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The Widest Net Book Study: Session 2 with Kristi Sullivan

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 

You can view my notes from Steps 1 and 2 HERE

Step 3: Describe The Customer of
Your Dreams 

Takeaways from our session: 

  • Getting really clear about what problem you solve and why 
  • Flipping the script from traditional business development, from strategically coming from a place of what I as a business owner want to do, what lights you up 
  • Mary shares that this key to getting lit up by identifying my values and how to define what my business looks like, from that perspective. 
  • Teresa shares that she is pulling out ideas, services, and offers to review how it all fits together and see how to align her current, past, and future offers with her values, and where she is at this time with her business as she redesigns what her business looks like in this phase 
  • Connection to others and saying “no” to things that aren’t in our “zone” and referring to others, consider building a structure for referrals and/or asking for a referral bonus 
  • Community building, affiliates, gamification, and working on clarifying what it means to work with us, or build, or grow 

Deb's Notes

 Key Takeaways

  1. Define your ideal customer in terms of the problems, challenges, or aspirations
  2. Add relevant demographic information to each audience profile 
  3. Define the qualities and characteristics of people you want to work with and the people you don’t want to work with 
  4. Build an upside/downside decision matrix to qualify prospects 

Thought-provoking questions

  • Am I passionate about building a local business, or do I want to build a national or global business? 
  • Given the focus of my product or service, would any specific geographies be more attractive than others as a list of cities, regions, or stats that would be the best places to target for your marketing focus? 
  • Is this product or service relevant to people who come from a particular set of beliefs? 
  • Is this product or service the best fit for companies in a certain financial situation? 
  • Is this product or service the best fit for companies with a certain scope or scale? 


Notable Quotes 

“You will never win a sale if the only things you know about your ideal customers are that they are 45, make $100,000 a year, and drive a Subaru.” – Susan Baier, Audience Audit 

“The common pitfall for many business owners is saying the market for their product or services is ‘Everyone’ with a pulse and a purchase order. While it is true that the entire world may be better off with your offer… it is impossible to market to ‘Everyone’.” 


Watch the Recording of our session

Step 5: The Watering Holes
Where They Gather 

Takeaways from our session: 

  • A title for what we do – this challenge for us to clearly give ourselves a title has come up for several people during the session 
  • Guide not “expert” – Discussion of being a guide but not the “expert” in the room. 
  • Building relationships with potential clients through networking, virtual events, and showing up in places where it is possible to connect 
  • Sharing value with others, when you aren’t in the room 
  • B2B Community Builder Show – Sharing about this for others to connect 


Missy makes a point about the importance of getting clear on not just the problem that we solve, but one that we want to solve 

It’s not my job to solve EVERYTHING – Suzi says 

Kelly mentioned that it is hard for community builders to figure out the ideal client and how to niche down 


Suzi shares that she’s focused on working with clients that 

  1. Light her up 
  2. Pay her what she is worth 
  3. Enjoy the journey 

Deb's Notes

Key Takeaways 

  • An ecosystem is composed of all the services, products, organizations, events, and media that are aligned with your values AND that provide your ideal client with the complete set of tools, resources, and information to solve their problem. Your ideal customer is at the center of the ecosystem. 
  • Within this ecosystem, there are “watering holes” which are places, in person and online, that congregate multiples of your ideal customer in one location


Phase 1: Review

  • Review the mission and values you crafted in Chapters 1 and 2
  • Review your definition of your ideal customer, based by problem or aspiration, from Chapter 3
  • Review your customer journey map from Chapter 4 to see all the steps this ideal customer needs to take to completely solve their problem  


Phase 2: Research and Evaluate 

  1. Empty Your Brain → List individuals, events, or organizations that might share the mission of solving the problems of your ideal customer 
  2. Ask Three Favorite Customers  → What was the most helpful book you read that helped you solve your problem? What kind of software or products do you use in your business? What was the best event you’ve ever attended and why? What publications do you read and who is your favorite columnist? 
  3. Research Contacts and Expand the list → Dig deeper into the questions and answers from step 2; Research customer’s favorite conferences, and interesting books


Phase 3: Connect and Track 

Create a list for connecting, tracking, and planning for future partnerships 

  1. Media Hubs you want to be featured in 
  2. PB&J patterns to connect with because they offer highly complementary services as your ideal customers 
  3. Online groups to join that are filled with ideal customers or partners 
  4. Associations that have members interested in your content 
  5. Events that would be ideal for a speaking gig (virtual or in person) 

After creating the initial Seeding Plan (Chapter 6 has more on this) whittle down from your big list on a spreadsheet, to a shortlist 


Phase 4: Streamline and Operationalize

Identify key marketing activities that drive consistent results and put you in front of new audiences 

Thought-provoking questions 

Who else helps businesses and brands to grow and scale? 

Next → Identify a watering hole for anyone in one of these professions. 

  • Business Coaches 
  • Bookkeepers
  • CPAs 
  • Marketing experts
  • Copywriters
  • Financial planners
  • Video producers
  • Graphic designers


Notable Quotes 

“The Widest Net Ecosystem Wheel is divided into 10 distinct segments that represent overall sectors to look for people who also draw or attract your ideal clients. To be the right fit for your business, they should also share core values and support your mission.”

“The biggest advantage to having your ecosystem list is that it has been expressly created around the mission, values, core problems, and aspirations of your ideal customers.” 

Watch the Recording of Session 1

Read our blog posts

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