Thanks Richard (I’ll try to respond to Nick And Sarah in this post as well).
I have 35+ years background in for-profit and nonprofit marketing, media, creative development, and business building, but very little in developing online communities. I just read your whitepaper (The Proven Path) …wow, great guide!
The present target audience profile is a professional or semi-professional life coach applying their training to multiple areas of focus: personal and organizational coaching, different fields (such as education, nonprofit, church and ministry, business, family, etc.). Though we also want the initial community to be open (or open to be invited in) to non-coaches who wish to engage and learn alongside coaches (typically, teachers, homeschool moms, pastors, counselors, CEO’s, managers, etc.).
The host organization has a 25-year history, strong reputation. We have a good international database (numbering in the thousands) at different levels of current engagement. These are folks that are very focused on helping people, being agents of change, love meaningful conversation… almost all have gone through some level of coach training, and wish to apply the practice of inside-out coaching to their areas of focus.
We’d like to create a self-organizing international “mastermind” of sorts to share experiences, goals, ideas, and practices, and connect those with likeminded dreams. I tend to think of organizing a marketing system like an engagement funnel, but I realize an online community becomes more like a place, a destination. But I wonder how a system can be designed to reach an international audience at the widest level of interest, but give opportunity to self-organize and spin off into niche areas interest, while still maintaining a coherent identity.
Has there ever been a discussion along the line of creating a community as part of a wider support system (using other tools)? Is there a discussion about the pros and cons of Facebook integration?
We have a Team with good, complimentary skills. We were in the process of setting up private Facebook Group. The pluses we see with FB is international familiarity, part of “most” people’s established daily routine, ease of use, target marketing, media posting, etc. One big drawback is no subgroups as well as the others you all mention (search, ownership, data-mining, etc.).
Is there any stats available on the difference between the member size of successful Facebook Group communities versus other platforms?
As a newbie question, if it is best to take this to a new discussion thread, how do it do that and connect you who have been so kind to offer advice?