Questions to Find Answers / Hypothesis to Test / Steps to Complete
As a Freelance Community Builder, I often start new communities for my clients (at least I try ) It wasn’t easy for me to explain the importance of Community Discovery to clients waiting for immediate actions. That’s why I’ve created a process to show them how it helps us to build our MVC.
There are still some gaps, so I want to create this post. Let’s share our Community Discovery practices here to grow together
PS: Two things before sharing my process
What I Understand from / How do I Practice Community Discovery
Align on the purposes - Why should the community exist for the organization/person?
- Which are the needs making you think the community is the solution?
- What results are expected by building it?
- How can members contribute to these outcomes?
Our People - Who are our potential members?
- Which characteristics make them a perfect candidate? (Struggles, Activities, Experience, Interests, Location, etc.)
- Which one or two should we focus on first?
- Where can we find them? (Other Communities, Key Words to search on Social Media, etc.)
Mission of the Community - Community should focus on doing…
- Which members’ need/s should we try to solve?
- How should we meet these needs?
- Are there any communities/routines/spaces that you say, “This is what I want to create.”
Understanding Our People - What should we keep in mind about our people when building the community?
Our people prioritize which needs?
- What kind of answers are they seeking actively?
- Which conversations are our people engaged in?
What are the routines/content types/tone of voice our people prefer?
- Sync/Async, Online/Offline, Listen/Active Participant, Time Preferences, Network/Introductory, etc.
- Long/Short, Visual/Text/Sound, Introductory/Fun/Invitation to Share, etc.
What values are important to them?
Which incentives may pull them?
Which platforms do they like spending time on?
What I do to Understand?
- Interviews with potential members to gather insights and start the conversation.
- Check other communities targeting the same member group to see what works there.
- Search with keywords on Twitter, Quora, LinkedIn, and Google to find blogs, posts, and conversations.
- Create surveys for preferences. (Needs, Testing/Collecting Routine Ideas, Resources/Thought Leaders they follow, Communities they are involved in, Platform Preferences)
- For the Ideation process - What do other communities with similar purposes but target different groups do?
Ecosystem Mapping and Positioning - Knowing who can support your mission, who you can grow with, and what is missing in the ecosystem is vital for success. I believe ecosystem players should build their own communities/ talk with each other regularly to grow the ecosystem and foster partnerships.
Build intimate relations, learn from their experiences, share your insights, and not just ask but try to find areas for mutual partnerships.
- Communities and their focuses
- Products, Organizations, Events
- Thought Leaders, Content Creators
Ideation and Drafts for MVC - By understanding our people and seeing what kind of content, routines, and branding are around, we have different options to start the community. Discovering the better version needs conversation, testing, and building together!
- Find 20-30 people willing to build the community with you. They don’t have to spend time or work as you do. Open space for them to share their thoughts.
- Start the conversation around your draft (Community Space, Routines and Rituals, Event Content)
- Test your ideas by implementing them (Like inviting people for the routine and asking for feedback)
I try to summarize my process. Hope it is easy to apply and helps you in your process. Please share your strategy or comments to help other community builders and me
Wishing all of you the best!