It’s easy to know the value of a sale or a customer. But what about followers? Or forum participants? Or webinar attendees? Or open-source contributors?
The Orbit Model is a new way to visualize and quantify your entire community, so you can better engage with them and provide a more valuable experience.
See how the Orbit Model can boost your community.
Identify and segment your community into Orbit levels
Know what to offer someone based on their Orbit level
Create connections between members in your Orbit levels
Incentivize those in outer levels to interact more and get closer
The Orbit Model was created by veterans of the open-source and developer relations communities. And we know that getting buy-in from developers looks a lot different from a typical product sales cycle. The Orbit Model was built with this field in mind, but the approach can be applied to any number of industries, types, and sizes of communities.
So, how does it work? Start by understanding Orbit levels.
Your organization or product is the center of your universe. Around it are all the people who interact with you and other community members in different ways and in various amounts.
Some may be highly active members who are closer in, others might just subscribe to your newsletter and are further away. These different kinds of engagement are your Orbit levels.
Your community members show you Love in lots of ways: by signing up for emails, attending a meetup, writing a guest blog post, or helping out in Slack or your forums (that’s just a few).
The quantity, quality, and recency of a member’s activities determines their Love. The more you know how and how often your members are engaging, the better you’ll be able to connect with them at the right moments — and design new ways for them to interact.
Love determines a member’s Orbit level and captures the many fluid relationships in your community.
Reach simply represents the size of your members’ networks, influence, and activity across the internet. If someone in your community is well-connected on Twitter and active on Github, their Reach will be high — and that’s good for you.
Reach shows how influential individual members are.
Based on the Love and Reach of your members, your Gravity represents the ability of your community to attract new people and retain existing ones. When you measure and increase your Love and Reach, your Gravity grows.
Gravity quantifies how attractive your community and product are.
Now, let’s see how the Orbit Model translates into real value.
You know your community is beneficial to you and your members. But you might not know exactly how to track and amplify that value. Since there are a zillion potential ways to use the Orbit Model, check out a few examples and you may start to see how it can work for you.
Regardless of your industry or scale, the goal of the Orbit Model is to create more value with and for your community. Want to capture all that value? Take a look at how it works alongside a more traditional sales model.
A traditional sales funnel is binary — a person is either a lead, or they’re not (it’s also more than 125 years old, but that’s a story for another time). But an online community is much more dynamic and distributed. Always in motion, the value of a community is hard to quantify. And it gets harder when you have points of contact across multiple platforms (email, Twitter, GitHub, Slack, etc.).
Here’s how the Orbit Model is different, yet complementary:
Hear us out: the Orbit Model doesn’t replace your sales funnel, it sits on top and enhances it. When you have a dynamic view of your community, you can better identify who and when to engage members into your sales process. Your Orbit creates value, and your funnel captures it.