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1-2-3: How to build community (part 2)

1 Idea, 2 Resources, And 3 Collaborators For This Week.

Lots to celebrate and be grateful for this week.

First, we hit 1,700 readers of The Community. Thank you all for being here; you mean the world to me. 

Lots of improvements to make and growth to realize.

Second, I had my first personal exit from a company I worked at 10 years ago! 

It was meaningful mostly because of how difficult the journey was and the relationships I’d made there.

Third, I was asked to help Beehiiv (the newsletter platform this newsletter is built on) launch the Hiiv community. 

I really love the growth they’ve had and the movement they’re creating.

For those of you who have been subscribed for a while, you’ll remember the community growth plan I suggested for them (without needing to launch a Slack channel).

They went in a different direction to start by launching a Slack for their customers (and I love it). 

Next week I’ll share some awesome insights from their launch building a customer community at go so y’all can learn in real time.

This week, it’s a continuation of the big idea from 2 weeks ago: How to build a community.

Let’s jump in.

The Big Idea

How to build community (part 2)

Got some great feedback from readers to more clearly break down the different growth milestones and how growth strategies evolve at each stage to help get to the next.


0-100 Members: 

Acquisition: This was 100% word of mouth. We spoke about the LinkedIn DMs - this was everyone inviting their friends to join (not just me asking).

Activation/Engagement: Not a focus yet.

100-1,000 Members: 

Acquisition: I went outbound and LinkedIn messaged 1:1 300+ people/day (my 1st-degree connections primarily) asking them if they wanted to join RevGenius. 

At a 10% conversion, I was at 1,000 members in a month’s time. 

Activation: The buzz of being a fast-growing community had people super amped to be here and lean in on their own. Just being here was enough for most.

Engagement: Members drove engagement by dropping Zoom links into Slack at random times they were free and hopping on calls to meet other members who were also available. We facilitated this by encouraging it and making it a thing.

Our engagement rate was 40% active early which was very encouraging.

1,000-10,000 Members: 

Acquisition: I continued what was working above with personal outreach. 

I also added competition between members to see who could drive the most referrals. 

I copied The Hustle & Morning Brew in giving out t-shirts and hoodies for hitting different referral tiers.

But, we discovered the competition element between members (whoever can refer the most new members wins) was just as effective if not more than the prizes.

Also, we started instructing folks to add ‘RevGenius Member’ to their LinkedIn profile and announce on LinkedIn via a post sharing this new job.

They did it with joy because often it was (1) their most engaged post and (2) it got them a ton of followers and new connections.

It went insanely well with some members’ employers calling them asking if they got a new job (we had them add to job experience because it was better indexable by LinkedIn search). 

Activation: Had a community manager help welcome people to the community, direct folks to certain channels, and organize roundtables between members to talk to one another. 

Folks got a ton of value out of these intimate experiences. 

Engagement: We launched roundtable discussions and webinars with the top influencers in the space.

10,000 Members - Building a movement+

Acquisition/Activation: I became far too busy to manually invite 300 people a day anymore. 

We started automating onboarding to tell folks to do the activities that drove both acquisition & activation:

  • Introduce themselves in #intros channel

  • Direct them to channels that are relevant to them

  • Adding ‘RevGenius Member’ to their LinkedIn profile

  • Sending them an email onboarding sequence with valuable events to attend

We did this by messaging members once they entered Slack telling them to focus on the activities we knew would drive those 2 growth gates.

Engagement: By this point, a Community Manager became a necessary full-time hire to create programming, be dedicated to listening to members’ feedback, and more.

Next week we will dive into ‘collaborators’ (fractionals & solopreneurs) and how companies can grow by leveraging them.

2 Resources

I. What is a Contributor Program?

From user-generated content and online communities to open-source software projects, contributor programs are creating waves across a variety of fields. (read here)

II. Charting a new go-to-market course: upmarket intelligence from Lumen5

  • Why enterprise sales has moved from sales-led to buyer-driven

  • How the dark funnel is a key component of the buyer journey

  • What sets the best sales teams apart (read here)

3 Collaborators

I. Jody Spencer

Jody Spencer (RevRoom Member) is a strategic marketing and ecosystem leader for B2B software. She loves engineering dynamic customer journeys, building partner ecosystems, and enhancing customer experience to drive growth. She also co-hosts ‘In The Hot Seat’, an influencer-focused digital broadcast that discusses and debates CX and CRM challenges, on the PPN Network. (LinkedIn)

II. Tim Hillison

​​Tim Hillison is the founder & CMO of Entry Point 1. He brings 25 years of technical marketing and go-to-market strategy expertise at Fortune 500 and venture-funded technology companies.. (LinkedIn)

III. Neil Weitzman

Neil Weitzman works with early-stage and medium-sized businesses to build repeatable and predictable revenue growth and accelerate sales. As an experienced revenue leader, Neil brings 25+ years of learning (success and failure) within B2B SaaS, technology, consulting and data businesses. (LinkedIn)

Thanks for reading!

Have any awesome folks you’d like to refer?

Reply to this email and let us know what you’d like to see more. And a big thank you to all who made it to this point.

Until next week,


p.s. What is one important problem you would like community to solve for you?

3 ways I can help you scale your business with Community:

  1. Join RevGenius (free).

  2. Introduce you to one of these collaborators (reply for intro).

  3. Promote yourself in this newsletter + to my 40k personal following on LinkedIn (reply for rates).

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