Lisa Stone, co-founder and former CEO of BlogHer and current Chief Community Officer of She Knows Media, spoke to #StartupCincy’s female entrepreneurs. Lisa shared her entrepreneurial story and talked about how building a community and uncovering advocates you never knew you had can help grow your brand, company or movement.
Where are the Women Who Blog?
In 2005, spurred by the question “Where are The Women Who Blog?”, Lisa Stone created an event to celebrate women bloggers. It was a home-run success that attracted over 300 women from 4 different continents.
Lisa and the co-founders of BlogHer realized they stumbled on an important business. Because of the sheer quantity and quality of women bloggers across the world, they knew they had discovered a multi-million dollar publishing opportunity.
The Importance of Community
Lisa then showed how the cornerstone of scaling your business is building a community. She showed how quality content that includes users and gives them the ability to share the content can help you scale your brand, business or movement.
She then talked about how bloggers are some of the most important people you need in order to build a community. Why? Because bloggers are the most trusted long-form writers online.
Harnessing the Power of Community
Eventually, Lisa built out the technology so her bloggers could take credit for the engagement they were driving with their blogs and across social media. Because of the community she built, she was able to merge BlogHer into She Knows Media which eventually became the number one women’s lifestyle company in the digital space.
She also demonstrated how harnessing the power of community can greatly increase the reach of your message. In conjunction with Public Radio International, Lisa used her network of content creators to promote news stories about women. In the first 120 days of the campaign, 100 million social media headlines were shared and #womenslives reached 18 million people with 16,000 tweets.
Building a Community
After demonstrating the power of community, Lisa then went over the four things brands, companies or movements need to do to build an effective, functioning community.
- Determine who is in your community and write a mission statement for working with them.
- Invite the community to participate, don’t tell them.
- Form a diverse advisory board.
- Create a welcoming space for your community.
Takeaways For #StartupCincy
As our startup movement continues to grow, Lisa’s talk reminds us of the importance of continuing to incorporate a diverse set of voices and creating a community that values inclusiveness. Adding more voices to our movement will only strengthen the impact of our community.
We’d like to thank Lisa for taking the time to talk with us and for her words of wisdom as #StartupCincy continues to expand.