Build your community with people, not for them
Chapter 1: Pinpoint your people
Who do I want to get together
- Who do I care about?
- Who do I share an interest, identity or place with?
- Who do I want to help?
Multiple potential who’s?
- Who brings the energy - who are the people who already engage, contribute or attend?
- Assuming community flourishes, who will you stick with? Who do you want to invest in?
Why are we coming together
- Demands a shared purpose
- Purpose needs to be something your people will want to work on with you, not selfish or one-sided idea hatched by a single leader
Keep purpose grounded in people’s needs
- What do my people need more of?
- What’s the change we desire?
- What’s the problem only we can solve together?
Write down your community purpose
Find your first early allies
- You should already feel who they will be (close friends, engaged users)
Chapter 2: Do something together
- Communities form around shared activities
- Members realize their community purpose through the thing they do together
- Question to ask: what is sth our people crave that would be better performed or experienced as a group
Design first activity
- Purposeful: tie it up to why community teamed up in the first place. It should be clear for people to own it as well
- Participatory: do not talk at people. They are passionate, like us. Let them contribute
- Repeatable: one-offs are the enemy. Should be intended for repetition with the community over and over
Stop thinking about your community as just an audience. Instead treat them as collaborators. [...] People are showing up to realize a shared purpose, not to watch you realize it for them.
Repetition is paramount:
- design a core activity you and your people can repeat from the get-go.
- Repeating activities set the stage for members to deepen their relationships and for the community to gain momentum
Pay attention to early members feedback
- No one repeats → 🚩. Not a community when people only show up once
- Reshape your who, why
- Do your best to create an undeniably valuable shared XP
If what you as a group amplified what members experience alone, you’re on your way to sparking a community