ABLS #299 – The Rise of Digital Tribes – A Better Lemonade Stand – The Global Tofay

ABLS #299 - The Rise of Digital Tribes - A Better Lemonade Stand - The Global Tofay Global Today

I’ve been thinking about private online communities a lot lately.

It makes sense, given I’m gearing up to launch one for A Better Lemonade Stand soon. But why now? Why not years ago when I first considered it?

The truth is, back in 2013/2014, while working at Shopify and running A Better Lemonade Stand, I was tearing my hair out trying to find a community SaaS platform. I wanted something easy to use, fairly priced, and that didn’t require hiring a developer to host and manage.

That was crazy talk back then. It didn’t exist.

I remember thinking, “How has someone not made a Shopify for communities?

Fast forward to today, and the landscape has dramatically transformed. We’re witnessing the democratization of community building, with plenty of accessible, streamlined options available. Private communities are flourishing, and it’s easier than ever for anyone with a vision to create their own digital tribe.

We’re diving into what I believe is one of the most exciting trends: the value in private communities.

We’ll explore:

  • 🚀 The explosive growth of the community platform market (projected to reach $11.72 billion by 2030)
  • 🔍 A close look at rising stars like Skool and Heartbeat
  • 💡 Actionable strategies to leverage your community for business growth

From the decline of traditional social media groups to the rise of dedicated community platforms, we’re witnessing a seismic shift in how we connect online.

Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, this edition will get you started with the insights and tools to harness the power of community in your business journey.

Here are all the highlights:

  • 👥 Create a Thriving Online Community: Discover the rise of SaaS community platforms and the opportunities they bring for your business.
  • 🚀 20-Year-Olds $32k MRR Journey: Discover Wilson’s success secrets behind his profitable SaaS venture, Senja.
  • 👨‍💻 Thriving as a Non-Tech SaaS Founder: Get strategies and tools to help you juggle the unique challenges of running a SaaS business.
  • 🤔 2024 Startup Ideas: Check out Greg Isenberg and Cody Schneider’s list of 9 innovative startup ideas to kill pain points in 2024.

📈 Trends

👥 Building an Online Community Has Never Been Easier

Five years ago, the landscape of SaaS community platforms was practically dead. They were notoriously clunky, expensive, and often required self-hosting and intensive management, making them accessible only to those with significant resources and technical know-how.

Fast forward to today, and the scene has transformed dramatically with the emergence of streamlined, cost-effective community apps. Now, anyone can create a thriving community to accelerate their business growth.


  1. Market Growth: The global online community management software market is projected to reach $11.72 billion by 2030, growing at an impressive CAGR of 12% from 2024 to 2030 (The Insight Partners)
  2. Social Groups Decline: Social media groups such as LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups are experiencing a noticeable decline in engagement. Many popular Facebook groups have been abandoned, and more than 50% of the groups you find are full of spam. Factors include algorithm changes, privacy concerns, and strong competition from dedicated community platforms with many more robust features to keep users active.
  3. Improved User Experience: You can now add customizable branding, seamless mobile experiences, and integrated communication tools to enhance the overall user experience. This allows you to manage all aspects of your community within a single platform and keep them nurtured.
  4. Integration and Automation: Community platforms now have robust integration capabilities, allowing users to connect with various other tools and services, such as CRM systems, email marketing platforms, and project management software. This enables community builders to streamline their workflows and automate various tasks.

Platform Options

The number of community platforms has grown significantly, with a 35% increase in new platforms launched in the past two years (Business Research Insights). So, with a wide range of new platforms looking for the attention of community builders, choosing the right platform that aligns with your specific needs and goals is challenging. Here is what I recommend:

  • Skool.com: This is the most popular option. Skool has blown up in the community platform space by offering an all-in-one solution that integrates learning management with community building. Its user-friendly UI and seamless integration with other tools make it a go-to for those looking to engage their target audience without the technical headaches.
  • Heartbeat: Heartbeat is more affordable for creating communities through real-time chat, events, and content sharing. Its affordability and ease of use have made it popular among startups and small businesses looking to build and scale their communities without breaking the bank.


Transitioning your existing audience to a community platform can be complex and time-consuming. This Skool guide ensures a smooth transition and high adoption rates among community members. Look at some of the top Skools for inspiration about their setups, too.


  1. Educational Content: Host webinars, workshops, and Q&A sessions to provide value and keep your community engaged and informed about your niche. Exactly how Hamza does it in one of my previous trend reports.
  2. Market Research and Feedback: Use your community to gather product feedback, understand customer needs, and test new ideas before you decide on a wider product launch.
  3. Build Your Growth Loop: Use Harry Dry’s viral ‘Growth Loop’ method to boost your overall following across social media by embedding links to your social media content from your community.
  4. Networking and Collabs: Create networking opportunities within your community, encouraging members to collaborate and maybe even leverage your community growth to start a creator as a cofounder business.
  5. Customer Support: Turn your business’s ‘customer support’ into a section of your community. This way, members can get help sharing each other tips, reducing your support needs, and improving overall satisfaction.

💡 Insights

🚀 How This Young Entrepreneur Hit $32k MRR

At only 20 years old, Wilson makes $32k/month from Senja with a combination of building in public, using product-led growth, SEO, and affiliate marketing. Here’s how he did it.

ABLS #299 - The Rise of Digital Tribes - A Better Lemonade Stand - The Global Tofay Global Today
  • Product-Led Growth: By offering a freemium model, Wilson ensured that free users became promoters of Senja, which drove 30% of the platform’s growth.
  • SEO Mastery: Writing targeted blog posts and creating pages for high-volume, low-competition keywords helped Senja rank in the top 3 for testimonial-related searches, driving 45% of its traffic.
  • Thoughts: This highlights the power of consistency and growth strategies like PLG and SEO to build a successful SaaS business.

🔗 Read Senja’s Full Story

👨‍💻 How to Run a SaaS as a Non-Tech Founder

This podcast episode discusses the unique challenges and strategies for non-technical founders managing a SaaS business.

  • Effective Delegation: Non-tech founders can excel by delegating technical tasks and fostering a culture of ownership and accountability within the team.
  • Leveraging Automation: Using no-code tools like Zapier and creating automated pipelines can streamline processes, reduce manual effort, and improve overall efficiency.
  • Thoughts: Embrace your strengths and delegate your weaknesses. Leverage available tools and foster a culture of ownership to drive your SaaS business forward.

🔗 Watch the Full Episode Now

📸 This Pro Creator Answers Your Content Questions

Get answers to common content strategy questions, offering insights on audience engagement, creation tactics, and platform-specific strategies for creators.

  • Consistency and Adaptability: Regular posting on YouTube is key, focusing on aligning content with personal interests for long-term success.
  • Audience Validation: Use discovery platforms like YouTube and social media to validate ideas rather than starting with less discoverable platforms.
  • Thoughts: Choose platforms that best validate your content ideas and stay adaptable, focusing on genuine interests to maintain engagement.

🔗 Get These Expert Strategies

🤝 Opportunities

🤔 New Profitable Startup Ideas for 2024

Greg Isenberg and Cody Schneider give us 9 trendy, profitable startup ideas in 2024. They explore innovative concepts. Here are a few ideas they mentioned:

  • LinkedIn Short Form Video Agency: With Cody’s success with LinkedIn’s new video tab, he believes there’s a massive opportunity for creating and managing video content for business leaders.
  • QuickBooks for X: There’s a growing need for niche-specific bookkeeping software tailored to industries like real estate and nonprofits.
  • Thoughts: These are a bunch of out-of-box startup ideas you can leverage for current market trends and technological advancements, providing a blueprint for profitable business ventures.

🔗 Get all 9 Startup Ideas Here

🧰 Apps & Tools

📈 QuuuAI-powered social media assistant that curates and schedules engaging content for Facebook, LinkedIn, and X in your brand voice. I used to be a big user of their other content tool Quuu Promote.

ABLS #299 - The Rise of Digital Tribes - A Better Lemonade Stand - The Global Tofay Global Today

📲 Shortcuts: I have an issue with saving content from my iPhone to Airtable – well, I found a simple solution – Shortcut creates a bunch of iOS Shortcuts for Airtable that allow you to do that.

ThunderbitNext-gen no-code AI app and automation builder. Quickly create and deploy custom AI tools and automation for your business with just a few clicks.

🎥 RunwayAI-powered creative tools for video, image, and audio generation. From Text to Video and Video to Video, to motion brushes.

🤖 Product Updates

🔥Leonardo’s New Era of Image Precision

Leonardo releases their latest Phoenix AI model that enhances prompt adherence and generates coherent speech bubble text within images.

ABLS #299 - The Rise of Digital Tribes - A Better Lemonade Stand - The Global Tofay Global Today
  • Precision in Adherence:Phoenix responds accurately to users’ instructions, whereas other image generation models are often inconsistent.
  • Visual Text Clarity: Text-integrated images like the speech bubble above create clear, textual visuals for various designs.
  • Thoughts: It’s pretty amazing. Incredible prompt adherence and it can do text, including text bubbles – so you can create things like comics.

🔗 Check Out Some Samples Here

💬 Claude 3.5 Sonnet Released

Anthropic has launched Claude 3.5 Sonnet, their most powerful AI model yet.

  • Advanced Capabilities: Claude 3.5 Sonnet excels in complex cognitive tasks and multilingual processing, making it suitable for various applications, including text generation and vision analysis.
  • Speed: Sonnet is designed to excel in high-volume use cases with enhanced performance and cost efficiency.
  • Thoughts: The fact that Claude 3.5 Sonnet is twice as fast as Claude 3 Opus is one of its best features. Its speed and reduced cost make it ideal for providing in-depth customer support or overseeing multi-step workflows.

🔗 Discover More About Claude 3.5 Sonnet

🎥 Runway AI’s New Unbelievable Video Creations

Runway AI can now create stunning AI-generated videos from just text and images with Gen-3 Alpha.

  • Text-to-Video Magic: The Gen-3 Alpha can transform simple text prompts into detailed and dynamic video scenes.
  • Diverse Applications: Create a range of humorous transformations to cinematic scenes, demonstrating the versatility in various creative fields.
  • Thoughts: The quality is really good. You can leverage this to produce engaging marketing content, enhance storytelling, and bring innovative visuals to your brand’s narrative with minimal effort.

🔗 Get Examples Here

🖇️ Everything Else

✍️ AI Replaces 60 Writers:In 2023, this writer excelled in a team of 60, only to find himself alone the next year, editing AI-generated content as his colleagues were replaced. (🔗Insights)

ABLS #299 - The Rise of Digital Tribes - A Better Lemonade Stand - The Global Tofay Global Today

🚀 Boost These Sites’ SEO Traffic: Get a free list of 897 ad-monetized sites that are getting over 10k monthly visits from social media growth. (🔗Insights)

🤳 Creator as a Cofounder: An innovative model where founders partner with influencers, giving them a stake in the business to leverage their audience’s trust for rapid growth. (🔗Insights)

You made it to the end. Thanks for reading!

#ABLS299 #Rise #Digital #Tribes #Lemonade #Stand

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