Growing a community is a long-term endeavour that requires consistent effort and iteration. It's not something that can be achieved overnight, and it's not something that can be done with a one-size-fits-all approach. Building a community requires patience, dedication, and the willingness to learn and adapt. In this article, we'll explore some of the ways in which you can build your community consistently and iterate for growth.
Three main signals emerged as pivotal factors in shaping the Community Hacked approach. Firstly, the questions asked during events provided a wealth of insights into participants' interests and concerns. Secondly, the team diligently collected feedback, preferring short and frequent feedback forms to gather consistent data over time. Finally, they discovered that attendees desired event summaries for future reference. This prompted the team to create follow-up newsletters, summarizing key learnings and providing valuable resources to enhance the participant experience.
Community Hacked adopted the philosophy of establishing rituals within the community. Monthly events became a core part of the community's identity, offering members a consistent and memorable experience. By adhering to a regular cadence, the community fostered a sense of anticipation and allowed participants to easily engage and participate in the events.
Curating a pipeline of high-quality speakers is vital to the success of any community. Community Hacked navigated the challenge of building momentum by carefully selecting speakers who could provide valuable insights and expertise. The emphasis was on maintaining a balance between quality and cadence, ensuring that the community could deliver engaging and impactful events.
Community Hacked believes in the power of community design, constantly redesigning and refining the experience to meet evolving needs. While consistency is essential for maintaining a sense of identity and familiarity, iteration plays a crucial role in adapting to the ever-changing landscape of community dynamics. Striking a balance between the two ensures a seamless user experience while embracing growth and improvement.
As the Community Hacked community expanded, the need to provide tailored value to diverse segments became apparent. Recognizing this, the team embarked on an iterative process to ensure different segments felt valued and engaged.
The frequency of iteration depends on various factors, including team size and organizational structure. Smaller teams can experiment and iterate more quickly due to reduced bureaucracy and a nimble decision-making process. Communication remains vital, but it becomes even more critical as teams grow larger. Regular feedback loops and alignment within the team are crucial to maintain a positive user experience and prevent dissonance. Balancing impact and reversibility helps determine the speed at which decisions should be made, ensuring thoughtful and effective iteration.
Members have provided anecdotal feedback emphasizing the importance of an independent community focused on growth and engagement. The value derived from the community lies in being part of a constantly evolving ecosystem, actively contributing to its growth, and gaining insights from fellow community builders.
Engagement is key to building a thriving community. You need to be present and engage with your community members regularly. This could be through social media, email newsletters, forums, or any other platform where your community members hang out. By engaging with your community members, you show that you care about their needs and are invested in their success.
Member feedback plays a pivotal role in driving engagement. Community Hacked utilizes registration forms to gather insights into members' top challenges and questions for speakers. This valuable information guides the formulation of event questions, ensuring the content directly addresses the community's interests and concerns. By tailoring content to meet specific needs, Community Hacked enhances engagement and fosters a sense of value among community members.
In conclusion, building a community is a long-term endeavour that requires consistent effort and iteration. By defining your community's purpose, creating valuable content, engaging with your community members, fostering a sense of belonging, providing opportunities for members to contribute, measuring your success, and listening to your community members, you can build a thriving community that grows over time.
Alex is the co-creator at CommunityHacked - a collective producing a monthly event series helping community builders to learn proven engagement and growth tactics. He previously worked as the chief strategy officer at StartupGrind.