Step One: Start Small
Like most things, a community will not be massive on the first day. The most successful communities typically begin as small email lists, pleasant meals, forum posts, and other informal gatherings.
They subsequently become crucial when you learn more about their worth, and your members become self-sufficient ambassadors.
Starting a minor requires patience and accomplishing things that aren’t scalable, but the effort is worthwhile in the long run.
Step Two: Add a Layer of Uniqueness
To return to the Product Hunt example, when the site initially began, they kept ‘hunter’ access limited since it would be challenging to administer if they opened it up to everyone.
It made individuals with hunting privileges feel special, and more people wanted to participate. They eventually decided to include references in invites so that early users may ask their friends to join. It helped to spread the word about PH and made the hunters feel special…again.
Step Three: Instilling a Spirit of Usefulness
Your community members exist more for each other than for you. They are looking for a safe resource where they can connect about passions and interests.
By creating a spirit of utility, you are building an open environment. A place where your consumers or community members can learn and share. And once they learn from others, they will likely return the favor. They were impressed with what consumers were building and assumed that if one customer found a custom widget helpful, others would. So, they gave them a spot to share and o through the hacks, tricks, and custom widgets they are developing.
Step Four: Make Connections and Let Go
As a community creator and facilitator, you must connect with your members – to start the dialogue and then walk away. You are always appreciated for jumping in and answering inquiries, clarifying misconceptions, or providing advertisements. The idea is to enable your consumers or members to connect.
It’s more complicated with forums, but your community may divide into smaller groups to debate subtopics and areas of interest with Facebook groups and Slack channels. Alternatively, they might send messages to one another to develop deeper personal interactions. Don’t worry if you’re afraid of losing control. Your community will appreciate the ties you’ve established with them and will remain loyal as a result.
Step Five: Expand the Word About Your Community
Once you have a strong foundation – say, five to ten individuals participating regularly and respecting their community – it’s time to move on to stage two.
You learned more about your community’s importance in its residents’ lives. You have a good sense of what motivates people to participate and what doesn’t. You created and disseminated rules based on previous behavior and lessons gained. It’s now time to bring on more people and start scaling up. You may take various approaches, and the most effective one will be determined by the sort of community you manage. There are, however, fewer best practices that have shown to be useful for many people.
A referral program
As mentioned above, the Product Hunt and Quibb communities allowed early members to invite people to join. Ello did the same thing. The assumption is that if the community’s first members contribute significantly to the community, so will their friends. They will only invite the best of the best.
The most effective referral programs reward referrers. A referral is a way for members to share that cool thing they are a part of while promoting their brand. Rewards can include freebies, early access to exclusive features, event tickets, product discounts, partner discounts, freebies, etc.
Some reference programs use point systems. If your combined community has an ounce of players, they’ll be thrilled with a leaderboard. They can even create healthy competition by adding another layer of engagement.
SaaS programs like Intercom (CMS) or NomNom (feedback insights) help identify your most engaged consumers. You probably have A-tier customers (very engaged, super loyal) and B-tier customers (moderately engaged, loyal). When starting small, invite Level A first. Then, once you have processes and protocols in place, ask Level B. And so on. It is the best for slow and intellectual growth.
You don’t have one yet? Shame on you. (Just teasing – but sincerely, here’s why you should have one and how to set up your list). Once you know you can handle a larger community, spread the word to your existing customers through your newsletter. Let them know the purpose of the community and the value they will find.
Your social channels:
We expect your social target audience to be relevant to your offer and highly engaged. Let the dogs out once your community is set up and running, and you have a strict process! I mean, announce it to the world. Share community highlights, victories, and insights. Give your wider audience a taste of what they’re missing and why they joined. The Geckoboard community has seen a huge spark of your interest simply by announcing their dev community on their blog and social media.
Find someone relevant to your community who adds and gains value from involvement. If the community is open to the public and customers, it can be effective to apply an influencer. Better yet, maybe one of your consumers is an influencer. When you get in touch, be sure to communicate this value to them – what they will gain from it.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.