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The Widest Net Book Study: Session 3 with Deb Schell

If you’ve landed here, welcome!

I’m sharing my notes and recordings from the book study held in the summer of 2022 with the Find Calm Here Community.

This book study helps business owners clarify who they serve and what problems they solve.

Each session is led by a host who has selected some key takeaways and talking points for facilitating our group. No presentations are necessary unless you want to create them.

The companion workbook, created by Pamela Slim, is optional for completion so it is up to you if you’d like to work through it. The Widest Net: Unlock Untapped Markets and Discover New Customers Right in Front of You

This collaboration between the Find Calm Here Community and Athena Village is a community collaboration.

Both communities offer a free membership through this book study program, and you can invite members using the “Invite” button at the top or left navigation 

4: The Offer They Can’t Refuse 

Key Takeaways

  • Research proves that hardly anyone finishes an online course after they buy it.
  • The term cohort-based course was created based on the concept of Seth Godin’s altMBA course which offered a “do it with people around you that were handpicked and curated on a similar level of commitment
  • People are designed to learn together, not in front of a screen for long periods of time and this is the reason why cohort-based courses are now popular.  (Now the altMBA program has inspired a platform called Maven which they built by raising $4.3 million on their first round of Venture Capital.) 
  • Start with an audience that you serve strategically, and pay attention to their needs and opportunities 
  • First, find a way to make money via products or services before you formally announce them with a “launch” on social media and/or an email list. 
  • Document the process involved to provide training for a team and/or offer you a structure to offer clients when they ask you “how do you work with clients” 
  • Trust in the feedback you get from your past and existing clients 
  •  Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – Measurement and learning with actionable metrics that can demonstrate cause and effect. It is the initial stage of creating the first workable (and saleable) version of your business concept. It comes from The Lean Startup.  

The 4 Parts of Building an Offer 


Part 1: Define the Transformational Journey of your ideal client or customer 


Part 2: Diagnose What is Preventing Your Customer from Solving Their Problem 


Part 3: Design the Offering That is a Fit for You and Your Business (Refer the rest) 


Part 4: Engineer the Steps Leading up to and Away from the Offering to Create an Exceptional Customer Experience 



Notable Quotes


“The key to evangelism, sales, presentations, and now ecosystems is a great product. In fact, if you create a great product, you may not be able to stop an ecosystem from forming. By contrast, it’s hard to build an ecosystem around crap.” – Guy Kawaski, Chief Evangelist for Canva 


In the past “It was basically stitching together free or low-cost tools for video conferencing, class hosting, and inter-class communication as well as email and calendar invites. There was not a single place where a student could have a seamless experience in a native culture-based course built entirely around what that experience is. Paying for all these platforms is expensive and unwieldy.” 


“What is really important to understand is to know the specific help you will provide to your customers through a specific product or service, you need to know all the steps they need to take and the obstacles they need to overcome to achieve their goal. 

Watch the Recording of our session

Read our blog posts

CMX Summit Recap for Blog

Episode 87: CMX Summit Recap with Deb Schell

In this episode of the Community Strategy Podcast, host Deb Schell shares her notes and thoughts from the recent CMX Summit which she attended virtually on September 14th and 15th and attended several sessions in addition to networking with the world’s largest group of community builders.

Read More »
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The Widest Net: Session 4 with Pamela Slim + Join Agcongay

“Community is the earth, water, air, and sunshine for our sense of belonging and purpose. It is the ecosystem – the set of people, places, structures, organizations, resources, and behaviors – that allow us to feel like we are seen, heard, understood, and valued, and where we find the tools to reach our goals.”

Read More »