Marc Kaplan, Co-Founder & CEO, ChekMarc

Marc is a visionary and began the ChekMarc journey with a vision for a free, positive and uplifting community where people could connect and drive change. He is beyond excited and energized to see his vision come to fruition. Marc has often commented that he wished ChekMarc existed prior to the business being launched because he would have benefited immensely from other experts in the field. He will most surely have Explorer requests, as he knows the power of tapping into the right expertise and knowledge. Marc is also looking forward to give back to the community and act as a Catalyst in areas of professional development, travel advice, and other expert areas that allow him to draw on his own experiences.

We are presently living in the digitally connected era where communications are instant and engaging. The availability of the internet has further made the use of social media and social platforms easy for people across all age groups. As the saying goes ‘all that glitters is not gold’, hence, online communication comes with its fair share of negativity comprising of bullying, abusing, and trolling. 

The harmful impact of such negativity can be combated by leveraging the concept of communities to spread positivity in communication. Having such interactive communities in place can help build a cohesive environment, reduce negativity, and improve the value of connecting with people worldwide. 

Understanding key principles and values of community building

While the communities foster strong relationships amongst its members and can have a positive influence on its members, building a community is indeed a detailed strategy altogether. Before getting into the tactical task of building a community, it is essential that we understand our members’ requirements and preferences. Additionally, we should focus on extending a good overall experience as this aspect can eventually make or break our community. 

We should take into consideration the kind of interactions members may want and accordingly create a space that can cater to their needs. By following this direction, we will be able to extend a meaningful, fruitful, and satisfying user experience to the members.  

Here we share with you a few key principles and values of the community building process that successful organizations have paid close attention to. 

Always keep your members as your focus

A community is nothing without its members, and therefore they should be the primary focus when making decisions no matter how big or small the decision may be. This can help create a sense of belonging and togetherness amongst members where they feel valued and empowered making the community a contributory environment wherein members drive the community and take initiatives. 

A true community appreciates all kinds of members

Understanding that not all members are the same in terms of knowledge, academic background, and work exposure among other things, is key. Diversity across all aspects of the member profile drives connection, inspiration and creates an environment where people can feel appreciated and heard. Creating a value proposition based on all members being as important as the next adds value to the platform distinctly. 

This vision along with the members’ requirement analysis should be clear so that the community can extend the requisite experience to them allowing the community to grow and also create a cohesive environment. 

A community is built on relationships

A community is a sum of all its members, and the effectiveness of the community is based on a fundamental concept – relationships. Communities focused on fostering effective relationships with the members where they share a good rapport will build strong connections. It is these strong connections that will further drive the growth of the community and also enhance the overall experience of the members. 

A community should be engaging

A community performs well when it provides an engaging environment. Keeping members positively engaged, active and involved along with communicating with each other can give them something that will drive their pro-active participation. This engagement comes from linking together needs, relationships, and common goals.

Extends a collaborative cohesive environment

A community should present as a collaborative and cohesive environment. It should be a shareable ecosystem wherein one can easily exchange ideas, information, post updates, and resolve queries without any hesitation. Additionally, aligning members towards a common goal of the community’s growth will help achieve this aim of creating a collaborative community.  

A true community offers multi-level growth to the members 

When every member devotes his/her time and effort to supporting each other and driving the community’s growth, the community as a whole successfully reaches its goals. Eventually, the community is able to extend various offers and benefits to their members be it achievement, emotional, brand building, visibility, or position of power. 

Ensures a two-way partnership

The partnership and two-way relationship between the community and the members is of critical importance. The individual requirements, desires, and goals of the members should be given due importance and catered to. 

Ensures that there is fruitful interaction, privacy, safety, guidelines

A successful community is the one that ensures that the communications happening are engaging, positive, flexible, and meaningful. Additionally, the privacy and safety of the members is of paramount importance. Having some form of guidelines and moderation and safety in place will help in the communication being positive and aligned with the community’s goals and policies. 

Empowers the members

Only when there is motivation amongst the members will they be taking the initiative to engage and drive the community forward, and this motivation can be of the smallest size. With motivation comes empowerment and this breeds proactive engagement. With empowerment comes the will and desire to move ahead propelling members towards their individual growth as well as the growth of the community. 

Facilitates inclusion and diversity

A powerful community is one that facilitates inclusion and welcomes a diverse set of members. Diversity could be of age, gender, preferences, mindsets, geographical areas, economic, political inclination, etc. This inclusion can make members everywhere feel welcomed and valued, allowing them to engage and connect effectively. 

Having diversity and ensuring the inclusion of all will help in the overall development of the members as well as the community. 

Summing it all up

A flexible and accommodating community possesses high chances of succeeding. Capturing and promoting diverse mindsets and voices and ensuring a collaborative environment will be welcomed and preferred by members. Taking into consideration the key principles mentioned above can help in the creation and development of an engaging, interactive, positive, and successful community. 

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