The Internet offers a variety of platforms where users can build their communities online. And each of them has its own unique characteristics. Tribe, Discord, Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter, to name a few. But can you imagine having the features of all these platforms in one? Building a Circle.so community could be the answer to your needs.
Communities are getting bigger, more specialized, and more niche-oriented. If you search, you can find a community on almost any topic or industry.
Plus, community builders are demanding more and more from the platforms’ features to build the best online group possible!
So let’s check out all of Circle’s features and learn how to set up a community on this amazing platform 👇
What Is Circle.so?
Circle.so is an all-in-one community platform for both community builders and brands. It has multiple features that allow group members to participate in discussions, join live streams and events, and connect with fellow users via chat. All under your own brand.
Set Up a Circle.so Community
Building your community on Circle is easier than you think. Here, we show you how to do it in ten simple steps 👇
Step #1: Sign Up
To get started, you’ll need to sign up for Circle with your email address. When you fill out the form, make sure to use a real email address as this is what the platform will use to verify that you own the account.
Once you’ve activated your account, you’ll need to fill out your community’s information. This includes choosing a name and a community URL.
Step #2: Pick a Community Template
Once you’ve signed up, you can pick a community template to start your group with. Templates include a default set of spaces but can be customized later!
Step #3: Set Up a Meetup with Circle’s Team
Whether you want to get access to a 1:1 demo of Circle, have some burning questions, or simply want to know how other communities just like you are building on Circle – the platform’s team helps you achieve your vision!
Step #4: Complete Your Profile
Tell your members about yourself by setting your headline, bio, location, and other information.
Step #5: Customize Your Branding
Once you’ve completed your profile information, you will be able to make your community your own! Pick your brand color, set a logo, and finalize your domain.
Step #6: Confirm Community Access
There are two types of Circle communities: public and private. Public communities are open to everyone. Optionally, you can restrict logins and/or delimit certain areas to limit access to parts of your community.
Private communities are visible only to their members. Members must receive an invitation from you or follow a special invitation link to join. Once you’ve created your community, you set it to be public and anyone can join. These settings can be changed at any time!
Step #7: Set Up Your Spaces
You can use spaces to post your discussions, events, announcements, and general content. Spaces can be public, private, or secret. And you can notify your members with in-app or email notifications if you want.
Step #8: Set Up a Paywall
You can charge optional fees for access to your community. Paywalls allow you to access specific groups of rooms, rooms, or your entire community.
Once you’ve set up your spaces, you can charge for access to individual spaces or your entire community by creating a paywall. Paywalls can include monthly, annual, or one-time pricing options, and you can offer coupons or free trials. You can create a paywall at any time under Settings → Paywalls.
Step #9: Invite Your First Members
First, make sure to customize your onboarding experience. To give your members a great first impression, you can customize the default email invitation, onboarding popup, and welcome email in Settings → Onboarding.
Then, there are several ways to invite people to join your community. Whether you decide to invite a few members or hundreds, here are some ways to do this: send manual invitations, import a CSV, create invitation links, share your paywall link, or use Circle’s Zapier integration.
Step #10: Kickstart Engagement!
When it comes to engagement, every community is different. You need to set the pace and find the rhythm of content and communication that works for your members. Firstly, make sure to meet your members where they are. You can download Circle’s iOS app so they can access your community on the go.
Also, ensure that you’ve customized your community home, and create event rituals! This will help them experience the value of your community.
Related 👉 Growing a Community Organically [Interview With David Berkowitz]
In addition, you can ask your new members to do a simple task in their first week. Find something that’s useful for everyone. Also, the more you get to know your members personally, the stronger the foundation of your community will be.
Traditional engagement is primarily about encouraging contributions and comments. Meaningful engagement within a community brings members closer to their goals.
What that looks like for you specifically can vary greatly. You can and should define what engagement means to the community you’re building. Ask yourself 👇
💡 Why is engagement important in my community?
🚀 What specific actions do I expect my members to take?
🎉 What benefits do they get from their engagement?
Build your community, step by step, alongside 4,000+ fellow community builders — from beginners to pros! Inside the private Circle’s community, creators come together to meet and support one another and build thriving communities.
What Can You Do With Circle.so?
Circle recently added a new feature: the platform allows community members to join live streams. As a builder, you can go live to your community on the web and iOS with up to 12 hosts, more than 1,000 participants, and more than 100 hours of recording storage.
Members can also send and receive direct messages, and participate in group chats. Circle also offers an easy-to-search member directory and allows members to create extensive and complete profiles. In addition, Circle also has event spaces with calendars and RSVPs.
One of Circle’s best features is the platform’s easy integration with your existing tools. Also, you’ll have access to analytics and community insights. Such as who your most active members are, trends, and popular discussions.
It also uses the single sign-on (SSO) authentication scheme to simplify registration and login. Zapier is another great integration for your Circle community. It’s probably one of the most popular tools on the market used by community managers who want to use automation.
With Circle, you can create and design spaces where members can share ideas, get feedback, and have conversations and discussions. You and your community members can also share content and post announcements.
It’s also easy to create private and secret areas for groups within your community. This is suitable for memberships, coaching groups, and course creators, among others.
Last but not least, Circle is very flexible and customizable. You can design your community with your brand aesthetic and use a custom domain.
Spaces are the core building blocks of your community. However, you don’t need dozens of spaces to get started. If you start your community with a few spaces, it’ll be easier for your members to find their way around. It’s easy to create new spaces and restructure your community over time.
Also, it’s important to make your room names actionable. That way, your members will know what’s happening in that space and what you expect them to do. For example, name your space “Share Resources” instead of “Resources,” or “Say Hello” instead of “Introduce.”
How to Charge for Accessing Your Community?
Circle allows community builders to monetize their online groups with flexible payments, making it great for memberships, coaching, or courses. You can offer monthly, quarterly, annual, and weekly subscriptions and one-time fees to members of their community. You can also offer potential members free trials, special offers, and promotions with coupons.
🤔 Still not sure if Circle is the right place for your community? Check out what other community professionals are working on in our directory of online groups for community builders!