Nearbound Daily #539: Your Secret Weapon 🤐

Nearbound Daily #539: Your Secret Weapon 🤐

Ella Richmond 5 min

Nearbound community


GTM Partners identified 6 go-to-market motions, one of which is community-led growth.


Community-led acts as a growth lever because it allows you to create a movement or category around a transformative idea.


But recently, I was reading an email from Dave Gerhardt’s Exit Five newsletter where he explained the difference between building a community and building community.


By definition, a community is just a “group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.”


So you can go and build "a" community—a Facebook group, Slack group, Circle, in-person events, local meetups, etc.


But you can also “build community” by becoming a resource for people (your ideal customers) that have a particular characteristic in common.


For more, read Dave explain community in more depth.


And as Rashiete Calhoun pointed out in the nearbound book,


The most productive communities rally around a singular purpose.

The key to making [partnerships] work is to align both the individuals and the collective around the value we bring to each other and to the market.


Nearbound is a strategy and mindset that allows everyone to win better, together.


Community is your secret weapon as a partner pro.


You have the opportunity to establish trust and unite people and companies, internally and externally, through shared aims.



People, not companies, win in 2024


In 2024, people win, not companies or faceless organizations. This is one reason why community is such an important concept.


Communities are groups of people that win together.


And partner pros are the connective tissue that helps groups of people win together.


Mac Reddin (CEO of Commsor) recently shared seven learnings after 10 years of building communities.


(13) Post LinkedIn 2024-03-14 at 9.07.27 AM
Read the complete 7 in his post.


Here are five of his seven learnings and why each of them is important for a partner pro.

  1. Community is not a channel. It’s organic and relies on symbiotic value among members.

    The best partnerships (formal and informal) are formed as mutually beneficial relationships. If you want to get it, then give it for a long time. Establish a reputation of value before you ever ask for anything.


  2. Community happens whether you create it or not. Likewise, community doesn’t happen just because you create it.

    Partnering isn’t an option anymore. Customers demand seamless and value-packed buying experiences.

    If you don’t connect with other people and companies in your ecosystem, interconnectivity will still happen organically. But you can’t take that for granted; you still have to work at making your networks strong.


  3. Community is more art, less science. 


    Friedrich Hayek, a Nobel prize-winning economist, used to say, “ The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to [all] how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

    In B2B we make the mistake of thinking our data is going to tell us everything. It’s not. Building networks of humans is always complicated because you’re dealing with too many variables to compute.

    Data isn’t you’re cure-all. Knowing your customer is. So go get in the market.


  4. Treat community like a product. Start small and start intentionally.

    Every relationship and partnership takes time and effort. You begin with small conversations and gives, and then as you build trust, the conversations and opportunities become bigger.


  5. It takes time. It’s not an overnight strategy and if you treat it like it is, you’ll fail.

    You can’t speed up the process of building relationships. To build an ecosystem that’s full of network effects, you need to be in it for the long game.

As Mac explained at the nearbound summit,

The atomic unit of business is shifting from organization to individual.

If you want efficient growth, you need to be pulling the most powerful growth levers, simultaneously. That’s why you need to focus on nearbound.


Participate in this survey?


Partnership Leaders put together a survey with Alliances & Channels Consulting on tooling and usage.


7 questions. 3 minutes.


Take it here.


Relevant Solutions and Tools for Partnerships usage and benefits 2024-03-14 at 8.23.04 AM



How buyers buy

This image was created by Gartner a few years ago, and while the buying journey may be even more complex than this by now, the point is still clear: buying is not a linear process.


Save this image. Use it to illustrate your point that your company needs a nearbound overlay.


Instead of looking at the buying journey as individual touchpoints, companies must zoom out and learn how to surround their customers throughout this entire journey.




Stuff you don’t want to miss!

  • TODAY—March 14th—Running Nearbound Ops: How Partner Data Can Drive Revenue—Kelly Sarabyn (Head of HubSpot’s Product Partnerships and Enablement and Advocacy Team), Jill Rowley (Head of Strategy and Evangelism at Reveal), Elliot Smith (Head of Partnerships at 6Sense), Mary Vue (VP of Marketing and Partnerships at Syncari), and Mike O’Neil (VP of Partner Sales at Box). Register here.

  • TOMORROW—March 15th—Channels vs Ecosystems!—What partner strategies will "win" and which will "lose" as channels and ecosystems converge and compete this year? Attend & Ask Scott Brinker (Hubspot VP), Jay McBain (Canalys), Justin Zimmerman (Partner Playbooks), and more! Register here.

  • March 16th—Firneo’s Mastering Partnerships Strategy 4-week program—Learn how to diagnose and solve your partner program’s biggest challenges from the world’s top partnership leaders. Mention “NEARBOUND” as a referrer and get a 1:1 Strategy Coaching package (worth $1,000) for FREE. Apply here.

  • March 19-20th—Affiverse’s Amplify Summit—Join them for a 2-day virtual event to help affiliate businesses amplify their performance. Learn about digital, partnership, and affiliate marketing. Register here.

  • Nearbound Summit 2023 Recordings—The future of GTM is Nearbound. Watch the recordings to hear how B2B leaders across departments unite with Nearbound strategies and tactics. Listen here.


Build your community

You already have a community of people around you. Nurture that community by sharing things you find valuable (like this email!). 😉


Ella Richmond 5 min

Nearbound Daily #539: Your Secret Weapon 🤐

In 2024, people win, not companies or faceless organizations. This is one reason why community is such an important concept.

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