Make it easy for members to take the first step into your community.
Jon goes go door to door inviting members of a disadvantaged area to a meeting designed to resolve local problems. It never works. People hate to be interrupted (especially at the door), and the meeting isn’t convenient. You have to work up to meetings.
Instead, Jon should slip a handwritten note into every post box asking them to highlight the problems they want fixed in their area. They can text, e-mail or call him at their convenience.
This makes getting involved easy.
You don’t have to spend 10 minutes talking to Jon during dinner now (sorry Jon). You can send a quick txt or e-mail. Better still, once you submit your idea, you feel ownership over it. You’ve made your first investment in the community. You’ve shown you care. Now Jon can connect you to others that care and you’re community has begun.
This ownership and investment matters a lot. It solicits involvement with a worthwhile reward. Whether you’re building a community online or offline, make it easy for members to take ownership of a tiny element, especially if it’s their own idea.