Identifying the right people and onboarding them

A good onboarding experience can dictate whether a member is going to stick around or not so it's important to get that first touch right for better engagement.
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January 3, 2023

Identifying the right people and onboarding new members

Onboarding is the process of welcoming new community members into your community. A good onboarding process determines if that member is going to be around consistently or not. An onboarding process should be memorable for new members and it should be an experience they remember forever. 

Like boarding the Hogwarts express.

 

It isn’t just how you onboard members that’s important. It’s who you onboard also that’s important. The best way to make sure your community thrives is to make sure it’s made up of the right people. This doesn’t mean only welcoming members who are experts in the field, but also people who have a genuine interest in your community and want to know more. 

The best way to attract your audience is to build in public. Show your audience how your community came to be, your struggles and successes, your lows and highs. People relate better if an experience is humanized, rather than if it seems ‘picture perfect’.

Another aspect is to stick to a platform. Don’t try to build various communities on various platforms right off the bat. This will just make it too hard and complicated to keep track of. Select one platform that you think fulfills all your needs and use only that. Customize it completely to suit your needs and values. 

Make sure that when you introduce the community to your members, you are very clear about what you do. Introduce your guidelines, your principles, and what you are about. This will make sure that people who are genuinely interested in your product will stick around. 

A few things that will help you onboard members like a pro are :

  • A unique welcome email: Send an email telling your member how excited you are that they are joining you and what they can expect from you. This helps make the members feel more welcome and excited to be a part of your community.
  • A special welcome: Have a special welcome video/call/message/gift etc if you want to personalize it, or a common welcome video pinned in a welcome section in the community platform. 
  • Intro Thread: Have a special place where members can introduce themselves to your community. This might also be daunting so have a few staple icebreaker conversations which will help new members interact with the community. Also, have your seasoned members interact with the new members, kind of like a personal tour guide to your community. 
  • Getting Started:  Create a getting started post to help your members understand what all they need to know about the community. FAQs, community guidelines, rules etc. You might have covered all this before in your intro emails or intro thread but it also helps to have a place where all the necessary data is saved.

The most important thing is to be patient and follow your instincts. A community is just where people similar to you can meet and interact. All you are doing is providing the platform and making sure no one is hurting others. 

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