One of the most difficult things to do when you start your own community is delegate. If you feel like a serial micromanager all the time, then trust me, it’s normal. But a community isn't a community unless it's organizing itself. You need to hire people who can handle things when you’re not available. You need to shift the spotlight towards other people!
I agree, It might seem counterintuitive to give your super powers to someone else. But, handing over the megaphone is exactly what you have to do.You need to put in efforts to find new stories from the members of your community.
You can derive two-fold benefits from idea:
- It’ll make your community more appealing for the potential new-joiners.
- It’ll reemphasize the value of top-notch participation, motivating existing members to contribute more.
Hiring the right person
You can't be what you can't see. A steady pulse in storytelling is required to show that your community is alive and vibrant.
A key tip to make sure that you handover the special megaphone to the right person is to look for exceptional users. When hiring community managers, be on the hunt for someone who has all the qualities of a great leader. You need to excel at identifying people who need to be elevated.
The ability to tell and write the story is as important as knowing what’s worth making a story about.
You can also ask your community manager to fetch a few accounts they would like to bring in the limelight, and why. Another thing you can do is tell them to write a short story that could fit in a blog.
Giving up some level of control is important to get rewarded in community goodness. Duolingo’s community events are a natural extension of their main idea. They organize over 500 meetups every month. Here, people who live nearby and want to work on their language skills come together.
Now, just think, how many people Duolingo would need if it ran those events on its own. The only way to make this kind of growth and reach possible is to let community members take initiative. Let them organize events, even if they’re not always 'on-brand' or aligned to the team's vision.
Build a sandbox for your enthusiasts.
You need to give people the required space and freedom to make something that's their own. However, there should also be some fundamental constraints - it's a sandbox, not a beach.
In other words, when asking someone to organize a meetup, you have to give them all the resources they’d need to run it smoothly and make sure they don’t feel controlled or restricted. You have to believe that groups can do a lot more than what you can ordinarily imagine.
When’s the right time?
Scaling your reach can be made easier when you already have hundreds or thousands of advocates and organizers.
You would have to pass on the torch at some point or the other, if you want to expand globally or even sustain the magic of your existing group. Growing together involves taking the leadership throne to create more future leaders.
Empowering others to walk the same path as yours is scary and risky, but it is also what would make your community more powerful. Encourage hand-raisers to lead the way and spread out ownership. Make changes, big and small, to supercharge your community members’ efforts and celebrate their accomplishments.
A group of extra-passionate leaders has the potential to make scalable impacts by acting as catalysts. Although rare, they accelerate a community's ability to fulfill its purpose. You have to identify such standout leaders, and give them the support they need to fly.
Growing a community isn't about management. It's about developing leaders. You need to shift your focus from lighting the fire to passing the torch. Your community depends on it. If you want help in creating a community that can fulfill its own purpose. Reach out to us by clicking here.