Why You Should Rethink Your Community Onboarding

Do you remember the last time you went to a house party? Now picture the person who lived in that house. The person hosting the party. The inviter, the provider, and now your entertainer. That person cared about how you felt (depending on the size of the party) and if you enjoyed yourself.

They facilitated you with the essentials to have a good time. It was up to you to determine the outcome of your time spent. Of course, if a boost was needed, an introduction or topic change when needed, the host was there. Just like a community manager.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and those of the people around you. Emotional intelligence differentiates a bad party host from a good one. It is essential for leaders, politicians, founders, caregivers, and especially community builders.


Community builders know that the most important part of building their community is the relationships they build.

Building connections during onboarding is key for new members to have a smooth journey to join the community and eliminate as many basic questions that one might ask.

It’s important to start by realizing that onboarding begins before one enters your community platform.

This could be from an exterior connection you made through other mediums of sharing. At the core of this lies the real principle. Relationship.


Hot take: Your onboarding process has nothing to do with how members join the community. But EVERYTHING with the way you interact with them

Onboarding is not just the sequence of events, pinned messages, and “guidelines” you give when a user joins your Discord. Neither is it determined by their follows and likes on social media. The truth is none of that means anything to them.

What your future member cares about the most (whether they know it or not) is the conversations to be had with you.

In Web3 it’s even more important to facilitate the feeling of genuine relationship building. However, we can use the technology to our advantage in this case. Reach a larger audience 24 hours a day. Your community can be borderless, and even cross-universal.

Sure, Meta’s metaverse isn’t that sexy yet, but AR and VR technology still has miles of potential ahead of it. Many projects have already been working on the ability to recreate our reality as best as possible. On the plus side, we have gradually seen adoption and usage amounts rise in online communication. Ask anyone born after 2000 if they use a dating app, I bet 99% of them do. Virtual community building, and what might fit into Web2 concepts of community building is not that far off from Web3.

Simple integrations and features built-in Web3 will be catalysts. Simple features like wallet connect & token gated communities. Analytics & community insights as well. Our movement for Web3 will actually benefit the community builders. Giving them the ability to enhance their communities, and create new experiences.

When all dialogue is virtual and personal connection feels filtered, it is the community manager’s job to facilitate a sense of belonging.

How do you create a sense of belonging?

Start off by reaching out to your members personally, and make them feel noticed. Get to know them. Who are they? Where are they from? What are they working on? What are their struggles?

It’s important to know that you’re not selling here. You’re making a friend. You’re collecting data to be the best matchmaker possible.

You might be asking yourself now… Does that mean I have to spend my days messaging people? Not necessarily.

Although it’s good to be personal, reaching out in DMs, and asking genuine questions in private can build a connection quickly. However, we want to keep in mind that this is not about only you.

Jake Scott calls it out in this tweet:

If the community relies on the CM to carry on the discussions and share the resources to engage the community, then clearly something isn’t working. The community should not be based on 1-to-many relationships but rather many-to-many. It is the job of the CM to create a community culture that intertwines the members and facilitates the building of relationships between members.

If this is the case for you, analyze the situation and try to identify why community members are disconnecting.

Returning back to the initial statement and emphasis on relationship building, there are 3 key reasons why relationship building will combat any cases like the tweet mentioned above.

  1. Get to know your community. You are the overseer with the power to find commonalities between individuals and pair them together.
  2. Emotional connection ties them in, it breaks the virtual barrier, and subconsciously these members will feel inclined to participate.
  3. Listen to your members. You can find the evangelists, and the thought leaders, listen to what they’re into and create a place to breed those conversations.

Now it’s time for you to go out into your community and work on building those relationships. Reach out to your community members and start to chat with them.

Host a community call, be casual, let them ask questions, and see where the conversation takes you.

The key here is to really be personal and don’t let the digital aspect of this growing community hold you back from creating quality connections.

Get out there and chat with your community!

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