How to Build a Thriving Community as a Service-Based Boss

Get connected by leveraging these five different types of communities perfect for services business owners. From Facebook Groups to Masterminds, we’ve got you covered with ideas on how to make the most of them. Pin and Read to help you grow your community and your biz.


When you’re a service-based boss, it’s so easy to get your head stuck in the weeds of doing your work. So much so that building a thriving community can be an afterthought.

But the truth is if your ability to book clients is the lifeblood of your business, your community is the heart of your business.

Just so we’re on the same page here – when I talk about community, I don’t necessarily mean you need a Facebook group or a massive list of email subscribers.

Community, in the way we’re taught to think of it in the online world, typically focuses around tactics to build a platform you own. Which I don’t dispute the value of for a second, but the reality is that building that type of community is a long game.

Audiences and email lists aren’t something you build overnight. So as a service-based boss, you’re going to need to look for other ways to build a community while you develop those things over time.

So, where should you start? Here are just a few suggestions to help you get started or build even more community to support you as you grow your business.

Local Networking Groups

Before you think “OMG, is she for real?”, yes, yes, I am. Even when you run an online business, you’re in the business of working with clients. And unless you live in the middle of nowhere, you’ve likely got a local small business group, women’s group or some other place where you can connect with potential clients and like-minded business owners.

(I live in a town in rural Indiana of 15,000 people and if I can find groups, I’m sure you can too.)

You may need to get a bit creative to find the right groups, and it may take some trial and error, but it’s worth exploring so you can make face-to-face connections. And honestly, getting out from behind the laptop and putting on real pants is a good thing for all of us.

If you’re looking for ideas, check out,  your local Chamber of Commerce, or any small business groups. If you’re adventurous and can’t find the right group, you can even consider creating your own.

Industry Associations

Depending on what it is you do, you likely have industry associations you can join. This can be incredibly powerful as you’ll have a way to connect with other people in your industry who can be sources of referrals, potential collaborators and cheerleaders.

If you’re on the lookout for potential clients, consider joining industry associations where they’re hanging out. It’s better to be the only graphic designer in a group of professional speakers, than to be lost in a sea of other designers. This is particularly effective if you have a specific vertical focus or niche.

Free Facebook Groups

Yes, Facebook Groups are all the rage, but you should consider if your time is well-spent building your own group, or if you can simply go to other groups where people are hanging out already.

When it comes to free Facebook groups, not all groups are created equally. Look for groups that serve you by either being full of your perfect clients or provide you with a place to connect and get support.

If you’re going to focus on groups, proceed with caution. Select a few groups that are a great fit and spend your time and energy there, versus trying to be everywhere. Also, give some thought to how you can be of service in communities versus showing up with a marketing agenda.

After all, groups are communities, not sales circles designed for you to push your thing. Be respectful of the rules and stand out by being thoughtful and intentional in how you engage.

Mastermind Groups

I’m a big fan of mastermind groups as a place to build strong connections and community that will support you when the going gets rough.

Mastermind groups come in many shapes and forms and I’ve personally been involved in several different types, from paid ones to informal groups after events to free ones I’ve been invited to join.

If you’re looking at a paid mastermind group as an option, you’ll want to ensure you dig into the details before you commit. Things like how many people are in the group, what’s required and consider if these are the type of people that are a good fit for you.

Maybe you’d like to participate in a free group, which in my experience can be tricky as people can be tight lipped about who they mastermind with.

With that in mind, you may want to consider starting your own group. Brainstorm who you’d like to mastermind with and go from there.

Paid Communities

One of my favorite things about the courses or programs I’ve taken over the past few years are the communities. Many times these communities are actually better than the program themselves and deliver way more value.

While I’d not recommend you sign up for any program just for the community, definitely include it as something you assess as part of your purchasing decision.

Membership communities are another great option as they can be affordable and help you connect with other business owners like you.

Keep in mind that with paid communities, the quality can vary wildly from a community directed group where the person selling the program never makes an appearance, to a community with ongoing support.

When it comes to building community around your services business, what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. In the early days of my business, I put a lot of time and energy into developing a community that has turned into my circle of support years later. I actually met Maggie in a paid community, and the rest is history.

If you’re running a services business and are looking for a community to get connected with click here to join the Scoop Insiders Facebook group.