Community managers suffer from a chronic lack of ambition. The typical community manager much prefers to spend three hours resolving a petty dispute than finding a fantastic sponsorship deal.
At iGUK we ran a b2b community with about 90 members each happy to pay the £120 per month membership charge (+£429 joining fee). It sounds like a con, until you discover each member received approx £4k equipment from our sponsorship agreements, complete guides for growing their business from our top experts and new services they could immediately sell to their own customers.
We found the best way to keep members happy wasn’t to waste too much time resolving petty disputes (of which there were many), but simply to do really cool and amazing things for our members. Just 90 members too.
You don’t have to aim huge right away, take some baby steps instead. Here are a few ideas:
- Secure trials for a new service. Is there a new web company about to launch a cool product? Give them a call and ensure your members all get beta invites?
- Gain a regular column in a topical magazine. Write to a local magazine/trade paper and try to get a regular piece published about the latest happenings in the community.
- Discounts. Approach relevant companies and ask about discount product codes for your community members.
If you really want to be seen as the person fighting for the community, then work on these more than you work on resolving disputes. Nobody cares if you resolve a dispute that doesn’t involve them. Everybody will care about a discount to a product everyone uses.