There are an endless number of ways to start your online community before you graduate. Here are 12 ideas to get you started. Why is this important? If you’re going to graduate soon, you’ll want to create an online community to share your skills, look for a job, have employers find you, and connect with like-minded people who have the same interests.
- Organize a coffee meeting – Invite six to eight people for coffee. The next time invite eight to ten, then ten to twelve, and so forth. Eventually, begin booking your venue.
- Email list – Email six people who have shown an interest in your business goals or interests. Introduce them to each other and gradually grow your newsgroup.
- Develop an authority – Become a highly visible community member by participating, building relationships, and creating content for at least three months. Then branch out on your own.
- Advertise for new members – State that you want to start your own online community and advertise for members. Set a limit and when that has been achieved, then stop. Use your website to advertise.
- Take advantage of Facebook – Use Facebook to launch a group that’s controversial. Send a message to people you think would find interest in what you have to share. It will spread like wildfire if it even involves a little controversy.
- Contact people who are provoked – If you can find a dozen people who are mad about an issue that’s relevant on blogs, forums, etc., then Introduce them to each other, and move them over to your own community.
- Build niches – If you launch tiny niche communities on LinkedIn, Myspace, Flickr, Facebook, Google+, etc., connect them together under one large community.
- Add members and then let them know – Set up accounts for members and then drop them an email that invites them. Tell them if they do not claim their account within a certain number of days, they will lose it.
- Get a VIP to create your community – If you can convince a well-known person to launch your online community while you work in the background, your community will grow quickly.
- Connect your staff to your customers – Introduce the people who use your products or share your interests to your key staff. Repeat this process frequently and invite those customers to invite their friends.
- Automate your system – Have someone write a program that will automatically send out an email to anyone who mentions your group or your products on Twitter and invite them to join your online community.
- Ask questions – Ask the tough questions on sites like LinkedIn relating to your industry and then go through the answers, and invite those who provided the best ones to join your online community.
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