Scaling communities with Max Rothery, Threado Community Hour E4

Learnings from the fourth episode of Threado Community Hour featuring Max Rothery of Finimize, and our very own Pramod Rao.
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April 19, 2022

It’s 2022 - the year of Community-led growth is upon us. The best time to build your SaaS community was before you launched your product. The second best time is now. But community building is tough. It takes time, courage, efforts, persistence, failures, second-guesses, leap-of-faiths, sleepless nights, and maybe even a couple of urges to give everything up. But it doesn’t have to be done alone. We’re here to help and give you the resources you need to succeed.

Presenting Threado Community Hour - an hour-long panel discussion with some of the most successful community builders and networking sessions to help you learn the best engagement tactics, grow your network, and get answers to the questions that matter to you.

In this episode, we have Max Rothery, the VP Community at Finimize join us for an insightful conversation.

The fourth episode of Threado community event was just as exciting as the first three! With Max Rothery, the VP of Finimize graciously taking time before his wedding to talk with our own Pramod Rao, they tackled multiple questions and facets of a community.

Max’s journey with Finimize started with less than 50,000 people subscribing to their newsletter. It was a mail from their founder, inviting their readers to a pub which sparked the community. At first even though only 30 people showed up, it showcased a need for safe spaces for like minded people.

Finimize personally caters to people interested in finance and investing but don’t want to stare at screens or charts every single day.

The meetings became a monthly event and soon people from all over the word were contacting them asking to be a part of the meetings. Finimize provided them with the structure of the meetings and let interested members run it themselves and this is where it snowballed, first to Boston then toIndia to Australia and to multiple countries.

Here are the main takeaways from the session:

Be genuine: People won’t open up unless you, the leader opens up, but, do not fake your interest. People can sense it when someone’s heart isn’t in what they’re talking about. Be genuine and transparent with your community, encourage them to speak up and set the tone for your event.

The three phases of a Community and transition of a community: Max in one of his tweets showcased how he thinks a community transitions from Community Informed to Community Led to Community Owned.

👉 Community Informed: It is the duty of every community leader to regularly interact with other leaders and develop new ideas on how to better a community. There are always areas to improve, things to perfect and ideas to develop in a community.

👉 Community Led: The next step is to empower a community to participate, and volunteer regularly. Basically encouraging the community to take responsibility for themselves and lead themselves instead of waiting for instructions, rewards or punishments from leaders.

👉 Community Owned : This is the last step of the transition. This is where the community takes responsibility for themselves and doesn’t rely on someone else.

Make sure community values are followed: As a community grows, it gets harder and harder to monitor every single person of the community. It is very important to make sure that the community remains the same at its core. It is the responsibility of the community leaders to make sure the community doesn’t turn political.

Lead by example: Defend the values of the community and practice them regularly in full view of the community.

Make difficult decisions : When a member of the community violates the core values, either monitor their behaviour or let them go.

Core Group: Have a passionate inner group who you trust and who believe in the community values.

Communities on WhatsApp and Twitter: Both WhatsApp and Twitter are moving onto online communities, while these provide huge pros, there and cons to it too. Two of the major ones are:

👉 Pros: There is pre created content, unlike a bespoke platform or website, you don’t have to keep thinking of new ways to engage your members or draw them back.

👉 Cons: There is a limit to the number of people who can be in a group.

Scaling up Communities: The best way for a community to scale up is a snowflake model.Essentially, there is a community manager who will train a limited number of people, say four. These four people once fully trained and equipped with train and host another limited set of people, just over here we already have around 20 people in the community, and the burden of all these people doesn’t fall on the community manager alone.

Motivating and having a personal touch with extended group of hosts: There has been an increase in trend where people shift jobs and positions regularly to up their skill level. To keep them invested in their company, Finimize organises regular workshops and events over a varied range so that their members can scale up. They also organize regular meet ups with people at the top of multiple fields to empower and make their members feel valued.

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