Community Building September 26, 2020

Building a community

Alex @alourie

So this probably was discussed before - but if it hasn't, I'm happy to launch this one.

How does one build a community around a product if the value of the product lies in the community itself?

For example, building a community for playing poker would need a minimum number of people to make sense. How do you solve the catch22 of needing community (people) to actually make sense, but if people join and see there's nothing they just leave?


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    Don't know why nobody suggested this or maybe I think really badly?

    Build a community that discusses playing poker, now that you have people in there you could move on to playing poker

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      Thanks for that. Do you have ideas on starting a community from scratch? Like "where" should it be if not possible in person physically, how do you "promote", how to attract people, etc.

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    Get involved in a small community first. Ideally, physically. Then use them to build and try the first product.

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      Would love to, but not in this environment really :-)

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    One option is to start with a specialized section of the population (niche) that want to discuss something different than the mainstream population or existing communities.

    In your example, there are > 100 million people playing worldwide, so starting with a niche in your local town or players who want to talk about poker but don't share the same perspective / rules that the mainstream players do.

    Try to repeat this steps with several niche and you are good to go

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      This 'niche' advice is gold, yes Rich go for your niche(s) first!

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        Thanks! good ideas here

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    There are different steps to build a community. One of them for you could be hanging with pokers players if there are existing community of people who plays poker. From that moment onwards you have to talk to as many people as you can about what you are doing to create community of poker players. It's Audience as you are still finding people.

    You could share interesting insights that you find about the game and things to avoid etc and people will like what they share on a public communities like Reddit, Indie Hackers, and even Twitter. Once you get to a point where you are sure there are at least 50 people who like what you do, what you share, what tips that you put online that's when you decide to create a community and you invite those 50 people. Ask this 50 people on what made them join and if there's any one person you would like to invite into the community. You do it slowly bit by bit and I'm sure you'll have a decent community.

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      Thanks, @1rafy. What you're saying is similar to Rosie there, build an "audience" first, then join them that the advice?

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        Yes. In today's age, if you need to bring people together for a common cause then your first step has to be building an audience.

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          hm, so "building a community" for the product should predate the product by miles! :-)

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    Build a bit of an audience first, then it makes it easier to find your first few members.

    People need to know and trust you to some extent, whether it's on a one-to-one or brand level, otherwise people just won't (generally) be inclined to join.

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      Thanks, @rosiesherry! Would you say it means that there could be no "product" until there's a group of people (audience) with a shared set of values/interests?

      Or is there "something" that people can do/experience separately from being a part of the community?

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        Personally, I tend not to push a product at all. If I want to build a community then I look for the people that would be interested and go hang with them. By hanging with them it should give you indications of whether or not there is a need for a community, or they may end up guiding you in a direction you hadn't intended originally.

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          How do you find people that might be interested? And what if there are alternative "communities"/products that'd make the switch to your community harder?

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