Speaker Introduction : Aaron Bariero
My story with the community goes back to building it in person. I've always loved building community, but I was only sometimes aware of it. When I was in college and high school, I created organizations. I started a basketball club in high school that had over 50 people come every day after school. In college, we had over 150 people in our student government. And so there's this pattern of just creating community everywhere that I go, but it wasn't until recently that I understood how important it was to me. So four years ago, my wife and I moved to Mexico. We've been here since then. We've been here since 2018. We've been serving underprivileged youth. We've been here since then. as we've been serving underprivileged communities. as we've been in Mexico. as we've seen a need to help underprivileged youth. So we understood that community was the way to serve.
We're just going to fail. So it's a combination of understanding who you are as a leader in a community, understanding who other leaders are, and then building a process of helping others. It's a community. It's a combination of understanding who you are as a community, experiencing who other leaders are, and then building a process of helping others. It's a community. It starts with you as an individual and then your team. The number one thing for me regarding communities is that you cannot do it alone. If you try to create a community where you are the only pillar and the only person that matters, then that will fail. So it's a combination of understanding who you are as a leader in a community, understanding who other leaders are, and building a process for helping others lead the community with you. But it all starts with them as people and as individuals. So it starts with them as people. So it starts with them as people. So it starts with them as people. It begins with them as individuals. It starts with them as people. It starts with them as people. So it starts with them as people. It starts with them as people. It starts with them as people. It starts with them as people. It starts with them as individuals. It starts with them as people. It's a community.
So when I talk about purpose, it can be something other than saving the world. Communities can come together to clean up their own neighborhood, or it can be about NTFS and sharing NTFS with all of the state or the country. There are so many ways to anchor a community on purpose, but you have to focus on what brings everyone together. So, for instance, here in Mexico, our goal is to help you find success, and we get everyone around this idea of something that youth will love. Of course, they want opportunities to make more money. Of course, they want options to have new experiences. They want to travel. They want to help their families.
And I wanted to talk about spies. My wife and I love to watch movies throughout the week, and we often watch a spy movies. It may be a myth, and it may be true; I don't know. Still, one of the things they say about spies is that they try and choose people that blend in. These people look average so that you wouldn't think, oh, this person is extra particular or not someone spectacular, but someone that, if you put them in a crowd, would get lost; they're people that never want to stand out, so when we think about how they go about what they do, those are some of the key things. If we think about ourselves and how we want to go about it, if we can, You don't want to be someone that people would just forget about entirely if we were to be thrown in a crowd, so we want to have something that helps you stand out, and a lot of times that's always going to tie back to your purpose. If you genuinely believe in something or if you're truly passionate about something, that's contagious.
And we'll talk a little bit more about that in a little bit. So the power of the brand, and I want to tell you a story about a man selling the drastic here in Mexico. When we wanted to buy raspas, there was always this one man that we would buy them from. He was just kind and welcoming, and every time you drove by him, there was just this one time to stop at his stand and say "hello. So like I said, there was always this one man that stood out, and so every time you were just really, every time you were just really, and so there was always this one man that stood out, and so every time, and so every time, and so the power of the brand, he stood out.
And number one, you have to identify your voice and your message. So voice first, this is you communicating what your purpose is; this is you saying, "I know what I want to do and what I want to accomplish, but how do I create a message about that in a way that everyone can understand, and also people are inspired by it and want to be part of it?" So if you start your brand and no one is ever interested in what you have to say because you need to learn how to communicate it, you're never going to get the traction you need to build a community. It's sad because not everyone has that ability or has practiced these things.
In this first step, you understand that your brand exists, whether you created it or not. So if you are not intentionally building your brand, it's still being made without you, and that's really important, especially for a community builder, because if you spend a tonne of time on linkedin or reddit or whatever platform it is that you are trying to eventually launch a community out of and people just see you as someone who never engages, never tells who they are, is never transparent, and just creates a very flat image of who you are, then that's going to stick with you, and that's a really flat image of who you are, and that's If someone asks me what my purpose is or what my vision is, I can practise that and have a perfect response, but when I engage with someone, when all of a sudden someone asks me a question that I didn't expect, or when I'm seeing someone else's content and I'm trying to engage with them, it's easy to know when you're authentic or inauthentic, and so when you engage with people, it's your opportunity to let people know that you actually act out and believe that everything that you talk about your voice, your message, and your brand is real, and that's authentic Authenticity and authenticity are real. Fake does not work long-term.
The reality is that at least another thousand people in the world are trying to do what you're doing. So if you do not create trust with someone in your audience or with someone in your community that you're building, then they will go to someone else for the services you want to offer. They're going to go to someone else for that sense of community that you're trying to create, so having a trustworthy brand is going to be what keeps you top of mind and what makes someone decide they want to work with you as opposed to x person over there, so having a trustworthy brand is what makes you likable, memorable, and trustworthy. So a little bit more time is spent talking about being trustworthy. So trust opens up an unimagined brand, right?
It gets into everything. I love coffee, and I know about coffee, so if I go to a place. I see that they don't measure how much coffee they use, they don't use the type of grinders that they should be using, or if I ask them questions about the coffee and they don't know how to answer, then I'm losing trust with this location, and it makes me less likely to want to come back. Of course, the taste of the coffee itself is important, but trust ties into one of the last things I want to talk about when we think about creating a community. Trust is the foundation for everything. It's the foundation for everything.
And so creativity is the last thing I want to discuss before we get into questions because creativity is such an important thing to building a long-lasting community. So this is an extra bit of information. So when we think about creativity, we're talking about just leaving space to allow other people in your community to contribute to the goal right when you start with yourself. So you have a dream, a vision, and something you want to be accomplished, but as you let other people in, and as we said at the beginning, when you start to blend in, your number one goal is now.
1. What are some of the common myths or notions about building community?
So one of the most common myths is that a community has to be significant. People don't feel like they're in a community if it doesn't have 100 or 300 people. There's this idea that Community is only large in scale, and that's not true. You can be in a community if you have five people. If you have 10 people, Community is not about the number of people you're with; it's about the sense and feeling that the people in the Community have. If there's a strong connection, if there's a tie between the people that share that space, you have a community, and that can be two to three people even, but it's about creating that feeling, and I think that's important to have the trust that we've talked about. If you don't have trust, you can't create that sense of Community, so that's one of the most common myths about building Community. The other thing is that it's only for some. Community building is not for everyone. It's only for some organizations because only some are invested in and care about building Community. If you're not really invested in that process, you're not going to see the fruits of your labor, and it's going to feel more like a chore than what you intended it to be in the first place. So community building is meant to be challenging. It's not meant to be something that brings people together. It's purpose-driven. It takes a lot of time and effort.
2. What is the most common reason communities fail? Is it because they don't
have a compelling reason to exist or what do you have to say about that?
We've talked a bit about purpose; your community will fail if you don't have a purpose. Outside of that, it's not putting in the time and effort. The reality is that everyone loves the idea of community, but the investment is only sometimes there. So if you're doing this alone to build community, it will take a lot of effort, and it's not expected to be something different if it's something extra. if it's something extra. if it takes a lot of time. Suppose it takes a lot of time. It will take a lot of time to put in that effort. Still, suppose you do have that effort. In that case, You do begin to realize, "Okay, we have something that's working, we have a purpose that people enjoy, and you've brought them together in a space," the reason your community could fail is that you did not invest in people and have other people do the same thing that you did if you went through the effort of getting to know people and you built up a strong brand that was trustworthy and memorable. Still, you didn't have that happen between other members.
3. Your personal plan is something that follows you around whether you want it or not. So Could you elaborate what a personal brand is and what is personal branding first?
Of course, we talked a little bit about the brand, but one of the best ways to think about your brand outside of purpose and what you believe in is to think about what you're known for. If I were to ask every one of you what is the most common question you're asking by friends, family, or people in your networks. They tell you something; for instance, for me beforehand, I was known for just being a helper, helping people with things they needed with personal problems, and in a basic sense, it wasn't that.
Another good example is that I have a lot of experience in writing. I've been a writer, and freelance writing has been a big part of my career. I don't talk much about writing because I don't want to be known as a writer. I want to focus on building things and on entrepreneurship and startups, so I can't focus on writing because if I do that, people will think of me more as a writer than anything else. So you want to ask yourself or have someone ask you, or even ask a friend, "Hey, when you think of me, what do you think you would come to me for help with?" and listen to their answer. Don't be offended, and then try to understand that, okay, this is what I'm known for. How can I pivot? And, especially on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and other places where you have an online presence, you can pivot your brand within a month if you consistently start talking about different things daily. People will create new associations with you, and new people you meet will get to know you for what you begin to talk about.
4. what do startups need to do differently when it comes to building an online
Community when staff and buyers are limited? What can you do and where do you get
For startups, it depends on their size. If you have a team of, let's say, 10 people, it's easier because there will be more trust in that group, so it takes buy-in. The leaders of that startup have to believe in this effort. If they don't have buy-in, then again, it will fall flat because there's no real purpose behind it. So number one is the leaders, and let's say you're not one of the leaders; if you think going to the community is the right decision for the startup, you want to go to the community.
That's just the reality of a startup. If you have limited funds or limited time, then some of that effort is really going to fall on their plates as extra things, but when you have a purpose, and you have that buy-in, it makes them want to do it more, and it's also going to lead to success later on. It's the idea of delayed gratification. It's not about what you'll receive at the moment; it's about understanding that maybe in six months or a year, we're going to create something unique, something special, and that's worth the sacrifice we're making upfront. So, it's about messaging and believing you understand what you talk about and being able to sell that vision to your staff and everyone involved, and you know it's a hard thing to make up if you don't have it, so I encourage you if a community is where you're going, you have to believe in it.
5. What do I do if i'm not wanting to share anything about myself? And where do I get started?
So I'll say two things. First, people are attracted to stories or brilliance; when we think about memories, we also feel about trustworthiness. Many people have built an incredible sense of community because the person who started it was brilliant. And it's either one or the other, or it's about finding someone you can trust to help communicate your vision, a sense that you're more than just a business. You're more than just someone trying to get something that you believe in what you talk about because of how it ties to you personally and what you feel in your heart, which you think about all the time. You're creating an opportunity for people to see behind what we're trying to show as perfection all the time. So I'm a big advocate for transparency and telling your story, but I understand that it's something that only some can do.
The second option would be to find someone that you trust, someone that you know is okay with that and that buys in and is 100 aligned with your vision and purpose, and allow them to tell the story of the community that wants to be built. Suppose they can do it as effectively or more effectively than you can, and they genuinely believe in it. There's nothing wrong with allowing them to take that and run with it, but you must trust that person. You have to be invested in them to understand when they're being genuine or if they're trying to take advantage, maybe whatever it may be, but spend the time to get to know that individual. The third option is to find a partner.