Hey all, for those of you who built your Discourse forum before having a community or fan base or customer base, what was your first step after successfully building your forum? How did you reach out to your target users?(I’ve found Twitter to be a great resource) Did you invite only first or launch and allow anyone to join?
I would presume that if you are going to the bother of building and launching a site, you have done some research into whether there is a demand for this community, and what the competition is? If not … do that first
There are many ways to build the kind of sense of identity and engagement around YOUR community, including making it exclusive (invite only) or exciting (great content, everyone welcome). It depends on you and your audience really.
What I suggest is that you get a number, it doesn’t need to be very large, of ‘ambassadors’ who are willing to help you build this up - who will visit regularly, who know the content area so can provide quality content, and want to see this succeed. Get them to build content before pushing to get lots of new participants as there’s little point inviting users to an empty forum.
Do you know people already who could do this? If not, you may need to join related forums and get to know them.
There’s some relevant knowledge in this post:
And of course in the #community category generally.