A deep dive into how we built our 50K+ strong community before we launched a single course.
When we set out to build FrontRow, we didn’t want our learners to just be a number in a database or an isolated consumer of our courses. We realized pretty quickly that our success as a platform for learning depends on our ability to genuinely help our learners become better at what they do. However, that wasn’t going to happen by selling them a course and calling it a day.
Being around a group of like minded people learning the same thing is what makes a classroom or a college campus conducive to learning. Emulating that experience is what we set out to do!
Validating Our Idea
Our bet on community learning needed to be validated, and we began to think of ways we could go about doing this. We got on the phone with aspiring rappers to understand how their offline communities work. We realized, a vast majority of them learn, improve and network by attending social events like cyphers, rap battles and other meet-ups.
However, these meet-ups and events were limited to cultural hubs within metro cities, leaving many aspiring artists out of the mix.
And so, the problem became much clearer- how do we bring these communities online, in a way that allows anyone pursing a passion to find groups filled with like minded people they can learn, improve and network with.
Here’s How We Did It
We began building WhatsApp groups and added some of the artists we knew, initially these groups were pretty quite but as soon as the members started to get comfortable with each other, conversations began to flow more organically. At one point our Rap community WhatsApp group was averaging 300 messages an hour! We ran regular feedback sessions where users could post their music along with games and competitions like “Complete the verse” and Rap Battles.
Soon enough our WhatsApp groups were reaching their limits and we decided it was time to shift to another platform.
These groups quickly began to fill up as well and validated our idea. That’s when we decided to include a community tab as part of the FrontRow app.
Once we launched our in-app community, the biggest challenge we faced was retention and ensuring the community was relevant to the learners needs. Since this problem has not been solved before, the team always had to start from scratch and experiment a lot. This was probably the most enjoyable part, as over time through trial and error along with a lot of experimentation our communities have evolved into dynamic hubs of talented folks following their passions and helping each other along the way!
Our communities have become hubs for learning, collaboration and interaction! We now have a team dedicated to creating challenges, prompts, contests and content for all the communities we run.
Well, This Is Working Out Nicely!
Our communities have had quite a bit of success in helping people follow their passions, here’s some highlights-
- Several learners have started their comedy journeys from our open mics and are now doing stand up shows.
- Users appreciate our app as a place where they can write daily jokes and create a habit.
- Networking with other comedians is a huge part of the circuit, and we’re glad to say our learners have made so many friends from within the community.
- A couple of members from our comedy community met up and started the “Dehradun Comedy Club”.
- A member of our Rap community was a top 3 finalist in a rap competition conducted by Flutin.
- We held a collaboration contest where we saw rappers and producers on our community collaborate with each other from different parts of India and the world!
- Aspiring rappers on our community have made use of free beats, samples and other resources to create their first pieces of music.
- We’ve got countless messages from members in our cricket community on how effective the live expert sessions have been in helping them improve!
- User’s have been loving the contests we conduct, as it gives them an incentive to improve their skills.
Our communities have showed us learning is a holistic process that not only involves working on your skills but also completing the iterative process of receiving and working on feedback.
In a FrontRow community, members are able to create value for each other and collectively push each other to get better.
We’re amazed at what these communities have turned into, and can’t wait to see where they go next!