The Business of Belonging: How to Make Community your Competitive Advantage, the successful brands of tomorrow will be those that create authentic connection, giving customers a sense of real belonging and unlocking unprecedented scale as a result.

In his career of over 10 years in the business of building community, Spinks has learned what a winning community strategy looks like. From the fundamental concepts—including how community drives measurable business value and what the appropriate metrics are—to high-level community design and practical engagement techniques, The Business of Belonging is an epic journey into the world of community building.

This book is for decision makers who want to better understand the value and opportunity of community, and for community professionals who want to level up their strategy. Featuring a foreword by Startup Grind and Bevy cofounder Derek Andersen, it will give you a step-by-step model for strategically planning, creating, facilitating, and measuring communities that drive business growth. Attracting and retaining community members who are also loyal customers, brand evangelists, and leaders—that’s the goal for today’s connected businesses, and this book is the map to getting there.

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Foreword
  6. Introduction
    1. Becoming a Community Professional
    2. Building the Community Industry
    3. The Community Era Has Arrived
    4. Notes
  7. Chapter 1: Why Community Is the New Competitive Advantage
    1. A Customer Community Is Born
    2. The Rise of Community-Driven Business
    3. Giving Customers a True Sense of Community
    4. The Unrivaled Scalability of Community
    5. Community Is an Extension of Your Team
    6. The Power of Owning a Topic in People's Minds
    7. The One Thing They Can't Copy
    8. Good for Business, Good for Humanity
    9. Notes
  8. Chapter 2: The Fundamentals of Community Strategy
    1. The Three Levels of Community Strategy
    2. The SPACES Model: The Six Business Outcomes of Community
    3. Metrics and the Attribution Challenge
    4. Finding Your Community Focus
    5. Growth Engines vs. Cost Centers
    6. Choosing a Measurement Framework
    7. The Community Investment Journey
    8. Notes
  9. Chapter 3: Creating a Social Identity
    1. The Social Identity Cycle
    2. Who Is Your Community Built For?
    3. Who Doesn't Belong?
    4. Investing in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Day One
    5. What Is Your Community's Personality?
    6. How Can You Make Your Members Feel “Cool”?
    7. Should Your Community Have a Unique Identity from Your Company Brand?
    8. Finding Sub-Identities within Your Community
    9. Defining Identity by Levels of Contribution
    10. Notes
  10. Chapter 4: Mapping the Community Participation Journey
    1. The Commitment Curve
    2. The Four Levels of Participation
    3. How to Attract Members to Your Community
    4. Creating Intentional Barriers to Entry
    5. Designing a Compelling Onboarding Experience
    6. How to Move Members Up the Commitment Curve
    7. Activating Successful Community Leaders
    8. Notes
  11. Chapter 5: Validation, Rewards, and Incentives
    1. Creating Habits with Rewards
    2. Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivations
    3. Avoid Replacing Social Norms with Market Norms
    4. SNAP! A Framework for Effective Extrinsic Rewards
    5. The Thing about Gamification
    6. Come for the Utility, Stay for the Unity
    7. Measuring Community Health and Engagement Using the Social Identity Cycle
    8. Notes
  12. Chapter 6: Designing Community Spaces and Experiences
    1. The Two Kinds of Community Experiences
    2. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
    3. The 7Ps of Community Experience Design
    4. Curating the Right People for the Right Purpose
    5. Aligning Size with Purpose
    6. Choosing Community Software Platforms
    7. Should You Host Your Community on a Free Social Network?
    8. Designing Spaces That Make People Feel Seen
    9. Starting with a BANG!
    10. Creating Peak Moments
    11. Facilitating Small-Group Discussions
    12. Tell Your Members How to Participate
    13. How to Get Members to Be Open and Vulnerable
    14. Keep Your Rules Short and Simple to Start
    15. My Three Go-To Community Rules
    16. Using Metrics to Optimize Community Spaces and Experiences
    17. Notes
  13. Chapter 7: Activating Community Engagement
    1. Engagement Is a Constant Experiment
    2. Personal Invitations and “Doing Things That Don't Scale”
    3. Ask for Permission
    4. Don't Fear the Crickets
    5. Talk Funny
    6. How to Spark Great Debates
    7. Moderation Is Never Personal
    8. Default to Transparency and Admit Your Mistakes
    9. Use Your Authentic Voice
    10. Keep Your Energy High and Positive
  14. Go Forth and Build Community!
  15. Bibliography
  16. About the Author
  17. Acknowledgments
  18. Index
  19. End User License Agreement

Product information

  • Title: The Business of Belonging
  • Author(s): David Spinks
  • Release date: March 2021
  • Publisher(s): Wiley
  • ISBN: 9781119766124