After another week and a half of attempting to meet new people and grow the community, it can be said that seeds containing maximum oxygen providing trees have been planted. But at what frequency, what cost, and with what percentage of probable ROI? The answer to all three of these questions is: who knows?
The biggest issue with positioning ourselves as a community has been that the members themselves became the product. And as the one bringing everyone in, more than anything, I became the product. Really, our service-based memberships are our products, so we've been misrepresenting ourselves, which has made sales a nightmare.
If the members are the product, membership should be simple. Either someone is in or they're out. One price and one level for all the benefits. The best communities don't do trial periods or host free gatherings that give away their greatest asset to non-paying people.
But most importantly, communities are brought together by a common goal, a purpose, and the members' time and money is specifically for the achievement of that goal. So the idea of paying just to be a part of a community is weird.
As the founder, and the one attempting to sell new connections on the idea of the community, it's been difficult to separate myself from the product. A friend mentioned how I was the product, and again, I lamented about it being all about me. It's not.
Communities are really only as good as their leadership though, and as the leader, I found it impossible to justify how friendship or whatever connection the person wanted from me required their joining the community.
We don't pay people to be our friends, but I wasn't conveying a unifying purpose because we created a platform for everyone to utilize as they see fit. So my conversations led to making personal contacts without a need for the context of Dreamer Republic.
We created tiered levels of membership to address specific needs for different types of dreamers. This fact alone should've told us that we are a service provider.
As a service, we can trade services with people in exchange for membership without batting an eye. We don't have to worry about the politics of our members, and everyone feeling like things are fair. It benefits everyone to have better services.
We also get to focus on doing specific things to enhance the experience of our services, instead of building and managing friendships. If we do a good enough job at that, community will create itself among the people who use our services.
Better than anything, as a service there isn't any confusion about what we're doing. The personal agendas of prospecting members won't come into play because I won't be meeting anyone one-on-one. We can tell everyone about our free gatherings and services without worrying about what our current group thinks of our shifting away from an intimate circle.
Hopefully, from here on out we can sell DR to the people who actually need it.