There are two types of online communities which are social networks and brand communities. Whether you are a niche expert, an online course creator or a Fortune 500 company the benefits of building an online community can not be overemphasized.
A virtual community consists of a group of persons who interact with each other on an online platform or a group of individuals who share common interests, goals and opinions and connect on a social network.
Building an online community as a content creator is a valuable marketing strategy. Having an online community that gives you constant feedback to enable you to improve on your ideas is a huge advantage over other content creators who target focus groups.
Most of the work behind building a community is in figuring out its purpose and how you are basically going to promote it. “Above all you want to create something you are proud of” -Richard Branson. Listed below are steps to build your online community as a content creator.
- DEFINE THE PURPOSE AND GOAL.
One of the steps to starting an online community is to identify a singular or collective purpose, and a set of goals. People won’t understand a thing why they should join your community if it doesn’t have a purpose. “Give Value. That’s the best kind of advertising” – Milton Hershey. Your community should give or offer something valuable to your members.
- PICK A PLATFORM TO HOST YOUR COMMUNITY.
Obviously you now have your purpose figured out, the next thing is to find a virtual space to set it up. One important question to ask yourself at this point is “To what extent do you want to grow the community?”
If you want to create a 10-200 person community, you can make do with a WhatsApp group chat. If you are looking at growing a community of 100,000+ participants, you should make do with a Telegram or a Facebook group.
- PICK KEY STAKEHOLDERS FOR THE ONLINE COMMUNITY.
Just like you have CEOs, managers and supervisors in your business, you sure want to have team members dedicated to specific jobs in your community. Your community should be structured like a team. Community management is critical for the success of the community.
- SET OUT RULES.
Before people are official members, show them the rules guiding the community and have them agree to abide by them. Publish a set of disciplinary measures to keep the conduct of members in check. While your community is serving your members, that doesn’t mean they get to flout the rules.
- PROMOTE YOUR COMMUNITY
One important step to further enhance the building progress of your community is to advertise your community. Keep inviting people and encourage them to invite others to join as well. “It is not the best content that wins. It is the best promoted content that wins”. – Andy Crestodina.
You need to show people why they should be part of your community by selling to them the pain point the community solves. There are few ways to promote your community which could also include partnership with influencers, and introducing a refer your contact program.
In conclusion, building an online community is not impossible, it only demands hard work to record significant growth and results. Exzie makes it easy for content creators and entertainers to raise funds for their work. Through our Content Lease Offer, creators can now safely boycott the heavy protocols of record labels.