5 Questions to Ask Before You Build an Online Community – Ep 26

If you want to build an online community, first ask yourself these 5 questions. They will help you evaluate your current participation in online communities and help you find a niche to build your own.

If you are asking yourself if you should I build an online community, this episode is for you.

Remember, you can always find an existing community and in Episode 4, Getting the Most Out of Participating in a Community, we outline a few ways to do that. In the meanwhile, if you are feeling pressure to build an online community but aren’t really sure if you should, be sure to ask these five questions first.

5 Questions to Build a Community

  1. Are you building an online community because everyone else is doing it?

  • If you start something just because you feel like you should, you may later become resentful and lack the passion to make it move forward.
  • It takes a lot of time and planning to build a community. Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
  1. Do you have a compelling reason to build an online community?

  • It’s important to have a “why.” or an overreaching reason you are starting a new community – be it advocacy or business building.
  • If it doesn’t come to mind exactly why you need to have a community, you may not need to have one.
  • Surround yourself with the right people to build a community.
  1. Is there an already existing community that meets your needs?

  • If there are already communities in existence that meets your needs and other’s needs, determine whether another community is needed.
  • Consider not starting a community, but instead participating and investing in an existing community.
  1. Do you want to the be the market leader?

  • If you aren’t the leader type, maybe you don’t need to build a community on your own. Instead become integral and useful inside an existing community.
  • Helping a leader with their community is an opportunity to learn a lot, get a lot out of the experience and be seen.
  • You don’t have to lead to become really well-known for what you do.
  1. Is the only metric you care about Return On Investment?

  • When your primary goal is to make money as fast as you can, your community will recognize that you’re only trying to sell to them and they and won’t feel valued.
  • It’s okay to make money from your community, but for the long gain, not the short gain.

Take Action

Click on the Book Cover at left to get a copy of our Community Participation Audit Cheat Sheet to evaluate the communities that you are currently in and develop ideas for new communities that might add value. Share what you learned on our Facebook community page, or on Twitter.

How to reach Kami:

If you’d like to learn more about Kami Huyse, visit her website at www.zoeticamedia.com. You can contact her by email at kami@zoeticamedia.com or tweet to @kamichat.

How to reach Madalyn:

If you’d like to learn more about Madalyn Sklar, visit her website at www.madalynsklar.com. You can contact her by email at madalyn@madalynsklar.com or tweet to @MadalynSklar.

Join Our Community

We have a new community on Facebook. We will extend the conversation from each episode and deliver bonus content. Sign up for our email list at http://bit.ly/CTCVIP to get an invitation to join or just click the “Join Our Free Community” below to head straight to Facebook (shhh. The codeword is ACTION)!

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