When it comes to things you should do before launching your community, the list is quite long. So, in this blog, we'll tell you about the top 3 things that you should do to identify your niche. And we'll talk about other challenges in the upcoming blogs.
We wanted to figure out what are these 3 things that one needs to do before launching a community to find out their niche audience. So, we held a round table in our community called 'CommunityHood'.
Why round tables are important for communities you ask?
In Nipun's words, "Because the idea is if we can explore a specific topic in a way that provides certain actionable insights and solutions for people." One can identify some of the best practices which are being followed by everyone and can create certain documented knowledge from them. And not just this, it helps in brainstorming and refining ideas as well.
Solving challenges through networking is also an added benefit of being a part of a community round table.
But before we move forward, if you're in search of a platform for running a community that charges zero transaction fee, then check out LikeMinds now! Our platform offers great inbuilt features that will make it super easy for you to scale your community.
The round table was led by the following community builders:
So, let us now see what these community builders think are the 3 things that one should do to find their niche!
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There are two ways to find your niche: One is mostly around interest. Like all the members are interested in something, be it a web series or crypto. Or helping diabetic patients because I was a diabetic patient kind of thing. Basically, it starts with a person, his or her personal experience, and the knowledge they want to share about the same with others.
The second way is related to skills. In Moses' words, "It started like that almost for everyone. There is some L&D professional, who has an L&D community. So that's the takeaway there...". In other words, whatever skills one has, they want to build a community around that skill. But a thing to consider here is that one could be skilled at what their community has to offer as value.
So, it's a very gradual process of getting to the highest level of a particular skill. That definitely starts with a person. And then either that person is at a higher level where they are teaching people or they are at a lower level, learning those skills. And this process of teaching and learning builds a community around them.
So, in Gowardhan's words, "It's either skill-based community or problem-based or personal journey-based." Beyond this, it's people's problems, that others identify with too, and that just brings them together.
It always starts with a person. In most cases, it starts with a problem that one faces as an individual. And if they are highly skilled at that specific topic, and are very comfortable in solving that problem for others, they start a community and try to then go further niche. So it starts either with a problem statement or a skillset.
And then one talks to other people who are facing similar problems. If it's a skillset-based problem, then talk to professionals who are of similar skills. And if it's an interest-based thing, then find people with the same interest and talk to them. So, talking to people who face the problem is the first step toward discovering and validating the problem.
Click On The Video Below To Watch The Complete Round Table Event
3 Things To Do Before Launching An Online Community
Vineet says, "So I could actually see two diverse sets. One is the business-led community decision that was taken to integrate the strategy. And the second was either you find an interest or a problem. And then you figure out more folks who have similar kind of challenges that gets them together."
So one, insights either come from the challenge which an individual faces while building the interest-based or the community around the challenge. And second, for the business piece, people first figure out that this is how it is not going to work. And then start building a community to address the problem.
In Vineet's words, people think, "And why not address the challenge by building a community around it and then have the community lead the show."
So, once you are clear with what pain you want to solve for society, and have the solution, you need to find a suitable platform. Look out for a framework, a roadmap to achieve engagement, follower, and community members-related goals. Select a platform where you can build a personal community, guide & give value to society, and then of course move towards monetization.
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When we asked people how did they discover the niche and the process? Two things came up: personal experience and doing research. So either people are at the center of the problem or they talk to people and do research. Some of the people in the group also said they did research on Google, and others did research in their workspace to make sure that the problem exists.
In Ruche's words, '...one of the people said that I also evaluated myself. If I am the best person to actually solve this problem? And then start the community.". So, it's a three-step process:
(1) Feeling that there is a problem
(2) Seeing others feel that problem, and
(3) Believing that I can solve it
So, spending time understanding that subject, reading through it, and looking at oneself as an expert is the key to finding the niche.
"85% of corporate population is of frontline executives and team leaders and that is why my forte is to train them. Because there is not much available for them from a leadership training and development standpoint. And when I used to conduct training, so I've got a survey result of more than 3k odd people, wherein 93% strongly agreed that my training was really needed by them.", Sumit gives an example.
One more thing based on which community builders identify their niche is their zone. They consider if it's their zone and if they'd be able to deliver the best. So another way of looking at a niche is also to be able to deliver the most.
So it kind of tells us that the best way to find your niche is by building communities in your zone and strength area. The second step is validating the problem, whether the problem is real, and is worth going after. Whether it excites you enough to commit a significant part of your time going forward.
So you can figure out your niche by using data or just intuitively from your own experiences. You can start as a naive and start sharing your learning process to build up the community and trust.
Another example that you can learn from is - Curofy, which is the largest community of doctors. Nipun Goyal, who is also the Ex-Curofy Co-Founder, shared the process that they followed for building Curofy. He suggests defining the broad audience and defining multiple problem statements for that audience first.
Then he recommends figuring out one big problem that resonates with you and your members and then going deeper into that problem. One should identify which of their current members need the solution or resonate with the problem more. Nipun says, "Once we do that, then we have figured out our niche and the exact problem that we are solving for that niche."
And if you want to learn from the experience of leading community builders themselves, then join CommunityHood today! And not just that, if you feel you can help other community builders in upskilling themselves, then also we'd like you to be a part of CommunityHood.
And to sum this all perfectly in a sentence, here's a quote from Vineet:
People + Purpose + Guidelines = Community Building + Growth