How to start your community
How do you start your community? Where do you find members? Who is the ideal member for your community? Start with the why.
For a new community, you have to bring in the right people. This first group of people you bring into your community are perhaps the most important ones. They form the foundation of your community and everyone who joins next will act as they do. These behaviours of these first members also define the culture of your community. They are your founding members and finding the right founding members is key to your community’s success.
So who are the founding members of your community? Where are they?
To find your founding members, you have to start with the why of the community. In the words of a friend of mine. Why do you want to start a community? What is the goal of the community? What do you hope to achieve or get with this community?
“I believe starting a community must always commence with the "why"; Why are we starting a community? For what purpose? To what objective? It is the purpose/objective that is the factor/magnet that draws people together. The first few people who are drawn together can now form the founding members. Forming founding members before the objective is like putting the cart before the horse....in my humble opinion.”
- Madam Babi, TKD Farms
This helps you define the goal of your community. With this, you find others who share this goal and see it from the same perspective you do. Is it a support community to help you stay fit by going cycling? Or a community of fit-fam peeps or healthy eaters? Whatever the goal is, you can then easily use this to locate and connect with others who share similar goals or interests.
How do you find others who share similar goals or interests?
Finding the founding members of your community
Search for them. With the internet and the connectivity it brings, it makes finding information easier. With your goals defined, search through blogs, social media sites, other online communities, your circle of friends and the circle of friends of your friends.
Which sites, blogs, pages or people share this goal or a similar goal? List them out. Check through each one (or the most you can) and find the ones you can relate with or that have a similar perspective to the culture you want for your community. List out the identified ones. Next, you reach out to them and bring them together in a communal space.
Bringing your founding members into a communal space
This step is just as the title reads, you bring or invite your founding members to a communal space to meet and engage. This is key because it is these real-time meetings that build connections between you and your members and make them stay and trust you and your community.
The meeting can start as something simple, a monthly physical meetup or an online call. And it can grow later on. Just start with something simple and connect with your founding members.