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