I wrote this two years ago, it still trips most people up.
Complete this sentence in no more than 12 words.
People will participate in my community because…
Be specific, what is the one clear benefit members will get from participating in your community. Also, be honest with yourself. Is the reason you give strong enough for people to spend hours of their time every week in your community? Will they make sacrifices for it? Like cut down on television, browsing websites and going out?
This isn’t the time to be optimistic, it’s the time to be brutally realistic. If you get this wrong, nothing else you do matters.
If your answer is anything like: “..because they want to talk about our products” – you lose. If your answer is “…because they want to help each other earn 1k per month” – you win.
If you’re not sure your answer is strong enough, ask your intended audience. Ask them what sort of community they really want and build that community. This is why sleazy marketing communities and most branded communities fail terribly, they simply can’t understand what their audience really wants.