It took me too long to learn I need to be massively overprepared to win people over to a community approach.
I’d recommend it to you too. Don’t enter a meeting with a vague idea of what you will say, spend an hour or three preparing for it. This might include:
- Researched the attendees’ background(s) and identified any relevant/previous experience with community to build from.
- A good list of relevant case studies and powerful stories you can drop in.
- A clear, tight, pitch about the value of the community and the incredible opportunity it presents right now.
- A clear idea of what success looks like framed in their terms.
- Useful metaphors or analogies to make it easier to comprehend what you’re trying to do.
- Conversation starters (if you need any to begin the meeting).
- Identified the attendees most likely fears and how the community will address them.
- A clear list of asks and what you will need from them.
- Powerful answers to most likely or most common questions.
Treat this as a starting point, not an exhaustive list.
If you’re walking into a meeting with an idea of what you want to say and nothing more, you’re probably going to walk out disappointed.
Far too much of your success hinges upon your ability to gain support for what you want to do. Don’t leave it to chance, over-prepare for the big moments.