How to find initial evangelists for a community?

Community building involves investing in the connections among your users, fostering those relationships, and helping them bring more people into your startup.
The key to a healthy community is cultivating and empowering evangelists. You also want to foster cross-connection among evangelists and community members in general (through forums, events, etc.). It is essential to focus on community quality early on and set standards that can be maintained as the community grows.
Community building can give you traction by magnifying your essential purpose, building a core asset, creating evangelists for your service, contributing to product development, and even giving you a hiring pool.

  • Wikipedia began with a small group of users from the Nupedia user group (an earlier online encyclopedia project).
  • Chris McCann started Startup Digest by emailing twenty-two friends in the Bay Area about local tech events. He then started giving 20 second startup pitches. It now grew to more than 250k members.
  • Bark, a parental-control software/hardware company, manages a closed Facebook Group called Parenting in a Tech World, where they help parents navigate the ever-changing landscape of raising kids in the digital age. Their 130k members support each other, and get the scoop on cool apps, latest tech trends, and all things tech-related. The admins will occasionally step in and promote their products, and members are totally cool with it.

What could be the theme of the community that we could foster as a team that could also resonate with our potential audience?
Where do we find the initial evangelists?
Which platform do we use? Internal? FB or LinkedIn? Reddit? How do we build tools and processes (e.g., karma systems, rules) to help our community police itself.


The crypto communities – so many of which are currently on fire – seems to be always-on, 24-7 conversations that take place on Discord. Do you think Discord has emerged as a community hub for regular people, or is it still limited to gamers and crypto folks?


I don’t actively use Discord so it’s hard to share much on that. One of my friend uses Discord to chat with his gaming buddies, and they made it easy for users to jump into a group voice chat. Perhaps the crypto communities that started from Clubhouse made their home in Discord, so that they can have conversations synchronously AND asynchronously.


It’s just a wild guess, though. I got addicted to Clubhouse for maybe 3 weeks earlier this year, but then I’ve completely stopped using it, so I might be missing some important updates they made in the recent 6 months.


What could be the theme of the community that we could foster as a team that could also resonate with our potential audience?

  • Future of product, growth, and communities
  • Overcoming challenges across these areas
  • Sharing best practices across different companies

Where do we find the initial evangelists?

  • Groups similar to this

Which platform do we use?

  • Slack, Discord, Discourse
  • Set up community guidelines that includes knowledge sharing and privacy

I’d recommend starting by building 1:1 relationships with your customers, esp early on. Get to know them and build trust. If you don’t have any customers yet, go to spaces where your ideal customer is and build relationships with them (without selling). Be authentic. Think about where they are, what they need, what they value.
For platforms, it really depends on your team’s goals, customers’ preferences, bandwidth, etc. It helps to meet people where they’re at. If you’re creating a community of professionals, Slack might make the most sense. If it’s for NFTs or gaming, Discord is probably better. If you want a lot of data or ability to fully customize branding, look at dedicated community platforms (eg. Vanilla, Khoros, Circle, inSided).


Do you need to be an expert to start the community?

If the leader is a none-expert, how many experts and newbies ratio he/she need to gather before it tilts with steady conversation and start a momentum?


There are too many variables (how competitive the niche/vertical is, how knowledgeable you are/how many experts and enthusiasts you can bring onboard/how you can keep them motivated to come back/etc), and it would be hard to come up with a one-size-fit-all ratio.

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I guess the question you might want to ask is, what resources do I have to keep the audience engaged. You can always trade between time and effort, money, and expertise.

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Will check these out, interesting (eg. Vanilla, Khoros, Circle, inSided).

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