You can’t mass-invite people to join your community. That’s spam. It’s ineffective and does more harm than good. Do you want a deleted e-mail to be someone’s first impression of your community?

There are 3 very good and very effective ways to invite someone to join your community.

  1. Through a relationship. Build a relationship with the person first. Take the time to read their blog, leave comments, send and reply to e-mails. Give before you get. Introduce yourself long before you send an invite.
  2. Via a referral. Gain a referral (or a mass-referral) from people you do have a relationship with: “Jon recommended I contact you about this community we’re trying to create.
  3. By adding value. Find a way to add value to the interaction. Invite him to become one of the first 10 members to join your community. Offer a position of responsibility within your community. Solve a problem they’re struggling with. Your interaction has to add value.

If you don’t have one of these 3, then you probably don’t want to invite that person to join your community. As a rule of thumb, don’t invite someone to join your community at the first interaction.


(Image: Email email email, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from rmgimages's photostream)

comments powered by Disqus

Every few weeks, Ning invites a leading expert to discuss trending topics and best practices for community management. Watch the recordings here.

More than two million people have built a branded social network on Ning. Many of these customers now enjoy thriving online communities. You can find a few of those success stories here.

Learn what it takes to thrive and see what it is possible to achieve with Ning.

Growing a thriving online community is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

Our goal at Ning is to make building a community dead simple. We provide an incredibly reliable, popular, and easy-to-use platform so you can focus on cultivating your community.

Learn how to start your community in minutes.

Have you considered monetizing your community? Download your free copy of Monetizing Online Forums by Patrick O'Keefe to learn what methods are available, how to implement them, and how you can benefit today.