One of the first steps to starting an online community is choosing the online platform you want to host it on. There are so many free opportunities available at the moment with social media forums, however you also need another space people can go to source content – and to ensure the brand is well known enough that if it was to close tomorrow, people would go in search of your group or content again. It’s when you get to this stage that you know your work has been successful in creating your community.
Your community will require three things: Commitment, Persistence and Understanding of the Topic.
Commitment: Many people struggle with consistently posting in their group when they are starting out. Once a day with high-quality content is plenty. The secret is that you don’t need to have it all figured out straight away, you just need to start.
Persistence: Starting a community can be frustrating. Some posts will be hit and miss – sometimes you’ll get comments, other times you’ll get crickets. Keep posting and actively participating in your group. You need to love your group!
Understanding the Topic: Don’t let imposter syndrome stop you. If you have a little bit of knowledge on a topic, if you have experience in the area, then you have enough to begin a group. At the start, you need to be the expert – but as the group evolves, you’ll need to create space for other experts to join you – you don’t need to know it all in order to lead a group. Allow others to contribute – the better their input, the more it adds to the value of your group.
Engaging a community
Perhaps you currently have an online community that isn’t interacting with your posts and you’re not sure how to encourage more discussion.
You may have some friends in the group but can’t get new members in and you want to grow it organically.
Let’s set up an exploration session to talk about what’s working, what’s not working and what you can do.