Are you the only leader that your online community has?
If your answer is a yes, it’s time to look back at your community management and engagement strategies.
To witness growth sustainably and consistently, your community should be able to empower leaders from within the community. However, it is perhaps a fact that a growing online community is the result of the collaborative effort of both members and the brand.
So, what is the right way to identify, onboard, and train new leaders in your online community? And what is the right way to design your community leadership program? Let’s dive in to find out.
The 3 Phases of Onboarding Community Leaders
Community leadership onboarding can be dissected into 3 phases. By leveraging this framework, you can add more leaders to your community in a simple way.
- Identification: In order to create a community leadership program, you must first identify your potential leaders. You can do this by selecting the most active community members. You can approach them by creating an application and requesting them to fill out their details in lieu of incentives. Based on the responses that you receive, you can conduct interviews to explain the role and the responsibilities.
- Onboarding: Now that you have selected your community leaders, it’s time to give them a warm welcome. In case they’re joining a pre-existing leadership program, ensure that you introduce them to the current leaders and the guidelines to follow. You can also consider assigning a buddy for your community leader. This will enable the leader to draw a clear understanding of the program and create a bond with the members of the community.
- Offering Value: Ensure that your community leaders, whether in the same leadership program or different, don’t develop a feeling of competition with each other. They should be able to view the leadership program as an ecosystem that’s targeted toward achieving the same business goals. Also, it is extremely important to reward your community leaders for the unique ideas that they bring in to improve the community. This will not only keep them motivated but also increase community participation and engagement.
Your leadership program can vary depending upon how seriously your members contribute to their responsibilities. Ensure that you keep other community members ready in the pipeline to hop in whenever required.
Here’s a pro tip: You must nurture your potential community leaders to make the process flow naturally. The more comfortable your members are, the easier will it be for a natural turnover whenever necessary.
How Should You Design Your Leadership Programs?
The most critical components of community leadership programs can be broken down into 5 elements. Namely-Who, Why, What, Where, and When. Let’s understand how they contribute to shaping your community leadership program –
1. Who: Do you know the right audience for your leadership program? This is the most important question that you must ask yourself while creating a leadership program. Define who you will be invited to the leadership program and if they will be able to deepen member participation.
2. What: Now that you’ve identified your community leaders. It’s time to create a leadership program and acquaint them with it. Analyze what the program should look like and what will be the role of the leaders. Also, clarify the objective of the program for expectation setting. It could be improving your products and services, onboarding more members, improving the sales funnel, etc.
3. Where: Where will you kick off your community leadership program? This depends on what type of community platform you’re using. You can experiment with a different community platform but ensure that you do it with members who actually contribute towards making your community super engaged.
4. When: When should you launch your leadership program? At what intervals should you appoint community leaders to manage the program? How will you monitor their progress & contribution? These are some questions that you must think of before kicking off your community leadership program.
5. Why: Designing your community leadership program can have many hiccups. And while doing it, you must highlight the main purpose of creating the program and the goals that you achieve. Identify the reason your members would want to invest their time and effort in this program, and how will your business benefit from this investment, and then proceed.
By identifying the 5 W’s, it’ll become easier for you to lay out a structure for your leadership program.
Your leaders can become the face of your online community. By investing in community leadership programs, you can increase brand loyalty and grow your customer base. A well-structured online community leadership program will enable you to win your customer’s trust, convert potential customers into leads, and increase ROI.
Wish to Create a Robust Leadership Program for Your Online Community? Talk to Us!
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