In these ‘Ways to Use Guild’ articles we give you some insight into how our users are putting the platform to work for them.
Here we take a look at how community members can get the most out of the groups we host and our wider Guild network.
Why community matters
We’re all familiar with the idea that we are stronger together. Finding like-minded people to share our experiences and hear our ideas increases feelings of connection, happiness and wellbeing, as well as contributing to knowledge and progression.
But as our online connections grow, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. We become increasingly disengaged, forfeiting even valuable relationships along with those more tenuous associations.
Part of the problem is that our idea of community has been radically altered by social media platforms that encourage us to think in terms of number of followers or friends, chasing likes and acknowledgments rather than meaningful interactions. Frictionless sign up makes it easy to get involved in anything of passing interest, flooding us with broadcast messaging while we have little opportunity to make our own voices heard.
Community is valuable when the relationships are reciprocal and personal. Creating safe spaces for discussion in the company of trusted individuals is an incredibly powerful way to facilitate transformational learning, problem solving and inspiration.
You get out what you put in
If the value of community is based on its engagement rather than its reach, being accepted to a group comes with a responsibility to be an active participant. It should not be a frictionless, passive experience, but a place where you are challenged, called upon to help one another and required to share experience and opinions.
A community’s value is directly tied to the quality and frequency of each individual’s contributions. If you have clear ideas about what you hope to get out of your involvement, take a breath before diving in and consider what you can bring to the experience.
How does Guild help create a more connected community experience?
It’s easy for community initiatives to simply become another broadcast channel, rather than being used to develop meaningful relationships or achieve a purpose.
This is especially true when they are hosted on large social media platforms, competing with unrelated newsfeed traffic, advertising and unsolicited sales messages.
As a destination platform, Guild provides a more considered way to engage with communities you care about. Users are either personally invited or discover groups away from the social media fracas.
Guild communities are funded by community hosts on a per user basis. Host organisations have a vested interest in maintaining high levels of engagement, making them more mindful of their preferred audience and defining a clear purpose for their community projects. Group sizes tend to be smaller (hundreds, rather than thousands) and more proactively managed, allowing everyone to benefit from access to exceptional levels of expertise and experience, greater responsiveness and more visibility as a contributor.
Guild is also GDPR compliant and gives users complete control over their data with far more manageable boundaries between work and social life than on platforms like WhatsApp or Facebook.
What are the benefits of becoming a community participant?
- Look smart in meetings
Your community is your superpower - a huge store of knowledge and experience you can call on to make a great impression in front of your boss, your board or your investors.
- Find a job that fits
Community involvement gives a far richer picture of candidates and companies than an interview could. Demonstrate your knowledge and the way you operate through your community interactions, showcase your passion and find others who share your values. You could even find that opportunities open up to accommodate you, rather than you having to seek them out.
- Give back
If you’re an expert in your field, participating in a community is a great way to be generous with that knowledge. Whether it’s informally through discussion and feedback or via a more structured programme of mentorship, you can make a significant difference to someone’s career and support your own sector by encouraging new talent and ideas.
- Feel less alone
Often we find ourselves a lone voice in an organisation. This is particularly true of freelancers, entrepreneurs, employees in small businesses and anyone heading up a new project with little support.
Community is also absolutely invaluable if you find yourself isolated at work for more personal reasons – perhaps you’re struggling with mental health concerns, workplace bullying, or issues around a colleague’s professional conduct. Having people to speak to can alleviate the stress and provide guidance on navigating the situation.
- Try something new
If you’re considering a change of direction, joining a community is a great way to explore an industry sector or role. Beyond simply learning, the community experience provides a rich understanding of the kinds of people you’ll likely work with, their language, challenges and approaches, not to mention invaluable contacts and insights.
- Influence the things you care about
Communities have enormous potential to affect change, and professional communities are often able to harness extensive resources and influence. Finding an opportunity to raise your voice in support of something you care about alongside like-minded people can feel incredibly empowering, as well as giving you the resources and knowledge to start implementing those changes even on a smaller scale.
- Raise awareness of your own product or business
There’s really no place for the hard sell in communities unless that’s the specific remit of the group. But valuable contributions, demonstrable expertise, and friendly, helpful interactions will open up countless opportunities for further conversations that could turn into opportunities.
Join Guild 🤝
See for yourself how the Guild experience is different to WhatsApp, Slack, LinkedIn or Facebook Groups.
- Just want to join some groups? Simply join Guild and then look through the discoverable groups to find relevant ones to join.
- Thinking of running your own community? Look at your plan options and get started.
Guild is ad-free and protects your privacy. Guild is a safe space for professionals to connect, communicate and collaborate. Join us on a platform that is purpose-built for professionals and businesses. Guild is home to your professional community.
Contact us if you want to know more or have any questions.