Lane Shackleton on Design, Product, and Coda

Lane Shackleton on Design, Product, and Coda

Recently I was introduced to Coda – a platform that aims to re-invent the document – bridging live data, views, and more to enable people to collaborate more effectively together.

What really struck me, aside from the technology, is how well designed and delivered Coda is. It presents a powerful set of features that requires careful design to be both discoverable and useful.

You can thank Lane Shackleton and his team for much of this work. As the Head Of Product and Design at Coda, I was eager to learn how the sausage was made, and his general approach to building products people love.

As such, I was thrilled that he was open to joining me on Conversations With Bacon.

We get into a lot of really interesting discussion and topics, which include:

  • How to balance complex features with simple design
  • The role of different visual techniques to interact with information and data
  • How practical examples get people to play with and understand new tools
  • How to balance existing norms of documents with new ways of collaborating
  • How to effectively integrate with other services
  • How platforms approach collaboration around both templates as well as documents
  • …and much more…

If you are interested in elegant product design and development, whether you use Coda or not, I think you will find a lot of value in this episode. Give it a listen!

Communities are changing the way we do business. Discover a concrete framework for building powerful, productive communities and integrating them into your business. My new book, ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams’, is out now, available in Audible, Hardcover, and Kindle formats.

As usual, thank you to the fantastic Marius Quabeck and NerdZoom Media for mixing the show!

Allan Dib on Delivering Thoughtful Marketing

Allan Dib on Delivering Thoughtful Marketing

I first discovered Allan Dib when I read his book, ‘The One Page Marketing Plan‘. It was refreshing: there weren’t the glitzy, sensationalist, unrealistic techniques that some of the marketing gurus use – it was simple, effective, practical advice.

As such, I knew I wanted to have Allan come on Conversations With Bacon, and I was thrilled when he agreed to it.

Unsurprisingly, we get into a frank, realistic, focused discussion and cut through much of the nonsense ravaging the marketing world.

This includes:

  • Allan’s IT background and how he got into marketing.
  • His struggles with learning marketing, and how he conquered them.
  • The role of data in marketing and how you can learn from it.
  • His views on sensationalist marketing gurus and their techniques.
  • The risks of short term vs. long term gains.
  • The cultural impact of Allan’s Australian heritage on his approach.
  • The role of copywriting in great marketing.
  • …and much more…

If you are interested in marketing, definitely check out this show!

Communities are changing the way we do business. Discover a concrete framework for building powerful, productive communities and integrating them into your business. My new book, ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams’, is out now, available in Audible, Hardcover, and Kindle formats.

As usual, thank you to the fantastic Marius Quabeck and NerdZoom Media for mixing the show!

Mark Shuttleworth on Life, Business, and Ubuntu

Mark Shuttleworth on Life, Business, and Ubuntu

Mark Shuttleworth has weaved a fascinating story in his life so far. He founded and sold his company, Thawte, was the first South African in space, created one of the most popular open source projects, Ubuntu, and has built a successful company, Canonical. There is little doubt that his story still has many chapters ahead.

As many of you will know, I used to work for Mark at Canonical, and I learned enormously from him and my colleagues there. As such, I was thrilled to bring him on Conversations With Bacon where we have a rather intimate discussion about how his story has unfolded, the choices he has made, and his experiences so far.

We dig into:

  • His experience selling his company and choosing his journey.
  • Why he started Ubuntu and how it came together.
  • His background and how he got involved in business.
  • The role of credibility in the open source world.
  • How the business of open source has shifted and adjusted.
  • How he has dealt with the pressure of being a notable figure in open source.
  • His experience as a South African working in an industry often dominated by Silicon Valley.
  • His evaluation of previous decisions, failures, and opportunities.
  • The role of an emotional connection with our work and how to make choices.
  • …and much more…

This was a fascinating discussion brimming with insight. Well worth a listen!

Communities are changing the way we do business. Discover a concrete framework for building powerful, productive communities and integrating them into your business. My new book, ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams’, is out now, available in Audible, Hardcover, and Kindle formats.

Thank you to always rocking Marius Quabeck and NerdZoom Media for mixing the show!

Ian Tien on Mattermost, Messaging, and Building a Business

Ian Tien on Mattermost, Messaging, and Building a Business

There is little doubt that realtime discussion, collaboration, and chat has had a significant impact on businesses and communities. While Slack has risen as a dominant leader, open source powered Mattermost has gone on to grow more and more significantly as a powerful option, and one that arguably puts far more control in the hands of their users.

This is why I was thrilled to bring Ian Tien, CEO of Mattermost on Conversations With Bacon. We don’t just dig into what is happening at Camp Mattermost, but also the broader state of messaging, collaboration, open source, and more.

We dig into:

  • What Mattermost is and why it is different
  • There is a lot of talk about Microsoft Team’s growth – is it real?
  • How open source has played a role in Mattermost and beyond
  • What Ian learned in his years at Microsoft and how that impacts creating and delivering value
  • How Microsoft went through a cultural change in their relationship with open source
  • How Mattermost has approached managing and delivering their product roadmap
  • The role of “customer obsession”
  • What has been the hardest elements of building a remote company and culture
  • The importance of finding what gives you “energy” in the work you do
  • …and much more…

This was a really interesting and deep conversation, and we covered a lot of ground. Be sure to check it out!

Communities are changing the way we do business. Discover a concrete framework for building powerful, productive communities and integrating them into your business. My new book, ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams’, is out now, available in Audible, Hardcover, and Kindle formats.

Thank you to always rocking Marius Quabeck and NerdZoom Media for mixing the show!

5 Reasons Why People Are Not Joining Your Community (and How To Fix Them)

5 Reasons Why People Are Not Joining Your Community (and How To Fix Them)

There’s a saying from the famous movie “Field of Dreams”: “if you build it, they will come.”

While inspiring, that’s just not always true, in fact, many times things go the opposite way when it comes to community building. Sometimes instead of bums on seats we get crickets. Let’s explore the common reasons why people don’t show up and how we fix them.

#1. Your community is not offering enough value to your audience

Humans only try new things if they get something out of it. And that’s what your community is: it is NEW to them. As such, we need to give them undeniable value if we want them to show up.

To figure out what your incentives for members joining should be, ask yourself a simple question. 

What does your audience hate about life?  What is the pain they’re experiencing? 

When you focus on relieving their pain, they will join you. That is the key.

For example, a common pain point of camera owners is spending a lot of money on camera equipment without knowing if they’ll like it. So, what value can you add to relieve that pain?

In this case, you could give them a list or summary of top rated equipment, so they no longer worry about this. Maybe you could also provide them with a forum they can join to ask their questions?

As another example, if you are building a community of musicians who are struggling to understand a piece of audio equipment, maybe you could provide them with a free e-book that walks through the gear when they join your community?

The key is to understand what they are struggling with, and give them value that relieves it.

#2. People haven’t heard of your community

If you build it but don’t tell anyone about it, they definitely won’t come. 

When launching a community, a sprinkling of social media posts, emails, and the odd video here and there simply isn’t enough to get people to join. Instead, you need to have a constant flow of valuable content and opportunities that lead people to your community. 

To do this, I suggest making a weekly list of 3 – 5 interesting discussions, events, content, and other things going on in your community each week. Then, share these different things across social media, blog posts, videos, and beyond.

Another way you can raise awareness is to simply to feature your community in your other tools and resources. For example, list your community on your website, social media descriptions, GitHub repositories, events, presentation decks, YouTube videos, and more.

Again, focus on finding every possible opportunity to promote your community everywhere and put it center stage, where it deserves to be.

#3. Your onboarding sucks

When you go to Disneyworld, every element of your experience is carefully carved out. From how you park your car, to how you buy tickets, to how you walk around the park, hop on rides, and grab cheeseburgers, Disney have designed every element of the experience to be as high quality as possible.

The same happens in video games: the first few levels are designed to help you familiarize yourself with the controls and achieve some simple tasks.

The key point here is delivering a simple, elegant, high quality experience. We need to do that in our communities, and the first step in doing so is nailing the onboarding experience.

Far too many people spend bags of time on the outreach and promotion of their community, then underwhelm once people actually join. Or worse, people just get stuck in trying to figure out how to get started.

I suggest you get your onboarding process in shape before you worry about the promotion. 

There are six steps to do this, which need happen in order:

  1. Give them a reason to participate.
  2. Make it easy to get up and running with the tools required to participate.
  3. Help them develop the skills they need to be successful in the community.
  4. Make sure they can easily find a task or project to work on.
  5. Provide a way for them to ask questions and get answers from a REAL HUMAN.
  6. Once they have been through this onboarding process, thank them for their first contribution – it will really help them to feel rewarded and settle into the community.

Put these basic steps into action before any significant promotion, and you’ll get more members joining.

#4. Your platform sucks

Lots of companies, from Discourse to Vanilla and others, are offering community platforms that you can use to host your community. These platforms often provide a rich set of features and capabilities.

You wouldn’t be alone if you chose your platform based on the latest and greatest features, however, there IS such a thing as TOO much tech, as it can be confusing for your users. 

Focus first and foremost on delivering a simple community experience where you can help great content and discussions bubble to the surface. As you are building growth, switch off the unnecessary bells and whistles such as leaderboards, top lists, and other fluff. Focus most on why your members are there – the content and the discussions.

For example, one of the first communities I started only used an email discussion list for communication. We experimented with other platforms but ultimately kept going back to the basics. It just worked!

Always ask yourself when choosing a platform and the features within it, “is this feature really necessary?” If it is not, give it the boot. 

Also, don’t spread your community too thin across too MANY platforms! Just pick one spot to send all your members. This will keep things simple and most impactful. 

#5. Your engagement just isn’t good enough. 

Remember earlier when we talked about giving people super-valuable content that brings them into your community and solves their pain points?

Well, once they are in, you need to keep them engaged.

You see, all community members start out as window shoppers. They find some cool content, browse your community, and lurk without ever registering an account. This is totally fine!

Then, when they do sign up for an account, we need to make sure it was worth it. We need to keep them coming back for amazing discussions and insight.

In many cases, this means you’ll need to master the ancient art of small talk. Communities are like restaurants. If they look empty, they’re simply not appealing enough to go into!

But, communities are also like parties. When you have a party, some people are always early, and you need to get them introduced to each other and chatting, even when they’re the only ones there. 

I searched for “party” and this came up. Whatever the hell that is.

As people arrive to your community, you need to keep starting little “conversation fires” to trigger these kinds of discussions and encourage people to get comfortable chatting and sharing with each other. This is how you build the amazing group engagement new members need and want to see. 

Then, don’t let the conversations die!

When people ask something, keep digging and asking more questions.

“That is cool, tell me more about that!”

“That is a neat idea, how do you think we should start working on it?”

“Interesting feedback. Would you be interested in helping with this?”

Doing this shows that you WANT your community members’ input. Be encouraging, and they’ll contribute to.

If you can fix all five of these common community mistakes, you’ll be sure to skyrocket your community sign-ups without fail. 

Want to know more? Check out my video where I dig into a whole load more detail on this topic:

Best of luck!

John Vrionis on a New Approach to Venture Capital and Building Businesses

John Vrionis on a New Approach to Venture Capital and Building Businesses

We are all familiar with the venture capital model: invest money into a company, provide advice and guidance to help them succeed, and work towards a positive exit. Unusual Ventures are taking a very different approach.

Unusual focus on embedding members of their team into their portfolio companies to help deliver results, build in internal skills, and better support their companies. They also provide practical field guides, a complete training academy, and other supporting services.

It is an interesting and…well, unusual…model, and I am thrilled to bring John Vrionis, co-founder of Unusual Ventures onto Conversations With Bacon to dig into this new approach.

We explore:

  • What is broken in the current venture model, and how Unusual are hoping to fix it.
  • The role and development of content, their field guides, and how they are developed and evolved.
  • How the many different components of a vision are balanced and prioritized.
  • The importance of hiring good people.
  • How the venture capital community has reacted to this new model.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on startups.
  • The evolution of remote work and how sustainable it is in businesses.
  • The balance of empowering your employees while also being able to make decisions.
  • The changing power dynamics in venture capital and business, especially as it relates to diversity.
  • …and much more…

This was a really interesting and deep conversation, and we covered a lot of ground. Be sure to check it out!

Communities are changing the way we do business. Discover a concrete framework for building powerful, productive communities and integrating them into your business. My new book, ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams’, is out now, available in Audible, Hardcover, and Kindle formats.

Thank you to always rocking Marius Quabeck and NerdZoom Media for mixing the show!

5 Steps for Forming New Habits (and What to Do When You Want to Quit)

5 Steps for Forming New Habits (and What to Do When You Want to Quit)

Many of us want help forming new habits in our lives but are confronted by fluffy, inspirational “advice” when we research how to really make a habit stick. 

The problem is, while inspiration is great, inspiration alone just isn’t enough. In addition, you need an actionable plan that accounts for your ups and downs during the habit-building process.

This 5 step habit-formation process will protect you from your stupid brain, who’s almost certainly going to try to stop your new habit from forming. 

Step 1: Choose Your Goal

It takes 66 days to form a habit. What new outcome do you want to see at the end of that time?

When choosing a new goal, remember that it needs to be both measurable and doable. For instance, if your goal is to get healthier by working out 2 hours every day, that is measurable, but probably NOT doable. 

When choosing a goal, ask yourself a few questions to design your new habit around your life, so it’s easy to adapt long-term:

  • Which days are your “on” days? 
  • Which days are your “off” days? 
  • How much time do you really have to set aside for this? 
  • What materials do you need?

When you think about the reality of your week, you can almost see where the new habit will fit into things. 

Now, you’ll be inspired when you set your goal, but life tends to get in the way of execution sometimes. That’s why you should always allow yourself 1 or 2 cheat days each week. 

You still need to live, after all! 

Step 2: Map Out Bumps in the Road

Your brain is constantly going to talk you down and distract you from your goal. Before your new habit is formed, it will try to resort to old ways.

Your brain will say things like:

“Who do you think you are?” 

“You can’t really do this..”

“Do you think you’re some sort of success?”

And truthfully, it’s hard to argue with yourself.

That’s why you have to face those excuses and roadblocks before you even start your new habit.

Ask yourself:

“What roadblocks and excuses will I likely encounter along the way?” 

Then, remove those roadblocks before they happen.  Here are a few common roadblocks and how you can prepare to face them:

  • Not enough time? Set aside the time you need, even penciling the habit into your schedule if need be.
  • Not enough equipment? Make sure you have everything you need from the start so this doesn’t come up later on.
  • Temptations? Make sure you aren’t around your temptations for the first 66 days.  

But what about excuses? Your brain will come up with seemingly endless excuses similar to the following: 

“This is too hard!”

“It’s not that important anyway!”

“I can’t do it!” 

The funny thing is, you’ll actually notice when this happens if you’re expecting it. If you prepare for your own excuses, you’ll know your brain is just trying to trick you into quitting, and you won’t listen to it!

You recognizing that your brain is trying to trick you.

Step 3: Track Your Progress

Remember when I said your habits need to be measurable? 

I said that because I believe tracking is the “secret sauce” to making a habit stick. 

Luckily, there are many apps that make tracking progress easy, such as: 

There are also other alternatives like Google Sheets or Excel that make habit tracking and measurement as easy as pie. 

But whichever tool you choose, you simply need a way to see your success, either via graph or other analytics tools. This will help you stay motivated while also stimulating your brain’s reward pathways, solidifying the habit even further. That’s a double-win!

Step 4: Do Something Every Day

No, I don’t mean you should go overboard on your goal.  If your goal is to exercise 3x/week, stick to that schedule!

But sometimes, life does indeed get in the way. There will be times when your new habit is challenged by everyday life. Expect that! 

When these situations arise, DON’T skip the habit altogether. I suggest taking the time to still do SOMETHING to reach your goal, even if it’s not to the full extent you’d planned. This helps the habit stay solidified.

For example: if your plan was to exercise for 30 minutes, even doing a quick 5-minute workout in your hotel is better for habit-building than doing nothing at all. 

This kind of consistency is essential to your success.

Oh, and remember all that fun tracking you’ll be doing? 

You can also calculate how often you meet your goals each week. Because you will have designed your week to meet your goal (including cheat days,) you should be hitting your goal 80%-100% of the time. 

But if you don’t? You’ll have the data to show you what went wrong. 

Step 5: Quit Your Excuses

You knew a little bit of inspiration would be involved in this, right? 

Even when you apply the previous steps, there will be times when you just want to quit. That’s when your inspiration should come to the rescue! 

The truth is, the only person who can create a new habit for you is YOU. But, when you combine inspiration with actionable steps to create your new habit, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t succeed. 

What’s a new habit you’d like to create? Start now. 

Want to know more? Check out my video where I dig into a whole load more detail on this topic:

Want even more free content? Sign up for my FREE community membership here!

How to Start a Brand New Online Community, Even Without Technical Experience

How to Start a Brand New Online Community, Even Without Technical Experience

One of my wonderful members (find out more about FREE membership here) wrote in with an interesting question:

“I’m concerned about my lack of technical experience that emerged as I was enjoying listening to ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams.

I wonder, how do I prioritize and build my initial business technical systems that can grow into an interactive community of people with my business as the hub?”

Stephen Gaylord

The Answer:

The most critical skill in building a community, no matter the niche, is to provide a space for your audience to share their specialized expertise and insight (even if you don’t share that expertise with them.)

A community is a network of minds, who have insight, experience, and time to offer, and and our job is to create a place where they can thrive.

Now, there are some communities that require technical expertise – such as developer relations – but don’t worry, though, there is good news! While you’ll need a simple understanding of some topics, you don’t need to be an expert so create a community for experts.

Make sense?

For example, if you are building a community of engineers, you need to understand the needs, worries, pains, and goals of engineers…but you don’t need to be an engineer yourself. Hell, I helped build the Ubuntu community and I have never built an Ubuntu package, but I sought to understand their world and what they needed.

Here are some such industries that might take just a little more studying for when starting a community without tchnical experience:

  • Hard sciences
  • Computer engineering
  • Open Source
  • Crypto

But no matter what topic you choose for your community, always remember: the key, most important aspect of whether your community succeeds is NOT your technical skills in that niche. 

Instead, it’s the well-matched VALUE you offer them over and over again. 

So how are you supposed to build this value-matched community? 

First, don’t just expect members to join just because you set the community up. (This isn’t Field of Dreams after all!)

To be sure you have a path of least resistance for members to join your community,  you instead need to purposefully and intentionally build a journey for new members to take.

Luckily, I’ve already created a map for this process: it’s my Community Participation Framework discussed in my newest book “People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams.

Using this framework, the mission is to get the person on the left to get to the star, where they officially join your community.

The “on-ramp” experience is hugely important, and this is your lifeline to building a passionate community, even in a highly-technical niche. I cover this on-ramp in my video about five reasons people are not joining your community.

Once you get your members past the initial on ramp, they start as Casual community members, then becoming Regulars, and a few will eventually become Core members.

(To learn more about what to do after members join, read this article.) 

If you have the patience and strategy to put this framework into action, you’ll build a great community with or without technical experience – I promise you this. 

However, it’s also important to discuss the logistics of building this community.

How are you supposed to bring this community and framework to life? 

There are a lot of moving parts to a living, breathing, and thriving community, that’s why it’s important to choose the best platforms and make your life easiest from the very beginning. 

Luckily, our modern times have made blogging, community hosting platforms, and every other tool you’ll need easy to use, even if you have no experience with them before. 

My advice for building the community you need is to start simple. 

There are actually only two basic tools you need to run a basic community! 

1) A website

2) A communication platform to bring members together 

There are lots of options you have when choosing a service for both of these tools. 

I personally suggest using a pre-hosted service such as WordPress or Discourse because this will keep everything simple for you and reduce unnecessary headaches.

Then, there’s an additional tool (my secret weapon) that will make starting a community without technical experience simpler.

Synchronizing your data and services.

This simply means that all the “tools” in your community toolbelt will automatically communicate and act without you manually doing everything. 

Sounds like a recipe for a stress-free community, no?

Here’s an example: If you want a new community sign-up to automatically sync with your other platforms, synchronizing them with a service like Zapier will make it all easy as pie. 

Want to dig deeper? Well, check out my video on this topic:

Best of luck!

Announcing The ‘People Powered’ Book Club

Announcing The ‘People Powered’ Book Club

Back in November I released ‘People Powered: How Communities Can Supercharge Your Business, Brand, and Teams’. The book delves into why there is a demand for communities and provides a comprehensive blueprint for how to create a community and integrate it into a business.

Importantly, the book also covers “what not to do” so you can swerve around many of the common mistakes and problems I have seen in my twenty-two year career and working with hundreds of companies and communities.

The book has been doing well, netting five star reviews on Amazon and four-and-a-half stars on Goodreads, winning a Business Book Awards 2020 award, and getting very positive reviews from press and readers alike.

This is when an idea was conjured up by my friends Monica and Bill.

Wouldn’t it be cool to read ‘People Powered’ together…as a community… and then meet each week where you can ask questions directly to me (Jono) and we can explore the material together?

Group learning is always more fun than sitting alone with a book and no-one to ask questions to.

It provides a place where you can explore ideas, ask questions, better understand the concepts, test ideas, challenge your assumptions, and overall grow and learn faster.

My actual response (credit)

I freaking loved the idea, and the ‘People Powered’ Book Club was born.

What’s more, it is entirely FREE to join.

The idea is devilishly simple.

When you sign up to join the book club (which is entirely FREE) you will be invited to join a Slack channel for our community. Here you can settle in, get to know everyone, ask questions, and have fun.

Each week we will all read the same chapter from ‘People Powered’. This will keep everyone on a schedule, and as you are reading the book you are welcome to discuss it in the Slack channel with the rest of the community.

Then, each week on a Tuesday, we will all meet together and we will dig into the chapter. You can ask me (Jono) questions, we explore ideas further, discuss implementation, and more.

The entire book club will take place over 11 weeks (one week for each chapter).

Interesting in joining?

Click here here to register.

Act quick though: registration closes on the 2nd October 2020.

How to Reward Community Members, Even Without a Huge Budget

How to Reward Community Members, Even Without a Huge Budget

Today, I want to briefly discuss one of my favorite community-building tactics: amazing reward systems.  How do you use rewards to celebrate amazing work from your members? How do you reward community members, even without a huge budget?

I get a lot of questions about this topic. Many times, people want to know how they can use rewards to keep their community members interested, even with a measly or nonexistent budget for doing so. After all, it can get pricey sending out free t-shirts internationally. 

The reason rewards work so well is that, much like Pavlov’s famous dog, we as humans love to be rewarded for our good behavior, and when we can repeat this good behavior for a couple of months, it gets sealed into our brains as a habit.

Digging Into Rewards

Rewards are a powerful way to nurture your community as it flourishes, however, not all rewards are equal for people building communities. To understand why, let’s first look at my Community Participation Framework from my latest book, “People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams.”

This framework shows you how to take a new community member from a Casual member to a Regular member, and then on to a Core member. With each bump in community level, there is also a bump in your member’s level of participation. But how do you move them from Casual through to Core?

You can see under these three community levels, there are little black bumps. Those are the rewards for your members! 

In other words: when someone does something, they get something cool.

Do you know why rewards are so powerful for communities? It is because rewards encourage the kinds of behaviors you want to see in your community members – the more they participate and get rewarded, the more their behavior changes.

For example:

  • Do you want casual members to read more content? Reward them for it.
  • Do you want regular members to generate material and get more active? Reward them for it.
  • Do you want better peer reviewed code contributions? Reward them for it.

Habitual behaviors are enormously influenced by rewards!

Two types of rewards: Intrinsic and Extrinsic

So, this all sounds great, but kinds of rewards should I send people?

Well, there two types. Let’s dig into each.

Extrinsic rewards

This is what most people think of when they think of physical perks from a community. Here, you are sending your community members physical goods such as swag and other merchandise. 

For example:

  • T-Shirts
  • Challenge Coins
  • Gadgets
  • Stickers
  • Water Bottles
  • Treats
  • Travel Gear
  • Trophies

The key to making extrinsic rewards work is buying high quality materials in bulk (cheaply) and shipping it to members (also very cheaply.)

However, if either of those things goes awry, you can end up costing your community a lot of money and time. 

So, some tips:

  • Avoid t-shirts: there are different cuts, sizes, and more that massively overcomplicates the process. You usually end up with a load of stock you can’t get rid of. Also, many t-shirts people make suck, so only make t-shirts that look cool. 
  • Focus on interesting, personalized swag that you can ideally put in an envelope to reduce shipping (e.g. Stickers, Challenge Coins etc.)
  • Make sure your shipping is cheap and trackable. If it’s not, it is probably best to focus on intrinsic rewards.  
  • ALWAYS include a handwritten note. (But don’t use your normal signature, otherwise, people could forge it if you do!) 

Tips aside, extrinsic rewards leave you more exposed to things going wrong. This is why I always prefer starting with the second sort of reward.. Intrinsic rewards. 

Intrinsic rewards

In this reward system, you validate your members’ efforts without sending a physical product at all. Instead, you simply actively recognize the work they’ve done! 

For example:

  • Thank you emails
  • Public forum recognition by saying something like “Congrats to ___, they have made some amazing contributions including X, Y, Z…
  • Inviting members to insider planning/team meetings
  • Sending free “VIP” digital content such as e-books, courses, and more
  • Giving them access to the “Batphone”; a direct contact email address that they can reach you and your team when needed

There are 2 main ways intrinsic rewards work for your community: 

  • Social recognition (such as public praise) is a form of validation, and validation is yet another form of reward! 
  • Creates social proof, making not only the rewarded member more inspired, but also his or her peers. 

In Conclusion

I know this is all a lot to think about, so here’s a quick recap of my actionable suggestions for making rewards work for your community better. 

  1. Start by deciding what behaviors you want members to take
  2. Break those behaviors into Casual, Regular, and Core categories, choosing 2 behaviors per category that you can recognize and reward 
  3. Choose your rewards, both Extrinsic and Intrinsic
  4. Think about the most efficient way to implement your rewards once chosen (especially for extrinsic rewards that require logistics.)  

Now go enjoy the uptick in community morale these tips will give you. 

Want to find our more? Check out my video:

People Powered

Discover the new book, and get access to bonus content, templates, Q&A sessions, and more.

Find Out More

Pin It on Pinterest