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Read this before you start a community…


Community Pyramid

Before diving into community building, it’s crucial to understand who your potential members are, what motivates them, and what gaps they need to fill. And here’s a pro tip: don’t announce a new community right off the bat! Instead, begin with a small group or an event. Something that’s easy to digest and doesn’t overwhelm potential members.


Know Your Audience

Understanding your potential community members is the first step. Who are they? What drives them? What do they lack? And most importantly, why would they want to join a new community? These questions are key to creating a community that truly resonates with its members.


Use the Community Pyramid

The Community Pyramid is a fantastic tool to help identify and understand the common motivators of your potential community members. Here’s how you can use it:


Identity

Some people are naturally drawn to communities because of their strong identity or passions. These could be small company owners, family business owners, female entrepreneurs, school alumni, fans of a band or sports team, mistreated underdogs, small niche specialists, and more. However, be mindful that this motive might already be fulfilled by existing communities.


Purpose

Another way to screen the motives of potential members is to look for their shared purpose. Do they see a wrong in the world they want to right? Do they feel something needs to change? Are they driven by the same cause? This can range from big issues like fighting corporate overfishing to smaller, momentary causes like changing company innovation processes or developing alternative strategies for a business.


Benefit

If you’re struggling to find common motivators from identity and purpose, consider how the community will benefit them in the short term. Why should they invest their time? This motivation needs to be very tangible and obvious.


Crafting an Invite

Once you’ve identified potential members and their motivators, the next step is to craft an inviting event. Here’s how to use the pyramid principles to form a compelling invite:


WHO?

Make it exclusive. Invite only those with certain identity markers, such as senior marketing executives or 5-star black belt agile masters. Ensure this identity is truly part of who they are, not just a title.


WHY?

Highlight the purpose of the event and community. For instance, “A big change is coming. We need to prepare our business for it,” or “How can we turn the business 180° around and become the most sustainable company in our area?” The purpose should be grand and compelling, but also backed by actionable plans.


WHAT?

Clearly state the immediate benefit of attending. Why should they spend their valuable time at this meet-up? Even with a strong identity and compelling purpose, a tangible benefit is crucial. Offer something unique, like a new experience with food or a location they haven’t explored before.


Putting It All Together

Building a community invite using these parameters is an excellent exercise for new community-builders. By combining identity, purpose, and benefit, you can create a compelling reason for people to join and engage. Remember, the goal is to build something that people want to be a part of, and that starts with understanding and addressing their needs and motivations.


So, before you dive into community building, take the time to understand your potential members, use the Community Pyramid to identify their motivators, and craft an inviting event that speaks to their identity, purpose, and immediate benefits. Happy community building!

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