Many of you remember a time when steemit was growing like there was no tomorrow. The explosion of cryptocurrency certainly did help us. I tend to think that about half the people who came were looking for the next crypto get-rich-quick scheme, and then the other half were sincere about participating in a new kind of social media, more censorship resistant, monetized, more community oriented and more decentralized.
Our turnover rate was abysmal though, absolutely horrifying. Why was that? Sure, many left because crypto wasn't the hot thing anymore, but more probably left because of the bidbots and crappy posts that filled the trending page. Luckily those issues are behind us.
There was one more reason why so many people left though, and it still haunts us today: because they came with the wrong expectations.
How many of us tried to get our friends to join by promising riches?
"You get paid for likes!!"
This was the most common thing people said to get their friends and family on board. That or "BITCOIN IS THE FUTURE!!" sounding mad about some technology that none of them understood and one that many were calling a scam. Some joined and left because after their first post, which did alright, the rest of their posts earned them a fraction of what they would make working a part time. Can you blame them for leaving when we were the ones who tried to sell them on "You get paid for likes!"
"Did you join steemit? Did you join steemit? Did you join Steemit?"
This just annoyed the hell out of your friends, didn't it. Most of them just checked it out out of obligation and felt it was overly complicated and left.
Now we have a new name and that gives us a second chance.
Let's get it right this time
Here are some tips for not only on-boarding your friends and family, but encouraging them to stay.
Don't try to convince them to join at all
If we push too hard, people feel we want them to join for our own selfish reasons. On the other hand, if you just casual drop in conversation that you have amazing friends from all corners of the earth, you are part of this-or-that community, or that you earned bitcoin, people will naturally be inquisitive. They will follow their own curiosity and eventually ask you questions that will allow you to speak more about Hive. Play it cool.
Save the monetization point for the K.O.
When I mention Hive, I talk about the awesome community, my personal growth and the interesting people I've met first. Once they sound interesting I hit them with the deal breaker. "Oh yeah, and you can earn money. I earned ....... this year writing stuff I wanted to write anyway." This leads money to be a motivating factor for people to put more effort into the platform, but if they're interest was already piqued before you mentioned money, they are FAR more likely to stay and stick it out after the honeymoon is over.
Introduce them to your Hive friends
There are many ways to do this. I do a podcast with @vincentnijman and share it on both 3speak and youtube. I hope we can grow it on both platforms to help build a bridge to the platform. When friends ask me about it I tell them I met Vincent at this cool online community, and they are often interested.
#POSH is another example of how to get the word out. Posting articles on twitter or sharing them directly lets people know the platform exists.
I also share artwork from certain hivesters, like the other day I shared @autobodhi's work with two friends. They loved it. Think that won't help to onboard people?
You could hire some artists from Hive to do work for you and then tell people where you met.
You don't need to onboard them right away
Take your time with it, just keep exposing them to the platform without it being unnatural of overbearing and they will naturally become interested.
What to say when they ask you "What happened to Steemit?"...
Some friends may have tried steemit before. Or they may have thought about it.
Show them the right communities
A platform full of randomness is a bit overwhelming. Rather than telling your friends about the whole of hive, sometimes it's better to focus on a community within hive that you feel they will connect with.
#naturalmedicine is really helpful in getting my friends interested in the platform because many are into growing vegetables, qigong, yoga, and other things that they can easily find there.
Last week I discovered the @build-it community which will make it much easier to onboard my brother because he is into making stuff and fixing stuff.
Be honest with them, it's not a cakewalk
Tell them upfront, your first post may or may not do well, and after that it's hard to build momentum. Tell them that if you don't engage with others, no one will care about your post. Tell them that when they are just fishing for votes, the experienced users can smell it a mile away. Tell them to be themselves and to make friends and get involved and that after a few months or a year, they will develop a steady support network. Tell them it's better to stay for the community cause you will be disappointed otherwise. Tell them that if they get the rewards out of their mind, one day they'll notice their posts are worth a whole lot more.
Follow your own advice: Engage
We can't just tell them to engage, we have to engage a bit too. Obviously everyone has their own lifestyle and availability so it will vary from person to person. Just don't leave them hanging.
Watch over them and make sure they are doing alright
Follow their progress and walk them through it a bit. Don't obsess over them but give them tips when you can. Feedback helps. Obviously an upvote or sharing their post can help them. Giving them gifts or introducing them to Hive friends can be more helpful though. Make sure to comment on their posts.
Don't forget about them after the honeymoon
I feel one of the biggest reasons people leave now is because the honeymoon is too sweet and after it is too sour. When supporting new users in general, it's far more helpful to spread your support for them over the course of a few months, rather than showering them with love for a week and then forgetting about them. No need to spoil them, let them learn to love the grind, but be there when they need you.