All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions
1. Too much emphasis on making money
The fastest way to doom an online community-building effort is to focus on making money from the community before it even exists. Understand that monetization can't effectively happen until the community exists, and the community won't exist unless there is something in it for the users.
2. Lack of clear value proposition
If there is no advantage in your members connecting with others, then they won't. Be very clear on the value that your community creates for users, and make sure that this value can be quickly and easily identified.
3. Assuming the community will come to you
You can have a wonderful site filled with valuable content, and it will still be a bust if no one knows about it. Get the word out. Think about the people you would like to see on your site and interact with them wherever they are Ð on their blogs, on Twitter, or on Facebook. Let them know what you are creating and encourage them to check out your efforts.
4. Not giving members the ability to share content
As your community grows, people will want to tell others about your efforts. Make it easy for them. Give them ways to bookmark your site and share your content through their own or other social sites like Twitter. It is a great way to extend the reach of your online community.
5. Ignoring your evangelists
As your community-building efforts begin to take hold, some members will 'buy in' to what you want to create and will help push your efforts forward. They might promote you to others or take a lead in helping to organise and share information within the group. Show that you appreciate their efforts and thank them. Treat these users as if they were royalty, because as far as your online community-building efforts are concerned, that is exactly what they are.