If you are building a community, what's one lesson you learned the hard way?

Sharath Kuruganty
27 replies


Tarun Karthikeyan
1. That it takes time. More than you think. Every follower, every member is hard earned despite what the exceptional stories of virality may lead you to believe. 2. If you're building a social/community based product - create products that are not wholly community dependent. Sounds counter-intuitive, but apart from the Big Social Media, people come for the utility and stay for the community. The latter rarely comes without the former. Example: we offer utilities very specific to movies and shows such as recommendation games, making movies/show lists etc. 3. That you will not be able to please all members of your community no matter how much you want to. Know who you're building for and focus on them.
@tarun_karthikeyan Your second point is what I needed to hear man. Thank you so much for saying this.
Rajat Dangi 🛠️
Putting lots of people within one slack, discord, or WhatsApp group doesn't turn them into a community. It requires careful planning, events, participation from the members, and a common goal among the community members.
Emily Giddings
That it's about 3 things no matter what: 1. Giving massive value. We give everything to the underrepresented tech job-seekers on our TalentList to help them land more valuable jobs. The massive value via our interview/resume/imposter syndrome workshops and Hiring Mixers inspires them to start showing up in our Slack community, sharing resources, and connecting others to opportunities. 2. Being Real. We skip being fake and get right to being real, because nothing is more boring than a stiff company trying to drum up conversation. It doesn't come across as authentic. 3. Being Consistent (and being dedicated to the long haul). If you don't have a grand vision for what you're building with your community, you'll run out of steam when it's in the early stages. To really grow, you have to be consistent and share the vision. At LessonsUp, we're growing a two-sided community of underrepresented tech-talent that we connect with SMB/Startup Leaders and Founders who know that hiring a diverse team leads to the innovation that helps companies grow and scale. After all, hiring a team with the same pedigrees and background = the same ideas and problem-solving skillset. Mixing it up with diverse skillsets and experience brings a flood of innovation and perspective. Good luck to everyone growing a community! If you're job-seeking in tech or looking to connect with tech talent to help you grow your company, connect with us! :-)
@emily_rose_giddings This is such lovely insight! Thanks!
I think the most important lesson for me is that it is necessary to be patient and consistent. But building a community is definitely pays off in a long-term perspective.
Maxwell Davis
Hey @tiagorbf you've probably got some good insights for this!
Abraham Samma
It's about building conversations and relationships with others. Its not always about you. So, participate in conversations as an equal, and don't just take the center stage and insist on being the conductor. That'll come naturally as you gain clout.
Imtiyaz - Curatora.io
I think the key is persistence and one value that keeps your community members active. And of course building community is not an easy job.
I am really interested in someone explaining to me, how people can have 5000+ tweets just in a span of 10months to one year !! I know Automation works, but this is insane... My question though is does it really work posting soooo many tweets on Twitter? Is just all about reach? I feel PH is really about community building whereas Twitter is more about marketing. Both are incredibly hard and need a lot of planning.effort and consistency and some tactics along the way. Like i mostly re-tweet with a comment trying to add more value to the original tweet itself. In PH i try to ask questions, but well rarely get too many engagements :) So instead i try and participate in every discussion thread by Sharath !!
Mara Sy
@nilova_pande I find that discussions on Twitter (via replies) is a form of building a community! Being able to exchange thoughts to anyone on a platform that's so public is another type of experience. I see a people with big followings throw out questions to initiate discussions. They can be really engaging!
This is what i recently wrote in my blog at @qinapsworkbooks about community and growth tools for early stage start-uppers! https://qinaps.com/win-with-thes... Platform-based communities Producthunt – We received our beta testers and first 100 users from Product Hunt and a huge boost to our incoming traffic. It’s the best platform for entrepreneurs to learn about new products and apps. Discuss directly with the founders, up-vote upcoming products, connect and communicate with the extremely helpful community, grow your followers and learn faster collectively. IndieHackers – a must-use and must-know site for hacking your growth. It provides great tips and tricks summarised to your inbox on a weekly basis right from the horse’s mouth. Twitter: I don’t think I need to say anything about this wildly successful platform. However, a few tips I learned along the way might be useful. Try to be consistent with your posts. As the target audience is 18-33 years old, keeping us interested is going to be a challenge! there are plenty of them freely available with reduced functionalities of course. Follow, share content coming from influencers in your niche. And try to value add with every tweet and re-tweet. Embed images, polls, and videos for best results. Try scheduler apps as consistency is the key!
Stefani Kovachevska
Listen. If you have a great product that addresses a problem, the community probably exists elsewhere. Don't get lost in inventing. Go for the most natural way to centralize it. It's about how they want it, not how you've imagined it. Value comes first, your product/service is three ladders down. Put yourself into their shoes - what would you like to read and discuss? Raise meaningful questions that empower or solve challenges, ask for feedback, praise innovation. And ideally, start with a plan flexible to adapt over time.
Rick Turoczy
@stefani_kovachevska I love this. I'm always trying to remind folks that the community already exists, you just either haven't found it or it's not self-aware that it's a community yet.
Kevin Newsum
@stefani_kovachevska Great point. There is something to be said about first meeting people where they are
Alyona Voloshyna
Be patient and don't compare your community to others It is always tempting to compare your community to others in the same field. You shouldn't do this, as it only distracts. After all, you don't want to build exactly the same community as your competitors, you need to offer people something unique. Keeping an eye on other communities and keeping up with them is certainly helpful. But don't copy them. You shouldn't worry about them; it's better to concentrate on what you're creating. Forget about the number of participants in your community - that number doesn't reflect how strong and successful the community is.
Evgeniy Yakubovskiy
Once you've created promotions and other marketing materials for your community, you need to make sure you're getting the right level of engagement. You need to make sure that your players are interested in what you offer. The worst thing you can do here is to ignore the engagement . Just because you think promotion might be a good idea doesn't mean it will work in practice. You have to make sure you're creating content that your subscribers want to interact with. An aloof community won't produce the results you want. To be able to get conversions, clicks and other important metrics, you need to make sure that you are developing your community correctly.
Abhishek N
Be consistent in sharing value 🤘
Joe Toledano
Major shoutout to everyone who contributed on this thread! We're just getting started and y'all have all been incredibly helpful
Anil Singh Negi
Building a community for a solution starts with a problem from stepping one step ahead from the last step. Implementation is the beginning of problems where we meet new challenges while working on a project or plan. Building a community from the idea stage to reality needs much patience, research, and alot of things to implement every day in life and into your product or services. It's all about connecting with the last click of life!
Mayank Bishwas
Nothing new. Yet worth repeating: spamming is not appreaciated. Anywhere. Put in the effort to understand your audience and approach them with humility. After all, we don't like when we spammed. Safe to say they won't like being spammed by you either.
Lauren Benzie
The time commitment behind consistently creating content that is valuable to your community so that they are engaged and keep coming back to you.
Wow, thanks for asking this man @5harath This forum turned out super helpful for me as I am about to launch my own social learning app called Damnnnn (https://damnnnn.com). The core of the relies on community building & network effect. Every insight here seems super valuable and gave me a perspective to optimize the platform to adapt to how we build a community. Absolutely the most valuable forum I had read today. Thanks, everyone out here.
Ben Cotte
Do community discovery first. And answer the question: "do I want to lead this community?".
Jaka Godejša
I think building a community is the definition of: Do things that don't scale! You have to put energy in every member to onboard them and design spaces for them to engage. Only in later stages, you can hope that the community flywheel will do its job and members will interact with each other.