How Hector Quintanilla Created A 1.4 Million Strong Entrepreneur Community

Aug 16, 2020

How Hector Quintanilla Created A 1.4 Million Strong Entrepreneur Community

A networking masterclass

Created by the author — original image from Quora.

Within minutes of talking to Hector Quintanilla, I decided I liked this guy. It was easy for me to see how he has created such a massive network on Quora, the social media platform where users can seek and give answers. This kind of presence is something most entrepreneurs could only dream of achieving.

His space Entrepreneurial Mindset has close to a million and a half followers, which is 5 times bigger than the nearest competitor. His personal content has been viewed over 50 million times. He and his fellow contributors have answered thousands of questions for startup owners around the world. It’s a fantastic supportive community for like-minded people.

Hector grew up in Mexico and launched his first startup after completing his engineering degree and it’s still running 25 years later. Since then, he’s started 3 other companies as well as taking on real estate projects. His latest venture, BeBusinessSmart, aligns strongly with the aims of his Quora presence, to educate entrepreneurs from his real-life experience.

Yet the way he built up this community flies in the face of some of the Machiavellian advice you’ll read in some business books. Here’s how Hector did it his way.

It was all an accident

In a world where so many people tell you to set goals and chase them down, I’m hearing more examples of unintentional success. Hector never set out to build a big Quora presence with detailed charts and plans. He simply saw questions he thought he could answer and gave his best advice.

In 2016, one of his answers went viral but he ignored it, as answering questions was something he did for fun. Yet it happened again and again and he realized he must have a talent he didn’t know about. This started a positive feedback loop and put him on Quora’s radar. When they wanted great writers to test out their new spaces option, he was a natural choice which gave him a first-mover advantage.

In the four years since it has grown dramatically and it is still accelerating. All Hector is doing is what he’s always done without ulterior motives.

Always give off good vibes

Hector subscribes Gary Vee’s philosophy in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. For those unfamiliar with this, each jab is giving something for free, and only after doing this do you earn the right to be paid.

Everyone is trying to promote themselves online right now. Yet people are looking for information, not a sales pitch. Have you ever read something and hoped there would be a long call-to-action (CTA) at the end where you can buy that person’s products? Yeah, neither have I.

Hector doesn’t use any CTAs and this means he has built up respect. He gives away advice for free in a format perfect for Quora. He uses engaging stories that take a minute or two to read. This means his content is perfectly aligned with what the audience wants and they begin to trust him. His readers find his products of their own free will, which makes them much more likely to be customers.

Ask a simple question

As you can imagine Hector’s inbox is flooded with people trying to message him directly. As a busy entrepreneur, it’s impossible for him to answer everything and I’m happy we connected. One question he kept coming back to in our discussion was simple but potent:

Is there anything I can do for you?

There’s a big difference between this and “what do you want?” or “what are you looking for?”. His version is disarming because he’s offering his help before he knows what the other person wants. The way most people ask increases the pressure to justify the request. Try this question out on your friends and family when you think they are going to ask for something. It’s a skill to put others at ease.

When you’re trying to grow your network, be remembered as the person who felt easy to talk to and trustworthy. No one likes being put on the spot.

What you should take with you

Hector Quintanilla runs one of the largest, if not the largest, online entrepreneurship communities in the world. He got there as a side effect of his real mission which was to help other startup founders to reach their potential. If you want to build your network only to profit, it is painfully obvious and offputting. Instead, show you care and people will come to you.

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