Community Strategy Insights

The latest insights on community strategy, technology, and value by FeverBee’s founder, Richard Millington

20 Ways To Start A Community

Richard Millington
Richard Millington

Founder of FeverBee

There are thousands of different ways to start your online community. Here are 20 ideas.

  1. E-mail list. e-mail 5 people who share an interest or buy your products. Introduce them to each other. Then gradually grow the newsgroup.
  2. Organise a coffee meeting. Invite 8 customers you know to meet for coffee. Next time invite 12 customers, then 15…then begin booking a venue.
  3. Advertise for members. State you want to state a community and advertise on your website for members. First come, first served.
  4. Within an existing community. If your customers are already part of a big community, develop a community within it. Then when you have built a few relationships, move across. Triiibes has several ‘spin-off’ communities.
  5. Find who should meet. Ask an influential person for 7 people they feel need to know each other. Then create the place for them to meet.
  6. Develop Authority. Become a visible member of the community, through participation, creating content and building relationships for 4 months. Then start your own.
  7. Contact provoked people. If 10 people are angry about a relevant issue on any forum/news/blog comments. Take the initiative to introduce them to each other and
  8. Use Facebook. Launch a controversial Facebook group, message people you know will be interested and watch it spread.
  9. Build and connect niches. Launch very tiny niche communities on Facebook/Flickr/LinkedIn, then connect them together under your community banner.
  10. Get a list from Customer Services. Ask customer services for anyone that’s complained recently. If they stuck with your business, invite them to be your community’s first members.
  11. Persuade a VIP to create it. Convince a VIP/known figure to launch an online community in your field. You work in the shadows to support them.
  12. Add members, then tell them. Register accounts for members, then invite them to join by e-mail. If they don’t claim their account in 5 days they will lose it.
  13. Automate it. Write a program that automatically e-mails anyone that mentions your company focus on Twitter and invites them to join.
  14. Use your current lists. Use your newsletter list, customer database, failed new business pitches, sales leads and any existing list to find who should join your community.
  15. Connect staff to customers. Introduce people who use the product to the key staff member responsible for it. Do this often, then encourage the customer to invite friends.
  16. Ask Questions. Ask tough questions on LinkedIn/Yahoo answers about the industry, then invite the people with the best answers to join your community.
  17. Invite just 1 member. Invite 1 member, explain the last member to join has to invite the next. Sit back and grab a beer.
  18. Go door to door. Contact 5 people today, 5 tomorrow, and another 25 this week to join your community. Aim to increase your % ratio.
  19. Ask your sales team. Turn your sales team away from products and instead let them get people to join your community.
  20. Attach a free invite to every product. With every product you sell, attach a free invite/redeemable code to join your community.

What have I missed? Add your own suggestion to receive a free invite to Commania, an exclusive community for community builders.

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