Community building for founders

I thought I would share this here as it is currently the way I'm thinking and doing things. It may be helpful to some. I find it just helps me be and relax in the way 'Rosie' does things.

There's always a lot to juggle with trying to create a business. I'm not some kind of efficiency goddess, far from it, but I hate to waste time. I don't need to tell anyone that everyone is trying to steal time from you. I personally need to ensure I'm getting some kind of value out of it to make me feel good and productive about it.

For me, this is about being intentional. When I dive into 'the internet' or 'when I talk to people', I like to think about the value I can retrieve from it. I have the intent to get something out of it by the time I'm done.

So, for example:

I have my rules for how I use Twitter.

This applies to my own Twitter and also the IH Twitter:

  • I refuse to scroll on the general/personal timeline, it feels too random.
  • I will check notifications, no scrolling, respond where needed, then stop
  • I follow lists and hashtags to help me keep focused and source ideas
  • have a specific intent to check for specific/relevant/interesting content
  • importantly be in a position to take down notes.

The notes I personally take help me formulate ideas (in this scenario) for building up the IH community. If I don't take notes then I feel like I won't get value and then that makes me feel bad about my time spent.

The notes are also important because, I tried for a long time to just 'remember', but that just doesn't work.

I have my rules for how I listen to Podcasts

I listened to a lot more podcasts earlier in the year, I've slowed right down now, but I feel I get more value from the ones I do listen to.

Again, I always think I'll remember ideas from podcasts, but the reality is that I don't. So now I only listen to podcasts if I'm in the position to take notes from them. For example, I can't really take notes when running whilst listening to podcasts, but I can when I'm walking. I can't really focus in and listen to podcasts when I'm working, so I don't bother.

But the podcasts I do listen to now, I make sure I take notes of things I find interesting. I then use those ideas to help grow the things I'm working on. In this instance, for Indie Hackers, I turn ideas into discussions or the Twitter questions that go out on the Indie Hackers Twitter account.

I have rules for participating and lurking in communities

I find I don't really do this as much as I would like to. But often I'll do quick dives into communities to see what they are talking about. Again, I'll only do this if I'm in the mindset of jotting down some ideas.

Then I'll go back when I'm ready to share some ideas. Or just reuse for myself and give credit where credit is due.

What does this have to do with growth?

Perhaps everything?

  • understand your landscape
  • get to know what people are talking about
  • get into the position to know what you are talking about
  • understand people's language
  • learn, learn, learn!
  • taking notes helps reflect on ideas
  • create your own versions of things, in your own style, that is relevant to your audience
  • become known for someone who actually cares about the problem they are trying to solve
  • build connections, relationships, friendships
  • and other things that I've probably missed out and might add in later 🤔

I do this as part of my job for Indie Hackers, but it's also mostly what I've done for my entire time as a Founder.

👉 Find the interesting things.
👉 Soak them up.
👉 Get to know your audience
👉 Be efficient.
👉 Figure out how you can make use of it.
👉 Don't let it consumer your life, you probably have a bigger job to do!

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