A web developer friend once told me that most companies grossly underestimate the amount of copy needed for their new website.
At a large company, the website might host 30k to 50k words. That’s the typical length of a business book. Worse yet, this needs to be 30k to 50k approved words.
Companies similarly underestimate the time it takes to develop a community strategy.
You can easily spend 50 to 100 hours alone interviewing stakeholders, community members, gathering the data, and reviewing existing information. Then you need to develop a powerful community concept, test the concept, build the roadmap, identify the objectives, tactics, and build out an action plan.
Even then you need to again speak to stakeholders, ensure they are aligned with the strategy, and make sure it’s accepted and supported throughout the organization.
Altogether, it’s not unreasonable to assume the community strategy will take up 500 hours of your time (or 3 to 4 months of work – full time).
You can cut corners, save a little time here and there, but you’re still going to struggle to create a great strategy while looking after the community. This isn’t an ‘add on’ to your current job, it is your new job (at least until it’s done).
If you’re going to develop a community strategy (and you certainly should), you either need to find someone else to look after the current community in the meantime or find someone to do the strategy for you.
You can’t step up to pilot the plane while still serving drinks in the cabin.