I hope you all had a happy New Year and festive period.
I wanted to quickly highlight how the past year went for us and what’s coming up this yer.
I haven’t checked in with our accountant yet, but I think we’ve just had our most successful calendar year ever. This was largely due to a much smaller team and a focus on what we do best; training & consultancy work.
This meant a LOT of high-level consultancy and training work with some really amazing brands (Apple, SAP, Okta, HP, MSE, Which? and many others). During that time we also published a book, spoke at events across several continents, and published the biggest list of community examples around.
It was exciting, hectic, and generally a success. This came at a cost in two very obvious areas; FeverBee Experts and third party projects. I didn’t have the time to be as active here as I would’ve liked and had to turn down almost every opportunity to participate in webinars/content projects by third parties. More on both of them shortly.
This year our plan is to continue to focus on three areas that really matter to people managing communities:
Strategy (everything from planning, resource allocation, member segmentation, emotional drivers, roadmaps, gaining support and everything you’ve seen covered in our courses)
Community experience (community design, optimization, onboarding, gamification, MVP programs, implementation, migration etc… etc…)
Training (benchmarking, resources, online/offline courses)
We’re already working on some big content projects with the above focuses on mind. This is an area I’m pretty excited about. If you fancy volunteering some time to help out, please drop us a line. We have plenty of fun projects to be involved with. I’ll probably be doing less speaking events this year (and hopefully a little less travel).
We’re also at the stage of making a decision about the future of FeverBee Experts. For most of the past year, I’ve been happy to let people engage as befits them and have a less busy place than other areas. Recently, activity has dropped somewhat which suggests it’s not offering anywhere near enough value to keep going as it is. We could close it, but I’d rather not do that.
This generally leaves us around three options (some of which you’ve heard before).
Experts/Exclusive community. Narrow the focus to those who match a criteria of being community experts. This would make more business sense, but enters a more crowded space and doesn’t lead to a direct benefit. It would also means a lot of newcomers would miss out.
Paid membership community. I’ve been dabbling with the developing a membership community which would include access to our courses, a private community, and a panel of paid top experts to answer questions on the key areas of community covered above - perhaps along with a lot of our resources we have in the pipeline now. The downside is we wouldn’t be able to offer those same resources for free and support the same number of people.
New focus for the community. I’m tempted to zero in on a specific area or activity of community. For example, technology, strategy, or creating something completely unique. More a goal-setting/progress following community with mentorships etc. These is probably the most flexibility with this idea.
I’m open to all three options and will probably make a decision over the next few weeks.
I’m probably going to keep turning down most third-party projects at this point. Something has to give and this seems a good one.
Thanks for being with us on this journey so far. I’m exciting to see how this year goes and what this post next year might look like. Let me know your thoughts and plans.