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Episode 68 Building a Podcast Community on Mighty Networks with Alex Sanfilippo

68: Building a Podcast Community on Mighty Networks with Alex Sanfilippo

In this episode of The Community Strategy Podcast, Alex Sanfilippo shares his journey to launching a podcast community on Mighty Networks. 

Alex is the host of the top-rated entrepreneurship podcast, Creating a Brand, and the founder of two podcasting software, PodMatch.com, a service that matches podcast guests and hosts together for interviews, and Podcast SOP, a project management software that is specifically for podcasters to help them keep episode releases on track!

Show Notes

2:04: Alex shares how he started a podcast that led him to create Mighty Network to bring together his audience and fellow podcasters inside the PodPros Community

7:26: Alex touches on the benefits of the PodMatch platform, the core function is finding good podcast guests and hosts, and expediting the podcast pre and post-production process of getting bios, headshots, etc. 

11:14: Podcast SOP is the management system Alex created when he saw the podcasting failure rate and wanted to alleviate the stress and time demand of podcasting. Deb also mentions how she uses Trello for the CSP workflow, content organization, and task management. 

21:08: Deb and Alex discuss the value of asking your community questions to gain an understanding of their needs and the best content that will be consumed inside the community. Alex says “ask the right question, but pull yourself out of the equation” to find a solution to be part of the team.

28:03: Alex explains he started building an online community on Facebook groups but wasn’t happy with the growth and development. He wanted to find something that mirrored what he was doing in person. He thinks nothing compares to Mighty Networks and discusses the group function to be his favorite feature.

31:14: Diving into his PodPros events, Alex talks about using a webinar service and groups inside Mighty Networks to set up two event tracks for a successful quarterly event held in January. The next PodPros Quarterly event is on April 21st. You can learn more about the event inside the PodPros Community, Join now, it’s FREE! 

Resources mentioned:

 

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Want to find great guests for your podcast or be a guest on one? Check out PodMatch It is FREE to connect with hosts and guests!

Deb Schell is the Creator of Find Calm Here LLC — As a community strategist, she helps female entrepreneurs and executives find calm in building, launching, and growing their paid online communities.

Join me for PodFest ~

As a new podcaster, I have discovered an amazing podcast community! Podfest Expo is a community of people who are interested in and passionate about sharing their voice and message with the world through the powerful mediums of audio and video. We’re proud to unite as many people as possible to learn, get inspired, and grow better together. 

During the event, I’ll be speaking at the Pecha Kucha Expo Stage on May 27th at 1 PM Eastern. I’d love your support. This is my first public speaking gig and I’m really excited to share the 5 steps to building an online paid community! 

Show Transcript

Welcome to the community strategy podcast. I’m your host, Deb Schell on this podcast, I share conversations with leaders of purpose-driven, private paid online communities that bring together like-minded members for transformation to better their life, career relationships and well being as a community strategist, I help entrepreneurs build launch and grow online page communities on mighty networks and to learn more about working with me, please visit my website, find calm here dot com, that’s F I N D C A L M E H E R E dot com. I help entrepreneurs find calm in the process of launching an online community, so check that out please, I want to ask you, do you have a strategy question that you are struggling with something a challenge if you do, I want to start answering some questions of through the podcast, it’s a new thing I want to try, so please shoot me an email at Deb at Find Calm Here dot com and I will review any questions I get in the next episode, I will add an answer section for any questions that I do get once I get some, so send an email to Deb at fine calm here dot com and I hope you enjoy this episode.

I am excited to have today as a guest Alex, Sanfilippo, There you go, he is an awesome podcaster, he is somebody I met through muddy networks in his post pros community and I’m excited to have him here today, so welcome Alex to the community strategy podcast dad, thank you so much for having me and for saying my last name right, that is very very rare, I usually just let it slide but you said it correctly, so I had to just jump in and that’s great. I’m so happy to be here though. Thank you for having me. Yeah, I’m excited to tell us a little bit about you and what you’re up to in the podcasting world. Yeah, sure. So I have a background in aerospace, so I should give a disclaimer here. I wasn’t an astronaut, I wasn’t a skydiver and I wasn’t a fighter pilot because everyone assumes it’s one of those things. I sat behind a computer, I ran a commercial operations division which just means basically I just kept things moving for other people, love that career, but after about 15 years it was time to move into something else. And During that time towards the end of my 15-year career, I had started a podcast, and Deb, I fell in love with podcasting.

Like I love the community of people, I love just the art of creating with the audio format and I decided to just go all-in on that. So when I left the aerospace industry I moved into podcasting full time and still to this day, I’m full time podcasting and software now as well, but both of which are really directed towards other podcasters and podcast guests and I absolutely love it. So I’ve just been having a really good time in the podcasting space, watching it grow and being part of it and serving people however I can. How long have you been podcasting? You know, I started a podcast that failed and I think that that was like seven years ago and then about five years ago. I really got into it. And then the show that really took me full time, I started 3.5 years ago or something like that. And those timelines could all be terribly wrong. For some reason I can’t seem to have, I can’t maintain a good concept of time anymore dead, but it’s about, it’s about that range as we’re recording this. No, I got you so interested in your journey and I had no idea about the space background. Um like I said, I was not an astronaut. So you say space I sat by the computer on earth. So, but it’s still cool.

I got to have you ever gone, oh, you live in Florida. Where you where you at? Where did I forget where you’re calling from? Yeah, I’m in florida. I know what you’re gonna ask. I’ve been down to the space center, right? It’s like an hour and a half for me. I’ve never been um really, I know I need to change that. Maybe after recording this. You know, this might be the motivation. I need to be able to say I’ve gone but I have not gone to that before, I’ll tell you I went the last april to cocoa Beach. I did a week down in cocoa beach and I really had a good time at the space center and just learning about that and seeing like standing in front of all of these amazing humongous things and walking underneath them and stuff. So cool. So if anybody shout out to cocoa beach, I actually just interviewed people from Cocoa Beach um for a client project. Really random, but like the people who are um in communications and the government and the local governments there, we were doing a project and I interviewed them and how they get out the word on social media about when they have different things going on. But anyway, very cool.

Nonetheless, so glad to hear about where you’re from and lots of background experience here and I know we talked a lot about community on this podcast but I wanted to kind of get an idea from you on some of the journeys that you’ve had because besides being a podcast or you’ve done, you have a platform that’s called pod match. So tell me a little bit about some of the other projects that you’ve been a part of over the last few years. Yeah, definitely. You know, I, I am gonna mention that community is at the core of all of it and that’s one of the things I love about the community strategy podcast is the fact that it really is the strategy that I think you have to have in today’s world. When I started podcasting. Initially I just, I didn’t focus on the community side. I didn’t like want anyway to be contacted. It was just something I thought I’d do. And then out of the woodwork people were like figure out how to contact me. I’m like shoot, I need to put these people together right? Like we need to all get-together And that is what enabled me to do. The other things that I’ve done in podcasting that you’re asking about now are through the art of community. The very first things I did was was created a mighty networks profile, which is that the social media platform I use and Deb you’re familiar, with I know that you’re really good at that platform and a quick shout out actually you had episode one 16, I’m sorry, it’s just 64.

Episode 64. It was a bonus. And you had with jane and Jessica, both from Money Networks. A really insightful episode is someone who has used Money Networks for years. I found that very helpful. So, um anyone’s thinking about building a community, You should go listen to that first. But anyway, sorry, I digress, going back into that. So basically I just started asking this community of people, how can I help, what can I do? And one of the things the first thing that came out of it was a service called pod match. I realized that podcast guests and hosts were both coming to me. The guests often wanted to be on the show. The host wanted to learn from somebody just a little bit further along with them in podcasting. But I was realizing that all these people are here, they’re asking about each other, how can they communicate, collaborate. And that was when the idea for pod match came into being and other things happened obviously like I had to validate that was a real idea. I tested it even at a conference that I went and spoke at. But anyway, that’s the whole point is I realized there was a need for something like a dating app, but in the podcasting space. So instead of connecting people for dates, it’s like connecting people for podcast interviews, guests and hosts are based off all the interests they might have and that has been a really big success and then we just kept the community side of it going from that community.

We realized, hey, they have more needs, people want to project management software as well to help them release podcast episodes and those are the main services we have right now, but we have plans to launch at least one or two more by the end of this year that we’re learning that people want from our community so that at the end of the day is the absolute core of everything that we do. Yeah, that’s really interesting. So tell us I’m, I’m familiar with PO’d match and I kind of get how it works, but can you go through a little bit of an explanation on like how people benefit as either a podcaster or I guess like what the specific benefits are to your platform. Yeah, sure. Thanks for asking. First off, you’re going to find good guests or good hosts, Right? That’s the core functionality of everything else is a bonus. Like if we can make that introduction as you know, Deb, like that, ‘s that’s the win. But one of the things we did is we’re when again, go into our community, we’re realizing there were continuous questions along the same lines of how can I get these guests to send me their pictures and to send me their bio and to send me their social media links and I can’t tell which one’s right. There are all these questions around. Like, do they have an actual bio, where do they want me to send people?

And what I discovered I knew nothing about this transparently will tell you that Deb. But it’s called the media sheet. So something that basically has all of these details in it, so that when people want to ask you questions anymore. So inside of pod match guests have a media one sheet, more or less, it’s their profile hosts have something very similar and on the host side, what it shows is just all about the audience, who is going to reach who It’s for what it’s about like really diving into all those things. So the basic idea is yes, you can message on the pod matches platform but you shouldn’t have to ask any of those questions anymore. It should be able to just get straight into, can we do this together, Is it going to work? Is it gonna help people? And that was really the goal of that. So that’s one of the big functionality pieces we wanted. The other thing is just the back and forth with the calendar. I mean if you’ve ever played calendar Tetris or I should call it calendar battleship. It is so bad when you’re like, how about this date and time, nope, how about this date and time, nope, you know, like just back and forth. And so we just basically integrated people’s popular calendar systems, like Mcallen lee type of thing, basically, it’s, it’s built right in and so you can mirror all that inside a pod match as well. Once again the whole idea getting those ideal guests and hosts together but making the whole process as seamless and simple as we possibly can.

Yeah, and it really is as far as like me having profiles, I need to go and update my profile because you’re talking about, I just went through a rebranding with the community strategy podcasts and so I actually need to go update my guests or my host page but I’ve, I’ve had guests and in fact, there are some guests uh recently that just were um matched through your service and found a lot of really, really interesting people and have met people that are really inspirational through that service and you have a new feature now. So there’s a, there’s a free version, like the version we’re talking about right now is the free version, right? Yeah, this stuff will be on any version, So yes, yep, but there’s a secondary version, right? There’s like a pro version, there’s now a standard and professional version. So yeah, they’re there and they’re both going to have similar functionalities. The professional version is just gonna add a little bit more analytics and things like that for people to be able to see. Um, and as we roll more of those out, we try to get them evenly distributed across both platforms and stuff like that. Just basically if you are somebody who’s really wanted to get a lot of guests.

So example, we find the daily podcast host that people do daily shows, which by the way, Deb that’s crazy, right? Like can you imagine doing my God, I can’t, I can’t, I mean I went I was doing weekly and that was too much and so we went to bi-weekly. I can’t imagine people, but you know what, I know people that do it daily and you know what they have a team, It’s somebody who has a daily podcast. They definitely have enough money to have somebody like a team of people that are helping. Right? So my point mentioning that I love that I don’t know how they do it but they’re the people that upgrade to pro on the host side because they just need a lot of people coming through like they need the numbers and then on the flip side you’ve got the people that just released a book, they have a new online course, they’ve got some new product or service they’re trying to promote. Those are people that upgrade to the professional account. Um, we don’t like discrimination based on regular right? Like if you’re gonna be a standard or professional it doesn’t make a difference to us, whatever is best for people’s needs. And that’s why we’ve always had to we’ve had two different plans on pod match. Yeah super interesting. And then I wanted to learn a little bit more about your management system because I’m not at all familiar with that.

So tell me a little bit more about that and how that works. Sure this one is my baby um podcast S. O. P. And S. O. P. Just stands for standard operating procedures, basically something that I discovered once again diving into the community like I cannot I cannot say that enough like being in community with podcasters or whoever your ideal client maybe is the best thing you can do. And for me, as I was diving in, I started realizing early on in the pod match that podcast guests were staying on the platform, but hosts were leaving so they would just go inactive. And so I, at first I was like, man, I wonder if it’s not working for them, like what’s wrong? So I started reaching out and I said, is there something we could have done better to keep you and every single time I heard the same thing, Oh, I stopped my podcast, that’s why I’m not on there anymore. And then people like your, your service was great. I just had to stop. And so I continually heard that at first Deb, I didn’t dive into what that meant. Like I didn’t ask like, well why did you stop podcasting, which was my fault. I just was kind of like, oh, sorry to see you go. But then I was like, you know what, I’m curious, I need to start asking these people why they’re all leaving and you know this. But in podcasting, It’s a very high failure rate.

Like most people do not continue podcasting as it stands right now. There are about 2.5 million podcasts like on let’s use Apple as an example or Spotify, they’re about the same But there are only just over 400,000 active podcasts. So that should tell you about how many people aren’t continuing to the podcast and a large portion of those are the legacy podcasters who have been in it for 10 plus years, new podcasters are staying in the game is less than 10% right now and I learned that when I started like when they had the decision to build podcast S. O. P. The second biggest problem. People had the number one was a false expectation that they’re gonna get really rich. They think they’re gonna become famous right? And if people stopped because of that’s okay. I understand. But the second thing was distress as you just said like it’s a lot of work like the stress of the lack of organization that comes with it like it’s tough. And at first, I just started saying hey use a sauna hey use the base camp. Hey, use this project management software because those are project management tools. The problem is dead. When I did that people started saying I’m even more of a well now because this service that you just sent me does 20,000 different things and I gotta learn this too right? And that’s true. If you haven’t used them then it’s not a good solution.

So basically what we decided to do, long story short with podcast S. O. P. This service only helps podcast hosts release episodes on time. They build their own checklist. It automatically populates every time they’re going to a new episode they hit add new episode. It pops up in order based on what they say they do and if they have team members that can add team members they can comment if they want to, they can do dates, and they can upload files basically. The idea is the only thing we’re gonna help you do is get your episodes out on time and alleviate some of the stress that’s involved and that’s exactly what it’s been doing for people and we’re really excited about it. I really love that because some of the things that I really found helpful for me to find calm and my business is about finding calm and helping others find calm. And one of the things that I learned in my journey was how to really create these standard operating procedures and processes, and what I needed to do was write down everything that I do like for a step by step of something, so that when I have an assistant then I can just say here’s how I do this thing and 12345, but I wasn’t, I’m finally getting to that like a year and a half later.

So now I’m really working on that and I have a system that I’ve been using for about a year and I use Tremolo and um with my yeah, I actually have a trailer. Well, this will come out after this, but I have a trouble workshop that we’re hosting in the fine come here community. Um because I feel like it’s such a great tool to companion with your community tasks and figuring out that and I’ve actually used it for the podcast, so I’ve put up, you know, when somebody because it’s the workflow of like how do you structure it? So like when I um I have a card for when I have somebody that books an interview and when we receive have a google drive to organize their um photo and their copy, but you’re right a lot of the times, it’s a pain in the butt because I love people, I love people, but sometimes it’s like, hey guys, can you send me the bio? And I one time I asked somebody three times and I’m like, okay, if they don’t get back to me, that’s their thing, right? Like it’s my podcast, like why am I being so like, please come on my podcast.

I like that was a long time ago, but I learned a lot. I learned a lot of stuff about podcasting and that’s just one of them. You have to have a system and you just do the system. So I’m improving my system every time. But I love that you have something simple. That’s easy people can really use and customized it. It’s super important. So it sounds like that’s another great tool that you’re creating for podcasters, which is desperately needed, like to get that calm that we all strive to be um through processes, because the more organized and the more structured we can be, I feel like that’s how we feel like, okay, things are going to be alright because I’ve got a plan and it doesn’t all have to be done today. The biggest thing that I’ve found, I’ll just those other tips about finding columns is the structure that you create. Because if you are able to break a big project up into little tasks and then say you’ve got, this is the biggest thing I work with clients. I say they are like, oh, I have, I have to get my community launched by, you know, two weeks from now.

I said, okay, all right, well let’s look at that. What are all the steps that we need to do between now and then and how can we schedule this in each day or each week or how does that all going to play out? And we have that conversation and then we might probably push back that date a little bit from two weeks to maybe two months or something, depending on the time frame and what’s going on. But yeah, breaking the tasks up and finding ways to like, um, make a little, I have a bunch of little checklists in Terrell. Oh, to like make sure that I’m like thinking about stuff and then having it done right over time. So you know that I’m making progress on something, I love that. Do you still do that now? Like, even though you’re like your communities active, you still keep up with it, like that’s how you kind of manage the day-to-day that you’re doing with the community. Oh yeah, because content calendar and um task management and I brought on an executive assistant. And so she’s been helping me with some creation of content inside the community and there’s some back and forth conversation about, you know, she’s still learning how to like, you know, she’s not my brain.

She sent me, right. So I’ve been doing all of these things by myself. So now that I’m like kind of letting go the grip of things now, I’m saying, okay, um here’s some copy and I’m trying to structure for her and giving her some instructions and so that’s what’s helpful with the cello is she’ll ask me a question and then it will notify me and say, hey Deb, can you tell me da da da da da? And then I’ll just reply back to her. So like if there’s a project, we’re working on like a podcast episode, she needs to update or edit our posts, which is how she’s doing, Then I just reply back to her if there’s something that needs to be changed. For example, recently I got invited to a conference and the person who’s leading the conference, the Community Leaders Institute, they gave me a discount code so that if anybody else wanted to come to this, they could use my name. Deb, 200 At the checkout, they get $200 off. I wanted to add that intro to the podcast. So I like to send her a message in the trailer. So I said, Hey Lisa, can you add this little piece to our next episode?

So that is because of the episodes we have recorded in January and now this is like February, right? That’s kind of one example. You know, I love that, and here’s why I’m sorry if I’m from Taking over, I’m a podcast host two dead as you know. So yeah, this is what happens. We get to, we like to ask each other questions, but I think it’s actually really valuable because you and I have been talking Yeah, we talked about po’d matching podcast smp but we really talked about how it simplifies the process and you talk about how it simplifies your community at the end of the day. I believe this and I’d love to hear what you think but the power of our communities, the connectedness of our communities are based on the systems that we put into place because if it’s scatterbrained and random on our end, that’s kind of the culture that gets developed in our community. So by you being organized, do you find that your communities thrive more because of that. Yeah. Not only organizationally, but just visibility-wise. Being really clear about what I’m doing and the purpose so that people understand why not only why I’m doing something but what’s the outcome or expectations that I have because the more I learned about community, the more it really is about accountability and trust and creating this safe place for people to have a conversation because there are just no safe spaces anymore, like on the general social media platforms and these communities like we have on many networks allow us to create boundaries and parameters for us to have the safe space and the more structured and organized we are as a host will allow the members to say, okay, Deb has some structure.

Deb has some plans, but I think there’s a balance right. We don’t want to have everything figured out and then like assume that it’s all gonna go to plan because that usually doesn’t pan out well. So it’s just like kind of having a framework or vision and then what I always recommend to clients and for what I’m doing myself right now. It’s just reaffirming that you talked a little bit about asking community members and I talk a lot about validation and like discovery. It’s not just at the beginning of your process, like when you figure out that ideal member part of it to figure out your community strategy, it’s throughout your, your process as a community leader because you constantly have to go back and learn and say, oh, okay, they’re saying this is what they need now and your community members will ebb and flow. So if you’re the calm in the storm, if you’re the calm in the storm through this whole process and you’re just like, okay, I’m struggling right now with the community, so I’m going to like, this just happens, this is an example of real life.

So all of the things that I thought were going to happen at the end of 20, with the community did not happen. And so now I’m like trying and and then even in january between january and february, things changed a lot. So, what I am constantly, I created something called the fine calm here. Our communities called the final column here Community and what I have created was an insider, find calm here Insider. So just the members of the community get this note once a month for me that says, here’s what I’m looking for is the vision for the next month. I would like feedback on X, y and Z thing, because before I spend an hour or a month or whatever working out the next three months of content, for example, which helps me create structure, right? I need to make sure that I’m aligning that with people that are actually in the community participating so that I can then create the content that is going to get consumed. Because the one thing that I was learning a lot about last year was was creating a lot of content, which is really great and but it wasn’t being consumed.

And so I’m really trying to this year take the approach of, let them members tell me what they need for content wise for like teaching and things and then otherwise they’re going to be the ones providing the content. So I’m going to encourage them as much as possible to share their questions, their links, their resources. And so I started to highlight those members who are really showing up in our community with a member spotlight. So those are some ways that like I incentivize members to act and participate that way. They’re not just so it’s a strategy, but it’s also complemented with the actual feedback from members, if that makes sense. Yeah, I love that. I think that I’m so glad you shared. I know it’s your podcast, but uh, I think that that’s gonna be so valuable for everybody. And you, you mentioned like asking them the questions. That’s something I started doing in my community and I realized that this was interesting. I was asking bad questions like without meaning to, like my heart was right and I wanted to know what people wanted, but I was asking in a way that we’re a community, they, we, we love each other.

We take care of each other, right? We all like each other. I was asking questions the way that if they answered it truthfully they’d be breaking my heart and I’ll mention what I mean by that. It’s actually I learned this like how to ask better questions from a friend. Now a friend, someone who I read a book by his name is rob Fitzpatrick. It was called the mom test phenomenal book, like one of the most underrated, great books I’ve ever read. But anyway, the idea was how to ask questions. So good that even your mom can’t lie to you and here’s why I say that I have a mom that loves me. Deb like she, she, she loves me. If I came to my mom today and said mom, we live in florida and I have this idea for an umbrella that doesn’t block the sun and it won’t stop the rain from hitting your head. I think I want to take it to market. What do you think mom should go, oh honey, you’re gonna be successful, no matter what you do. I think it’s a great idea. Go for it. You and I did know that that is a terrible idea. All I’d have to do is say, hey mom, what if there was an umbrella like to get this mom on? Let me ask you a question. What if there’s an umbrella that stop, didn’t stop the rain and didn’t block the sun out? What do you think would happen with a product like that? Now my mom can be like, that’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard because I pulled myself out of the equation and I think that when we’re asking questions or our communities, This is something, again that I’ve learned you have to ask the right questions in a sense that they don’t feel like they’re gonna break your heart, but makes it feel like that we’re in this together, figuring out a solution since I’ve learned to do that, my community has gotten so much stronger and it’s actually how I’m playing on designing future products for people, because now I’m able to ask something in a more collaborative sense versus just, hey guys, here’s what I’m doing, what do you think?

And then the ones that love me are like, it’s good Alex, whatever you think, right? I’m asking in a way that’s saying, hey, we’re all in this together, let’s all come up with a solution that’s going to work for the greater good of the community, right? And putting them in the forefront of the question is really pivotal. I feel like to gaining people’s um time and engagement and yet, you know, if your goal is to have them respond, proposing them with a question that seems to be the thing that makes the most sense for me, um when you’re asking them, does this product solve your problem? Like is this going to actually just did discovery with agora pulse, which is a social media management platform, and I worked with the Director of product for a new product that they’re going to be launching this year to help social media managers uh deal with the challenges around google analytics and We interviewed 10 different people who are various regions of the world and in various stages of community or sorry, um social media management.

And they all responded differently to what engagement means to them. And they all responded that at some level, even people that were highly certified in google analytics had no idea how to use google analytics because it was so incredibly confusing because I I opened it up, I’m like, nope, I just closed it right back down. Everybody that we interviewed that’s so interesting. Right? Everybody that we interviewed that has a title as a social media manager has struggled in some capacity with all of these metrics that are being asked to to resolve. So gore opposes saying, hey, maybe our product would help. And then they’re asking are these the challenges you’re actually having? Like, do you have challenges with understanding google analytics or how do you measure your social media today? And half of them are like, I don’t even, you know, some of them said we don’t we don’t specifically measure social media metrics in the way that you’re asking us to define them. So it’s just really fascinating what lang, first of all language people use their all differently.

So when you’re talking to community members or asking them questions establishing a language in the community as part of your like community culture guide that they were talking about with muddy networks sometimes. So just have being on the same page with what you mean by engagement as an example. Um, that means many things to many, many different things to many people, but being more clear in your community about asking specifically instead of saying, you know, I’m looking for more engagement or something. You could say, I’d love to hear some stories about how your podcast is impacting the world. That’s great. That’s an entirely different question. And how are you getting, what’s your podcast engagement looking very different. And I would answer the second, like the second question that the first one like of how is your podcast doing? I wouldn’t answer but tell me the story about how it’s impacting the world. I would take the time to answer that personally. I think that’s a really insightful question. Yeah. So just, I love the idea of just re rephrasing questions I want to try to ask you, I know we’re getting short on time. Um, but I wanted to check in with you to see if you could share a little bit about your journey as far as what brought you to mighty Networks and how you would like to do a little talk about the platform sometimes when I have somebody on here that’s on my networks.

Yeah. So first off, I’m gonna go back to my early community building days. So I had that aerospace job. There wasn’t a lot of community building, there was big corporate, but on the side I was very involved with my local church and I got asked to lead their small group ministry. Um, I knew nothing about it. We didn’t have one. So they asked, basically said start the small group ministry. So I started building small groups and thankfully it got really successful and it really impacted our city in a really powerful way. I mean, it got big enough to actually impact the entire city and I was really thankfully part of that. So community stayed with me, like even after I passed it off to somebody else, it’s always been with me as something that I want to cultivate my life. And so I started on facebook groups, I don’t know anyone’s ever heard of them. There’s a lot of them and the controls are kind of, it’s just limited, right? It’s good for what it is, but it’s a it’s a facebook group. And I was like, this is not how I built an in person community, there’s got to be something online that can use to mirror what I was doing in person, right? I was like, how can I do this? And I just started doing random searches. I mean, Deb I looked, I looked for weeks, I’m not exaggerating like every day I spend a little bit, maybe like an hour a day looking around and finally found Mighty Networks and I’m telling you the second I found it, I was like, this is exactly what I’m looking for in my mind.

I know there’s some other great community platforms out there. I still think nothing is even close to comparing with what mighty networks does. That was my introduction to it. I just started it and I invited some friends. I’m like, hey we’re all disconnected now because we’re all over the world, we’ve all moved, let’s all chatting here. And that’s really how I got my start with. It was just learning the tools through, I don’t know like more of a gorilla method, right? Just like trying it and being like what does this button do? Oh, I just deleted it right. Like and just testing things out. But that was my introduction to it was a lot of searching and when I finally found it I knew that that was the home I was looking for because it most mirrored what I was doing in person. Yeah, I really like that and the implement and it’s transformed. You’ve been a mighty Networks host for how long when did you start your mighty it’s probably been close to four years and yes, it’s changed actually. Right. Has changed features even in the last year to rebrand to phone brands. Yeah. What’s your favorite feature currently that that you really feel like has been valuable for you what I really love. I mean there’s there’s so many things I like about it but I like the fact that you can set up a group in that group, you can have its own events, its own topics.

So basically you can have like the main network right? And you can break into sub networks and that’s how we started running our virtual events like quarterly. We run it through mighty networks now and we just started a group and then basically that’s where people sign up to attend the event and from there they’re able to do all those things but it’s been it’s been a really cool thing. So I think that the group feature I think is very very powerful. Yeah I attended your event so I’m in your community and I have been trying to get to events. Some of them recently have collided with my own events but a couple months ago I was really active with some of your events and hopefully will be in the future. And I loved this quarterly event that you did. I think it was so powerful, there were so many great speakers. Um it had to have been quite the endeavor on the back end I’m guessing just because of the line of but I loved how you structured it in my tea and I wanted to, if you if you could kind of go through that process with everybody on the back end maybe share a little bit about how that worked for you. Yeah, sure. And yes it was a lot of work but now I can say this with, we’re gonna do it quarterly quarterly event so we’ll have a 2nd 3rd 4th quarter.

Right And we’ll start the year over. Here’s the thing it now it’s pretty easy like the next one I do is going to be just a fraction of the work. It was just learning it just like anything else. Right. And so I don’t use I use a third party webinar tool. So I went with it’s called demio. I think it’s how you say it. Um I’m just guessing here but demo basically is where the webinar took place but we create the events inside of a group in our mighty networks and then inside that group basically you can click the link it would take to redirect you into the webinar when that when that specific event was getting started we had the whole lineup built in different and different events. So like again you know the events page within that group And you can see okay here are the 13 different events happening today. You could R. S. V. P. To the ones you want when you click into it you could open up the webinar link which again took you to demio. But we also have like the the chat so we made like open public chat in that spot. People can post their questions and stuff along the way. We had all the replays available there. But basically yeah it was a lot of administration getting it set up but once it was set up and now moving forward it’s gonna be very simple for us to do. But I think it was really powerful the way we made separate events for each thing.

I think that that really resonated well with people because it required some action. It wasn’t, here’s a zoom link, sit there all day. It was no, here is your specific event. When you’re done, find the next one you want to go to and we had two tracks at the same time, one for guests, one for host. And a lot of people are our guests and hosts. So you’re able to like leave one and go together track really easily really fast all in all. It went really well. We got good feedback from it. Yeah, yeah, I thought it went really well and I really enjoyed and I liked both the tracks and then you have access to the recordings then um, as well. So like if I wanted to and I still haven’t gotten into doing some of your courses, which you have some. So your community. Tell us a little bit more about your the community as a whole. Let me go back to that for a second. Sure, yeah. You referenced like reference the rebrand. So at first it was uh, creating a brand which was the name of my original podcast. So it was like just the community that went along with that again, That was a really powerful thing for me to understand how to get better at podcast because people were telling me there and then we went to pod match and we launched that service and then went to pod pros, pod pros is the organization that’s over post match podcast smp and then future products, basically, that’s like our educational hub, if you will for podcasting.

And so that’s kind of been like the transformation of it. And um, what else do you want me to cover in there? I’m sorry. Oh, just what the, what the structure of your community is? It’s um, you have a free, is it public buddy network, I believe, or free? Oh yes. And then, yeah, and then the courses, I’m sorry. Yeah, I think all the courses are free, they should be. Um initially we had some paid courses, I think that we’ve made everything free at this point. And the idea is, again, this is our this is our educational hub for podcasters. Like this is where people can go to learn more about what we do. And um, so yeah, we built it specifically to to do that. So we wanted the courses to be free and it’s been something that’s just helped a lot of people who want to get their their their foot through the door and podcasting where they want to get better podcast guesting and we’ll we’ll always keep all of our courses free. It’s likely that we’ll never charged for anything there. It’s just an educational piece to help the community out. Okay, and then how does, how does the structure look like or your strategy for going into this year, we’re in March of 2022 at this point, Where do you think, have you looked at your community strategy for this year and seeing if it’s going to be different from what you’ve done?

Yeah, it’s going to need to be dead, but like you, I I need to hire like a community manager at this point, so I’m I’m needing to make some steps to do that. We’ve we’ve done a good job, like keeping up with the content and keeping up with the people in there, but we really want to, we want to use it to accomplish something together. I know the Mighty Networks Team talks about that, like find a common goal and accomplish it together and we want to get it to that point to become even more powerful. We just currently don’t have the manpower for it yet, but we’re working on the strategy for that overall. And so right now, I’d say it’s really just, it’s it’s that it’s that um educational hub, but we want to turn into something that’s actually, we’re all growing together and hopefully transforming the industry what that looks like. I’m gonna be transparent with you. I’m not sure yet. We’re going to figure that out really quick though and be very intentional to make that happen. Yeah. And and thank you for sharing that, it’s, it’s just a challenge right to due to wear so many hats sometimes and, and sometimes you just gotta, you can’t do it all at once. I want to, we want to want to be like this is all happening now and I tried to do that in 2020 it didn’t turn out so well I got a little, Got a little burnt out at the end of 2020 with trying to host over 30 virtual events, launch My community with a four hour virtual summon and 15 speakers.

That’s a lot of work. You’re making me tired just by hearing that. But what I’ve learned a lot since then right to keep it more simple, so yeah, and and it’s exciting, I think accountability is the and working together to transform is is one of the biggest differences that I see with people who start money networks and you know, members that joined a mighty network. Um it’s an intentional choice like Jessica had mentioned in the other episode and it’s also something that it’s the growth mindset versus a fixed mindset for example, carol directs directs book. I don’t know if you’re familiar with her growth growth mindset book, but she talks about these people who have a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset and people who are into self development or self improvement or, or just being more aware like self aware and those people have a growth mindset because they’re really interested in like how can I improve, how can I grow, how can I learn as a human being in this world and and help other human beings right, we’re all kind of in that mode.

So that’s what’s really great about mighty in, in the, in the community aspect of it really is an accountability and a small group. I mean it’s a game changer, it really is because when you have somebody that’s in your corner and can give you support and kind compassionate feedback that’s going to help you gain strength and wisdom to move forward versus going out on facebook and saying, hey everybody check out my new thing and then 17 people being maybe not so nice about that something you said earlier on there. I think it’s really important to hone in a little bit you talked about like just keeping it simple, I think that keeping it simple, keeping the main thing, the main thing is, is the most important part because if you turn into just another process or structure, you lose the, the human feel behind it. And yes, we’ve talked about the organized, get, get most of the administration out of the way, but in the day you’ve got to be there being human and the way that you share the way you show up is going to set the tone is gonna set the culture for the entire community and I think that that’s just a really important thing.

So for me even think about this year, the constant reminder I have to to say is to keep it simple, right? Keep the main thing, the main thing and remember the end of the day, it’s for us all to grow closer together and to further the, the industry, not for me to have 10 really great post every month, right? Like end of the day, it’s like, is this helping, is it driving forward? How can I make this just really simple for everybody involved? So I’m glad you’re touching because I think it’s a really important point well, and, and you just said something to, it’s just, it’s, it’s not always about the host, it’s about the members and so and constantly asking them, but also, um, you know, I’ve seen people that have complained about certain money networks that over promote, you know, if you’re an organization and you’re just basically spamming your members, they’re not going to stay, they’re not gonna stay there, just not gonna really like, okay, this is what they get on facebook, you know, right? Giving it’s about value and giving back. So I love that that’s really a core of everything that you’re working on with pod pros and it’s exciting to hear about that.

Um, I also want to say, I met Mark, say via through your event, I believe, and I’m in his podcast um, mastermind group, he’s brilliant, He’s great and he just, he was on Patreon and he moved to Buddy networks, Oh wow, that is really cool. Yeah, so, and because I was talking to him about it and we were in the call and he was like, oh I don’t I didn’t know that Patreon, you couldn’t do certain things, and he goes, I think we have to go to Might, and then they go, I wish there was a platform, and I had talked about mighty in our call and then people and put the people on the podcast are on the mastermind were like, well you should contact us, because she just talked about money networks, it sounds like we should go there, right? Oh man, I love that you have that opportunity, that’s good and he’s again, he’s a legend. So it’s cool that you just helped him up to up his game a little bit, that’s a really cool thing. He just invited me on this podcast, I’m getting I’m getting out there now Alex, I’m getting on other people’s podcasts, o ps piece of other people’s stages, I love it.

Um so working on that, I took a course called Stage Stage to scale. Have you ever heard of that? I’ve actually not, no, Okay, it’s of course, it’s an eight week course. I took back in 2020 to learn how to become a better speaker and to get on other people’s stages to build a business and because that’s how you can get your name out there. So I think that’s a pivotal point that a lot of people are now, kind of like, it’s more mainstream now podcast because it’s so much easier, right? You don’t have to like get in the car and like drive somewhere and meet somebody, you can just jump on a zoom call and Do you like four interviews a day if you want to do that, could I used to, but that was 2020, that was 2020 when i double booked myself for six or eight hours. God bless you. Deb, I don’t even know what to tell you, but I’m glad that you’ve learned. Let’s put it that way. Yes, yes, yes. Um well, thank you so much Alex, Great to have you here uh for anybody who’s listening, tell them where they can find the best place for them to connect with you and find you. Yeah, sure, thank you again for having this is honestly an honor to be here for me. Everything I do is that that hub that we just reference pod pros and that’s pod pros dot com.

You can find anything, anything we talked about here today, anything about me, It’s all in that one spot. So pod pros dot com. But Deb, I love what you’re doing here with the community strategy podcast. Like you are such a good host, I’ve been enjoying listening to it, love everything you’re doing. So I recommend your listeners hang here with Deb, she’s really taking everyone places. Thank you so much. Such a compliment and you’re doing so many great things. Are you going to podcast by the way? I will be there in person. I mean, we Just did a virtual high five. No one could see it Did a virtual high five. Yes. Um, I just got invited to be a speaker on the Petra Peta kuka. Have you ever done that before that can I scare you or should I just say nice things. So I have, I don’t know how many stages I’ve been. I’ve spoken a lot. Petra kuka is the most intimidating form of speaking. If you ask me, it will make you a really great speaker if you can do one, they’re super difficult. I’ve only done it one time if I had the opportunity to do it again, but it it’s probably only speaking that scares me, my hands sweat when I’m about to start. But you are gonna do great Deb, you’re going to crush it and I’m gonna be there supporting you.

I’ll be in the front row. So I’m looking forward to that. Thank you Alex. Thank you so much. And everybody listening. Thank you so much for tuning in today. Make sure you check out Poe’s prose and reach out to Alex if you have a need or if you’re new podcaster or maybe a guest, make sure you get on PO’d match and set. We’ll have some links in the show notes so that you can check all that out until the next time. I hope you are finding a little bit of calm in your day, evening, morning or afternoon. Take care until the next time. See you later. Have a great day. Bye!

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