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Selling Your Community - How To Sell To Any Audience

Communities are full-fledged products, and selling your community requires effort.

Read the list of steps you must take when selling.

Communities Are Products

Investors regard communities as complete products. This is due to the fact that administrators and moderators are interchangeable. They can be replaced with someone else without destroying the community. Because M&A teams see communities as products, we're seeing an increase in community M&A value.

Some communities have their own product and see excellent returns. Stackoverflow was recently acquired by Prosus (a community for engineers for 1.8 billion USD). Stackoverflow functions similarly to a forum, but with gamification features.

Today, many consumer startups are communities. Most do not even require the services of engineers to build their own products. They might even work well with a white-labeled platform like Scenes. It would be difficult to sell your community if it was built on Discord or Slack. This is due to the fact that both require third-party assistance.

Naval tweet
Naval tweet

Communities with their own apps include Dev.to, Hashnode, 9gag, Buzzfeed, and Pinterest.

If you want to pique the interest of M&A teams in corporations, you should be able to create your own app. A SSO-based sign-in system and a white-labeled web experience are also essential.

The Process Of Selling

Hands writing with sticky notes in the surrounding and a laptop
Hands writing with sticky notes in the surrounding and a laptop

Pre-build Relationship

You can't meet an acquirer one day and sell the next. Get an initial meeting with a potential list of acquirers. Make sure they are in the same industry as you, or the acquisition will never make sense for them.

Send Regular Growth Updates To Potential Acquirers

Updates are essential. Most of these people are extremely busy and will not be in your community every day. Send them updates as interesting events and growth occur.

Most Communities Will Be Purchased Rather Than Sold

Do not rely on cold pitches. When it comes to selling a community to an acquirer, the outbound sales process rarely works. In most cases, you will receive inbound interest from a champion within a company. As a result, there are constant growth updates

Social Media Clout

Third-party validation from well-known industry figures can help complete entire transactions. Based on a single tweet, Zapier purchased Makerpad.

Dying Down

Most conversations will fizzle out, with people canceling last-minute plans. This is similar to startup acquisitions and should be the same here. Concentrate on the community and don't fully commit to the potential exit. As someone who has previously sold a company, I can assure you that erecting castles in the air before a deal is completed will result in emotional ruin.

Value Your Company Appropriately And Demand What You're Worth

This is especially difficult when there aren't enough examples to draw from. There haven't been enough communities sold for us to determine exact valuations or revenue multiples, unlike in the startup world, where there are plenty of examples.

Identify Your Target Market

A man speaking in front of people
A man speaking in front of people

Selling is all about understanding what drives people. Don't try to sell to everyone if you want to learn how to sell to anyone. Determine who your target market is and what they want.

Start With Your Product Or Service

List the features and benefits of what you're trying to sell before you even contact potential customers. Drill down to the specifics of how each feature makes someone's life easier, and then identify who would benefit from it.

For example, if you sell children's bicycle helmets, your product provides parents with peace of mind. Those are your target customers. They're probably in their 30s or 40s and want helmets that are both safe and cool enough for their children to wear.

Consider Your Existing Buyers

If you already have a business, consider what your current customers have in common. What are the most popular products? When do they make their purchases? If your company has an online presence, you can use analytics to find answers to these questions.

Do Your Research

People only buy what they believe they want or need. Learning what your audience values and then adjusting your sales pitch to match is the key to learning how to sell to any audience.

Selling To Consumers

Consumer research is now easier than it has ever been.You can find information about who is interested in you wherever your company has an online presence.

Take, for example, social media. When you use platforms like Facebook and Instagram for marketing or audience outreach, those platforms collect information about your visitors.

That information is relatively simple to obtain. Facebook has a robust analytics app that will tell you everything you need to know about who visits you, including demographic information like age and location. You can also learn how people react to your posts, whether they click through, and what they do before making a purchase.

Connect With The Buyer Personally

In the end, every sale is about one person meeting the needs of another. Knowing how to sell entails learning how to identify a person's need, what else in their life is related to it, and how you, as a seller, can connect the dots.

Creating The Relationship

Take some time away from selling to connect on a more personal level, especially at first. When you start a conversation with a prospective buyer by talking about the product or service and how great it is, or even mentioning the pain point you hope to address, they will feel pressured.

Listen carefully because the person's responses will reveal a lot about what they care about and their thought processes. Then, when you're talking about something related to what you're selling, you'll know what angle to take and what selling points to emphasize.

The same strategy can be used in a mass communication format. Simply begin your message with the personal, focusing on what you know about your target audience, and then transition into the substance of the sale.

Building Virtual Connections

Social media is an excellent tool for making genuine online connections. Social media, unlike many traditional selling tools, is a true two-way conversation. You could share a link to your most recent blog post with a headline like "Need a better return on your marketing investment?" Check out these tips for selling to online audiences" or "When the weather turns cold, it can be difficult to find things to do with kids."

Learn how to have creative fun in the privacy of your own home." Messages like these show your prospective buyers that you care about their lives and can assist them in solving a specific problem.

People Also Ask

What Makes A Community Successful?

Leadership, economy, safety, social capital, and civic involvement were also important but less influential factors. Taken together, this and other research provides compelling evidence for communities to pay close - and specific - attention to their communities' social and economic conditions

What Is A CommunityBased Business?

Community-based businesses are socially and environmentally responsible, with a desire to reinvest in the community to strengthen it. People are at the heart of community-based business models, which prioritize collaboration, partnership, advocacy, and co-creation.

Why Is Community Important In Marketing?

Strong community marketing activates a brand by increasing awareness, exposure, and customer experiences. Nielsen reports that 92 percent of customers trust recommendations from friends and family more than advertisements.


Selling your community to a potential acquirer will be simple if you keep these points in mind. If you're still unsure, we'll walk you through the steps to ensure you get the results you need.

About The Authors

Keith Peterson

Keith Peterson - I'm an expert IT marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in various Digital Marketing channels such as SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), SMO (social media optimization), ORM (online reputation management), PPC (Google Adwords, Bing Adwords), Lead Generation, Adwords campaign management, Blogging (Corporate and Personal), and so on. Web development and design are unquestionably another of my passions. In fast-paced, high-pressure environments, I excel as an SEO Executive, SEO Analyst, SR SEO Analyst, team leader, and digital marketing strategist, efficiently managing multiple projects, prioritizing and meeting tight deadlines, analyzing and solving problems.

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