Websites by StartupPOP | Connect, Build, Nourish Your OWN Community & Personal Brand
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12 Jan Connect, Build, Nourish Your OWN Community & Personal Brand

I was sitting in a session with Chris Walsh, a guru on creating and building successful businesses and personal wealth, a few months ago in Fort Lauderdale, Fl, when he stated flat out that everybody needs to build their own online community (and personal brand) regardless of whether they want to build a business, be a public speaker or just be a simple customer service agent.

What Did He Mean By This?

Bill meant we should be building our online personal communities because that is the leg work that is required down the road if you want to accomplish whatever your next goal is even if you don’t know it yet. An online community would be the sum of all online connections you have across all social media, email, etc. I have estimated I have about 10,000 a month among all my online activity! If you are starting a business and need early customers and support, it is critical. If you are simply looking for your next job or gig, once again, it can be critical. Regardless, it does not happen overnight, so he said you have to start today. [Like a full-grown tree, you have to at least plant one today to have one in the future]

Which Community Are We Talking About?

Building YOUR community includes anyplace you communicate or interact with people who are connected to you! There are a ton of different ways to build online community through Emails, Website, Blogs, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Path, Medium, Meetup, Quora, Seyopa, Periscope, Meerkat and Eventbrite. But the most important place is IN PERSON. There are a ton of these places out there where you can build your community and personal brand.

Many of you Facebookers out there have already done it for your personal community. You have built up a Facebook following of 500 to 30,000 Followers. That’s great, but Facebook may not exactly be the area I would focus on building. First off, you need to at least make some determination of what could be your future use of this community. Facebook won’t help you get leads for your business or readers of your book if your community is just your high school buddies, cousins and fraternity brothers. [Well that depends on the book actually!]

For instance, are you going to one day start a business? Your own agency? Your own engineering firm? Are you going to need certain leads? Are you going to be writing a book? Are you planning on being an expert at something? Are you going to be looking for work and finding yourself unemployed and need consulting work?

Whatever it is, you would have needed to build up your online community before you had that thought of what you were going to do!
And if you don’t need to build this online community and personal brand, well, you probably have nothing you need in the future! That’s ok. But when you find yourself on the outside of your current work situation, it’s on that day you say, wow, I should have spent more time nurturing my online community and spent less time at the office (literally).

Your Employer’s Community Is Not YOUR Community!
This post was started because I was concerned about creating communities at our employers for our employers. That is their community. It is TEMPORARY for us because we will probably move on to a job somewhere else. An employer’s community is THEIR community, not YOUR community. This is an important distinction. You may be paid to tweet and blog and represent fully an organization at networking events in person, but the day you leave that organization [or find yourself axed out of it], you are now your own brand, not their brand. This is a lesson we all learn in life.

We need to start building our OWN online communities and brands today! Not tomorrow!
Years ago, before the Internet, our circle or network of personal connections relied on a personal Rolodex, a written address book that we kept in our drawer. A Friday night happy hour event that we would frequent occasionally was basically where we got a few business cards to add to that address book. To build a community around ourselves was a serious task and often limited to close family and friends and business associates.

Today, with everything out there from Linkedin, Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Meetup, Eventbrite, Instagram, MailChimp and a dozen other systems, we are easily able to build a community of several thousand. I’ve done this. In the dating event business I co-founded we have built a community of half a million people that we communicate with on a regular basis. Famous sports stars, actors and other famous people all have communities in the millions.

You are no different than the Kardashians and Hiltons. You just don’t know it yet.
So, take the first step and write a post like this one about a subject so people get to know what you are into. [That’s what we call nurturing]. Tweet and blog on a regular basis and always hash tag (key word) your content [more connecting and nurturing]. And most of all respond and interact with people on these forums and systems. Build your personal brand and not your bosses! Start Today By Tweeting About This Post, Commenting On This Post And RECOMMENDING This Post On Linkedin and other sites. That is how you build your community.

On February 2, 2016, at 6pm in Boca Raton, FL at The Greenhouse, StartupPOP is running our 13th Tech Startup Pitch Event. This time we are running GRAND PRIX, which is a contest that startups compete in for prizes. Our event is basically 5 to 10 startups, a panel of experts and an audience that comes for networking and knowledge. Please click here to sign up now! If you are not from South Florida, and want to get involved by running a StartupPOP event in your local community please email me at

Also, if you have not done so already, please join our South Florida StartupPOP meetup group by clicking here.

Also, if you are located in South Florida, remember to attend Sup-X, the big start-up event on February 15-16 (my birthday). Here is a link to sign up:
Use these discount codes!
All Access VIP Pass Discount code: SUPXVIP299

And finally on Jan 20th there is a marketing day event at Palm Beach State College, “2016 Innovative Marketing How To’s Workshop”

Have a great day!

Dan Gudema

Event Planning
Online Social Networking
Brand Development