By now, you all should know who makes up your community and why you’re coming together. The only thing that you must be thinking of right now is how to keep the community’s spark alive by initiating those early quality interactions amongst the community members — designing your first community activity.
Interactions between members are the life and blood of your community. But here’s the funny bit. Although it seems like it’s solely your responsibility to drive the first activity for your community, it’s really not.
According to Bailey Richardson, communities form around shared activities. Sometimes the activity is impossible to do alone. Other times the activity is fine solo but 10 times better when done with others.
Create wow moments.
Well, it’s time to create a couple of wow moments for your community members. These are the moments when some kind of value gets exchanged. For example, someone sends out a late-night Slack message to the group admitting they feel stuck. Thoughtful responses pour in within minutes from others who’ve been through it before. One member suggests a job at their company that would be a perfect fit and offers a referral. Sparking these engagements takes intentional work. If new members aren’t motivated or don’t understand how to create value, they are likely to disengage.
And while it can be challenging to determine the central shared activity for your community, ask yourself:
What is something your member craves that would be better performed or experienced as a community?
Members realize their community’s purpose only when they start doing things together. When a community’s wow moment is effective, new members will crave more of this value. You want them to learn, early on, that the key to unlocking more value for themselves is to create it for others.
Ready. Set. Start!
So, it’s imperative to ask - How to actually plan the first activity for your community?
There are 3 key questions that you need to ask yourself about your first community activity to guide your community on a collaborative path.
Is the activity purposeful?
Tie the activity back to your community’s purpose. Your first activity should reflect why your community teamed up in the first place. What is the goal of the community that you’re trying to achieve when these specific groups of people get together? Communicate this to your members explicitly, so that they can own it too.
Is the activity participatory?
Don’t just talk to your members. Encourage them to participate from the start. You chose them because they truly relate to the purpose of your community. Give them the chance to contribute to the purpose you share.
Is the activity repeatable?
Always design your first activity with the intent to repeat it with your members over and over. Building relationships is not easy, especially when you’re starting off. It needs some time to flourish, and it’ll take a few cycles for some members to warm up and begin actively contributing. Be patient!
What ifs are always scary. What if there isn’t magic with the first activity? What if something goes wrong? What if you planned an activity and nobody showed up?
Don’t worry. We totally get it as we’ve seen it all. And, we’re here for you to help you out.
Glynk’s tip 💡
Remember, big things often start small. Many widespread, thriving communities started with just a handful of participants. If you want to gain momentum, you’ll have to keep at it week after week. If your early members are not hungry for more, go back to the drawing board. Do you really understand who your members are? And, why would they want to come together? Is the design of your first activity more interesting, more fun, or more meaningful to experience as a group? Reassess your answers. More importantly, pay attention to the feedback and try to measure your members’ interests objectively.
Bottom line — you’ll have to exceed expectations with your first activity if you want members to show up and keep showing up. This doesn’t mean that you’ve to invest a lot of money in creating that magical first experience. Instead, do your best to create an undeniably valuable shared experience.
And, your community will just continue to thrive.
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