Creative Commons License photo credit: K . Chan

Launching a new online community can be daunting. How can I get those first few members? Unfortunately, there is no magic trick. It’s time and hard work.

However, that doesn’t mean that being new is all bad. You would do well to recognize that being new, while in some ways a disadvantage, can also be an advantage, in two key ways.

First, people want to know about new things. That is what media outlets cover. They cover things that are new. If you can come up with an interesting way to pitch it, you might be able to get coverage and attention, simply for being new and well put together. No one wants to know about new and sloppy.

Second, you can offer people the chance to get in on the ground floor or become a founding member. There is distinct value in being an early adopter or an early member. People can be enticed to join by the use of simple, motivating language and incentives such a special badge.

Embrace the idea of being new because, one day, you won’t be new and you’ll think about what you might do if you were new and weren’t inhibited by whatever standards you now have set on your established community. Whatever situation you are in, there is value. Find it and capitalize on it.