Hacking Community Organic Growth

How to convert your early adopters into community ambassadors


Organic growth is the holy grail for any community.

When starting out, your first goal is to get your first members to say “yes”.

Your second goal is to convert those same members into ambassadors to spread the word on your behalf.

Pleasing your early adopters is the highest-leverage thing any community builder can do because it is your best chance at creating word-of-mouth referrals. Making this happen is more of an art than a science, but there are a few general principles you should be mindful of as you start trying to solve for this.


  • Find your biggest fans early. It’s impossible to make your biggest fans heard if you don’t first identify who they are.
    • See who is posting regularly.
    • Take note of where referrals are coming from.
    • Track who responds to your onboarding campaigns.
  • Reward these people right away. Small gestures go a long way. Reward them for being an early member, and they will return the favor tenfold.
    • Feature them in a piece of media.
    • Send them swag / merch.
    • Ask for feedback on what they want to see.
  • Look for ways to exceed expectations. Mediocrity is the standard. Go above and beyond, and what members’ surprise result in more referrals.