5 Minute Book Review: Community Builders Guide eBook

Everything a community builder needs, all in one place

Taylor Harrington
Groove With Us
4 min readAug 9, 2022


What book am I taking a deep look at this month?

The Community Builders Guide created by Jephtah Abu, Jay Elango & Ronald Williams, is a free eBook made by and for community leaders. Especially pumped to call out this one because it features a lot of my awesome community friends and I’m grateful for the chance to be featured in it ♥️

A short teaser for those who haven’t read:

This eBook breaks down some of the greatest challenges community leaders face, tactics to try, advice on personal branding, resources, and more. It’s a fantastic read for someone starting out in their first community role, someone hoping to transition to a new role, or looking to return to the basics for inspiration. With so many companies starting to build out community teams, I also think this ebook is a rich way for folks who work in other leadership roles to understand the value of this profession and what’s possible when community is prioritized and valued at a company.

Highlights with a Lasting Impact:

Creating an Awesome Community Volunteer Program

Scaling a community isn’t possible unless community leaders ask for help! This guide is actually a good example of a true community effort; it wouldn’t be so robust if the authors didn’t ask for awesome contributors to share their experiences!

In order to scale, community leaders must look for natural champions to empower to have a greater role within the community. In the ebook, Alfred Collins unpacks the benefits of creating an ambassador/volunteer program, distilling it into four key elements:

  • Driving awareness for your product, service, or community
  • Representing a great source of feedback
  • Connecting your community members to resources
  • Tapping into their personal connections to increase followership or raise awareness

As I write this, it’s the first week of kicking off our Groove volunteer program, a small group of five Groovers who really embody what Groove is all about and are excited to become a bigger part of what we’re building. It’s essential when creating a successful ambassador/volunteer program to know its purpose and communicate that clearly. At Groove, the main goal of our program is to help new Groovers feel a special, warm welcome when they join the community. We also want to increase retention and to remove barriers to entry…and this group will help us do just that!

As Alfred points out, “benefits should not be one-sided if you want to have an ambassador program that is rich and rewarding to your community. Your ambassadors should feel appreciated for the work that they do.” I love his idea to make exclusive content for them and with them! To roll out the launch of our Groove Welcome Crew, we’re writing a Medium feature on all five members. Stay tuned!

On-brand challenges to increase retention and engagement

I’m loving the Monthly Challenge tactic that Gail Gardner contributed. At Groove, we’ve decided to intentionally avoid the common, gamification and vanity metrics many companies lean on for engagement. You can read more on that decision here. But, what Gail suggests is a bit different. “[Monthly Challenges] are designed to have our members learn new entrepreneurial skills to make them more successful at growing their brand. There is a specific Mastermind Group where they can post their results, ask questions and offer feedback to other members.”

This has me thinking about what it could look like for Groovers with a similar goal to meet up for a monthly challenge on Groove, similar to how NaNoWriMo, invites everyone to participate in a writing challenge for 30 days. We’ve thought about connecting Groovers with similar goals before, but bookmarked it for a later date. Reading about Gail’s Monthly Challenges has put a fire in my belly to revisit this idea.

Building the house for others to play

Haneefah Abdurrahman Lekki mentioned one of their favorite quotes, “Lao Tsu said that if you give a hungry man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” This relates to how I think deeply about the title Community Architect. I love using this title to describe what I do. My role isn’t about managing — it’s about designing the foundation for community members to come in, play, and build it with us. Thanks, for reminding me of this awesome quote that illustrates that, Hannefah!

There are so many other rich ideas inside this guide for community leaders, these are just a few that got my wheels turning. Grateful that there are more and more awesome resources like this popping up in the world. If you’re new to building community, check out this piece on the best places to meet other community leaders.

Looking for more Groovy content? Check these out:

  1. Solopreneur-ing with ADHD (Part 1)
  2. Deep Work vs Busy Work
  3. Or, if you’re looking to make working solo ➡️ social, cruise on over to groove.ooo to join our beta community 🏄🏼



Taylor Harrington
Groove With Us

Head of Community @ Groove 💃🏼🕺🏼 Love bringing people together ✨ Curious about the future of work, community, & online learning 🤔 Board game player + reader