In brief

Like Minds is a global thought leadership platform founded in 2009 by Andrew “Drew” Ellis.

It connects entrepreneurs and business leaders through high-quality masterclasses and networking events.

The Guardian named Like Minds Nudge festival “A Global Top 10 Ideas Festival”. Urban Times called it “one of the Best British Festivals for Feeding Your Brain”.

As well as knowledge, ideas and insight, a key benefit for members is the chance to meet fellow “like minds” and provide mutual inspiration and support.

As a digital entrepreneur, Drew is keenly aware of the value of professional relationships and networking and has built a network of 25,000 connections over a 30-year career.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, in-person events had to come to a sudden stop. This was the “nudge” to create a dedicated online community for Like Minds.

Members enjoy deeper and longer-term networking opportunities that online events platforms simply can't offer. Increasingly, as events return to in-person and hybrid, having a branded space to continue conversations and networking during the event is important.

Drew chose to host the Like Minds community on Guild for its professional atmosphere, ease of use and access to a wider network of professionals.

He told us a bit more about the Like Minds community journey.

The Like Minds community on Guild connects entrepreneurs and business leaders
The Like Minds community on Guild connects entrepreneurs and business leaders

Why was creating a community around your events important to you?

"Like Minds events are as much about the connections people make as what they learn on the day. Organising virtual events wasn’t the hard part. The challenge was how to replace the networking aspect.

Face-to-face networking is crucial to our members, but sometimes virtual events are essential. An online community lets you build the rapport and reciprocity that we all need.

In some ways online networking is even more valuable in the long-term. It allows time for thinking, listening, reflecting and establishing connections.

If you know that you have more than one chance to connect with someone, it takes some of the pressure off.

I already knew that an online community would be a good addition to Like Minds.  Lockdown precipitated the decision, and the community has proved its value.

Since we’ve been able to return to in-person events, our Guild community has remained an essential ingredient in what we offer."

How has Guild helped your business?

"Guild has helped expand the Like Minds network. One interesting thing is that many people who join our Like Minds community on Guild are outside all the other social circles we’ve built on LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.

People working in all kinds of interesting spaces really complement our existing community.

Another benefit is that people who join the Like Minds community on Guild get to explore these other amazing networks and meet, well, more 'like minds'. It’s like a secret professional ecosystem that promotes sustainable growth."

Why use Guild rather than other community platforms or your event platform?

"Guild is a perfect mobile app for me, simple to use, a clean interface, great support and it helps to create engaging communities.

Online event platforms are fantastic for what they do but the networking aspect is somewhat ephemeral.

Having a permanent home for the community on Guild offers me flexibility in the tech I use. My audiences can keep coming back and expanding and deepening their network. They don't have to start afresh with each event.

From a technical perspective Guild just keeps getting better.

We’re enjoying live events again but virtual events will always be part of our offering. Being able to use the video rooms feature on Guild for some of our events solely for the community is a real plus. The opportunity to integrate our CMS and membership list using Zapier is also a real plus."

Who is the Like Minds community for and what will they find there?

"The Like Minds community is full of entrepreneurs, intrepreneurs and business owners.

They're all looking for helpful connections. We help curate exceptional and inspiring thinkers to help companies and individuals grow and scale.

Mike Southon, a best-selling business author, newspaper columnist and business mentor put it especially well: "Like Minds have a proven track record in building a community to educate and inspire, featuring the best global business minds.”

Any business owner or leader looking to scale their business is welcome to join. Like Minds is a place to share your business challenges in a supportive peer environment."

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Header image of a Like Minds masterclass by Poppy Jakes, by kind permission of Andrew Ellis/Like Minds

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