Today on Inspire we have Christina Teo, founder of Want Things Done, an online marketplace and concierge for the gig economy. Additionally, she is the Chief Community Builder for Startup WomenAsia and Asia Corporate Women- 2 communities built to empower and support women in their different endeavors. As the former Vice President of Asia for O2 and Chief Marketing Officer at CSL and previous experience at Yahoo, Christina brings with her a wealth of global experience and expertise from different communities.
Christina delves deep into the importance and value of setting up communities, and why community building is a valuable asset for your brand. She also talks about what it takes to set up and scale a sustainable community, and how we can retain loyalty and engagement with so many new communities popping up.
How do communities strongly relate to marketplaces and ecommerce?
Startup and the Ecosystem
It is easy to start a startup. The startup ecosystem provides so many resources ranging from fundraising, to network and mentorship. These resources don’t just help to refine ideas but provides support as many startups are from young people who may not have enough work experience.
Importance of Community
Community is not a new thing. When Christina first launched the world’s first window smartphone, it wasn't through marketing or advertising that got the product to be successful. It was in fact the phone enthusiast community who helped to sell the product despite it being full of bugs.
Christina further elaborates the difference between communities now and before. In the past, communities were often taken advantage of for personal agendas. Today, communities is more about people who share common values and cause. Communities today are more participative and collaborative, being more inspirational and aspirational.
Given the current social trends, consumers are heavily reliant on social media for recommendations and deals upon making any form of purchases. There are values communities can bring as brands can leverage on them to build a strong customer base.
Grow your Community through 3Ps and 1R
Christina went further to elaborate how she grows her community through 3Ps and 1R.
Purpose - As a leader, it is important to be authentic and walk the talk. Always reinforce your purpose to your members and yet at the same time, don’t define rules and dictate what the members can/should do. A leader has to find the balance between reinforcing your purpose and allowing your members to feel like they can be themselves to freely express and contribute.
Positioning - Whether you position yourself as a leader or positioning your community, it should always be tied to your purpose.
People - We can't have a community without people. Interact and use data to analyse what kind of person you want to attract. What you do and how you do it determines what kind of people you attract to your community
Reach - Its important to know the various platforms that help to connect and reach out to people. Be it online or offline. It is a good mix to have both types of channels. At the end of the day, it’s about how the members feel about something that is bigger than themselves.
Traits of a Good Leader in a Community
According to Christina, a leader has to be tenacious. Given the many communities available, creating and sustaining a community requires a lot of hard work.
There has been an increasing trend of people wanting to grow and learn in communities. People in the community want to believe that the leader knows more than they do so as to open up their horizons. A good leader has to be creative and innovative, to keep engaging the members with knowledge and activities.
Lastly, a leader must be able to bring people together and connect to his/her members. Being in the know, collaboration and having the ability to inspire others are certain traits to keep people engaged and connected to the community.
How to set your Community apart from the rest
Christina shared that there are no fixed way to be set apart. It is very much tailored to each community, and continuously communicate what you stand for. For startups, the startup ecosystem provides partnerships, sponsorships, collabs etc which can be helpful for startups to be set apart. Most importantly, stick to the purpose and the right formula/content/partnership will come.
Advice for people who want to do both Online and Offline Community
Christina strongly reiterate that content is key. It is also important to maintain relationships and stimulate conversations.
Sometimes you can't plan and design all your outcome. If you know what you are trying to achieve, just do it. Start and learn because the whole process of creating the journey is a great learning experience!
Watch the entire Arcadier Inspire Summit talk with Christina Teo here: