On Monday I mentioned it's easier to get people to create content for the community with an existing audience.
I missed an important point.
EVERYTHING is easier with an existing audience. The same rule applies. People want to participate in communities that are successful.
It's easier to get your employees involved.
It's easier to get internal buy-in.
It's easier to measure a lot of activity (than no activity).
It's easier to get people to join and convert them into newcomers.
It's easier to get coverage in external sites.
It's easier to attract volunteers.
It's easier to convert newcomers into regulars.
This has some implications. For example, don't promote your community to the masses early. Wait until you have some activity and then gradually ramp up your promotional activity. If you promote too early you will struggle to convert them into regulars. You will lose a lot of potential members.
The same is true with internal buy-in. It roughly parallels the success of the community. Aim to increase internal buy-in as the community-grows. Aim to attract more volunteers as the community grows.
With all this time you save, you can focus on the basics. Initiating and sustaining discussions, inviting people to join, and building relationships with early members.