Community success often hinges on knowing your members and what they need The problem? It will take time to really get to know what those things are!
This messy middle can be a frustrating time to build. Even worse, if you get this part wrong you can submarine the entire process!
All is not lost. Enter the ABZ community approach.
The brainchild of Shaan Puri, this framework provides a clear and impactful approach for community builders looking to move quickly and in the community's best interests.
The Problem: Overemphasis on Comprehensive Experiences
Many community builders focus heavily on creating detailed 30-day experiences. Or fonts and colors. Logos, urls, you know what I mean.
In this mayhem, it's easy to neglect crucial aspects like initial onboarding and long-term trajectory planning.
This oversight can result in a terminal lack of member engagement and retention.
Step A: Immediate Member Engagement
The 'A' in the A B Z framework represents immediate actions that engage members from the onset. These include interactive activities that create a sense of belonging and relevance.
Examples include an introduction task, a new member orientation session, or a short-term challenge (do this, unlock that).
Step B: Linking Actions to Long-term Goals
The 'B' signifies the bridge between immediate actions and the return on that investment. The goal here is to clearly demonstrate value to the user. What are they getting out of this time they are investing?
What's the benefit to the user?
- If they do the thing, what do they get?
- If they add the directory, who do they meet?
- If they attend a meeting, what's the follow-up?
Every new member action needs an equal and opposite reaction.
In some cases, even more of a reaction.
Step Z: Cultivating that Long-term Vision
The 'Z' is about the endgame – fostering a long-term vision within the community. This vision gives members a clear understanding of the community's direction -- bonus that it connects their initial engagement to the broader community objectives.
The Final Word: A Creative Approach for Effective Rapid Community Building
By balancing the immediate onboarding experience with a compelling long-term vision, the A B Z framework offers a holistic approach to community building. This strategy not only enhances member experience in the short term but also ensures sustained engagement and growth. Let's build!