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Tips for Ideal Member Surveys with examples

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or off of social media) you’ve been hearing the buzz about community, it is all the rage this year. 

The questions I get the most from new community leaders are “Where do I find new members?” and “How do I know if they are my ideal member? 

I’m excited to share tips with you to see the power of discovery and how getting some feedback from your ideal members can help you make decisions based on validation. 

According to Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence, the global online survey market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 16% through 2026. 

From recent research I’ve done, it seems like the best survey’s are those that keep things short, simple, make it easy to complete on a mobile device, including a visual or graphic image, and making the survey fun, among other tips.  

If you are looking for tech recommendations, I keep it simple and use Google Forms, but here’s an article that shares other tools

Recommend Tech tool: Google Forms 

Cost: Free with a Google account 

Time to set up and share: 15 minutes or LESS

Before you dive into the questions

Consider that a survey, interviews, and collecting data can take place in many different ways, formats, and over a long period of time. 

If you simply do not have time to do 1:1 interviews with potential members, consider the survey as a way to validate the community structure and strategy you are considering in your first launch or relaunch of your online community. 

A focus group could also be a way to collect data, conduct research, and get feedback from your ideal members by bringing them together for a Zoom call and asking a few questions to a group, that way people will feel like they don’t have to answer every question. 

This will also give you tons of ideas, suggestions, and ways to improve your current community (if you already have a community). Getting a third party involved might help in getting more authentic feedback, so consider hiring someone or asking your team for support in considering this option. (You can also hire me!) 

You don’t have to have a formal survey, consider that each time you speak with a potential or current member, every time you comment on their post, connect with them on social media, or have the opportunity to share a piece of content with them, this is an opportunity to gain data from your ideal members. 

What I learned is that just chatting with members during zoom calls I can ask a quick question or two that helps me do the same thing as an interview while just in conversation.

I think most people take the interviews as literal and I believe that they should be conversational to receive authentic feedback from members.

  • Surveying members with polls and posts that sprinkles in requests for members’ data 
  • Overall, there’s no need to be shy about asking members how to better serve them.
  • And yes, I struggle with paid members.
  • I believe it really does take time and intentional pivoting when things aren’t working.
  • Figure out the kind of content the members will enjoy consuming before you create
  • Lastly I want to have fun with you and the members here, and I know your members would love to have fun with you. 
  • Communities like ours offer a space for us to gather, laugh, and enjoy time with others who “get us” and that is why I love community building 

Survey Questions to consider

Would you want to share your journey in an online community? 

Do you feel like a private community would help you? (not on Facebook) 

Do you currently participate in online communities on this topic, if so please tell us the communities you are an active member? If none, just put N/A

If you participate in another online community, what do you like about it? What would you change about it? If you’re not involved in one, just put N/A

What support do you need from a community to help you with your current situation or challenges? 

Would you like to participate in online interactive events?

Would you invest in a community to help you with this journey? 

  1. I’m not able to invest right now
  2. $25/month for access to a private community
  3. $47/month for access to a private community, weekly Q&A, and learning tutorials
  4. $99/month for access to a private community, Live Q&A, and live coaching
  5. Other – write-in your thoughts 

If you answered – Other to the above question, please provide your feedback on what you’d be able to invest in a community that helps you address these challenges? 

Would you be willing to share your contact info? 

If you answered yes, please list your name, a phone number, and an email address so that we may contact you in the future. 

Please provide any additional thoughts, feedback, suggestions, or notes for us to consider 

What do you think makes a strong community? 

How has your participation in or membership of a community benefited you in the past? 

Additional Resources

Read our blog


Validating your community concept

Using the notes, feedback, and observing your “ideal members” during interviews, surveys, or focus groups, you can take that data to put together what you’ve learned for what will work for your community structure.

Read More »