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How to build a virtual community — with a real example

Updated: Mar 27, 2023


Not sure about you, but I'm tired of sending and receiving messages all the time. Feeds in general don’t have the necessary personal touch, and it seems nobody cares when you really need help. Well, that’s where the communities take place, or at least it should.


The core concept behind an online community is to build relationships between members and create a sense of belonging. A community manager (or curator) is responsible for managing the community and guiding it in the right direction. They need to ensure the new member feels welcome and engaged in the activities.


In the last few months I've been using 3 websites that are really making the difference to connect remote people in a more natural way:


  • Lunchclub: Here you have random meetings with amazing people and there's an AI which schedules for you. I can't say it's really a community, but it's definitely the best choice ever to connect with more people, specially if you're a small entrepreneur. At least for now, Lunchclub is free and works by referral.

  • Mentordial: It's a lovely idea where you can book meetings with mentors to get advices about your business. How valuable is to speak with a marketer from Amazon or a startup founder who raised hundreds of millions? You can browse many different mentoring categories to find your best fit and the subscription price is very reasonable.

  • Create The Rules: Forget about boring feeds. Here is a true community, where you join at any time of the day and get support by video chat. Imagine that you're entering in a co-working space room and you sit down in a collaborative table where everyone will say "hi", and you can share you challenges and get their guidance. Every time I join, I think "this is absolutely surreal", and that's why I decided to write an article explaining how it works.

Out of these 3 examples, I will focus on the 3rd one because it's simply the best representation of an online community that I could ever find.



Create the Rules has been designed by Marissa Loewen. She provides mentoring for startups and entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses. Marissa now has more than 130 members, and I'm happy to be one of them.


Now, what exactly did she do to make her community special?

She created value, by providing a unique online environment where people can learn from each other every single day.


She started her community as a business accelerator with the idea of a bustling coffee shop — where people can work on their own and with others, feeling the energy of people working on projects and passions around you. Starting a business from a story-telling is always a good choice.

Now, each member still has access to personalized coaching, mentoring and idea curation with the team of experts that she built. Here’s the main concept that she found: people don’t want to wait for support. What she created is a virtual place where their members can join at any time of the day to get advices.



Just to make this more tangible, let me show you an example. She built amazing coworking community rooms to do work sprints together. They take optional breaks to chat and get to know each other throughout (inside) the sessions.



And since this is a community, Rooms are open 24/7. This helps global members to connect at different times of the day.


In addition, she added Pomodoro clocks with chimes for timed work-focus. Every 25 minutes, you see a message to stretch, drink some water and ask a question. Not to mention that makes you feel more productive, committing yourself to achieve something within this time.



Some rooms also have interactive ambiences, like rain and coffee shops.



Marissa noticed that body doubling is a powerful mechanism to help people to focus, especially if you have ADHD. Well, if you're an entrepreneur, you probably feel this lonely feeling, as your challenges don't even fit your schedule. Indeed, because many of us are working online from home, occupational loneliness has a very real impact on all entrepreneurs and business owners.


In order to create her space, Marissa used GoBrunch, which is a platform for building virtual communities. Well, GoBrunch was initially designed for many purposes, including education, but it seems she found the sweet spot. Because GoBrunch has this immersive look-and-feel, it's perfect for creating virtual work-spaces as you can see who's working and easily turn on your mic or share your screen to start brainstorming.


In GoBrunch, you can create these amazing virtual co-working rooms and decorate the way you want.



It allows you to share the screen, chat, and collaborate. The biggest difference is that you can stay there for many hours, and you won’t feel tired at all. That’s because we designed GoBrunch with the concept of a real space atmosphere, which prevents you from getting tired like the usual video-conferencing platforms.



You can connect your rooms and offer a supportive environment where people can network, learn and collaborate.


Did I tell you that her community has live yoga sessions? Every now and then, Marissa invites an instructor and they can exercise no matter where they are in the world. How cool is it?



With all these strategies combined, you can create an online space that offers valuable content (not only text and images, but real live meetings), builds relationships through meaningful conversations, and encourages loyalty among its members.


Building a virtual community is a great way to connect with your customers and give them a place to find support.




Start your community now at: https://gobrunch.com




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