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Community-led growth: Always be connecting

While it may seem obvious, practicing this rule is more challenging to implement than most people think. As marketing professionals, we are hired to promote our businesses and products. We understand the outcome of those promotions, close deals, and pay the bills. The work of community-led marketers is attributable to the bottom line, but the return on investment will take longer to materialize.




Always be connecting

Community-led marketers are in the motion of “always be connecting” and “always be helping.” They will focus on what the community needs and help them attain it. They might create content themselves that moves the community forward. They might introduce community members to others who have specific expertise. And they might collaborate with community members to build something that benefits others. 

The community-led marketer improves your business’ brand equity by serving the community, not promoting your company or product. Helpfulness builds connections and trust, while self-promotion weakens connections and erodes trust. 





The more relationships you build in the market, your company will be more successful. While executives and sales teams build relationships with potential clients and existing customers, they are not building relationships with community leaders that can influence consideration for your products and services. Those relationships are the hallway and back office talk in the community that tell others, “they are trustworthy,” “you should consider doing business with them,” or “I would stay away from that company. They are not good people”.

This is where community-led marketing can play a key role. It’s the reason why many businesses have hired well-known influencers in their markets: it accelerates the formation of those relationships.

By comparison, traditional B2B product-led marketing is more transactional. It does not attempt to build relationships; it leaves that responsibility to the sales organization. Product-led organizations focus where they are measured: how many incoming engagements are we triggering, and how many of those can we help convert into meaningful business this quarter and next.


This blog is an excerpt from Derek Weeks' book: Unfair Mindshare, a CMO's guide to community-led marketing in a product-led world.