Starting a startup is hard enough, with all the uncertainties and hard work involved, but growing it is an equally important, yet difficult task.
The main strategies for growing a new company are to focus on your product, or to focus on building a community.
We would rather say that it should not be a matter of choosing one, but rather a question of how to combine both.
After all, probably the greatest asset of every business is its loyal customer base, don’t you agree?
Either way, do you want to learn more about community led growth?
We’ve got you covered.
Keep on reading.
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What Is Community Led Growth?
Community led growth is a marketing strategy that relies on the community of a product or service. Said community can generate a huge impact, influence other potential customers, and support your business in all kinds of ways.
A strong community is key to the success, and growth of your business. Similar to rock bands, loyal fans will keep supporting you, all while providing valuable feedback, and sharing the word with others.
Of course, it is easy to be proud of a community, once it is all said and done, but how do you develop such a community from scratch?
Let us learn more about that.
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How to Grow an Online Community from Scratch
- Select a Platform
- Set Realistic Goals
- Choose Community Managers
- Pick a Community Engagement Strategy
- Write Community Guidelines
- Introduce New Members
- Provide Personalized Experiences to Members
- Share Exclusive Offers
- Keep Growing
1. Select a Platform
The first step towards creating an online community is to select the best platform for the purpose. We, at DevriX, being a WordPress agency, strongly believe that WordPress is fully capable of fulfilling such a purpose.
The other options include social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as some paid websites, but hey, here is a pro tip.
Create an awesome website on WordPress, focusing on the community aspect, and back that up with social media profiles.
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2. Set Realistic Goals
An equally important beginning point in a community leg growth strategy is to figure out what you want to achieve.
Be sure to make your goals realistic, though, as you will probably not get a million community members within a year.
Instead, opt for something more like:
- Developing customer loyalty.
- Generating traffic to your website.
- Boosting brand awareness.
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3. Choose Community Managers
People that moderate your community, or community managers, can be very beneficial to the entire community.
They can play a vital role in the growth of your community, and set its entire tone, plus increase the engagement. Of course, all this could turn out negatively, especially if you did not pick the right people initially, so be careful to choose carefully.
Keep in mind that a community manager should be someone who is excited about your business, knows it well, has insights into your latest updates, and can transport all this information to your members in an easy-to-understand way.
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4. Pick a Community Engagement Strategy
Ideally, at a certain point, you would like your community to be self sustainable. To achieve this, first, you need to have enough members, and second, you need to engage them in a way that they want to start asking and answering questions among themselves.
What is more important, you want your community to start discussions, and share content, with your community managers and moderators, whenever needed.
Some good ways to encourage community engagement would be to:
- Create polls, quizzes, and surveys.
- Offer giveaways and extra incentives.
- Reward top contributors.
- Set weekly and monthly challenges.
- Invite industry experts to participate.
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5. Write Community Guidelines
Another important aspect of your community led growth marketing is to write clear community guidelines. The point of this is to create a safe environment for your members, and avoid any potential issues and conflicts.
Such guidelines will also be quite useful to your community managers and moderators, as they will know precisely what to do when a problem arises.
Here are some examples of community guidelines you can use:
- No personal information.
- Do not be rude.
- Share knowledge.
- Treat others with respect.
- Check if others have posted the same question before posting.
- No tolerance for abusive behavior.
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6. Introduce New Members
It will not take a lot of effort to introduce new members, yet it could greatly affect their entire experience within your community.
You see, a simple welcoming message can do miracles for their sense of community, acceptance, and overall sense of belonging.
Additionally, you could help your new community members to settle in by introducing them to your guidelines, sharing helpful information and resources, and encouraging them to create long-lasting friendships and connections.
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7. Provide Personalized Experiences to Members
We will not get tired of repeating that personalization is probably the number one factor for all things marketing, and in business for that matter.
After all, who does not like to feel like something is being done specifically for them, and crafted according to their preferences and needs?
Having said that, do not be afraid to spoil your members by showing them friendship, personalized experiences, and genuine support. Make them feel at home.
It is the small things that make a huge difference. Address them by name, make thoughtful gestures, reference past conversations.
By doing this, you will ensure that your online community will grow, and you will steadily gain a loyal following.
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8. Share Exclusive Offers
Being part of a secret club invokes feelings of being special. The same goes for the word “exclusive”. It means that something is not publically available, but instead only accessible to a person, a group, or a community.
Basically, you are saying to your members, “Look, aren’t you lucky to be part of your mini society, look at these exclusive offers, available just for you!”
What could these exclusive offers be, you ask? For example:
- One on one coaching sessions
- Live Q&As
- Early access to new features
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9. Keep Growing
As your startup keeps growing, so should your community. As the time passes, you will have hopefully found many friends and loyal customers within your community, and have managed to leverage that extra value only your business can offer.
It is good to track the goals you have set for yourself in the beginning of your journey. Check your KPIs regularly, as they will help you understand how your community is growing, and which areas you need to focus on more.
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Successful Community Led Growth Depends On You
When all things are said and done, the success of your community depends entirely on you and how much time and effort you put into making it an awesome online place for people to get together, share ideas, and more.
As a startup, community led growth can greatly enhance your product growth, as well as, your business as a whole. Be genuine, be kind, show that you care about your customers, and sooner or later, they will become your friends.
Following that line of thought, with some luck your friends will tell their friends how awesome you are. The latter will become your customers, and in time, your friends. Then they will invite their friends, and so on, and so forth.
The best part is that you do not have to lie about a single thing. Authenticity is always appreciated, especially when the world is full of big corporations that mostly appear as “soulless” to the majority of people.
We, at DevriX, strongly believe that being honest, and building a community of like-minded, real people is the way to go. It is what helped turn us from a startup into a successful organization, and one of the best WordPress development companies in the world!