Every startup focuses on getting more customers. But it isn’t easy to convince these prospects to pay for a service that hasn’t proved itself in the market yet.
This is why having a community of potential customers is important. It creates a halo effect, which gives credibility to the product that you're selling.
Because so many individuals were using Avalon's community regularly, they started exploring our website and app. This led them to our paid offerings. Eventually, they'd pop in as inbound leads who wanted to buy our courses.
Community and value
Community is valuable. It brings like-minded people together, and often benefits everyone involved. However, building an online community that can be monetized is easier said than done. For people who put in blood, sweat and tears into building a community from scratch, it’s important to figure out how to make money out of it.
There are a number of different ways to make your community profitable - without compromising on the value you provide to members .
But before you take the leap and start your monetization journey, you have to make sure that you’re ready for this transition.
Wondering how to do this? Well, there are a number of benchmarks from social media organizations that can help you gauge whether a user will find your product valuable.
With Facebook, it was getting to your first 10 friends .
With Twitter, it was following seven accounts .
Keep in mind that you need to try and find your own metric that indicates long-term retention. Tracking the number of community members is nowhere near enough. This metric could involve downloading a resource or filling in a contact form. It’s completely up to you.
The number one hack to creating a thriving community is providing value to everyone around you.
Communities are not transactional, tit-for-tat relationships. Every member should feel like you’re giving them a highly exclusive membership, completely free of cost.
Through community, we've developed incredible relationships with some of the most influential people in the world. But seeing these people build relationships with each other has been even more fulfilling.
Don't push too hard
People generally join a free community to make connections. They definitely don’t come in with a purchasing mindset. This is why you need to be cautious when you start monetizing. If you start pushing products or sales hard, you stand a risk of losing valuable community members.
If your members feel like your community has pivoted from providing connection and information to selling a product, your community will lose its value-factor. Whatever monetization strategy you choose, make sure it's a natural fit for the community you've built and that what you're selling is something they'll want.
People will always be the most valuable asset a business can have. The more loyal followers you gather for your organization or brand, the more you can leverage their dedication and passion for your company.
Once you have a thriving community, there are dozens of great ways to monetize it, whether you choose to sell courses and coaching or you prefer to brand products and sell them online.
The key to success will be thinking about how you can successfully generate profit from your followers, without damaging the relationship you've built. Basically, you need to balance your brand reputation with your need to make an income.
Brand and Sales are inversely proportional.
A community manager can take up multiple paths to monetize his/her community without putting its value at risk. However, to make sure you’re ready for the transition, it would be a good idea to get some advice from experts. That’s where we come in. Reach out to us by clicking here.