How did we build an online community from scratch? cover image

How did we build an online community from scratch?

Who will benefit the most from this guide?
Passionate community members who love our community and are fascinated to learn more about the exciting history and inner workings of how Co-x3 came to be.
Anybody who, like past me, feel frustrated in not being able to find their tribe, and are considering building their own. This living document should offer you guidance on how you could potentially embark on this adventure, milestones you can benchmark yourself on, and the motivation to start today.
People who have full-time obligations and believe that they don't have the resources to build a successful community, I want to give you the how; as long as you bring the why and the what.
I'm a big fan of Peter Thiel's book Zero to One. Building something from nothing is one of the hardest things that anyone can ever do, and the difficulty intensifies if you don't have a good model to follow (especially when building something brand new). So, to pay it forward for those who have provided me resources that guided my success, this is my story for how the Co-x3 Community came to be.
So what is Co-x3? Co-x3 stands for co-creation, collaboration, and community. We're an inclusive group of like-minded forward thinkers that want to effect positive change in the world. Recently, we've embarked on a journey to gamify our lives and made a pledge to live intentionally in 2020.
Every successful community has a sticky factor - something that aligns every member on a shared vision or mission. In religious groups, the belief in their faith is what holds them together. For video games, it's the unchanging rules of the game - that's why cheaters and hackers are so universally hated.
For Co-x3, what holds us together are actionable systems to follow. My biggest frustration with most self-improvements and growth-centric communities is that they often focus on theory-crafting, which is very inspirational and motivational in the moment, but leaves a lot to be desired when attempting to execute on those ideas. At Co-x3, we do both - providing community members with the principles behind being intentional and gamifying your life, while laying out well-thought-out templates that puts their learning into action.
This living document has 3 sections:
Documented Milestones To learn my thought process and significant milestones to watch out for.
Tools I Use What you may need if you wish to embark on this adventure.
How can I be helpful? If you're itching to build a space for your tribe to thrive, I want to help.
1. Documented Milestones
This week's metrics (updated every Sunday): Last Updated: Jun 21, 2020 Active Community Members: 465 Email Subscribers: 1300 Active Monthly Patrons: 70+ Power Up Your Motivation Students: 3 Stay updated whenever we add new insights and learnings into this living document joining our mailing list.
Project #1: Co-x3 Kickoff 🌎
Timeframe: January 1, 2020 → April 20, 2020
This project was conceived on Nov 10, 2019, and officially 'kicked-off' on Jan 1, 2020. I followed my be intentional framework to plan and execute this project successfully.
My goals were to:
Build a community where people like myself (early entrepreneurs), my younger siblings (university students), and my mom (second winders) can be supported on our growth journey.
Share inspiring content that changed my life, to help guide others in similar positions
Good goals explain the 'why' behind all relevant tasks that I work on.
My initial key results were to achieve:
Active community of 25+
Active community of 100+
3 members that really resonated with my message (future mods/champions)
Key results are measurable outcomes that validate that my goals were successful.
Important Milestones:
Key events that I believe had high impact on the success of the community.
When I started onboarding family members and friends, I learned that a lot of people don't really know how to plan and execute their success plan effectively. This is not their fault, as so many educational institutions prioritize 'just do' instead of 'ask why'. I was raised the same way, and I only properly learned after relentlessly digesting reading material from great thinkers and doers. So, I realized I had to share one more fundamental component.
The overwhelming support for my sharing on Reddit and Facebook gave me the confidence to seriously build a community centered around productivity, growth, and learning - with the stickiness of having actionable systems to follow. To accomplish this successfully, I knew I needed a few key things in place. 1. A place for members to congregate (town square) 2. Exclusive resources for members for self-improvement (a strong reason for joining) 3. Patrons who share the same vision and want us to succeed (market validation) So, I spent a month preparing all the materials to have a successful launch. During this time, I made sure that I had a temporary website with a Cloudflare worker script + notion page on my domain (archive) with a Mailchimp embed sign up form to capture email addresses of people who really resonated with my sharing.
Additional key results were added:
20 positive reviews of our resources
10+ monthly patrons of Co-x3
Jan 26, 2020
Launched our Discord community, a space to hold friendly debates and discussions on all topics growth, and collaborate on our latest innovative projects.
Launched official Co-x3 Community Page for members to find highly effective notion templates that helped me be highly productive.
Launched Patreon - to provide special and customized perks for supporters who identify strongly with our mission.
Launched the Super Package for patrons only (combining our best templates into one package for easy duplication and onboarding)
Validation couldn't come fast enough. On the first day of launch, Co-x3 received its first pledge.
Feb 2020
Released follow-up video on how to be intentional with actionable templates to follow
Started a discord server for the community to discuss productivity, growth, and learning.
Created 3 patron tiers to provide additional perks for extremely passionate supporters
Conducted a lightning talk with Tiago Forte in Singapore
Joined a Notion office hours with Marie Poulin
At the end of the month, we had 51 total patrons!
Right after we launched our new tiers, we had a wave of suport. Nikolaus was our first Co-x3 Patron.
At this point, I was super busy on a weekly basis. I was pushing out updates for both #theGamificationProject and Be Intentional Templates, with requests for templates coming left and right. Altogether, we had 10+ templates ranging from finance tracking, timeboxing, personal CRM, meal planner, etc. - all bundled into one super package for patrons to enjoy.
Mar 2020
From interacting with members, I learned that our community helps givers give
Huge update for #theGamificationProject for custom badges to keep track of streaks
At the end of the month, we had 60 total patrons and our discord had over 100 members!
We got our first top 100 supporter, who shared a touching story of why what we've built means so much to her.
I kept creating new templates and improving templates every week (all documented in our newsletters). It was tough, but rewarding to see that my systems were useful for others to follow and learn from.
"Hey Conrad, you’re a super hero. Like seriously, I’ve been doing Notion builds & developing template structures for over a year, & your level of depth & detail on how you’re configuring each section for very intentional living is so incredibly refreshing & impactful. I was already impressed when you initially announced the gamification. I can’t wait to look into this more & see how I can incorporate some of these tactics in my own Notion workspace for more Intentional Living. Looking forward to connecting with you & the Co-x3 Community." - Sean Wildenfree
Early Apr 2020
We took a BIG step and moved to mighty networks and got our own custom domain
Hit 100 members inside the community within a week of launch (100% migration)
We started weekly catchups on Sundays to engage in honest accountability
Created a leaderboard space in the community to post weekly character progression
Project #2: Co-x3 Scaling 📈

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