Internet Explorer doesn’t work well with our website. We recommend using a different browser like Google Chrome.

Want to create a virtual community of practice but you’re not sure where you start? Get inspired by this list of examples of different types.

As a creator, launching an online community of practice is an exciting step towards growth, learning, and collaboration. And if you’re doing it for the first time, you definitely need some successful examples to inspire you and show you what’s working and what’s not. 

In this article, we’ll highlight examples of successful communities of practice you can learn from. Here’s what we’ll cover: 

Download The Complete Learning Communities Toolkit: Download Now

Types of Communities of Practice 

Communities of practice are categorized into six different types depending on their structure and primary goal. Sometimes, these types overlap, and a community might fit into two or more types at once. Thinkific, for example, is both a professional and a helping community of practice. 

1. Professional Community of Practice 

A professional community of practice consists of a group of people within a niche industry who want to support and learn from each other. Members typically have different levels of expertise and may work with different companies. Some of them might be newbies while others are veterans, but the most important thing is they have a shared industry interest and are keen on contributing to the overall body of knowledge. 

Professional community of practice example 1: PT ToolBox

Before launching his fitness training course via Thinkific, Josh Mullin had already tapped into the benefits of community building. His private Facebook community has more than 15,000 members and continues to be a place for conversation, learning, and collaboration for budding and experienced personal trainers in the UK. 

Professional community of practice example 2: Elpha

If you’re a woman in tech or looking to make the switch soon, you’ve probably heard of Elpha. Founded by Cadran Cowansage, Elpha has over 75,000 members, making it one of the largest online communities of practice for tech women. 

Elpha Community Of Practice Example

Elpha women get professional and personal development resources, participate in virtual chats and mentorship, and enjoy access to a safe and no-judgment space where they can share their challenges and receive advice and support from their peers. 

2. Non-professional Community of Practice 

Communities of practice aren’t just about providing professional support. Sometimes, you need a group of people who can help you improve other aspects of your life, like learning a new habit or changing your lifestyle. And this is where non-professional communities come in. There are non-professional communities of practice for almost anything, from ski lovers to fitness enthusiasts and vegans. You can always build or join one that aligns with what you want to achieve.  

Non-professional community of practice example: Digital Nomad World

Being a digital nomad can get lonely, so it’s essential to find your tribe. Nothing is better than sharing your experiences with fellow nomads as you move from one adventure to another. 

Digital Nomad World Community of Practice Example

Digital Nomad World is the fastest growing community for remote workers, digital nomads, and travel enthusiasts. It has an open forum where community members can share their first-hand experiences with different destinations and ask for advice. It also curates helpful resources — from city guides to courses and blog posts — for members. 

3. Knowledge Stewarding Community

A knowledge stewarding community of practice curates and manages an extensive repository of knowledge that members can refer to when they have questions or improve their craft. The community might have a content library with helpful videos, white papers, and courses covering different aspects of the community’s interests. The content library also helps attract new members who want access to the knowledge it contains.

Knowledge stewarding community of practice example: Peak Freelance

Founded by Michael Keenan and Elise Dopson, Peak Freelance is a community for freelance writers looking to scale their business, increase their rates, and land top clients. 

Peak Freelance Community of Practice Example

Peak Freelance has a content library filled with blog posts, video recordings of expert interviews, podcast replays, plus courses and business templates for members. These resources help Peak Freelance members improve their writing craft and run their businesses more efficiently. 

It also has a private Slack community with niche channels for specialized freelance writers — like HR, SaaS, and lifestyle writers — where they can get answers to niche-specific questions and network with like-minded freelancers. 

4. Helping Community 

A helping community is a no-judgment space where community members can assist each other with day-to-day tasks aligned with their common interests. Members openly share any challenges they’re facing and receive advice and support from their peers to help them resolve these challenges. 

Helping community of practice example: Stack Overflow

With over 14 million registered users and 100 million monthly website visitors, Stack Overflow is one of the largest helping communities for professional and enthusiast software developers. 

Screenshot of Stack Overflow's Homepage

Stack Overflow members post questions on the public channel, and other users share detailed responses to these questions, in line with the community’s code of conduct. Users can also share question links to non-members who might be able to provide valuable insights. 

All the questions and responses are added to a searchable knowledge base that users can always refer to in the future. 

5. Best Practice Community

Best practice communities share tips, trends, guidelines, and strategies to help community members improve their knowledge of the area of interest and become experts. They organize regular group discourses and themed events and publish written and video content to teach members about industry best practices. 

Best practice community example: Superpath

Jimmy Daley’s Superpath is home to over 8,000 content marketers and is one of the largest online marketing communities. Every week, Daley curates and shares helpful community-generated resources — including links to threads and blog posts — with Superpath members via email and Slack. 

Community of Practice Example: Superpath

Daley’s community has a free and a paid tier. With the paid tier (Superpath Pro), you gain additional access to courses, monthly 1:1 calls, and office hours with content experts. Non-paying Superpath members get full access to the Slack community, where they can participate in office hours, join insightful industry conversations, and connect with other brilliant professionals.

6. Learning Community of Practice 

A learning community of practice consists of people with similar learning goals, who want to expand their knowledge of a subject matter, and possibly educate others about it. Members of a learning community share knowledge and resources, encourage one another, and serve as accountability partners for their goals. 

Learning community of practice example: Pracademics

Pracademics is a learning community for human services practitioners. It provides live and self-paced courses like Communities of Practice Leaders to help professionals keep up with the latest research and apply up-to-date knowledge to their practices. 

Pracademics Community of Practice Example

Students can interact with tutors and collaborate with other students during live classes to ensure they understand the subject matter thoroughly. 

➡️ Build explosive growth & revenue with community + 3 bonus cheat sheets

Want more business tips to unblock you? Sign up for the newsletter here.

Create Your Own Community of Practice

If you’re thinking, “I should definitely create a community of practice,” you’re right. Beyond launching new courses, creators can use communities of practice to build deeper connections with students, encourage collaborative learning and ultimately deliver more value.

Building a community of practice can be challenging, which is why we’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you get started. And when you’ve gone through it, you can create your first community of practice with Thinkific.