In this episode, Deb Schell, Creator of Find Calm Here and the Host of the Community Strategy Podcast shares her community-building journey for an interview with Mark Savant for the After Hours Entrepreneur Podcast.
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Find Calm transitioning a Facebook group to a Mighty Network
4:27: Deb starts by discussing her background, having left her corporate job, and seeing the power of community after joining a Mighty Network. With her pivot from creating virtual events and starting consulting work, Mark chimes in about the path of finding what works in his own podcasting consulting and production journey.
13:52: Focusing on MN specifically, Mark shares he was originally looking at 4 different platforms. Deb mentions both MN’s customization and functionality features, like Zoom event integration, payment flexibility, etc.
18:11: Mark asks about growing engagement on a two-way street. Deb recommends asking the community through polls and questions in a community for feedback.
25:53: Mark then asks about the model of recording live videos each week to support the community. Deb explains how she uses lives within her own community. Both Deb and Mark discuss empowering others to execute and step up into leadership positions.
34:22: When it comes to growing your community, Deb suggests finding your ideal member and talking to people one on one. By using their words in your copy, you can attract by learning the language of your audience.
42:00: Mark and Deb both talk about making an impact on others and changing the perspective around social media versus a community.
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 H E R E dot com. I help entrepreneurs buying 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 uh 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 a 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. Hey, how are you, Mark Dave. I’m really, I’m really doing well, very blessed and thrilled to talk with you here today. You know, a couple of days ago we were sitting down talking about the mighty Network and the paid community that we’re building over here at podcast Savants and I just found our conversation really, really interesting, exciting, compelling and I think it could help a lot of people. Well that’s fantastic. I love talking about community building and leading networks is my platform of choice and I can tell you all the reasons why today, so I’m excited. Yeah, well I’m excited to, you know, as a podcaster and someone who’s really into podcasting community is everything, it’s, it’s like the crux of your, your business as you would is a podcaster and what I’m working with podcasters, I found that you know, it can be really challenging to not necessarily build a community, but to to build that two way road, you know, that communication um both to them your community and then get the information back, you know, so I think that having a paid community is, is just a really powerful way of building the relationship, like you know, if you were just popping into my show the after hours entrepreneur and just listening, there’s there’s not as much relationship, but you know, having you as a member of our community has just really helped us to develop a relationship, which I think is powerful.
Yeah, I appreciate that, thank you so much. Yeah, I love um I think it’s really powerful, like you’re saying to have not just to be able to convey messages through a podcast because that’s just one directional, but you really don’t get a sense of what people are taking away from what you’re talking about or if they’re using it or implementing it in their lives like you, it’s just like you make you write a book, but you don’t know if people are actually like if it’s really helping people or transforming others lives and a community uh in the sense of when we speak about community, meaning not social media, like people, some people referencing confused social media with community and they’re not the same thing. So when you were talking about community for like your listeners here, we’re really talking about a private online paid community where people are investing in connection and transformation around something that they are very passionate about and want to be successful, whether it’s a life goal, a business or any kind of personal development or relationships uh improvements any of those kinds of areas.
And I feel like that’s where the magic happens is when you can connect to humans in a virtual space and do amazing things together hugely, hugely powerful. And I’ve been kind of in this space for a few years now, I started with, you know, facebook groups, um Patreon and now I’m on mighty Networks, which probably largely in part is because of your recommendations. Deb. And the discussions amongst our community saying, hey, you know, we’re not getting certain features here. How can we implement this? How can we make things better and I want to talk about that, but I do kind of just want to get a little bit more information on Deb and how you actually got into this space itself. Yeah, it’s a it’s quite a story. Um I’ll try to sum it up for you briefly here by um by just explaining it for a few minutes basically I have been a community builder most of my life, I just didn’t know that’s what I was doing and that’s how a lot of community builders kind of get into community. They don’t even realize they love bringing people together and being a connector.
And I used to host events at my home and had people over. Um I used to be a photographer, I’m still a photographer but I used to do art gallery exhibits and how it would have openings at my house. So I always really loved bringing, I volunteered and would bring people together in different scenarios and when I um entered I was doing sales and then I left my corporate job in 2019 in December really because I you know, I was passionate about doing other things than selling computers and I had joined a community, an online community on a mighty network that had helped me transform over a few years to learn how to do an online business. And I connected with those people and I saw the power of what a community can be and how it can when when you don’t have the people in your physical space to support you or understand you or see the journey that you’re going through. A lot of the conversations I was having with people back in this is before the pandemic. So a lot of people were having, you know when I was talking about I want to work remotely and I want to travel remotely and I want to do all of these location independent lifestyle.
They were like what is that? And how does that even work? Like you have, don’t, you have to have a job, you know, and I’m like but that is the job, like that’s what we do, that’s how and people don’t understand it. Like in my local community here in pennsylvania, people just didn’t get that. So I didn’t really feel like I was, you know, I was kind of out on my own and then what I really found was this online community that I couldn’t and then I met these people that were all like doing it actually doing it, they were being remote, they were doing the things and I was like I want to be like these people, I want to create something amazing, I want to be an entrepreneur and be able to travel and own my day instead of my day owning me. And so that was really the foundation of what started find calm here which became initially I had in person events that were wellness focused helping with the tools and resources that I had found helped me in my life to find calm yoga meditation, essential oils, Um all these kind of different holistic elements that really helped me transition my life on top of the fact that I left my corporate job in 2019, I was able to do it while I was actually still building and improving my wellness and health care.
So after that I started doing these events. But then of course we know what happened in March Of 2020, right when I had decided to leave my corporate job to become a travel writer and to also do online or in person events, both of those two things I really wasn’t able to do after March. And so I had to figure out what does that look like now. And a lot of people had the moments of like what am I really doing with my life, Like I really don’t want to be doing things I’m not passionate about. So I started to host virtual events. I switched over to, I learned how to create um interactive events on a virtual stage with using zoom and breakout rooms and I found structures that worked and so we had, I find calm here, had over 30 virtual events. In 2020, I launched my online paid membership in June of 2020 with a virtual summit for four hours with 15 speakers. I did a lot of work and I spent the entire 2020 trying to figure out how to bring people into a paid online community and I struggled and I actually failed after my three day week long, you know my three day launch of my community, I had zero members and I was like what am I doing with my life?
I just spent all this time and energy and money and I have nothing and but what happened was people didn’t know that and they saw me and these other people that were also in the same realm building communities, I had actually brought those people together just on my own. I said, hey I have a space, I did the community design masterclass that muddy networks offers And I had a couple of people that we went through that together in 2020, they wanted to continue working together after the five week course I said well I already have built by community, if you guys what I’m happy to host it. So over six months from june until december every week I met with other community builders who then learned about what I was doing and we all supported each other, what is now called the Mighty Mastermind was which was the inception of what Became the mighty mastermind. And so with those uh people, they saw what I was doing, they were helping me and then they said Deb you know a lot about community building and you seem to really know the mighty networks platform, can you help me?
And it was then that I started consulting business in September of 2020 and by the end of the year I had recouped the money that I had invested into the business By doing consulting work. And that’s when I started realizing that Oh I can actually help people build these online communities. So then I transferred over to doing business and in 2021, a year after my initial launch, I reopened the fine calm here community, it is now for community builders. And so inside the community we offer accountability so that you can find calm in the process of building, launching and growing your paid online community. That’s it, it’s really awesome story, Deb and it’s it there’s a lot of mirrors to my story in the same vein and that I think that when you’re creating a business, there’s a lot of assumptions that you make about if I do this then people will pay X. And what I found is that through that process of creating and then revisiting and seeing what doesn’t work, you end up finding what does work.
And when I first got started on my podcasting journey, I made a show about fatherhood because I’m passionate about that called the awesome dad Show and The goal was I’m going to create a community of dads and it’s still there. I have a pretty large Facebook group, got over 2000 members very active. But what what was interesting to me is nobody was paying me money to help them become a better father, what ended up happening is people were paying me to help them launched their own podcast and, and so on and so forth and grow a podcast. And so you know, as I got into consulting and um production, one of the challenges that I found dead and you might empathize with this and all the listeners out there might empathize with this is that there can be a little bit of feast or famine in the realm of consulting and production and, and podcast launches. You know, there would be, you know, a month or two where I didn’t have a ton of work and then there would be a month or two where I just overloaded with work and I said to myself, what’s a way that I can try to reduce the volatility and and create a more consistent stream of cash flow, right?
And I tried a couple different things, but what I found was that by, by building out a community, it just has so many, so many benefits and and one of the main main ones is now I can have a consistent stream of income. I’m able to solidify myself as an expert in a space because now you’re creating fans and people that are excited about what you’re doing, they’re growing, they’re getting provided value, they tell their friends right, which is kind of the next step that and definitely something I want to talk about. But I think that any of the listeners out there, you know, if you’re looking for a way to create consistent income without the volatility, um that’s out there. I really feel like building a paid community is just one of the most powerful things you can do. I so agree with that. Yeah. And as a fellow consultant, yeah, definitely. I just experienced the feast slash famine in february with the famine part in february and it was a challenge. But I feel like that’s the magic of when you can rely on the community and yeah, it can be a way to diversify your income so that when, you know, it’s just another, it’s just another funnel for you to be able to, if you want to use that word that you can actually help in growing your diversification of income.
I believe that that’s I think that it takes, I don’t, I don’t want to ever tell people there’s a lot of other people out there saying it’s, it’s, you know, it’s the quick way and I don’t agree with that statement. I feel like there is some work involved, but it can be meaning meaningful and powerful and and provide you with income so it can do a lot of things all at the same time and that’s why I love it. Yeah, there’s I mean there’s some other benefits too, right? Especially when it comes to podcasting and that, you know, we’re trying to build multiple streams of income, right? That’s the dream. You’re selling t shirts, you’re selling community, you’re doing consulting, maybe doing production um or whatever your business model is, maybe you have affiliate links, right? But when you have a community that’s, that’s building and growing, you know, growing itself that helps, you know, a rising tide lifts all ships, you know, and I’m kind of curious Deb, you know, I kinda want to talk about Mighty Networks specifically because that’s again where I’m hosting my network and you’re helping me do that. But one of the cool things about Mighty Networks is it allows your, it kind of incentivizes the people with within your network to invite others, you know, you know what?
Actually let me back it up, back it up for me. I’ve played with three different platforms and I want to hear your opinion on this Deb because when I was building out my paid network, I’m looking at facebook groups, I was looking at Patreon and now I’m on Mighty Networks. Um I actually looked at circle as well. So I looked at four different platforms for building my community. Why is it that you think that Mighty Networks is the best of these different networks that are out there. I’ll tell you a couple of reasons. The number one reason is that they’ve been doing it for quite a while. They’re one of the people who has been in the game longer genie gina and I’m not gonna say try to even attempt for lasting right now because I always say it wrong. Um but the, one of the co founders of Mighty has been in the tech space and in in that industry for quite a while, so and Jessica and some of the people that she brought on in the early in the earlier days have really um brought so much value to the platform. They are so invested in your success, facebook is not invested in your success, they want you to pay for you to be seen and that is the challenge with facebook because they just, they expect, they’re not out, you know, they don’t, all they want is your money, they don’t want to help you.
But Mighty Networks, they want to help you, they want you to succeed. They all they offer branding, so you can actually have everything about your Mighty Network. It looks like it’s your app because it is your app and you can customize it and brand it and it looks that way, it looks very professional and it looks like this is an app that I own as a, as a community, as an entrepreneur or a podcaster or whatnot. And that’s another difference. Um Circle is really great for uh companion sites for either a course or or something like if you have a structured program and then you want somewhere that doesn’t offer a community, like you have a teachable but it doesn’t offer community aspects so that you could add a companion piece which would be circle the other aspects around the features and function and functionality of the platform. So many networks has uh he just offered live streaming, that’s a new feature, You can do that right within your body, so talking right directly to your members, there’s no analytics, there’s no distractions.
Facebook has many ways to distract you and deter your members from paying attention or being really uh focused on whatever that is you’re trying to either convert them to buying or whether it’s your offering support. It’s very hard unless you have people that are really dedicated to be able to get and gain their attention in a facebook group because there’s so much other stuff when they log into facebook, they’re seeing a million other things. So that would be some comparison between like facebook versus Mighty and then Circle versus Mighty as far as the feature wise. Um what I’ve and I’ve talked to circle people and I think their platform is great. They’re just a little behind Mighty and that’s just the fact they’re just a little behind it because they just started offering events and Mighty has been doing the zoom Integrative events for quite a while. I feel like that’s one of the best features, you don’t actually have to go into zoom to create an event, you can actually create an event right from your Mighty network. There’s functionality features as far as each area you can charge or not charge for your network.
You can charge or not charged for a course or for uh a cohort or group. However you want to title that the language and the complexity of muddy networks is what makes a little bit challenging. Um, but that’s the amazing nous of what the networks, it’s just so flexible that it can really be customized for each individual community so that when you bring people into your network, it will be specifically for them, the content, the images, the graphics and they won’t not see something, they’re going to see everything that’s in there. That was a lot. So I’ll pause there, just see what questions you had and all of these things are reasons why we are on mighty networks, right? All these things I really like, I like, I really like the idea of being able to incorporate courses to, I don’t really have a plan to launch a course in the near future, but I do think that as you grow out as we grow out to our communities and we understand what our community wants. Well, okay, we can almost get people like crowdfund the course, you don’t have to spend hours of your time, days of your time creating this really compelling course and then nobody takes it, you know, so that’s something that’s interesting to me.
The other thing that’s really, really interesting to me, because I’ve had experience growing communities on Patreon before, but the problem that I’ve had with Patreon is kind of like a the same problem we talked about with a podcast, it’s like a one way road, you’re creating exclusive content, but it’s really hard for your community to actually engage with themselves and grow, like, grow organically from the inside out, Which is something that I think is really important to me when growing the community. I don’t want the community to be 100% reliant on me to show up every day with fresh content and fresh, insightful information. I would like for the people to develop relationships within the community itself, you know? So I’m kind of curious on your side. Deb what are some ways that we can drive that engagement within the community? Are there any tactics or any ways that we can give people to engage more with themselves and grow relationships within the community? You might have to stop me, because I could go on for a long time on this conversation, But what I’ll say is a couple of different things. So, yes, Patreon, from what I experienced, just by being in yours, because I hadn’t been in any others besides yours, but just by experiencing yours, it’s, to me is very, very limited, there’s not ability to connect with the actual participants of your membership, it’s really just a one way, if you want to build, if your goal is to build an audience of people like fans, that’s a platform for you.
If if your, your goal is to really connect deeper and understand your ideal clients or your ideal members or your ideal podcast listeners. That is a platform, Mighty Networks as a platform for you to go to because it allows you with the capabilities and the functionality of the activity feed the event functionality, the ability for you to have different areas to connect with people in different ways that all allows you to have, better to better validate anything that you’re putting out. So one of the biggest challenges we have is if we create content then we are we is this good? Is it helpful? Is it used our people implementing, you don’t know any of that as a podcaster unless somebody emails you and tells you. Right. So the other way to get to get to the feedback is asking them and that can be with poles or questions that you create inside a community to ask the members to give you feedback when you create something, let’s say you want to do a challenge. And by the way, Mark, you do not have to just use courses for courses sake in mighty Networks, you can change the word course to anything that you would like.
So you could actually change the area that says courses to challenges and then you could decide to do a challenge every quarter and that could just be, I’m going to have a challenge for 30 days and in my my money network, we’re gonna do, you know, a podcast challenge where we get you get your podcast set up in 30 days, whatever, something like that. Um you could use it for a mastermind, you could use it which which is how you’re using it, you could use it for other ways. There’s a lot of ways. And that’s the other thing about Mighty is that there’s just unlimited potential in ways that you can really use it to make it your for your members for what they need and it changes, right? So you you start with a concept or a community strategy that you have a plan for and then the members kind of just tell you right here’s what’s helpful, here’s what’s not also what you mentioned earlier about courses. Yeah. The old framework of I’m going to do a highly um videoed professional course.
I’m gonna tell you 99% of people are not doing courses in 2022. If they buy them, they’re probably sitting in there web browser and they have no time to get to them. The problem right now in 2022 that we see is people do not have time but they have really big problems that they’re trying to figure out how to solve and if one of those problems is about for you solving the person who wants to create a podcast and they don’t know how to do, it they could spend years, right doing it by themselves and struggling along the way and doing it the wrong way, probably like I did for the last year, I’m so glad I joined your community because now I have supported you get feedback, you’re telling me about hey Deb check the audio podcast that I just did for your audio. So there’s already things that I’m learning about podcasting just by meeting you in the last two months that I can start implementing. If I hadn’t met you, then I’d still be struggling with those things and trying to figure them out on my own. Secondly, now I can share what I’ve learned from you inside your community. So now on top of the fact that you’ve helped me in a certain way, now I can say, hey guys, did you check out Marc’s podcast?
Because his podcast actually really helped me and here’s the audio setup that I now have, thanks to Mark and this is the feedback that I’ve gotten From him or from other people who listen to my podcast and said, Hey Deb since episode 62, now you’re doing this with this and it sounds really, really great. So things like that, where you can actually give me some feedback um automatic, like in real time, I can actually implement the changes, then I can come back and I can share with the community that they’re in means the community members are creating your content, not you, you’re creating content on the podcast episode. But then I’m saying, hey, hey Mark, you’re, you’re amazing, here’s how you helped me and then other people are gonna see that and be like, oh, you know what, I’ve been meaning to do that, but I haven’t prioritized it now, I’m going to prioritize it because Debs had such great results and Mark’s giving us this stuff, so I should probably be using it since I’m now investing in this mastermind to improve my podcast.
So all of those things, I just linked together now, they’ve invested in the podcast. They all start going to start creating the content for you. So you don’t actually have to create as much content as you might think. You can also create structured live courses, meaning you could walk them through five steps to launch your first podcast and they don’t have to be recorded anything. You can just have a live call, record that live call and now you’ve got your course and that’s the other functionality and features that mighty Network talks about when they talk about running live courses. So instead of spending six months creating a course and content that maybe nobody will actually find value or actually do, they might buy it, but it will sit there forever because they don’t have time versus you say we’re gonna do a cohort led course, that means I’m gonna teach you some things that I know and then you’re going to do that and we’re all gonna do it together, which is the other key point about the community because what you said earlier, you’re not going to be successful in the community if it’s all about the host, the only way to be successful in community and to have it really lasting and to have the income and revenue that you really need is to put that shift back on the community.
How can I help you? How can I do things for you? How can we make this a space for you to feel seen valued heard and feel like you have what you need to do and implement whatever it is, Sorry, that was a lot and I know it’s it’s everything resonates. Um and I think above all, one of the things you said is you have to solve a problem, you have to understand your community members and solve a problem. And just over the past several months working with you and all the members of the podcast savant mastermind, I’ve been really thoughtful about that, What are the problems that that everyone has and how can we alleviate that? And so I’ve kind of evolved the model here and I kind of want some feedback from you and and by the way, listen, before you log off here, I definitely want to talk about how to attract people to your community, so I just want to lay down that hook that is I think something that’s really important, but the format that I’ve kind of evolved the podcast about community into something, it looks like this.
Each month we’re gonna have a particular theme for podcasting, right? Whether that’s clarity on your brand, how to get guests, we’ve covered search ability, we’re gonna be covering monetization, which is the current theme that we’re talking about this month. Right? And so each month we’re gonna, we’re gonna have that, and what I’d like to do is develop like a worksheet of different tasks that you can complete in order to get there. So it’s not just like blah, here’s a giant worksheet of of of nonsense to work through, but it’s, here’s some actual tasks that you can implement to get there. And one of the things that you had mentioned to me Deb, which has really been sitting in my mind, is trying to be clear with the community ah in regards to how much time they’re going to need to spend in the community each week, I don’t want to be unrealistic and say that everyone you’re gonna need to spend 10 hours a week inside this community because then it just becomes a job. So what I was I’m kind of framing the community as is take about an hour a week, work on these tasks and you’re gonna see a notable improvement in the show or in in the podcast that you’re growing.
And I also noticed that Mighty Networks really encourages us as community leaders to have some sort of weekly event. And I said, what’s a weekly event that I can do that’s going to help achieve that goal of having all the audience members, all the community members work on this for about an hour a week. And I said, listen, I’m just gonna do a really brief short live video each week and you know, I think it’s important and I want to get your feedback on this step as a community leader yourself. You know, I don’t particularly like really long drawn out live videos. I especially don’t want to watch them back, but I was saying maybe if I can record like a quick 5 to 10 minute live video each week to help support the team and support everyone in completing their, their weekly or monthly tasks, That might be a good model for, for retention. What are your thoughts on that is a, is a model of keeping people involved in the community. I think it’s good to communicate with these lives. There’s a lot of different ways to utilize the lives.
One of the ways that I recently utilized the live is by walking people through some of the content to make sure they see like the most recent posts that I’ve created or content that I, um, asking them for feedback on. So that’s one of the things I’ve done as far as using the live feature with. and the other thing I would say is what I started in 2022 doing is really asking the members what they want to do and how they can do it together. And one of the people mentioned about a book club and I said, great, who wants to run the book club because it’s not gonna be me. And so they said, all right, we’ll all share it. So three people, we jump, I hosted a zoom call where we just got it, you know, organized and structured and three people volunteered to take turns to host a book club and so now they’re doing that and I am now instead of being a leader in that scenario, I am actually just a participant and I can show up or not show up to a book club, but they’re getting the value out of it because they’re showing up because they have committed to doing something that takes you out of the equation.
In a matter of saying you’re hosting and giving them a space to connect and collaborate, but it doesn’t control your time doesn’t have to be taken. And a lot of people that talk to me about communities say dev I don’t want this to take a million hours to build a community or to have to spend all of my time in community. And so one of the benefits you can have is really focusing on serving the members by asking them to step up and be accountable for whatever it is they want to accomplish. That could also be a coworking session. So if you would have tasks for us to do in your mastermind, you could say who would like to run a coworking session so that you can get the tasks done at X time on Wednesdays at one o’clock is when coworking happens in the fine calm here community and I have to lisa she leads that session and we’re talking about doing accountability calls. So, monthly accountability call and I think that that would be really powerful if a member actually was part of that leadership. Uh so getting volunteers in your community to sit to raise their hand and say, hey, I really want to do, I really want to move forward and really step up my game on podcasting, for example.
So how can I do that? You could be like Deb why don’t you do once a month accountability call or once every two weeks do a coworking. Um and so those are the ways that where it does a few things right? It takes it gives them some accountability to show up because sometimes we tend to show up for others before we show up for ourself. So if I schedule tasks like a podcast episode, I know I’m gonna be there because I committed to mark that I’m gonna be on this podcast episode today. But if at the same time, uh instead of being a podcast episode, I had to do a community building task, I may or may not do that community building task. Right? Because I could say, well now I have a client work that I have to do, or there’s 17 other things that get in the way life. I want to go for a walk, it’s beautiful outside. Why don’t I just go for a walk right now and I can do those community things later. That’s what happens is we shift the priority because it’s not as if we don’t prioritize our time. I just did a podcast episode about the fact that we don’t prioritize our time that some people do and some people don’t, but I’m not gonna say everybody, but like, a lot of people.
And for sure me in the past have been challenged with making myself a priority. And booking an appointment with myself every day is much more important than it used to be for me. So, those are ways for you to have members show up and and have them do actionable steps together, which is another thing because then they can collaborate together in a co working session, You can actually show up and say, all right, I’m going to start working on that. Um what was your thing called? The, the branding guide, Right branding guide. So, all right, so, on the next coworking call, I’m going to show up and I’m gonna say, hey, I’m gonna work on the brand identity guide, so that’s gonna be what I’m gonna do for the next 20 minutes, so then we take 20 minutes we go and we do our projects and that’s what mine is, and I come back and say, hey, would you guys give me feedback on that, that what was the thing that we were talking about during your mastermind call? The they’re a little short sentence in the brand bold statements, bold statement.
Right, So there’s a lot of conversation during your mastermind call about the bold statement. So what if that conversation had happened in a coworking session where the actual community members could kind of collaborate and give each other feedback and then come and present to you in the next meeting and say, hey, this is what everybody has helped me come up with, wouldn’t that be powerful, extremely powerful? And this is kind of the dream and this is what I think we want to work towards as entrepreneurs, as business owners, podcasters is how can we empower others to execute, how can we empower other members of the community uh to lead. And that that’s definitely something that I would, I would love to build out with the community of the podcast Savants over here, and and I guess it’s an and I think this all really revolves around understanding your community and listening, you know, and I think too many people are too busy telling instead of listening, you know, and I really believe the more you give, the more you receive in, in that regard? I do, you know, before we start to close down here Deb I really want to talk about growing, growing or getting more people to actually join your community because I think that’s the biggest, the biggest hurdle is getting the momentum going, actually, getting people to join your community and and keeping people in the community is another challenge.
But I think we’ve covered a lot of ways that you can keep people engaged, but how, what is, what are some ways that we can actually get people to grow our community? I mean for for me, I already have a bit of a network. I’ve been podcasting for five years. I built this solution out because I was, I was ending too many calls with Naruing clients saying, Mark, I can’t afford $1,500 coaching sessions, I can’t afford $2500 podcast launch kits, what can you offer me? And I’m thinking myself, I’m letting all these people go um I need to have a solution, sure join my $25 a month podcast savant community and you can join the mastermind for only 25 bucks more right, which becomes a very affordable option. So at any rate, I already have kind of a funnel, if you would have been podcasting for years, I have a network, but if you’re starting from, from scratch or maybe you don’t have an established community, how do you actually get people to buy in? How do you get people to pay their hard earned dollars to join your network? Yeah, it’s really about using that whatever network you have, whether it’s your linkedin connections, whether it’s an email that you have with people, whether it’s your facebook friends, your family members, um, when you don’t have like a large social media following, that doesn’t mean you, you can’t do a community.
What that means is you have to find your ideal members. And so what that means is you have to do a little bit of discovery meaning asking questions and then putting out messages saying, hey, I’m actually working on a community where we bring people together who really want to get serious about podcasting. Would you like to hear more about that? And talking to the people that say, yeah, I’d love to hear more about that mark. That would be really interesting to me. So that’s one way of just, you know, a 1 to 1 situation where you jump on a call with somebody, you really learn what the challenges are, what’s holding them back. What’s been stopping you from doing a podcast. What are the roadblocks that are keeping you on your way that way? You can see, oh well, guess what Deb I have X, y and Z thing that’s gonna help you actually get past all that and I’m gonna help you do it in less time. If it took me for example, you could say it took me four years to figure out what I can actually teach you in the community with, shared with the shared audience of people bringing that shared wisdom together in an online community. We can do that actually faster so we can get you to uh you know, making money with the podcast, monetizing the podcast in in six months versus six years or something like that.
So the way to, to, first of all, one way to bring people in is to just tell them how you can solve their problems. And then the other part of it is just either on your money networks landing page or on your marketing or emails. Just being really clear about who this is for and who it’s not for. And that way the people that are really connecting with your message are then going to identify with that and say, oh this is for me because he, because basically what happens is when you do the discovery interviews one of those ideal interviews, you’ll get information and words from those people that then you used your copy for your website for your landing pages, then it’s actually like you’re speaking to them because you are because you’re using the words that they told you. If they say I really struggle, I’m stuck with the tech of a podcast and that’s why I haven’t launched for you know, six months and you can say you can flip it and just say, hey, I’m gonna help you launch your podcast in less than six months by making it super easy for you. So you don’t get stuck on the tech, that’s the way to easily flip it around so people can see, oh this is actually exactly what I need right now.
That’s it. I just want to just want to add a little bit onto that because what you just said there, Deb is I think been the most impactful thing for me, it’s getting on one on one calls and and again listening and I’ve found that there’s certain terminology and there’s certain words, there’s certain thought experiments that I can tell when I say it’s someone just like something clicks in their head and I found that by, by learning the language of your audience, it more and more people are gonna be more and more attracted to what you’re looking to build with your community and a lot of assumptions, a lot of assumptions that I had were not necessarily correct, It’s that process of communication. Yeah, and one of the things that I mentioned a little bigger, there’s a lot of people in the community entrepreneurial industry, for example that you’re talking about lead magnets and sales funnels and while those are helpful tools as you grow larger when you’re starting out, you can’t use those tools because it takes the human element out and then you don’t get any of the things that we just talked about because you miss those components because then you’re just speaking one, you know, you’re just speaking to them and you’re not having a conversation with them and that then means that they’re not seeing valued or her.
So then they’re not saying, oh well this isn’t for me because he doesn’t even understand me because he doesn’t act like it doesn’t sound like any of this copy is resonating with me because that person hadn’t asked. For example like that was what happened with me is I made a lot of assumptions that I had some really great things that helped me and I wanted to give the love to other people and say, hey, I have this thing that’s magical and it’s gonna help you. But nobody asked me to do that. And the biggest difference that I then the shift that I made was around When somebody asked me and then I realized that I can do something very unique and different based on my background of being in journalism for 15 years of asking the right questions. The questions are the biggest most important thing I think that people, another thing that people miss out on because um asking the right kinds of questions and the questions in the right way and the right way means a lot of different things right? We could go into that, but just to say that with putting the focus on how to help them and freezing the questions in a way, how can and not just saying what can I do to help you?
But saying what is the one thing that would knock all the other dominoes over? Is there one thing that if you got that figured out, you could like do so much more and if you could figure out that one thing, what would that one thing be? Tell me that. And then that gives you the ability to then respond a little bit more of an educated answer than saying what are you stuck on? And then they’re like, well I’m stuck on a million. You know, it eliminates the multiple things and you can just focus on one thing because people honestly in 2022 they can’t handle more than one thing anymore and they don’t take, they don’t take time if they don’t figure something out within. I was talking to an app developer yesterday and that he was asking me feedback on his app and I said if honestly, from my experience, if people can’t figure something out within one minute to they are like out there like, nope, don’t have time, That’s just the reality of the world we live in in 2022, it’s mind blowing that some of those things are the way the way they are. But um I think we have to be conscious of that and that’s why it’s so important to be really clear in your messaging and to really direct and saying like, this is what we do here.
Because the other thing is communication, right? We have to tell people why they’re joining, why they want to stay, why it’s important. And if we don’t really have that clear focus, people will then be questioning and they won’t be sure, maybe they’ll join, but then they’ll leave because they’re like, oh, this was actually was something different than what I thought, right, because you didn’t have the clarity 100%, the clarity and, you know, Deb that’s really why over the past few months, that’s what we’ve been focusing on. It’s the messaging, it’s the brand identity, it’s the keywords, it’s understanding. And this upcoming month we’re gonna be focused on storytelling how to tell a better story, a more compelling story. So that when you go as a guest on a podcast, when you get on a call with someone, you’re actually able to share those stories that impact, I feel like with podcasting Deb and I’ve made this mistake for many years, it’s it’s about how can I get more listeners from my show, you know? But I really feel like it works the other way around. It’s how can I really create compelling narratives to the audience that listens to my show, so that they continue to listen and then they tell others and I really feel like it’s the same theme with community, how can you impact, how can you impact more people’s lives and transform other and help other people if if I could solve if I could help one person find calm And and solve that problem that I experienced all the stress and anxiety that I experienced in trying to build an online business while launching a podcast while creating an online community at the same time, because I thought that was a really great idea in 2020, and that was burnt out.
If I could save one person from that experience and say, and get on a call with somebody and say, guess what? You don’t need all of those things, you just need to get simple and focused, and that’s what I help people do every day with my consulting, um that’s the most powerful thing, because when I get on a call with somebody and then they say Deb, you mean, I don’t need a sales funnel and an email list, I don’t need to have 10,000 facebook or linkedin followers, and I can still build an online community, and I say yes, and they’re like, well that’s something that is really bothersome to me. I was actually chatting with some of the other day, you know, because I, the way that I’ve been growing this podcast community is I have an assistant who does a lot of cold outreach, and then if somebody is interested I hop on a call with them or I send them more resources. Right? And there was this guy that respond and he’s like you don’t get enough likes on your instagram page, why would I follow you? And you know what do you put value on? Because likes on instagram don’t get you paid. And I do understand there’s a psychological thing that happens when you see a lot of people liking a post then you’re more likely to like a post.
But right when you start to look at influencers out there, even the biggest influencers and you start to look at the people that are liking on their posts, they’re they’re all robots, they’re not real people. It’s not real engagement and it’s so easy to get fooled by that. Which again is why I think calm Boeing a podcast with a paid network is the way to go if you’re trying to diversify your income. If you’re trying to build real engagement with real people. Two quick things to say. I know we’re running out of time but I’ve got two more things to say. Following up on that point. I did I just finished a project with the gore oppose their social media management company. They are doing some new products around helping social media managers in the industry agencies and social media in independent social media managers help them better Have uh measuring success around what their social media campaigns are actually doing and looking at the data and stats to see what is actually happening.
And when are we did 10 interviews with social media managers in the industry across the globe. And all of them had different uh definitions for what they thought engagement is. They thought some of them thought engagement was the likes, other people said we don’t care about the likes, we want to see if people are going to our website, other people still said no, we don’t care about that, all of those things, We just want them to actually show up to our events. Another person yet said, oh actually we want to hear from the community at our school district, for example, when they say oh thank you for sharing that thing on facebook. So now I’m informed about the community because of social media. So there are many different ways and the leaders in social media that are the creators of agencies that are actually influencing at the top levels do not have a structured system to say here’s what is success in social media and that’s what I think people like companies like agora pulse that are leaders in the industry are really trying to change the perspective around all of these things, what engagement actually means and what’s actually valuable and important and how you can actually use social media in your business to actually improve revenue because that’s most of business owners are going to tell you, that’s what they need to see.
The whole point of them being on social media is to get a client, get a customer, get somebody to buy their product or service. And if those ads and that revenue isn’t converting in those ways that time and energy of building all of those email sequences or marketing campaigns or uh social media posts is not going to be effective and over the long term, obviously not going to be a business uh strategy that’s gonna keep continuing. That’s the first thing I want to say. But the second thing I want to say is to get also to get more audience members and to speak on other people’s podcasts like we’re doing today helps get you better known as an authority or as an influence or however you want to say that as somebody who’s in the specific industries that you’re talking to and I am so excited to be a Petra kucera speaker at podcast and I’m so psyched and so nervous all at the same time, but I just wanted to like give you a shoutout because I’m excited to meet you at podcast in a couple of months.
Yeah, it’s gonna be fun. I’ll see you at podcast, it’s gonna be dope, It’s gonna be lit and in the meantime Deb, it’s been a real pleasure. And um, anyone out there that is considering starting and launching their paid mighty network Deb, where can they find you? I find calm here. Dot com is the best website I’ve been working day and night to update all of the amazing things. The podcast is the community strategy podcast dot com. So that you are l will also direct you to the fine calm here website. So that’s how you can find about, find out all about my services and what I do as a consultant and about our fine calm here community if you want to join and yeah, like you said, um offering different levels of services so maybe somebody can’t invest in a consulting uh expert like myself right at this moment, but they can definitely gain wisdom from the podcast, that’s a free offer for them. They can join the community which is a more affordable offer for some people and we can do strategy sessions which is also another way to really go in depth with community so and I thank you so much for the opportunity to be here today.
Yeah, it’s been great and for all of Deb’s listener because we’re doing a swap cast here by the way. So another strategy here, um if you, if you want your podcast to work for you, you gotta hit me up contact at Mark’s Savant Media dot com. Really, what I want to do is just connect with you, maybe hop on a call and see how I can provide you with resources. So that’s contact at Mark Savant Media dot calm. Let’s hop on a call contact at Mark Savant Media dot com. Deb stay awesome. I will see you soon. Keep crushing it. I love what you do. You always bring a lot of valuable information to my ears. So I appreciate you taking the time. Thank you so much market. Thanks for having me here. And anybody who’s listening, if you think about, if you’re thinking about a podcast, definitely reach out some work, he is an expert and one of the best people in the industry. Even Alex from po’d pros who I just interviewed from my podcast the other day said I said I was in your mastermind and he goes, oh you’re gonna rock it because he’s amazing. So if anybody is even considering or on the fence about joining the mastermind, just join it because you’re gonna have a really great time and and really super speed your podcast.
Uh I’m humbled, I’m humbled that it means a lot. I appreciate you have an awesome day everyone and go take action. Mhm
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In this episode of the Community Strategy Podcast, you’ll hear a recording of an interview with Sarah Hines, the Host of Leading while Healing Network, who shares her community-building journey.