15 June, 2022

7 Founders Share How To Grow A Slack Community

Dominic Kentby

Dominic Kent

When you’re searching for how to grow a Slack community, who are the people you should trust?

Writers researching the topic? Maybe. Thought leaders are able to throw around suggestions of what might work. Less maybe.

How about those community founders who have launched and grown their Slack community? ✅

In this post, you’ll hear from seven founders who’ve been growing their Slack communities over the last few years.

1 - Araminta Robertson, Fintech Marketing Hub

Araminta runs Mint Studios and set up Fintech Marketing Hub to bring marketers in the fintech niche together.

📌 Slack community founded: October 2021

📌 Slack community members: 600+

How they grow their Slack community:

Araminta gained her first 10-20 members by simply posting on social media. While already running a niche podcast about fintech marketing, it became natural to invite podcast guests to join the community here, too.

Within the podcast, Araminta created an “ad” calling for people to join the Slack community, which drove new members already familiar with the brand.

Once establishing a group of core members, Araminta says keeping channels active by asking questions and always encouraging existing members to invite others is an easy tactic that doesn’t take up too much time. Araminta also adds a link to the Slack group in her email signature.

Having grown to 500+ members, the Fintech Marketing Hub now hosts virtual events, posts a weekly roundup, and uses Scales. In Scales, every two weeks, you’re matched with someone with similar interests to meet one-to-one.

It’s this variety of engagement that members love. There’s a natural appeal to the community so virality is created as people invite peers to join this niche environment. 

2 - Jessica Ivetich - 18 Coffees (Community Partnership)

📌 Slack community founded: 2018

📌 Slack community members: 100+

How they grow their Slack community: 

18 Coffees is a management consulting firm and a community of forward-thinking leaders building more ethical, inclusive, and effective organisations. 

Built by and for changemakers nationwide, Community Partnership uses Slack as a primary community-building tool to help members grow personally and professionally and stay connected in a virtual environment.

Jessica uses regular watercooler topics, Slack integrations, and a real sense of community within virtual interactions to drive value to existing members. 

If people have a good time in your community, they’ll naturally tell their friends and drive organic growth.

3 - Jimmy Daly - Superpath

📌 Slack community founded: 2019

📌 Slack community members: 7,500+

How they grow their Slack community:

Superpath is the content marketing community and has been such a success that Jimmy can put some channels on autopilot. The community is thriving.

Jimmy says the key to making things work is a bustling community. But that won’t happen on its own.

While there are now loads of active channels with enough members to keep them busy organically, it doesn’t start out that way. Like any business, you need to put the time in.

“You have to take it seriously. You want it to feel authentic and grassroots but you have to take it professionally to survive.”

Examples include posting the same things on time every time. People have come to expect Jimmy’s weekly roundup where they can cherry pick the best threads from the week.

Other items include activities outside Slack (like a regular newsletter). While the goal is to keep people engaged within the Slack community, think about other mediums where they’re 100% going to be active.

A great example of this is Jimmy’s social media which features a “job of the day”. While members can scroll through the #job-listings channels, they can also see what Jimmy has cherry-picked if they’re not actively looking.

Focus on external platforms when trying to grow a Slack community

On the opposite side of boosting engagement, Jimmy says to avoid quiet channels.

“Quiet channels are a bad experience so we expand channels slowly.” If a new member joins a channel and there’s no engagement, they might assume this is a tumbleweed zone.

First impressions are everything when it comes to growing a Slack community.

Unless you take it seriously, it’s probably not going to work.

📌 Slack community founded: 2016

📌 Slack community members: 8,000+

How they grow their Slack community:

Savan Kharod is a freelance growth marketer who runs the Backlinks Slack community.

Savan says the early days were big on distribution through social media platforms but the biggest early growth strategy was to contact authors of listicles for SEO communities.

These authors had articles covering different tools, communities, and techniques for earning backlinks and helping your content marketing efforts perform better.

Once the Slack community had established a core group of marketers, and members started to enjoy success, they naturally shared the experience and benefits with other marketers (both on social media and privately).

Savan puts the success down to maintaining relevance and keeping channels clean and on-topic.

For example, there is a specific channel for hiring a content marketer in his Slack community. When someone posts something that belongs in another channel, he makes sure it makes it through to the right place and doesn’t clog up peoples’ feeds.

The process of redirecting posters in the wrong channel to the right channel ensures a quality experience and heightens the chance of word of mouth referral.

Savan also mentions automating onboarding to ensure the process of joining and finding your way around a Slack community is simple. It’s also easy for existing members to invite new members by simply hitting the Invite button. 

Allow other people to invite new members to help grow a Slack community

There are no restrictions on who can/cannot invite new members so the door is open to continuous growth.

5 - Charlie Ward - Ramen Club

📌 Slack community founded: October 2019

📌 Slack community members: 120 paid

How they grow their Slack community:

Originally starting as Weekend Club, Charlie has recently rebranded to Ramen Club as his community became such a success that it is no longer weekend-only.

He’s started and grown a Slack community for independent founders to come together.

Charlie says there’s no single growth strategy that’s worked more than others. It takes a combination of testing and experimenting. But one thing that does stand out is hanging out in similar communities.

Charlie says his first 20 members came from the Indie Beers in-person meetup. Another nod to fishing where the fish are.

And, just in case you’re still unconvinced on this community growth tactic, Ramen Club is also a sponsor of the Indie Bites podcast. Can you guess what type of people listen to that? 😉

6 - Richard King - Product Marketing Alliance

📌 Slack community founded: 2019

📌 Slack community members: 20,000+

How they grow their Slack community:

Richard already has 35,000+ followers on LinkedIn that are acting as their own sub-community.

If you want to learn something about product marketing or interact with peer-level folk, his comments section is gold.

Using a LinkedIn presence like this is an easy way to convert social media followers to a close-knit community where people no longer have to rely on one person.

Within the Slack community, there is natural growth too. At the end of your first week as a member, you get an automated message asking if there’s anyone else you think would benefit from joining.

Grow a Slack community using prompted virality

It’s this prompted virality that puts Slack community growth on autopilot.

Of course, people will only invite others if they’re enjoying the experience themselves.

7 - James King - Higher Ed AV IT

📌 Slack community founded: 2020

📌 Slack community members: 200+

How they grow their Slack community:

James created the Higher Ed AV IT Slack group to freely talk about higher education without being sold to.

He says this is the cornerstone of how this Slack community has grown organically.

Rather than being flooded by salespeople - like on social media - James vets community applicants to ensure members are all like-minded people helping each other personally and professionally. 

“If you want to build a Slack group, have a goal in mind and build organically.”

When people request membership but aren’t actively in higher education, James declines their request. This is to ensure the privacy and quality of the Slack community.

Nobody will ever fear they’ll receive a cold message from a salesperson posing as a higher education AV advocate.

It’s this principle that the group is built on and the main reason why it now has 200 high-quality members within the niche of higher education AV.

Conclusion

So there we have it. Thanks to all these community founders for sharing how to grow a Slack community. 

Do use their wisdom to kick start building and growing your own.

And how about this as a bonus tip?

We evaluated the best community engagement methods and the winner was asynchronous video.