I originally wrote this on January 5th on Indie Hackers.
As a community builder finding people who will really participate in a community is hard.
I'm a member of many free and paid communities. I don't participate in most of them, even if I have good intentions to do so.
Building a community in the pandemic is hard. People are distracted. And have huge choice. People love the idea of participating but rarely commit.
Community builders feel forced to keep trying to pull people in. Find new interest. Yet it is almost like a vicious downwards spiral — the more inactive members you bring in ends up making it a worse community experience for those who truly want to get value out of it.
The more members there are, the harder it is to actually build relationships. Whilst we love content and benefit from sharing ideas, deep down many of us want to connect a deeper level.
We've never had access to so many communities, we are lonelier than ever and the value of most communities are just not there anymore.
So I started a community for indie founders where people get kicked if they don't participate within a 30 day period
The community has purpose for me, I want to connect on a deeper level with indie founders. Once an indie hacker always an indie hacker!
Here is how it happened.
First I tweeted about the idea of kicking people out of a community
I wrote about the idea of community debt and that it's ok to clean up your community
Within this post I decided to launch a pre-order for the community. I emailed it out to my newsletter and I tweeted about it too.
Within about a week I got my first 20 pre-order subscribers.
I've been experimenting with pricing
🤣 Launch price was $9 — lifetime membership (as long you participate)
⬆️ I raised the price to $19 after the first 20 orders
⬆️ After setting up the Discord Server and inviting people in I increased the price to $49
🤔 I think I will probably continue nudging the price up as more people join
💰 I realised it was easy to set up affiliates with Gumroad, so paid members can make money from it too. There's no pressure, but as indie hackers, this is fun! 🥳 We had our first affiliate sale yesterday.
❌ I'm not interested in monthly memberships, lifetime makes it so much less stressful for me to manage and people churn so much more with monthly/yearly subscriptions. My goal is to keep people staying.
🤑 I've made $325.50 so far from 27 sales
It's the most fun I've had in setting up a community in a long time
6 days after launch - 27 people have signed up, 23 have so far participated.
Engagement can often be a vanity metric, but in situations like this, it's such a nice experience (for me and the members) to have people showing up. Wanting to participate. Connecting. Getting to know each other. And putting in requests on things we can do.
I am showing up to the community and landing into active conversations. The pressure of instigating conversations is not there.
And I'm loving it. 🥳
Of course, it's early days. BUT people are down for the experiment. Everyone who has signed up understands the deal.
We are there together. And it just feels so good.
I don't look forward to kicking people
But it's also part of the fun, it's almost gamifying it.
The fact that I don't want people to leave will force me to reach out, connect, support and pull them in.
Discord has a feature to cull people who don't participate in a 30 day period, but I'll actually be using Orbit to track activity, it has much more data and context of a member's profile. (Transparency: I also work at Orbit)
No email list 🥳
My personal Twitter.
🙏🏽 Thanks for reading, I hope it's helpful and happy to answer any questions.