I’ve seen folks build a beautiful online community interface and outreach strategy. They have their mission defined, the blogs and discussions open for action, and their server prepared for activity overload. It goes live and – – – and – – – and – – – wait for it – – – and – – – WHAT? Nada. They wonder: hey, I thought if I built it they would come? Why no immediate, overflowing, amazing activity?
Building an online community is hard. It takes: relationships, trust, constant value, and a reason to come back everyday. It must be done slowly, purposefully, conscientiously, and authentically.
Here are 5 reasons building an online community takes time, and thus, cannot be built overnight.
1. Engagement is about individual outreach.
2. Nothing replaces face to face connection.
3. In-person celebrations are crucial.
4. Members are collaborators, not just listeners.
5. Don’t just ask members to do something for you – do something for them.