Don't wait for the platform to be completed before developing the community.
Develop the community while you're developing the platform. In fact, develop the community long-before you begin developing the platform. How long in advance depends on your existing audience.
Among the first questions we ask a new client is;
- Do you have an existing audience?
- Do you have a strong relationships within that target audience?
- How many relationships do you have?
We want to know if the organization has an audience already familiar with them, if the community manager from the organization has strong, individual, relationships with members of that target audience, and how many of those strong relationships does th community manager have.
The results determine where we begin the process.
If the community manager has 50+ strong relationships, we begin at the mailing list stage. We invite participates to join a mailing list and begin communication there. We test different types of discussions, bond the group through self-disclosure discussions, and ensure there is activity before the launch of the platform. This takes around 4 to 6 weeks.
If the community manager doesn't have 50+ strong relationships, we work to build those relationships. We work with the community manager to make dozens of introductions a week, meet people for coffee, attend events (good to have a budget for this), and produce content to gain credibility within that sector. This takes around 3 months.
If the organization doesn't have any audience, we begin the full CHIP process. We begin creating/curating branded content, hosting events/activities (and attending events), directly making introductions and interacting with members, and attending events, individually interacting with people, and participate in existing groups. This takes around 3 to 6 months.
Assume a platform will take 3* as long to develop as you imagine. Make sure you have a community ready to use the platform before it's complete.
From Feb 20 to 21, we're hosting the Virtual Community Summit in London.
This is the first event dedicated to mastering the psychology you can use to increase growth, activity, and the value of any community. Learn more, click here.