The Slow Build Approach To New Resources
The obvious way to promote something new to a group (or community) is to go big.
Make a big announcement. This only works when the announcement is surprising. But surprise is a hard emotion to sustain. The second announcement isn’t as surprising. By the third, it’s just business as usual.
Surprise is also the most competitive emotion. I’ll wager you’ve got 20 emails in your spam folder right now each vying to be the most surprising. You’re probably not going to win by making the biggest announcement.
There’s a myth that if you invest a lot of time and effort to create a resource that you need to launch it big (and big means a big surprise). Why not launch it slow and try different emotional states. For example:
- Pride. Share the idea. Build up anticipation early. Let people help define it and contribute to it. Make it a collective resource that members are proud to share with others and frequently reference.
- Exclusivity. Link it to jealousy. Release it only to a few top members and let the word spread. Let them share it with a few others too.
- Powerful. Set-up a training course to teach people how to use the resource. Let the value (and popularity) increase over time as people begin to feel more empowered using the resource.
- Creative. Encourage members to adapt it to their own context and report back. Begin with a small group and expand from there.
Launch it slowly. Let it grow steadily. Let people hear about it naturally. Let its value appreciate over time as more people hear about it.
A valuable resource is valuable regardless of how and when people hear about it. You don’t need to compete against a spam filter of outlandish junk for limited attention when you can slowly launch it instead.