I often lose business by being realistic about members projections.
It’s not really losing. It’s saving several months of stress desperately trying to persuade 12,000 people to join a community in a matter of weeks. It’s worth earning less money not to be in this situation.
Most projections of community members are as astronomical as they are irrelevant. You can’t project how many people will join a community based upon the success of any other community, let alone Facebook.
The best way to make a decent projection is by relationships. How many people do you know really well in the industry? How many have you done a favour? How many top influences do you know? How engaged are the fans of top influencers? How many friends do your friends have? Which other communities can you participate it?
Start to add up these numbers and you start to get close to a decent membership projection. It might be 50 it might be 5000, this is a more accurate and saner way of making a projection.
But it’s not entirely accurate. People will find you via search engines, links and other avenues. But don’t rely on these to make a projection. Relying on these bonus members will cause you to attempt to influence this number. It’s very hard and futile to influence serendipity.
If you want to make an accurate membership projection, do so from existing relationships. If your client wants more members, advise them to develop more relationships.