Visit Netropolitan, a new community for rich people.
Notice the messages they use to promote the community:
– Worldwide: Meet discerning, like-minded individuals from across the globe who share your lifestyle, passions and interests
– Private and Secure: The entire service is inaccessible from the public Internet, including search engines, and all member transmissions to and from Netropolitan are encrypted. We do not sell or give away member data.
– Ad-Free: Absolutely no third-party or display advertising is sold or shown, and we push no paid promotions to our members. (However, we do allow businesses to create groups and members to advertise to each other, under strict guidelines)
– Moderated: The Netropolitan community is monitored by the Club’s own moderators, ensuring a pleasant and courteous experience for all
– Always available: In addition to a polished desktop interface, members can connect via special versions for tablets and mobile web browsers
If you're building an exclusive community, don't promote the features of the site. Being ad-free, moderated, always available, and even private/secure aren't big factors in someone deciding to join. Most assume that this is true of most online communities anyhow.
There are three key factors to promote an exclusive community:
1) Who are the members? This is by far the most important. We want to join groups that have people we consider slightly above our peer group.
2) How are members accepted? We want to know the membership criteria. If anyone is allowed in, we don't want to be members.
3) What do members do? This is the final part – what do members do? Or, even better, what have members done?
If you're building an exclusive community, promote its exclusivity – not its platform features.
Update: Read this article by Fast Company on exclusive communities.