5 First Steps To Starting Your Community

Business models, product design, and team planning are essential. You’ve been building for some time now, and you want to open the gates, watch people come running for your idea, and throw you their money.

That’s great, and I hope it happens. In fact, I know it will. But you won’t get far without your community behind you to support you. Building a community is like building a family of superfans who are ready to fight for you and your idea to succeed. They believe in you, and they believe in each other.

Building a large community seeping of value and quality is no easy task. It takes time, dedication, and passion just like most good things in life. The effects your community can have on your product are invaluable and could lead to relationships or opportunities that are not worth any sale.

Here are 5 simple actions that you can take for literal action, and keep with you as mental models to help you at any stage of the process down the line.

1) Strategy & Purpose

Every community should have a purpose. Communities are made of people gathered together in support of a shared passion for an idea or project. Your community should serve a purpose to the people whom you wish will be joining.

Whether this purpose comes from the mission of a project that the community will be participating in, or if this is a community focused on education, art, plants, etc. Planning your strategy ahead can save you some time or headache, but be careful to not get stuck in the planning phase and move on to actually doing it.

Having a plan also includes having a strategy. You can open a server but having a strategy is important for keeping a structure along the process of growth. Here are some key thoughts when formulating your community strategy:

  • What your goals are as a leader?
  • What is the goal of the community?
  • How will you achieve the goals together?

2) Structure

Once you have your strategy, you will be able to put some structure to your young community. Now that you have the purpose of the community designated, you will most likely be moving onto a platform like Discord so that you can have a communal place to hang out and chat with your community members.

So what needs to be done to build this structure?

First, channels and their respective categories. Having many channels designated to certain discussion types or topics will help organize and corral your members into the right discussions. You can have categories like “official” which will hold your official links, announcements, and no-reply type posts. The server needs a general chat, a place for anyone and everyone to talk freely.

Here is some inspiration from our Discord for other types of channels.

Some of Beyond's Discord channels
Some of Beyond's Discord channels

Roles will also be important for the organization of your community. One reason why you should have at least a basic role is to be able to perform a verification process, which only works when you have a basic role to begin with and steps to achieve the “verified” level role.

Having a role attached gives a sense of belonging, you’re in the server and perhaps your role will give you some extra advantages. Lastly, roles are important for permissions, which can be very customizable, like gating content to members who have performed certain actions to receive an exclusive role.

3) Social media & growth

Ok so you’ve got your strategy, and you’ve built your server to the point where you can start welcoming your first members. At the moment, the best way to increase your audience is with traditional Web2 platforms like Twitter. It seems to be the most Web3-friendly platform, the first stop for any developing Web3 project.

Create your accounts, add your PFP and start looking for similar accounts, search the hashtags related to your community, and most consistent, valuable content. Being active in the beginning is the most important, a lot of us feel like we have to compete to get in front of the audience, but the key is consistency and showing up every day.

When you’ve got your first members in your community, there are a few hacks that you can use to incentivize people to share your server more. Invite contests are one way, if you’re able to give a reward or certain privilege to those who support and share more, then empower your members and let them create the network effect for you.

Forewarning though, beware of creating a community that is not engaged superfans, or growing too dense too fast and feeling intimidating to new members. There is a fine line to balance, and we encourage organic relationship building for growth. Nothing will beat cultivating and actually nurturing the relationships you build along your path.

Events, both virtual and IRL, can be huge catalysts to setting your community apart and building stronger connections. Twitter spaces are a great location when having a mutual conversation with another account. This can also cross-pollinate your audiences, their followers will be notified they are talking in your space and just might click on your account to follow.

Discord chats are nice for inter-community chats, it is easy for anyone to jump on the mic and hop into the conversation. You can choose between the stage, where you must be invited to speak, or the regular voice chat which holds up to 50 members at once. We’ve started hosting onboarding calls to welcome the new members which join. 1:1 conversations and small intimate group chats are a great way to break the ice and create a genuine connection for your community.

Join us on Twitter for our Spaces chats with Founders, Community Managers, and other leaders every Thursday at 4 PM UTC.

In Discord, we have our onboarding chats every Monday at 1:30 PM UTC and Wednesday at 5:00 PM UTC, as well as our Campfire Chats every Tuesday at 1:30 PM UTC.

4) Data + Analytics

We are working with communities, people, and personal connections, which at times can be a vague process. Even though this really just boils down to relationship building, it is still important on a personal level to function with the mental model of being data-driven.

Set up your data and analytics trackers, Discord offers an analytics dashboard that works well enough for now, but Beyond will be coming out with the next-level tech app for Discord! Twitter has analytics for your individual tweets as well, but we recommend searching for additional alternatives for tracking your audience.

The emphasis on keeping up with your data and analytics is to help you make more accurate decisions for your community. Any community builder’s objective is to build and optimize for the good of the members. The results from your analytics will always help you readjust and improve your initial strategy from step #1.

Be detail-oriented, notice the individuals who support you and are active, and enable them to be evangelists for your community. There will come a time when people will feel inclined to share and help you grow due to their connection to your community. If you host events, and people mark themselves as interested, but they don’t show up, feel free to reengage and show them that you care about them.

5) 1:1 Onboarding

We’ve made it through the building and setup of the server and can now welcome your community members.

Now that the gates are open you need to be there to greet them and introduce yourself. Especially in the very early stages, it is key to be connecting personally on a 1:1 level with your first collection of members.

Greet them in public, set up an introduction channel, and give the members very low-effort engagement opportunities. For even more effectiveness I would go as far as sending a private DM to each person who joins. I’m not saying that this is 100% accurate, as there are many cases of individuals who have closed their DMs due to the high number of scams.

Tying back to events, setting up onboarding calls, group ice-breakers, welcome sessions, or whatever you want to call it can be a great way for members to have a stress-free option to engage. Be abundant with it as well, they chose to come to you, and you need to respect their interests and give them plenty of options and chances to engage with you. Facilitate growth and serendipity.

If you manage to complete all 5 of these steps when launching your community, you will be on the path to having a happy and healthy community. It will take time, the beginning stages are a slow process and very tedious before scaling quickly.

It is important to be real and honest with your community, develop connections so that they naturally want to hang out on your server, and even become ambassadors.

I wish you the best of luck. We are building at full speed working tirelessly to provide you with a solution that will release a community’s full potential and give you the power of Web3.

Beyond is here for any questions you may have, stay connected with us for more educational content, lessons from founders, tips, and tricks regarding community building and to be one of the first community builders to get early access to Beyond!

- Kyle

You can find all of our upcoming events and important links here.

Subscribe to Beyond
Receive the latest updates directly to your inbox.
Mint this entry as an NFT to add it to your collection.
This entry has been permanently stored onchain and signed by its creator.