A 3 Month Pre-Community Strategy

March 30, 2009 Comments Off

If you want a successful community launch, you need a huge number of people ready and eager to join the day your interface is live.

If you’re planning to start an online community in April. These ideas might help.

April: Laying the foundations to become a community member.

  • Identify relevant online communities and key people.
  • Launch an industry blog.
  • Introduce yourself to two people bloggers/influencers per day.
  • Start a database/spreadsheet of people you have permission to speak to, record the conversations you have and when the next contact will be.
  • Interview key influencers for your blog.
  • Learn the unwritten rules of your target audience (i.e. begin writing them down for yourself).

May: Building relationships that matter.

  • Use existing resources/assets to help biggest influencers/connectors. Don’t ask for anything in return.
  • Starting a mailing list for people you feel want to be a part of something/make a difference in the industry. Invite them to join.
  • Continue e-mailing 2 new people per day. Make sure each e-mail is unique and tailored to the individual.
  • Create a technological profile for the average member (what technology do they use? Why? On what platforms are they most prevalent?
  • Pick the 3 most important communities and begin participating in a range of issues.

June: Cement friendships, involve the client, plan the interface

  • Ask for advice on what people would want from a community. Use as much of it as possible to design your community.
  • Arrange an online or offline event for members to be involved with. Invite special VIP guests to give a webcast/speech.
  • Continue e-mailing 2 new people a day.
  • Compile your research and approach your company/client with your recommendations on what they need to do to build a community.
  • Agree business constraints/resources and create a list for the community needs.
  • Involve web teams/agency to design the community interface.

July: Launch

  • Host a best of series on your industry blog featuring the best posts from the top bloggers.
  • Invite your most enthusiastic contacts to test the community.
  • Ask them to invite 1 friend to try the interface.
  • Design a rewards program for members that discover the community early and seed content.
  • Launch your online community.

A few notes here. The client-side work is extremely more complex than detailed here. Finally, spending time on developing these relationships always pays off when you launch. Always

Good luck.

Comments Off

We’d like you to join us.

We’re a group of community professionals who push each other to the cutting edge of our work. Every day we share our experiences, highlight new expertise, and push one another to become the best community builders we can be.

The day you join, you’ll get access to 1000+ practical tips, dozens of resources, and unlimited access to the top experts in our space. You’ll also get to see how we go about building a community amongst our own audience.

It takes just 30 seconds and doesn’t cost a thing.


Level Price  
Expert $0.00 now.
Growth Club $35.00 per Month.
Enterprise $1,100.00 per Month.