Hi folks! In response to a recent discussion that was posted by @Bella about Udemy instructors who host a support group for the students (on Facebook or some other platform) here’s a few tips on how to build a reasonably sustainable online community.
In case you’re interested, my qualifications are a 65,000+ member FB group, a 1500+ member subscription community, and a Discord channel with 12,000+ members … oh, and 550,000 students just on Udemy alone.
Please let me declare here that I'm definitely no expert, but here are a few of the most important lessons I've learned along the way so far:
Tip 1. Posting Consistency.
Keep on investing and contributing value even if no one responds (especially in the early days).
Tip 2. Experimentation.
Try new things, don't fret about making errors and never stagnate. Different people will engage with different types of content.
Tip 3. Humility.
Healthy communities are built on a foundation of shared purpose and unity. False expertise, fake positivity, enthusiasm and ‘guru’ culture will never sustain.
Tip 4. Transparency.
Just be honest, be who you are, and don't try to be a guru. Remain entirely genuine and take ownership of the times you screw up and make mistakes. (I once messed up BIGSTYLE on a FB live and lost 5000+ members overnight!)
Tip 5. Health.
Within your group, remain focused on what's good, accurate, healthy, and what will empower other people the most. NEVER allows your group members to determine the purpose or tone of the group - you’ll see quality and standards take a nosedive VERY quickly, which will undermine your reputation and credibility.
As with all people group, learning communities need influential leaders who are motivated more by purpose than by profits.
And lastly, if the leadership isn’t strong, the community won't be either. I hope this post lands someplace useful for you!