How To Develop A Community Strategy

It’s common to dive into a tactic without considering what world-class execution of the tactic might look like.

For example, you might invite a guest speaker to fill a weekly speaking slot. To do this, you could simply send out an invite to a few people, see who is available, record the session when they are free and post it online.

Job done.

But that’s hardly world-class execution of the tactic. With the resources we have made available to ourselves, now we only care about world-class execution of our tactics. Let’s try to do the example before at a world-class level.


Host a guest interview with a top expert

Key Elements of Execution


Find an amazing guest You would need to find someone people respected, who was charismatic, who would take the time to deliver something good.
Terrific message Your speaker would have something new, controversial, different, or emotionally deep to share.
Great medium The production would be high-quality and perfectly match the viewer’s intent. This would not be an hour-long, unedited, webinar converted into a video file for others to download.
Big audience This wouldn’t be seen by just one or two people, but would reach most of the community.

If you managed to get all four of these, you can be sure the execution of the tactic would be as big as it could be.

You might not be able to do each of these, as your resources are too limited. However, once you know what world-class looks like, you can begin to make compromises from there. This also helps you explain to others what any additional time or resources could be used for.

Example: Newcomer questions

Let’s try this for another one of our five tactics from the previous chapter.

You can do this for another tactic: “Create and maintain a list of first-time questions for newcomers to ask to get started. These appear as members begin typing their question and in pop-up boxes on their first visit.

What would this tactic look like as a slapdash job and what would it look like if we put real thought and effort into it?

Let’s begin with the slapdash job. You would write up a list of questions you think newcomers might ask and put that into the onboarding emails. That wouldn’t take more than thirty minutes.

Now what would it look like if we really took the time and effort to do this well?


Create and maintain a list of first-time questions for newcomers to ask to get started. These appear as members begin typing their question and in pop-up boxes on their first visit.



Questions would match newcomers’ biggest fears and desires You would know how to get inside your newcomers’ heads and uncover their biggest fears and desires.
Questions that matched where newcomers came from You wouldn’t treat your newcomers as a homogenous mass. You might use a system to segregate what questions newcomers see based on where they came from and their current level of knowledge.
Technology optimized The questions would be optimized for whatever platform the newcomer would be using.
Right questions at the right time Newcomers would see the questions at the exact moment they are most likely to participate. This might be as they begin typing their question, they can see similar questions.
Excellent design The layout and design of the questions would be terrific and easy to understand.

Do you notice the huge difference in the execution of the same tactic?

This will completely change how effective this tactic is. And this is our goal. We want to execute a few tactics extremely well.

Imagine how much this changes your approach. What happens if, instead of recruiting the nearest community member to fill a gap in the content calendar, you instead spent time networking your way up to the biggest people in the scene? Perhaps book authors, the most talented professionals, or those that run key organizations?

The goal of going through this process is to take your key tactics and identify what world-class execution might look like. Consider how to take each to the next level in what you do. If you get this right, the efficacy of every tactic improves drastically.

A side benefit of this approach is your own motivation. It is easy to execute tactics at an average level and just go through the motions each week. It is far more motivating for both you and your team to execute tactics at an advanced level.


  1. List what would make execution of this tactic world-class.
  2. Make compromises from the ideal tactic, not from what’s acceptable.
  3. You only need to do this with your priority tactics.



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