Product is users, but...

how do you start a community if you're still developing your product and have no users yet?

Lera and I have a community design program that we use to help businesses convert their followers to a community. Usually, we end up starting a Discord server that bridges employees and the user community then teach the business how these new tools help in our post-pandemic reality. Yeah, we’re so proud of what we do 🍰

But…what if there are no users, the product is new and the business wants to embrace the community-led mindset from day 0?

  1. You’re 1 step ahead of the market if this is your business

  2. We 💖 you. You should be a role model and talk at conferences

  3. The rest is bad news. Read on

The bad news is that you’re a media company now. Take a seat. Let’s unpack.

Until you have an audience, you have nobody to convert to your amazing loyal community. To get an audience you need users, but you have no product yet, so no actual users. What do you do?

Attract your future users by talking on the internet about what they care about. And they cannot care about your product, since it doesn’t exist yet.

That’s how you’re a media company now. You have to claim a topic that your potential future users are passionate about and make consistent regular content about it. At least once a week.

This is how you get followers and industry recognition. These followers are your future alpha/beta users and potential first customers, Product Hunt upvoters and product evangelists.

This is not a dreamy theory, we’ve done it with Luden.io.

Check out this video podcast episode. It follows sitcom rules with distinct characters and is presented in a corporate podcast format with a YouTube cultural vibe. Oh, it is also a newsletter and an audio podcast.

Problem:

The educational games company wants to attract teachers and educators to help make their games more useful in the classroom.

This problem requires teachers, educators, gamers and game developers to work together. And it is hard:

  • Q: How can you connect people from different industries, if they don’t have the motivation and a habit of working together?

  • A: You make content that they can resonate with and gather around to discuss.

Lera and I brought in our internet characters from The Communities Show then coached Geek Teachers and folks from Luden.io to find their voices and feel organic in this setup. Each episode has a reason to be and works both in a series and as a separate piece to drive subscriptions.

We did insist on the sitcom format and focus on fun rather than doing some clever talks. We explained why in this podcast episode.

We ship this content across different channels as an audio + video + text to capture audience where they are in a way they can enjoy our show 🍪.

And then we can convert the fans of the show to a community - very similar to how YouTubers or Twitch streamers function these days 🥂.

Problem solved?

Let us know what you think about this show and the whole idea in our Discord community or just tag Olle on twitter.

Links:

If this read was useful or inspiring to you - toss us a coin, buy Lera and I a coffee.

Get 30% off for 1 year

You can also subscribe to the premium newsletter/podcast/community plan or buy something from Appsumo to support our work:

  • Nextweave is a interactive gif ads tool, pretty neat concept to my eye

  • Vbout is like HubSpot but costs $79 lifetime for all marketing automation possible

  • Hippo Video is like Loom but with more tracking and tailored to sales

  • Spayee lets online course creators sell their craft online with a push of a few buttons

  • TidyCal is like Calendly but for $19 lifetime and no monthly fee

Jobs from The Community Punks Discord

We probably should charge for this in the future, but we’ll just put the job ads from our Discord for free. Here’s one: