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Guest Post: How I used Luma to build a community

Guest Post: How I used Luma to build a community

. 5 min read
Tom from Juro reached out to us asking to share his experiences with Luma. We're happy to feature his blog post here. Thanks Tom! — Victor

From Tom Bangay, Director of Content, Juro

I’ve been writing for and marketing to lawyers for more than ten years, and the one universal truth I can share is this: lawyers love breakfast. In-house legal teams tend to start their days a little later than some, and work much later than most, but by breakfast their day hasn’t been ruined yet, and it’s the perfect window to meet peers.

In-house legal can also be pretty lonely. In high-growth scaleups in particular, legal teams often start with one or two lawyers and stay that way for some time, even as commercial headcount grows hugely. Being responsible for the company’s legal risk can weigh heavy, and lawyers really appreciate the chance to talk to peers about the problems unique to their role.

Before Coronavirus, at Juro we used to run monthly breakfast events to get our current and future customers together. It worked really well - we’d set the conversation off and then listen and befriend our guests. It often led to sales conversations and revenue. But once lockdowns became universal, all that was over.

At first we spent time trying to track down our ideal customers - lean legal teams at scaleups - online. But they were as busy and overwhelmed as everyone else, and difficult to track down. This was when we decided to launch a formal community.

Rather than run around the internet looking for needles in a haystack, we decided to build the perfect place for them, and invite them in. We formalised entry requirements, built out a strategy and some short-term targets, and got to work.

It was extremely important that what we created be frictionless, with a great user experience. Although Juro customers are usually early adopters (internally we call them visionary GCs), the legal industry as a whole isn’t at the vanguard when it comes to tech adoption. It also needed to be really easy for me to administer.

For community applications, I set up a quick Typeform, to make sure the right kind of people made it through - the broader the community became, the less useful it would be to our core persona. We spun up a landing page, created a Slack group and some simple marketing design, and we were ready to go.

Member acquisition

We approached member recruitment like sales: start with the soft targets first. Existing customer; thought leaders we’d already featured on our blog; current sales prospects who would welcome the chance to network. I did personal outreach via email to increase the likelihood of conversion, and we had our first thirty members.

We shared relevant content - of which we had plenty - and new resources, like our privacy policy or NDA templates. These performed fine, and people clicked and downloaded the resources. But it quickly became apparent that the difference between a mailing list and a community was events. Regular, well-attended, high-quality events.

I found Luma through a fellow community builder. As a startup marketer, I place an incredibly high value on peer recommendation; if I respect the peer in question then the simple fact they’ve chosen a product is pretty much good enough for me to select or buy it. I signed up in a couple of clicks, verifying via my Zoom account, and got started in Luma.

There are several key features that differentiate Luma and through which I’ve been able to grow my community through its first few hundred members.

Gorgeous landing pages

Considering it’s perhaps THE software success story of the past year, Zoom’s landing pages sure ain’t pretty. Image sizes are inflexible, formatting is rigid, and the whole experience feels technical and procedural. Luma’s drag and drop image functionality, and simple formatting options for event descriptions, make it easy to set up an inviting event in a couple of minutes.

Meeting functionality just works

I have no time to test signup flows and meeting access. This is a closed-door community, so every event is run as a meeting, not a webinar - we want to encourage members to turn their cameras on, unmute and participate. Never once has any member needed to ask how to join an event. Ever.

Automated updates

Similarly, when I had to postpone an event at short notice due to a speaker emergency, changing the calendar date moved everyone’s events seamlessly. I could even email all attendees in a few clicks from within the app to advise of the cancellation.

Approval at the door

The reason this community works at all is that it’s peer to peer. We need to be able to keep out everyone who follows in-house lawyers around - private practice lawyers, consultants, salespeople and marketers from other vendors. Everyone who signs up for an event needs to be personally approved with a click from me, keeping our community exclusive.

Connectivity and flexibility

We still want to nurture members to potential sales opportunities, so I need to make sure that member activity is tracked in our marketing systems of record. I used Zapier to connect Luma to HubSpot, making sure our contact intel is always up to date.

Three months in: the results

By using Luma to create and enable my community, I’ve been able to realise several tangible benefits that actually move the needle for us commercially.

  1. My time: alongside creating this community, I’m also looking after all our content and brand channels. It wouldn’t have a hope of working if it wasn’t insanely simple and intuitive, but with Luma somehow I’ve grown this community to 200 members with weekly events and STILL had time to do my actual job.
  2. My understanding: by making it so easy for me to facilitate networking with our current and ideal future customers, Luma has enabled me to learn so much more about our target audience - what makes them tick, and what keeps them up at night.
  3. Our revenue: three members have already made the hallowed journey into the juro-customers channel, and it’s no coincidence that they’re some of the most active event attendees. Many more members are now in active sales conversations too ...
  4. Value for them: … and perhaps most importantly for our members, the whole enterprise is based on value. Members are here because they want to be, and because via Luma we’re able to offer them what they’ve been missing in lockdown - private, peer-level conversations with fellow in-house lawyers.

So what’s next? Hopefully, the short journey from 200 to 500 members (and for my sake, a full-time community manager). Once the pandemic recedes and real-world events come back, it’ll be great to get our members together for a physical meetup. But I suspect and hope that digital events via Luma are here to stay.

Find out more about the Juro community.