The WORST Mistake You Can Make as a First-Time Community Builder

April 28, 2023

The worst mistake you can make as a community builder is to grow your community from the inside — especially if it’s a private community. Let me explain.

Most founders and community builders try to grow their community members by focusing on internal campaigns such as community giveaways, and AMAs, and though they work in making the community healthier, they’re not growing the right metric.

Community growth =/= Community engagement

Community growth is not equal to community engagement. Community growth is the driver of new community members (the conversation here is more of, did we grow the community from 0 to 100? 100 to 1000? 1000 to 100,000?), while community engagement is the driver of participation (From the 100 people who joined, how many are actively participating).

Most founders and community builders are only able to do the latter, and community engagement will not cause your community membership to grow.

In fact, the 30+ communities that we’ve developed across different niches from Web3, DeFi, NFT, marketing, freelancing, personal development, and other niches (with more than 3M community members cumulatively) weren’t grown inside the community — they were acquired in other social media platforms, and converted from followers to community members. Simply because you can’t focus on acquiring new community members if you’re just focusing on community engagement.

As such, community building is divided into two key metrics: 1.) community growth, and 2.) community engagement.

Community growth asks, “How can we grow our community members?” On the contrary, community engagement asks, “How can we keep our community members engaged and active, but also moderated and managed. From these, it just follows that community growth is driven by external social media campaigns (i.e., campaigns that happen outside the community), and community engagement is driven by internal social media campaigns (i.e., campaigns that happen inside the community)

P.S. If you reached this point in the article, you get a free copy of my community growth and community engagement stack campaigns, just send the word “COMMUNITY BUIDLER” on my DMs on my official social media platforms and I’ll send them to you!

As a full-stack Web3 marketer, I argue that community building is the highest form of marketing as its the combination of user acquisition, user engagement, and content creation (i.e., making sure that the people who joined the community actually stay by continuously providing value) — and it is perhaps, one of the hardest forms of marketing to master.

Community builders should remember that community building requires a two-pronged approach in order to grow. Most communities remain stuck under the 1000 community member mark, because they fail to promote the community outside of the community. Community builders are often challenged with being “too stuck” inside their platform that they forget to market their community elsewhere.

So if you’re a founder, and you’re looking to hire someone to build your community for you, make sure to ask for their community growth and community engagement campaigns so you get the most value for the services that you’ll be given.

When we hire in our agency, this is a community building mistake that even community managers with results have, which is why a great metric to know if a community builder or manager has the right formulas is if they have more than just 1 successful community case study under their belt.

To conclude, community building requires social media campaigns outside of the community to actually grow the community. The goal is to engage people in the brand’s social media platforms and convert them from followers to community members, to users (if applicable), and then paying customers. Without campaigns outside the community, community builders will not be able to grow the numbers necessary for scaling. Community engagement, on the other hand, is a different ball game, and that requires founders and builders to continuously show up and add value to the community, and that’s reserved for another article.

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