You’re more likely to comply with a request from someone of high status rather than low status.
Maybe that’s not the way things should work, but, alas, it’s how it does.
This is true in online and offline communities too…and it matters more than you might think.
If you are giving off low-status vibes, responding submissively to every member whim, desperately begging members to engage and participate, you’re not getting a great response.
While you might see yourself as a servant of your community, how can you best serve the community? By responding to every member whim or need? Or determining what’s in the best interests of the community as a whole and leading them there.
For the community to thrive, you need to thrive. You need to have a high status within the community. You need to create desirable opportunities for people to be more engaged, not be seen as begging members to participate. You need to build your reputation and have both authority and integrity within the group. You need to identify the symbols of high status within your field and ensure you’re not violating them.
Perhaps one reason why social media types often struggle when building online communities is they can’t move the mindset from a servant of individual members to leaders of their community.