From Obama to Fiverr: How the Snowflake Model Creates Movements

From Obama to Fiverr: How the Snowflake Model Creates Movements

Podcast to Blog

Episode 2

On the C2C Podcast, Episode 2, Derek Anderson, CEO and Co-Founder of Bevy talks with Brent Messenger, Community Manager at Fiverr, about how he has used the snowflake model to build, grow, and scale his communities from the Obama campaign, to the international Fiverr community.
(Full Podcast Transcript)

Building a community in real life is no easy feat. How do you grow a national, or international community without being there to host events and grow it yourself? In an interview on the C2C Podcast with Brent Messenger, Head of Community at Fiverr, Derek Andersen, CEO and Co-Founder of Bevy, discovered how Brent went from the Obama campaign to Fiverr, and how he brought the Snowflake Model with him.

The snowflake model is a method of organizing members of a community. Popularized by Marshall Ganz, the snowflake model is used by many companies and organizers, including during the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012. The snowflake model mobilizes local members to take a leadership role and organize their local team. More and more companies are adopting this way of spreading their community — empowering members to be leaders. It is an efficient way to nationally or even internationally scale a community.

Brent Messenger is no stranger to the snowflake model, and saw how important and useful it is during his work on the Obama campaigns. Instead of hiring one person to be a leader, or selecting only one volunteer to be in charge of the whole, a group of volunteers are selected to collaborate and build the team together. There are a multitude of reasons why this is important. Brent puts it like this:

“It creates great connection between the people who are doing it. It's a strong bonding experience for people who collaborate on these teams. It, obviously, gives them support in executing, so executing comes easier and better. But also, it provides a bit of insurance for the organization, in that, if a leader has to step out, a new leader can step in.”

So, how are these teams chosen? The people who are volunteering their time, helping build and scale a community, or spread the word of a campaign, how does a company choose them? Brent’s method is pretty simple, “our organizers have one on one conversations with leaders,” he says, “they determine who's going to be the most well suited to task, and then we put them through a series of tests that help us understand whether or not they're going to be good and successful.” The people who are chosen for these teams are carefully vetted. They are also not given too much responsibility all at once. Instead, tasks are rolled out in steps. A leader is never given a task too challenging, because they have proven they can handle it by completing all the tasks up to that point. Brent gives an example:

“There's a notion in snowflake model organizing of something called a ladder of engagement. It's not a complicated concept. But, basically, what it means is a response to a request would usually be dictated by the previous action. So, we don't want to go out and ask people to do something that's too challenging for them without asking them something that's less challenging before that. And, really, what we wanna do, ideally, is sequence the asks in such a way that by the time the person becomes a leader they've already taken all the smaller steps to get there, to such a degree that they're not overwhelmed or shocked by the responsibility. They feel completely comfortable with what's being asked of them.”

The beauty of the snowflake model is that the volunteers become like employees in the field. They are there, advocating and working for your brand or company or campaign. When you empower the super-users of the brand, amazing things can happen! “People are willing to do it for all kinds of different reasons,” Brent muses, “but you can, actually, get people [who are a] high level of quality. It's pretty amazing.”

To learn more about Fiverr's community and how they are using Bevy, read the Case Study!

(Full Podcast Transcript)

What to read next

Derek Andersen, CEO and Co-Founder of Bevy, talks with David Spinks, Founder and CEO of CMX, about how to build a community from the ground up. Getting Buy-In for your Community.

About Author

Beth McIntyre

Community & Events Marketing Manager at Bevy! Passionate about building our community and connecting with members. When I'm not writing for the Bevy Blog, I'm writing about my global travels!

Do you have any presale question to ask?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been.