“Can't anyone do it?”
That's what a solar-panel installer had the nerve to ask me on the train 2 weeks ago. Can anyone build an online community?
Sure they can. Anyone can learn how to install solar panels as well, or even perform open heart surgery. Anyone that's dedicated enough can learn to do just about anything. I think his question was more about what's the difference between a good community builder and a bad one. What separates the seasoned pro, from the newcomer off the streets?
For community builders, the answer is the process. Here a few things only good community builders can do:
- Use different strategies to go from 0 to 10 members, 10 to 100 and 100 to 1000.
- Work out how long it's going to take to build a community
- Identify the people that matter in the community
- Keep the management happy and patient with the progress
- Charge a good rate for the work
- Pass leadership of the community to itself, and walk away happy