Loads of people launched free communities that have tumbleweeds rolling through them now.
“Free” was the first mistake.
Second, building a community takes a ton of effort from the creator to seed engagement and keep it high.
Third, gamification and leaderboards mean nothing unless there’s a real reason to engage beyond unlocking more courses.
One of the best examples of launching and growing a successful community has been Lemlist (they use Circle.)
They grew to 22,000 members with a superb offer of a free masterclass and bonuses when you invite friends.
But if you scroll through members’ posts today you’ll see there’s little to no engagement.
Most posts get less than 10 likes and less than 5 comments.
In Lemlist’s case it’s fine because the community is another marketing channel.
It’s a way to get people to buy their software.
But if you want to build a real, engaged community you have an uphill battle ahead of you.
Don’t offer a free trial or a free tier.
If you do, don’t expect many to upgrade unless your upsell marketing is excellent.
Go into it with the expectation that you’ve committed to a 1-on-1 coaching program for a low-ticket price.
Overdeliver for your founding members to guarantee their success.
Grow slowly and deliberately.
100 engaged members are better than 1000 who barely show up.
Early on, you’ll have to be the leader driving most of the engagement.
Only once the community hits a critical mass will members start freely engaging with each other.
Take steps to remove the community’s dependence on you.
Hire coaches when you can afford to and replace yourself as soon as possible.
If you’re thinking of launching a community, I’ve got something you should read.
It’ll take 5-7 minutes.
>>> Start reading 👉