A new startup is setting out to help companies build and harness communities around their products, enabling them to side-step multiple disparate tools and manage everything in a single platform.

However, community-led growth is also an increasingly popular approach to driving new and repeat business organically — this is where a product’s users serve as advocates and a support network for other would-be customers. Community-led growth is actually closely aligned with product-led growth, insofar as a user has to first be made aware that a product exists, and then convinced that it’s worth checking out and remaining an active user. The “community” that performs this task can be anything from social media influencers and review sites, to dedicated forums such as Stack Overflow, Reddit, Slack, or Facebook Groups.

Talkbase cofounders Klara Losert and Roman Nguyen Image Credits: TechCrunch

“Community-led growth is one of the most popular growth channels in tech, but there is no platform to support it,” Losert said. “Community managers are responsible for growth, hiring, or retention programs — yet they spend most of their time in Google Sheets, Airtable, forms, and other platforms to launch one single program.”

A “program” could mean a one-off event, a series of content (e.g. video demos), or an ambassador program that coaches brand advocates on how best to spread the word. Community managers might use any number of platforms to manage their community, such as Slack, Discord, or Hubspot, and this essentially is where Talkbase enters the fray — it bridges various community management tools, bringing everything under one roof.

For example, Talkbase packs task-management and collaboration tools similar to Trello or Asana, allowing managers to assign tasks, and teams to work together on programs to meet deadlines.

Talkbase: Task management Image Credits: Talkbase

Elsewhere, Talkbase includes features for creating, managing, and scheduling events, such as supporting attendee registrations and managing moderators or speakers.

On top of that, Talkbase has purpose-built advocacy management tools for customizing and tracking their goals, and collating feedback for potential new projects. This can also be used to identify existing members of the community (e.g. on Twitter or LinkedIn) who are already vocal supporters of a particular product, making it easier for companies to reach out and engage with directly.

Talkbase: Ambassador program

It’s difficult to ignore the parallels between Talkbase and these other companies, in terms of how they pull together the different strands that constitute a “community.” But Talkbase says that it’s moving beyond the incumbents by pulling together all the various elements that constitute a community manager’s toolset. While it’s focused mostly on managing events and company ambassadors for now, it’s adding more features to the mix, enabled in part by its recent seed round of funding.

Talkbase is tooling up to replace survey tools such as Typeform; CRMs or spreadsheet tools such as Google Sheets or Airtable; event publishing tools such as Eventbrite; and even outbound communication tools such as Mailchimp — Losert said that they are currently in the process of developing their own newsletter tool.

Pillar of the community: How Talkbase plans to power user-led growth for any company by Paul Sawers originally published on TechCrunch