Real Community Consulting

February 12, 2009Comments Off on Real Community Consulting

Many community consultants tell clients how to build a community.

That’s not enough.

Knowing how to build a community is easy. Having the resources, mindset, opportunity and the ability to build a community matter is harder. 

If you’re a consultant, your advice and recommendations should cover the following:

  • Is your product interesting enough to have a community?
  • Does the boss see the benefit and importance of a community?
  • Are all the key people within the company included in the project?
  • Do they understand what makes a community unique from typical marketing initiatives?
  • Does at least one person have responsibility for the community?
  • Is it his/her full-time job?
  • Do the people involved in the community respect the time-commitment involved?
  • Is the company willing to adapt based upon the feedback and actions of their community?
  • Have competitors tried to launch a community and succeeded or failed (with reasons)? How can you copy their successes and avoid their failures?
  • Are potential members easy to identify?
  • Are potential members easy to engage in a conversation? Do they seem open to a community?
  • Can the company adequately reward members of your community with first-look, trial products, recognition, invites to events etc?
  • Are potential members highly technical or less so?  
  • What are the big contentious issues to avoid?  
  • Is this a long-term project for the company?

Recommending not to have a community is as important a recommendation as deciding to have one. Create a checklist that a company should pass for you to recommend a community, and stick to it.

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