You’ve heard these objections before. In fact, you may even be using these yourself right now:
A community or an online course is a ton of hard work. I don’t have the time.
I need to spend 6 months building content before I could launch anything people would pay for.
Are you crazy? Start an online community today? I need to have thousands of people before I could call it a success. Who has that time?
I don’t have an email list or social media following. I’d have to do a ton of work and the likelihood is everyone’s too busy for something new.
While this could be said of creating a community or online course in the past, today things are different.
Something has changed.
If you want more support in building and monetizing your online community, come join OUR Mighty Community for free and meet other new and established community owners! We’d love to meet you. Join for free!
The Rise of the Micro-Community
Here’s the truth: Thousands of modern, valuable communities–people pay to join–are popping up every day off Facebook, started by people just like you with no email list or social media following.
Members are paying $499-$999 or more to join these “micro-communities” because they are small, intimate, and exclusive at the beginning. The most valuable of these communities limit their initial members to just 10 people.
This is a 180-degree change from how many of us have thought about building a community in the past. What used to be seen as a weakness–a small community without a lot of members–is now what people want and are willing to pay a lot to get.
What is a Micro-Community?
A micro-community is an online community with less than 30 members led by a creator where people are there to master a specific topic, interest, passion, or goal.
Typically, members pay to join a micro-community and it stands out from free, larger online communities in a few key ways:
1. It combines an online course and a community together in the same place. People joining premium micro-communities today are paying up to join a small group mastering something interesting or important together with equally motivated people. Something magical happens when an online course is offered directly in a small community.
People engage more. They build deeper relationships with each other. They get better results. They see a different kind of transformation. And the program is richer and more valuable to everyone because it’s small.
In practice, a paid micro-community ends up being a replacement for private 1:1 coaching that typically runs $499/month, only in this case, members get so much more (which it’s why they’re willing to pay a premium).
2. It doesn’t use Facebook. Most people who launch online courses eventually add a Facebook Group for their students. These groups have to fight for attention with everything else on Facebook and are cheapened by ads and trolls. The creators behind premium micro-communities have learned that they can charge dramatically more money by avoiding Facebook altogether.
3. It’s built “live.” With a premium micro-community, the value is in the creator building their program “live” with their first 10 people. The structure is simple: they tackle one topic per week. Each member is then tasked with an action and sees a result. The typical premium micro-community has 5-7 weeks of these live sessions followed by an ongoing membership model.
4. It scales nicely into a healthy recurring revenue business. Choosing to start with a premium micro-community doesn’t mean you aren’t building a scalable business. You just won’t invest 6-12 months and hundreds of thousands of dollars producing course content in a vacuum.
Instead, you’ll make money right out of the gate by embracing the fact that people pay you more when you are small and offering a live program, which will lead to better results, unexpected insights, dramatically better course content, and a digital business that stands out from the competition.
How to create a micro-community
1. Find your ideal member
The first step to creating a thriving micro-community is to find your Ideal Member. This is the person who NEEDS what you have, who will grow because they're in your community.
We have a free guide and training to finding your Ideal Member in our Mighty Community!
2. Choose a platform
But we'd put a plug here for trying a Mighty Network! Mighty is a powerful, all-in-one cultural software platform that brings together content, courses, community, and commerce.
Mighty offers flexible Spaces that bring features like forums, courses with pre-recorded or live teaching, live events, live streaming, custom course communities, messaging all members, a ton of content options, plus Q&As.
It gives you EVERYTHING you need to built a thriving community. And you can charge for membership in 135 different currencies or with token-gating.
3. Create a new member welcome experience
One of the best things you can do to set your new community up is to create a new member welcome experience to help your newcomers jump headfirst into community life!
We've got free training on how to do this in our Mighty Community. Come check it out and we'll show you how to get set up for success!
Now that your community is ready to go, the next step is to invite your Ideal Members to join! You can do this through sharing a join link directly, or through email or social media. OR you can share the landing page to your community or link to it from your existing website.
If you want a REALLY amazing way to make your launch shine, try creating a launch event! It's the perfect opportunity to get your members connected to you and each other.
5. Adapt and grow
Finally,don't be afraid to adapt and grow! Just because you've figured out how to create a micro-community doesn't mean your work is done. Keep learning what's working, where people are spending their time, and adapt accordingly.
With a Mighty Network, you also get a set of awesome analytics features to help you figure this out.
Ready to get started?
One of the most popular ways people are using a Mighty Network today is to build their own paid micro-community of no more than 10 people around a topic, interest, goal, or lifestyle.
Initially, most of Mighty’s creators showed up with an existing audience from a podcast, an Instagram following, or a book.
But this is changing.
Increasingly, the most successful micro-communities on Mighty Networks are being spun up by people who have never started an online business before.
Their secret? They defined success as building something valuable for 10 people.
Then, they jumped in.