In This Chapter
Making community members feel comfortable and welcome is similar to making house guests feel at home. If you invite them in, encourage them to have a seat, and introduce them to your other guests, they'll feel that you truly want them to be there. With an online community, if you hold the door open, offer some words of welcome, and invite members to interact, they'll appreciate your kindness and want to explore and find out more.
In this chapter, I discuss the various methods of welcoming new members. I also talk about how to make introductions and the perks members can expect to receive upon signup.
A lot rides on a new member's first impression of you and your community. If the atmosphere is friendly and helpful and information regarding the community is easy to find, there's a very good chance that a new member is going to pay another visit. If the community is a disorganized mess and there's no obvious management, he may think twice before coming back.
Having a plan in place to welcome new community members and to offer guidance to both new and existing members is essential for community growth.
A virtual welcome mat isn't a screen shot of a fuzzy green rug proclaiming “Welcome!” It's giving new members the tools to navigate the community ...