There are a few things to consider before deciding whether or not to offer an online community as part of your membership site.
Let’s start the discussion by listing eight reasons why communities are valuable.
Positive aspects of having an online community
An online community can provide several benefits for both you and your members, including:
1. A Sense of Belonging – Online communities can help people feel like they belong to something larger than themselves. The sense of belonging is especially beneficial for people who might not have much opportunity to interact with others.
2. Social Support – online communities can provide an excellent way for members to support each other. Whether offering advice, sharing resources, or just providing a shoulder to cry on, online communities can be a powerful tool for social support.
3. Connection and Camaraderie – Besides social support, online communities can provide a sense of connection and camaraderie. The power of connection can be especially beneficial for people who struggle with specific topics discussed in the community or can also help new members who are not clear about how to get the most out of the membership.
4. A Place to Share Knowledge – online communities can be a great place to share knowledge and expertise. Online communities can be valuable if you’re looking for advice on fixing a broken website or want to learn the best way to start a business.
5. A Place to Connect With Like-Minded People – online communities can provide a great way to connect with people who share your interests and passions. Having a place filled with Like-Minded folks can help find new friends, business partners, investors, contributors, employees, etc.
6. A Method of Marketing and Promotion – online communities can also be a great way to market and promote your products or services. Online communities can be a great way to reach new customers if you have a business.
7. A Way to Make Money – online communities can also be a great way to Make Money. Some ways to monetize an online community include charging for additional 1-1 coaching, private events, challenges, summits, selling advertising, or offering paid content or services.
8. Increased Exposure – online communities can also provide increased exposure for you and your business. Online communities can be a great way to drive traffic to your site if you have a blog or website. Word of mouth from community members can also gradually boost your growth.
Challenges or Cons of having an online community
1. It Takes Time to Nurture – online communities take time to nurture and grow. Unlike other membership features that you can activate or deploy with a button, online communities require thought, care, and attention to detail.
2. You Need to Be an Active Participant – online communities require you to be active. You’ll need to interact with members regularly to get the most out of your community.
3. Online Communities Can Be Emotional – online communities can be emotional. Members will share their triumphs and tragedies with the group, and it’s essential to be prepared to offer support when needed.
4. You Might Not Have Enough Members Yet– one of the biggest challenges of online communities is that you might not have enough members. Getting people to join an online community can be difficult, and even more challenging to get them to participate regularly.
5. You Might Have Too Many Members – on the flip side, you might have too many members already paying for your membership. If your online community becomes too large, keeping track of all the conversations and ensuring everyone feels heard can be challenging.
6. Constant content generation for your members – most of the time, the engine of your community will be your content, keep in mind that you do not need to deliver a new course or blog post every day. However, you’ll need to plan your weekly or monthly content to create a routine among your members and maintain consistency and a solid community structure.
7. Prepare yourself to resolve conflicts and keep the place safe– Negative posts or comments can become part of your daily bread. This situation might happen if there are no clear guidelines and a code of conduct agreed by your members when joining your community. However, It’s essential to be prepared to deal with acid posts constructively.
8. You Might Need to Hire Help – online communities can be a lot of work, and you might need to hire help to keep up with the demands of moderating and managing the community.
An online community can provide an excellent way for members to connect, collaborate, and support each other. This sense of community can be a strong selling point for your membership site.
People are social creatures and crave connection. By offering an online community, you’re giving members the chance to form bonds and relationships with each other. Connections can make them more likely to stay active in your community and less likely to cancel their membership.
A supportive online community can also be a valuable resource for members struggling with the content or material in your course. By asking questions and getting help from their peers, they’re more likely to stick with it and see results.
Another factor to consider is the level of engagement you want from your members. If you are looking for a more hands-on, active community, you will need to put in more effort to cultivate and grow that community. But if you are looking for a more passive level of engagement, then an online community may not be the best fit.
And finally, you need to consider the time and resources you have to invest in an online community. Building and maintaining a thriving online community takes dedication and effort. If you don’t have the time or resources to commit to it, it’s probably not worth offering as part of your membership site.
So those are a few things to consider before deciding whether or not to offer an online community as part of your membership site. Weigh the pros and cons carefully to see if it’s right for you and your members.
Now, it’s your turn to let me know in the comments what your take on this is?
All in and ready to start preparing for the launch of your new community?
If that’s a YES, then ensure to click the image below and sign up for my FREE workshop about onboarding your new community members.