2024 Community Benchmark Report, Creators
Ever wondered what sets the best communities apart, and how you measure up? It’s time to bust the all too common myths about successful communities that are holding back your growth—and find out once and for all what “good” really looks like.
Download the full report to unlock the exact acquisition, onboarding, engagement, and retention strategies the top 10% of community builders owe their success to.
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It’s time to put these myths to the test

Have you ever come across these common assumptions about successful communities?

They’re huge
They’re huge
Rich, engaging communities inevitably have thousands of members.
They’re free
They’re free
How else would they be able to attract and keep so many members?
They’re run by a team
They’re run by a team
A large team is needed to manage such a successful community.
They use complex tech
They use complex tech
You need a bunch of expensive, complicated tools to make it run.

You might have heard these rumors about what a successful community looks like. But what's really going on behind the scenes?

We took a look to find out.

Identifying the best communities on Circle

To identify the best community builders, we set a baseline by surveying 682 professional creators, entrepreneurs, and influencers, who built communities around their audiences.

Then, we layered on Circle product data, resulting in two distinct participant groups: Platinum creators (the top 10% of communities on Circle) and standard creators (everyone else).


qualify as STANDARD creators


qualify as PLATINUM creators

10 surprising takeaways about our most successful communities
Platinum communities look more like typical communities than you’d think.
Platinum myth
You need thousands of members to have a rich, engaging community.
Platinum fact

Community size alone doesn’t determine success. Platinum communities are no more likely to be jumbo-sized than standard ones. 

76% of Platinums have 500 members or fewer (similar to 82% of standards) and only 7% of Platinum communities have over 5,000 members, vs. 6% of standard communities.

Community sizeStandardPlatinum
1 - 10056%32%
101 - 50026%44%
501 - 1,0005%4%
1,001 - 5,0006%12%
5,001 - 10,0003%1%
Platinum myth
You need to make your community free, or you won’t attract and keep tons of members.
Platinum fact

Successful communities are monetized, either by charging members directly for access or by offering it as an add-on to another purchase.

Charging ensures joiners have a higher level of intent, commitment, and consequently engagement. The vast majority of Platinum communities require a purchase (93%), while 21% of standard communities are free to join.

Platinum myth
You need a large team to manage a successful community.
Platinum fact

You can run a successful community without a team, or with a small, efficient one.

Small teams build strong bonds with members, stay focused on impactful tasks, and leverage member-led initiatives for scalable growth.

Nearly 3 in 5 respondents don’t have any full-time help, and that’s true for both Platinum and standard creators. About the same number of respondents employ two or fewer part-time or freelance staff members.

# of full-time employeesStandardPlatinum
# of part-time employeesStandardPlatinum
Platinum myth
You need a bunch of expensive, complicated tools to manage a successful community—especially if you don’t have a large team to support you.
Platinum fact

You don’t need loads of tools, you only need the right ones. A simpler tech stack means less time juggling tools, and more time crafting and optimizing the member experience.

Half of all creators (Platinum and standard) use three tools or fewer to manage their community, including their community platform, email marketing, and any automation tools.

# of tools used to run their communityStandardPlatinum
More money doesn’t necessarily mean more members.
Half of Platinum creators spend $0 on new member acquisition.
% of marketing budget spent on acquisitionStandardPlatinum
0% - nothing!51%57%
N/A - I don't control this2%0%
However, they do use significantly more acquisition channels than standard creators.
Social media68%84%
Email / newsletter57%78%
Blog / website54%71%
Referrals / WOM62%68%
Events / workshops42%57%
Partnerships / collabs24%29%
Product purchase26%25%
Paid - social12%16%
Paid - search4%6%
Mobile app3%3%
I don't know / I don't track this2%0%
Anna Tyrie, Founder, English like a Native
“Once viewers or listeners grow accustomed to you, and naturally see you as an authority in your niche, you become front of mind when they are considering taking that next step.”

Anna Tyrie, Founder

English like a Native

Platinum creators onboard their members twice as fast.
Average # of days to onboard a new member
Average # of days to onboard a new member
Platinum creators are more likely to follow onboarding best practices.
Write an introduction57%76%
Read a "get started" post60%69%
Provide community guidelines45%68%
Encourage new members to complete their profile53%63%
Send a welcome DM42%60%
Offer a community tour34%60%
Participate in or join a conversation36%56%
Have an onboarding email sequence45%53%
Host welcome events or orientations22%22%
Straight from an expert

Jay Clouse,

The Lab


Enjoying the 2024 Community Benchmark Report so far?
This is just us scratching the surface.

Download the full report to get access to the exact onboarding, engagement, and retention tactics the top 10% of creators use, plus other exclusive expert insights.

Events are the ultimate engagement driver.
100% of Platinum creators organize events, and they host more of every type of event than standard creators.
Small group discussions / peer support 56%63%
Office hours / Q&As47%62%
Member showcases / success stories25%43%
Onboarding / orientation25%34%
Celebrations / milestones23%34%
Summits / conferences14%25%
Not only do Platinums host more events, they get more people to show up.
59% of Platinum creators said their events see more than 50% attendance vs. 33% of standard creators.
I don’t track this22%13%
Saya Hillman, Founder, Mac & Cheese Productions
“I usually include a note about the importance of face-to-face time in a community as well as a nod to safe spaces where you don’t have to worry about what you say being shared. When recordings are offered, people tend to prioritize the live event less. If they know it’s one and done, they’re more likely to do what they can to show up.”

Saya Hillman, Founder 

Mac & Cheese Productions

Platinum creators put retention first.
Platinum creators put retention first.
Platinum creators put retention first.
Platinum creators put retention first.
Platinum creators put retention first.
Re-engaging inactive members is tricky for everyone.
Re-engaging inactive members is tricky for everyone.
Re-engaging inactive members is tricky for everyone.
…but Platinum creators are still more likely to experiment with re-engagement tactics, except offering discounts.
Instead, they lead with the value they provide and price their offerings accordingly.
Adoption tactics to re-engage membersStandardPlatinum
Send personal DM / email47%56%
Promote relevant content / events19%19%
Send automated reactivation campaigns11%13%
Share a special offer / incentive10%6%
Straight from an expert

Jordan Godbey,



Platinums charge what they’re worth.
Platinums charge 
what they’re worth.
Platinums charge 
what they’re worth.
The secret to Platinum success is not more resources.
Platinum creators don’t have more money, employees, or hours in the day. What they do have is a profound understanding of their members that they pair with creative, smart tactics.
Mandy Ellis, Founder, The Wealth Lab
“If you start a community with the idea of keeping as many members as you can for as long as possible, build what they're asking for, recognize the things that solve their biggest problems and offer solutions, and be a good human leader for your members, that puts you in the right place from the first brick of community building. And then you can optimize as you grow.”

Mandy Ellis, Founder

The Wealth Lab

Looking forward to 2024

If there’s one thing we want you to take away from this report, it’s this; you don’t need any more money, members, or resources than you already have to achieve Platinum status.

That's not to say it's easy—no one is saying that (certainly not the hundreds of creators we heard from!). But the knowledge is now in your hands; what you choose to do with it is up to you.

Download the full report
Get access to the exact acquisition, onboarding, engagement, and retention tactics the top 10% of creators use, plus other exclusive expert insights.
Download the full report