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65 Creating an Inclusive Community with Jephtah Abu

65: Creating An Inclusive Community with Jephtah Abu

Jephtah Abu is a community manager based in Lagos, Nigeria with over 5 years of experience in building inclusive & diverse online communities ranging from B2B brands, Tech Startups, and SaaS companies.

He recently became the first Local-based Nigerian to be awarded a full scholarship to CSchool (A cohort for Community Managers).

Jephtah advocates for DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) in the community management space as he rallies for more Global Opportunities for Community Managers living in Nigeria.

After his experience in Marketing, he realized that community management is his passion.

This passion led to the creation of his blog where he unpacks community industry insights during interviews with top community professionals and leaders, including Jenifer “Sue” the Head of Community at Headspace — the meditation app with more than 30 million users.

In an interview with Ben Lang, the Head of Community at Notion which has approximately 20 million users, Ben shares his thoughts on defining what success is for him in the community industry.

During this episode, Jephtah Abu shares his experiences and gives community leaders tips on how to cultivate inclusive communities for all.

Show Notes

4:26: Jephtah explains how he couldn’t find anyone advocating for community management in Nigeria, and how Nigeria has a deep sense of community and culture already.

8:35: Discussing past work he’s done, Jephtah has experience as a program coordinator and social media manager. He then secured a community management job-based in China.

18:11: Jephtah and Deb discuss the difference between a social media manager and a community manager.

22:31: Jephtah touches on his experience in CSchool. In three months he gained the confidence to know what he wants and also formed deep personal connections.

26:40: Jephtah jumps into tips for diversity and inclusion. He states onboarding is a key first interaction to ask where people their background and hosting cultural events.

39:49: Jephthah’s final words of encouragement for creating diversity and inclusion inside an online community is to simply treat people fairly.

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Episode Transcription

Okay. Mhm Hi Oh and welcome to the community strategy podcast. I am your host, Deb Shell on this podcast I share conversations I have with community builders who offer tips on what’s worked for them and resources that have helped them find calm in the community building process. If you’re new to community building or just considering community As a way to bring your clients, customers or audience together, but you don’t know how or what to do to be able to, I’d be happy to help you during a 90 minute clarity call. You can grab a link to book a call with me on the find calm here.com website. Also you can sign up for the com community newsletter to learn more about resources and tools that will help you in building a paid online community and if you need support and accountability with a group of community builders, I’d love to invite you to join the Fine calm your community, you’ll receive support and tools to help you have a successful launch, grow your membership and tackle any challenges with the support of peers in a safe space that’s enjoyable.


There’s a lot of awesome things happening inside our community. We have lots of interactive events, we’ve got laughter yoga coming up in february and we’ve got collaboration calls with members, so it’s really exciting to be in the Fine Come here community in 2022 please reach out to me at Deb at fine calm here dot com. If you are interested in learning more about the community in partnership with the community Community Leaders Institute. I am excited to announce that the fine con here community and me. Deb Schell is thrilled to announce an exclusive special discount on the upcoming clicks. Community leaders Institute expo that’s going to take place in Memphis on april 4th through the 5th 2022 it’s at the resident convention center in Memphis Tennessee. There will be a link in our show notes for you to to check that out and book your ticket. If you put Deb 200 in your discount code area, you’ll get $200 off your registration tickets.


So that’s a Deb 200 at checkout to get the $200 off. That’s an exclusive discount thanks to the partnership we have with Community Leaders Institute. So thank you so much excited and hopefully I’ll get to meet you. I’m excited to introduce today’s guests, Jeff to Abu. He is a community manager based in LA and I didn’t even ask you how to say the place where you’re from based in Lagos Nigeria, I’m gonna guess that he has over five years of experience in building inclusive and diverse online communities ranging from B two B brands tech startups and SAAS companies. He recently became the first location based Nigerian to be awarded a full scholarship and see school a cohort for community managers and he’s an advocate for diversity equality and inclusion in the community management space as he rallies for global opportunities for community managers to living in Nigeria. After his experience in marketing, he realized the community was his passion and he now leads Inside his blog, he unpacks community industry insights during interviews with top community professionals and leaders, including Jennifer Sue, who’s the head of the community at Headspace, uh, which is the meditation app with more than 30 million users.


In addition, he’s interviewed Ben Lang the head of community at notion which has approximately 20 million users, then shared his thoughts around defining what success is for him in his community industry. I’m excited Interview interview Jeff today, uh, as, as my guest here on the community strategy podcast. So welcome Jeff to the podcast, awesome, awesome. Like I think this is the first time someone I’ve read like my bio like full length, so it’s like awesome reading what I actually wrote. So yeah, it’s, it’s great to be here. It’s like really great to be here. I was waiting for you to pronounce Lagos, I was saying because that’s something that most people always mess up. But you actually like did well that most people actually Lagos thank you. Um, tell me a little bit about where that is so that people can get maybe a sense of um, um, on where you are at in the world and so they can get a little bit of idea around that. Okay, awesome, awesome. So Lagos is actually in a place called Nigeria and Nigerians in a place or in a continent called africa.


So Lagos is like West Africa. I feel like our music is so global. Like I don’t know if people have had essence by whiskeys, like some jams afrobeats, like that’s where Lagos is like the bubbling culture. Food, energy. Yeah. Lagos is like a great place to be, especially if like during the holidays, you can always come around and just sounds awesome. Sounds like a great place to live and it sounds like you’re doing a lot in building community. Tell me a little bit about what you’re excited about with your experience and, and you know where you came from and where you want to go, awesome, awesome. I think one thing that I’m soaking on, I think in my value I always say or anywhere I always go is I’m big on D. I divers to take me to an inclusion because I have seen that in the community management space. It’s like as a career parties. Usually it’s to be honest, predominantly don’t like white males and white females. There’s no one like as african and there’s no one that is like me that is doing like so much work.


So why I started off like Indy I advocate it was because I was actually like looking to advance my career and community management. So I checked on Lincoln, I couldn’t find one person that had a global position in Nigeria And we had over 4000 community managers in Nigeria and counting. So there was a big of a disconnect, so I couldn’t find resources in Nigeria, I couldn’t find anyone that was advocating for community management in Nigeria so I said okay, you know what, I’m going to be that person and it has been quite a journey, like it has been quite a journey putting out content, networking, meeting people and there has been so inspiring as well, like an insightful because I get to meet different people from across the spectrum and I always say that Nigerians are natural community managers, like what we do is we we do events, we plan events, we meet people, like we have the skill sets already. So I wrote an article why you should hire in Nigerian as a committee manager and I highlighted that we already have the imbued skill set, so it’s like we’re doing half the job already, so it’s it’s like I said it’s been quite a journey, I’m still on that journey, learning like what committee means across all spectrums, so it’s, I can’t wait to like starts seeing more Africans in that space for like having global positions and what Yeah, that’s exciting.


I think it’s a great time for um for what you’re doing because we it’s needed like we just we need this uh you know and you’re talking about the skills, can you break down this what you’re talking about when you say you already have a lot of the skills that are used in community as a community manager, awesome, awesome. So like their basic soft skill sets that you need as a community manager, that’s like good communication skills is with technology, you have a strong boundary set um a super connector and so much like Nigeria is a place where it’s so imbued with culture and tradition. Like we are very cultural and committed to us means culture. So we have about I think More than 50,000, sorry, more than 50 languages spoken in Nigeria or even more and yet to boost it communicates there’s this most everybody likes connecting people like talking to people.


The energy is there like I said before like strong personal skills, strong communication skills have been a super connector makes you a great community community manager and also and that that makes you a great community manager is empathy. Like Nigerians have so much empathy. So I’ve seen this like you can give a Nigerian like today tomorrow planning events, he’ll pull through, they will always find a way and it’s that good to attitude that makes us like we are in we were beautiful committee management because things will definitely go wrong but we’ll always find a way like to pull through and his dad never die attitude. I like I am body like I never say never like I always find a way to do something and just being around Nigeria and sort of like give me this sense of never seeing you, never giving up, that’s what community community or get it done People, I think to a lot of time they’re like, all right, well how it’s done challenge me right, Especially during the events. Right? Events, Exactly, events are a big thing.


Um So what, what background um who have you worked with or how have you helped in communities in the past? I know you said you did some work. Um So tell me a little bit about the some of the work you’ve done, awesome. So I actually have like a funny community management story or a community manager story, like get into this role, which I feel like most community managers are always, always tell me it’s the same. Like it wasn’t the straightforward past. So I started off as a social media manager, that’s a social media manager. I went off to do cybersecurity. So before then I worked for like a non for profit as a program director. So I was in college, I was hounding events, so that’s what introduced me to committee management. I didn’t know then that was community management. I thought it was just being a program coordinator, talking to people planning events, making sure the committee platform is okay, so I loved it. I loved meeting people, I love planning events. I love leading. So that was just like a volunteer role.


So after I did cybersecurity, I realized that no, I didn’t see myself doing this like coding is boring, no ship to anyone, but I felt like coding was not for me. So I wanted to like meet people. So yeah, I took a break from quoting like one year then I started learning about all that careers and I discovered community management. So the first committee management job I got was with a company in china, which is quite crazy because china has a lot of censorship. Like there’s no slack, there is no zoom things that we use normally. They don’t have it in china. I think it’s weird chats that’s there’s no twitter, there’s no facebook. So it was like a challenge. How do you build a community with so much censorship? And I was able to learn on that role in the next room I got is with a company called mary stars Technology, so many Stars technology is an equity hedge friend. Can I apologize for one second. I want to ask, I want to really ask, how did you get around the censorship? Like how did you connect with people if you, if you couldn’t talk to them on the slack or on facebook groups?


Like I’m really curious to know like how that went for you. No, not me. I’m just talking, talking, talking So basically we had to like use VPNS that was just a trick like they had to use VPNS in china and we had to like there’s a platform, we had, I forgot you and what is the name of that platform, I can’t remember but it’s like slack. Okay. The name is lack, that’s the platform. It’s called lack. So it’s like slack for china. So that was the primary means of communication. We did so because the team was in china they had to create another team in the U. S. To work. So I was working with the team in the US because our primary um our target audience was african americans. So I love the team because it was really global. Like we are going from kenya from US, from Asia, from different parts of the world. So the focus was to build the community outside of china. No, that’s helpful. Yeah. You said you had to use like a sub platform and you but you couldn’t even like you couldn’t have necessarily like ambassadors.


Um so I’m curious um how did people find out about it? Okay, so the goal for the first two months I’ll go was just to like research. Like that was our goal. I feel like that’s key for any community because it’s easy to start a community. But the hard part is keeping them engaged. Like I can start the community today doesn’t mean that in the next 3-4 weeks I can keep it engaged. So what came with the team in the us and I was blessed because we had like different folks like black people. We had white people. We had mexicans like different, so there was diversity. So we’re working with all the team members, I think we’re about 15, so we’re working with them getting research on people like finding the community platform, that would be best that everyone can use whether you’re in china, so we found out that okay you can use discord and I was so happy because people in china can actually use this card, which is crazy, I’m like so we used this chord where does building the community getting people in?


So it was really fun because it makes you think like how do you create a community where there is so much censorship? How do you create a community that allows everyone regardless of where they are from? Because most people just think of think of community as okay, I’m bringing my community already have a target mindset in my head like white people or people in the US or people in Nigeria people in africa, but I think people should think about it in this way, how do I create a community where everyone can feel welcome and everyone can join regardless of their location. So that was like a Jack White, a light board movement that I can never forget and it usually defined my career, like how do I create more communities where people, even in Singapore in Israel in Iraq like they can feel and join and they can feel like okay this value here. So yeah, it was an awesome experience was work was a lot of work. Yeah, it sounds like you did a lot of discovery when we talk about either the ideal member interviews or discovery to figure out like who we’re bringing together why and what’s the purpose and what we’re gonna do inside and it was complex challenges, a major challenge.


It sounds like because of all of the issues with the censorship but you sound, it sounds like you got, you got around there and then you brought people together and you you know you figured out a way to do it and and then got to connect with people so I’m guessing that was a positive an outcome that was a challenge turned out to be a positive experience. Yeah definitely, because we’re all like we’re going to do it like there’s some more censorship in china, even having team meetings that we had to use luck and zoom was like chinese people had to use like VP and jobs to use zoom so like able being able to like overcome this issue sort of thoughts all of us like okay, so we actually can create a community where we can reach out to everyone regardless of location, which is like the end goal of I feel every community that should be the end of most communities has why create a global community and not global in terms of global us because I always say Obama is in lots of different, some people can say global, but I mean the whole of us, they might say global, they mean the whole of africa but I mean like a global community Which which Web three is kind of doing right now, like giving everyone that safe space or the opportunity to join and what’s what was the purpose of that specific community when you were bringing those people together?


Okay, so what we shop did is that they had the website and e commerce website where companies or small businesses in china puts their product. So they wanted to reach out to african americans because they had african american products. So that was our target audience to create a community where you can find resources about hair products um act information about her and just naturally just Connect to people that are interested in her as well. So we had one of the things, one of the key things that helped us a lot because in 18 we had a lot of black women, so they were able to like actually like work on content and be relatable because it’s would have been weird if a white man is working on content for a black woman’s hair or an asian man is working on a content for a white woman’s hair or something like that. So by having this intersectionality in all our groups were able to actually create content that sort of resonates are relates with our target audience. So you created content from people authentic.


You you basically crowd sourced from the community members about the content. Is that what I’m hearing not? Okay. We got I think we did it two ways here. Like the team created content and we also created content from the community that was UGC like user generated content because they were like, people keep on asking questions about her, everyone wants to know like the latest tips, how to like braid your hair. So like we kept using this content in the community and content from our team to sort of keep the community. So it’s a community. So the focus of the community is about hair is what I’m hearing from you, is that right? Yes, that is like really unique, you know, like value proposition like how are you different than other people when we talk about really interesting ways to style hair for specific people, right? I don’t know how you would, how you would say it may be better and more eloquently, but um I just, I think it’s an interesting concept because then people are knowing this is what I’m coming here for.


I really need help with this and then there together with your team and then the members of the community are saying, you know, here’s what we’ve been doing and I really love that the, the experience that you’re expressing, which is the members are such a part of it, they’re an integral part of any community and it’s different than you talked a little bit about, you did social media management and it’s different than social media manager right? It’s your connecting people in a different way. Tell me a little bit about like how you think social media management is different from community management because I know that’s a good topic to always hone in on that. I’m such a strong advocate when I see people saying social media and committee manager, it makes me cringe. I’m like, you know, there are two different rules. Social media is your audience or your audience is basically people that have interacted your post for example, I might see a push to make of a cute dog and I know that’s actually like your profile but because you posted a cute dog definitely quicker than I say, oh this is cute, doesn’t mean I’m a fan of your committee and your loyal fans who are interested in you to the extent that they are willing to like provide value for you and also take your value back.


So you have social media as your audience, you have committed as your loyal fans. So social media is so different because social media is mono directional in terms of communication. So most times people on social media posts and people reply um you might not even answer, you might just like, but community is bi directional. Most times when you ask the question, you almost immediately get the rest and there’s a conversation in flow like there’s always a conversation at committee. The committee. Social media is also so centralized. The committee can be decentralized as well. Social media is one structure. For example, you don’t have um if you’re on twitter, you know, you’re using 2000 UI UX, you know, you’re talking, you’re sending out tweets, you’re retweeting more. Community can do so much more. I can say to the video and post on the slack channel can that’s supposed to mean you can say to message someone. So there’s more if you have the opportunity to express yourself more in the community. I think like I said earlier, like community is very bidirectional and for you too, be an active community is part of like what you call the capital C community.


So the A the first instance will allows a response for you to be an active community. You have to have a platform that allows a response that is bi directional, not uni directional. So when you see people mixing up social media and community managers are usually saying that the companies that are you saying you’re going to be in charge of the audience are going to be charged by loyal funds, which is quite funny because there are two different subsets of people, but you can in charge of loyal fans and can make your audience into your loyal fans. That’s why community and Committee Management and Social Media Management are two different fields that I feel everyone should like to know. Come on, it’s 2022, so, like, we have to keep advocating and talking about thank you so much. That was really helpful. I appreciate um, you sharing a little bit deeper into that. Um, so I interrupted you earlier, so I want you to continue with telling us about your your other role then after the first role that we were talking about with the hair community, which I still love. But tell me what was next then in our community journey.


Oh, awesome. So next was mary stars Technology. So mary start, like I said, it’s an equity hedge fund, basically, they think that company, so I’m in charge of, like, the African expansion starting off from Nigeria. So basically, I talked to influencers trying like what they were touched on any community, you are moved just spreading awareness, but there’s nothing that rules that I will announce soon. I just got like, maybe in the coming weeks, but it’s for a web three company, but that one is like a big secret, which I will announce soon on my linkedin. So, so, so no, no scoop here yet, but you’ll you gotta, you gotta follow jump on linkedin to find out where he’s going to be in a in a in the next couple weeks. So that’s exciting. Um, but so tell me a little bit about, I know you just finished up with c school uh and I know from people who might be listening. Um It’s a it’s a program that helps people who want to really get into the community industry, get some training because, you know, it’s really hard to get a job when you don’t have the background.


Everybody says, well, we want you to have experience. But how do you, it’s that whole thing chicken in the egg. Like how do you get experience if nobody hires you? And I think that’s where where c school kind of breaks, that breaks down and says, hey, we, you know, this is the program that we’re going to help you to really excel in community. So tell me a little bit about your experience with that awesome, awesome. So, I think one thing that Cisco did for me five and start talking about it, what’s he sort of gave me confidence, like to know This is what I want and it’s what I don’t want. Like you mentioned a lot of people after college, you were like, Okay, we need someone that has like 12 years of experience and 10. And in my mind, I’m like, I just finished school, how am I meant to have this experience? So, it’s like you said, chicken and the egg. But moving back to see school, I’ll say one thing that I loved was like genuine human connection. I was in a classroom. It’s like 15 people on like the last day, which was I think Tuesday was so emotional, like everyone was crying, I don’t think, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this but sorry, but everyone was crying which was very emotional and I loved it because I’m like I got to know these people, I got to know where they are from, shout out to Katie, shoutout to end um shoutouts, chica cuts um Tahoe like if like so many emotions because it was like the beauty as a human connection not just a school.


So I got to learn like what it means to be a community manager matrix to track as a community manager, how to even know the career part you want as a community manager. One of my favorite topics with shana summons at hubspot when she’s talking about how to um what’s towards, how to present A. D. I. Strategy to like management. So it was just so awesome. Like an hands on approach to community management. Like from the beginning of what the skill sets you need to content strategies to planning to event to technology to everything you need as a commitment in judge C school did it in three months. So I would advise anyone that’s like big on community level wants to learn to actually like just apply to see school. And it gets me like a bunch of awesome folks I think. Which is very key because some courts have seen after the court, you just leave and you don’t know anyone, but I generally have friends from class, which I always talk about, I always tell them it’s a school.


That one thing I love about the court is that there is a genuine human connection, like you first started, which is key as a community manager because sorry, which is key as a community manager because you need that connection. You need people to like lean on you and you also need to lean on people and network. So since school, like tops up to that community managers need a community to connect to each other. And that’s kind of what you’re talking about there with, like having, you know, a feeling of, oh, we had, we built this amazing community as we learn together. Um, and that’s a really great place where I feel like the community industry is going as far as a lot of people that I work with as entrepreneurs, that they want to um teach something and then bring people into a community where we can learn together and transform together. And so it’s really great that you share that and have that experience and then now, you know, these people, so for the rest of your life you can, you know, reconnect with them at different times and lean on them and say, hey, I’m really struggling with something and I’m sure they’ll jump on a call or, or chat with you to help you and building those bonds makes a huge difference.


Right? Yeah, definitely. When you have those strong bonds from some of you have been here for three months, it makes it easier, like, compared to talking to a complete stranger, you already know these people. Yes. As and I’ve just experienced that myself with groups that I’ve been masterminds that I’m in, and it’s very helpful. Um I wanted to to circle back to you were talking about the aspect of um how do you implement a um I don’t know if the right word, this strategy, but if you want to have a focus on bringing diversity, inclusion, um equality to community, what are some things that maybe you could give our listeners as far as tips for, if they want to to have those as values in their own community? Awesome. I think I’ll first start by saying Happy Black History month, which is like key, I don’t know why, I just remember it right now. Um so yeah, d I s to be honest, it’s like a continuous learning process. I see if that’s something that you learn every day from as little as being on the school bus to even being in your classroom.


So in terms of community building one of the key things I always look at is the first thing, I always look out for any community by joining the onboarding strategy, because that was the first point of contact. So how do you create an onboarding strategy that is diverse, There’s certain key things that you can add, like location, ask people about your location, your welcome message. Like, where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself. Um what are you in? Like little little things like from the onset? This is key because the committee members or the users have the first interaction and once they see this, they feel like, okay, you’re actually interested. And I think some of that cm X does, they have subgroups because they have so many people from different channels around the world. So you can have subgroups if you see like, okay, particular um subset of people from this country. So you can create subgroups for them or chapters for them actually having events that are, are centered around like embracing cultural heritage. For example, I think I mentioned this example example example, I think I mentioned it so many times and I’m waiting for one community to do it.


So you can have it show until where um committee members like show kids at work or even like little little things about their culture. You can also have a b a D J for a night where committee members played one or three songs from you. Like whether it’s indie music, whether it’s Nigerian music and that can go a long way. So I think I would love to see more cultural events because the events are normal, like you have webinars, but I’ve not seen any cultural events that people cross country can participating. So I don’t know if I answered a lot, but I just talked to. That’s great. That’s a great example because I know someone actually her name is marty and I met her in a community called location indie. And she does this in her community. She has a community herself and her community all about show and tell and and bringing stories to uh you know, to an online virtual group for her for her group and talking about something.


She has like a theme and then she says bring something and tell us a story based on this theme or something. And that that’s an interesting, you know, I remember show and tell growing up when I was in school we had show and tell we brought something in that was meaningful to us or there was a cultural um day that we were celebrating. Um for some reason, the only thing I can remember about me bringing was my my father was a cartoonist and he wasn’t a professional cartoonist, but this is what he did in his like, you know, his own time. Um he loved to draw cartoons and so he drew me a cartoon that I took to school and my friend said who did that, you know, where did you get that? And I said that’s my dad, he’s pretty good at that. It’s it’s just funny that and you know something small that um you know, culturally represents something that especially when when you’re when you’re trying to get to know others. Even if it’s um there’s diversity even in pennsylvania where I live in pennsylvania.


Um we have we have people that come from different places and different um regions of pennsylvania and have different perspectives. So even when you’re not talking about maybe a global community or international community even then you so I think some people may be thinking well I don’t have you know maybe or maybe they don’t know like well I don’t know if there’s anybody that is culturally different from me. How do I figure that out? And it could be just asking the community members right of saying what would be exciting to share, right? Yeah. I feel it’s also key. Like you should know where your community members are from. Like I think I mentioned, it’s like your boarding strategy is key for anything. You try to to get as much information as you can. Like location Interest, like literally two things like this and you know that okay we have 60 committee members from Nigeria or 50 committee members from the U. S. So the onboarding strategies. Yes. Like you mentioned diversity does not just covering his ethnicity, sexual orientation also corpus ideas.


Like there’s diversity of ideas and opinions. You can have a different opinion. So when you talk about diversity talks about like representation condition of what exactly your beliefs, your culture, your traditions then? Like how do you not invite that to your community? How do you create a safe space? Everyone can share different ideas, opinions. Not just people From one class will be from different spectrums, different races. And yeah, there’s so much beauty in it because you got to learn a lot like any, any committee that is not diverse. I feel like they’re missing out a lot because they’re just listen, you’re just, it’s like you’re talking to yourself. But when you have that diversity or community, you learn things that you never even knew. Like wait, they actually do this in your country and you’re like selling treat and you get to learn more and more. So if I feel like my community is not diverse, which is probably true with my community currently. Um, how would I, how would I go about getting other people from other cultures in there would give me a good example. Maybe some people would be helpful, but it would help them to say, okay, well how do I, how do I bring you know, people of different cultures into my space?


11 key way, which is a sneaky way. I always say you have an event and have an event for a particular subset of people you want to do. For example. Um, it’s Black history month. You can have an event reach out like you’re black professionals, black advocate. He or she probably has like a huge network of your sub of the people you want in your community by the time you advertise on events, definitely people from um, he he or her network will come into your um events and like that. You have people in your events and you get them and you direct them to your community. So that’s just one sneaky way I usually think of like, hey, if I want more asians, what do I do? Greater nation events, create an and not even asian even create an event that you have asian speakers and more asian people come to your community if I want black people great an event that have blacks because I’m not black people coming to your community. So that’s just one sneaky way. Yeah. And I’ve reached, I, I tried to reach out or um, some people reach out to me for, for different things and I really try to learn and say, well how can I, how can I really, you know, be more inclusive.


And one of the um coaches that I’m working with had said, you know, even in your marketing, it’s really important to have visual images of different ethnicities and cultures because um that way that, that whoever lands on your sales page or landing page on your website, they’ll, they’ll, they’ll see, oh, this is somewhere where they accept me and that relates to a lot of people, I think, right, I don’t know if that’s something you’d recommend. Yeah, it does, Yeah, it does content. Even your branding as a committee is key. Like I was I was at an event and we’re talking about what it means to be a brands like branding for diversity. So people don’t realize that when you create avatars or profiles, when you have like limited options, like, let’s say you have white, white, white people don’t feel like okay, you’re being represented, but when you have different options, like in black avatar, a white avatar, even in neutral avatar, it sort of creates like that kind of um what’s the word?


It sort of plays that kind of, Okay, I don’t want like pre prejudices, I don’t want buyers from somebody. Like if I be a neutral avatar, Like no one will say, Okay, where are you from? My security around it. So it is very keen is very key as a thing, as a committee or as a brand like that, that’s diversity in terms of branding terms of everything is key. And I think I was also I also saw something here which sort of intrigued me because when I was like, starting off as a community manager, I actually like very shy about joining communities. I feel like I should talk about it. Like when I used to join comments and I was like, so I found myself changing things about me, like the way I used to talk, like my accent, I hated coming on the camera because I’m like, everyone is white boss. I attended one workshop on D. I and that would always talk about intersectionality.


I always talk about our sexuality is key. 20% said the embarrassment and security changed my perspective. Like I was now out there everywhere. Everyone I talked to always try and introduce them to my culture about what it means to be in Nigerian, always also try and learn from them. Like, ok, what is your culture teach me as well? And if I didn’t go to that workshop, I’ll probably be shy to now. I won’t have that courage. And I think that some people also have this issue when they join the community. They don’t feel a sense of belonging when it’s like dominated by a particular race, which is cool because like a sense of belonging is something that you should work on as a community. But if you don’t embrace your intersectionality, you will never have that internal sense of belonging. So it’s like something I always can preach out. Like for you to be confident, you have to embrace who you are. Like little things from your your little eyes, the way you look, your nose, your skin color, like embrace it. Like it makes you who you are and from them, you have like an inner belonging before. You can now Exum’s I like your confidence or whatnot.


Sorry for this, It is wonderful and you get you gave a good point of sometimes it’s really hard for us to accept our own self. I know I’m working on that with my personal work right now, because I struggle with um liking the way I look or any of that. And I think it goes back to if you don’t feel like you belong, then it’s really hard for you to tell other people they belong. And that’s challenging. But I think at some level, all of us are trying to just I feel like we we belong so that we can allow other space for others to belong as well. Um, but it’s just a great point. So I really appreciate you bringing that up of just taking a look at the authentic life that you live and who you are and then shining your light basically by by saying I belong here and I’m passionate about this or whatever that is, whatever that means, right? Yeah, definitely.


It’s it’s everyone has, like I call it for me, they’re so she called trespassers like trespass syndrome, like, compared to like, imposter syndrome. So, trespass syndrome is like, you feel like you are trespassing like you’re not meant to be there. So, I usually have that compared to imposter syndrome. So it’s it’s just embracing, I’ll say it again, embracing the centrality that was embraced, what makes you beautiful, what makes you a black person, what makes you an asian person, like, embrace it and your confidence comes because now the way I’m talking to the accent that uses accent, I’ll talk to someone in Nigeria accident talks on in UK. So it’s it’s sort of gave me like more perspective on what it means to be an african person entering a global community, because it’s never so easy to like, adapt because you have people who have never met and there’s this sort of, you’ll feel like you’re not going to accept you, but once you accept yourself, wow, we got deep, we got deep in this podcast.


I love it. I love it. Uh yeah, it’s my word for 2022 is abundance. But my other word that I initially planned on was acceptance because I really want to work on not just accepting myself, but accepting everybody and everything as the way it is and like, you know, being thankful for this present moment. So I’m very thankful for you and that, that you are willing to share some of your amazing knowledge in this topic and subject. Um is there any last words or anything else that you wanted to share with us? Yeah, Yeah, I would say um diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, justice. Everything just sums up to treats people equally regardless of race ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental ability, physical ability, like cheap people fairly give them chances. Like take a job to lead.


It’s key because I started this journey because I didn’t see anyone and I felt like Nigerians are not getting enough chance and it shouldn’t be like that. Instead, I should come to the community management through that some people like me and I didn’t. So it’s sort of, it’s sad, bitter sad movement because I’m like, okay, I’m on this journey and I’m talking about it, I’m advocating, but I’m still not seeing people that like me in this particular subsidy, but I hope that if you want to be Yeah, so all I’ll say is as a brand, as a community, as an individual, just treat people for the regardless of their race and equality for everyone. I am such a believer, thank you for sharing with us, your insights um for anybody who wants to connect is linked in the best place for them to to reach out to you. Yeah, I’m like the worst social media user, like linkedin, email my best platform, switch out compared to twitter facebook instagram, I’m not on those platforms, I’m on twitter, I’m trying to be active, but I will say instead, I’ll say linkedin and linkedin is the best place to reach me and just if you want to talk about the I if you’re brand interested, you want to know more or you just want to like events about maybe people not understanding you when it comes to like, your intersectionality.


That’s so nice of you, kind of you to offer that place to hold space for others. Very cool. Thank you again for joining us um for everybody listening, there will be show notes that I’ll have some links for you to, to grab and subscribe to to Jeff’s blog and connect with him on linkedin. So, until the next time I am excited for what’s coming in 2022 with fine calm here and our uh new podcast, which we re reframed and I’m working on getting updated and actually just signed up for a podcast workshop in Orlando podcast. So I’m like, I’m going to podcast, shoutout podcast and I’m just like really stepping into, I really want to make this podcast great and get out the word about community to so many people. So to do that, if you all listening, when you help me, please subscribe to the podcast, write me a nice review. If you really like it.


Um, that would be amazing, share it with your friends. Uh, and I’m excited to see you next time on the podcast. Until the next time. I hope you’re finding calm in this day, evening, morning, afternoon, anytime it is wherever you are, find calm until the next time. Take care. Bye