If you’ve been trying to figure out how to structure your community for success, you’re not alone. But contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to pay thousands of dollars for a one-off course. And you don’t need to wade in the waters of community design on your own, either.
You need a community designer.
The fact is, every brand needs a community designer. Why? Because that person—whether it’s someone you hire, or it’s you, yourself—will be your go-to resource for building a community that is not only living and thriving today, but for the long haul, too.
Ahead, we’re exploring what community design is, why you need a community designer, and how they can help you build a sustainable virtual community that’s so valuable, you can charge for it.
Let’s dive in.
What is community design?
Community design determines why and how your community members build relationships with each other in the quest to master something interesting together.
But what does that really mean?
It means that community design is the way you structure your members’ experience, from the content they come in contact with, to the way they interact with one another. It’s the formula for setting up a community that’s easy, energizing, and fun. It’s the blueprint for launching and growing your community in a simple, straightforward way.
While all of the above might seem like, well, a lot, community design is fairly simple, especially when your brand has a dedicated community designer. If not, it’s definitely possible to design your community for success yourself. And in Mighty Networks’ flagship course, the Community Design Masterclass, we show you how to do just that.
The process of community design comes down to five major parts. Let’s explore them below.
1. Your Big Purpose
Think of your Big Purpose as the motivation for your community. It’s the thing that can only be accomplished by bringing a specific group of people together to answer the call.
Your Big Purpose describes who you bring together, what your members will master being a part of your community, and the results, transformation, or benefits they’ll get from being a part of the awesome work you’re doing.
Essentially, it’s structured like this:
I/we bring together [who you bring together] to [what your members will master being a part of this community], so that we can [result #1], [result #2], and [result #3].
That being said, the best Big Purposes have a few things in common.
They’re specific. We’ll say it again because this point is crucial: Your Big Purpose should clearly describe who your community serves, what you’ll master together, and what you’ll get once you all master this topic.
They’re exciting. Your Big Purpose should sound motivating and fun, like an adventure with people you’d love to meet.
They’re achievable only as a community. Your members are coming with you because they can’t get their answers from Google. In fact, they’ll all benefit from contributing and working together.
They promise incredibly rewarding results. This one is pretty straightforward: The best Big Purposes offer rewards that are, in a word, awesome.
2. Your year in the life
Part of why you need a community designer is to structure and plan out what your community will look like.
A community designer can help you figure out what results you want to have created in a span of a year. They can guide you through your desired member results—what they’ll learn from you and each other, how they’re transformed and how they’re transforming others, and so on—and the results you want to see too.
You need a community designer to help you figure out how you’re able to structure your life in a year in a way that you can’t today; how you’re able to invest more time in your mission; and the impact you want to have within your community, and beyond.
Both of those results are going to be generated in three ways.
3. Monthly themes
A community designer can help you suss out how to structure your members’ experiences month-to-month with a set of, you guessed it, monthly themes. It’s basically a way to design your members’ path towards mega results with challenges and prompts that ladder up to your Big Purpose.
4. Weekly calendar
Similarly, every brand could use a community designer to help them designate a schedule that their members can create a habit around. Whether it’s a weekly challenge, a question of the week, or office hours, a weekly calendar can be a great way to offer your members consistency.
5. Daily actions
Lastly, you need a community designer that can designate daily actions to help make connections between members. Think polls, questions, or mini-prompts.
Speaking of which, let’s look more into why every brand needs a community designer to help them with all of the above.
Why do you need a community designer?
Here’s why every brand needs a community designer: Because a well-designed, well-structured community can be the difference between success and an effort that never gets off the ground.
Here’s what a community designer can help you with.
Building the bones of your community
By structuring your community in a way that promises and delivers results and transformation to your members, you’re replacing the whole part where you get bogged down by anxiety and overthinking. Running your community, day to day, is no longer an arduous grind. Instead, because you’re prepared, you get a sense of confidence and curiosity.
In other words, a well-designed community can bring a new spark and energy to your work. And you need a community designer who can do the heavy lifting for you by putting that structure in place.
Curating member experiences
In addition to structuring your overall community for success, you need a community designer to curate your members’ experiences too, from the moment they first log in.
What does that look like? It could be building out some sort of “Welcome” post that introduces your new members into the ins and outs of your community, any rules they should follow, and tips and tricks on how to navigate your online community platform. Or it could be something more day-to-day, like moderation.
Create your look and feel
We’ve talked a lot about how community designers can help you structure what your members do inside of your community. But oftentimes, you need a community designer to make your community look good, too.
Many creators work hand-in-hand with a community designer to determine their colorways, branding, and imagery. And it makes sense: It’s an easy way for even the most design-phobic person to make their community look and feel like a very cool club that members just can’t resist.
Take your community to the next level
For some creators, implementing the tenets of community design on their own, in their own community, will be a straightforward, generally unchallenging task.
But the rules are a little different when you’re building a community around an established brand. Especially so when you have thousands of followers or members, and you have a whole team of people behind you.
For those kinds of creators—many of which we are home to ourselves with Mighty Pro—a dedicated community designer isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s a crucial addition to their team. With a larger community and a larger impact, you need a community designer to make sure you don’t miss any marks, whether it’s with your community’s look and feel, curating your members’ experience, or building the structure on which your community so relies.
Why does every brand need a community designer? To forge a path towards success
So here we are, at the end. We’ve talked a lot about community design and the role that community designers can play, both with small businesses and larger, more established brands.
And it all comes down to this: Every brand needs a community designer to help them structure their communities for success and ensure that each member is getting closer to their goals. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that many community designers can help you establish the look and feel of your personal brand, and help translate that to the world at large.
At the end of the day, you need a community designer to help you bring your community to the next level, and make sure you’re around for years to come. And that’s that on that.
The good news is that here at Mighty Networks, you can learn to become a community designer with our Community Design Masterclass, and get the tools to build thriving communities for years to come.
Are you ready to make a difference?