The most successful creators out there understand that their members are what make a thriving community.
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re a creator who believes this too. But you might be unsure of how to create a thriving community for your brand. We’ve got some good news on that front: There are a handful of powerful community platforms that help you build online communities.
Ahead, we’re looking at the ins and outs of how to create a thriving community. We’ll unpack a few methods to try, but first, let’s talk about why you should build a community in the first place.
What is an online community?
An online community is a group of people who have come together because they share a common goal, interest, or experience. So, practically any topic can be used to foster an online community, as long as you can unify people around shared motivation.
That being said, to create a thriving community, you need more than just members. You also need to make your community space a place that people are excited to check in on. That means your community website should provide members the tools to interact, connect, and share with one another their challenges and triumphs.
Now, let’s uncover some things you can implement to create a thriving community yourself.
Have a clear purpose for your community
Our first suggestion for how to create a thriving community is to start off with a “big purpose.” You’re bringing together a group of people for a reason, right? A major characteristic of a thriving community is being clear about why everyone is together and what you’re working to build.
Think of your big purpose as the motivation for your community. It’s something that can only be accomplished by bringing together the exact people you have in your community.
If you’re unsure of how to communicate your big purpose, try this template we created to help you out:
Your big purpose is all about making clear what your online community is trying to achieve. When the steps are clear for what your online community is working to accomplish, it makes potential members more willing to join your movement.
Now, let’s dig into some concrete things you can implement to build a thriving community.
Create different types of content
Do you know what keeps people excited about your brand? Creating new and interesting content from time to time.
If you want to create a thriving community, then try to keep the experience unique for your members. We are big advocates for having a clear purpose that will guide your members, step by step, towards accomplishing their goals. BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t surprise them from time to time.
Creating new content doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel or anything. It could be as simple as utilizing a poll or Q&A post occasionally.
Your members are not a monolith. While they are striving to accomplish a common goal, they all learn differently.
This is a major benefit for you!
This means that you can tap into all the different interests of your community by trying different forms of content. If you’re interested in what kinds of content you might try, here are a few ideas:
- Discussion board posts, polls and Q&As.
- Recorded videos.
- Paid content.
- Online courses.
There’s a range of possibilities for diversifying your content out there, and best of all, it can be really fun to try new things.
Curate smaller groups
An online community is a group of people coming together to accomplish a common goal. But that doesn’t mean all your members are the same. As you get to know your members’ interests you can group similar people together to create connections.
A community can’t thrive if the members don’t actually interact. When you curate smaller groups, you’re building connections between members and providing networking opportunities.
By bringing people together, you’re creating more chances for members to form real connections with others.
Host live virtual events
Hosting regular virtual events is another great way to create a thriving community. Why? Because it gives you a chance to talk directly (with your voice and face!) to your members.
Don’t worry, hosting a live virtual event doesn’t need to be a grand production. Feel free to go above and beyond with it sure, but a virtual event can also be a cocktail mixer.
It can be challenging to stay invested in a group that you never meet face to face. One way to build a thriving community is figuring out ways to have video hangouts so people can see each other.
You can also have live presentations, webinars, lectures, and guest interviews as alternative live events.
All of these experiences allow you to assure others that you indeed are a human! Okay, jokes aside, they make it much easier to feel invested in you and your brand. Putting yourself out there for your members to see you as a human being adds some personality and flair to your persona.
Put the spotlight on your members
You might be running the show, but it’s important to put the spotlight on your members and their accomplishments.
Spotlighting your members’ accomplishments is a great way to show that goals are being met (aka you’ve got the receipts!) But it also is just a good gesture.
You can highlight them in a number of ways. Here are a few suggestions:
- Highlight member stories in a monthly post. Once you’ve had some members complete your content, you can ask them to share their stories with you. Then you can utilize these stories in a monthly roundup of member success. This allows other members to congratulate their peers and take notes.
- Host a member spotlight event. This could be a panel pertaining to their success story or even a live interview. Or, it could be about what the member does for a living or how they got interested in your group topic. Whatever angle you take, it’s a great way to shine a spotlight on members and get the community rallying together.
- Have members write about their experiences. Another great way to spotlight member accomplishments is to invite members to write about them. Guest posts put the reins into your members’ hands to tell their stories. It’s nice to hear how great the online community is from the creator. But it’s much more effective to hear about it from the people who’ve actually completed your content.
Highlighting members’ accomplishments is a form of giving back to your community, while also providing opportunities for interactions. Accomplishments are meant to be shared. Encouraging members to tell the world about the great things they’ve achieved is a great way to create a thriving community.
Ask your community, “what’s up?”
When you’re working in an online space it can sometimes be hard to know if you’re content is striking a chord. Do you know what is an easy way of finding out? Asking your members, “What’s up? Are you enjoying yourself?”
If you want to build a thriving community then creating clear and open channels of communication is important. When your members feel comfortable telling you what is and isn’t working, they are more likely to stay active and invested.
Additionally, you can turn asking for feedback into an event for your community. Maybe once a month you hold office hours either through a Zoom meeting or discussion board and discuss what’s been going well and poorly.
This gives your members a controlled and safe space to voice their concerns and ideas with their fellow members.
Mighty Networks is the best place to create a thriving community
We believe that the best way to create a thriving community is to choose a platform with powerful community building tools.
Mighty Networks is a leader in the world of online community building and has numerous tools for you to experiment with to create a thriving community, offer paid memberships, and design online courses. You also get a powerful website builder that gives you the tools you need to deliver your awesome content.
On top of that, with a Mighty Network, you’ll be able to offer all of these pieces together under your own brand, instantly available on web, iOS, and Android. Don’t underestimate the power of your members being able to access your brand wherever they are.
We’ve made it to the end of the article, so that means it’s time to get started building the community for the brand you’ve been dreaming about.