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Tanmay BhatiaCommunity Manager
Sunday, April 14 2024

How to build and manage private online communities for businesses and organizations?

What is a private community?

A private community is a group of individuals who share common interests, goals, or characteristics and have chosen to come together in a space that is not accessible to the general public. The community can be formed for various purposes, such as social, professional, or educational reasons.

The members of a private community typically have exclusive access to the community's resources, discussions, events, and activities. The community may be online or offline, and access may be restricted by invitation only or through a membership application process.

Private communities can provide a sense of belonging, support, and collaboration among members who share similar values or goals. They can also be used to foster deeper relationships and trust among members who have a shared interest or cause. Examples of private communities include professional associations, alumni networks, online forums, and social clubs.

An overview of privately owned vs. closed communities

It's important to note that the term "private community" can have different meanings depending on the context. In the context of online communities, some people use the term to refer to communities that are privately owned, whereas others use it to refer to communities that are closed or gated.

When referring to a privately owned community, it typically means that the community is hosted on a platform that is owned and operated by the community owner, rather than by a third-party company. For example, using an instance of community software like Discourse, whether it's an open or closed community, would be considered a privately owned community because the community owner owns the data and operates the platform.

On the other hand, a closed or gated community refers to a community that has restricted access and is only available to a select group of people. This can be achieved through invitation-only access or a membership application process, for example. Closed communities can be hosted on a privately owned platform or on a third-party platform, depending on the community owner's preferences.

Basics of getting a private online community started!

You're now prepared to create a private community, which is fantastic! This information will help you get started.

1.Define the product

When creating a closed group, it's essential to establish a clear understanding of the product you are offering. Although it may not always involve monetary transactions, a community is still a product that you are marketing to a particular audience.

The most crucial step in this process is defining the value proposition of the community. You should be able to answer the question, "What benefits will members receive by joining this community?" Will members have access to a premium platform with exclusive content and closer interaction with you as a content creator? Will they be able to connect and build relationships with like-minded individuals who are also learning and growing in a shared space? Will they receive personalized advice or support for a specific issue they are facing?

Defining the value proposition of the community is crucial in attracting and retaining members. It sets clear expectations for what members can expect to gain from being a part of the community and helps ensure that you are delivering on your promises.

2.Choose the right platform

Other choices, such as the methods of payment or the community's structure and      membership experience, are influenced by the location of the community. Choose your community platform once you've developed your value proposition. Some private communities use chat for quick, in-the-moment contact. Some opt for a forum like Discourse that may be made private. Consider your audience when making any decisions. Now, where are they? Is it too much to ask them to use this platform? Does the platform's design enable you to achieve your goal?

These are crucial questions to consider when choosing a platform because the answers can greatly affect how successful your efforts are.

3.Decide on a membership mechanism

This step is directly related to #2, as we've just covered, because your preferred community platform may affect the alternatives you have opened to you. Membership systems can be as simple as invite-only forums or as complicated as custom-built systems.

4.Get things set up

Once the necessary infrastructure has been put in place, it's time to establish your town. Start by considering some of the interactions you want new community members to have once they join up.

How to structure talks is a problem for new communities. While some order is essential for assisting users in understanding the appropriateness of certain topics, the excessive organization can initially prevent users from participating. Instead of talking, they run into the paradox of where to start a fresh topic and probably don't do it at all. It's ideal to have minimal organization at first and let new topic buckets naturally arise as the community expands.

5.Invite beta community members

You should always start a community with some activity already going on. A new member will feel duped and probably request a refund if they pay your monthly price, check-in, and discover that nothing has been written. Instead, it will be simpler for that person to join in straight away if others are already conversing.

Why do you do this? Begin by encouraging your most engaged audience members to sign up as beta testers, either for free or at a reduced cost. On your community platform, encourage them to register, log in, hang around, initiate conversations, and interact with one another. This group will be able to highlight what functions well and poorly so you can adjust before releasing.

6.Launch and promote

Start accepting registrations on launch day! Make sure to remain active during the procedure to assist new members with any problems they encounter. Respond to queries. Be cordial. Foster relationships between people. Have fun, too!

It's crucial to have a strategy in place for marketing your community over the coming weeks and months so that potential members can find it. The natural entry points, like Google searches, won't exist because it's closed. Make note of it in your videos if you're a YouTuber. Automate marketing for a coach by distributing an email campaign to fresh list members. Set up a location where your audience will notice it wherever they congregate.

7. Nurture, iterate, and grow

Your community will develop and expand over time. The requirements of the people in your community will alter. Something could malfunction. That's alright. It's typical. It's crucial to adopt an iterative mentality throughout that process and make adjustments as you go. Make sure your members can provide you with feedback on what is and isn't functioning. For this, a specific category works nicely. Keep a careful eye on this and take action to address any issues. This fosters more community connections and trust with you, both of which are crucial for long-term success.

Get started with your private community 

The goal of building a community is to bring people together and having a private area can only deepen the bonds that already exist. When people are confident that what is said will remain private, they feel more at ease being genuine and honest.

Join our private community today and connect with like-minded individuals who share your interests! With exclusive access to members-only events, discussions, and resources, you'll be able to grow your network and learn from others in your field. Don't miss out on this opportunity to join a supportive and engaging community. Sign up now with NbliK!

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