“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb
It’s all about community...
Community. For me, community is about growing with others. It’s the whole reason why Foundervine exists. A community is a group of individuals connected to each other by a shared background or common values and goals. The element that links them together is at the core, and is the essence of the group.
Have you ever wondered why some people always seem to be in the right place at the right time? Why someone always seems to know about all the best music or latest trends? Why some founders can recruit so quickly or raise millions, whilst others can’t seem to get an investor to meet for a coffee?
There is power in being able to share your skills and knowledge, learn from other's experience and grow in the comfort of a group who have your best interests at heart. A strong community can help you grow and expand your business and/or career goals, make new friends and introductions, put you on to new hobbies and interests and much more.
For me, I never used to appreciate the power of community, I thought the saying “no man is an island” didn’t apply to me. I was doing just fine. But once I made the decision to actively build my network, my life changed completely.
SEO London introduced me to a young, inclusive, professional network of ambitious students, all working hard towards a future career in the City. Like me and thousands of others, SEO London changed my life, gave me direction and pushed me to aim higher in university and my career. Wave makers and YSYS introduced me a whole world of amazing entrepreneurs building communities and working on potentially world-changing startups and projects that may well revolutionise how we discover and share music, how we think about fashion, how we save for luxury items and much more.
Interestingly enough, in business we can also look at it from the other perspective. There is massive value brands and businesses can gain from building a community around their customers. The first rule of any business is to retain customers and build a loyal relationship with them, thereby avoiding customer acquisition costs. Did you know that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer, than to keep an existing one?
In order for a business to successfully retain its customers, it must make them feel special. To do this requires authenticity - a genuine desire to want to improve their lives. Treating your customers as part of your community, helps you develop loyal fans who ultimately buy more, engage more, spread the word to friends and family and are more forgiving - all of which are essential when you’re building a startup.
I sincerely believe that without the communities that I have stumbled across, I would not have the career that I have today and I definitely would not be the person that I am today. Without the support and motivation of those in my network, my company would not exist. The very essence of Westlink, is to develop a tight-knit community for social media influencers and provide them with opportunities to partner with a trusted network of brands, taking the risk out of brand partnerships and make it easier, less stressful and more rewarding. It is also why I’m trying to give back through initiatives like #CreatorsHub - which provides an online space for creatives to connect and collaborate.
If you’re ever stuck, wondering what the next move is or looking for advice, just read this quote:
“If you believe you can make a difference, then you will make a difference. Believe in yourself, your family and your community and you will win” - Lindsay Fox
Kori Adu is a 22-year old investment analyst and tech entrepreneur who aims to shake up the modern day advertising industry. He is the creator of the award-winning tech startup Westlink - the online marketplace helping bringing together brands and bloggers, to connect and collaborate on sponsored campaigns.
Instagram: @westlink.io, Twitter: @westlinkHQ