Interview with Morgan Luce of VT Farm & Garden Exchange

Today's interview is a special treat---our first video interview! 

 

I had a great chat with Morgan Luce, who started VT Farm and Garden Exchange in April 2012, and is closing in on 200 members already.  I had to know her secrets, so I asked if she'd be up for an interview.  She graciously agreed, and here's the result.

 Screen Shot 2012-06-13 at 8.47.50 PM

It's about 18 minutes long, but packed with good ideas for anyone who's launching a new community.

 

 

Key community-building takeaways from our conversation:

 

  • Think outside the box when you're building up your membership. Morgan used Craigslist, flyers, emails to her listserv groups, and good old fashioned face-to-face in her recruiting efforts.bolero_carrots
  • Consider having business cards made up for your community. That way you can spread the word, and even offer cards to your community members to help them tell their friends as well.
  • Cross-promote your community via your other social platforms, like Facebook and Twitter; use your community as the hub and feed into it from the other networks.
  • Encourage your members to contribute content with guest blog posts, calendar events, and photos.  This makes them feel like a true part of the community.
  • If you have a great brainstorm, and a passion to build something, go for it! 

 

Thank you so much for sharing your ideas with us, Morgan!

 

Addendum---Morgan told me this morning that she just hit the 200 member mark! That's exactly one month from when she hit 100.  Congratulations!

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I'd love to hear your thoughts here in the comments, or connect with me on Twitter.

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200 members is great but how many are free and how many are paying?  What business model was used as far as pricing was concerned?  The standard $25 a year?  Or a larger monthly fee etc?  I never watched the video, so sorry if it is mentioned there - 3am here I am too tired.

Hey Danny!

 

I just thought I'd pipe in on this as I got the email notification that you'd responded. 

 

The video is before I had set up premium memberships and more focuses on things that I had learned about bringing new members to the site in only a couple of months and keeping them engaged.  I've since set it up and do have maybe 5 paying members currently (at the standard annual rate) but I really operate the site for the love of sharing my interests with others and learning from one another and not for the money.  I have other ideas I am pursuing on how to incorporate local advertising that is more pertinent to my site. 

 

For me, personally, unless I pay a lot more for chat and other additional features, with my site I don't see a whole lot that I want to make my members pay to access.  I think of memberships currently as "supporting memberships", akin to a NPR pledge drive.    But obviously each site is different and what makes sense to me might not work for others!

 

Thanks for your comments,

Morgan

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