Slack Community Engagement: As Always, You Reap What You Sow

 In #FounderThoughts

#CreativeTribes Slack community engagement

As we’ve been saying ever since our January 5, 2015 launch, the #CreativeTribes Slack community is about helping you find, connect with, and grow your tribe — no matter your particular niche, profession, or creative endeavor. Our tagline is Building Tribes Together! So, in short, our raison d’être is to help one another. And that’s exactly what occurs for those of us who are active — indeed, proactive — within our community.

What we’ve found throughout the past 2.5+ years of running #CreativeTribes is that the folk who get, by far, the most value are those who reach out and help one another the most.

#CreativeTribes Slack community engagement

#CreativeTribes Member Directory Questionnaire, Question 1

Two weeks ago, today, we sent out the #CreativeTribes Member Directory questionnaire, and it’s been insightful to see — but not at all surprising — that those who gave the opening question, above, very high rankings (between 8 and 10) are the very same folk who are in the community on an ongoing basis replying to fellow members’ requests for help, dropping in informative articles, sharing their own posts or a new tool or app they’ve discovered, or asking for help themselves, etc. The latter, asking for help, is perhaps the most powerful engagement for the simple fact that such a request inevitably helps others, and rich conversations ensue.

And this dynamic is, of course, not unique to #CreativeTribes. It is, in fact, the very essence of community, whether it exists online or off. There are community-minded individuals who wisely invest in (oftentimes because they simply love) helping others — and, not surprisingly, they earn a big return on their investment. So the old adage that you reap what you sow very much applies within #CreativeTribes, just exactly as it does in all aspects of life.

Over the past month, my co-founder Mufidah Kassalias and I have been working around the clock on a bunch of initiatives with one goal in mind — that is, to figure out ways to create as much value as possible for all of our extraordinarily talented 950+ members. Centered, as noted above, on making it easier for all of us within the community to find, connect up, and help one another grow our respective tribes or businesses.

Here are some of the value-creation — and Slack community engagement — initiatives of the past month:

  • Sending out the #CreativeTribes Strategy Survey, designed to ask members for their feedback on how we can infuse ever-greater value within the community.
  • Moving on those findings — for example, adding 14 new channels within our Slack, and then segmenting out 2.5+ years of signup Typeform responses as a means to invite just the right folk into just the right channels, based on their realm(s) of expertise.
  • Sending out the aforementioned #CreativeTribes Member Directory questionnaire, which was likewise designed to create ever-greater value for everyone in the community. Because our signup Typeform doesn’t request location information — so as to keep the signup form as brief and quick to fill out as possible — we’ve not previously been able to segment folk by location. However, to make it easy for our members to connect up with one another in person, we needed to gather this information, as well as various other details necessary for the Directory.
  • This same Directory will also become a repository of exclusive special offers — offered up by our members for our members — and link exchange opportunities, as well as another easy way to connect up with members who have expertise in a particular area.
  • The soliciting of additional folk who’d like to present an AMA Live Chat as a means to discuss their business or area of expertise and, thereby, help all who partake in the AMA. Previously the resulting conversations were kept within our #CreativeTribes Slack.
  • However, since we’ve likewise just launched the new #CreativeTribes blog — focused on Tribe-building strategy for entrepreneurs & marketers — we now have a public-facing place, on our website, to share the invaluable contents of our past and future AMA Live Chats. We published the first of these AMA articles just two days ago.
  • Beyond archiving our AMA Live Chats, the creation of our new blog gives us an ideal way to extract, archive, and make public all the expert knowledge shared by the super-talented members of our community of entrepreneurs, marketers and other creatives, so that the value doesn’t get lost off the back-end of the inherent Slack community limitation on the number of archived messages (presently set at 10,000).
  • We’re working with a lively bunch of writers — all of whom are members of #CreativeTribes — who are busy researching and writing topnotch articles on various tribe building-related topics. This is going to quickly become a powerful resource not only for members but for anyone who reads the articles we’ll be publishing to the #CreativeTribes blog. Get these in your inbox! And we’ve created an awesome transparent and cloud-based editorial process using a combination of Trello, Dropbox Paper, WordPress plugins (e.g., PublishPress), Timezone.io, appear.in, and a private Slack channel which all of our writers and editors use to quickly update one another, etc. A huge bonus to all this is the creation of a growing sense of community within a community amongst all of us who write for the #CreativeTribes blog.
  • We’ve been adding to the Productivity Apps, Tools & Resources Google sheet that’s pinned to our #tools_resources channel. This spreadsheet presently lists about 75 web apps, tools and other resources that we’ve gathered together — many of which are part of our #CreativeTribes stack of cloud-based collaboration tools, etc. — which all of our members can both scour and add to as part of their day-to-day tribe-building efforts.
  • And, finally, we’ve also just created another Google sheet which is pinned to our #analytics_datascience channel. This spreadsheet provides yet another mechanism for our members to create tangible value for one another by sharing their A/B testing wins, and how they achieved these wins.

The reality — again, in all spheres of life — is that there are those who boldly reach out and create value through their interactions, their communications and their actions generally, and who are, thereby, well-compensated for their creative energies, know-how, and helpfulness. And there are those who’d rather linger along the sidelines and hope for a new gig to come their way, a silver bullet of sorts that will somehow magically catapult their business to great heights. As I noted recently in our #socialmedia_marketing channel, one is “much more likely to get paid client work here when folk see the sort of value you can bring to them”. But, in truth, that’s not really what #CreativeTribes is about. Rather, we’re a community of enterprising folk who recognize that it’s far easier, more effective, and more enjoyable to build tribes together than to go it alone.

In closing, #CreativeTribes exists to support each and every one of our 950+ members as a means to help them grow their own tribes or businesses while they, in turn, help all of us grow ours. That’s the reciprocity, the fuel, that creates value within any community, and especially ours which was created for that very purpose — for all of us to Build Tribes Together!

But to tap that powerful pipeline, one must first sow seeds in order to, later, reap the harvest.

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