Community strategy: creating a place to gather

Your magnet should create demand. Your community should fulfill that demand.

Communities are only valuable if they create a place of value exchange for people. This value exchange can come through meeting new people, asking and answering questions, or sharing what they’re working on. It is your job as the community builder to create a place where people can create value for themselves quickly.

All communities today are built on top of different pieces of software. The most popular are Slack (which we use), Discord (which we wish we used), Mighty Networks, Circle, or Podia. What software you choose is your decision (we’ll help with that decision in the next section), and the same principles apply regardless of what you choose.

At this point, people are starting to develop community fatigue, so the bar has been raised for what is considered a community worth staying involved in. The following principles should be applied if you want to create one of the communities worth sticking around for.

Density drives destiny. Reduce the number of channels when getting started to make it easier for new members to find value without getting lost.

Retain structure through expansion. Slowly expand the number of channels based on feedback, requests, and the demographics of your members.

Become a facilitator. Nobody knows your members like you do, so step in and help redirect people to the right places.