If you’re anything like me, you will have felt the perpetual struggle over balancing member acquisition with member management. I’ve often thought ‘should my focus be to attract new community members, or to nurture the members we already have?’
Somehow I felt that if I was in promotion mode, drumming up interest in joining our community, I was ignoring those members already inside.
Today an idea struck me.
Community is people.
The value and power of a community is derived from the people inside that community.
Therefore, one of the greatest things you can do for your existing community members is to attract more quality members to join them.
Attract new community members to bring your existing members more value
I’ve seen this first hand.
At 150 members, Learn.Community is a more valuable, engaging and diverse community for our members, versus when we had 80 members.
Questions receive more member-led answers.
There are more like-minded peers to support you on your journey.
Community workshops are busier and more participatory.
In fact, every single time we open up a new cohort, we see a burst in activity, from members new and old. Our existing members always seem to love the injection of new personalities and shared experiences.
Yes, of course you need to carve out time for responding to members messages, posts and comments. However, you should definitely not feel guilty when focused growing your community.
Be a recruiter, not an expert
I know many community builders mistakenly think that all of the value in their community must come from them. What if we changed our perspective? Instead of being the expert, we shifted into the role of recruiter. We focus on finding the right people for our community. We create a safe, structured place for them to connect with each other. In doing so, we recognise that the core value of the community comes from the people inside, not from ourselves.
Companies and teams are also communities. As CEO of my company Design Cuts, my most effective role is finding the right people for our team. After all, it is that team and those people who will help create the value that our company delivers. Online communities are no different – value is generated from the collective, not the leader. Take a step back from the lime-light and see what happens when you embrace the role of ‘community recruiter’.
Join our private community for community builders
Connect with like-minded community builders and make real progress with your online community. Learn.Community offers an active forum, weekly workshops and a complete learning pathway.