The first 10 members of your communityyou hire are part of your founding team.Remember that they aren't your first team.One big difference between your founding team and these super users is that they don't care as much about the businessas they do about the people who use it.
How do you find your first members and get your community going? It'll show you how in this article!
The easiest way to find your first community membersis to use the community infrastructure that already exists in your business.Businesses usually keep track of things like the emails of their customers or the names of people who might buy from them.
Lists of emailsPeople who read blogs and newsletters were some of the first people who used the internet, but they don't exactly fit the bill when it comes to P2P communication.It's not hard to get a few people from your email list to join your community.
You should write a simple email campaign that tells people about your new online communityso that you can find out if they want to join you and your community.Assemble a waiting list of people who want to join your ICP and add them to the list as they join.
Email campaigns that get a lot of attention are a good sign that something is going right.
Even with your first ten members, the onboarding process should be a lot more personal than it should be.If you have to write personal letters to find your first ten community members, do so.They will one day need to be both a member of the community and an outside evangelist.People may have issues with scale at some point (we dive much deeper in our chapters on growth).
The best way to get people excited about the launch of your community is to show people who are important in their field joining your community.Before the launch, keep up the momentum.
The goal is to make a bottleneck so that everyone who wants to join can come together.People like to look at other people.Create a fake scarcity.Cohorts, not individuals, should be used to onboard new people.Later in the book, we go over a lot of these skills.
You don't have to have a product or a community to start advertising.You want to show that there is a need for a new direction.You might want to build your community infrastructure all at once because there are so many things you can buy.
Instead, you want to earn the right to build even more things.
Let's talk about something called the Wizard of Oz MVP.
You have to show that you can build more.Until then, fill in the gaps in your MVP yourself.
When you start a new community from scratch, you don't need all of the parts at once.If you do enough good work, you can move on.
Glue should be used to put together parts of your community experience that haven't been proven to be true by hand.
In the same way that the Wizard of Oz made Dorothy and her friends believe that there was a real Wizard, you should be the man behind the curtain who makes sure everyone has a good time.Add more complexity in small steps.
Find out what is lacking in the market so that you can build a community that will last a long time.Once you have a group of people who all have the same thing in common, you should be able to separate yourself from other networks.
Your "X Factor" is that thing that makes your community members not want to switch to a similar service.
When you're building something, be specific about who you're building for and set yourself apart from the crowd.
Make sure you know who your community is for and who it isn't for.
Unfortunately, many communities don't follow this rule. They start with a small group of people who share their problems and hearts with each other.There are people who make the discussion less good before too long.When your original members think your community is no longer a place where they can be honest, you lose the fire that makes it unique.
Be very strict about who gets in and who you have to turn down.This strict focus on member standards might put a limit on how many people you can be a member of, but the trade-off to have better conversations is worth it.
By starting a niche, you can make yourself look like the community that isn't there in the market.
Because there are only a few people in your community, it doesn't have a lot of value or utility in terms of networks.As the community grows, you need to make sure that the (n+1)th member is worth more to you than the (n).
But before these network effects work, you need to make sure that your community has a good single player experience that people will enjoy.If you want to connect with people, LinkedIn is a good place to start.But in the early days, before the Nfx came out, the plat-form was used to refer to resumes.Users found it important to be able to share their own resumes and work profiles with other people.
For this reason, running early eventsthat don't need anyone else's help or offer unique tools to start your community is a great way to get it going.