How The Group Voice Becomes Powerful
Real influence comes from the collective voice, it’s not about individuals with the biggest reach, the largest audience, or who can shout the loudest.
It is important to be around others. This means trust becomes magnified and participation is encouraged.
In this article, we’re going to look at the influence of the group and think further, about where the group effectively becomes the market.
Let me highlight:
— how coming together has a wider impact on others
— examples that show contribution matters
— the community becomes the business
The Power Of The Group
When you find recommendations from people you know, it feels safer (and easier) to commit.
An example at the moment are people who are booking for the YATM Creator Day (you’re coming, right?). Each person is sent a visual to share they are going. It’s thanks to each of the partners who are helping out (read more in this article on asking for help).
What is happening is that it’s helping others make the decision to go. We will have more people from around the UK travelling down (perhaps seeing someone nearby going, so the decision feels ok). Far more than the 2022 event.
A 2022 study recognises that the most trusted sources for advice are not influencers and those with the attention of a huge audience, but everyday people. It’s those we know and familiar with that has gravitas.
The four most powerful sources are: your friends, family and coworkers; rating and reviews, advice from employees (as they know the product/service) and online communities.
Influence comes from the world around us, not the people and places that are out of reach. It could even be people you may not know personally (yet), but they are in your shoes.
When it comes to feeling a part of a community, collective voice matters, and the study shows an impact. This is something that brands, organisations and marketers need to be aware of. It also shows that when you feel a part of something, it can become a huge boost for your career and for you personally.
The power of the group affects us as people and the wider persuasion outside the group.
Let’s Share Examples
The involvement of people within a group amplifies what we do and also to rally around each other.
When you look at others from a group you feel a part of, these are people with similar hopes, goals and aspirations. These are the people who will push you, as long as you push them back. These are the people who raise the bar and encourage you to progress, perhaps in a way you didn’t know was possible.
The everyday experience that highlights the strength and influence of the group is the Friday sunrise sea swims.
It is the collective spirit that drives each other. We have a WhatsApp group and those who can head to the beach, make a promise (the day before) that we’ll all go in together. No one is left behind and even in winter, people show up and are there for each other.
This shows the influence of the group in action to motivate and encourage each other. Often, when you discover new experiences on your own, it perhaps doesn’t give you the ability to evaluate and share with others how it felt with a communal togetherness.
Being part of a community means that problems and ideas are shared so they become much more valuable. When you have others to share with, it allows to reflect and share from their own experience or approach.
Have a look at this example where one of the YATM Club asked what they could call a new initiative they were looking to bring to life.
It highlights that a unified voice matters and being around others who can share, offer advice and be open, can in fact, help push us to make decisions and see our efforts come to life and make things happen. Even when it might feel uncomfortable, such as sea swimming in winter!
What if this approach and the strength of the community are then propelled outwards for others to see and become a dominant force?
The Community Becomes The Market
Can the community become the market? It helps to solve the problems for others. As seen in the graph at the top, the community becomes a place of trust and validation.
This is where the idea of community as service (CaaS) comes into play. Mark Schaefer in Belonging To The Brand defines CaaS as ‘access to a group of people is valuable enough to be considered a marketable product.’ The community is the business.
It makes me think, can access to a group of people become considered as a marketable product? If there is proof in the everyday influence stats, it means that there is weight toward the power of the community.
From a commercial perspective, Hard Numbers highlights CaaS as, ‘Community as a Service means relying on a trusted third party to help you build something which adds value for your customers.’
It means that momentum is diversified across platforms. It is the community that gives gravitas and by the power of association delivers moments of trust, awareness, recommendation and influence.
Let me highlight an example. A business owner was looking for recommendations for a photographer. People replied with their own suggestions.
I replied with someone from the YATM community as my person to consider, Zelda de Hollander. From the nod, others from the community got behind Zelda as their choice. This hopefully now gives an unfair advantage of Zelda over others. Familiarity within the group made it easier for others to give their stamp of approval.
The people who rallied behind Zelda, are all people from the YATM community. What it highlights is the ability to separate a community from a platform (LinkedIn), so when the social platform reaches out, there are a group of people already together and familiar with each other. We trust Zelda, we know Zelda, we believe that Zelda does a good job, let’s vouch for her!
The Internet Is Not Your Friend
The power of the everyday influencer coinciding with the association of the community becoming the business shows the connections made and the value of feeling a part of something that can provide a worthwhile return, for everyone.
We need to think smaller, the world and the social connections that you will never meet, are not your friends. Influence and persuasion can be from the places you feel a part of.
When people come together, they support each other. We all need the right people around us, to fight our corners and be there when we need them. For support, ideas, or just by association.
People around us give weight to our causes. Influence doesn’t just to be reserved for those with larger followings than you. When people rally around you, your message and what you wanted to share become magnified. You don’t have to be reliant on yourself getting a message out there, others can help out.
The collective is more powerful than the individual. It can be isolating and lonely when you think everything has to be on your shoulders. When you come together with like-minded people, you can be a part of something powerful. When you are seen and embraced with your place in a group, you become a part of something so much bigger. You become part of a collective effort, where it all connects (read more on how to feel a part of something much bigger)
Commonality becomes a bond. When people know they are part of something relatable, alongside others, it provides so much in return. It could be ideas, inspiration, problem sharing, fun and knowing others are with you. Achievements are magnified and momentum happens.
The group has a powerful voice when the community has trusted status. It takes time, which is why the small steps are worth the effort. The results are apparent when members feel at ease sharing, engaging, getting involved and everyone feels comfortable.
This is then magnified outside the group where a unified voice becomes trusted, people can see the proof of the group in action and where the community becomes the market.
It is possible for a community to live in its own space away from a familiar platform and to have an influence on a wider scale.
This is new for all of us but highlights new opportunities for those who have the drive to build, unite people and activity to be seen through a much wider lens.