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Community Building: Your Initial Stakeholders

Let’s say you are planning an important celebration…perhaps your 30th birthday party. The event is meaningful, and something you want to be a success. You have the choice of inviting everyone you know – all of your 800 friends on Facebook, or your closest friends who you think will be most likely to come, and have a great experience with you. Unless you have an ungodly number of friends, to best increase your chances for a memorable event, you will most likely invite your closest and most dedicated friends.

Starting off your online community should follow the same model. Your first objective should be to identify your closest and most trusted stakeholders. These initial members will champion the new community along with you right from the get-go, so they need to be committed and passionate. You don’t need hundreds of anonymous people to get off on the right foot, you need the right people. Even 10 – 20 will do. The larger target audience can come later.

(photo credit: lululemon)

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