Ironically, most private, purpose driven communities assume that their members know why the network exists. Bad assumption. When asked, they typically give the wrong answer.I talked to David Nour, a friend who was at the same conference, so I asked him to define his What, So What and Now What as he runs an introNetwork community – his answer is below, I then suggested he write to his members. He did. What he had to say to his members is directly applicable to many online private communities that have a distinct purpose with measurable outcomes. Here’s the main points he shared with me.
What? A place to build and nurture ongoing dialogue; To share insights and growth / learning opportunities; To compare best practices via best practitioners; When & where appropriate, to discuss client situations, challenges and opportunities.
So What? Many of our members are sole practitioners in the community; they can’t innovate in a cocoon; Their businesses could exponentially grow through referrals from other members of the Community; It’s a great sounding board for that next book, and ideas to scale their business, like how to grow the business internationally.
Now what? “You need to get on it to get it”. (Great tagline by the way.) Members need to invest time to build a content rich profile. The Visual Matching Engine works better when they do. Members need to think in terms of ‘seekers and solvers’ – what are you seeking, how are you helping others solve their challenges or opportunities. My members are familiar with a core concept that I call, a Relationship Currency Exchange – only by depositing will you get anything out of the relationship – what’s an example of a deposit you can make today? One good deed a day – how can you help someone else – suggest content or a connection to others in the Community. Intellectual property and ideas come across our desks on a minute-by-minute basis, if you know what someone is looking for – post the ideas and share.Most of the questions we receive from new users could easily be answered by a clear and concise message defining the What? So What? and Now What? from the Community Managers and we are helping them clearly articulate this to their members. Do you know the What, So What and Now What for your online community efforts? If not, let us help you put together a plan.