Inside the Mind of Monica Rojas: A Deep Dive Q+A with a Prominent Head of Community

Jared Mintzlaff

November 29, 2023

In a special Q+A feature of Magnetic, we sat down with Monica Rojas, a prominent figure in the blockchain community space. Monica, the head of a community at Upstream and the founder of The Chain in Miami, shares her extensive knowledge on community building, the importance of micro-communities, and the evolving landscape of brand-customer relationships. Here's what she had to share.

But before we dive in, we encourage you to enjoy the full interview here:

Q: Monica, welcome! Could you start by introducing yourself and your work in the community space?

Monica: I'm the head of community at Upstream, where I focus on integrating our existing community into new product developments. I also run a community in Miami called The Chain, which connects people in blockchain through a dinner series and events. It's more than just my job; it's about creating energizing spaces and opportunities for like-minded people to connect.

Q: That's fascinating. So, what does community mean to you, and how does it differ from the general perception?

Monica: Community, to me, is about creating a space that energizes and excites, where people can open doors for each other. It's more than just gathering a bunch of people; it's about the connections and shared interests that bind them. Whether it's for professional networking or finding friendships, a community should be intentional and fulfilling.

Q: Can you delve into your day-to-day role and how you foster these communities?

Monica: My day involves a lot of community study and engagement. At Upstream, I'm building a product that integrates our community's needs. I've also run a 24-week DAO community focused on education. In Miami, The Chain is about intentionally connecting people. It’s all about using community to educate, develop products, and make meaningful connections.

Q: Could you give us a peek into the 'science of community' you mentioned?

Monica: Community-building has evolved, especially with the rise of NFTs. My focus is on micro-communities, where meaningful connections happen more naturally. Instead of being one in thousands, it’s about engaging in smaller, niche groups where real partnerships and friendships can form. It’s about connecting these micro-communities in unique ways, which I believe is the future of community building.

Q: How do large brands manage to foster micro-communities effectively?

Monica: It's about understanding the difference between an audience and a community. Brands like Nike, for instance, create micro-communities around specific interests like soccer or lacrosse. It's more than just buying products; it's about engaging deeply with the brand, its events, and its ethos. These micro-communities offer perks and exclusive experiences, strengthening brand loyalty.

Q: What are some innovative ways you've seen communities being built or fostered?

Monica: A great example is my initiative with The Chain Miami. I used Twitter to engage people in Miami, creating a texting community where I shared event information. This evolved into hosting monthly dinners, creating a physical space for connections. It's important to start simple, listen to your community, and then expand based on their needs and feedback.

Q: For brands looking to build a community, where should they start?

Monica: Brands should first understand their target audience and join existing communities where their audience already engages. It's crucial to create a clear mission statement for the community and align all actions with it. Also, ask for constant feedback to ensure the community's offerings align with the members' needs.

Q: You mentioned challenges in community management, like community fatigue. Can you elaborate on that?

Monica: Definitely. Community fatigue is real, especially when communities grow rapidly without a sustainable plan. We’ve seen this in some crypto communities, where rapid growth led to unrealistic expectations and management challenges. The key is patience and intentionality in community building, focusing on long-term relationships rather than instant success.

Q: There's a rising trend in creators leading successful brands. How does this relate to community building in e-commerce?

Monica: Creator-led brands like Mr. Beast succeed because they start with community first and then move to monetization. E-commerce brands can learn from this by focusing on building a loyal community around their brand and product story. This community then becomes an invaluable asset when launching new products or adapting to market changes.

Q: What advice would you give to brands or individuals looking to dive into community building?

Monica: Start by joining and understanding communities you’re passionate about. Learn from existing successful communities and platforms like CMX. Remember, not every brand needs a community. Focus on what value the community will bring to your brand and whether it aligns with your goals. Be patient and consistent, and always align your actions with your community’s mission.

See Nifty Bridge in action

Find out how experience led loyalty can supercharge you brand's growth
Contact Us