Onboarding new members of your community is a critical process.
As it doesn’t matter at what stage your community is, setting up this process and making it successful will always need hard efforts. And before you start working on it, first you need to sort out all the things running in & around your community to make them aligned for a smooth onboarding process.
You can also think of it as the next step in your funnel and what things you can do just after a member joins your community to make his experience better.
You will be one step ahead of everyone who is building their communities and imagine how it feels where your every single effort will be counted and all you see is the growth of your community.
So onboarding is basically where you need to show members the value, the culture of your community and also show them what things they will miss not being an active part of the community.
- Send a welcome email: Make sure whenever new members join your community, they will be getting a personalized welcome email and also ensure that it includes a clear call-to-action(CTA) on the next steps they can take as a response to it.
Like you can encourage them to comment & introduce themselves in the introduction thread. You can keep up to 3 mails in the welcome email sequence and design those mails on the basis of member activity like after a week you can ask for their experience and feedback as CTA.
- Create a thread for new members introductions: Ask your new members to introduce themselves to other community members and also suggest some points that they can share about themselves like what they do, what they join this community.
For this activity, you can create a new thread under which members can introduce themselves and get to know each other well. You can also make this thread as your community ritual (a ritual is basically an activity which you do regularly on a fixed day/date just to create a habit of participation among members and after some time, they get to know what to expect from other members in the community).
- Setup a ‘Get Started’ document: This document can be really helpful for new members to find common questions and how to participate in the community. You can include things like code of conduct, FAQs, rules, and guidelines, a resource library, etc.
- Share community details: For this also you can create a document and share the inside things on how the community works, rituals, how moderation works, what kind of events you conduct generally, include all the things that play a big role in your community.
- Get help from old members :
Ask active members, moderators, and even other admins to help you out with onboarding for making it even better.
Because there’s nothing worse than a first time question by a new member going unanswered. You must know that posting for the first time is a big deal & you need to encourage your old members to pay attention to first-timers and appreciate them consistently.
- Show them the benefits: You can take new members through various sections and tell them perks like newsletter, blogs, daily updates, exclusive event access
- Organize meetups: You can also arrange a meetup for the new users only to have real-time interaction, to solve the queries and share how your community works to understand them better.
- Personalized calls: Well you can learn why they have joined your community, their goals, their special skills, and figure out if they can add value to the members by doing personalized calls or chats
- Create a buddy system: You will always find some members who love to talk and enjoy providing guidance. All you need to do is assign old members to a set of new members. These new members can get guidance and get their questions answered easily.
- Welcome video: Videos are highly engaging content formats so you can create a short video welcoming the new members and explaining ‘how everything works in your community’. That will be quick and enough for them to start participating.
- Create calls to action: Include key CTAs in different sections of your community using which they can be redirected to the right things to read & do. Here you have to be clear and direct about the action you want your members to take.
If you wish to see your community thrive, onboarding is the first thing that should come at a priority. As it will be very difficult to grow one without sorting this process.
There can be a number of things other than I mentioned above, it’s up to you whatever you pick up which feels convenient to you, and moreover, you can always tweak them according to your community needs.