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The Business of Belonging

Community-building 📖 Book Review: The Business of Belonging

The Business of Belonging by David Spinks

Over the past few months, a few Find Calm Here Community members have been meeting monthly to discuss this book and we’ve gone over a chapter, or two, during our book club meeting. You can grab his book here.

To say this is a good book for business owners who want to build an online community — is an understatement. This book is brand new (2021) and has extensive case studies, resources, and proven strategies that large corporations have used to build, launch, and grow their online communities.

I’ve met with David and several members of the CMX community. I enjoy David’s writing style, it is just how he speaks, clear, and easy to understand.

I’ve put together some of my favorite quotes, questions, and some links to the CMX website with frameworks that have helped so many companies with building an online community and I believe these frameworks can be converted to helping entrepreneurs approach community-building with logic and intentionality through alignment of business and community goals.

Thought-provoking quotes

  • “Building community as a hobby is nice. But if you want to build a community sustainably, at scale, and expand way beyond your own abilities and resources, you need to look at it as a business.”
  • “Some members might spend years in your community and never quite get to the point where they feel motivated to increase their commitment. And some members will move up the curve, and back down the curve as their life and needs change or the community changes.”
  • “You’ll ultimately need all four levels for a large, mature community to work: leaders, a core group of power members, a consistent group of active members, and an often-larger group of passive members.”
  • “An engaged community is an ecosystem made up of people moving up and down the commitment curve over time.”
  • “We intentionally avoided using jargon, instead of using simple, accessible language. Where a lot of people used a negative tone when talking about the opportunity to work in community management, we wanted to make CMX a positive, highly energized space. We wanted our community to feel relatable, down-to-earth, and fun. That personality shows up in everything from the copy on our website, to the design of our events, to how we welcome members into the community.”

Thought-provoking questions

  1. What do you want them to know?
  2. What do you want them to feel?
  3. What do you want them to do?
  4. Do people actually need this?
  5. Who doesn’t belong?
  6. Can you make your community space feel like a unique home for your members?
  7. Do you want people to feel relaxed in your space or energized?
  8. Do you want them to be productive or do you want them to just chill?

Community-building frameworks and ideas for building community


Deb Schell is the Founder of Find Calm Here LLC — As a consultant, designer, copywriter, and strategist, she helps entrepreneurs find calm in building, launching, and growing paid online communities. Learn about working with Deb here