Ashley Friedlein: Guild Is a Platform for Communities and Networking

August 9, 2022

Guild is a platform for communities and networking. Use Guild to engage your customers, or generate leads, year round with high quality groups, networks and communities.

Tell us about yourself?

I have been working in online communities for over 20yrs. My first business, Econsultancy, is a community for marketing professionals learning about digital marketing and ecommerce.

Seeing the rise of mobile messaging we felt there was a need for a mobile-first platform for professional communities to come together, share, learn and connect.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

There are some big things about to happen in the world which mean you need to plan for things to take longer than you expect!

What problem does your business solve?

Communities are a great way to create connections with your customers or prospects, to build greater loyalty as well as leads. It’s become harder to cut through on social media, and many other marketing channels are overly noisy or expensive.

Having your own communities gives you direct access to your market and customers.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

I’ve always been passionate about professionals coming together to share, learn and help each other. Historically this was done in person but then web-based communities came along.

More recently the world has gone mobile and a lot of group communications has moved into messaging apps like WhatsApp.

But these consumer messaging apps are not designed for business use. Sales/marketing professionals need a mobile-first way to engage with their prospects and customers but purpose-built for business use e.g. privacy-compliant, data ownership, integrations/automations, customer support, no ads etc.

What is your magic sauce?

Our mobile-first experience – we’re a business/marketing tool but the experience is as easy and simple as a consumer messaging app. As a result, we get much higher levels of engagement than web-focused platforms.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We’ve pioneered ‘community-based marketing’ i.e. using groups, networks and communities for marketing and sales purposes.

We want to see this established as a recognised marketing and business development discipline with Guild being the leading platform for delivering CBM (Community-Based Marketing) in the professional and B2B sector.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

We have realised that building communities, whatever the tech, takes certain skills and capabilities that not everyone has.

As a result we needed to create a ‘community management service’ to complement our platform offering to help prospects and customers who needed additional resource and community expertise to make a start.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

If you believe community could be a good way to engage your customers and prospects then we’d love to hear from you. We have a free guide to CBM (Community-Based Marketing) at https://guild.co/blog/what-is-community-based-marketing/ and you can join Guild for free yourself to experience it in action via https://guild.co/join

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