Blog post - 3 simple things to do when you become a new group faciltiator

3 simple things to do when you become a new group facilitator

You have just set up a new group and this is the first time that you have managed and run an online group. This should be easy, right?

Today is the first day to put in the work to help your group thrive.

Before you start uploading all the content that you have, stop and think about how you will engage your members. Who are your members? What’s the purpose of the group? How much time do you have to spend on supporting the group?

These are all important questions that you need to think about. So, let’s get started with three tips to help you get you underway.

1. Read everything

Just because you have the technology in place, it does not mean everyone will get it and automatically take part. There’s a lot more required to make it work.

So, get reading and start joining other groups to see what they do well. On Knowledge Hub, we have provided a ‘getting started’ resource for all group facilitators to help them with the foundation of starting an online group. There are also a number of groups that you might wish to join to see what ideas you can pick up from them.

2. Introduce yourself

You have just started your group, and much like when you walk into a room for the first time, you need to introduce yourself. Don’t forget to share something about yourself or perhaps what you’re currently working on. Don't overshare though - make it brief and friendly. Maybe outline the purpose behind the group and what the plan is going forward. It’s also a great chance to ask others to introduce themselves, ask what they would like to share with the group and what they would like help with.

3. Start building resources

The biggest mistake we have seen when building an online group is that the group facilitator uploads lots of content on day one and then does nothing more. If there’s no more content to add and no ideas shared on what to discuss, the community can fade away after a few weeks.

To avoid losing momentum, gather together some key content for the group by looking at your emails and the types of questions you regularly get asked on the subject. What content do your key members have that could be shared? What expertise do your core members have that they are willing to share? All of this will help you to create an action plan for the group that will constantly evolve over time.

 

Remember, online groups take time to build and evolve, and you need to be able to think on your feet at times. Be resourceful and be prepared for some trial and error to establish what works well for your group and members. The tech is often the easy bit, whereas the people, well that’s another story. Try and keep cool at all times and remember you’re not alone out there - we are here to help your group thrive and meet its purpose.