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Uncommunity, One Year In And AMA. #28
This is a big one for us: Uncommunity’s first birthday.
Before we get to it, I just want to say a big thank you. Nothing would have happened without you reading, commenting, and sharing. We feel very lucky that you’re willing to take time out of your day to read what we share.
If you want to bring your community friends along for year two:
Almost a year ago on August 15, 2020, I and Vishal did a soft launch of Uncommunity on Twitter, and what a wonderful journey it has been. Some not so interesting stats:
We went from 0 to 573 newsletter subscribers in 12 months. Not easy. :p
We’ve had 5000 people visiting Uncommunity with an average session of 2 minutes. Simply lovely. :)
We upgraded to Uncommunity V2 where you can now comment and like your favorite tools, books, podcast, etc. Let’s do it now.
We’ve had 25 community experts AMAs and a few podcast episodes.
100s of new tools, resources, and jobs published.
5 people bought us a coffee worth $55 through buy me a coffee.
We are very excited about the future where the community is the spotlight and we want Uncommunity to be the destination for anyone thinking community. And we are not stopping.
Today’s Uncommunity is brought to you by… Tribe.
Tribe is a community platform designed to empower the customer communities of companies. It is popular for its collection of best practices derived from social networks and the ability to deeply integrate into products. Tribe powers thousands of active communities to connect millions of end-users across the globe and features IBM, Pipedrive, ConvertKit, ASUS, and Prudential as some of the biggest brands in its customer portfolio.
Introducing for this week’s AMA
Max Rothery is a VP of Community at Finimize building the world's largest finance community. Now at 1M+ subscribers globally.
He worked previously as an innovation and transformation specialist in Wealth Management and Private Banking. Ex-Intrapreneur and Digital Strategist at Societe Generale.
As community professionals, we always try to find a way that makes our lives easier. One of them is user-generated content. What’s the best way to get your members to produce content?
It all starts with aligning the incentives of your members with your business. At Finimize our members join to become smarter investors. The more we help them succeed on that journey the more they will continue to be premium subscribers. Once your incentives are aligned it's all about finding win-win opportunities.
Identify unique content that will add value to the creator, community members, and the business. For inspiration, you can look for gaps in your current content that your members are requesting but you aren’t able to create.
As you scale your community from 1000 to 10000 members how do you make sure you don’t dilute the quality and experience of a community?
I always refer to the snowflake model, championed by Marshall Ganz in his paper “People, Power & Change”. The idea is to keep decentralizing your role and promote leaders to take on key responsibilities. As it scales you empower these leaders to do the same and train new leaders and so on… To get this right you need very strong intrinsic alignment with your members and continue to focus on incentivising leaders to take on more responsibility.
Consistent feedback is also important. I’m often conflicted as you can kill a community with metrics in its early days, but without metrics, you have no compass to make decisions from.
I use NPS weekly for new members and monthly for existing, I also survey every member that leaves the community. Things can go wrong quite quickly when you stop listening to feedback and stop iterating. Continuing to do things because that’s the way it’s always been done is the beginning of the end.
What are the best ways for content and community teams to work together?
Just because the content is generated by your members doesn’t mean it should be of any lower quality. We hold our community content to the same standard as the content written by our analysts. To achieve this you need to set super-clear guidelines, templates, and examples. We go one step further and have one of our analysts curates and edit the best submissions.
There’s a secondary benefit that often goes unmissed. By bringing members together in a ‘challenge’, with a deadline to create content, they build strong relationships with each other. Members that participate become more engaged in the group chats, at events, and advocating for our brand. Anthony Castrio does this really well with his community of indie hackers.
Community-led is the future. How can a startup be community-led or community-driven while building a business? Do any examples come to your mind of who is doing this well today?
Start by being ‘community-informed’. As a community manager, make it your mission to know your members better than anyone else in the world, and then use these insights to help the rest of your team make decisions. The profiles of your members can inform marketing, the products they use can inform sales, the challenges they have can inform product, their interests can inform content, and so on… In a short time, these insights can become your moat.
The shift to community-led is when your members start creating value for the community. This can come in content creation, event organizing, group discussions, collaborative research, brand advocacy. Again this becomes a lot easier when your business and member incentives are aligned.
The work by Laura Nestler to scale events at Duolingo (now at Reddit) still blows my mind, as well as the courses their members collaborated to build together. I think the intelligent and practical content that Orbit (Rosie Sherry, Patrick Woods) and Commsor (Mac Reddin, Noele Flowers) are creating to empower community managers will prove to be game-changing.
What are the most important things to keep in mind before launching a paid community? How do we make sure we add value for people who are paying to join a community?
Getting the culture right from the start is so important and even more difficult with paid communities. So when launching, introduce friction to the process so you can vet your perfect first members. By adding a hurdle, like an application process, you’ll spot those members willing to go the extra mile for you.
Advice to someone getting started in community building.
Start building a community today.
The best community managers I meet are always ‘playing’. They might have a small community where they test new onboarding flows, try new platforms, experiment with member challenges, or try re-writing their rules and guidelines, etc…
Remember you can create a community for anything. Community is at its best when you organize around a passion, find something you’re passionate about, and find some other people that are too.
Follow Max Rothery on Twitter.
Events to attend:
CMX Summit 2021: Rise | August 31 – September 2, 2021
Australia Swarm Conference | Use code ‘Uncommunity’ for 25% off | 5 – 11 September, 2021
What’s new at Uncommunity?
Like or comment on your favorite community resources.
Customer Community - A Fresh Approach to Customer Success
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