Online Marketing Community Event with Diverse People

Dave Shrein


Online Marketing Communities

There is no substitute for finding yourself in a collection of healthy online marketing communities. Being around others who are kind, intelligent, humble, and experienced is a blend of fuel that enables your inner motor to go faster, stronger, harder, and longer than it otherwise would.

Later in this article I’ll share a collection of online marketing communities to explore but for now, I want to help setup the purpose of these communities, why they are important, and what benefit they add to your marketing.

If you are an online marketer there is a good chance you are the only person like you in your immediate real life circles. Your friends, family, and co-workers know that you do something in marketing and it has to do with a computer and the internet, but otherwise, they’re clueless.

After my first decade of working in online marketing, my immediate family and closest friends now have a better idea of what I do and how to support me. The clearer I became on what I do, the easier it became to explain to those who wanted to support me.

But that was a 10 year evolution.

When you’re working hard to build something that no one in your community understands it can become lonely very quickly. Without a professional online marketing community, the odds of frustration, hurt, and burnout increase greatly.

Add any pre existing mental health conditions and community isn’t just a luxury, it is a matter of healthcare.

Why You Need to Be A Part of Online Marketing Communities

The practical reasons for being a part of various online marketing communities are pretty clear.

“When I get stuck, I have somewhere I can go to get unstuck.”

When you’re a part of a greater community of industry professionals you have an immediate resource for creating, building, and sustaining momentum.

Marketing operations is one of the easiest areas to realize this benefit.

Your online community is essentially a search engine that you can tap into in order to help your operations to run efficiently and effectively.

But let’s be honest — Google does a pretty good job of giving you helpful results and you’d still be able to find your answer without your community.

The need to be a part of one or several online marketing communities has more to do with becoming a better, more well-rounded person… not just building a successful business.

Having real people with real experience in an industry related to yours means that you have a collection of mentors who can help you with some of the more challenging problems that will arise outside of actual marketing operations.

  • How do I give my designer room to create while also getting the design I want?
  • How do I know if it’s time to let my copywriter go and how should I do it?
  • I want to get an executive assistant, what can I do to make sure I get the right person?
  • Should I work with an outside marketing firm or should I hire an in-house marketing director?
  • How should I handle a client that wants to micromanage an entire project?
  • I have leftover budget — should I invest in advertisement or should I invest in staffing?
  • What is the best way to grow our email list?

Honestly, I feel like I’m selling this second list short because there are SO MANY MORE topics you’ll get into with a group of online marketing professionals. The point is that marketing operations are quick fixes, whereas online marketing communities provide more ongoing emotional, professional, and practical support. It is about growing you as a leader, not just solving a problem.

#MarketingTwitter is a great place to begin your search for communities to join (and is a great community in and of itself)! Just start browsing through the latest posts, find the people with Tweets that vibe with you, and engage!

Three Core Benefits of An Online Marketing Community

When I was in my mid twenties I found myself inside of a room with marketing experts whom I had followed on Twitter, read their individual blogs, and considered them virtual mentors. Being in the same room as this group was intimidating. Everything I had learned had largely come from their instruction… what would I be able to contribute to this gathering that they don’t already know.

An Online Marketing Community Provides Validation

I had been learning from this small collection of marketing leaders privately from my home in Arizona. Whatever they published I consumed, processed, and applied. But now being in the room, I became a fly on the wall and witnessed how they developed new ideas, concepts, and strategies.

As I sat back and took everything in, they began ‘brainstorming new ideas’ for reaching an audience and building trust in the relationship.

Except, to me, it wasn’t new. As a matter of fact, much of what they were discussing and realizing for the very first time, I had conceptualized on my own and had been applying those concepts for months.

This was a validating moment for my authority and leadership.

My professional peers were building something that I had already done. That confirmation encouraged me and affirmed that I not only belonged in that room, so to speak, but my intuition for building strategies in my own context were valid.

An online marketing community provides validation.

An Online Marketing Community Provides Comfort

One of the risks a marketing leader takes on is failure. Because much of the company’s revenue depends largely on the effectiveness of the marketing strategy, there is often very little room for failure.

High stakes and low tolerance for failure presents a collection of challenges unique to marketing leadership.

The leaders I shared a meeting room with in Houston were transparent about their challenges, their fears, and their failures. Prior to this event, I was unaware that much of what I felt in my own context was normal.

If I had to give a percent, I would guess 70% of the challenges I was facing back home were also shared by the rest of this group. Knowing that I was not alone in my struggle not only built my confidence in my own leadership (I’m not the only one who had failed) but it comforted me knowing that my problems weren’t unique to me.

I wasn’t struggling to provide results because I was poor at my job — I was struggling to provide results because I encountered industry-wide challenges that proved difficult for even the most seasoned marketing leader to overcom.

Knowing you’re in good company, for better or worse, provides a level of comfort and context that enables one to continue to press on and work to succeed in an area others are finding success difficult to come by.

An Online Marketing Community Provides Humility

As much as I appreciated the realization that I was ahead of the game in many areas of my marketing strategy and the blockers I was encountering were common to others in my position, I was also humbled to realize that some of my plan for the coming quarter was already tried and failed miserably.

During the Houston meeting there were multiple times throughout the strategy sessions where the group would be exchanging stories of failure and pinpoint their failure on a particular initiative.

For me, it was humbling because these same initiatives that were tried and failed were initiatives that I had been planning on exploring and rolling out in the coming months.

To have great confidence in a plan is a wonderful feeling — to then realize that your brilliance idea was already tried and failed is humbling.

This specific situation allowed me to reconcile my shortcomings in private, but a strong online marketing community will respectfully ‘call you out’ when you’re about to do something already tried and help you avoid the same heartache others have experienced.

You’re not god, you’re not perfect, you don’t have everything figured out, and to have a collection of individuals who will make sure you are reminded of these truths is a gift.

Best Online Marketing Communities to Join

When you work alone your ceiling represents the maximum height your work can reach. Your weaknesses become the company weaknesses. The company strengths are limited to your strengths. There is only so far you can go and so much you can become.

Building with others elevates the ceiling and creates new superpower strength that could never exist in one person.

Discovering an marketing community to be a part of is easier than ever before.

And the best news, you don’t have to join a community that is explicitly marketing. Any community where there is a knowledge of online marketing, even if it’s not the main dynamic, will provide you with a collection of new voices to validate, comfort, and humble your work.

Three Places to Find Online Communities Related to Marketing

Facebook Groups
To say “Facebook Groups” is a great place to find an online community to be a part of is a bit of a let down. Chances are you’re already a part of several groups on Facebook and I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

So I will give you one specific strategy you can use to make sure you don’t miss a Facebook Group that could be a strong online community for you.

Create a list of 10-20 marketing apps, softwares, services, and devices you enjoy using. For instance, if you build your websites using Elementor for WordPress, write down Elementor. If you like Elgato for live streaming equipment, write down Elgato. If you love purchasing apps from Appsumo, write down App Sumo.

With your list, open up on your computer (easier to use for searching) and type the name and hit return (do not click on any of the recommendations). On the next screen filter the search results to show only Groups. At this point you have a new collection of Facebook Groups to consider joining.

What I really love about this strategy is not only do you find the official group but you find several spinoff groups which often offer smaller, more tightly knit communities.

Private Community Channels
In the late 2010s brands were becoming weary of using Facebook Groups, ceding control of their audiences to Facebook, and in response they began to flock towards alternative solutions.

Slack channels, Mobilize communities, and Mighty Networks emerged as alternative platforms that left control in the hands of the brands.

The question now is which of your favorite brands have communities to join?

There is a simple hack for finding out.

Using the list you’ve already created, go to and in the search window type in the word community and then the domain of the company you want to find a community for. So it will look like this: community

This searches the entire domain for any pages that are community focused. So, in the example of Wistia, you see the first result is their Slack channel community. Follow the instructions for receiving your invite and you’re good to go!

You can use Google to do a deep dive search on any domain! Type your search query at and after the query type and then search. Google will show search results specific to that domain.

Mastermind Communities

Out of the two previous options and this third option, mastermind communities are by far the most impactful.


A mastermind community is typically led by a highly qualified individual. This improves the overall quality of the people in the group.

A mastermind community usually requires some sort of a fee to be a part of. This filters out freebie seekers and also helps to ensure that all members attend every meeting (there is skin in the game).

A mastermind community will normally contain a collection of individuals who are ranging in business type, business size, and industry focus. This variety of member gives you valuable insights into how non-marketing people react and respond to your work. It also exposes you to higher level business conversations unrelated to marketing but relevant to leading your company.

A worthwhile mastermind community is going to be a significant investment. Many communities will start at $500 month and can up into the thousands. One of the first mastermind communities I joined was a $200 month investment. Today, I spend $500 monthly for my current community.

One final note about mastermind communities, they will produce for you what you put in. If you just show up to the meetings and never connect outside with any other members you will greatly limit the impact it can have in your business.

A Collection of Recommended Communities

Here is a list of several online marketing communities you could consider joining.

Start Your Own Marketing Community

When I started my business I knew it would be a long, and potentially lonely journey. One of my first moves was to create an online community that I could lean on. Over the course of 2-3 weeks I dripped messages on Twitter hinting that I was creating something.

Naturally, individuals replied and inquired and I added them to a list of interested people.

When I was ready to launch my group, I emailed everyone that inquired and suddenly I had a community of about 20 online marketing personalities.

The group lasted about 6-8 months and was a lot of fun. There were a couple main takeaways… 1) if I can start an online marketing community, anyone can and 2) the more vested someone is (financially) in a group, the more likely they are to make big time contributions to the group.

You can start your own group. You don’t have to wait for some certain level of success.

You can start your own group. You don’t have to wait for someone to give you permission.

You can start your own group. You have something to offer and there are people who need you.

You can start your own group and all it will take is you collecting high quality individuals and being consistent in gathering them together.

If you can’t find a group that offers you exactly what you’re looking for, start your own!

You Get What You Give In An Online Marketing Community

Building on a point I made earlier about masterminds… no matter how you discover your online marketing community group, you will only get as much out of it as you put into it.

When I was in high school I started attending a local church youth group. I wanted friends, so desperately, I remember walking up to kids in the group, introducing myself, and at the end of the night asking, “If a group of you get together later tonight, would you call me and let me know?”

Within weeks I had found my people.

This is what it takes to receive the full benefit of any community you choose to invest in — online marketing community group included.

Your people are out there and they’re ready to invest in you, give to you, and encourage you. Be diligent to go out and find them. There really is nothing else in the world like finding your people and feeling accepted into the group for who you are, not what you do.

Go find them!

Online Marketing Community Event with Diverse People

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