If you take a closer look at things, things that have stayed for a long time are the ones that we look at with awe. We do so because building something for a lifetime has never been an easy job. Likewise building a sustainable community can be taxing. But with the right set of stones placed right, we can build a foundation that can set the path for a community to be sustainable.
But, what is sustainability in a community?
Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. Especially when it comes to community, you
Start —> Grow —-> Survive —--> Sustain
10 things to remember about sustainable community
We asked community builders and leaders about sustainable communities. And that’s how we came across amazing tips that you should keep in mind while building one for your organization.
#1 Your community onboarding is your community’s cornerstone - In a community, onboarding is very important. It is pertinent for one to make sure that the onboarding process is definitive, clear, and acts as a strong guide to direct members.
#2 Be the Sherlock Holmes who identifies the right members for your community - In order to grow your community sustainably, bringing the right set of people becomes vital. To achieve that: Locate - Identify - Filter - Nurture and repeat the cycle.
#3 Every single pixel comes together to be a big picture - To build a sustainable community, setting small achievable goals can be the right place to start. It is just impossible to reach the mountain top in one step from the ground, you need to take the needed steps to reach there.
#4 Make the community a Disneyland for your members - Members would stick to your community if you make the time they spend there worthwhile. Encourage sharing, create value, improve the experience, create connections and practice gratitude. Remember, how you make them feel does the magic.
#5 Knock negativity dead - Take a keen look at differentiating positive and negative practices in a community and put an end to those that spread negativity in your community.
#6 Lay the success stone for your members and they lay the foundation for your community - It is always better to do things together rather than alone. Make sure you create opportunities for your members to grow in your community. When they start seeing the growth they will take responsibility.
#7 Let the members take the center stage - Once members start finding value in the community, distribute responsibility. This, in the long run, will create a self-sustained community, where members will come forward and work towards the community on their own.
#8 Good things should be carried forward. Not all things - Not everything you do for your community works, let go of things that don’t and carry the things that your members love.
#9 ‘I’ can be a lonely place to be. ‘Us’ can be a beautiful place to be - Members join the community thinking “ I should grow” but when a member starts thinking like “ I need to share, help, give and we as a community should grow” the community will kick start towards being sustainable.
#10 It’s okay to be the turtle, remember, slow and steady wins the race - Sustainability is not about how fast you grow but how strong you grow and how long you can go. The graph of a sustainable community takes time to show enhanced growth. But, enhanced growth is the starting point for sustainability to breed.
Highlights from C3
Communities are made up of people who share the same values and drive the same emotional frequency. The focus of the community should be creating belonging and not just engagement. -Harshita
A community should be more active and social than others. New initiatives help with engagement and interaction within the community and are the first step to eliminating the fear of being judged. -Gowardhan
The relationship-building process is a big part of the onboarding process. Community engagement follows, resulting in a flood of good content. When you humanize the content and show the "behind the scenes" of your organization, they become more real. -Rasha
Taking your community to the path of sustainability takes time and effort. And people who do it are the ones who taste the fruit too. Practicing the above tips can set the path for your community towards sustainability.
The above tips are taken from our C3 conversations where people with experience in community building come and share their insights. A Huge thanks to Gowardhan Doddi, Harshitha Reddy, Neel Dhamelia, Piyush Gautam, Khyati Arora, Chhavi Garg, and Meet Shah who gave amazing insights and inspired us to write those down as a blog.
Oh by the way, if you have any questions related to community-building, or you are a community enthusiast waiting to ask your questions, then do join our Community cold coffee community and ask your questions on our AMA session. We would totally love to have you as a part of our community and will be hyped to catch you there!
Last but not least, we would love to have you as a part of our Community & cold coffee – we are a bunch of zealots who love to have some fun and tectonic conversations.