026: How to Create a Thriving Online Community with Tonya Kubo

What does it take to bring people together from around the world into an online community? How do you keep the group valuable and engaging? What common mistakes should you avoid? Thankfully, we’ve got an expert in Tonya Kubo who is willing to take on all these questions and more!

In our conversation—Tonya opens up about how she got started with online communities, the difference between a paid and free group, how to create good group culture, common mistakes to avoid, and much more. I am thrilled to bring you Tonya’s powerful insights—have pen and paper ready—you are going to need them!

Create a Thriving Online Community with Tonya Kubo

In this episode, listen for

  • [1:22] I welcome my guest, Tonya Kubo.  
  • [2:45] Tonya talks about her passion for building communities.
  • [7:10] What is going on with the shift to “groups,” “pages,” and “forums?”  
  • [10:30] The difference between a free group and a paid group?
  • [13:30] How Tonya defines culture inside an online community.
  • [15:30] What constitutes “good” group culture?
  • [18:00] Is creating a Facebook group right for you?
  • [23:00] Common mistakes people make when creating an online community.
  • [26:30] Creating an online community from scratch.
  • [31:30] How do you come up with consistent content for your community?
  • [33:45] Is there a way to make your content stand out?
  • [37:00] Successful online communities that you should check out.
  • [39:40] Tonya enters the Lightning Round; rapid-fire questions.
  • [49:45] Closing thoughts.

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Creating an online community from scratch

If you were to create an online community tomorrow, where would you start? Do you need a ton of people when you launch? What if nobody shows up? I know those questions can loom large in your mind, but the truth is, they aren’t as important as you might think!

In my conversation with Tonya, she revealed that she recently launched a Facebook group with ONLY FIVE people signed up—watch out the floodgates are open! Is Tonya discouraged by the initial number of people in her group? No!

Tonya has embraced the mindset that you’ll need for your online community to THRIVE—treat those early adopters like GOLD. The folks who join your group early on are your true fans—they want what you are selling. They’ve joined your group because they believe in what you are doing and the value you are providing. It’s your job to go out of your way to make them FEEL valued and part of something special—once you do that word will spread.

How do you start an #OnlineCommunity from scratch? Where do you even begin? We’ve got all the info you need to get the ball rolling on this #BizMavens episode with @tonyakubo!Click To Tweet

Why your group culture matters

Anywhere people gather—whether online or IRL—culture will start to form. Sometimes that culture is negative and toxic and other times that culture is positive and rewarding. What can you do to make sure the group culture of your online community is helpful rather than harmful?

According to Tonya, the best feature of good community culture is safety. That might sound basic and plain to many people, but the truth is—your group will never grow if people don’t feel safe. Is it safe for people to disagree or have opposing viewpoints in your group?

Be prepared; it can take a lot of effort to build your online community in the beginning. You’ll feel like you are living in the group you’ve started and you might feel like you’ll never leave—trust me—you will. Don’t just take my word for it! Tonya has a ton of experience building these groups, and she has found that all that initial effort up front pays off! Learn more from Tonya’s compelling perspective by listening to our full conversation on this episode.

Common mistakes to avoid

I get it—whenever you start something new there are a TON of variables that can cause you to feel overwhelmed. What if there was a way to remove some of your concerns about starting an online community? I’ve asked Tonya to walk us through several common mistakes that leaders like you can AVOID when you go to start your first online community.

  • Don’t try to appeal to EVERYBODY. Finding a niche audience is a good thing!
  • Aim for active engagement from 50% of your group or more each month.
  • Spend your time cultivating relationships with folks that show up.
  • Make it easy to join the group and get plugged in.
  • Start your group for the right reasons. Don’t get locked in on a number!

These are just a few of the common mistakes people make when they go to start their online community. Tonya has SO much more valuable information to share, and I don’t want you to miss a minute of it!

One of the best ways to get your #OnlineCommunity started off on the right foot is to AVOID these common mistakes! Get it all HERE on this helpful #podcast episode of #BizMavens!Click To Tweet

Notes + Links from Today’s Show

Connect with Tonya Kubo

Connect With Jeni

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Tweets

Discover how to create a thriving #OnlineCommunity by listening to this #podcast episode of #BizMavens with special guest, @tonyakubo - you don’t want to miss it!Click To Tweet
You don’t want to create another negative and toxic corner of the internet, do you? Of course not! Find out how to make sure your #OnlineCommunity culture stays positive by listening to this #podcast episode of #BizMavens with special guest, @tonyakubo!Click To Tweet

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