☀️ Hey everyone! It’s time to encourage some better community habits!
I recently asked what was “so 2022 in community building” and one answer that poked its head through was engagement.
It’s not that community engagement within itself is bad, but the recent obsession with vanity metrics over progress is frankly quite depressing.
To avoid me re-hashing what has been said before, here are some posts specifically on engagement should you want to explore:
- The goal of community is not engagement
- The community engagement trap
- Stop measuring community engagement
If not engagement, what can we obsess over instead?
Thanks to Francisco, Max, Cagri, Sonali, Haley, and Briana for helping seed the ideas for this post.
Here are some ideas on what you can choose to obsess over instead.
1. Obsess over alignment
Community building is full of distractions. So many distractions.
It’s he said, she said, they said.
It’s seeing that spark of an idea.
It’s seeing all the possibilities, through the connections, the relationships, the conversations being had.
Not all distraction is bad. However, problems start to occur when the focus is lost and misalignment happens with the rest of the business.
2. Obsess over community discovery
You can never know your people enough. Understanding all the little things about your people matters more than you think.
What they write about. The things that bring them joy. Their pains. Their uniqueness. Their goals. Their ambitions. The journey they aspire to. What they obsessively care for.
3. Obsess over experimentation
Nothing stands still. There’s a very high probability that the needs of your community will change. People and the world change quickly. Their wants and needs. Move with them.
Community culture needs experimentation at its heart. The willingness to ask hard questions. To constantly try different things out. To make adaptions.
If you don’t experiment, you can’t change effectively. Work towards creating your own processes, frameworks and ideas of what makes a great hypothesis and experiment.
4. Obsess over community experience
It’s hard to get people to join communities, be sure to celebrate your upwards graph of new members joining. However, take it further than that, the community experience is more than just joining and onboarding.
Map out a member's journey with or for them.
Discover their joys. Their pains. Their goals and ambitions.
Understand the problems they want to solve. Give them what they never new they never knew they needed.
5. Obsess over balanced growth
Community growth is great. Every community wants to grow.
The key is balanced growth - for the community, the members and the ecosystem. Communities do not live in isolation. We feed off many things.
Growth is not vanity graphs. Growth happens in community flywheels. Growth is qualitative and often unmeasurable. Growth is about understanding the living system you live with in.
6. Obsess over retention
New members are shiny and exciting. We need to find that same excitement with retention.
Retention is repeat attendance. It means new ideas. It leads to collaboration.
Retention is depth. It is familiarity. It is making memories. It is what creates real and lasting change.
7. Obsess over connections, relationships & trust
We can achieve a remarkable difference with a just a small dedicate few.
Find your people and care for them. Follow through with your words with action.
Be there when they are down. Seek help when you need it.
Think of them when you experience life. Be there in the highs and lows.
8. Obsess over member success
Community is about your people and your vision.
Help them succeed and you will too.
Build up their knowledge. Increase their confidence. Give them opportunities. Save them time.
Help them feel seen and get that feeling of belonging. Give them depth when everywhere else gives shallow-ness.
9. Obsess over impact
Community requires people. It needs engagement. Conversations matter too. However, most of all, it requires impact.
What is a community without progress?
What is it if we have no outputs to show?.
What if there is lack of clarity on the goals to be achieved?
10. Obsess over leadership
The hard decisions are what turn you into a leader. Do as you say and live with integrity. Chase the hopes and dreams of your people, and balance them with transactional needs.
Have conviction in your dreams to act as guiding decision making principles. Show up. Participate. Be open to new ideas and perspectives. Be willing to listen, learn and change your mind.
📌 Obsess over community the quick reference list
- Obsess over alignment to get continued backing from the business.
- Obsess over community discovery to make them feel like you understand, care and can read their mind.
- Obsess over experimentation to seek progressive growth.
- Obsess over community experience to create exciting new pathways to explore.
- Obsess over growth to become a regenerative community.
- Obsess over retention to achieve radical and meaningful change.
- Obsess over connections, relationships & trust to help find your people.
- Obsess over member success to change the world.
- Obsess over impact to generate outputs that matter.
- Obsess over leadership to follow your heart over the hype.
What else would you obsess over? Let us know in the comments.