Building Superuser Programs That Succeed

Application Forms

With community registration forms for new members we recommend collecting the bare minimum amount of information to reduce the friction and support conversion. In ambassador programs you should collect as much information as possible during first contact.

Ask applicants:

  • How they want to be involved
  • How much time they have to commit to the program
  • Why they are applying
  • Why they like your brand

This information will give you insights into what they are motivated by, how you can encourage them, and how you can best leverage their skills. Establishing your members’ goals is crucial. What are their motivations for wanting to take part?

Are they:

  • Resume building?
  • Hoping to get a job with your company?
  • Looking to increase their social status?
  • Trying to get company insight or early product knowledge?
  • Wanting to earn money?
  • Hoping for exclusive swag, perks or event invitations?


Think about how you ask the question. Are people going to feel comfortable telling you the truth? Will they admit to seeking social status or that they’re hoping for a role in your organization?

Rather than broadly asking people what they want, consider posing explicit questions:

  • “Would you be interested in hearing about future roles in our organization?” *
  • “If you were able to devise a name for this program, what would you choose. What do you think would look good in a resume?”
  • “Are you open to travelling for events?”

* Don’t ask this if you have no intention of considering volunteers for possible future roles. It could be perceived as misleading or setting false expectations.

The key to program success is to build mutual success, and to do that you need to have a deep understanding of what people really want – not just what they say they want.

Arming yourself with all this information at the beginning of the process means that you have what you need to refine and scale the program in the future.



Let’s look at some examples of how existing brands do it.

In their expression of interest form, Spotify ask potential Rockstars which areas of the community are the most interesting, what kinds of activities they are interested in, and ask for an example of a time that they’ve helped another member in the past.

In their self-nomination form, Autodesk ask potential Expert Elite members to specify their level of proficiency in Autodesk products, what kind of events people are interested in taking part in, what certifications they have, and how they would like to contribute to the program.

The Docker Community Group is based heavily on demographics and psychographics, so in their registration form they ask about location, job description, developer experience and areas of interest.

The Google Top Contributor expression of interest form asks members for examples of times that they have helped others, what products they know, and why they want to join.

Prezi have an Expert application form which asks people to describe the types of services they offer and asks for examples of work, testimonials, and why potential members think they would be a good fit for the program.

The Socratic Student Ambassador application form asks students to choose the three qualities that best describe them, as well as asking what kinds of subjects they enjoy, why they want to be a member and what activities they’d like to take part in.

The Allrecipes Allstars survey asks for everything from marital status, to annual income, as well as why people want to join the program, reasons why they should be admitted, and what kind of food product they would choose to be if they had to make a choice!

The Scoop Company Captain self-nomination form asks members whether they are able to make the suggested commitment of one hour per week.


Summary

  1. Gather as much information as you can in your registration form.
  2. Ask people why they want to join your program so that you get insight into motivation.

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