Quick Start Guide to Creating Your Community!

Understanding the Foundations of Your Community
Welcome to Creates Community, where we specialize in helping businesses navigate the complexities of technology to build thriving online communities. We understand that getting stuck with tech can hinder your progress, which is why our expertise with , a leading community platform, ensures you have the support needed to launch and manage your community successfully.
Before diving into the technical aspects, clarifying your intentions is crucial. You'll want to understand why you want to start a community, identify who it's for, and determine the value or problem your community will solve for its members.
By focusing on these foundational aspects, you can ensure that your community grows and thrives. Dive into the steps below to start your journey to building a meaningful and engaged community with at your side.


Understanding the Foundation of a Community Business Model

Communities are increasingly becoming central to business strategies, offering enhanced customer engagement, fostering innovation, and creating new revenue streams. This guide will walk you through the basic steps of creating a successful community around your business.
It’s important to note that community is a business model within your company and understand that every community has its own…
Unique culture
Set of values
Communication style
Goals and objectives
Member demographics
Engagement methods
Challenges and opportunities
Growth strategies
Creating a community can help you…
Enhance customer engagement and loyalty
Offer exclusive content or experiences
Foster collaboration and innovation among members
Position your brand as an industry thought leader
Provide value-added services or support
Gain valuable customer insights and feedback
Encourage user-generated content and testimonials
Create networking opportunities for clients or students
New and diverse revenue stream

Let’s get to work building out the foundations of your community. If you already have a community the following is a good exercise to do to improve your community engagement and deliverables.

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👉 Step 1: Assess Your Readiness

Your business might be ready for a community if:
Your audience asks for more products, services, and time.
If you are struggling to keep up with the requests for your time, consider a community model that helps you reach several people at once
If you are asked the same things over and over again
You have an active social media presence & engagement.
When you talk, people listen and talk to each other.
High customer retention and satisfaction
You have the same repeat customers.
Your churn or refund rates should be higher.

Check off which applies to you:
Yes, my business is ready for an online community now
Yes, within the next 6 months to a year
No, my business is not ready for an online community

person holding compass facing towards green pine trees

👉 Step 2: Establish Community Principles

Building a successful community is based on key principles:
Community as a Service: Your community should serve your audience, offering them value and engagement.
Community as Revenue: Understand the different ways your community can generate income:
Direct Revenue: You can get paid through membership fees, whether one-time or ongoing, recurring payments.
Indirect Revenue: Generate more high-quality leads and offer a way for your future customers to trust you and your products more.
Added Value: Your community can be an add-on to an existing product (i.e. office hours for an existing course or a cohort to teach a course through)

Benefits of a community model:
Efficient use of time and resources
A centralized platform for addressing common questions
Gathering and organizing around a cause or profession
Enhanced support and collaboration opportunities

Truths about an online community:
Truth #1: Community takes time and commitment.
Truth #2: Building a community is 100% worth the effort.

white and black wooden quote board

👉 Step 3: Define Your Community’s Unique Identity

Before you begin, it’s crucial to understand that every community is unique.
What is the purpose of your community?
Often people join a community because it solves a problem or fulfills a need they may have. Remember that there is a difference between why you want to launch a community and why your audience wants to join a community.

Consider these questions:
How is this community of value to members?
Why should someone join this community?
If they do join, what will get them to sign in and participate?
What is the point?
what problem are you solving for your members?

Your community should have its own:
Culture and Values:
What are the core principles that guide your community?
Communication Style:
How will members interact with each other and your brand?
Goals and Objectives:
What do you aim to achieve with your community?
Member Demographics:
Who are your community members?
Engagement Methods:
How will you keep the community active and engaged?
Challenges and Opportunities:
What obstacles might you face, and what opportunities could arise?
Growth Strategies:
How will you expand your community’s reach and impact?

Now that you have your answers above , let’s make your positioning statement clear.
Complete the following:
It’s important to make sure that your four statements align with one another…
My community purpose (my community why) is
The value my members get is
My community type is
My business why is
Aim to keep these statements brief and to-the-point!

Here’s an example inspired by Nora McInerny, author of the The Hot Young Widows Club

My community purpose is to offer a supportive space for widows under the age of 40.
The value my members get is a safe space to be honest and get real support from one another during a hard time in their lives.
My community type is support.
My business why is to offer a place for my book readers to have a place to go and connect under my brand.

👉 Step 4: Plan Your Community Model & Ideal Member

It’s important to design your community with your members in mind — they will join based on if they believe your community can help them achieve a goal, or can help them solve a problem. (The term “problem” often evokes an assumption of negativity, but a potential member’s problem might be that they want to learn Spanish, and therefore a conversational Spanish community may help them to solve that problem.)

🤝 Support communities: Primarily offer peer support; a place for people in a similar mindset or life-stage to support one another. Examples could include:
Networking community for realtors in a metro area
Entrepreneurs community to support small business owners
Alzheimer's caregiver support community
📓 Learning communities: Create an environment for learning; members join with the expectation of learning new skills, passing a course, or leveling up their expertise. Examples could include:
Cohort for mixed media artists
Language learning community
Study group for a specific certification
🧐 Interest communities: Create a safe space for people to connect over a common cause or interest. Examples could include:
Model train hobby community
Help the Environment community
Sport team or Music group fan community
Check off the type of community that best fits your business needs and goals:
Support Communities: For peer support around specific life stages or challenges
Learning Communities: Focus on skill development and knowledge sharing.
Interest Communities: Connect members around shared interests or passions.

Who is your community’s ideal member?

Your community should NOT be built for everyone. It’s important to get crystal clear on who your community’s ideal member is, and who your community’s ideal member isn’t.
👍 Benefits of defining your ideal member:
Tailored content and activities
Higher engagement and satisfaction
Targeted communication
Efficient use of resources
👎 Consequences of NOT defining your ideal member:
Lower engagement
Decreased member satisfaction
Inefficient use of resources

Answer the following questions:
Describe your ideal member. Write down any words or descriptions that come to mind. Consider their needs, wants, and interests.
Who is ready for your community?
Who is not ready for your community?
Write a couple of sentences describing your ideal member.
Draft a pitch explaining your community.

👉 Step 5: Create Valuable Content and Programming

Programming should be the backbone of your community, helping to maintain engagement and provide value. Community programming is the different types of experiences you can create for your members once they are in your community. This includes anything that you would consider to be a ritual in your community (e.g. events, activities, discussions that you conduct on a recurring basis).Consider:
Educational Content: Webinars, tutorials, courses and resources.
Interactive Events: Live Q&As, workshops, group coaching and networking events.
Member-Driven Activities: Challenges, contests, and group projects.
Ensure your programming aligns with your community's goals and serves your members' needs effectively.
Note that the examples above include is a combination of live and asynchronous programming. As a best practice, you should aim to offer a combination of both.
Below write down 3 types of programming you are going to offer in your community:

👉 Step 6: Implement Effective Growth and Engagement Strategies

Define Your Ideal Member: Understand who your community is for and tailor your marketing and content accordingly.
Engagement Over Metrics: Focus on meaningful interactions, not just likes and comments.
Consistent Interaction: Regularly update content and engage with members to keep the community lively.

👉 Step 7: Testing and Launch

Alpha Phase: Start small with a select group to gather feedback and make adjustments.
Beta Phase: Expand slightly, refining your approach based on initial feedback.
Full Launch: Open your community up to a broader audience with a solid foundation and refined strategy.


Remember, the success of a community hinges on commitment and consistency, both from its leaders and its members. Continuous engagement, iteration based on feedback, and a clear focus on the unique needs of your community members are crucial.
With these steps, you're well on your way to integrating a thriving community into your business model, enhancing both customer satisfaction and business growth.


Next Step: Set up your community on

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