Community Building September 16, 2020

Struggling growing members. Let's grow the supply part: mentors.

Jose Bermejo @josberco

Learning the hard way

As a first-time community builder, I'm learning the hard way how to grow and having plenty of mistakes. In our Growthseeker.io community, we promise mentors, so it's like a two-sided market (like uber or Airbnb): we need mentors to attract more members, and we need more members to have the mentors happy, feeling that it's worth to join us. If we don't have both, we'll die. It's part of our value proposition.

We've been struggling to acquire new members since we started charging. After helping more than 70 founders in our mastermind calls (+150 people joining the group in 2 months) at discord for free, we switched to circle.so, improved everything, following the 1:1 feedback of our members and start charging money. But switching the tool (with nobody in the new one) + start charging simultaneously was not the best idea (lesson to learn if you are going to build a community). So now it is like starting from scratch again: trying to have the first cohort of users to have conversations in the forum, engage and add value to them so that when somebody comes by the community, there are plenty of topics and users. Like there were on discord...

So we are lucky to have some of our master club members willing to help becoming mentors for the community. As this is part of our value prop, we expect that growing this "supply" part of our community could help us to have more paid members. What do you think?

Next steps (by marketing funnel order) to try to grow quicker

  • (Awareness + Interest): Once a month live stream, the mastermind call in twitter+linkedin.
  • (Desire) Show more than telling: show the founder's free resources we have clearer on the landing page with the recorded sessions. Show the community forums in a page embed in the landing.
  • (Action) Reduce frictions: Once the launch discount finishes (50%), we will change the revenue model: switch to yearly giving away 5 free months.
  • (Action) Trialability: We're going to provide a free trial period. But asking for a credit card, as our community is about quality, not quantity, so in this case, I would keep this friction point to attract more serious members.\

What advice/tips do you have to grow the community? What works for you? I'd appreciate your help :)

Who are the new mentors?

Being said that, here are the new mentors we welcome. I'm not only excited but grateful to have all of them on board to help the founders joining our community and Mastermind Club. Here is a little bit more about them:

  1. @volkandkaya. Versoly's founder. Probably you know him because he loves helping in communities like IndieHackers. His experience building and growing a SaaS like versoly.com is precious for our mastermind club and the founders joining.
  2. Mina Abdu: Launching advertex.co. Customer Acquisition expert. Always providing great ideas and advice on how to acquire users and grow!
  3. Mark Montgomery: Strategic Angel Investor at nexme.com. Our members are going to benefit from a different point of view about the financials, dinamics of a team, what a BAs looks before investment, and a huge experience in the life :)

BTW, if you don't know about the launch promo, the 50% voucher is IHACKERSLAUNCH50% (expiring Sept 25th).

  1. 4

    I've talked with people who grew communities, and one of the things they told me is they tried to provide useful one-sided tools before turning that into a community.

    I think even IH started this way...they did interviews, got enough users, and then started to focus more on the community part.

    Can your mentors release useful videos/articles? If you get, say, 10k users from these articles, then a % will them will want to become members.

    1. 1

      Thanks for your tip and time @zerotousers! That makes a lot of sense to me.

      I get from your tip: work quicker on developing and promote more free resources/tools, useful content before growing the community. Make it clearer in our landing page the free resources we have (https://accelerate.growthseeker.io/c/open-resources) and promote them more.

      Regarding your question, unfortunately our mentors can not spend time in articles/videos because they have their day job and their commitment is to help founders in the mastermind calls + answering questions/feedback in the community.

      Again, thank you!!

  2. 3

    I’d second @zerotousers. Can you interview each mentor on a topic per week and post it publicly? Can you do a newsletter (although all our inboxes are pretty full)?

    1. 1

      Thanks for the ideas @mikeneedle!

      What I've thought is doing 1 free AMA session with all the mentors together once/month with live stream in twitter + linkedin for awarness purposes.

      Regarding the newsletter, we have this one (part of our free tools too): https://growthtips.growthseeker.io with 143 subscribers - 2% of them converted in paid customers so far. I want to put it together with "hot topics or best tips" of the week that happened in the community and the calls.

      How does it sound?

      Thanks again! Really appreciate your helpful tips!!

  3. 2

    Hey. I am one of the founder who considered it 3 days ago and did not join. I think it's a great idea and like you said it's tough to grow it. I totally feel your pain as a marketplace myself. ...But I ended up not pulling the trigger. Happy to give you detailed feedback (contact [email protected]) if you drop me a line. Cheers.

    1. 1

      That'll be great @LaurenceM! Appreciate your willingness to help. I'll shoot you an email right away.

      Thanks again!!