or how to understand what is mission critical.
I hope you have a great day. You're probably doing the same things as I do, working on your community engagement and doing a lot of 1 - 1 interactions. This post is written for the people that take responsibility for their community, as a whole.
Let's say you have a business and you want to increase revenue.
You're the owner and you've been the owner for 3,4,5 or even 6+ years.
The forum is active.
You get revenues.
Maybe even profit. Or a lot of it. You send out the occasional newsletter or spam your userbase daily.
Whatever works for you.
So what is the one thing you need to be doing today in order to increase your revenue tomorrow? Is it really that linear. Input 1 x , get 1 y. No...
No, it isn't. So how to analyse your business (remember it's not you, it's a separate entity) so you can disrupt it and grow it in a better, more sustainable way?
I'm going for the story that everybody understands.
You start to add a constraint, limit or bottleneck to the operations.
Let's imagine you run a community with >1000 Monthly active members.
Now you add the first constraint, time. e.g. you can only spend 20% of the time you used to invest in the business.
Out goes the bullshit and non-critical activities you were doing. e.g. reading all posts, looking at analytics for more than 5 minutes a day and "thinking".
okay now we start to become effective. Trust me users will love the new you.
Next contstraint will feel like a sacrifice, but in fact it will increase your effectiveness even more.
Your time constrant drop again, lets say 50%. (So it's now 10% of what you used to have)
That means panic. You aren't used to this. You're sure quality will drop. Users will leave. All the regular worries you had will come true.
But you have a team, remember? Somebody that works with you. Your other community manager, developer, freelancer or fan of the topic.
They will be your rock. You communicate that you move from 100% towards 10% of the time you can spend on the business. Ask them if they can prioritize whatever you were doing. Then pick the things that are really critical to the business.
These tasks are your bridge of trust. They are in good in hands now.
Now you have saved up all unnecassary waste and you've gained so much spare time.
Which is the thing that you're going to invest.
- Take this time to relax, come back refreshed and build the business as if you were new to it.
- Start to make a funnel
- Research what the core group of users / customers wants
- Research secundary things that they want
- Start to add the time back in your schedule, start with moving from 10% towards 20%.
FYI: the time should be used to increase your service to this core group of users
- Get used to a much higher NPS and demand your team to be more critical on everything
- Start adding back more time untill 100%
- Repeat for every couple of months.
Let me know if it's easy to understand?