Do You Follow The Data Or Do You Persuade Members?
Let’s imagine your data and survey results tell you that members don’t like to create guest columns about the topic.
Should you do more of it or less of it?
Most people see the data and decide to do less of what members don’t like.
But this is a slippery slope. What members like best is precisely what they already enjoy doing. Members can’t like what they haven’t tried. In fact, most of the things they enjoy now they didn’t like before they tried them.
If you build your community around data alone, you are putting up a fence around existing behaviors…only now you have to pay to maintain the land.
If you want to be the leader chasing after his people, follow the data.
The alternative is to see that dislike of guest columns as a persuasion challenge and do more of it. The problem isn’t that members don’t like doing it. The problem is you haven’t persuaded them why they should do it yet.
Your message isn’t getting through.
That means finding better stories, shrinking the behavior change, working with a group of others to highlight positive examples, equipping people with new information.
If guest columns is one of the overlapping valuable behaviors, you’ve got to persuade people to create them. There is very little value in putting up a fence around existing behaviors. There is a lot of value in successfully changing behavior in a way that benefits you and your members.
If we’re not trying to tip behavior in our favour, what are we trying to do?