The Complete Roadmap for
Creating a Meaningful
Community on Memberse
Understanding Your Audience
Creating the Content
Pricing Your Community
Launching Your Community And Engaging Members
Nowadays, more than half of the planet’s population – 4.65 billion people – is on social media. Networks have completely transformed the way we relate, inform and communicate as a society.
Content creators, once criticized for being just teenagers sharing their lives as a hobby, are now at the center of great brands and building their own great companies.
For this reason, the job quickly went from something incomprehensible to something extremely desired. Today, we have over 2 million full-time content creators and, at every second, if you mention the word “content”, we bet more creators are being born somewhere.
The speed of this industry only accelerates, and everything can change overnight. Not only that, it is one of the most competitive out there, since you not only need to be original and reinvent itself all the time, you need to balance that with the arduous task to be relevant, and do it in a space where everyone ends up trying the same strategies, following the same trends, since the platforms reward that.
As always, this is about to change. Both creators and followers are tired of social networks as they are: realities that are no longer relatable, standards of life, of beauty, of success that are no longer accessible. Privacy policies, fake news, spam, bots, publis, launch formulas, info products and superficial courses, mental sales triggers, lack of vulnerability and a lot of free hate, we stop creating and having true human connections, to cultivate artificial relationships.
In this scenario, the future seems uncertain and many creators do not know what the next step is.
No problem, we tell you: The future will be made of communities.
“For creators, community is the new follower count.”- The Washington Post
We’ve calculated the relevance and influence of creators through their amount of followers. Yet, this does not mean what once it did. It has become increasingly easier to follow and unfollow someone. It isn’t a well thought out decision whether to do one or another. If you see something interesting once or twice, you might just hit follow. This means that you probably follow a lot of people that you barely consume any of their content, if at all. This is normal, it is how we were educated to behave on social media.
We need to reinvent that. Recycle how we behave on social media.
Up until recently, an influencer was able to reach a larger audience that perhaps even a tv ad. While still being able to be assertive and to connect in a direct way with potential consumers, something that tv ads have a hard time achieving it. Sadly, that isn’t the case anymore. Mainly because audiences are getting ever more fragmented and creators are being to either get over specific or try to please more segmented crowds.
This may be a loss for creators, however it is certainly a win for the big platforms.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though.
There is a way for us to take back internet’s original premise, which is to bring people close, instead of apart.
Ultimately, that’s what we’re all aiming for. It’s what keeps us close to the people we know, the people we follow, the people that inspire us, and even ith the products we want to use.
People want to be involved and inspired by things they weren’t before, like product development, other people’s lifestyles and their interests.
Creators feel the same way. Our experience has told us that they are increasingly isolated and lonely. This is the result of carrying the burden of being, ironically, the influence behind it all. Being an influence is a tiresome job. It demands fresh content on a daily basis, anytime, for everyone. Thinking, planning, recording, editing, promoting, interacting, monetizing, and dealing with bureaucracy. All of it usually solo and without a clear result perspective, as variables such as an algorithm or a trend may change it all unexpectedly.
Creators feel the same way. Our experience has told us that they are increasingly isolated and lonely. This is the result of carrying the burden of being, ironically, the influence behind it all. Being an influence is a tiresome job. It demands fresh content on a daily basis, anytime, for everyone. Thinking, planning, recording, editing, promoting, interacting, monetizing, and dealing with bureaucracy. All of it is usually solo and without a clear result perspective, as variables such as an algorithm or a trend may change it all unexpectedly.
Having said that, we get to the point of what wave content creation may surf: Communities.
Instead of building your world in a land where you have no control over the rules, you can lay ground on a space where you rule freely. Where you make the rules. Where the law is you. A Community with your true audience, in which you have access to every member and they have access to you. That’s what we have built with our platform.
By building Communities instead of a general audience, Creators don’t have to obsess with fishing followers in an ocean of people. They may be carefree from having to keep up with trends and constant algorithm changes. Thus, focusing on the people from the niche they like to create. This allows them to think less about getting more and more followers, and more about creating content for the people that are actually interested in what they do, in a more sincere way, creating a real connection between people.
Away from an environment that may be toxic and driven by absurd goals. Don’t let a passion of yours turn into fuel for people to bully and be mean to you. Instead, make sure that such passion is shared in a safe space, that promotes sharing, belonging and identity.
The real deal is to understand what your priority is: to have millions of people watching one of your videos or one hundred that watch everything you post consistently and will meet and greet you and buy your products?
Communities provide a more horizontal relationship, instead of a classic vertical one, in which a creator acts as the top of a pyramid and the audience and mere spectators. In this horizontal relationship, a closer exchange of ideas takes place, as well as more experience sharing and ultimately, more consumption of content.
So yeah, if you’re looking for a healthier and more conscious way of creating content, as well as a new pace a more controlled pace, and lifestyle, all of it while maintaining your creation relevant for your audience, you should try Communities.
Differences between having an Audience and having a Community
“A community is a group of people who agree to grow together.” – Simon Sinek
Having an Audience is different than having a Community.
If you are standing on a podium giving out a lecture in front of some people: that’s an audience.
Within that audience, there will people listening to you generally, and there will be people tat are there because they’re familiar with your agenda. People that are familiar with what you teach and offer, that perhaps even use a product that sold. That’s your Community.
Both the regular audience and the community members are interested in what you’re saying. However, the way you communicate with each group will differ.
Your audience is basically who you’re speaking to.
Your Community is who is responding to you.
How to notice such difference?
Audience is the number of people you’ve acquired throughout your journey. While a Community goes beyond the number of people consuming your content by themselves. A Community offers such consumption in a shared place, where people’s interest in the topic goes beyond that simply getting a taste of the product. It’s like the difference between someone that likes to listen to a certain band, and someone who is a die-hard fan who goes to concerts, buys their albums, books, shirts and so on.
In this case, another aspect rises, which is other members. Communities become social experiences as well. Where you meet like-minded people willing to spend time talking about it, sharing it, and promoting it together. As your community grows, everyone involved feels like they’re part of something bigger.
As this whole movement grows, the members of your community grow more involved, thus developing an identity.
Audiences aren’t as personal as communities may become. Communities recognize the importance of each individual and this gives them a space for them to express themselves and work with each other.
This is it. Communities unite people around you and your brand while allowing truthful interactions between members, creating a meaningful, quality experience.
How to Maintain a Community Consistently
Maintaining a Community is also fairly different that maintaining an Audience.
To grow and maintain an audience, there are technical tools that are widely known. Despite some of these also being applicable to communities, the latter requires other techniques a lot of work.
For a Community to succeed, you need to give it an identity. That means specific names, branding identity, rules, forms of communication, specific keywords, and jargon. Symbols that are used by you and spread out by members too. Lie rituals and traditions.
That’s what Communities have always been about: creating a culture and an environment with your content, instead of just blatantly seeing numbers.
Therefore, since your community depends on its members, their contributions and interactions must be recognized and celebrated. This will make them enjoy their experience even more. As well as feel more eager to engage and return to this environment.
A healthy Community shines beyond yourself, Mr Creator, beyond your platform, beyond any product.
Having an audience will always be crucial in this business.
Yet, it is the Community that will bring this relationship the value needed to make it ever-lasting.
Understanding Your Audience
Now you have a clear idea of what it means to start a Community and how transforming this may be. We’ve also gone over how this works in practical terms. So now, we should talk about who your Community is about.
As we discussed, your Community isn’t for everybody. That’s what make it even more special. So who is it from?
Before dicing into who is your ideal audience, let’s wrap our heads around who is part of your audience, generally. Let’s understand their especifics.
Li Jin, famed Creator Economy’s venture capitalist, explains:
“Content Creators aren’t homogenous – not are their followers”
The followership base is usually diverse and includes hundreds of different people. Still, some patterns of behavior may help us to categorize these followers in a constructive and intelligent way.
Li Jin (and if you hadn’t known her, now you do and you should follow her everywhere possible, as she’s always proposing new ideas and trends, looking for ways to improve the Creator Economy) says that we can better understand an audience when we look at these two specific criteria: intensity of affinity and engagement. We’re always looking at our number of followers, which is getting lesser and less relevant of a measure, as a follow means less than it once meant. Worse yet, sometimes big numbers cloud creators of the real engagement, thus giving them a fake idea of success.
Now that you’re looking at these criteria, let’s make it more visual. Li Jin talks about the different segments of fans and how Creators can think and monetize over each and every one of these segments. They are:
- Casual Followers – at the base of this pyramid we have the followers that casually decided to follow you. They appreciate your content in a more loose, somewhat distant, way. They’re used to consuming content in a passive way or they value very specific aspects.
- Active followers: the active followers base consumes the content and supports the creators financially, although modestly. This may be due to affinity or because of a specific project created by the creator. For this follower, if you have an active project, getting their support on Memberse may just be a great idea.
- SuperFollower: This is, essentially, your Community. They’re followers that are engaged with you even more than the content itself. They’ll support you instead of something valuable. They tend to be more logical and reasonable, which is why is important that they understand clearly what true value of what they’re investing in it. They’re also looking to have closer access to the creator, whether through courses or with Paid DMs, for example.
- Cult-follower: These are at the top of the pyramid and are those followers willing to do things that the majority of other groups of followers wouldn’t even understand why. They seek to invest more and beyond, meaning in forms that go beyond logic. Mainly focusing on validating the creator or its status.
At the bottom of the pyramid are the speculators and investors that, even if they have no attachment or engagement with the content, are looking for opportunities to profit from it.
Please keep in mind that none of the categories are permanent. Different types of content from the creator may lead a Casual Follower to become a Super follower, for example.
Understanding these concepts is key in the process of choosing the best strategy to adapt your content to the demands of your Community.
You, as a creator, know your followers. But have you categorized them yet? Have you used this to define what kind of content will you post?
Undersding your members is the first step for you to having an engaged community.
To do this without using deep metrics and complex software, you must observe the engagement and commitment of the members. This sort of comes with daily use and checks of your profiles. Like, we bet that you are already familiar with some handles that are often leaving comments on your posts, aren’t you? That way, you can also know how long this person have been a part of your Community VS their lever of engagement. And this is how you can understand 4 other important categories, 4 types of Members.
4M: New Members; Passive Members; Active Members; Influential Members.
The ones that have just arrived! They deserve most of your attention and support. A weekly introduction and special content addressed to them is key here. They must feel welcomed so they can begin to understand the dynamic of the Community.
It’s important that they feel noticed and valued from the get-go! This isn’t a simple engagement technique, but the very fabric of what kind of vibe your community will have. Each member matters and the quality of this relationship starts immediately. Confidence and trust must be established to keep new members enthusiastic.
The ones that are there, they see it, they see you, they like it. Yet, they do not interact.
They’re just there to see what the Community can offer and to absorb the content.
Not interacting with it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. They’re just not engaged to a point of interaction – and that’s fine. Members have different level os complexities.
On the other hand, active members are there all the time. They’re participating, commenting, discussing, sharing ideas, and adding value to the Community. They’re there for a purpose.
The ones that take a leadership role and help to keep the community active. They ultimately provide content as well, either suggesting it or promoting debates.
We may call them the beating heart of the community. That’s because they aren’t there to simply consume content, but to make the whole experience more complex and shared. This encourages other members to be more active participants as well. Their influence takes some of the weight of being the community owner and main lead off your shoulders a little. Eventually, you may even consider making such members as moderators.
So, can you tell now who are the followers that form your audience? Sometimes, we’re so focused on numbers that we forget to look at them that way. However, that’s a mistake. Because members represent hundreds of different individualities that makes your community significantly more interesting. To understand this is more than a commercial opportunity.
Let’s as again: who’s your community for?
The community is the sum of your audience, your content and your persona.
With that in mind, you can offer additional things for this community.
- You can offer exclusive content for this community, bringing the different parts of your members closer.
- You can promote experiences for your community, both on and offline. This will help them to be decentralized.
- You can create strategies to get members closer to each other.
In the next step, we’ll understand a bit more about how to create the perfect content to nurture your Community.
Creating Your Content
Time has come to think about the bottom line of your Community: your content. The same way consuming content is different in a community environment, so is creating content in a community environment.
Planning content to be created for your community is the moment of truth in a creator’s journey. Time to forget numbers, look at your people and ask:
- What can I offer them that will transform their lifes?
- What solutions can I offer to the problems shared by them?
- How can I do this in the most creative, generous and strategically intelligent way possible?
These questions help to realize one key thing: it isn’t about attracting more people, but about developing a business. It is also about establishing a relationship by moving people from a platform in which you have no control of your space to one in which you have more freedom to reach the directly. This allows you to bring continuity.
In the answer to these questions, lays the essence of how your content should be to promote such transformations.
Your community must express its essence, as well as its content and your audience. In that essence, it’s also included your authenticity and authority. For that very reason, there isn’t an equation, your community may have completely different content, formats and strategies.
Here are some examples of strategies for your Community.
- You can create exclusive content for your members (which is a top-up from the regular content that your offer for free on social media);
- You can ask for support for a project that is currently in development;
- You can just give your audience the opportunity to freely contribute directly to you;
- You can offer early bird access to content that will later be available to everyone else. Or even access to some content that is no longer accessible on your platform;
- You can also offer exclusive interaction, like private chatting, or educational content in other formats, like PDF files.
These are some of the most commonly used strategies used by creators for their communities. If you are looking to learn more about info products in general, please click here.
In addition to these strategies, we must keep in mind that communities are about sharing. You need to create opportunities for people to share, discuss, talk about, to interact. And trust us, this changes everything. It makes it much better!
This takes the creator out of the very ground zero of the community while maintaining its role as a protagonist. Giving the opportunity for other people to step up and collaborate with your community. We know, it isn’t as easy as it sounds, but we’re here for you and we’ll help you get there.
It’s fair to say that content creation has never been valued as it should. This is due to a number of reasons. Perhaps the main one is for content being accustomed to being distributed for free. Moreover, platforms compensate creators buy assiduity and quantity (despite being offered for free). Besides, it’s undeniable that, generally, arts, culture and education are not adequately valued. The proof is that products from such areas are often commercialized for free through piracy.
With that in mind, we go back to the bottom line of your content and what it’s its unique value proposition.
Express these values with authenticity and confidence. If you believe it, it is no dream. And your audience will feel it.
Here’s also where continuity joins in. The frequency in which you publish and the consistency creates the image of longevity, promoting the idea that this is a long, joint journey. And that reinforces loyalty.
Planning the essence of content is also the moment to define the means by which you can stimulate your community to interact with you and each other. It’s all on the little things. Ask questions, post polls, listen, and suggest weekly dialogues, perhaps even daily ones.
Another technique for you to utilize your community creating rituals. The frequency of it may vary. By rituals, we mean stuff like sharing specific moments or experiences that express the communities main interests and intentions. This creates proximity. For example, a morning check-in. Or you can go further and create a whole set of challenges that people must check.
Part of the goal here is to get people to do more than simply consume content in your Community. Practicing shared activities and challenges makes people transcend their approach to the community. It becomes more personal, more familiar. These challenges may be periodical, to make it less of a burden.
Combined with these rituals and challenges, another very good method to get people to engage more within the community is to propose joint goals. They may be engagement goals, audience goals, or just personal activity goals, like losing weight.
Regardless of which tecnique you chose to use, make you always stay true to your people.
Being truthful and honest with your members will create the trust needed for your community to thrive. Remember, you’re also creating an environment for people to feel comfortable, a place where friendships may be born.
In practical terms, your community isn’t the place for ‘impersonal’ posts, like reposts from social media, a simple newsletter, or an empty space with external links. Don’t expect engagement if you don’t show any.
Feeling confident about it? So let’s get things straight up to put it all to work.
How about you start with a schedule? Let’s transform abstraction into concrete!
Write down which days you’re planning to post new content. Also, write down your main goals and even how you plan to interact with your Community. Here’s where you really get down to work. Going through each step and breaking it down into little tasks. Don’t lose track of the big picture, though, like what formats you’re going with, which key essence points you can’t leave out, and what must be shared. Define how much time you want to dedicate to this project.
Add to your calendar your promoting dates. Sometimes, you may want to promote some content before you even start producing it, so you can make changes according to the reactions it may have.
When do you plan to start your community? When will you promote it? When will you interact with your members and how?
All of these questions must be answered! They’ll help you put your plan to work and, of course, you can always change and adapt according to its needs.
With your content plan defined and your schedule at hand, you will be able to get a clear idea of how much time all of this will demand and that will organize your creativity, determination and consistency. We’re happy and excited about your journey!
Pricing Your Content
A transforming aspect of owning your Community is the feeling of being fully in charge of your content and of your business. Creators have the power of supplying content for both brands and your own products.
Do you know what the main difference between them is? That by having your own products, you define the price of everything you’ve created thus far. Instead of it simply being a means for you to monetize through a third party, you’ll activate it and put it at the center of your ecosystem. After all, it is through your content that you create your ecosystem. Being at the center of your ecosystem, you will have the power to manage and access everything. This will help you to create experiences and incentivize people to keep returning, keep consuming, and keep participating. In that position, you are able to have predictability and security for your income, thus also creating space for scaling it much risk.
This is why we believe in the Membership model. It allows you to convert part of your audience into a Community. If you manage to retain and create loyalty from this community, by offering a qualified experience, you’ll have this scalability and predictability of the memberships. They allow you to project your revenue, as well as your growth. But how to get to a price for it?
Within a Community, there are different consumers that would pay different values for the same piece of content. Think about the different levels of engagement that there are within your audience. For whom is this Community? What are the sizes of each part of the audience? What are your expectations of conversion and revenue?
Let’s divide these thoughts into three principles.
- 1: Define a type of content and why it must have a price
Your community will not avoid your content because of a price you set for exclusive access. Therefore, do not limited your knowledge to prices! Be as clear as possible as to which are the benefits you offer and how you can solve people’s pains and needs. Transform it into a unique proposition with a lot of value.
- 2: Find what’s Unique in your content
Avoid defining a price for your content solely based on competition. This is a very shallow strategy and will result in low revenue.
Mind you, you’re developing quality content. Identify what’s unique, what gives your content a chance to stand out in front of all this sea of content that is the internet. The more value you offer, the more it’s worth.
This is a crucial point for attracting additional Members to your Community which are willing to pay more because they recognize the power of transformation on what you deliver.
- 3: Have a long-term plan
Selling can be a long and winding road. It may lead to your wallet, though. Not to mention that these days we have access to a bunch of services and tools that make developing, selling and distributing online content fairly easier and more automatic. So, don’t quit! Be persistent, keeping in mind two main factors: frequency and repetition.
The number asset you have is the trust invested in you by the powers of your members. Talk to them. Write down their feedback. Learn from their ideas and add them to your work. There’s only one way to learn what actually works: trying it out.
The equation to set a price to your content has two main factors: time + cost of investment
The best way to know how much to charge per exclusive content or digital product is to calculate how much investment it will require. By investment, we mean the time and cost of producing the content.
- Time Investment
Time is money, my friends. Or, better yet, in the words of James Joyce, ‘time is, time was, but time shall never be again’. Alright, enough with the pedant talk. The bottom line here is: that you must calculate how many hours it takes you to study, research, produce and edit/review your content.
All the energy, effort and dedication that each content will demand is directly related to the result that you should get in return. This return must be relevant, profitable and viable.
- Monetary Investment
Regardless of what kind of content you produce, fixed costs have small or no variation. They’re mainly electricity, internet fees, the value of your hour, hosting fees depending on which platform you’re using, marketing expenses, and possibly other costs like outsourcing.
Upon reviewing such costs in different productions, you will get to an average cost for fixed costs. This will help set a price and thus have a lot more control over your decisions and on how to reach final price.
At this stage, however, there’s a two-way street in your way. To charge a high ticket or a low ticket for people to access your content?
High Ticket: choosing this path should be based on how much innovation you will offer for your niche and for the market as a whole. You’re offering something new, an experience that people will not have anywhere else. Something that hasn’t been really done before, or at least very rarely and with very low competition. Here’s where you drive the curiosity of the consumer who’s always thirsty for new and unique things.
Low Ticket: By choosing this option, you will likely get most of your audience’s attention and potential new audiences’ interest. That’s because your content is now more accessible. Yet, it’s a common misconception to think that lower prices always mean more volume in sales. It isn’t that logical. Not to mention that this will decrease your profit margin, so your sales must always be high in volume. This will make you align the quality of the content with the price charged, so you can keep costs low and have a decent profit margin. It’s advisable, indeed, to use lower prices to attract a more difficult market or type of consumer. Eventually, you can offer products with higher tickets to this audience too.
As quality grows, so does client loyalty.
Launching Your Community
Now that you know your product and the benefits that you’ll offer to your community, you’re ready to move to the part where everything meets its destination: the time has come for you to launch and promote your community.
You should give the strategies that you’ll use to promote the same importance you give to developing the content.
Launching is when you give people the first impression of your community. It’s also when you have the opportunity to create a new experience for people that have been loyally following your content creation. And since you’re thinking about nurturing a long-term relationship with them, this is a crucial milestone.
Your content, which happens to be your product, should be the main character of this promotion. That’s why you must mention the benefits and transformation that such a product may offer, continuously and repeatedly. That’s the value that you’re delivering with it, and it should be as clear as a whistle.
There Are Two Main Kinds of Strategies
You may opt for two different ways of launching your community.
- The Flash Launch: creating promotional content that will hit up and strike your audience like a lightning. This creates a sense of urgency – the trigger for FOMO. This should work better for fixed content inside your community.
- The Long and Winding Road Launch: this path requires you to constantly repeat promotions for weeks, months, maybe even further. It’s a patience game. It’s also a more organic strategy and, actually, easier. Because once you get into a rhythm and a routine, it becomes part of your work. While the Flash Launch may be very intense and tiring. It’s more common for communities that will be fed with timeless content constantly.
This works for both strategies.
Start by laying out everything you know about your audience and the opportunity for transformation that you’re creating. What are the pains and demands that they have and how is your content supplying solutions for it?
Study other creators from your niche. See what they’re doing and how. Observe them in detail. This helps you achieve an authentic and unique way of communicating with your audience.
Build your persona. Give it a character. Create a ‘dialogue’, in your mind, with your most loyal follower. What’s the best scenario for this dialogue to go in the direction you want it to go?
What does this member love about you, in your content? What are their dreams? What objections would they have to invest in your content? How would you get them to rethink such an objection?
When your audience hears about your new project, they’ll seek your authority and safety in the process of being a part of it. So, when they click on that ‘more info’ cta, what will they find there?
You need to create this authority by sharing small teasers of what you’ll have in this community, on your social networks. Show them that it’s about exclusive content, interaction e connection between members, and the chance of getting closer to you in a safe environment. Give them a taste of what all of this will be like.
To build safety, we suggest that you start promoting among your friends and people that are close to you. It’ll give members a sense of comfort to see that there are already other people in this new environment. It shows that it’s solid.
The Flash Launch:
If you’re choosing this option, be aware that the core of your work will be at pre-launch. The very base of this strategy is to produce content with the goal of hitting up your audience. To get them excited, and pumped up. This will nurture people’s feeling of opportunity. It also must be done consistently.
Take what you have learned to be the desires and objections of your audience and create content in different formats to address these topics.
Define the time frame of your promotion. What’s ideal amount of time to tease people about something new and create FOMO, while also creating pressure for the to take steps towards partaking in this? 7 days? That’s up to you. What kinds of content will you be sharing each one of these days? This content will be shared on your social platforms and it may be in several different formats.
The limited amount of time, and this pressure we talk about, help people understand that this is a matter of opportunity.
Another strategy that we suggest is for your to start creating rituals for your community already during the period of promoting it. That way, you will be inviting people to be a part of something unique and getting them acquainted with the style you will be using in this project. It can be simple things, like timing. For instance, if you’re doing a live stream every day to talk about this community, do it at the same time every day. Perhaps, before they start, you can do an activity that is typical of your content creation and that your audience is familiar with it. Just make sure is something feasible and that people can do it individually, although it’s part of a group activity.
To go along with this, you must also create benefits and discounts to give people incentives to be a part of your Community. Calls to Action are crucial in promotions. It makes people speed up their decision-making.
The Long and Winding Road Launch
Long and winding also mean constant and patient. Launching your Community on a specific day and from there on promoting it continuously it’s a common and good strategy. Naturally, as you have new content and new experiences, this will be incorporated into the promotion effort.
You can do this in numerous ways. Such as several teaser videos with simple CTAs at the end. Ones that invite people without pressure. Teasers with a message like “If you like it, you can have exclusive access to my content, which I create specifically for the Members of my Community”.
Another way is to create strong storytelling about your community. Explaining why being a part of your community is important, and it means being a part of something else. In that case, the message may be something like “I like creating content with freedom so that I can achieve the top of my creativity and develop transformative content. For this to occur, I need a safe space in which I feel comfortable creating freely”. Here, the CTA may be, again, not based on pressure, but as a conclusion to this storytelling. “From X amount per month, you will have exclusive access to my content, as well as being part of my challenges and community’s activities”.
Storytelling should be central in all cases, regardless of which strategy you choose, People invest in people, in ideas, in purposes. They invest in what they feel empathetic about, and empathy comes from knowing something history, and what’s behind it.
Why do you create content?
Why did you create your Community?
Why do you want people to be closer to you?
Why do you want your Community to grow?
What transformations are you trying to create?
What does your content transform, entertain, and build with the people that follow you?
Write down these questions, reflect on them and print their answers in your mind. When you’re planning your launching strategy, they should be at the core of your decision-making process. That’s because they’re the essence of the human connection required to make Communities work.
Keeping Your Community Engaged
Being e Community Leader means nourishing it, keeping it alive and attractive for your Members. This is a challenge, as in order to achieve it, you need to maintain a respectful environment, a healthy one and clear for dialogue.
One valuable technique to keep your Audience engaged on social media is by creating spontaneous content, as well as exploring tools like stories. This brings an unexpected vibe. Creating polls also helps to keep people interested.
These are good techniques and some may apply to both social media and Communities. However, communities demand further work and attention to keep their quantity and quality of engagement. It requires specific techniques.
To dive deep into Community engagement strategies, let’s backtrack a little and bring to mind what it means to have control over your audience. Please bear in mind the graphic of follower categories.
Having captured the main differences between members of your community, your strategies will be more assertive and directed to focusing on improving engagement.
If we turn this into a segmentation chart, it will look a lot like a funnel:
New Members are at the top, same place for discovery and learning about a new community;
Passive Members are just below, the ones that recognize the value of the content;
Active Members, making participation decisions and being more present;
And finally, at the end of the funnel and in lesser numbers, the Influential Members. It isn’t a problem that they’re in lesser numbers, since they are worth more as per their actions.
Creating Basic Rules
A key aspect of community living is comfort, respect, safety and inclusion. Every community is diverse, in different aspects. In every group of people, there are disagreements of opinions and/or thoughts and that’s completely normal. It’s also a good thing and debate over these disagreements should be encouraged. However, there’s a line between healthy debate and inappropriate arguments. It’s up to the leader of the community to draw that line. This directly impacts its harmony and its growth.
Here are some suggestions and ideas for ground rules. Do adapt and develop them to your community.
- Introduce yourself briefly, leave a short bio accessible. Define clearly what’s the purpose of that community
- Bring topics that the Members can explore, but be careful not to leave to open-ended so people can distort them to an unsavory side. Be clear.
- Establish anti-hate speech and anti-discrimination policies
- Establish communication limits, to make sure debates are structured. Like a ‘dos’ and ‘dont’s’ list of what kind of language to use
- Be clear about accountability and consequences, should a member violate the platform’s community guidelines.
Once you established the ground rules, be ready to act in case of:
- Spam and/or fake news
- Unrelated topics
- Harassment, abuse, threats, intimidation toward other members
- Explicit language
- Self promotion
- Content appropriation
The fundamental building block of any community is safety which must encompass the whole environment. Respect is what allows people to live in a society with different mindsets, thus guaranteeing that each person’s space is not invaded. It’s also what grants you the right of expressing yourself in this safe space. Mind you, other members of a community will be inspired by your attitudes and by the way you interact. This generates reciprocity, connects people and it stimulates healthy and respectful behavior across the community.
Communication with community members must be assertive. Communication will be effective to get members to mingle. They need to express themselves knowing that they’ll be heard.
Below, we’ve listed a few actions that we advise you to take for the benefit of your community, but we’ve also listed some that you we advise you NOT to do it.
So here are our DOs and DON’Ts
- Be authentic. Avoid external pressures, social patterns and fake filters. What makes you…you?
- Focus on deep connections. How’s your relationship with your members? Are you being honest, adding real value, and sharing your true passion?
- Be vocal, don’t just react to questions. All members deserve structured answers. On top of that, new members and passive members may require more thorough attention.
- Offer real value. People are exhausted of creators overpromising with paid content. It’s not enough to have a good pitch, you need to deliver, with knowledge and experience.
- Make sure that the community is aware of all channels of communication.
- Community ground rules must be as clear as possible,
- Don’t treat members differently or give privileges to anyone. The most important thing is to have a pattern of how your treat every member in any occasion.
- Avoid sharing arguments or announcements that are too long. This could backtrack against you, heavily.
- Do not overreact or make less of a discussion topic so that members will feel confused or discouraged to contribute.
At last, but not least: filtering upcoming members of the community is as important as attracting and converting new ones. That’s right. This is what preserves the community and guarantees that all members are aligned with its purpose in an aligned way.
Naturally, it will only be possible to learn about the true identity of your community after a while.
Observe and speak with your members to find out about transformations and changes that they may be trying to go through, or a particular goal that they have. See if this aligns with what you’re promoting with that community. Look for similar topics that members may be concerned about and make yourself present by looking for solutions to their issues. This will help you build trust and the community to grow within these transformations of each member.
As you can see, having strategies to nourish your community’s engagement may take it to a whole other level.
We discussed different ways for creators to plan effective strategies to cultivate the engagement of their members. Nevertheless, none of these will be truly useful unless you test them and learn from your community.
Community-based platforms will offer tools that will help you to grow these interactions while improving your content. This will result in unique experiences, that your members will not find anywhere else.