Moderators September 23, 2020

Make your Indie Hackers group a treasure trove

Rosie Sherry @rosiesherry

One of my main focuses at the moment is to help indie hackers to get their groups off the ground and make them something that is truly treasured by the people they serve.

As Indie Hackers continues to grow we believe the groups will provide essential spaces for people to discuss, discover, network and grow together.

Here are some ideas that could help you get going:

Introduce yourself and your group

@laceykesler recently took over moderating the No-Code group. She excitedly introduced herself, gave a brief intro about her self and why she wants to run the No-Code community.

Be like Lacey.

  • introduce yourself
  • be enthusiastic
  • show that you care
  • seek conversation and feedback from the community as a whole

Find your people

Just because you created a group it does not mean people know it exists. Find your people.

Introducing yourself will help, but you can do more.

  • Look at previous discussions on Indie Hackers see if you can find people who may be interested in joining.
  • Find ways to reach out to these people. Tag them in a discussion, drop them an email (if available), or reach out to them on Twitter. Be mindful, it's not cool to be spammy.
  • Share it amongst your network. Write about it. A blog post. On Twitter. On LinkedIn.

All these actions will serve you well for building your indie business too. Practice communicating and reaching out is core to any business.

Focus on connecting people

Running a group on Indie Hackers could potentially be the fastest way for you to become an expert in your niche.

Emphasis on potentially.

Having a group does not make you an expert. Creating a group of value does.

So, I'll be blunt. IH groups are micro-communities and it is your job to create as much value and useful interconnections between indie hackers as you can.

Sure, there's no shame in linking or posting to your own stuff, but find balance in it. People will quickly stop dropping by if it becomes a show just about you.

Maybe take the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, encourage discussion and posting of other people's things over your own.

Create regular discussion starters

The more we can converse the tighter we can become as a community. A lot of community building is about encouraging people to share and speak up.

Taking no-code as an example, Lacey could post regularly something like:

  • What new no-code projects have you started recently?
  • What new no-code tools are have you discovered recently?
  • What do you need help with right now with no-code?

Or we could take the freelancers group (👋 @jayclouse) as an example:

  • Who freelances and what do you freelance in?
  • Who is looking for a freelancer?

Or for the Medium writing group (👋 @Casey_Botticello):

Hopefully, responses to these discussions will fuel more ideas of what you can write and discuss.

Creating a group means you are an expert

Or you want to become an expert. Either is fine.

Modern day experts generally become experts by writing and sharing about their niche.

You can practice this in groups:

  • flesh out thoughts in discussions posts
  • share your experiences
  • share valuable links that you find when you are learning
  • again, it's ok to share your stuff, but think about the 80/20 rule

Use the resources section on groups to highlight your favorite resources

We recently launched the ability to post links on the sidebar of groups. We want it to be easier for people to stumble upon things to make their indie hacker life easier.

These are great for:

  • epic and valuable IH discussions
  • timeless resources outside of IH such as articles, videos, courses, books

Have a look at the Building in Public and Gumroad groups for examples.

Use the group guidelines

We recently launched the ability to share guidelines for groups. Courtland wrote about it here.

Use these to help make it clear to people what you want and don't want in the group.

Moderate

Indie Hacker groups are your own little space on the internet. Make it something you are proud of.

You have the ability to remove posts from the group (or report them as spam). Use these tools to your advantage to create and curate a very special place on the internet. 🌱

I mostly keep an eye on things from an overall IH moderation perspective, but it can be so hard to catch it all. Especially as Indie Hackers keeps growing.

Create events

I'm working on things like online meetups, icebreakers, and audio chats. I'd love to help you all host some specific events like this for your group.

Email me if you'd like to host something. I'm very much in experimentation mode with all of this.

Collaborate

You don't have to do this alone, collaborate with others for support.

Often people will get stuck on this as they may feel they don't know anyone who would want to help. The simple solution for this is to put a call out for help. This is how Courtland did it.

It's worth a shot!

Start with one thing

The reality is communities take time to build.

I realize this is probably a lot to take in, and could easily overwhelm you. But fear not!

I write this for you to refer back to and hopefully inspire you to take action.

My hope is that you can start with one idea from this list, or with an idea of your own that has been inspired by this post.

I'm here to help and will happily receive new ideas in the comments below. 😇

  1. 3

    Thanks for the shoutout, @rosiesherry!

    Happy to be in this community! 🖤

  2. 2

    Thanks for writing up this guide, Rosie! Lot of great ideas here.

  3. 1

    Great idea! Can you make it so that we can request a group be removed? I created one that inadvertently was similar to an existing one.

    1. 1

      That will come at some point, for now please let me know if which one you would like removed.

      Thank you.

      1. 1

        I would but there's no feature to list my moderated groups in my profile lol.
        I dont' remember the name but it might be something like help or support.

          1. 1

            Yes, it overlaps with meta

  4. 1

    Thank you for sharing this valuable insights

  5. 1

    thank you for this overview! great, practical things to do!

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