The 21 Best Online Community Platforms and Mastermind Group Software
Do you plan to build an online community or run a mastermind group? You’ll need to choose the right online community platform for the job. Running a virtual community isn’t a walk in the park, so you’ll need all the help you can get. That entails technology that helps you drive engagement, analyze member behavior, and host events (among other tasks).
This article reveals the 21 best online community platforms and mastermind group software currently available.
What Are the Best Online Community Platforms and Mastermind Group Software Tools?
Any serious online entrepreneur who wants to build a community around their brand needs community management software. Online community platforms and mastermind group software provide tools for driving engagement and managing your community (e.g., moderation and notifications).
My team has selected the top three online community platforms and mastermind software and has provided an overview of some other great selections below. Our top picks are Thinkific, Skool, and Mighty Networks.
The three community manager software tools highlighted as the best here combine some of the finest all-around qualities ranging from moderation controls, gamification tools, templates and themes, website builders, and notifications.
Thinkific is a well-known online course platform that provides tools for creating paid membership communities. It has a built-in website builder that makes designing your community incredibly easy. And you can get detailed analytics that informs your creative decisions.
One of many features this online community software provides for running your membership-based online business is its automated notifications, which alert your members to new content. Also, its member profiles drive interactions between your community members, while tools like @mentions and reactions keep them returning to the community.
- You can “turn your knowledge into learning products” and offer it as a course
- Its built-in website builder lets you create a professional storefront for your online business without needing coding skills
- Built-in e-commerce and marketing features help you promote and sell your online course
- The Thinkific Communities feature provides the tools you need to grow and run your online mastermind group
- Its analysis tools help you understand your target audience, letting you create courses that boost engagement
- Web notifications inform members when you post in the community, driving engagement
- Profiles put faces to your members’ names, driving connections between them and their fellow peers
Thinkific has four plans.
The free plan lets you host one course and create one community. Also, it accommodates two spaces per community.
The Basic plan costs $36 per month. You can create unlimited courses, and it provides five spaces per community.
The Start plan costs only $75 per month and provides 10 spaces per community.
Finally, the Grow plan costs $149 per month. In addition to providing 20 spaces per community, this plan lets you manage three communities.
If you need an all-in-one platform you can use to create courses and manage a mastermind community, Thinkific is one of the best mastermind group platforms for the job. The software has every tool you’ll need to build a thriving community from the ground up.
Also, online entrepreneurs, coaches, teachers, and other professionals will appreciate how easy this software makes it to monetize their expertise. And anyone looking to grow their community will appreciate its analytics tool. Try the product here.
Going by its name alone, it’s easy to mistake Skool for a platform solely meant for creating online courses. However, thanks to features like gamification tools, an analytics dashboard, mass notifications, and more, this online community platform is excellent for creating mastermind groups.
This online community platform offers an intuitive user experience and many features for driving engagement. You can easily set up your mastermind group and track member engagement and the group’s growth with its uncluttered dashboard.
- The Skool Communities feature empowers you to create virtual spaces where your mastermind members can congregate
- This online community platform has a powerful search feature that makes it easy for mastermind group members to search for content, other members, and more from one search box
- Skool’s email broadcast feature makes sharing new content with the mastermind group a one-click affair
- You can track your online community’s growth and your members’ engagement using Skool’s straightforward and intuitive analytics dashboard
- Skool’s built-in calendar enables the scheduling of mastermind group events, complete with automated reminder emails and member timezones
Skool’s sole subscription price costs $99 a month. For that price, you can create one mastermind group that can accommodate unlimited mastermind members. Also, the subscription plan lets you create an infinite number of courses to keep your members engaged and incentivize them to return to your online community.
Skool is more than a course-creation platform, making it perfect for online entrepreneurs who want to grow a mastermind group around their educational content. This online community platform excels at organizing mastermind events, with all credit going to its built-in calendar and mass email broadcast.
What’s impressive about Skool’s calendar is how it displays event times according to the group members’ time zones. That feature ensures a higher attendance rate. Try the product here.
3. Mighty Networks
Mighty Networks is an excellent online community platform with many features for creating mastermind groups. You can use it for building membership sites and landing pages, selling courses, live-streaming events, and more. And it has a free version you can try before upgrading to its feature-packed paid subscription.
This online community platform excels at driving member engagement. Your group members can share files, create unique profile pages, and so on. Meanwhile, its Zoom integration makes running conferences a breeze. And when selling courses, you can collect your payments in hundreds of currencies.
- Mighty Networks’ live-streaming feature and Zoom integration means you can host live events, offer one-on-one coaching, set up conferences and meetups, and more
- Mastermind group members can create profile pages that help them establish connections with other members and invite conversations
- You can obtain valuable insights about your mastermind group or online community using the analytics provided by the Mighty Insights feature
- The member activities feed ensures group members stay updated about community events, new content uploads, group activities, and similar news within the community
- Mighty Networks supports multimedia files that enable members to share content within the group members
Mighty Networks has three plans.
The Community plan starts at $33 a month and provides features like paid memberships, text chat, and native video and live streaming.
The Business plan costs $99 per month. It includes all the Community plan’s features and extras, like the Mighty Insights analytics feature and the ability to create courses.
The Mighty Pro has a custom price. In addition to the Business plan’s features, it provides an iOS and Android app. Contact the sales team for its price.
If it’s your first time running a mastermind group, Mighty Networks may be an excellent choice. Its free version provides many features small businesses and online entrepreneurs will need to get their virtual communities up and running.
When you upgrade, you can look forward to monetizing your community with paid memberships, hosting virtual events and live streams, and many other goodies Mighty Networks provides to paying customers. Try the product here.
4. Bettermode (Formerly Tribe)
Bettermode is one of the best online community platforms for building a community from scratch. For example, a Bettermode subscription provides access to the software’s plethora of features, like its data-rich analytics capabilities and engagement-driving gamification tools.
Additionally, you can put power in your members’ hands by assigning them roles and privileges. It’s your choice whether you appoint admins and moderators to keep your community safe or automatically regulate member behavior using tools like its keyword blocklist or profanity filter.
- Bettermode’s profanity filter and keyword blocklist ensure mastermind group discussions remain civil and PG-13
- Bettermode is an incredibly customizable online community platform, and its customization features mean you can shape your community as you see fit
- You can assign member roles, permissions, and privileges to organize your community into regular members, admins, and moderators
- Bettermode provides analytics tools you can use to measure member engagement and community growth, learn community trends, and so on
- Your group members can earn badges and engage with Bettermode’s other gamification features, ensuring community members earn recognition for their positive contributions
Bettermode has two plans, both of which provide a white-label experience. Both plans provide features like single sign-on, but the Enterprise plan is the only one that provides enterprise-grade security features (e.g., a security log and audit).
The Advanced plan costs $599 per month. Meanwhile, the Enterprise plan has a custom price, meaning you’ll need to contact sales for the amount. Book a demo here to learn more about both Bettermode plans.
Enterprise-level businesses and huge brands will get the most out of Bettermode. This is the online community platform to get if community regulation ranks high on your community management priority list.
Also, if you’re concerned about driving engagement, don’t be: Bettermode’s gamification features are incredibly useful in that respect. And you can rely on its analytics to learn about your community and its members. Check out the product here.
According to its team, “thousands trust Discourse as the place to build flourishing, civilized communities.” This open-source platform provides a slew of helpful features that are tailor-made for creating mastermind communities. For example, its real-time chat capabilities mean your members can build relationships in your Discourse-powered community.
Discourse has moderation tools that help keep conversations between members civilized and fends off spammy and harmful content. And your members can earn badges for being a positive influence in the community.
- Dynamic notifications inform you (in-app and via email) when a community member mentions you, replies to a post, etc.
- Real-time chat features drive conversations between members, facilitating relationships and encouraging them to return to the group
- The companion Discourse mobile app lets members return to the community from any Android or iOS device
- Moderation tools prevent spam and dangerous content from proliferating in your community and help to resolve disputes
- Gamification tools like its built-in trust system encourage members to actively participate in the community
- Multiple social login options let members access the community through their preferred social media platform
Discourse has four plans.
The Basic plan costs $25 per month. It accommodates up to 100 members and provides features like 10 GB of storage and email support.
The Standard plan costs $100 per month. It accommodates unlimited members, provides 20 GB of storage, and has features like social login and single sign-on.
The Business plan costs $300 per month. It accommodates up to 15 administrators and moderators, provides 100 GB of storage, and features like 300,000 monthly emails.
The Enterprise plan accommodates an unlimited number of admins and moderators and provides 200 GB of storage. Contact sales for the price.
Discourse provides a straightforward and approachable means for creating and managing mastermind communities. Creators, businesses, and everyone in between are likely to appreciate this software’s moderation tools, chat capabilities, and similar features.
Also, the platform’s gamification features will encourage community participation, while its mobile app will ensure your members stay connected to the community wherever they may be. Check out the product here.
StoryPrompt is an online community platform with an emphasis on communication through video. This software is excellent for community building due to how easy it makes sharing video testimonials.
If you want to promote your community to potential members, you can encourage your existing ones to share their testimonials. And since StoryPrompt is incredibly easy to use, neither you nor your ambassadors will need video editing skills to make high-quality videos.
- Asynchronous face-to-face video capabilities let you form personal relationships with your members
- StoryPrompt’s monetization features let you make money with your membership communities
- Easy-to-use video-recording tools mean you can collect user-generated content like testimonials and embed them in your website or social platforms
- StoryPrompt Spaces let you create virtual locations where members can congregate and deepen relationships
- With StoryPrompt recaps, your members can easily catch up on any video conversations they missed
- Its moderation tools prevent your members from being exposed to harmful or toxic content
- Interactive in-take forms let you collect leads and onboard new members into your community
StoryPrompt has four plans.
The Basic plan is free. It has watermarked videos but provides features like 2-minute-long videos and unlimited spaces.
The Starter plan costs $39 per month. This plan removes the watermark from your videos, and you can create 3-minute-long videos.
The Pro plan costs $79 per month. In addition to 5-minute-long videos, you get analytics, integration with Zapier, and more.
The Premium plan costs $124 per month. It has features for white labeling, includes a dedicated coach, concierge onboarding, and more.
StoryPrompt is excellent for businesses and influencers who’ve begun building a following. Its built-in video recording tools make extracting video testimonials from your biggest fans straightforward.
Also, it’s one of the top online community platforms for video conferencing. The software’s recaps feature makes it possible for members who missed out on an event to catch up, encouraging them to attend future events. Check out the product here.
7. Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups offers a low-cost way to create a community around a brand. It’s little wonder why associations, large and small businesses, online entrepreneurs, and more use the platform to foster a sense of community among their audiences.
This free online community platform provides features like chat, live streams, bulk announcements, and many more. Also, you can appoint moderators from within your community’s members. While it doesn’t offer as much personalization as other platforms, it’s one of the best free options available.
- 100% free
- It has live streaming capabilities, enabling one-on-one or group video conferences with your mastermind group members
- The platform’s mass notifications mean you can share content with thousands of your members instantly
- Facebook Groups supports popular file formats, allowing you to share resources (guides, eBooks, etc.) with your members
- Member badges and similar gamification features provide a convenient means of rewarding members who contribute positively to the group, driving engagement
- Post-pre-approval and similar moderation tools prevent members from encountering spam and troll posts
- The Group Insights tools provide helpful analytics that can guide your group maintenance strategy
Facebook Groups is a free platform. You can begin creating an online community after signing up for a free Facebook business account.
Anyone can use Facebook Groups to create an online community. Not only is it 100% free, but it provides many features that put it on par with some paid options.
In addition, businesses that build communities on Facebook can take advantage of the platform’s name-brand recognition and 3-billion-strong user base. They won’t need to try to convince their audiences to join them on a separate platform.
Slack is one of the most well-known communication tools for businesses. This software has real-time text and voice chat capabilities and is built around the concept of channels. Slack channels are shared virtual spaces where teams and groups can hang out. As such, it’s a good place to build an online community (albeit a limited one).
This platform supports file-sharing and integrations with productivity tools like Google Drive and Zoom. However, unlike other online community platforms, it doesn’t have native monetization functionality.
- Slack’s real-time chat capabilities facilitate communication between members
- Thanks to its file-sharing capabilities, group members can share resources in popular file formats like JPEG, PDF, .doc, mp3, mp4
- Integrations with popular productivity applications streamline resource-sharing and enable video calls between members
- Slack channels provide digital meeting places where your members can hang out and exchange ideas
- It has a straightforward, user-friendly interface that enables easy navigation between Slack channels
- The platform’s persistent message history means newly-invited members can get up to speed on the community’s happenings
- It has security features that ensure privacy and data protection
Slack has four plans.
The free plan accommodates a maximum of 10 integrations with third-party productivity software. Also, it supports audio and video conversations (one-on-one only).
The Pro plan costs $7.25 a month and accommodates unlimited integrations. It supports audio and video conversations with a maximum of 50 people.
The Business+ plan costs $12.50 a month. In addition to the Pro plan’s features, it provides extras like advanced identity management.
Finally, the Enterprise Grid doesn’t have pricing information. Contact sales for the price.
Although Slack is more a business communication tool than an online community software, you can use it to maintain an online community. The paid version provides video conferencing functionality for up to 50 people and it has features like chat for communication between members.
Small businesses, influencers, and online entrepreneurs can use it when launching an online community for the first time. Try the product here.
Circle is an “all-in-one community platform” with a focus on creators and brands. You can use it to host virtual events, run subscription-based memberships, sell courses, and more. And unlike other online community platforms, you won’t need to use third-party software (even if it supports integrations with a few of them).
Crucially, it has monetization features. And your members can build connections publicly and privately in its many chat rooms.
- You can create private virtual spaces where your mastermind group members can meet up to converse, trade ideas and resources, get feedback, and more
- Circle lets members RSVP your events in their calendars, ensuring a decent attendance rate
- Your members can communicate using Circle’s group chat and direct messaging features, driving collaboration and building bonds
- Circle lets you personalize your online community by including a custom domain, your brand’s colors, and integrations with your website
- You can use Circle’s gated monetization capabilities to control access to your online community and create members-only environments
Circle provides three subscription plans.
The Basic plan costs $49 per month and provides features like moderation, monetization features, unlimited events, and an iOS application.
The Professional plan costs $99 a month. It provides all of the Basic plan’s features and extras like advanced analytics and custom Single Sign-on.
Finally, the Enterprise plan costs $399 monthly. It provides features like concierge onboarding and priority email support. And it has every feature in the Professional plan.
Circle is for creators and brands. It has all the features you’ll need to build a community around your brand, the most prominent being its gated monetization capabilities.
The software’s iOS application is similarly impressive, as it enables your mastermind group members to log in to your community from wherever they deem most comfortable and whatever screen size they prefer. Circle has a free trial available here.
Zapnito offers one of the most user-friendly interfaces of any of the platforms on this list. You can easily build a community and the software provides community management features aplenty for when your community thrives.
You get over 50 ways to notify your members when you upload new content. And you can monetize your community through Google Ads or integration with the payment processor Stripe. Also, this platform is excellent for creating sponsored content. And the team behind it provides personalized support.
- It has the most intuitive interface, meaning you can easily create a bustling online community in short order
- Its automated engagement features provide 50+ ways to notify your members about community events, content drops, and so on
- Zapnito lets you monetize your community using multiple options (Stripe, Google Ads, etc.)
- Your members can use Zapnito’s communication tools to interact with one another, driving engagement and incentivizing them to return to your community
- Zapnito’s intuitive tools ensure that your members can easily contribute member-generated content to the community, facilitating engagement
- You can use Zapnito to create sponsored content
Zapnito has two plans: a Corporate and Enterprise plan. Neither plan has any pricing information on Zapnito’s website, so we suggest you contact Zapnito for a quote. In the alternative, consider filling out the form on this page to speak with Zapnito’s team.
Businesses of all sizes can use Zapnito when building and managing online communities. Not only is this online community platform incredibly straightforward to use, but it also provides many features businesses will need to drive engagement with their communities.
Also, in spite of Zapnito’s low learning curve, the Zapnito team prides itself on being ready to help. You can expect to receive timely responses and personalized help if you run into any issues with the software. Check out the product here.
If you’re looking for a customizable community platform that can manage communities, sell courses, and more, Disciple might be worth a look. This platform offers a laundry list of features that’ll have you growing your online community in no time.
Disciple has monetization features built into its design, meaning you can charge your members a recurring subscription fee. You can live stream events, send direct messages, and organize your content from one central hub. And it integrates with software like MailChimp for a seamless creative experience.
- Push notifications ensure your members return to the community to interact with your new content
- Its live streaming and direct messaging capabilities let you connect with your members in real-time
- Disciple’s powerful analytics features provide insightful data on your members’ engagement with your content
- The built-in monetization features let you earn a recurring income from your community through membership subscriptions and other means (e.g., in-app purchases)
- Disciple’s integrations with third-party applications like Airtable and MailChimp let you streamline content creation for your community
- The central hub Disciple provides for administering your community helps you to organize your content into folders, groups, lists, and more
Disciple has four plans.
The Web plan costs $46 per month. It provides a self-service community your members can access through a web browser.
The Start plan costs $308 per month. It’s partially self-serviced but also provides access to a mobile app your community members can log in through.
The Grow plan costs $633 per month and includes a white-label mobile app and other features to grow your thriving community.
The Pro plan costs $999 per month and includes priority support, advanced features, custom analytics, and more.
Disciple is for online entrepreneurs and small businesses. If you fall into either category, you’ll appreciate the software’s built-in monetization tools and third-party integrations.
Also, this online community management software excels at keeping your community administration efforts organized. If you plan to provide resources for your community, the central hub Disciple provides for storing files will be a godsend. Try the product here.
inSided is excellent for building online communities from the ground up. It has gamification features for driving engagement, moderation tools for keeping things civil, and data-rich analytics that provide helpful community insights.
In addition, you can host video conferences and live Q&A sessions on the platform, and your audience members can post comments to engage with your content. And if you run a B2C enterprise, you can create a knowledge base your customers can use to seek answers.
- The built-in gamification engine facilitates likes, point systems, award badges, and more, encouraging community member engagement
- inSided supports Advanced Q&A discussions, ensuring you drive engagement among your community members.
- You can use the analytics tools inSided provides to glean helpful insights about your community that help you make data-backed informed decisions
- Its moderation prevents your community from devolving into a toxic environment
- You can assign user roles, easily manage users (updating information, adding and deleting members, etc.), and regulate community access
- An easy-to-use, fully customizable drag-and-drop interface makes building a community with your branding possible
inSided has three plans, depending on the number of admin seats provided: The Professional plan (3 seats), the Business plan (5 seats), and the Enterprise (10 seats) plan.
Unfortunately, you won’t find their pricing information on the inSided website. As an alternative, consider requesting a quote for the plan you’re interested in here.
If you don’t want to rely on existing social media platforms when community building, inSided may be the online community platform you’re looking for. The software’s drag-and-drop functionality community builder allows businesses and professionals of all types and skill levels to build communities easily.
Also, B2C companies will appreciate this software’s gamification features and knowledge base. They allow them to drive engagement and provide a virtual hub where their customers can go to seek answers to customer service-related queries. Check out the product here.
Hivebrite has community-building capabilities organizations like the British Heart Foundation seem to appreciate. It provides everything from moderation tools to a central hub where businesses can post product information for their customers’ reading convenience. And it provides a payment gateway you can use to process subscription fees.
One of its most impressive features is how you can use it to create forums. This functionality allows your customers to get answers to questions about your products from other people who’ve used them. And it’s fully customizable, letting you incorporate your corporate colors when building your community.
- Hivebrite provides moderation tools for community regulation, including user permissions and role assignments
- It has powerful data management features, meaning you can export your members’ data into a CSV file
- Hivebrite provides monetization tools that let you charge subscriptions through payment gateways
- Its targeting filters make targeting members by group, location, industry, and other demographics straightforward, ensuring the content you share reaches the right people
- The platform’s in-app notifications ensure your members never miss an update and keep abreast of community activities and events
Hivebrite doesn’t provide pricing information on its site. With that said, you can request a demo here and inquire about the software’s price from the Hivebrite team. Also, you can shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to take up your price-related inquiry with someone on the sales team.
Large and small organizations, entrepreneurs, influencers, and others can use Hivebrite to build thriving communities. We recommend using the software when creating a community around your product, as you’ll want to take advantage of its forums feature.
Hivebrite’s forums feature provides two benefits: you can understand your customers’ pain points and incorporate their feedback into your future products. And you can provide a place where your customers can seek advice from other customers, saving on customer service costs. Check out the product here.
Discord is a well-known instant messaging platform that enjoys popularity with gamers (the original audience it was built for). It’s built around the concept of servers, which are invite-only chatrooms where users can hang out. As such, it’s an excellent software platform for creating and managing mastermind groups and online communities.
This platform supports communication via low-latency video, text chat, and voice. It has moderation tools for appointing admins and moderators to police content shared in the community. And the best part about this software is it’s 100% free.
- Discord’s voice channels provide spaces where members can pop in for discussions without needing to set up a phone call
- The moderation tools and custom member access let you create safe spaces free from spam and harmful content
- Its low-latency video capabilities mean members can connect over video and feel like they’re in the same room
- You can organize your Discord server into different topic-based channels where your members can congregate to chat
- The custom emojis drive engagement by letting your members put their unique spin on reactions to their peers’ messages (Nitro and Nitro Plus only)
Discord is free to use. However, you can subscribe to its Nitro plans to get additional features like bigger file size uploads, custom emojis, and more.
Try Discord if you’re looking for a free platform for community management. This platform has all the features influencers, small businesses, and solopreneurs need to run and manage virtual communities and mastermind groups.
When you spin up a Discord server for your community, you can expect to enjoy low-latency video, voice, and text chat when communicating with your members. Consider upgrading to one of its Nitro plans to drive member engagement with custom emojis. Try the product here.
Uscreen is another paid community platform that places heavy emphasis on video content. Its key features include its ultra-fast video player, which is capable of HD video, and its live chat capabilities.
Your mastermind group members can look forward to showcasing their personalities through customizable user profiles and avatars. The platform’s native commenting enables discourse and communication. And it has monetization built-in, allowing you to collect membership subscription fees from your group members.
- Uscreen’s native commenting feature lets you drive conversations and manage discussions from an easy-to-use dashboard
- The customizable user profiles and avatars encourage your members to showcase their unique personalities
- Its live-chat capabilities mean you can create engaging events (like Ask Me Anything) where your members can interact with you
- Uscreen’s monetization tools let you seamlessly collect membership fees from your global audience members
- A collection of themes and templates let you customize your community to fit your brand
- The fast video player provides high-definition quality video during live streams and conversations
Uscreen has three plans.
The Basic plan costs $99 per month. It accommodates one user and provides 50 hours of video storage, email support, and more.
The Growth plan costs $199 per month. It provides 150 hours of video storage, accommodates 3 users, has e-commerce integrations, and more.
Uscreen also offers a plan called Uscreen Plus, which has everything in the Growth plan plus extras like live-streaming analytics and a dedicated account manager. Contact the sales team for the details.
Influencers and online entrepreneurs who rely on video-based marketing will feel right at home when using Uscreen. This community platform has a fast-loading video player that provides crystal-clear high-definition video. So you can expect to host engaging video conferences, AMA sessions, and more.
Other than its video tools, your group members will have fun customizing Uscreen’s profiles and choosing avatars for themselves. Try the product here.
Guild is a mobile-first community management platform. By design, this mastermind group software looks good on any screen size. Therefore, your members will get an excellent user experience when accessing your community from their mobile devices.
In addition, Guild has live-streaming capabilities that provide multiple avenues for video-based events. You can host everything from webinars to meetups and training sessions. Meanwhile, since it’s GDPR-compliant, you can expect your community data to remain secure and private.
- Guild’s mobile-first design means your community will look good whether viewed by your members on their computer or mobile screens
- Its video and live streaming capabilities mean you can host webinars, meetups, training, and other community-building events
- The Guild admin suite provides an easy-to-use interface and insight analytics you can use to study community engagement
- Guild’s GDPR compliance means you get data privacy and protection from the get-go
- Its private direct messaging capabilities let your members forge connections with their peers
- A convenient mobile app allows your members to log in from anywhere
Guild has four plans.
The Basic plan is free and accommodates up to 100 members.
The Pro plan costs $24/£20 per month and accommodates 500 members, three groups, and three moderators. Also, it integrates with Zapier and supports brand customization (among other features).
The Business plan costs $192/£160 per month. It accommodates 5000 members and unlimited groups, supports video and live streaming, and provides priority support.
The Enterprise plan has a custom price. Contact sales for the price.
Guild is for businesses and entrepreneurs that value privacy and security. The fact that it’s GDPR-compliant ensures data safety, meaning you can run your online community or mastermind group in peace.
Also, its mobile-first design ensures that your members will get the best experience when logged in to your community regardless of their screen size. Try the product here.
With Volley’s innovative business model, small businesses, influencers, coaches, and other online personalities can establish communities without any upfront costs. Instead of paying a monthly or yearly fee, you only pay a percentage of every sale you make. This game-changing approach opens up new opportunities for individuals and teams who were previously unable to afford traditional software solutions.
In addition, Volley’s automatic transcription feature is a powerful tool that helps to keep all members up-to-date on community events. Whether they couldn’t attend a live-streaming event or simply want to revisit past discussions, Volley’s automatic transcription ensures that everyone is on the same page. This unique feature sets Volley apart from other platforms and can greatly enhance the value of your community.
- Volley’s fee structure means you can set up without spending a dime and only pay a small fee when you make a sale
- Volley Spaces provide virtual meeting rooms where your community members can gather to learn, discuss, or just relax
- Its monetization features let you charge members a subscription-based or one-time fee to join your community
- A customizable sales page lets you pull out all the stops to convince potential members to join your program or community
- Volley’s automatic transcription feature means members can easily follow along with events they missed by reading the transcripts
Volley has two plans.
The Free plan accommodates one admin and provides up to 1 GB of storage (with maximum file sizes of 50 MB). Also, you can read message history that stretches back up to 30 days.
Volley prides itself on the fact that it makes money “when you do.” Therefore, its Grow plan costs 5% of your revenue. This plan includes weekly analytics reports, one-year message history, subscription management, interactive transcripts, and more.
Volley is an excellent community management tool for coaches, influencers, and entrepreneurs. The platform’s pay-when-they-buy fee structure will appeal to anyone who falls in the above category and is new to community management tools.
Also, Volley is the only platform on this list that provides a customizable sales page. Therefore, it doubles as a member recruitment platform. Try the product here.
PeerBoard makes embedding a message board on your website possible. You can transform part of your site into a members-only forum that sports your branding and updates in real-time. And it provides tools for managing and moderating content created by members.
Also, thanks to its ability to handle rich media uploads, you can embed photos and videos into your forum. And every user gets an intelligent feed, eliminating the need for email notifications.
- The software’s real-time forum updates provide the sensation that members are in the same room
- The intelligent feed keeps members updated on community events, eliminating the need for email notifications
- You can embed videos and images directly into your forum, allowing you to share engaging content with your members
- Its moderation tools, group settings, and privacy controls let you manage access to your online community
- Its forums are fully-customizable, letting you use your brand colors and logo to stylize your community
- The software’s robust member profiles empower your members to create bios, receive badges, and build histories
PeerBoard has four subscription plans.
The free plan includes unlimited usage. It has features like customization and privacy controls.
The Starter plan costs $29 per month. It has the free plan’s features and extras like additional customization.
The Professional plan costs $79 a month. You can create 30 private spaces and assign moderator roles.
Lastly, the Growth plan costs $299 monthly. It has all the Professional plan’s features and accommodates up to 100 spaces.
If you have a huge online following, and you don’t want to send them off your website, consider PeerBoard. This online community software will turn a section of your website into a forum/message board, letting you build a community on your existing website.
Meanwhile, your members can enjoy conversations that update in real-time, making them feel like they’re sharing the same room. You can get a free trial here.
19. Thrive by Higher Logic
Thrive by Higher Logic is a community management that excels at building communities from scratch. Unlike other online community platforms, this one provides templates, making it an excellent choice for businesspeople that are time-pressed. Also, its analytics tools offer insight into your members’ behavior by tracking discussions and trends within your community.
With Thrive, setting up paid communities is straightforward. The platform’s built-in payment system enables the frictionless collection of fees from your paid community. And you can use its automation tools to broadcast community news via pop-up notifications and emails.
- With Thrive’s templates and pre-built communities, you can save time and energy if you don’t have a design background
- The platform’s automated email and in-app notifications ensure your members return to the community
- Thrive has analytics features that provide valuable insights into your community’s health and growth
- Its built-in payments system ensures you can monetize your community-building efforts through paid subscriptions
- It has an intuitive user interface that makes building communities with the platform frictionless
- The platform’s video capabilities mean you can host events and foster connection-building among your group members
Higher Logic doesn’t provide Thrive’s price on the platform’s website. Consider requesting a demo here. You can enquire about pricing information when you talk to Thrive’s team.
Alternatively, you can call the Higher Logic team at 202-360-4402 or 866-670-1402 (ext. 1). Also, you can fax (866-533-0428) or send them an email (email@example.com).
If you plan to build a community around your brand, you’ll appreciate Thrive’s community-building tools. Thrive offers easy-to-use tools that help you create a branded virtual community quickly.
You can use their payment system to make money from your community effortlessly, and their automated engagement tools ensure your members stay active. Overall, Thrive is a great choice for businesses looking to build a successful online community. Check out the product here.
If you plan to build a community around your brand, you’ll appreciate Thrive’s community-building tools. Thrive offers easy-to-use tools that help you create a branded virtual community quickly. You can use their payment system to make money from your community effortlessly, and their automated engagement tools ensure your members stay active. Overall, Thrive is a great choice for businesses looking to build a successful online community.
Ning is an all-in-one platform with community management capabilities. You can use it for e-commerce, running mastermind groups, and more, and it has built-in monetization tools.
One of Ning’s key features is how it lets your members log in to your community using a social media account of their choice. Not only does it provide convenience, but the frictionless login experience also encourages your members to return to your community.
- A built-in e-commerce platform makes it easy for you to monetize your website or expertise
- Ning’s analytics capabilities mean you’ll have a deeper understanding of your members’ engagement with your community
- Its MailChimp integration means you can seamlessly launch email campaigns in-app
- Your members can log in to your community using social media platforms like Facebook, Google accounts, etc.
- Its integrations with YouTube and Vimeo mean you can upload videos to your community that drive engagement
- The software’s messaging features mean you can broadcast community-wide notifications or send direct messages to individual members
Ning has three plans.
The Basic plan costs $25 per month. It accommodates up to 1000 members, provides 10 GB of storage, and boasts a 24-hour response time for customer service queries.
The Performance plan costs $49 per month. It supersizes the Basic plan’s features, accommodating up to 10,000 members and providing 50 GB of storage.
The Ultimate plan costs $99 per month. In addition to extra file storage (100 GB) and more space for members (100,000), this plan boasts a 12-hour response time, live chat and email, and a personal manager.
Ning is a useful platform for small businesses with e-commerce ambitions. In addition to helping you build your community, Ning’s e-commerce feature lets you monetize your efforts frictionlessly.
Also, Ning is the platform to get if you worry about your members not returning to your community. Your members will appreciate the convenience Ning’s social media logins provide them. Try the product here.
PlushForums accurately describes itself as a “user-friendly forum software.” However, thanks to features like its live notifications on automatic updates, this online community platform offers more than the capability to set up forums.
This platform has a built-in blog that lets you engage in content marketing alongside your community. Its mobile-first design ensures community members get an excellent experience on whatever device they decide to use. And it includes a free SSL certificate for security.
- Automatic updates mean your members can interact with your community and one another in real-time
- The built-in blog lets you run a content marketing campaign alongside your community
- PlushForum’s direct messaging features mean your members can engage in private conversations with each other
- Its live notification functionality means members will never miss out on events, mentions, replies, etc., that happen in your community
- Its mobile-first design means your community will look its best no matter the screen size it’s viewed on
- PlushForum communities come with a free SSL certificate, offering encrypted protection and privacy from data thieves and online miscreants
PlushForums has three plans.
The Small plan costs $49 per month. It supports up to 100 members online at once, provides 15 GB of file storage, and includes SSL support.
The Medium plan costs $79 per month. It accommodates up to 250 members online at once, provides 30 GB of storage, and includes single sign-on.
The Large plan costs $120 per month, accommodates 600 members online at once, and provides 35 GB of file storage.
PlushForums is excellent for small businesses and entrepreneurs. It provides all the tools these entities need for community-building, including forums and automatic updates. Additionally, you get a blog for content marketing.
Security-conscious businesses will appreciate the free SSL certificate included with the software. Try the product here.
How Are Online Community Management and Mastermind Group Software Tools Used?
Online community management and mastermind group software tools are platforms businesses utilize to build communities around their brands. The majority of these software programs provide tools that help businesses cultivate and grow their membership, with some providing features for monetization.
Most businesses use online community managers and mastermind group software to learn about their audiences/customers. Many of the tools have analytics functionality that provides invaluable insight into customer behavior.
Also, many community management platforms include gamification features that encourage participation in and engagement with the community. And their notification tools ensure customers stay informed about the group or community’s activities.
If you’re serious about building an online community or running a mastermind group, you’ll need to use one of the top online community platforms listed in this article. With features like moderation, automated notifications, gamification tools, and analytics in your corner, you’ll be building engaging communities and groups in no time.
Gregory S. McNeal
Along with being a successful entrepreneur, I am a tenured Professor of Law and Public Policy at Pepperdine University. I teach courses related to technology, law, and policy, and serve as a faculty member with the Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship.
Material Connection: Some of the links in posts on this site are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, my company will receive an affiliate commission. This disclosure is required by the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”