SadaPay’s Freelancer Community – A PM’s Perspective

Note: Unfortunately, SadaSchool is no longer with us.
After the Papara acquisition, it seems like the server owners have abandoned it.
If you’re still looking for a professional community – I decided to start my own a while back – you can check it out at https://sknexus.com/discord/


People who know me have experienced the simultaneous ranting and supporting of the SadaPay brand – the thing is clear, they have often messed up, but regardless of the mess ups, I believe they are the best EMI option right now in Pakistan.

Why?

Because they clearly care about the product

Just take one look at their marketing, design philosophy, branding, and any other metric – companies like them are far and few between.

I have been wanting to write about SadaPay many times in the past, but just didn’t have much to add to the general consensus, until today – because

SadaPay has opened a Discord community dubbed ‘SadaSchool’

Invite link: https://discord.gg/adJ2caXm43

(Coz I like SEO, I will be referring to it as a community for the rest of the article)

What is SadaSchool (SadaPay’s community)?

In their words: We’re excited to have you ???? Here you’ll be able to connect with other freelancers, join live streams with some of the most notable members of the freelance community, access our very own resources designed to polish your skills and share feedback regarding the SadaPay business account. ????

In my words: So we have this SadaBiz feature which now actually works, yes Saqib it does, after you tried to use it for the past 6 months with no success, it really does work now, it works so well that we have opened a community around it.

All the snark aside, it is actually a pretty good basis to open up a community around.

Why is having a community important for SadaPay?

Short answer: Social Media is dead
Long Answer: Social Media is dying every day

The thing is, people are just tired of jumping between 20 apps to follow what they like and engage in interesting things.

With the rise of Twitter and fall of X, dwindling numbers of platforms like FB/Insta etc with focus on Meta, and countless other examples,

It just feels like the internet is going back to the old age.

We had forums back in the day

We now have discord servers for every large body of following

What is important as a community?

SadaPay however, to my knowledge, will be the first brand in Pakistan to own and operate a discord – and by a brand I mean a proper in-business company, not your branded cotton suit wala brand.

I have massive respect for SadaPay for even attempting to do this, as usual, most people don’t realize how big of a lift running a community is, but if SadaPay strives it may very well become the biggest place for people going solo in their careers and using SadaPay as their premier service provider (cough cough StateBank pls no kill).

The biggest thing you need to understand as a Sadanaut, yes you, if you are here,

The 90-9-1 rule – which dictates: 90% of the participants of a community only consume content, 9% of the participants change or update content, and 1% of the participants add content.

Given the roughly 1,500 members right now, that means only 15 people will be willing to push the mountain – especially against the very critical and hard-to-bear Pakistani audience.

So what can you do right now?

Well I have some feedback, which I deemed better here than a channel no one might read, so here goes.

My Feedback for the SadaPay Community SadaSchool

In order of easiest to most complicated –

1 – Fix your rules ASAP

I am no Discord power user but am part of enough online communities to notice some glaring omissions from a channel-based community:

A – Do not post the same thing on multiple channels, this is a good way to get a lot of spam

B – Self-promotion is only allowed in the introductions channel – nowhere else. Just saying no self-promotion won’t help as people will still do it, but limiting it to one channel might be better.

C – No Job postings allowed, trust me, a lot of scams out there, you don’t want to be held liable for a story. Anything that involves money, needs to be kicked out, too much liability for the brand and for the community.

D – No sharing of leaked or pirated content. This includes any content that is not intended to be in the public domain or any illegal content.

E – A rule to specify who and how to contact in case of an issue, the current rule does not specify someone, create a moderator account that can be shared by multiple people.

Rules are important, as mentioned, most people want to lurk, and rules deter the space from becoming too lurker unfriendly.

2 – Reduce Channels and Make use of Forums

I had to learn this the hard way running so many slacks in my life, don’t create channels unless a need is obvious.

Right now, as you may have noticed, the activity per channel count is stupidly low – everyone just hangs in general mostly.

Cut down on them, you don’t need 3 channels per field, you need 3 channels in total – one per job function/department.

My recommendation would be to have a channel for:

  • IT and Development
  • Design and UI/UX
  • Marketing
  • Content Creation
  • Product and Project Management

I would highly suggest using ‘forum type’ channels instead of text channels for things that revolve around a discussion point. That way the conversations could be better aligned across people’s questions and discussions.

Also, why have intros and networking – get rid of the bot, just a manual intro channel is fine where people who care can do a write-up, less spammy.

3 – Need a daily hook (every day, even weekends)

The most successful communities are run by content creators, reason is simple, there is something every day to discuss and deliberate upon.

Their own content is often the discussion point of all the hype going on in the community and that keeps it alive.

Now I know this is new for SadaPay, but having a daily hook is needed. The weekly events just won’t cut it.

You need something on a daily basis to generate a discussion point for the community point, and it could be as simple as a question related to freelancing or going solo, etc

4 – Need an in-house moderator

In a country where ‘power’ is the most sought-after drug, I would highly advise against having community volunteer moderators. I understand this is the usual case for Discord, but trust me, you don’t want that here.

Everyone acts in good faith unless they have a clash with their ego here, and you just don’t want the bad press from it.

Hiring a full-time moderator that has a cross-functional role between this and managing other SMMs should not be that hard, but understandably it is a more complex thing to implement, hence number 4.

5 – Mission is great, Vision maybe not….

See the term ‘freelancer’ is very broad, and broadly mistaken – by the government, by the freelancers themselves, and by the working class.

So even though calling SadaSchool a place for freelancers to mingle right now is fine, it won’t guarantee long-term success.

In Pakistan, people say freelancer, and a bag of cash pops into their eyes, when the actual story is far from this made-up reality.

And I want SadaPay to be a more pure brand than just the money aspect.

As someone who has done branding in the past, I would highly suggest revisiting your vision with something that is more evergreen and aligns with what you have set out to do with your payments platform.

Sada is not all about simplicity, it also means to be humble and pure

If any of this gets implemented, great
If not, still great
At least I wrote it and someone read it 

SadaPay has my vote of confidence, at least for in the near future.
Might be a painful admission down the road, might be not.

Over the next few weekends, I will try to dedicate my efforts to sharing knowledge in the community – let’s make growth Sada perhaps?


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