Community is a must if you want to build and grow a startup. Don’t believe us? Just look around, there are many great examples of communities by tech startups like Hubspot, Atlassian, Salesforce, Airbnb, Asana, and many others. These companies have succeeded because in the early stages of their product they created a truly thriving environment of like-minded people. The fact of the matter is, a community can bring you a core-member group that is highly engaged and advocates for your product.

<aside> 🔥 We’ve prepared this comprehensive playbook to kickstart a strong community in your startup. In this guide you’ll learn:

  1. What a community is and why you need it.
  2. How to build a community in only 6 steps.
  3. The top community engagement strategies.


Community is a way to create value for your audience. This is an opportunity to promote products and serves as a valuable resource when you need to understand which features you should create in the first place, whether the product helps users, what you should change, etc.

It is important to understand the difference between audience and community. When you form an audience, you focus on one person as a representative of the target audience. However, when creating a community, your attention shifts from one person to a group whose members help each other by sharing expertise and personal experiences.

Typically, when a business creates value for its audience within the community, the dynamics of relations change, and then the value of the product is being created by the users themselves. This is the strength of the community and the main reason for its creation.

Table of contents:

🤔 Why do people join the community?

People join a community (and stay!) for three key reasons:


Rewards are what make users stay in the community. It allows people to get their dopamine fix and feel that they didn’t waste their time contributing, sharing, commenting, and creating content in your community.

There are two types of rewards:

  1. People can use them: money and gifts
  2. People can “feel” them: reputation, respect, fame

It’s important to give users both reward types. For example, let’s say that someone answers another users’ questions quite often. He’ll want to feel like he earns respect in the community for his expertise. Perhaps he is rewarded for his contributions through gift cards. This ensures he stays a part of the community.


The user needs to understand how they can contribute to the community and what type of participation is welcomed here. Interaction between members is the main driver of the community. First, users consume content, then they start commenting on it, and finally, become content creators.


People don’t want to feel isolated and that’s why they naturally seek out a community of like-minded people. We want to be a part of a group that shares our interests and gives us a sense of belonging.

If you are struggling with defining your community then imagine that you’re an early adopter of your product and ask yourself these questions:

  1. What are my interests? Which things do I enjoy?
  2. What do I believe? What are my values?