I think ProjectManagement.com is one of the best brand communities in the world.
Can you guess why? It might take you a second.
The discussions aren’t super active, the website doesn’t look great, and some of the most basic features are missing (@mentions).
Now click on the templates page.
Woah, do you see that? There are 1000+ member-created templates in this community covering almost every possible aspect of project management you can imagine.
Imagine how much time and money this saves members?
Imagine how much it raises the standard of the entire field? It’s incredible.
This is a great example of what happens when you raise the bar to contributing instead of lowering it to get the metrics up.
Once you realize engagement metrics are irrelevant, you can finally focus on getting your members to make their best possible contribution to a community.
Creating A Honeypot of Resources
Sometimes we do things which make no sense.
For example, I’ve seen community managers spend weeks (even months) crafting what they think will be a game-changing resource for their members.
Do you know what really is game-changing?
Spending weeks persuading members to share their best resources!
This is what turns your community into a honeypot of resources which attracts more and more members.
Soon having a featured resource becomes a badge of honour within the field.
But My Members Don’t Have Time To Do This
I know what some of you are thinking.
‘That’s great for Project Managers, but my members are too busy to do this.’
Do you honestly, seriously, think Project Managers are less busy than your audience?
Your audience doesn’t do this today because you haven’t made it happen yet.
You haven’t made it a priority for them (aside: if they already have the resource, it doesn’t take much time to upload it to your site).
Your members aren’t contributing their best material because they don’t see the community as indispensable to their career aspirations, their relationships, or a key source of joy in their lives.
Once your community provides members with the psychological value they can’t get anywhere else, they flock to it. They make their best contributions to it. They make the time to create contributions which will make them stand out above the crowd.
That’s the difference between ProjectManagement.com and your community today. They set a high bar and never wavered from their standards.
And where you set the bar for your members matters a great deal.
Set The Bar High To Drive The Best Contributions
If you want the community to be a honeypot of useful resources, you need to set the bar high.
You need to forget chasing engagement, engagement metrics are irrelevant when you chase quality.
Instead, the only objectives that matter are how many great resources you get.
That’s what you focus on, it’s what you report to your boss, and it’s what you drive your efforts to increasing.
This should completely change your mission and how you think about your community.
You should no longer send out mass emails to the entire community, but instead, segment your top members from the rest, run surveys and interviews to identify their indispensable value.
On Sept 17, we’re launching our Strategic Community Management course.
During this course, we’re going to teach you how to create powerful member segments, understand what value they find indispensable from the community, and then deliver on that value by using the most powerful tactics possible.
If you want to chase more engagement, don’t take this course.
If you want to build a community your organization and your members find indispensable, we’re here for you.
Prices are going up to $750 on August 31.