Building a community around your organisation is not easy. It takes effort. Getting someone to join your community is very much like selling a product.
If you want someone to join, you need to offer something of value. You need to deliver experiences for which they are willing to pay. While it may not cost them money, an individual’s time and attention can be of equal value.
However, other organisations have the same goal in mind. In order to succeed, you’ll need to identify benefits that set your community apart. Consider real benefits for your potential members that will capture their interests such as the following:
1. Directory Access And Networking Opportunities
A directory of members with similar interests and objectives provides amazing opportunities for individuals to network, build relationships, and learn from one another. The closer members feel to each other, the more valuable the community becomes to everyone involved. By incorporating directories which include geolocation, the additional benefit to your community.
Members will be able to connect and learn from one another through a range of interactions: professional opportunities, mentoring, partnerships and collaborations, or perhaps reconnecting with old friends and associates.
2. Members Only Job Listings
One of the greatest contributions provided by active job listings are that they appeal to just about everyone. Offering job opportunities is a top benefit you can deliver to your community. If your organisation can partner with major employers in fields that are attractive to your community, it not only adds value for existing members but serves to recruit new members as well.
An excellent approach to establishing job listings is through public viewing but restricting the application process to members only. Job listings will attract people who are both looking for work and interested in your community mission. This provides them two fundamental reasons to look deeper into your community and ultimately join.
3. Industry-Specific Events, Discounts, And Offers
Another great advantage of participating in a community (and hinted at in other areas of this post) is exclusive access and opportunities to its members. When you offer your members something they can’t get elsewhere, you provide a clear benefit that’s tangible. Best of all, they’ll feel part of something special and be anxious to share with others, which again creates buzz.
Think about things like hosting events involving top influencers in your community. Perhaps you may partner with fellow businesses offering member discounts on products and/or services. The key is to demonstrate that your community offers relevant advantages to its stakeholders that are available nowhere else.
4. Learning And Training Integration
One of the most valuable things you can offer someone is the ability to improve oneself. Self-learning and guided training courses may help to draw and retain members for the long-term. They’re a great way for people to learn new skills as well as sharpen or expand on existing skills.
Online training can take many forms. Your organisation could host webinars, develop informative videos, provide skill testing, certifications, document archives, and more.
As suggested with the job board, in making course summaries public but requiring membership to access, your organisation may leverage search optimisation while providing an excellent incentive for someone to join the community.
5. Mentoring Programs
Online mentoring programs can help people connect and build transformative relationships. Both mentors and mentees can seek individuals who help them to grow - professionally and personally. Members may make connections that will last throughout their lifetime. Most importantly, the value provided through that relationship will always be connected to your community which often leads to the most powerful form of marketing - word of mouth.
A mentoring program doesn’t need to be limited to professional skills. Sharing knowledge can be beneficial in many different forms. Members may assist one another with legal issues, personal and business ventures, and number of different life experiences. You can establish a program that aligns with the interests of your organisation no matter the purpose.
Hivebrite is a leading provider of branded community management platforms and helps all size institutions grow and engage their community - Feel free to visit us or request a demo if you would like to know more.