Here are 7 mistakes to avoid when building a community.
An online community is one of the best ways to grow your business or brand, meet new people, and share your passion with others.
There are a few mistakes that you want to avoid when building a community.
We’ve created a list of some of the most common community-building mistakes, and how you can avoid them.
7 Mistakes to Avoid in Building a Community
1. Selling too hard
Starting a new community is exciting, but one of the quickest ways to kill it is to constantly sell it to others, including those already in your community.
Being too pushy can have the opposite of your intended effect and turn people away from your community rather than drawing them in, especially if you market like traditional advertising agencies.
Instead of doing big marketing pushes, create value for your community to give them a reason to stick around and be happy to pay for what you give them. Talk about the value your community provides, which will entice others to join far more than being pushy about subscribing.
2. Stop engaging with your Community
Be seen by your community and contribute across all levels to keep your community active and engaged — it won’t sustain itself, especially in the early stages.
What does engaging with your community mean?
It means you contribute by:
- Providing value in the form of content
- Moderating discussions
- Hosting events
- Creating a space and opportunities for networking
Once you stop providing value, the only draw becomes meeting new people — and people won’t be willing to pay or show up just for that. To keep your community growing and active, you need to evolve your content to keep up with your community and give it reasons to grow.
If you find yourself stuck, reach out to your community members and ask them for feedback. This can be done through free software like Google Forms, which also allows answers to be anonymous.
Your community will appreciate that you’re taking the time to have their voices heard and, when you implement their feedback, they’ll see their voice matters as you shape the community to meet their goals.
3. Failing to evolve with your community
Speaking of keeping up with your community — you need to adapt and grow as it evolves.
If you planned to put efforts into your videos and resources, only to find your events get more engagement and better reception, adjust your strategy to accommodate what is better for your community in the long term. Don’t be afraid of taking risks and let your community grow organically.
4. Spamming your community
Launching a community is exciting, and the excitement continues when you start launching new content, events, and features. Just make sure you don’t spam your community with announcements and news.
Knowing when to jump in and knowing when to take a step back are two different skills, and you need to become proficient in both. Overwhelming your community with a constant barrage of new information is the quickest way to get them to turn off their notifications so they muss something really important.
Worse than constant updates is REAL spam — the kind that gets sent straight to junk.
5. Not understanding member goals
A community that doesn’t know who its members are is one that isn’t going to last, but there are ways to predict the motivations of potential community members and what you can offer them to help them meet their goals.
Here are four questions you need to ask yourself to succeed in building a community.
The answers to these questions will help you narrow down the goals and needs of your community members so you can create content and provide value that rises to meet those goals.
You can learn more about building a community strategy here.
6. Lack of internal support
You don’t have to build alone … And you shouldn’t when building a community. Building alone brings the risk of burnout, missing key problems in your community, and not being able to engage with entire sections of your community.
There are a few ways to avoid this situation, including bringing in other community managers to help you run your community.
They can be professional managers, or other enthusiasts you know passionate your your topic, are knowledgeable, and enjoy sharing their experience and knowledge.
If you don’t know anyone else in the field, or can’t afford to bring in additional community managers, a good option is to select community representatives from your community.
When starting a community, it’s probably going to be small, with a select group of members. When the community starts growing, select community representatives from this group to help you test content, give feedback, and other ways to support you as the community scales.
Drawing representatives from your community has a number of benefits, including:
- Fosters cohesion and belonging to a group
- Makes your community feel heard
- Creates a positive community culture
- Develop members’ feeling of ownership over the community space
- Investment in having the community succeed
7. Building on the wrong platform
The first step in picking the right platform is to create a community growth strategy.
A community strategy is important because it will help you predict how your community will scale. Switching platforms is difficult once your community is established, and so you need to choose one that will be able to accommodate the community you anticipate it will become.
Take some time to sit down and think about your community strategy. You can start by asking yourself these four questions mentioned earlier in this article.
These questions help because they give clarity to your goals and help you anticipate possible problems.
Once you know the answer to these two things, on a general level and for your community members, creating a strategy becomes easier.
Once you have your community strategy has been established, choosing your platform becomes easier.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a Community Platform:
Ownership: You can’t own your community unless you own your community data. Many platforms don’t give you this option (Nas.io solves this), so if you reach your members and understand their behavior in the community, you need access to their data.
Relying on third-party platforms that change their policies, features, business model, content moderation process, or user interface at any point without warning or consultation can also limit the ownership of your community and your members’ experiences.
Flexibility and Integration: What customization options are available? Can you integrate your own system, or do you have to work around limited analytics? If you have limited customization options, or finding yourself fighting against algorithms or feature changes that are out of your control, you may be on the wrong platform.
Build a community with Nas.io
Nas.io integrates your chat platforms with an all-in-one community-building platform. Here, you can build a customized space for FREE where you can create opportunities for growth, connection and learning.
We are a platform directly committed to building functional, collaborative communities. Whether you want to start a community for fashion, sports, writing, – anything! This is the place to start.
Reach out to our incredible support team and learn how to start your own community today. We’ll be with you each step of the way – just don’t forget to avoid the 7 mistakes on building a community.