To get high quality applicants you need good external documentation outlining benefits, expectations, access criteria and the selection process. Arm your audience with enough information to make an informed decision about whether they will be a good fit for the program. Communicate the existence and value of your program so that existing ambassadors feel empowered and legitimized. Make wider community members aspire to join.
Let’s look at some different examples of public facing documentation.
Autodesk has published a great program overview for their Expert Elite program, including a revision date to demonstrate how up-to-date the information is.
The documentation for the EE Community Stars is a bit more casual.
Google’s Top Contributor site is slick and they do an excellent job of highlighting the benefits of joining the program, but the rest is a bit light on details.
The Ebay Top Sellers program has plenty of documentation, although it’s a bit text heavy and hard to read.
Allrecipes takes an FAQ approach to the documentation of their Allrecipes Allstars program, allowing potential joiners to quickly access information in an easy to follow format.
Salesforce offers a comprehensive and detailed account of the official terms of their MVP Program.
New Relic’s documentation for its Datanauts program is presented via an attractive visual menu that is at first glance light on details.
Scoop have recently overhauled their Company Captain program after realising that the lack of documentation was detrimental to the success of the program. Their initial focus was on getting as many people as possible without ensuring they were a good fit and the result was a lack of cohesion among members. That focus has now changed to concentrate on the quality of applicants and strong documentation is key to that. You need to clearly communicate what skills and characteristics you are looking for in your members.