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Community

The 4 types of community members

Danielle Maveal
May 23, 2022

Advocates

AKA: Consultants, partners

Motivations: These members deeply understand the work you're doing and they believe in you. They want to be close to your mission and brand. They want to make a true impact and be influential to your business decisions. They even want to teach others, and see how their support has helped. They want to be seen as experts.

Engagement ideas

Members of a community are usually very busy with clients and contracts. Make sure you take their time seriously.

  • High-value small group meetings with brand executives, and/or thought leaders in the industry
  • Create a program that brings these people in as elite council members that give feedback to leadership, and shares the stories of their clients

Rewards

Publicly recognize their contributions after deeply listening to their ideas, and implementing them when they align with business goals. When you've included their feedback in your product, policy, or strategy decisions, make it known. Give them an official status as a brand partner. Ask them how you can serve the communities they're building!

Also, you'll want to give them signals of their mastery. Can feature them as a consultant or partner on your website? Can you connect them with new clients?

Educators

AKA: Trainers, guest speakers

Motivations: Educators teach others about your brand or product. They've unlocked success through you, and they want to help others, while getting some reward in return.

Engagement ideas

  • Create ways for educators to share resources with each other. This will increase their individual success, while helping them feel part of a special group.
  • A conference can be a great way to bring educators (and advocates!) together to support your mission and support their businesses.

Rewards

  • Educators get others excited and informed for you. How awesome is that? Find ways to continually inform them of updates, give them access to and train them on new features.
  • Give educators swag and special discounts that they can use and pass on to their students.
  • Do educators in your community have Slack or Zoom accounts? Offer to pay for these tools!
  • Host educator profiles on your site, and when they are running interesting new workshops, or content, share through social media channels.

Influencers

AKA: Industry insiders, ambassadors

Motivations: Influential community members are well known in circles that matter to your brand or product. They may run communities or meetups in your space. They're motivated by industry recognition and expert status. They want to be known, and to be known for being a positive influence.

Engagement ideas

  • These folks want to know the inside scoop, so they can share and be seen as an influential member of the larger community. Create a mailing list or special events just for them, allowing them access to information or team members that will elevate their status.
  • You might not bring this group together, because they could start competing for status. However, if you can give these members a stage to be influential on, that would be ideal. They might take over your Twitter account or Instagram, or be the person who leads a panel of advocates and educators.

Rewards

  • Public recognition and clout.
  • Access to larger audiences and communities.
  • Official ambassador program rewards

Connectors

AKA: Engaged community members, network builders

Motivations: Connectors are much like influential members of community, however they are more interested in making introductions and fostering discussions between other members, than in being in the spotlight. They are most motivated when they can see their work has created a sense of purpose and belonging amongst the group.

Engagement ideas

  • Connectors will be interested in volunteer community programs, like book clubs, community leader or moderator initiatives
  • They make great hosts of small groups, and meetup events, or hackathons.
  • Ask connectors to run an onboarding program for new community members, helping to connect them with existing members.

Rewards

  • Sponsor their meetups or social gatherings, if this aligns with your budget and goals.
  • Show them how valuable the connections they are making are –– visualize their work or tell their story on your blog or through social media.
  • Give the connector rewards or badge to give out to the community.

Identifying your community members by type, and stage, can be helpful when building out meaningful strategy and programming. Is there a type of community member that we haven't mentioned here? Let us know in the comments!

How do you know who is hiding out in your community? Get to know your members with Burb! Reach out to be one of the first to gain access.

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