Building and having a strong community is more and more important these days. A community is your support system. People help each other achieve their goals and do a few activities together. Generally, the community is built upon a common topic that everyone involved is passionate about. A strong community if built can be highly eventful and productive. But with ever-changing technology and trends, the methods and platforms to build a community are always changing. So, it becomes important to know these bulletproof ways to build a community if you are starting one-
1. Decide a Purpose-
The first two steps are quite important. These steps don’t look huge at the time so, carrying them precisely becomes difficult. If you do this wrong, the whole structure can go wrong. The first step is- to decide the purpose, the mission, the motto, and the whole reason for the existence of the community. You need to be very clear and discrete about it. To have a better idea, you can try writing some laws and some rules to help to maintain the purpose. For example- a community of football fans can decide to never have a comparison of two players. This purpose will not only help you find members but also will hold the sanity and ethics of the community.
2. Lay the Foundation
Once you have decided the purpose, the next step is to present it. You need to find 10 people from your contact list that you find passionate about the purpose. Once you figure the people that might be interested in joining the community, you can go and explain your idea to them. It is an important part because if the starting members don’t understand the vision properly or have a problem with the purpose, it will hurt you in the long term. So, you need to be extra precise here. Now, after explaining and convincing your first 10 members, you can go ahead and lay a foundation. It should be on a platform that is stable and not very old or very new. You can decide on where your probable community members spend their time.
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3. Build Trust
Having an offline meeting can boost the morale of the community. In the early stages, it will be important to build trust in the community. It is also the phase where you will express how serious you are about the community. You can ask the members for a buy-in or to ask them to bring in ideas. You can discuss each other’s problems, opinions, and even news. The whole point should be to build a culture and a strong harmonic connection in the community. If the starting members trust the community and each other, it will act as a strong foundation for a sustainable future.
4. Empower the members
Now, you have built trust in a small group with the potential to become a community. You have built a level of connection and trust among the members. Now, it is important to step a little backward and embrace the members. Help the problems that a member is facing. Don’t help anyone as the leader or a person; help them with help from the community. Make people help and take care of each other. You can ask and implement people’s ideas to make them feel included. You can even reward people for their activity and presence in the community. People love rewards.
You can set up a few competitions or quizzes related to the purpose and the people who perform the best by the rules can get rewarded. You can use the participation fee to fund it.
5. Find tools
Technology these days is developing every day. We have made progress in almost every field of technology. Artificial intelligence and social media are the pinnacles of how far we have come in the last 2-3 decades. You can find tools online that can manage a community, build mind maps, manage activities, and do all that you want to do. The only thing is that you will have to search and look for the absolute right tools for your community. It should be easy enough for everyone to understand. It should be helpful enough to bother using and it should have a touch of personalization. People do not like to be treated as numbers. Find tools that involve them and make participation fun for them.
6. Involve members
As is rightly said, leadership is no longer being the smartest in the room; it’s to surround yourself with people smarter than you. It is part of stepping back and letting the group become a community. You need to invite and let people lead. Respect their ideas, discuss them. Take votes on things. Stand behind people’s initiatives, stand behind them when they fail. Let them take charge and help them grow. This can only be done if the purpose is clear, otherwise, you will always be half-minded and never confident enough to pass the baton. But if you are, this is the stage of exponential growth. You will see people bring in new members and follow your steps in helping the newer members grow. This is the last and most crucial stage of building the community. The ease and comfort that you will experience in this stage is also a report card to how well you did in the first 5 ways. It is important to still be involved and be an active member and not take a lot of steps backward. Being there in the discussions and helping others will keep everyone’s faith alive.
Building a community is great for a business, but you need to be careful. There are a lot of things you need to consider. You need to be a smart manager and use the resources at their best. You need to leverage technology and trends. The members of your community will need to be respected, and you will have to consider and use their opinions.
Another big part is- you need to make a few decisions at the start of the community. Decisions like setting up the rules of the community and the right foundation of the community.