Aug 1, 2020
This is kind of a small breakthrough for me. I've tried to start communities before, and it's always failed - and it's because there's an inherent paradox in community building.

In order for people to want to join your community, there need to already be people in your community.

Your community is only valuable - it only solves a problem - if it's already loaded with active, participating members.

In order to build a community, you need to already have a community. So how do you start one?

You have to start small, obviously - but make it personal. In the beginning, the community is you. The only reason anyone is going to join your tiny little group is because they like you.

So, start by making a close, friendly, and personal relationship with some ideal community candidates. Maybe choose people with small audiences of their own - maybe start with your existing friends as well.

For example, I'm trying to build a community of starting artists that need help with marketing. So, I followed around 20 different high school / college writers on Instagram, and messaged them in the most wholesome way I could.

I only sent them simple text DMs at first, but I'm going to send personalized videos to each of them as well. I want them to think of me not as a community manager, but as someone cool they can trust and ask for help.

My community is going to try to solve the marketing problem for these artists - but right now, the community is me, and thus, I need to directly help these initial members.

If they like what advice they get from me, they'll tell their writer friends to join them - and people will start to help each other out. All this applies to just about any community type out there.

And, if you plan to make a monetized community, the path is the same. You can't charge until that community is loaded with active participants, so you need to hand-pick the first batch, then grow it to a point where it's valuable enough for that price tag.

To get started, find out where your ideal community members sit already. Mine are on Instagram - yours might be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, online forums, Reddit, or you might just need to shoot them an email - but you're going to have to hand pick the first 100 members or so before the snowball starts rolling.

And I am speaking from experience here - I helped scale Moss Generation, a community of entrepreneurs - by hand picking and vetting almost everyone. It takes time. You can't just throw ads at a Discord channel and hope it works out. Plus, in my experience, the best communities are those with a rigorous white-list, instead of the typical open-to-everyone style. More members looks good on paper, but I think the quality drops the less picky you are.

I started the initial process on a live stream if you're interested - but no pressure. This post is the full article I wrote up on the process, so the stream would only be useful if you wanted to see an example.

Dora Wi

Aug 19, 2020
It's not entirely clear to me either what kind of community you mean.
Anyway, it sounds like a big hassle to handpick the first members. And I don't think it's necessary, either. If you create something valuable - and it sounds like you have knowledge to offer -, people will find you. Maybe ask a few friends to share your post or set an incentive for people to share in the beginning.


Aug 19, 2021
Great stuff, most communities definitely start with a common interest between members so if you offer something valuable about it, interested people will find you and your community. I actually read a blog on how to build an online community from this site and they shared a ton of information on this that could be helpful to those that would like to start their own community.


Dec 11, 2020
I've just started a community on Facebook a couple of years ago from zero. Noone except like-minded people could help. Cold inviting doesn't work. Just your professional profile, some loyal followers, and good content can make interest for members. The most difficult is the first 100 followers. Give them what they want to talk about without any spam.
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