If you are a regular reader of my content then you know that I’ve been exploring the traits that make up the Modern Day Marketer for the past year. My goal is simple. I want to use the platform that we are building at The Juice to share the voice of the Modern Day Marketer to help inspire the right kind of change throughout the community.
There’s the word. Community.
I think this word is one of the most polarizing words in marketing.
“Me” centered marketers have an interpretation of what community means.
Modern Day Marketers are out exploring and validating the key ingredients that define this term.
There’s a lot of gray area and squishy space when we are talking about community because at some point in all of our lives we’ve been a part of great communities and many of us have been involved in not so great communities.
Before I get into my story and the reason that I felt compelled to add community-driven to the traits of the Modern Day Marketer I think it’s important to call out what a community is not.
What a Community is Not
A community can’t be built, bought, or manufactured. It’s important to know that just because there are some people hyping community building by creating content that might have titles like, “Top 5 Ways to Build Your Community Tomorrow” or “MarTech’s Growth Hack to Creating Communities that Will Fill Up Your Funnel”. If you see articles like this on your LinkedIn timeline or when someone is trying to get you to subscribe to their shiny new LinkedIn newsletter then run.
It’s just like almost everything else the word community has been bastardized by the individuals who will sacrifice it all for just one more smash of the LIKE button. When can we start taking away these people’s posting privileges and put them in Influencer timeout?
Maybe, it takes a community to make this happen?
I’m being cynical. I’m being snarky. I’m this way because I think it sucks that a few loud people can completely disrespect those out there building communities of value by giving back to the individuals they serve.
Call me grizzled. Call me a MarTech curmudgeon. Call me whatever you like.
I’m happy to wear those titles on my sleeve as long as you don’t forget the most important.
Call me a Modern Day Marketer.
I’ve been talking about my re-entry back into MarTech a lot recently. If you want to hear more honest conversations about it check out our Modern Day Marketers series on the 3C Podcast.
When I took this role I wanted to make sure that I didn’t come in and start doing a bunch of stuff because it’s what I’ve always done. If I would have taken that approach I would have failed. It would have failed because the individuals who make up our market operate very differently than they did 5 years ago.
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
Bob Dylan - Times They Are A-Changin’ (1964)
Yes, indeed! To quote the great Bob Dylan the times were a-changing and in order for me to adapt I sought community. I needed to find the place where my next podcast guest, member of The Juice, future partner, and customer were hanging out.
Luckily during my pursuit I had someone refer me to Superpath.
I’ve been a part of this group for almost a year and I can confidently say that if you are in the content marketing game and not in this group then you are doing your career a disservice. It’s that good.
It’s the definition of what a community should represent.
It’s got a mission of helping content marketers level up their careers. The execution is flawless as content marketers from across the globe share a Slack instance and transfer ideas, information, and their work on a regular basis.
I’ve learned more in this group than anything I’ve read in a book.
I’ve created relationships that have led to content collaborations in this community.
This week I published a 5 minute video on the Traits of the Modern Day Marketer in Superpath. I didn’t mention it because well I only had 5 minutes, but most of these traits were picked up from conversations with people inside of this community.
I’ve even unpacked Superpath with it’s leader Jimmy in this episode.
The hallmark of this community and any aspiring community are the participants and their willingness to give back. I mentioned the word serve earlier. That action is critical for communities to exist and be successful.
Marketers must suspend the “what’s in it for me?” mindset and replace it with “what can I do to help?”
If you jump into communities daily looking to help congratulations...you are on the fast track to becoming an excellent Modern Day Marketer.
Should I Build My Own?
I think things get twisted quickly when individuals intentionally seek out to build community.
90% of the time I see this I notice that the individuals are always looking out for their metrics before their members.
It can be membership fees, future leads from the group, or even ways to make even more money from their members.
Call me old school…
Nah, call me new school. This way of building community isn’t sustainable. Remember the core ingredients to any successful community is having a mindset of service and a willingness to help.
My recommendation to anyone who has made it this far would be to plug into groups and other areas that are focused on topics that you create content for.
LISTEN FIRST then start sharing.
I’m not trying to discourage the start of building a new community, however, I think there is a lot that can be learned by dedicating time to existing groups.
You’ll learn how to build relationships online with industry peers.
You’ll find new ways to share your content.
You’ll be inspired by new ideas that you can take back to your team.
We seek communities for growth.
We seek communities for connection.
We seek communities to learn.
Being community driven isn’t a hot trend or a new fad. It’s a mindset and a way to operate.
Find the right community for you and passionately give back.
You’ll be amazed at what happens for you and the companies that you work for.
If you enjoy what we are doing we’d love for you to do some things: