I am looking for tips from CMs who have moved from being a private/member-only community (in my case, for a non-profit association) to being a public community that anyone can join (discussions and resources are profession related, but no process is in the plan for confirming new users are in a related job role).
How do you keep engagement up and not alienate the members of the community who joined when they had to pay to participate? The decision to move to public has already been made by the board, so I need to make it work and be successful!
There are currently about 4,500 paying members who get access to the online community - the plan is to open it up to the public and that would potentially allow in closer to 400,000 (or more!) non-paying users (and members would no longer have to pay after this year to access the community - but they built it to make it as active as it is today and their information and all past discussions are archived in the community and would become publicly visible…) and I’m really worried about trust issues from the core base of users within the existing 4500 members who have been paying for this access for years…
Thanks for and help/advice/tips!