Chapter 3: The three phases of Community

Chapter 3: The three phases of Community

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“One offline meetup led to another and people started coming in. We tried multiple formats. We had regular events with less jargon and more open conversations!” - Max Rothery, VP Community at Finimize

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.

The meetings became a monthly event and soon people from all over the world 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 to India to Australia and to multiple countries.

In this chapter, we uncover the secrets of scaling a community and the three phases of every community as elaborated by Max.

Phases of a Community

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.

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 were once fully trained and equipped to 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.

Communities on WhatsApp and Twitter

Both WhatsApp and Twitter are moving onto online communities, and 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.

‍Things to keep in mind while scaling

  1. Motivating and having a personal touch with an extended group of hosts: There has been an increase in the 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.
  2. Be genuine: People won’t open up unless you, the leader open 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.
  3. Make sure community values are followed: As a community grows, it gets harder and harder to monitor every single person in the community. It is essential 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.
  4. Lead by example: Defend the values of the community and practice them regularly in full view of the community.
  5. Make difficult decisions: When a member of the community violates the core values, either monitor their behaviour or let them go.
  6. Core Group: Have a passionate inner group who you trust and who believe in the community values.

About the expert:

Max Rothery is the VP of Community at Finimize. Finimize personally caters to people interested in finance and investing but don’t want to stare at screens or charts every single day. He was previously an innovation and transformation specialist in Wealth Management and Private Banking and also Ex-Intrapreneur and Digital Strategist at Societe Generale. At first, even though only 30 people showed up, it showcased a need for safe spaces for like-minded people.

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