How to Create a Scalable Community from Scratch

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1. Intention is critical

  • Before starting a community, it is critical to think deeply about why you want to start it
  • Too many think of community-building as a growth hack, but community is actually a by-product of value created by bringing people together around a core set of shared values

2. Have a servant leadership mindset

Once you have defined why you want to build your community and who it is for, it is important to focus on bringing those people together and creating value for them first, rather than being too outcome-oriented with your objectives.

3. Do things that don’t scale

Starting a community is all about relationship-building. There is no place for being transactional.

Try to understand the people you are trying to serve deeply, and do everything you can to help them achieve their objectives. This might sound like it will require a lot of ‘activation energy’, and that’s because it does.

4. Look out for the major sign of validation

As the people you are supporting start to see the value from being a part of your community they will start bringing other people in without your involvement. This validation proves that the value you are providing and the values are promoting are proving to be effective.

5. Use events to encourage sustained growth

  • As your community starts to grow, doing things that don’t scale will become more challenging. Events are the most effective way to begin to scale your community whilst maintaining the values and intimacy that your members hold dear.
  • Good examples are ritualistic townhall events and fireside chats, which are particularly good for sustaining that community intimacy without having a 1-1 chat with every audience member.
  • The best next step from here is to create a playbook and incentivise your own members to run events for each other - communities are many-to-many organisms after all!

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