What Is A Community Manager & How To Assess Before You Hire?

What Is A Community Manager & How To Assess Before You Hire?

You’re a busy membership owner + you’ve probably been “wearing all the hats” when it comes to your community.

You create all the content, schedule events, welcome members in and “engage”.  Everything.

And ya know what?

Until recently, that worked for you...but you’re starting to feel the “I need help” itch and decided to hire a Community Manager.

Now...before you email your VA with some additional tasks to add to their list and move on, it’s time for me to hit PAUSE and give you the red pill. 

Yup.  

Morphious here {me} and I've got a red pill and a cup of water with your name on it.  

Note that there is no blue pill in this scenario cause I can't let you move forward thinking “Community Management isn’t all that complicated/important”.  It's time to unplug from the matrix.

So down the red pill...bottoms up your H20, and saddle up for some insights, and actionable steps.  

That way when you do handover the keys to your community castle someone...you can do so with an air of confidence.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what we’re going to jam about:

  1. What Is A Community Manager (CM) NOT?
  2. What ARE Community Managers Then?
  3. Where To Find Candidates For The Role Of Community Manager?
  4. How To Assess The Person You’re Thinking Of Hiring As Your Community Manager?
  5. Freebie mini Guide:  13 Questions To Help You Assess Someone You’re Thinking Of Hiring As Your Community Manager.
  6. Your Next Steps
Hey.  Want an easy to read/print version of this process
PLUS the list of 13 Qs to ask yourself to assess your candidate?  

Pop your name and email below and I'll shoot the PDF version to your inbox.

    What Is A Community Manager (CM) NOT?

    Alrighty then.  

    Let’s dispel some common beliefs membership owners have about Community Managers and what they are.  

    First...here is my definition of what a Community Manager is, in the context of online Memberships.

    Community Manager:  A trained professional who provides strategic support and insights that boost the everyday running and member experience of an online membership community, while simultaneously serving the members, the team and the membership host.

    Now, that definition isn't perfect but it gives you a good idea of what Community Managers are responsible for and what their focus should be on. 

    You’ll also notice that the focus is on activity INSIDE the membership.  

    This is an important distinction, as a lot of business owners will try to combine the role of  “Community Manager”  and “Social Media Manager”...which are totally different animals.

    • A Community Manager focuses on welcoming members in and facilitating a space and experience that keeps them there.
    • A Social Media Manager focuses on attracting new leads to the business and “warming them up to join the membership {or other offers}.
    Let me also state for the record that:
    Community Managers are not VAs.  


    Virtual Assistants are people who handle agreed upon tasks and provide support for businesses remotely.  

    Now...technically you could have a VA that specializes in Community Management related tasks, but the breed of CM that I’m referring to isn’t that.

    Why?  

    Because VAs tend to be “reactionary”.  They are given tasks and they do them.  They aren’t expected to proactively assess a Community to see what needs improving from a strategic perspective.  

    What ARE Community Managers Then?

    What I’m talking about when I say, “Community Manager”, is someone who owns the community piece of your membership puzzle.  Who balances the needs of members, the team and you as the host, so that the community can function as a whole and everyone wins.

    Community Managers are…

    • Connectors...helping members connect with each other and form friendships.
    • Supporters...making sure members get help when they need it from each other, the content and the coaching {if offered}.
    • Enforcers...protecting the members and the space from rule breakers and making members feel safe.
    • Cheerleaders...making members feel amazing about their wins, learn from their mistakes and support every step of the way.
    • Guides...making sure members know where everything is and how it works.
    • Copywriters...creating engaging content inside the membership to promote engagement, taking action and triggering positive emotions.
    • Creatives...designing challenges, activities and approaches to bring life and meaning to your group of people.
    • Admins...handling tech within the community for events, announcements and updates.
    • Product Developers...observing the ecosystem and providing insights to other team members to improve the membership and provide content/courses and offers to help.

    Basically...Community Managers do A LOT of shit! (so you don't have to)!

    They're like proactive octopuses...with tentacles always on different levers and moving parts ensuring that the community runs smoothly and that your members enjoy and find value in the experience.

    It’s like a hamster running on a wheel while having balls thrown at it periodically...and it being expected to catch said balls and organize them...all while RUNNING!

    It takes a special breed of person to nail "all the things", while being focused on the mission, purpose and vibe of the membership.

    Where To Find Candidates For The Role Of Community Manager?

    I see this question A LOT.  Usually from membership owners who know it’s time to get help, but they are unsure how to find it.

    Here are the most common options, with some thoughts to consider for each as well.

    1. An existing member of your team.
      This can work, if you have someone who is looking to change roles. Someone in customer service could be a good fit.

      Just be careful not to give someone who already has enough on their plate the role of CM as well. Managing a community is not something you can effectively do “on the side”.
    2. An existing member of your membership who is highly engaged & supportive of others.
      This is actually how I got my first client {Ramit Sethi’s Accelerator coaching Membership}. I joined as a student, and couldn’t help myself from helping others. Long story short, I was offered the role of Community Manager a couple months later.

      This is definitely a valid option but be careful to ensure that you position this properly. Many membership owners will offer people the title of Community Manager in exchange for something like free access to the membership but I would warn against this.

      Establishing the role of CM as a paid position sets a professional tone and ensures that clear expectations are established and upheld.
    3. A friend or family member.
      I see this a lot as well. A membership owner has a membership and isn’t making a lot of money, but needs help. So they think a family member could do the work for them. Their husband is tech savvy or their niece is super easy to connect with.

      This can work, but I would be careful to set clear expectations on hours, what they would be doing for the community, how they would need to handle situations/communicate with members etc.
    4. Hiring a Community Manager from Scratch.
      This is when you create a job posting, share it online and also tap into your social channels to put out the word that you’re looking to hire for this position.

      In this case, you would need to create a job posting {though creating one in any of these cases would be a good idea so you can be clear with the person as to what you’re looking for}, create an application process/assignment, host live interviews, possible host another assignment to have a “tie breaker” and then hire and onboard them.

      This can be a great option, if you don’t know anyone in your network and don’t have anyone in mind. Just be sure to create a job posting that repels “donkeys” and attracts “unicorns” that fit well for your membership and team.

      Not interested in doing this process yourself? Want to hire me to roll up my sleeves and do it for you?
      Fill out this survey and I’ll circle back with you if we’re a good fit.

    How To Assess The Person You’re Thinking Of Hiring As Your Community Manager? + Free mini guide!

    So what can YOU do to ensure that the person you want to hire is a good fit for the role...for your members, your team and for your bottomline?

    You can assess the shit out of them BEFORE you give them the keys to your membership community castle.  

    Truth: You're hiring the person in the trenches who will facilitate a community that boosts retention.

    So at the end of the month or year when your members are deciding if they should keep throwing cash your way...it's a YASSSS take my money {a no brainer}.

    Free 13 Q Assessment + Mini Guide!

    To help you assess someone quickly and efficiently, I created a mini guide that includes 13 juicy Qs to ask yourself about that person.  Drop your name and email below + I'll shoot the mini guide to your inbox.

      Got it?  Great.

      Now...really take a moment to answer these 13 questions about the potential hire...or your current Community Manager.

      If you notice that you’re getting a lot of negative responses or that this person might be falling short, take your assessment one step further and ask yourself the following Q:

      Is this issue something that they could learn through training/explanation/experience, or is this something that will likely never change?  

      If it’s not something that can be learnt or groomed into them, you’ll then want to ask yourself if this is a deal breaker for you, your members and your team.

      An example of this would be hiring a Community Manager that doesn’t write well.  Maybe English is their second language, or maybe their grammar sucks.  

      Whatever the issue is, if you have to start having other team members write copy for them, or review their writing, or you are worried about what comments/replies they are writing in the community {wondering if they are interpreting questions correctly etc} then this person is creating more work for the rest of the team and not delivering peace of mind for you.  

      Your Next Steps

      Once you’ve assessed someone using the 13Q Assessment, you’ll want to put the person through a similar process you would any new hire/candidate.

      You can either put them through an official assessment process {which includes email correspondence to assess their writing, a live interview, and a written assignment} or you could delegate that all to me.

      No matter what you decide to do, just know that most membership owners tend to underestimate the Community Management role or downplay the importance of what’s being done.  

      Many believe that Community Managers are simply glorified VAs that execute on task lists that have been given to them...that happen to involve the community.  They “scroll” and “check” the community and not much else, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

      You of course know better...because you took the red pill and read this mini-guide.  

      Your next steps: 

      Here’s a high level look at what that might consist of:

      1. Answer the 13 juicy Qs to assess the people you have in mind for the role. 
      2. Map out a job description/responsibilities/expectations for them.
      3. Create a contract/signatures and celebrate “YOU’RE HIRED.
      4. Onboard them for behind the scenes {team etc}
      5. Introduce them as the new Community Manager in the community.
      6. Create a schedule to check in with them regularly (email/calls) to address concerns/issues from both sides and ensure everything is running smoothly.

      You've hired someone.  Now what?

      Congratulations!  You've but a ring on it.  Haha.  Once you find the right person, it's time to train them to ensure that they take a strategic approach to your community {making your life easier and making the experience for your members outstanding}.  

      What's next?

      It's time to train them into a unicorn Community Manager and my live coaching program UniU: Community Manager Training Program for Memberships could be exactly what you need.  Click here for all the details + to learn when it's next open for enrolment.

      Hey.  Want an easy to read/print version of this process
      PLUS the list of 13 Qs to ask yourself to assess your candidate?  

      Pop your name and email below and I'll shoot the PDF version to your inbox.

        One Self-Inflicted Community Killer & How to Keep Your Paid Membership Community Engaged

        One Self-Inflicted Community Killer & How to Keep Your Paid Membership Community Engaged

        When you first pulled the goalie on your paid membership community,  you probably dreamed of the impact it would make on the lives of your future members.  

        The successes, the relationships, the connections, the random thank you cards and gifts (yes that shit happens). Not to mention the predictable income, stability and ability to focus on your best clients.

        It made you feel all warm and fuzzy, didn't it?  {I’ve got the feels just writing about it}.

        What you probably weren’t dreaming about though is something a far cry from “warm and fuzzy”.

        Fast forward 4 years from now.

        You’re sitting at your desk with tears in your eyes as you hit publish on your latest blog post, announcing the heart-crushing decision to close down that very membership {which could be pulling in a sweet $330k a year}.

        Now you might be different of course.

        You might be 100% sure of yourself and your ability to nail your membership and continue riding the “predictable income train” into life’s sunset.  Or maybe you’ll eventually kill it...unintentionally of course.

        I bet Margo Aaron thought the same thing when she set up “The Arena” to help connect solopreneurs, freelancers and online business owners.  After 2 years though, she just had her “shut down moment”.

        Ramit Sethi, from GrowthLab also closed down two membership programs, Ramit’s Brain Trust and Accelerator.  He confesses why he shut down RBT {a $2M product} on GrowthLab.

        Have I got your attention?  Has your resting bitch face changed to concerned furrowed brow with a touch of “cold sweat”?  


        Are you worried about what you've gotten yourself into with your membership and if you're destined to end up with a shutting down post too?  

        If you are, it’s time to talk shop about the REAL reason why memberships die {or get put down by their owners}.

        I bet you a pink sprinkled donut that you can’t guess this “deadzone-maker” I’m about to share with you.

        • Maybe it’s a tactic that blows up in your face.
        • A NEW community platform that licks balls.
        • or maybe I’m going to share a secret that is so freaking simple and logical that once you know it, you’ll have the guilty pleasure of knowing how little you actually have to do to engage your membership.

        Here we go…

        Your community doesn’t need YOU
        {well...not in the way you THINK it does/should}. 

        That’s right…

        You don’t need to check the community on your phone as soon as your eyes open in the morning; or always be in there answering questions, commenting, replying and “engaging".


        As a membership host owner you probably ASSUME that you need to jump in all the time.  Am I right?

        You need to post “engaging content”, answer questions, comment and encourage your members to engage.  You know...show them the ropes and “seed” engagement so you can back off eventually.

        THAT right there is the elephant in the “membership” room.  

        Let me explain.

        Most memberships are based on what I like to call The Triangle of Membership (the 3Cs of Membership).

        1. Content
        2. Coaching
        3. Community

        Most memberships will have all 3, but some will only have one, like my badass client Heidi Probably and her membership community, “Fashion Industry Friends” for Fashion Designers.  

        It’s straight up community.  No content and no coaching, just a SPACE to connect with other peeps...and they have no fucks to give about Heidi showing up to answer questions or “be” there.

        It wouldn’t have been that way though if she had set up her membership alone.  She assumed that she would have to coach somehow...to make that triangle complete.  But working with me forced her to LISTEN to her members and all they wanted was community...so she delivered it.

        Now, the funny thing is, that even though she had decided NOT to coach in her community...she was naturally drawn to doing it...without even realising it {just like most hosts are}.  

        On one of our 1on1 strategy sessions she started talking about all the content that she was going to be posting that week...which was 3 posts.

        WTF Heidi...they don’t care about YOU...back off and let them own the community.  

        Ok ok..I didn’t SAY that but I gently reminded her that her job wasn’t to “engage” people...it was to ALLOW her members to engage.  

        Now something else was going on as well.  I stopped her from “coaching” because coaching and community don’t play nice.  

        Yup, “coaching” is like the black widow lady spider eating her “community” LOV-AH post coital. Nom-nom.

        It sounds weird right?  {yes the black widow shit is WEIRD...but I’m talking about keeping coaching and community separate - keep up dude}.

        You might be thinking,

        “No no...coaching and community are complementary, they add value to my membership!  All memberships offer some kind of coaching and community Diana!”.

        Yes, they are valuable but coaching is all about supporting somebody, answering questions, helping people move forward, and providing accountability to meet their goals.

        Community on the other hand, focuses on human connection. Period.

        So what’s the problem?

        The problem is that most of the time community hosts start using their community to coach members {just like Heidi started to do without noticing it}; things like challenges, Q&As, check-in threads, accountability, coaching calls or webinars, and other coaching activities.

        When you do this, your members start to focus on getting support and connection from YOU the host (coach) rather than connecting and getting support from fellow members.  

        Members start thinking (consciously or subconsciously)...

        “I don’t care about these other people.  I just want access to you. Talk to the hand fellow members...I’ve only got eyes and ears for the host!”

        When this happens, brace yourself for a drop in engagement and a fast-pass to

        “Faack!  Why is my community a deadzone??”.

        Honestly...coaching will side swipe your community engagement like...the Orient Express, doused in gasoline, lit on fire, and clocking 150km/hr...with failed brakes…and filled with killer bees.  AHHH! Where is Keanu when you need him?!

        Let’s dig deeper to really hit this home for you.

        Take a look at this doodle below that I did.

        When you set up your membership… you became a host (happy stick guy in the upper left corner of the doodle) and with that new role you probably felt a strong sense of responsibility for the success and well-being of your members.  

        You felt all “Mama bear” for her cubs, and Mama bear wants the best for her BAY-BEES!

        Not to mention Mama Bear wants people to STAY in her membership bear-cave as long as possible.  

        I mean...who doesn’t want recurring payments, consistent income, and the ability to focus on supporting your best clients?!   #Magicsauce!It totally makes sense for hosts to want to support their members and offer as much value as possible.

        So when you  set up your membership you probably used the following “typical” process to pull things together and offer value via the Triangle of Membership.

        Typical membership set up process {see if you can spot the red flags}:

        1. Ensure that your audience wants and needs a membership (beta test).  

        2. Choose a platform (usually Facebook, Mighty Networks or a WP based platform).

        3. Set up the platform and also find solutions to provide your content or vault of materials.

        4. Decide what content to provide, and add the initial content to kick things off.

        5. Plan out your live coaching calls, figure out how the calls will be delivered and how you will promote the coaching calls via the community.

        6. Craft onboarding emails.

        7. Create some onboarding content in the platform (welcome thread, community guidelines etc).

        8. Invite your members in.

        9. Welcome everyone in, reply to their comments, engage with them and make sure they feel welcome.

        10. BOOM...you’ll have a highly engaged membership community that knocks your member’s socks off and makes them never want to leave {...or will you?}.

        The process outlined above is an ok start, but it’s missing a lot to ensure your membership community launches and grows smoothly... like butta!  

        Not to mention those red flags in step 5 and 9...assuming that you should be doing “coachy” activities in there...when you shouldn’t; remember black widow? Nom-nom.

        Back to the doodle.

        In my super realistic doodle {look at the shading dude...oh...what shading?..ummm}, you’ll see that the host has answers (as an expert) and her members have Qs, so as she builds and manages her community she naturally {and with good intentions} ASSUMES that she should answer those questions

        “I can answer their questions, offer more value...and they will stay longer...money in da bank...weeeee!”

        But when a host starts answering questions...the community shifts to a coaching platform.  See the PROBLEMO {that’s spanish for problem dude} section where the peeps are in their own cute little boxes.

        Check out the 4 little dudes with their eyes fixated on the host.  The members have questions and they “believe” that the best way to get answers is by having the host answer them.  

        Why do they believe that?  Because the host trained them to!

        They don’t even think about the other members and their experience/opinions.  They simply post and wait for the host to reply.

        Let that sink in for a moment.  

        Imagine if your members want you to answer their questions individually.  That might be ok if you have 5 or 10 members...but what happens when you hit 100, 500, 1000?

        A clusterfuck of exhaustion for YOU, that’s what.  

        No wonder so many entrepreneurs complain about communities being a huge time and energy suck...and end up popping it into a potato sack and dropping it into the digital river...meow.  

        The problem is that this issue is SELF CREATED.  

        Hosts unintentionally train their members to go to them for answers rather than each other.  It’s not sustainable or scalable to have all your members relying on YOU for answers and support.  

        That’s coaching, not community.  

        Sidenote:  Community IS scalable, and allows members to support each other, and takes the pressure off you...when done right!   

        Now, it sounds like I’m poo-pooing all over coaching, but it’s not the “bad guy”.  It can be a wonderful addition to a membership on live coaching calls, or in situations that are intended for coaching.

        The issue I see over and over with my clients and other successful entrepreneurs is that they don’t set clear boundaries for themselves.

        You created a membership with the intention of having a peer to peer community {sounds gravy right?}.  The idea being that members will talk to each other, provide support and insights for each other and you can step back and focus on fostering the space.  

        That is what leads to a thriving membership community that doesn’t suck up all your time and energy.

        Unfortunately, what ends up happening though is that most hosts (who are usually experts on the topic that the membership focuses on) feel like they need to jump in and answer questions OR they offer that as an incentive to join, “Get expert insights from me”.

        So when engagement dips they DO more, which trains members to expect the host to answer their questions more, which leads to members ignoring each other more and presto...DEADZONE.

        Why does coaching have such a bad effect on community engagement?

        Like you can see in my doodle, when there’s a lot of coaching in a community, members stop turning to each other for support, and only have eyes for the host.  

        Community members:

        • Stop posting in the community {if they ever did in the first place}
        • Direct all their posts to the host.  
        • Disengage from other members and “not bother” adding their perspective when someone else does post.
        • Become less interested in other members personally...as they simply want to get in, get answers to their Qs, and get out.

        Sounds like a fucking nightmare - doesn’t it.

        Another great way to look at this is to imagine yourself hosting a Dinner party.

        Picture it.

        Your guests gather round a table and proceed to only ask YOU questions.  Whaaaa?

        You sit at the head of the table - trying to get some food in your belly - while each guest writes questions on pieces of paper and passes them to you.  

        You open each piece of paper...look at that ONE guest with uncomfortably unwavering eye contact and answer their questions.  

        You might go back and forth a little but it’s not a discussion.  It’s not personal...it’s simply a problem solving session.

        Once finished you move onto the next piece of paper and the next person...while everyone else sits patiently waiting for their turn and focusing on eating there food.  You on the other hand will not get any food in your mouth...let alone your belly because you’re talking the WHOLE time.

        WHAT THE LITERAL FUCK?

        Who wants to be sitting at that dinner table?  Not me!

        THAT is not how a dinner party works, and a membership community works on the same principles.

        Look at my doodle again.  

        You can see on the left the KING...I mean host...has all eyes on him and is focusing on answering questions.  But what’s happening at the dinner table on the right? The dinner table on the right has a completely different dynamic.  

        There is NO head of the table...you can’t even really tell who the host is (they aren’t that important).  

        The table is circular and allows everyone to participate in the conversation as a whole, and to break into smaller groups and pairs to chat.  

        Notice as well that this isn’t a Q&A session...it’s conversations, connections and interesting issues that each person is either facing or going through.

        THAT is an amazing dinner party experience and it’s the perfect metaphor for a community.

        “The purpose of a community is to bring together people who have similar goals, situations, or circumstances. NOT to answer questions.”

        YES...questions will be asked and answered in a community but that should be a happy side effect between members...not the main event!

        When you focus a community on answering questions (especially having the host or the team members doing the answering) the community quickly transforms into a coaching platform even though everyone will still define it as a community.

        This is a shitty deal for you because when community engagement takes a hit {remember...choo choo flaming orient express with killer bees!}, you and your members will be left wondering...why doesn’t anyone “engage” in this community?

        Answer?  Because you coached the community to death.

        (Side note:  Coaching platforms aren’t bad...you just need to know if your members want a coaching platform or a community and position it that way from day 1)

        So my friend...don’t be THAT guy who jumps in and coaches his community into an engagement coma.

        Take a strategic backseat {RESIST} and facilitate connections between your members and save coaching for your live calls.  

        Now, telling you to "resist" sounds easy in practice but rather than leave you hanging and wondering how to actually DO this, I'd like to help.

        The real reason why no one sees your posts in your Free Facebook group and what to do if your group is DEAD.

        The real reason why no one sees your posts in your Free Facebook group and what to do if your group is DEAD.

        Picture it.  You’ve got something exciting to share with your community today.

        A new webinar, online program, a shiny new offer and you want to get more eyes on it to get more leads and boost sales.  

        I mean, that’s why you created your "community" in the first place right...your FREE Facebook group.  {More on that in a mo}.

        So you type out an "engaging" post, add an eye catching image and post yo-shit.  

        While you wait for the sales to cascade in, you go make yourself a coffee and as you’re stirring in the su-gA you smile to yourself as you imagine 20, no 50...OR 100 people signing up and tossing their moo-lah in your digital wallet.

        It’s good to be in business - right?!

        So you skip back to your home office, sit down, wiggle your mouse and have a lookie-loo.  

        ZERO likes
        ZERO shares
        ZERO fucks

        Not to mention, only 4 people have even SEEN your post (out of 9000!)

        What the fuck is going on?

        • If you had posted this yesterday 300 people would have seen it by now.  
        • There would be reactions out the wazoo.  
        • Your peeps would be getting jiggy with your post and your phone would be lighting up with purchase notifications ding. ding. ding.

        But today, nothing.

        You start to sweat a little and wrinkle your brow.  Why isn’t anyone seeing the post?

        You set up your free Facebook group to bring people together and promote your offers, but Facebook has gone and changed their algorithm {or something} to punish you.

        Actually, news flash honey-bunches...Facebook isn’t hurting you...you're hurting yourself.

        Facebook cares about their users enjoying the fuck out of their time on Facebook, so they will STAY THERE.  Facebook wants members to come in, pull up a chair and get comfy AF for the long haul.

        How does that happen?  By them showing their members content that they actually want to see.

        But wait...how does FB KNOW if people want to see something?

        Well...people engage with it.  They like, love, comment or share it and Facebook takes notice and serves up MORE of that shiz-naz to repeat the cycle.  

        That way users see content that they enjoy all the time and keep coming back for more and more.

        Now back to YOU.  

        What does this algorithm stuff have to do with your group?

        Well...chances are...you’ve set up your Free group for the wrong reasons and it’s not a space where people actually want to be.  

        Members aren't posting new content there, they don’t react or share your content either.

        The only real activity in there is YOU posting updates, asking "engaging questions" and trying to drive engagement.  Despite your efforts...

        It’s a dead-zone and all you hear is crickets.

        Not only is it frustrating for YOU as the host (you’ve probably started engaging more to compensate...second mistake dude), but Facebook ain’t happy either.

        They see what's going on and notice that their members aren't really enjoying your shiz-naz.

        So what does Facebook do?

        Well...Facebook (like you) is thinking about their audience, and if their members are saying loud and clear (well in this case silently and clearly) that your group isn’t interesting, cool, entertaining, education or anything worth clicking on or engaging with...Facebook isn’t going to want it’s members going there to hang out.

        So Facebook invites them to go there less and elsewhere.  

        What?  Facebook is inviting your people to go to your group?

        You bet your ass it is.  

        Facebook controls how frequently your group content shows up in your member’s news feeds.  How many notifications they get from new content in your group.  Everything is controlled and curated by big brother FB.

        So what’s an entrepreneur to do?

        Well first off...don’t fucking build a free Facebook group.  

        There...I said it!

        Obviously if you are reading this, that doesn't really help you, but for anyone who happens to be reading this before "putting a ring on it"...for the love of doughnuts don’t do it.  

        It blows my mind that people are willing to throw away their time and energy into something that:

        1. They do NOT control
        2. Isn’t even a fucking community.

        Say what now?

        That’s right dude; a free Facebook group does NOT a community make.

        There is this unspoken rule about them that prevents them from being anything but a self-promotional tool or lead generator.

        You see, when you set up a Free Facebook group for your business...everyone knows (even your Aunt Becky who isn’t tech savvy) that your group exists for you to promote something.

        Sure, you might not say that, and you might try to spin the group as a supportive place for people to gather around a subject, but people aren’t stupid.  That group is like a pampered chef party...or tupperware.  SURE...you can come to the party and just "have fun" but at the end of the night we're gonna encourage peeps to BUY SOMETHING.

        They KNOW that you’ve got something you want to sell and they will always think about that fact when they are in your group. 

        Now, here is the other truth that no one really acknowledges and is much more important.

        YOU aren't the only one using your Free Facebook group to promote themselves.  9 times out of 10 your members are there for exactly the same reason...but for THEIR SHIT.

        If we focus on the Entrepreneur space this is even more true.

        Wantra-preneurs join your group to do customer research and hop on calls with people.  

        They join, “engage” and “add value” but behind the scenes they have a spreadsheet of all your members and are slowly and methodically private messaging everyone to "help" them.  

        Or they share a post in the group and when someone replies or engages, they shoot them a PM to connect...and a pitch will soon follow.

        Then of course there are some special peaches who will come in and just go to town promoting themselves.  They don't care what it looks like, they will wait for an opportunity to drop a link and drop it.   

        And that my friend is why I hate free Facebook groups.  

        There is no barrier to entry and the majority of people who join aren't the kind of people who will invest in themselves, let alone respect your "community".  

        So...what should you do if you put a ring on a free Facebook group and it's a dead-zone?

        • First of all I would ask myself if I REALLY want to keep having a free FB group?  
        • Is it the best way to reach your ideal customer and grow a relationship with the?
        • Or is it just opening up a can of worms that sucks up your time and energy managing "self promotional" A-holes?

        If you answered 2 NOs and a YES...then I invite you to close your group and move on.  

        Seriously.  Let your members know you'll be closing the group in a week, give them a landing page to sign up to your email list (where they really should be) and archive that bad boy and be done with it.

        If you DO enjoy your "community" and it offers value to your members while supporting your business...

        How can you get people to actually see and engage with your content?

        Well...lean in for this...be a fucking human.

        Stop peddling your shit 24/7 and share something interesting.  As Ben Perry says...your posts need to educate, entertain or empower your members...so get E'ing it.  

        Diversify your content so that it isn’t just “buy now” CTAs and "daily" engagement posts that are auto scheduled and the same each week.

        • Share behind the scenes posts,
        • tell stories,
        • hop on FB live,
        • create funny word art and quotes,
        • start GIF wars,
        • caption this MEME contests,
        • and focus on your members as HUMANS...beyond the subject you're gathering around.  

        Honestly, there are loads of strategies and tactics to engage an online community...I just prefer to save them for paid memberships and I encourage you to do the same.

        Rant over. 😉

        -Big D.

        How to name your membership…like a boss!

        How to name your membership…like a boss!

        In the past month I have helped 3 entrepreneurial badassess create awesome names for their online memberships; that capture their community vibe like a boss, and I'd love to help you too!

        When it comes to naming a membership {community, program, system, retreat etc} I recommend focusing on 2 thing:

        1. Choose a PLACE that evokes the imagery and feel that you want your members to experience as they imagine themselves with you and fellow members.

        2. Name your PEEPS.  Who are the members that you are bringing together in this safe space?

        Let's look at the naming magic that unfolded for my 3 clients and see how you can do the same (when naming your paid membership community).

        First up, Primoz Bozic.  

        We were jamming on a 1on1 call {at the end of the Community Catalysts beta program} and we were working on naming his membership community.  

        In Primoz's case we went with a place.  

        He was creating a membership for writers and I've always had this image in my head of a cozy cabin where all you have is your laptop, cups of hot bevys, blankets and a forest silently hugging the cabin all around.  A writer's dream.

        The Cabin was on the right track, but it also made me think of summers at the cabin, summer camp, kids...not to mention cabin fever. 

        Not the vibe he was going for.

        Primoz, being the European he is, suggested The Chalet.  And for my Canadian brain it was kind of meh.  

        Chalet made me think of skiing and hitting the slopes...not knuckling down and writing. 

        We went to Google and searched for "different types of houses" which is a great idea.  

        Chalet, Cabin, Beach house...so many different PLACES for people to gather, and they all created totally different imagery and FEEL.  

        Just look at the images below.  How would you feel staying there for a weekend?

        That's when I saw it.  THE LODGE.

        Well fuck me, THAT right there is the MONEY SHOT of community names for Primoz's membership.  

        It's absolutely PERFECT for what Primoz is doing, on so many levels.

        **Cue day-dreaming about Primoz's future live event**.

        When I think of "The Lodge", I imagine a big beautiful lodge nestled in the woods somewhere in Europe.  It's snowing outside...or maybe it's summer with green trees and Disney animals prancing around from time to time. 

        There are big brown leather couches and arm chairs...that you sink into.  There's a big stone fire place with a fire crackling. There's an open concept kitchen and a dining-room with a massive table to fit all of us.

        There are other rooms too...welcoming you to curl up with your laptop to create and pour your heart out onto the page.  A sun room, a library, a games room and more.

        When we're not writing, we're going for a morning run on a dirt path, going kayaking on a nearby lake or staying inside and grabbing a drink from the mini-bar.  Cozying up with fuzzy blankets and comfy clothes and shooting the breeze.  There are silly games, laughs and people who understand the ups and downs of writing.  

        Meal times are another opportunity for us to connect too.  Different members team up to prepare meals and we get to break bread together, discuss writing, entrepreneurship and business with people that ACTUALLY want to listen {not roll their eyes like your husband or family do}.

        THAT is the feel of the lodge in real life, and THAT is the exact feel and vibe Primoz can aim to recreate online...in his online membership community.

        • He'll be creating little rooms and spaces to chat with others, to share "war" stories and insights.
        • He'll be stoking the fire and gathering people around it to get warm and shoot the breeze with a Whiskey in hand.
        • He'll be helping people connect, learn from one another and have an amazing time while they are at it.
        Side note:  Hosting a LIVE retreat in a REAL lodge is going to be a MASSIVE win for him and his membership.  Not only will it allow him to bring together his most active, supportive and amazing members {being invited to join this event would be a privilege to people showing up in the community}, but he can hire a photographer/videographer and capture the moments I described above, so that ALL the visuals of his online community will  ALL whisper the same thing..."you're at the lodge here".

        Man...just writing about it makes me want to pack my bags and go!

        Next up is Sew Heidi.  

        We worked together 1on1 for 2 months to get her community ducks in a row BEFORE she launched {and she then joined Community Catalysts for support during the emotional rollercoaster that is launching, evicting "red flag" members, on-boarding strategy and more!}.

        On one of our calls, we got to the age old question...

        What the hell should I call the community?

        For Heidi, I got her to talk about her target audience and why they were joining her membership.  As she spoke I took notes on what jumped out at me.

        TOP TIP:  If you're doing this alone, grab your phone and record yourself talking about your audience and what they are getting from the membership.  What their problems are, what they worry about and what they are dreaming about and aspiring to.  Then you can listen back to the recording with fresh ears and pull out the interesting bits.

        Something I've noticed about these naming sessions though, is that my mind moves quickly between issues.  It looks at it from so many directions at the same time.  

        • The members's experience, 
        • What they want to have happen there, 
        • The feelings and emotions involved, 
        • And different places that match those feelings.

        I recommend starting with PLACES, and if nothing really grabs you, then switch to identifying WHO they are.

        In Sew Heidi's case, they just want friends from the industry.  She kept saying friends over and over when she was speaking, so we got simple.  

        I asked her, "What kind of friends?" and she said, "friends from the Fashion Industry".

        With a quick switch up of the word order, we had it...

        "Fashion Industry Friends"!

        I remember when I first said it, Heidi's face lit up like National Lampoons Christmas tree!  Moments like THAT are why I LOVE the work that I do. 😍

        YUP.  We nailed it.  The name started rolling off her tongue {or rather flowing from her typing fingers} without her even realising it.

        She sent me an email days later, giving me an update and reading it made me SO freaking happy.  

        Check it out below:

        I know I've done my job well when someone emails me and drops F bombs left, right and center.  🙂

        THAT is what you want your community name to feel like.  

        You want your community name to flow in your copy, to be a natural fit, for you to say proudly, to share WHO your peeps are or WHERE you're going to take them.

        It's funny, because I haven't had that magic moment with my own membership {YET}.  

        I kept calling it "The Community Beta", initially, which doesn't do the program justice.

        The program {foundational coaching/training} is called Community Catalyst and that could be the name, but in the singular it feels off too. This isn't just ONE catalyst (me), it's many.  It's a group of Community Catalysts who are kicking-ass and taking names.  Hmm...

        Community Catalysts might work.  It is the closest I've come to my "name eureka" moment, but I'll get there.

        The last example is from Neil Welsh.  

        He doesn't have a community per-say, he has a coaching platform (Slack), though many people confuse the two.

        Neil isn't connecting his members together, he's answering their questions on his video course material, in a group setting...aka coaching platform.

        He created a 12 week nutrition course and did a beta to test it with a group of around 10 people.  Now that the beta is finished, he wanted to name his program AND he also had a visual model that he wanted to name too.

        I recommended we name the program first, and then the model...as naming the program would making naming the model easier.

        Again, I got him to talk about his program, what it does {results it delivers} and who it helps.  I also got him to share the course outline so I could see the titles of his videos and materials.

        Here's a secret weapon as well...we were not alone.  We were on a call with 4 other people and they were sharing ideas at the same time.  I highly recommend that you do not try to name your community alone.  

        Getting on a call with someone or a group of people is so much better.  

        In Neil's case, one person opened their mic and said something.

        The New Normal.  The feel was spot on, and once we named the model as well, it subtly established the ideal market (family) and it was catchy. {share that in a min}.

        Then we moved to the "system" or model he wanted to name.  It was an image of 3 overlapping circles that had the main goal in the center...health.

        We talked about it for a while, going in circles when it hit us: the heart of the matter, the heart of health!  

        The Heart of Health Model.

        The New Normal:  A family focused approach to getting to the heart of health.

        It felt like a great fit, but the only way he'll REALLY know is to ask his audience.  

        Again...it's ok to rename a program or community...you don't have to get it right on day one.

        Sometimes you'll just KNOW, like Heidi and Primoz.  Those names are SOLID, but if you're not sure if the name works then just ask your members.  You can talk to them via email, or hop on a quick call and get their feedback on the name, and ask them how they feel about it.

        Still staring at a blank page wondering: what the hell should I name my community?

        1. Don't do it alone.  Jam with a couple friends, or with an expert/creative mind to put the pieces together and help you see what's already there.
        2. Focus on a PLACE or the PEOPLE you're bringing together in your community.  
        3. If it's a beta...and you're super blocked. Don't sweat it.  You can always change the name down the line.  Name it something for now and move on (like me).
        Also note that if you're building on Mighty Networks that you can change the name/ULR of your community at any time.  The only issue is that it will break links that you have put into your articles (to other places in the community). So in that case, it is better to make a final decision on your community name SOONER rather than later. 

        OR just name it your name and leave it at that.  The URL for my community uses my name because I'll never be changing my name so it works for life. 🙂

        YOUR TURN!

        I'd love to know what your experience has been with naming your membership community, and how you approached the process.

        Big D.

        Ramit Sethi’s Mental Mastery Review: The Most Entertaining & Honest Course Review You’ll Ever Read.

        Ramit Sethi’s Mental Mastery Review: The Most Entertaining & Honest Course Review You’ll Ever Read.

        Today I wanted to do a Mental Mastery review because people were asking me about it and it's actually my favourite IWT course.

        When a friend reached out to me via Facebook Messenger, I gave her my quick 2 cents.

        But today, I wanted to dig in deeper that that FB message and share my experience working through the program, and how it's helped me start publishing more content.

        Confession:  I went through Mental Mastery almost a year ago, and this review has been collecting digital dust in my Google Drive for months.  I've been hoarding my word-babies {articles} because I'm scared.  I am a perfectionist and whenever I write something I want it to be epic and blow your minds {that's why I love Ultimate guides} but I realised that this desire to be "perfect" was stopping me from sharing more of my insights with you.

        I just circled back to the Mental Mastery program and watched the "How to get out of your own head" video and boy did it hit home.  

        You see...ultimate guides are "home runs" for me, but what I should be doing is taking more swings.  This is the metaphor that Ramit shares in this 9 minute video and boy did it hit home.  Rather than than trying to "brute-force" my way through publishing my content...took a moment to dig in.  

        Watching the video feels like I've just sat down for a quick chat with Ramit.  Not only do I better understand WHY I've been "hiding", but also what I can do to move forward and "take more swings".

        So I'm officially Marie Kondo'ing my G Drive, so you can read ALL the content that I've been holding back.  Even if it isn't perfect.  😉

        Why did I join Mental Mastery in the first place?

        On the “START HERE” page of the course I explained why I jumped on the course in the comments section.

        Not only has this course helped me by going through it once, but it's something I can go back to again and again...like I did today when I was struggling to post this review.

        So let’s dive in.  Saddle up for a fun review of Ramit Sethi’s Mental Mastery program.  

        BTW, I’m not an affiliate, and no one on the IWT team asked me to write and share this review.  

        I just enjoyed the program, found it valuable and wanted to share my experience.

        Let’s do this!

        Module 1: Unstoppable Motivation

        Video #1:  The big lie we tell ourselves about motivation

        You’ll have to join the course to watch video #1 and find out for yourself. 😉

        Boy, do I loved this video.  

        It gives you permission to not fall into the trap of finding your “big vision”.  I know that I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I want to be doing with my life, what’s the impact I want to make on the world with my business and what my legacy will be.

        Instead, Ramit keeps it simple by getting you to ask yourself ONE simple question, which flips this common lie that we tell ourselves on its head.  So helpful.

        COOL NOTE:  Know that after every video of Mental Mastery, Ramit invites you to take action and DO something (which is awesome!), and share about it in the comments.

        Here he got us to share our own street-level motivations and you can see mine below.

        It’s kind of funny because this review of Mental Mastery is the perfect example of how I like to create badass documents that make decision making easier.  I just need to make sure that I don't let me desire to create badass things doesn't stop me from pulling the trigger.

        I particularly like my second reply though, focusing on liberation.  I have spent many years trying to “figure myself out” and rather than do that, I’m now focusing on taking action, having fun and doing what excites me.  Amen!

        VIDEO #2:  How to get out of your own head

        This is such a great video.  I love how Ramit shared examples from his own life and those of his students.  But more importantly he breaks down the psychology behind why people don’t go all in.  

        You will also hear Ramit use the word “abundance” in this video (I shit you not) and he introduces the concept of “taking more swings” which is freaking fantastic!  Batter up!  It's the video that helped me get back to publishing articles...and sharing this one with you as well.

        COOL NOTE:  I love when Ramit changes his voice and pretends to be someone else “I don't know if this is going to go anywhere”. Hilarious.

        VIDEO #3: From lazy to driven: The secret to hard work that separates winners from losers

        This was such a huge video for me (and it was under 5 minutes!!).  I never thought about this concept of how the desire to “make everything easy” might actually be hurting me.

        It’s so cool to look back on my comments too.  In the end I reached out to over 20 people for my podcast AND I have been going to the gym consistently 5x a week for over 3 months.  While my podcast is currently on pause until I can create a better system to edit and share the audio, I have been running 5x a week for months and writing consistently.

        This video really helped changed the way I look at how I do things...and why easier isn’t always what I should be striving for.

        VIDEO #4: A personal “kick-in-the-ass” from Ramit

        Ohhhh YEAH!  When I saw the title of this video I rubbed my hands together with glee.  I honestly love getting a personal “kick-in-the-ass” from successful people...especially Ramit.

        This video has got to be my fav.  I am officially downloading it to my phone so I can re-listen to it whenever I need a swift kick in the ass.  

        Actually...having all the audios on your phone would be a great way to get a dose of Ramit on the daily.

        We all know how Ramit feels about meditating but maybe he’s changed his mind.

        For me...I realised that I didn’t have deadlines for some of my projects and I really wasn’t pushing myself to getting shit done.  I especially like his reference to limiting blocks that might be slowing us down.

        It really made me think about how I do things and how I can choose goals that aren’t “safe”...but rather goals that push out of my comfort zone.

        I also love his example of a ZTL student doing immersion and how they might be slowing themselves down.  It’s a classic example...and a great solution to fix it.

        Anyone who is struggling with immersion in Zero to Launch needs this freaking video!

        VIDEO #5: From HOT to COOL: How to develop effortless discipline

        Ok ok...I know I said that the last one was my favorite...but I changed my mind.  THIS one is (or maybe I just love them all...yup.  I love them all).

        This video completely changed the way I think and feel about my emotional reactions to situations.  This is huge for me because anyone that knows me well knows that I’m an emotional person.

        Rather than having to struggle and fight with the way I feel...I can simply turn down the dial.  My husband is forever thankful for the discovery of this dial!

        Module 2: Unshakable Confidence

        VIDEO #1: How to manage your inner critic

        We all have situations when our inner critic comes out to play.  Even Ramit; yup...he shares when his inner critic shows up.  

        My inner critic is a real B*tch when I’m doing something new and out of my comfort zone.  {Example...posting content on the regular...that isn't massive and perfect!}

        It’s easy to think that successful people don’t have inner critics but it’s just not true.  Top performers have them...but Ramit shares his counterintuitive advice on how to deal with them (GENIUS) and spoiler alert...it’s not trying to “quiet” them.

        I LOVE what he highlights as the CORE of the inner critic and how we can flip it around.  #gold

        VIDEO #2: “Trust Your Legs”: How to overcome your fear of failure

        This video is gold people.  F-ING GOLD! It’s simple concepts like THIS that will stick with you beyond the course and help you handle your mental game in stressful or high stakes situations.

        I love the story that Ramit shared about the situation with his trainer.  So true and applicable to many situations I’ve been in.  

        There is something to be said for simply TRUSTING yourself.

        VIDEO #3: How to develop natural confidence, even if you weren’t born with it

        This video was super useful.  I love the example with Obama and it made me realise that there are several things that I can do to boost how confident I appear.  

        For example...I tend to speak quickly...but by slowing down it makes me appear more intentional and thoughtful.

        It seems that Ramit really wants to fist bump you.  😉

        I love that Ramit highlights how confidence is a skill you can learn.  You don’t need to be born with it and you can strengthen your confidence muscle.  I especially like his approach to learning how to strengthen that muscle.

        VIDEO #4: Intuition: The forgotten power of trusting your gut

        Loved this video!  I know I’ve had a lot of situations where I’ve had to trust my gut and go with it.  I also realised that this is actually one of my strengths...being able to act quickly and think on my feet.

        It’s also interesting to see how Ramit has changed over time in terms of his use of data.  

        You’ll have to join Mental Mastery to find out.

        Sometimes data can’t help you.  You need to trust your gut...and ultimately YOURSELF.

        Here’s my Forefront post; {it’s one of my favourite posts}.

        VIDEO #5:  "It's OK to be weird"

        This is such a great video...not just because Ramit shares what he thinks is disgusting (I had no idea that he hated this!) but because it highlighted how much I am a people pleaser.  

        I have this tendency to please others {can you relate?}, and sometimes that comes with a price...my own enjoyment or benefit.  Saying yes without taking into consideration what I want to do, leads to a lot of resentment. No bueno.

        In the comments for this video, it was fun to confess some things I don’t like and the idea of being “unapologetic” feels empowering.

        I'm going to leave it there...the first 2 modules, but here are the video titles to give you a taste of what modules 3 and 4 hold. They are amazing, just like modules 1 and 2.

        Module 3: Unwavering Focus

        VIDEO #1: Inbox Zero, and other productivity myths
        VIDEO #2: Going All-In: How to get over analysis paralysis
        VIDEO #3:  How to fix your social media addiction
        VIDEO #4: "Your problem is not my problem": How to set boundaries and say “no”
        VIDEO #5: Mental Reset: How to get back on track when you get distracted

        Module 4: Unbeatable Optimism

        VIDEO#1: How to scrape the meat off the bone from every opportunity
        VIDEO #2: The language of winners
        VIDEO #3:  Putting a lid on negativity
        VIDEO #4: One technique you can use to make yourself happier everyday
        VIDEO #5: “Your biggest growth is ahead of you”

        How to get the most from the program?

        First, work through the entire program.  Watch a video a day as they are released.  Then once you'ev completed the program I would recommend downloading all of the audios onto your phone so you can review them again and again.  On your commute to work, when doing errands etc.

        You could even set one as your alarm in the morning so that Ramit can help you kick off your day.  

        The key for me has been repetition.  If you watch them once it won't make that much of a difference, but repeat exposure to the insights and advice will help you adopt Ramit's teachings so that you can think this way automatically.

        Should you take Mental Mastery?

        If you’re looking to shake things up in your head and change your perspective,  I highly recommend this program. It’s not only useful for approaching your business, but your relationships, your health and everything in between (your ears).

        It’s amazing what happens when you aren’t slowing yourself down, or second guessing yourself because of your mindset and beliefs.

        What about you?

        Have you taken Mental Mastery?  
        If so, which was your favourite video?

        Hugs and skittles,
        Diana

        Enforcing Community Guidelines Isn’t Important?
        A Bitch, a Pushover and a Cheapskate Are About to Prove Yo’Ass Wrong.

        Enforcing Community Guidelines Isn’t Important?
        A Bitch, a Pushover and a Cheapskate Are About to Prove Yo’Ass Wrong.

        “Shut the f*ck up! You stepped on me! Twice. Shut up. I’ll f*ck you up!”

        This is the lovely language that tickled my ears from 3 aisle ahead of me, on my Ryanair flight back from London.  Passengers were slowly boarding and finding their seats, as a woman started to drop F-bombs and turn up the volume.

        The tension in the air was thick. My mind started to race.

        • What if they start to fight? 
        • What if one of them has a weapon?
        • What if someone hijacks the plane {yes my mind went there}?
        • What happens if Bruce Willis is on the plane and is going to save the day? {ooo la la}

        It felt like the scene in an airplane action movie, when shits about to get real. 

        Her voice was getting louder but no one official was stepping in.  I reached up and pressed the blue call button. 

        Finally. There she is, in her blue and yellow Ryanair uniform.  Let’s call her Paula. The woman is now yelling at Paula.

        “He stepped on my fucking foot. Twice he did.  I mean who does that? He didn’t apologize.”

        You can now cut the tension with a swiss army knife {which I hope neither of them smuggled onto the plane}.  People are quietly taking their seats. Watching and waiting to see what Paula the air hostess will do.  

        Now let’s pause for a moment.  

        When shit happens in your online membership community people might not be yelling each other's faces, or physically fighting, but they are disrupting your community vibe.  

        Someone might use a rude tone, or post a promotional post, and people notice.  

        What IS the same though is that everyone is watching.  I call them “witnesses”. I was a witness on this Ryanair flight, and your communities members are witnesses to that rude tone or self-promotional post.

        The problem isn’t that this shit happens {cause lets face it...this shit will always crop up from time to time; like a hugely unwanted badder infection.  The real issue is when the host or person in charge doesn’t enforce the guidelines or protect the community.  

        It’s you and your team’s job as the host to ensure that everyone feels safe and when someone breaks the rules, you call them out on it...the witnesses see it and they know that you are taking care of them.

        So what happened on the plane? 

         Did Paula make me and the other passengers feel safe?  

        Paula leaned in to speak with the woman...let’s call her Becky;

        “Ok, you need to calm down please.”

        Then Paula leaning over to the man, and said more loudly. 

        You need to apologize and then everything will be fine.”

        Wait what? Fine??? That’s it?

        I don’t feel fucking fine Paula! You’re just trying to sweep this under the rug so we can all take our seats and get this blue, yellow and white tin-can up in the air.  Which I get...but the tone you used didn’t instill confidence in me that this wouldn’t happen again. 

        So Mr. Stompy McStomperson offers a pathetic excuse for “I’m sorry” and everyone moves on. 

        Crisis averted (apparently) until Paula sees people getting up and switching seats before take off.

        A couple behind me wanted to sit together, and Becky has been moved to the aisle in front of me (I assume to keep her away from Stompy McStomperson).

        Paula the air hostess keeps stopping people and spouting the same story...pleading with everyone,

        “You must sit in your assigned seats during take off and landing. It’s about safety. It’s about weight distribution.”

        But her tone and body language aren’t convincing. She’s apologetic with a sprinkle of whining. Pleading with passengers to comply.

        She’s not owning her role of authority. Her raised eyebrows and frustration {a sigh here, slumped over shoulders here} don’t help her case either.

        Is this how you enforce your guidelines dude?  Apologetically or with exasperation?

        Don’t.  Your guidelines are there to benefit everyone.  They keep you sane by minimizing the BS that you need to handle, and they keep everyone in the group safe from BS.  

        Own your guidelines and enforce them with confidence.

        Next on Paula’s hit list is the passengers in the emergency aisle.

        She was getting them to put their jackets and bags in the over-head locker. Which sounds pretty standard right?! Nope...not for Paula.

        Again...she pleaded with passengers to understand, rather than simply owning the rules and stating them.  

        “You can’t keep your jackets or bags under the seat.  This is the emergency aisle. It’s about safety”.

        Then she came back to Becky, leaned in and whispered something.

        What you saying Paula?? Hmmm.

        Paula went away and then a dude steward comes back.  Suddenly Becky’s friend is allowed to move there.

        He says playfully…"As long as your other friend doesn’t move before lift off.”

        WTF?!? Bending the rules for people? Be a united-front team Ryanair!

        So Becky’s friend has moved but what is everyone else thinking...the other witnesses that actually wanted to move but were told they couldn't. 

        Can you imagine?

        You’ve just been told that you can’t move until after take off and then these girls - who are now playing headbands obnoxiously loud I might add- get to move?!?

        What about the couple that wanted to sit together?  Paula told them it was only 2 hours and it would pass quickly. Aka...get over it and sit in your seats already.  She was dismissive and uncompromising with them but Becky got special treatment? Bending the rules. What the hell?

        Paula walks by and sees that the friend is there before take off.

        Wagging her finger at Becky, “Naughty naughty...I said you could move after take off”.  But Becky tells her that the dude said it was ok.

        Paula looked to the back of the plan towards the dude and I could have sworn she said "Aw fuck it”.

        Ok ok...she didn’t say anything but the look on her face screamed “fuck this”.

        And with that, she went back to girl number 3 and she moved her to sit with Becky.

        Yup...before take off dude.

        WTF?!

        • What happened to weight distribution, Paula?
        • What happened to safety first, Paula?

        Hmm?

        Now we are taxiing and I’m sweating bullets thinking...dear lord just let all that talk about weight distribution be bull shit so we don’t take off and do a barrel roll to our firey death.

        I bet we don’t even need to have our phones in flight mode, now do we Paula!!!.

        So...what the flipper is the lesson here?

        Create guidelines and fucking stick to them?!  Simple.

        Enforce them AND watch your tone. Don’t be apologetic...you fucking made the rules for a reason.

        Explain, enforce and move on.

        If you don’t want people doing XYZ, state it, and then explain how that benefits them.  Really ask yourself how this rule or stance on an issue makes your community better for them.

        What if I don’t have guidelines Diana?

        I see you there...sheepishly raising your hand to volunteer as tribute.

        No guidelines?

        I don’t know if I should be thankful that we can have an intervention moment or if I should shake you...hard!

        Seriously dude...no guidelines?!

        That's like inviting people onto a plane for 3 hours and having an “anything goes” policy.

        Like, if you order red wine and your card doesn’t go through...but you claim it’s not YOUR problem.  As you crack it open, pour your plastic cup full and slurp it down. It’s a Chase card you see (like that means anything) and it’s apparently Ryanair’s problem not yours. 

        Yes that just happened and I can’t even believe it. Here I am paying for my Twix, Pringle’s and water {Simon don't judge me} when I could have just not paid apparently! 

        Well fuck me.

        Sorry...back to guidelines.

        You. Need. Guidelines my friend. Period.

        Not only are they there for your members to understand the rules and what is and isn’t kosher, they are your insurance policy.

        Your safety net that protects you from crazy-mo-fo’s who think the red wine and water on a Ryanair flight are free.

        Oooor from the community members that are self promotional, use a rude tone, are assholes to other members, tag you every 10 minutes or PM you 54 times a day or any of the many other things people seem to think are on the up and up in an online community. 

        Now, before you just slap up a NO list for all the BS and drama that keeps you awake at night, or remember from past community trauma.  Stop.

        Community guidelines are not a NO list...they are so much more. They are a manifesto to why you created this space and why everyone is there.

        Here are the key parts to a stellar set of community guidelines.
        1. Why are we all here?
        2. Who are you and why do you belong here?
        3. Whats the Community Vibe?
        4. What’s the goal, objective or intention of the community?
        5. Expectations for the community and for each members?
        6. What are the top 3-4 dos and donts? For the lazy fuckers?
        7. What will happen if you don’t follow the guidelines?
        8. Legal shiz-naz

        So there you have it. The importance of guidelines, enforcing them and how to cover your ass with them too.

        Now, my flight is about to land, so I’ll land this word-baby here too.

        But now I'm curious, do you have community guidelines?

        If no...why not? 

        If yes, are they a no list or an actual manifesto?

        Share your story in the comments {no judgement if you don't have guidelines...ok...just a sprinkle} and if you want to ensure that you’re providing the best for your community members, without unintentionally killing engagement and forcing you to be in your community 24/7, you’re gonna love what I’m cooking up for you this January!

        Stay tuned dude, like Bugs Bunny waiting for the carrot cake to pop out of the oven.  

        Now of course, if you've got other shit to do...more important than eyeballing your computer all day, drop your name and addy in the form below to sign up for my emails (word-babies) and you'll be in the know.  🙂

        Feeling Lonely: The Human Secret
        to an Engaged Membership Community.

        Feeling Lonely: The Human Secret
        to an Engaged Membership Community.

        See that handsome dude in the photo?  That’s my Dad and he was a fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force.  This meant we moved around a lot when I was a kid.  I was always the new kid.

        Photo on 28 11 2018 at 14.25 5

        This fact alone earned me a degree in “feeling lonely”.  

        I remember how it felt to show up on the first day of school after moving to a new town. Not having friends from kindergarten to sit with and frantically scanning the room to find a free spot.  Spending my days trying to look cool, like I was busy or quietly scanning the playground or classroom looking for an “in”.  A way to connect with someone and finally break through that horrible sense of loneliness. 

        For some reason I was destined to stay that way though.  I moved from school to school every couple of years not really making friends…always the new kid.

        So close your eyes for a moment and think back to a time when you felt lonely.

        • Was it a Friday night alone on the couch binge watching Jane the Virgin on Netflix?
        • Or were you at Persuade Live London, mixing up an instant coffee at the back of the room?
        • Were you waiting to pick up your son from school surrounded by other parents?

        Really focus on that memory and how you feel…in your body, mind and your heart.

        What did it feel like?

        • Maybe it was sadness or heaviness in your shoulders.  
        • Or maybe a tight tension or pressure in your chest.  
        • Maybe you felt small or insignificant
        • Or maybe you simply felt like no one understood you, or wanted to understand.

        Now, what does this have to do with online community you ask? 

        Everything.

        Everyone is a little kid on the inside, just looking for acceptance and for a way to fit in.  The difference is that we are in adult bodies now and most of the time we are hidden behind screens.  So you need to ask yourself some questions.

        Are you creating situations for your members to break the ice when they join?  How do they feel on day 1 of joining your membership?  

        • Do they have friends who can show them around?
        • Do they feel like they can jump in and participate openly and freely?  
        • Do they know how things work there and what is and isn’t kosher?  

        Just like a kid on the first day of school, your members need to know that they are welcome, safe and they are meant to be there.  

        It’s your job {or your team’s job} as a community host to eliminate ALL their insecurities, and address their questions right off the bat {without overwhelming them} so they can dive in and start forming meaningful relationships from the get go.  

        You also need to show them that your space is a place to have fun and be themselves.

        How do you do that?  Well…you need to ensure that you establish your community vibe in everything you do.

        What’s Your Community Vibe?  

        As I teach my 1 on 1 clients, your community vibe is the unique blend of:

        1. The way your MEMBERS want and need to feel
        2. What YOU bring to your membership (your personality, humour, experience etc).

        The first key to nailing your vibe is answering the question: how do your members want and need to FEEL in your community?  Once you know how they want and need to feel…you simply make them feel that in every inch of your membership community.

        • On your sales page
        • In your onboarding emails.
        • In your welcome message
        • In your FAQ
        • In your Community Guidelines
        • In your images (look and feel)
        • In your comments, interactions, live calls and content.

        EVERYTHING must ooze your community vibe.  So focus your sights on better understanding how your people want to feel.

        Not sure how your members want to feel?  ASK THEM.

        That’s right Sherlock.  Dust off your monocle, pop on your cape, puff on your pipeity-pipe and send them a survey.  

        In that survey, ask them TWO questions:

        #1:  What is the number one emotion that they want to feel while interacting and engaging in your membership community?
        #2:  What is the number one emotion that they want to avoid feeling, while interacting and engaging in your membership community?

        Give them some options to help them focus in on what they want to feel.  

        Bonus tip: Including a wheel of emotions can be quite helpful as well…and rainbow pretty.

        Screenshot 2018 11 28 at 15.44.23
        Click to view full size

        Once you know what emotion they want to feel, it’s your job…your mission…your north star if you will, to ensure that everything in your community triggers that emotion.

        Spoiler alert…one of the emotions will be supported…with a side of french fries…I mean a side of another emotion.  Feeling supported is the “Club sandwich” of emotions {your go-to order when you’re not sure what to eat} when it comes to a community and you’ll have it with a side order of “inspiration” or “empowered” etc..

        When assessing if your nailing your vibe or not, ask yourself…

        Does this [copy, image, post, etc] make my members feel [Supported, inspired, empowered etc]?  

        If it doesn’t CHANGE IT.

        Now back to little Diana on another first day of school in a new city.

        In Calgary, I had a teacher who could tell I was struggling to fit in.  He let me {and a couple other students} stay in our Social Studies classroom to clean the blackboards during recess.  

        I was terrified of recess.  I didn’t know anyone and I thought everyone would make fun of me.  I wasn’t a slim Jim and people had been known to make note of it.

        So I stayed inside, cleaned the black boards and felt safe.

        • Do you think that helped me make friends?  Nope.  
        • Do you think that stopped me from being scared of recess?  Nope.

        He had good intentions, but it didn’t really help me, and you might be doing the same thing in your community.  

        I know you want to support your members and create an engaging and valuable experience for them, but what you might be doing {what so many membership community hosts think is right} is actually killing engagement and sentencing you to a life of being in your community 24/7.

        What am I talking about?  You might think that YOU need to instigate conversations and “engage” to get others to engage (especially in the beginning) but what you’re actually doing is sending the message that:

        • This community doesn’t work without you.  
        • You will be IN it 24/7 and members don’t need to step up and support one another.  
        • YOUR opinion, support, and feedback is more important than that of other members…which actually kills engagement dude.
        • Your time isn’t valuable.

        Not to mention the fact that 90% of business owners think they have a community when they actually just have a form of coaching or access to them.  That’s totally fine if that’s what you want to provide your members, but coaching is not community.  Shit…I think that’s a whole other blog post waiting to be poured out on the page.  Stay tuned for that!

        Now, if you want your community to really BE a community…you need to be more like another teacher I had, Mrs. Butcher.  

        After living in England for 4 years we moved back to Canada and Mrs. Butcher was my homeroom teacher.

        {Surprise surprise} I was extremely reluctant to go out to recess.  

        On my first day of school I took my time packing my backpack and getting my jacket on, while most of the kids were out of class already.  I stalled as much as possible.  Anything not to be outside…and be exposed.  

        But I remember Mrs. Butcher was having none of it.

        I can’t remember what she said, but it was firm and maybe even a bit harsh, but I knew she wasn’t going to let me stay inside so it was pointless trying.  I grabbed my jacket and went outside.  And a funny thing happened.  I actually played with other kids.  

        I remember playing 4 square and basketball and I don’t remember any issues from other kids.  Mrs. Butcher set the tone for the entire year…that I would go outside quickly and play.  

        Now…in the moment I felt like she hated me but by the end of the year, she was my favourite teacher.  Why?  Because she did what was best for me.  She could have sheltered me but she simply set the expectations of how things were going to work in her class and enforced them.

        You need to do the same in your community and channel your inner Mrs. Butcher!

        I’m talking specifically about having and enforcing Community Guidelines dude. You MUST have rules so that people can know what is and isn’t kosher.  

        When writing your guidelines, make sure they:

        #1.  make your members FEEL how they want/need to feel.  Aka…they are dripping with your community vibe.
        #2.  are not just a list of NOs and aren’t super negative.
        #3.  show specific examples of what is and isn’t appropriate.
        #4. sound like you (in your voice) and aren’t just a wall of text…bust out your memes, GIFs, videos etc.

        Now what about managing your community?  

        What the heck does loneliness have to do with community management?  Read on my pet. 

        When things happen, you’ll need to assess the situation and react in the best interests of your community and the members involved.  If you don’t, you risk making the situation worse.

        12 years ago, when I first moved to Spain, I found out that my Dad had Alzheimer’s…in an email.  

        Yes…take that in for a moment.  An email.  

        Is that the best way to find out that your badass fighter pilot of a Dad is going to slowly lose the ability to take care of himself, talk, walk…and ultimately forget you?  Hell no it isn’t.

        For a long time I hated the fact that my Mum sent me this news in an email, and didn’t take the time to pick up the phone or hop on Skype.  

        Now…would a phone call have changed the fact that my Dad had this disease? Nope…but it sure would have changed the way I felt about how I received the news.

        So please remember this when you’re about to handle a situation in your community (especially emotionally charged ones), so you can choose the best response and format.  

        Some questions that you should ask yourself…

        • When should you reply publicly?
        • When should you reply privately?
        • When should you delete posts or comments?
        • When should you hop on a call?

        These are all questions that you can and should answer, but most importantly…you should answer them BEFORE there is an issue.  Being able to anticipate issues, and front-load the bulk of your responses before there is a problem, saves you hours of time and protects your sanity.

        Instead of worrying about what you’ll do if XYZ happen…just answer the question.  Sit down and decide how you’ll respond AND create a standardised template to customise when the shit really hits the fan.  

        Don’t wait until you’re knee deep in drama to think about how you want to enforce your guidelines and protect your community.  It’s all about setting boundaries and expectations for how you want to manage your community and following through on them consistently.

        Feeling alone in a crowded room?

        I’m probably not alone when I say that I’ve felt lonely in a crowded room on many occasions.  Am I right?  

        You know, the times when you’re sitting at a dinner table but you feel like an outsider, like you aren’t quite in the conversation or you can’t quite connect.  For me I need to navigate language (even though my Spanish is great), and cultural differences on a daily basis.

        I can’t count the times that I’ve gone out for dinner with a group of friends and suddenly found myself sitting there looking at the table, or pretending to dig into my purse for something, or drinking my drink a bit too quickly because I felt like a total outsider.  It could be anything, but once you find yourself feeling outside the conversation it’s hard to get yourself back into it.

        So what about your members; What are they expecting from your community? Are they feeling alone in there?

        One of the common mistakes that community hosts make that can lead to this is focusing their groups 100% on their topic.  

        • If you help Etsy sellers make more sales from their shops…it’s Etsy 24/7.
        • If you help Fashion Designers freelance or get jobs…it’s all about Fashion Design day in and day out.

        While the majority of your community posts, content and engagement will circle around the subject matter you’re focused on, you’re turning away engagement opportunities when you don’t create space for members to discover uncommon commonalities.

        What are uncommon commonalities?

        I heard this expression for the first time from Jayson Gaignard, the founder of Mastermind Talks and the Community Made podcast and I can’t get enough of this concept.

        Basically, it’s the idea that people connect easily on random similarities that are not common to the group as a whole.

        Imagine you host a mastermind dinner and two of the guests both love salsa dancing… BOOM uncommon commonality in da’house.

        It’s like a fast tract to connection, and allows people who might be feeling “alone in the crowded room” to reach out and feel more connected.  

        How do you facilitate uncommon commonalities?

        Well…you simply create opportunities to focus on something that ISN’T related to your subject matter.

        Good examples of this are pets, food, sports, travel, etc.  Anything that is universal.

        A great example is what Jenni Waldrop started doing after she learnt this concept in my beta program.  She noticed that her members like to talk about their pets periodically, so she started featuring her cats in posts and used them as a theme.  OMG…people can’t get enough of her cats!

        Screenshot 2018 11 28 at 15.51.20

        Her members LOVE to talk about their pets and by bringing in her cats she’s opening space for members to connect about something totally unrelated to Etsy shops.  They even started sharing pet photos on Fridays!

        Be an expert of feeling lonely.

        Now, earlier I said that I considered myself a “feeling lonely” expert and that I see that as an asset when it comes to community.  With all the moving and new kid moments, I’ve been lonely for most of my life.  That’s why I’m so drawn to helping leaders build outstanding communities for their memberships.

        In all honestly, the only time I didn’t feel lonely was when I hung out with my Dad.  He was my ultimate one man community; a space where I could

        • talk about anything,
        • laugh and be myself,
        • be with someone who got me (and was just as weird as I was),
        • get great advice in the form of stories and jokes, and
        • dream bigger than I ever though possible
        • be ME.  

        The sad part of this story, is that he’s no longer here.  He passed away on Dec 29th 2016 after over 10 years of Alzheimer’s slowly taking him away from us.  When I think about it though, losing my Dad has shown me the importance of community.  It has also given me the opportunity to step into his shoes and be that person for you.  To bring together a community of membership community hosts, so you can laugh, share and grow with other people just like you…as you provide the same for your members.

        So whenever you find yourself struggling to engage your community, take a moment to focus on loneliness and how your members might be struggling with it too.  Then brainstorm fun ways that you could punch that loneliness {lovingly} in the face.

        As you can tell, I love to write word-babies about membership communities on my blog for you, and I send out emails word-babies too.  If you want to learn more about membership communities via email {and eat up more GIF magic}.  Sign up below, and I’ll send you the PDF version of my 2 word-teens…my ultimate guides!

        Facebook vs Mighty Networks:
        Scared To Choose The Wrong Platform For Your Membership Community?

        Facebook vs Mighty Networks:
        Scared To Choose The Wrong Platform For Your Membership Community?

        If you’re like me, or any of my clients.  You’ve got membership platforms on the brain!

        November 22nd was my birthday {I’m 36 years young dawg} and the day before that, I had a strategy session with my good friend Primoz Bozic.

        You see, he’s running a beta program at the moment and in a couple months he’ll be relaunching it as a membership…which will include a community {of course}, and he wanted to get some insights on several doubts he was having about the community component.


        {Cue Diana rubbing her hands together…muahahaha!}

        We jammed for an hour and dug into all of his questions, concerns and doubts {I felt like Serena Williams returning ma As to his Qs over the net…pow…pow…pow!}

        Like you, Primoz needed to decide where his soon to be membership community would live.  That was one of his biggest doubts actually.

        Platform choice. {alongside other things like how to onboard, how to not make this a full time job for himself and what to even name his community to create the right vibe.}

        Rather than just sum up what we talked about, I asked him if I could share part of our call with you and he gave me the green light.  You get to be a fly on the wall {bzzzzz}.  Not only will you get to hear what my initial thoughts on Facebook and Mighty Networks are, you can learn the right Qs to ask yourself to make the best platform decision for you and your members.

        Sound good?  

        Damn right it does!  {High-ho silver…away!}

        Listen in:  What platform should I use for my membership community?

        DIANA:

        There’s something about Facebook, it’s just always there, like I don’t have to think about it. I just pop on and – oh look- I’m in this program with Gladys Ato. I’ll just jump into the community and take a look.

        So there’s always that draw. I think with Mighty Networks they probably have some sort of system with emails or maybe there’s an app on your phone.

        I would say though, no matter what you do, you can change it. 

        So for example, if you start on Facebook, you can always switch.

        Yes it would be a pain in the ass but you’re not going to be locked into something from the beginning.

        So, you can just continue, like you’ve done with your Beta well then you do your membership Beta like that too.  That’s what I’m doing, it’s a six month test, right?

        It’s a six month membership so I can test it all and get into a rhythm and then, if after six months it’s a shit show. Okay. I set it up another way. But if it’s okay then we just keep moving forward.

        So you could even think of something like that as well. Have a timeframe where you say that this is eventually going to be a membership, but right now it’s a six month program. You test it out, you see how it works and it’s a low investment. It really isn’t that much work once you actually set everything up and you have people in there.

        And then if it’s a fucking shit show and people say, “I don’t like this” or people are complaining, I really don’t think most people are going to complain because people are just used to it. But if that does happen, then you can explore and do something else.

        Or you can just test it and go straight into Mighty Networks. I mean for me though, I don’t have experience with Mighty Networks.

        PRIMOZ:

        There’s always pros and cons right.  I think WhatsApp is great when it’s small and intimate and in the future it would not be a great option. I think it’s great for Top Performers Club (TPC) it can work for Betas but for a big membership. I almost don’t want to do it. It’s great though because I can answer questions and things like that, but again, I don’t want that to be the case with this membership.

        Facebook, I fucking hate Facebook.

        If Selena’s mastermind was on WhatsApp, I would love it so much more. I hate it. I never go into the Facebook group. I don’t want to waste time on Facebook and I’m not on Facebook almost at all.

        I’m worried because I get addicted to Facebook and scrolling really quickly.  I don’t want to be on Facebook. And some people specifically said in the writing program that they love that it’s not on Facebook but I don’t know. I just feel like,

        “Yes, Facebook is already out there. Do I want to be in it?”  I dunno.

        {Great fucking question Primoz…right Mr. Fly on the wall?!}

        DIANA: 

        I think that that’s really important though too. Always looking at it from both sides. If this is a membership and this is going to be where you’re spending a lot of time. If you don’t like Facebook, you are setting yourself up or your team or whoever to be in there.

        PRIMOZ:

        On the other hand with Mighty Networks it feels like it’s a new platform and my biggest concern is it’s just another thing that we will have to set up and, it isn’t just there and we’ll have to pull people in and remind them and they’re going to have to get used to using it. There’s all of that shit come in with that.

        DIANA: 

        Perfect example actually because I do know of Mighty Networks because I signed up for this yoga program. She has a Facebook group and she also has a Mighty Networks area and I’ve never used the Mighty Networks area because I just go into Facebook and I don’t know if they just didn’t really push it or I’m actually going to go in and explore it because I’m a member so I can take a look at it and see what it’s like.

        But that, that is something I have concerns of, okay, Facebook. I mean it’s there and it’s easy and you just set it up and it works, this sort of thing. But then the negatives of it, like you’ve said, it’s kind of addictive. It’s big brother. You don’t really know what they’re going to do. They might change everything on us; there’s a lot of uncertainty,

        And it could be a dead-zone in Facebook.

        That’s the thing too. I don’t think yours would ever be a dead zone though. I wouldn’t let that happen.  You know what we’ve gone through in the beta program and everything. It’s never going to be a dead-zone for you. Even if you tried. I’m pretty sure it would never be a dead-zone.

        But I think with Mighty Networks it could have potential but you would really have to figure out ways to make it super easy to understand everything.

        So maybe you could make on-boarding videos where you jam on it and say, hey guys, it’s Mighty Networks and also sell the fact that you’re not on Facebook. So just bury Facebook, like fuck Facebook, we’re on Mighty Networks and you tell them why, you sell it, right? You say, I specifically took us here because…

        And you list out the shitload of reasons why you know, because you’re going to waste your time, you’re not going to be writing as much. You’re not gonna be as productive. Yes. This place may not be as addictive because it’s not. But you’re actually gonna have a place to form good relationships, connect with people and also get more stuff done so you could sell it that way. And I think that with you, if you did videos on that, short little sort of like on-boarding videos and walking through how it works. I think that that will work.

        So for example, actually right now I just got access to the Youpreneur academy. I signed up, I logged in and I was like fuck, what do I do? It’s a membership page and it’s got community and courses and this and I’m just like, I have no idea what I’m supposed to do right now.

        So I feel like that’s what people are probably going to do when they go into Mighty networks.

        They’re gonna be like, Shit, what do I do? And as long as you have something that’s like, I’ve got you start here, right? Like this is not Facebook come with me, you know? And just walk them through it and have fun with it, you are going to have your personality or even this is the thing too because like your personality is very different than mine.

        I think you should own it and be like the no bullshit, we’re not on Facebook. Here’s why. Let’s fucking look at this. Here’s how it works. This is how it’s gonna help you be more efficient, more productive. But talk about it like you would talk about it if you were taught and that’s the thing.

        Like I think just doing that would probably eliminate half of the issues of people being, well I don’t know what to do or I’m not really sure how to use it. And you create a system where you say, okay guys, now add this in your calendar because this place is not sticky as fuck. It’s not like that and you can sell it that way.

        It’s not addictive. Facebook is addictive and that’s why we’re not there. So I’ve sacrificed that so that we can be on this platform. So here’s how we can make it actually add to your life, put it in your calendar, you know, do this setup, whatever the calls are like have your systems or like maybe there’s like a notification thing where it’s like they’ll get notifications from certain things. 

        You can even explain it and say, Hey guys, I’ve set it up so you’re going to get a notification whenever somebody replies to a post that you get or you know, something like this just so that it’s almost like you’re selling it in a way.

        Because if for example, with this academy, if I go in and then there’s this little video I have to watch and it explains,

        hey guys, we’re not on Facebook. It’s a forum actually. It’s like a forum built into their website for this academy and I’m looking at it and I’m just like, I’m used to Facebook and I don’t really know what to do, but if they had and it looks like they have some sort of roadmap,

        you need to fucking roadmap a fun video, bite sized bullet roadmap to sell this platform and make it super easy and just be like, yeah, I love the fact that he did that. He’s looking out for me. He cares about me. These people are going to be awesome. It’s going to be easier. You just have to basically sell people on it and if you do that then it kind of gets that space where you think..

        Okay, cool. This is different, but it’s better. Let’s go kind of explore it and I think that if you’ve got those founding members, you’re going to iron out all the kinks, right? And you’re going to figure out what works and what doesn’t, and then when you start bringing new people in, they’ll see what other people are doing and they’ll just do it and you’ll have those systems in on-boarding. I think that’s going to be really important.

        I’m going to tell you, I’m gonna be honest. Like there definitely seems to be this feeling that people are moving away from Facebook but not quickly it feels like this slow pull to finding other options just because people, they’re not really happy with, you know, what Facebook is doing or all these leaks of information and this sort of thing. It just feels like there’s a slow pull.

        So I mean if you can figure out how to make that work now, then you don’t even have to worry about it.

        It’s a hard decision though because there are definitely pros and cons for both. But ultimately I would ask myself from different perspectives.

        So I’d say how do I feel, pretend:

        Okay, we’re going to Facebook, how do you feel?

        Okay, we’re going with Mighty Networks. How do you feel?

        And then also kind of imagine in your head what people are going to think and think about the objections.

        So whatever objections people have for Facebook, you’re going to sell them on it.

        Whatever people have objections for Mighty Networks, you’re going to sell them on it.

        PRIMOZ:

        So that sounds good.

        DIANA: 

        So that’s with your platform, I would say, other than that, I totally agree, WhatsApp? You could have WhatsApp or voxer for a higher tier support, so you might have like this inner circle of people that get a WhatsApp group.

        PRIMOZ:

        Oh cool, that’s smart!

        DIANA: 

        Right…

        Ok Mr. Fly on the wall.  We’re going to leave Mr P and D alone to finish jamming on Primoz’s membership community.  

        Fun fact:  Diana helped Primoz come up with a badass name/theme for the membership, touched on a retreat idea and helped him envision what the community would be and do for his members.

        What about you?  Facebook or Mighty Networks?

        It’s interesting to learn what you don’t know.  

        Until my birthday, I was perfectly fine with creating a Facebook group for my coming membership.  It was just a given.  I mean, that’s what I’ve had the most experience with for the past 3 years.  But little by little I started to question that choice.

        You see, one of my clients Heidi is creating a membership for her peeps…and she’ll be launching in the new year.  When we hopped on our first call together…she told me (confidently) that she was going to build on Mighty Networks.

        Now…you might be wondering what you should be thinking about when it comes to platforms, and the first thing to know is that the fundamentals and foundation of community are all the same.  It doesn’t matter if you’re on Facebook, Whatsapp, Mighty Networks or hosting a dinner party in your back yard.  Humans are humans.  As long as you are bringing together a certain group of people (with shared struggles) and thinking about how they want to feel…and creating space and opportunities for them to feel those emotions and connect with each-other…you’ll be golden (easier said than done often times though).

        I was curious to learn more about MM after 2 of my clients brought it up as their choice for community building, and as luck would have it Gina Bianchini (the CEO of Mighty Networks) sat down with Sai Hossain the founder {and janitor} at Crowcast on Nov 21st to jam about the future of social media and community building.

        Screen Shot 2018 11 23 at 11.29.53
        Listen, watch and explode your mind here.

        So I lit my “LOVE RULES” candle, and hit play on their conversation.  

        Love candle
        Yes that’s a pink sequin flask behind my love candle.  Don’t judge.

        Now you might not have time to sit down for an hour and listen to them jam, but I wanted to pull my biggest takeaways from that talk and also help you focus on asking better questions around platforms to help you make an informed decision.

        Also, I thought I would learn a bit more about MM and how it worked.  I didn’t realise I would fundamentally change my opinion on community platform choice.  Wow.

        The first thing I noticed was the audience that Gina and Mighty Networks serves. She said that they serve:

        “Everyday leaders, who raise their hand to bring people together”.

        Fuck me…I have chills.  That’s ME…and that’s my clients!  We are everyday leaders who are putting their hands up in the air to bring people together.


        Put your hands up in the air…put your hands up in the air.

        Didn’t Primoz and I just talk about this too?  About how addictive Facebook is, the scrolling, the noise of is.  He also touched on the idea of making a conscious decision to NOT build on Facebook and provide a space for his members to connect with each other.  To raise their hand and take his members somewhere safe!

        Tell me more Gina…tell.me.more.

        Gina touched on the social media side of things and spoke about Facebook specifically.  She talked about how the Facebook era is over but not in a “Facebook is going to disappear tomorrow” kind of way {she ain’t no dummy}.

        Gina highlighted the fact that for the longest time Facebook has just been inevitable; the unmovable thing (how I felt about it before writing this article).  It was the default and a given, but searchers and seekers are looking for new ways to better bring people together.

        It makes total sense too.  She clarifies that there is no Facebook killer but that the masses will simply quietly spend less and less time on Facebook. I’ve seen this a lot, where friends will shut down their FB accounts and tell me to reach out via phone.  People have better things to do than get sucked into scrolling for days in a Facebook feed…that doesn’t even really show people what is actually happening…algorithm.

        It’s like a friend who calls you less and less and then months or years down the road you realise that they aren’t really your friend anymore.  There isn’t a moment when it’s over…it’s simply a slow progression.

        Want another analogy?  Gina served up a great way of thinking about it.

        Facebook is like junk food.  People love it, want it and want more of it, but there is a shift happening to healthy eating, organic and green.  Mighty Networks is a part of the healthy eating movement.

        Other juicy tips and suggestions that are going to blow your community building mind…straight from Gina’s boca {that’s mouth in Spanish dude}.

        You must establish the benefits or the value proposition (aka expectations) from the beginning.

        According to Gina, your community is here to allow your members to:

        1. Meet other people like you; following the same path.  (They need to have a goal or issue in common).
        2. It’s to get answers to questions that don’t have easy and obvious answers; stuff you can’t Google easily. (We need to go a step further than Google folks).
        3. Seek to create an environment where people share stories and experiences…not advice.  (We need to create a space for sharing experiences and perspectives, rather than a glorified Q&A fest.)

        Note: Advice shuts a conversation down, whereas sharing a story or experience opens it up.

        This is such a great point and Heidi actually made a huge realisation about this after starting to work with me.

        Community and Coaching are NOT one and of the same…and in some cases coaching can hurt community.  If you are focusing on how you can show up for your members…you’re ignoring #1 and #3.  This isn’t about what YOU can do for them.  This is about how you can help them be there for each other.

        Another mic drop moment from Gina was around optimisation and features.

        “Premature optimisation is the killer of so many ideas.  Go into it with an open mind, curiously and test it.  Stay focused on bringing people together.  Don’t focus on features, focus on your invite list.  What matters is the people at the party and their openness to sharing their story and their willingness to connect.  A party sucks, awkwardly not talking to anyone or only talking to the people you showed up with.  Don’t focus on the ice sculpture, if you’re hosting a party.”

        And Gina landed the Creatorcast interview plane with the following quote:

        “It’s more important to just go for it, it’s more important to experiment and when it comes to people, connecting them and experimenting with how they want to connect and how you want to show up in the world as a connector is the most important thing.”

        -Gina Bianchini, CEO of Mighty Networks

        So my friend…Facebook or MightyNetworks?? (or any platform where you control the community without the noise).

        There isn’t a right or wrong answer here…but there is an answer that makes you feel good.  That makes you feel proud of what you’re creating for your members and what makes you feel excited to dive in and facilitate them.

        What some questions to help tease out an answer?  Here you go.

        1. Do you hate “fucking” Facebook like Primoz?
        2. Do you want to create a space where your members can focus, get work done and be productive?  
        3. Are you ok with the fact that you don’t own your community on FB, and they could shut down your group, your account or change the rules in the blink of an eye and your entire membership would be dead?
        4. Do you want to be able to communicate easily with your members as a group (broadcast messages and updates) or via PM?
        5. Are you comfortable working with technology and different applications?
        6. Are you willing to double down on your on-boarding and introductory content to compensate for not being on “sticky AF” Facebook?
        7. What would be more fun for YOU or your team member owning community?
        8. Which platform would support your members achieving their goals and connecting with others more easily?

        What membership are you about to launch and which platform are you going to use for your community?  

        For those of you with an existing membership community, on Facebook or a different platform (Mighty Networks, forum etc)…are you happy with your decision?  If you could go back and set it up all over again from scratch would you change anything?

        Let me know, in the comments beloooooow.  🙂

        Wanna get even more juicy insights, articles and GIF magic on membership communities? 

        Sign up for email updates from moi and I’ll send my word-babies you way, and I’ll also shoot you the PDF versions of my ultimate guides to building an online community and engaging your members.

        My Honest and Fun Review of Selena Soo’s
        Impacting Millions Program

        My Honest and Fun Review of Selena Soo’s
        Impacting Millions Program

        If you discovered this post by asking Big G (Google) for a Review of Selena Soo’s Impacting Millions program then fasten your seatbelt, slip on your shades and let’s ride my friend.

        I joined Impacting Millions during the 2017 launch and I was surprised at what I actually signed up for.  More on that in a minute.

        Continue Reading
        Case Study: An in depth review of Selena Soo’s Impacting Millions Community and how you can assess the foundation of your Facebook Group

        Case Study: An in depth review of Selena Soo’s Impacting Millions Community and how you can assess the foundation of your Facebook Group

        Case Study:  An In-Depth Audit of Selena Soo’s Impacting Millions Community: 
        How to assess the 4 foundations of your Facebook Group.

        Alrighty folks, you want to get a backstage pass to one of the best online course communities I’ve ever been a member of?

        Saddle up for this exclusive behind the scenes look at the Impacting Millions community.  I’ll be rolling up my sleeves and showing you how to really maximize your own Facebook group through example.

        Check out this 30 minute video audit here:

         

        Also, if you want to learn more about getting publicity, I would highly recommend joining Selena’s once a year live training happening TODAY, Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th of March 2018,

        FROM “BEST-KEPT SECRET” TO INDUSTRY LEADER:
        Get the 3 Publicity Secrets to Multiply Your Revenue,
        Reach More People, and Change the World.  

        Get your spot here.  There are limited times available and she only does this once a year.


         

        Now, back to the audit.  If you’d prefer to read it, then I transcribed the video below. Enjoy.

        How to Review or Audit a Facebook Group

        00:02          Hey Everybody, this is Diana Tower and I would love to take a minute to show you what a successful and engaged facebook group can look like, but also I wanted to take a look at one that already exists.

        So we’re going to be looking at Selena Soo’s Impacting Millions course community, and we’re going to be looking at this for a couple of reasons.

        Screen Shot 2018 03 06 at 15.58.42

        A, it’s going to show you what the setup can look like to give you an idea of what to sort of aspire for with your communities.

        B, we’re going to take a look at some things that maybe they could do a little bit better, so you can learn and improve your group as well.

         #1 Assess Your Cover Image

        pasted image 0

        00:45          So, as you can see here, the first thing that you’re going to notice with a Facebook group is the image. And actually Selena just redid her logo this year. So this is different from when I first joined the community. Absolutely love it.

        Ask yourself 2 things about your image:

        01:00          #1 Do you know what the course is?  The main thing that you want is to obviously identify what course this community is going with (so including the name clearly is a must).

        01:11          #2.  How does the image make your members FEEL?  So when I look at this and the goal, it feels almost like sparkly and magical, but also very kind of, elite, almost expensive like quality. There’s a definite feel of elite quality that’s being represented here and that’s what, you want people to feel depending on the type of course that you’re offering.

        So with Impacting Millions Selena Soo is helping entrepreneurs with their publicity, getting media, getting guest posting opportunities, podcasting, podcasting opportunities, and getting on even in magazines and television.

        01:54          The feel here that I’m getting is that it’s very, prestigious and elite and professional. And so in terms of this image, it really nails it.

        So what can you do when you’re setting up your course community?

        You want to make sure that this image is triggering emotions that you want your members to feel. So for example, here, this is Allon’s group for his course FOCUS like a World Class Athlete. And his course is all about focus and so he wanted to create this community as a place for people to be held accountable to check in, but also focusing.

        And so take a look at his choice of photo. So first of all, you’ll notice that the name of the course is prominent and it’s not cut off, it’s not fuzzy, it’s very clear.

        pasted image 0 1

        02:48          The size of the image is correct and also it makes you feel like you’re sitting down and you’re having a cup of coffee and you’re getting to work. It’s very calming and focused and it makes you kind of feel like , maybe you’re getting together with someone for coffee, to talk about your work, this sort of thing. And that’s the feel that he wants to have there as well.

        So that’s the first thing. Make sure your image is triggering the right emotions.

        #2:  Group Description

        Screen Shot 2018 03 06 at 16.02.12

        03:14          Second thing that we look at is the description. So you go in here and what do you do with the description? Some people maybe aren’t sure what to do with the description and in the case of impacting millions, there isn’t actually a description. So they decided or chose not to include it a description.

        Why is a group description important and worth having?

        03:38          I would highly recommend that you do for a couple of reasons.

        First of all, it’s an additional piece of real estate or a place where people can get information about the group.  It’s a great opportunity to welcome people into the course – identifying the course again – but then also saying what this place is like, what is it for, how are you going to feel here?

        Again, focusing on the emotions that you want people to feel like this is a safe space or this is a place to get shit done or this kind of thing. So it’s an opportunity to trigger those emotions as well.

        Also you can add a little bit of housekeeping or guidelines. So if you haven’t got guidelines, which you definitely should, we’re going to get to that in a second. You could have quick guidelines right here.

        04:27          So notice, you can ask questions, stay focused. One other thing that I would actually highly recommend as well if you want to promote your course a little bit is adding a link to your sales page or wait list.

        Now this is the first time that Allon has launched his course, so this is fine, but in the future you can say that this is a community specifically for these paying clients. If you’d like to join, you can pop a link to your sales page or your waiting list.

        Okay. So that’s an opportunity to use the description as a way to promote your course if someone happens just to find it. So like I said, impacting millions doesn’t have a description. I would highly recommend that they add one. That way you are making full use of the real estate that you have in the community.

        05:19          So you’ve got your cover image, you’ve got your description, what’s next?

        #3 – The Pinned Post

        Screen Shot 2018 03 06 at 16.03.24

        05:26          What’s a pin post a just in case you’re not sure? It’s the post that is pinned or stuck to the top of the wall. Because the wall is constantly moving. It’s about, who last, posted or commented. So it’s not prioritised or in chronological order. It’s by the most recently active comment or post.

        05:56          But this one post is static and now you’ll see here that Selena, has posted an update to the guidelines.

        So a little bit of backstory on this; this is actually a really great approach to dealing with a situation. So a Facebook group guideline about promoting other courses and programs and events in the group. So Selena jumped in here and she’s pinned this post because she’s realised that their community guidelines may have been unclear.

        06:24          This is fantastic. It’s also a really great example of why you need to have clear guidelines right from the beginning because if you have clear guidelines in place at the beginning, you can avoid having to put these update posts in.

        This is great because it’s obviously an issue that they wanted to deal with. Also the way that they talk about, the situation is fantastic. It’s very respectful. You’ll notice that it’s also very encouraging.

        The language that she uses and triggering emotions. It’s not to make people feel bad, it’s not super negative, it’s quite encouraging. But it’s also firm, because they obviously don’t want other courses being promoted in the group, because this is a course specific group.

        So this is fantastic. Now, the only issue with this is that when new people come into this program, if this is the first post that they see, it’s good because it’s clarifying, but it doesn’t actually provide information on what they should be doing first.

        07:33          And that’s actually what I would highly recommend anybody do, when you have a pinned post, you want that to be the welcome and getting started thread or “what do I do first thread?”, for people that are coming in and they’re not really sure what to do.

        You want to make sure that they get information as soon as possible so that they can actually interact appropriately in your group. So then you don’t have to go and say, well actually you need to go do this here or changing things or sending messages.

        You’re going to reduce the amount of policing that you have in your community. So for example, with Allon’s group we set up a welcome and how to get started thread that invites people to create a new post, and introduce themselves. We actually gave everybody a template as well to make it super easy, copy and paste, and then encourage people to connect with others.

        Screen Shot 2018 03 06 at 16.04.25

        08:24          You’ll also notice here as well that we added a quick links section, which I would highly recommend. Like I said before, Facebook is scrolling, right? How do people keep track of things? How are they going to find the important posts that you want them to find?

        By putting a kind of directory. Like a link directory in the pinned post because the pin post is always going to be there, right?

        So in this case in his program, it’s a five week program. There’s five live calls on a weekly basis. And so what we’ve done here is we’ve set it up so that they can add a link to each of the threads you’ll see here, after each call Allon invites the members to share their biggest takeaway and also to share what they’re going to be working on this week and their powerblocks.

        09:18          That is a great way to get people to post and share and sort of check in. You’ll also see as well that at the very bottom that there’s the member introduction directory. And this is actually something that I set up in a Facebook doc.

        Screen Shot 2018 03 06 at 16 05 08

        So this is a Facebook, document that you can jump in. You could create your guidelines and put them in here, or you can create a check-in doc like this. So for example, each member has their own specific link to go to their introduction. So it’s a really easy way to find their threads. They don’t have to be scrolling to find their thread. They just come in, click it, boom, post an update, and they get out.

        10:10          Especially because this course is specifically focused on focus. They want to be focused, they don’t want to be scrolling for days. So that is something to keep in mind.

        Now this is also the idea of updating a pinned post, like in this situation here, they’re dealing with the fact that they want people to change their habits. This is totally reasonable and valid. The only thing I would recommend is adding the quick links list at the bottom.

        For example, here’s a link to the guidelines or here’s a link to the welcome thread if that’s what you’ve set up in your group. So that’s the only thing that I would recommend doing there.

        #4 Welcome Thread

        This is how Selena kicked off the program, posting your intro on one thread. Comparing this to Allon’s group, where they introduce themselves on their own thread, you’re going to get to see two options.

        Screen Shot 2018 03 06 at 16 06 02

        Here’s the, the one thread version versus separate introductions per person. So let’s take a look and I can explain the benefits and drawbacks of each one.

        10:58          So you can see here, super clear, very welcoming including the guidelines. So this would be at the very beginning of the course when it launches. This would be the pinned post. So people come in thinking  “what do I do? Oh, introduce myself on this thread.”

        She gives people two things that you want them to do right away. So this is fantastic. Introduce yourself and read the guidelines. She also gets asked people to like the posts.

        This is a great idea, although a lot of people might not do that. Then introduce you in yourself in the thread.

        So what’s your business also feel free to post a photo and a link to your website with your intro says interesting. So it’s also giving people the opportunity to introduce themselves, a taste of self promotion because a lot of people, especially in the entrepreneur area, like to just show a link to their website and you can see like a lot of people who have posted so a 144 comments, so a lot of people are introducing themselves.

        13:06          One thing I did want to mention as well, I’ll be fuzzing out, all of the comments directly, to respect people’s privacy, but you’ll notice or I can see here that Selena actually jumps in and she personally welcomes every single person.

        I’m looking at all these threads and there is actually a written welcome from Selena and it’s not a copy and paste template. It’s specific, it’s unique, it’s different, it makes people feel probably incredibly special.

        I know for myself that I felt really like, wow, Selena is messaging me, which is fantastic.

        Definitely there are positives to that, but it also creates this idea that Selena is highly involved in the community, which down the line could create a situation where maybe, she can’t be in the community all the time.

        I’m sure she’s very busy. She has other things to be doing. I remember a different situation, a couple of months into the program, they had to do another announcement post. This was two months into the program. So talking about tagging Selena in the Facebook group. Again, this is such a fantastic way to express a situation that they want to change.

        Screen Shot 2018 03 06 at 16 07 07

        13:06          So the community manager went ahead and she posted this update post. This was pinned for awhile and it talks about tagging Selena in the Facebook group. So take a minute and look at the language that she’s using here.

        So you can see here we’ve been so impressed with how active you are. We want to remind you what is said in the community guidelines. It’s best for you to post questions to the entire group and not just Selena as an individual. Great. Right?

        So we’re reminding people the guidelines. So now also here, we’re informing everyone. Selena is active in the group on a daily basis, will be commenting on select posts, but with hundreds of students in the program, she’s simply won’t be able to answer every question asked in the group or review every media or bio pitch.

        16:23          Seems totally reasonable, right? Since she already reads every post, which is awesome, also notice how it’s like it’s reassuring. It’s like Selena is here, she’s reading everything and then it’s a very nice ask. We ask that going forward. You do not tag her directly in your posts, right?

        So it’s very clear, but it’s also very nice, right?

        It’s not in a bad way, it’s not negative. Now notice they continue. We love watching you take massive action and we love cheering you on. Please continue posting in the group as it keeps our community alive and vibrant.

        And notice the feels. It makes me feel like I want to be a part of this. Also more emotions. So we also want to thank and acknowledge those of you who’ve been helping others in the community.

        Okay, so now we got gratitude coming in. So they’re triggering gratitude. They’re triggering appreciation that this is a very well written post in terms of the emotions that are triggering to make people feel good while telling them to not do something right. They could come in and just been like, hey guys, stop tagging Selena.

        18:01          Notice again, “it makes us so happy to see fellow insider’s answer each other’s questions”, notice that they are praising the helpers and what’s that gonna do?

        It’s gonna. Make those helpers feel even more special. And what’s that gonna do? It’s gonna get them to help more because they want to be acknowledged again. So there’s this idea of gratitude, acknowledging appreciation, like even just joy. So there’s a lot of emotions going on here and it’s so fundamental to the functioning of this community.

        We also want to remind you that after we finished our six core modules will be having media mentors, so a little bit of information, and then again please like, or comment on this post we know you’ve read and understand it. Fantastic.

        So this is a perfect example again of a post where they’re trying to get people to stop doing something or changing a behaviour.

        19:01          So normally what we wanna do is we want to set guidelines so that this stuff doesn’t happen so that you will be able to set your guidelines and then it’s like, all right, people will just follow the guidelines and you won’t have to do these kind of updating posts, but this is the thing as well.

        You’re learning as you go. So you set up your community, you’re going to see what people are doing and what the tendency is and then you can deliver one of these posts where it’s triggering the emotions you want your members to feel, but also informing them of how you want them to change their behaviour. So speaking of guidelines, we’re going to take a look at those right now. They are in the file section.

         #4 Community Guidelines

        Screen Shot 2018 03 06 at 16.08.12

        19:50          First of all, you’ll notice that they’re in a Facebook doc, which I actually highly recommend. It looks really clean and it’s very easy to read. You can just go through and it’s very easy to create as well.

        So actually here’s a very quick tutorial while we’re here, if you want to create a file for your group, but you’re not in this file section.  Until you make a file, this file section doesn’t show up.

        So imagine you’re in your group and you’re thinking, “okay, how do I make a file?”

        Well, what you’re actually going to do is click here and click add file.

        Screen Shot 2018 03 06 at 16.08.53

        Okay? And you just click it and it’ll take you to the file section.

        So with the community guidelines, what you’ll notice is it’s very clear, it’s very easy to understand and the first thing they kick off is welcoming people in.  Remember this idea of emotions, making people feel good, making people feel welcome and important, all of these emotions are addressed in the guidelines, but they are also establishing what this group is here for.

        20:54          Okay? So what do we do here? What do we not do here? Notice it’s to get support with this coursework. To cheer people on, share publicity opportunities and get feedback and discuss best practices.

        So it’s all about the course. So even by saying this, this is what the group is here for, there is this silent voice that is saying everything else is not welcome. But in a really nice way.

        Here’s what you can expect from me, Selena. This is super important.  You need to tell people what to expect from you as the host, and this is something that people don’t do.

        Screen Shot 2018 03 06 at 16.09.37

        This is basically guidelines for yourself. How much time are you going to be involved in your community? How much are you going to be, you know, how are you going to be involved?

        21:46          Are you going to be answering questions? Are you going to be encouraging people? Are you going to be connecting? What can people expect from you?

        So for example, with Selena, they could actually add in something here about not tagging her. Well actually they’ve already got it noted. But I didn’t notice it, right?

        So right here I’ll be personally reviewing all posts in this group, but I asked you, do not tag me in every post.

        This I would actually make a little bit more prominent. So even notice what I was going to say before I was going to bring up the whole tagging?

        “oh, she should add it here, but it already is here.” And probably a lot of people skip it or don’t notice it. So even something as simple as, I’m excited to lead this group and get to know you all. I’ll be personally, reviewing all posts in this group. I do ask that you do not tag me in every post or even something a little stronger, like even just saying don’t tag me. That’s pretty harsh, right? It feels like there’s no wiggle room.

        23:01          But even saying do not tag me in every post it, it leaves this gap of well, what, what does she mean by that? Like what does she mean by every post? Um, what is appropriate? What isn’t? So what you could say, for example, when I ask that you, use discretion when, when tagging me in your posts, or try not to tag me in every single one of your posts. Maybe save that for a specific type of post.

        23:35          And even when you say that, so for example, save it for your questions. Don’t do that because we don’t want people questioning Selena directly, right? And for yourself. So I would say that this part here could be a little bit stronger. Even making it bold I think would make it better.

        So I’ll be personally reviewing all post in this group, but I ask that you do not tag me in every post. This is really awesome. So she talks about, it’s basically emphasising the connection of people. So to give you guys some ideas, for guidelines, the main things are

        A to establish what this community is for

        B, what is and is not appropriate in the community.

        C also giving people examples of how to interact. So for example, if you use a template in terms of titles, maybe adding that in as well.

        24:30          Also just even the way that people interact. So if you don’t want people being really negative, you need to express that in the community guidelines. You’ll notice here, for example, she encourages people to add [WIN] or [QUESTION] at the beginning of the posts,

        I highly recommend this. This is something that Jason Gaignard does and his groups where it’s GIVE, ASK, PRAISE. It’s a fantastic setup. It just makes people aware of what this post is going to be about.

        So it’s like, oh, this is a question, okay.  This is when people can set their mind to that mode.  So if there, if it’s a question, oh, I’m going to try and help this person, if it’s a share, oh, I’m going to support them or encourage them or celebrate with them.

        25:16         So that’s definitely something, you can do as well. You’ll notice that these are very detailed guidelines.

        Now the only thing with this, I will mention this when there is a lot of this going on, like scrolling, people might not read it all and this is a really good point. There is 11 different points here and it’s quite detailed.

        I’m not saying cut down guidelines, but making sure that you really highlight the most important or key guidelines that are going to actually, make a difference is going to be a good idea.

        So for example, you can do a test if you’re writing your own guidelines and you have like 15 different points and you’re thinking, oh my God is way too long. You can ask yourself, okay, if I removed this guideline, would it make more work for me, that’s the first question, or would it create or would it detract from the experience of my members?

        26:14          So for example, this right here, number seven, okay, so do not post any of the following types of promos. webinar links, offer links, registration links etc.  So if you removed this, would it make more work for you and would it detract from the experience of other members?

        A, yes, it would make more work for you or your community manager because they’re going to be deleting posts were explaining to people over and over again, this is inappropriate or it’s self promotion and

        B, it also then creates this noisy self promotional community that other people don’t want to be in, which kills engagement and people stop going to your community.

        So that’s a great way you can kind of look at it if you’re trying to audit your guidelines or you’re trying to assess if they’re good or not.

        27:06          That is a really great example of community guidelines. To recap, what have we looked at?

        We looked at the cover image, we’ve looked at the description, we’ve looked at the pin post, we looked at the welcome threads and we’ve looked at the guidelines as well.

        That is pretty much it. I think that when you’re starting out a community, if you can really nail the fundamentals, like if you really can just step back and say, okay, I did this, this and this.

        They’re triggering the right emotions, I feel comfortable. It’s all set up especially if you do this in advance. If you do this before anybody’s in there, it’s really going to make your life so much easier.

        Also, when you’re doing all this work, if you’re updating the, the description or you’re adding files, this sort of thing, Facebook will start adding updates on your wall. So what you can do is before you even launch, you get everything ready, boo boo boo boo. And then you can delete some of the unnecessary posts, on the wall here.

        Also, so for example, just to give you another example here, you can close commenting, Here, this is a really good point. So notice that in impacting millions, they used one thread, right? For the welcome.

        Screen Shot 2018 03 06 at 16 10 37

        28:37          It was just one thread and everybody posts, you know, 123 comments, all the people, boom, boom, boom, they’re all in one place. Okay? That’s one approach. The next approach is one that, we used an Allon’s group.

        Now Allon’s group is much smaller. This is the first time he’s launched his program. There’ are 24 people. And also this community is focused on being a coaching tool.

        It is providing aspects of community, but it is an extension of coaching so you’ll notice here that he’s inviting people to create a new post to introduce themselves. Why would he do that?

        This is actually a fantastic technique for smaller coaching course groups. What you can do is each person creates their own introduction thread. Let me, let me grab mine.

        29:35          Good. Boom, here is my introductory thread, right? First of all, it’s a place where people can get to know me a little bit better, but then what happens in the comments?

        Screen Shot 2018 03 06 at 16.11.32

        First of all other people can introduce themselves, say hi, this sort of thing, but I am putting all of my updates as I work through that course in my one thread. Okay, and so what happens is every single person is doing the same thing and so it creates this journey or this story of the person when they first started.

        So for example, look at these questions. What’s the number one reason you joined and what do you hope to accomplish from using this program? So you get an idea of where each of your clients is at the very beginning, and then as they go through the program, they post updates in the same thread and so it creates a documented journey of their their progress through the course.

        30:34          Now, this is something that, for example, that Selena Soo could definitely do in impacting millions. The only issue with this is that it’s an existing community and it’s much harder to get everybody to do something that’s new once the community is launched, it’s like the ball is already rolling, but imagine this, just imagine what it would look like.

        So each person would create a new thread to introduce themselves. They would add themselves to the doc, right?

        This check in thread directory, that Allon has going on in his group, and then imagine that every time they get a new podcast opportunity or every time they get a win or every time they’re sharing something new or what they’re struggling with, it’s all in one thread. And so by doing that, it’s a fantastic way to create sort of story.  It gives you the ability to see how well you’re progressing.

        31:28          So it’s great for students. It’s also fantastic for the community host because you can actually create super authentic testimonials from those stories.

        So you can say, hey, Diana started here and this is what happened. And things started a little bit slow, but then she started getting more publicity opportunities.

        Here’s one, here’s another, here’s the next one, and actually show kind of the story of how impacting millions has impacted, that person’s publicity efforts. So it’s definitely an idea.

        Like I said, it’s much harder to get these things started once a community is existing. It’s definitely not impossible. I’m just requires a little bit more policing in terms of the community manager that’s dealing with the community and so that I believe lands it.

        • 32:28          So like I said, so we’ve looked at the importance of the, cover photo

         

        • We looked at the importance of the group description and why you would even have that.
        • We’ve looked at the pinned post and what you should include there and how to make it easier for your members.
        • We’ve looked at two different approaches to welcome threads. One is one thread and the other option is having individual threads for each person.
        • We’ve looked at guidelines and how to assess that and some tips on how to make sure that people actually read them.

        And that’s it. So we’re going to land this plane.

        I think that this is just a fantastic opportunity to really see behind the scenes under the hood of what you can do in the very beginning before you even launch a group, what you can do to really set the foundation so you can do it right and then you don’t have to worry so much about your community and then you can actually enjoy working with your people because you’re not worried about.

        33:27          Making sure that you are just prepared and that you’re creating a vip space for your paying clients.

        Thank you!

        Also I just wanted to take a quick minute to give a huge thank you to Selena Soo and her team for allowing me to take you behind the scenes in this community because it is a private community.

        Huge thank you to you guys and also a big thank you as well to Allon as well who allowed me to share behind the scenes in his community.

        Hopefully this has been useful for you and I would love to know what’s the number one thing that you got from this video?

        What did you not know about communities beforehand and what do you know now or how is this going to impact the way that you set up your own course community for your courses moving forward?

        Got a question?

        34:16          Okay, hope you’re having a great day. We’ll talk to you soon. If you dig this, if you like this, if this was useful, definitely hop on my list.

        Have a fantastic day. Hope you enjoyed this and you found it useful and we’ll talk to you soon. Bye.