Founders Have Vision & Goals, Need Community To Get Things Done

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 2.21.34 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 2.30.20 PMClick here for the slideshow. Last month we had a great day at the Women's Startup Lab in Menlo Park, workshopping online community building for founders. (See details here.) The questions these entrepreneurs asked got us off to a good start:

  • "How do I reach people I don't know?"
  • "Which tool can I use to bring together two communities and get them communicating?"
  • "My community lives on Twitter but what if my end users are on Facebook?"
  • "How do I combine my posts in two different languages?"
  • "How do I maximize social networks to grow community, and where I do find the time for content creation?"

It was wonderful to meet and get a peek into the businesses of founders Dedra Chamberlin (Cirrus Identity, for social identity management in the higher education space), Cynthia Litchi (she's launching Tejul, a social learning site for Latin American female artisans to teach each other), and Vicky Zhang of Fledgg (a company to connect young entrepreneurs and mentors globally).

Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 3.20.34 PM Cultural and personal sensitivity issues we covered in this workshop included how to strike a balance between one's CEO presence and personal presence online since "it's risky!" We also talked about optimizing your profiles at all the social media services and sites you're a member of. Cynthia Litchi mentioned that in Mexico, where she's from, professionals don't use LinkedIn because of security issues -- so if you want to connect with Mexican pro counterparts online, more closed settings are where you're going to find them. Thanks to Tanya Monsef Bunger, a coach at the Women's Startup Lab, for coleading this workshop and Ari Horie and everyone at the Innovation Lab for hosting.

I want to do more workshops with entrepreneurs about how they can use social media, online presence building, content creation, curation and content marketing and personal branding to grow community...

because entrepreneurs come to the table uniquely prepared to use their online presence to meet their goals.

They have a huge vision, they have distinct goals, they have content, they have a platform of some kind. And they are driven to make the most of their resources. And that's exactly what they need to combine in order to connect with their peers, their customers, mentors, advisors, investors.