The Ultimate Guide to Engaging your Online Community Members

The Ultimate Guide to Engaging your Online Community Members

You want to provide the best community experience for your paying customers, right?

Maybe you’ve set up a new community (on Facebook or Slack), created your FAQ videos, channels and pinned post. You’re feeling confident and excited to get your members in there.

You send out the email with the links to join and wait excitedly to welcome your members in.

Crickets.

Ok ok…it’s only been 10 minutes. We’re ok. Just give it some time.

Now it’s been 24 hours and only a handful of members are engaging. WTF!

Or maybe your community isn’t new. Perhaps your community is already established, but you’ve noticed a dip in engagement.

If you look anything like that meme version of me above, I get it.

It makes my heart race just thinking about digital tumbleweeds rolling through your community BUT it doesn’t need to be this way. There are specific things you can do to evict the tumbleweeds and get your members engaging – WITHOUT taking shit loads of your time and energy!

Now, I love working 1-on-1 with entrepreneurs to pinpoint exactly what’s working, and what needs a bit of TLC, but I also understand that not everyone can hire a Community Strategist; not to mention there is a ceiling on my time as well.

SO, to help as many entrepreneurs as possible, I birthed this this beefy guide. I downloaded my brain just for you; all my Community Management and Strategy savvy brain cells have been sucked out of my coconut and splattered onto digital paper. — Dude…that sounds like a crime scene!

If you’d like to know exactly what we’ll be covering, check out the table of contents below and if you don’t have time to read the whole thing right now (the TOC alone is 3 pages long) then download the PDF version so you can curl up on the sofa later and dig in.

BONUS MATERIAL: Get the FREE PDF.

I’ll also send you BOTH my ultimate guides (and bonus offer spreadsheets and systems) to help you engage the members in your online community.

I promise, you won’t regret it.

Why? Not only will you solve your community engagement woes, you’ll laugh your ass off while you’re at it.

Ready? Let’s do this!

Table of Contents

Introduction — Let’s get on the same page

Chapter 1 — The top 4 mistakes that you’ve probably already made and what to do instead.

Chapter 2 — Is your community keeping you awake at night?

Chapter 3 — Does size really matter?

Chapter 4 — The REAL reason your members aren’t engaging

Chapter 5 — The “Nutella” effect: How to get your members hooked on your community.

Chapter 6 — How to efficiently welcome new members in so they instantly relax and open up

Chapter 7 — What’s YOUR role as the host in your community?

Chapter 8 — How much time each week do you realistically have/need to drive engagement?

Chapter 9 — Is your community platform cock blocking engagement? (Slack and Facebook specific).

Chapter 10 — Why and when “auto posting” tools can be the kiss of death for a community.

Chapter 11 — How to protect your community from self-promotional drama and foster quality conversations and relationships.

Chapter 12 — How to use live coaching to ensure your members complete your course and get massive results worth bragging about.

Chapter 13 — How to KNOW if what you’re doing is actually making an impact.

Chapter 14 — 8 of my engagement techniques that I personally use in client communities.

  1. Find Your Minions
  2. The ‘24hr hold up’ Technique
  3. The ‘Tagging Train’ (choo-choo!) Technique
  4. The ‘Circle Back’ Technique
  5. “More than words” Technique (Memes, GIFs, photos, video)
  6. The ‘Can you do me a favour?’ Technique.
  7. The ‘Just checking in’ Technique
  8. The “Tag in the Troops” Technique.

Chapter 15 — Stop spinning your wheels with random tactics; use THIS plan instead.

Chapter 16 — Wrap up: What you’ve learned and what comes next?

Chapter 17 — FREE BONUSES

Introduction —

Let’s get on the same page

Back to table of contents

What is “engagement” anyway?

Isn’t if funny how we want something – in this case an engaged community- but we can’t decisively say what that looks like or is?

We certainly know when a community is engaged – and sadly when it isn’t *cue the lack of sleep* – but what the heck is engagement?

If you’re looking for ONE definition, you might end up wasting a lot of time on the interwebs; though mother Google serves up this definition from Wikipedia;

“Community engagement refers to the process by which community benefits organizations and individuals build ongoing, permanent relationships for the purpose of applying a collective vision for the benefit of a community.”

Sounds kind of dry. Not to mention how the hell are we supposed to make this applicable to our course communities and paid membership communities?

Kinda feels like trying to mash a star peg into a heart hole.

So I’m going to have to define it for us.

Sound good?

For the purposes of this guide, let’s agree that engagement refers to:

The process of triggering trackable signs (and the presence of those signs) that members of a community are making use of the community, getting value from it, and building relationships with other members. As a result they use (and often complete) the course associated with the community or renew their membership.

Are you with me? Smashing!

Why aren’t we focusing on “free online communities”? (even those this guide will help engage those peeps too)

That’s right my little chickens. We aren’t talking about free Facebook groups or free online communities in this here guide. We are focusing on course communities and paid membership communities.

To be completely honest, I wholeheartedly believe that hosting free Facebook groups is a huge waste of your precious time and energy and they shouldn’t be used to grow your business.

I know there are people out there that disagree with that view. Funny thing is that those peeps usually have some sort of financial gain to you believing free Facebook groups are good for your business.

I mean, some people base their entire business on helping you set up your free Facebook group, so OF COURSE they are going to disagree with me.

Now, if you want to go ahead and create a free group…go right ahead but know that you’re setting it up to fail if you look at it simply as a way to get subscribers and get more clients.

Think about how transactional and superficial that sounds.

“Hey self, I’m-a-gonna go set up this community so I can bring people together and then sell them my shit”.

As a community manager and strategist, I think differently.

Communities are a place for people to gather and connect in terms of a given subject. A community is NOT somewhere for you to jump on your high horse, point the spotlight on your pretty mug and bombard said group with reasons why you’re amazing at what you do, why they should sign up to “THIS will change your life” program you just happen to be offering, and to basically repeat that on a weekly basis.

As amazing as you are, (nice mug too), no one wants to be a part of something that is only about YOU. News flash amigo, it’s all about THEM. So when you use a community as a soapbox…you’ll lose your audience pronto.

So again, I’m not saying that a free Facebook group ISN’T a tool to grow your list, but I am saying that there are better approaches. Free communities take a hell of a lot of time and resources to make them work AND it kind of goes against the community building code.

Repeat after me: I shall not use my community as a platform to simply promote myself.

The time and energy you invest in a free Facebook group would be much better spent writing an ultimate guide (like this beefy beast here), writing epic guest posts on other blogs, – like I’m doing for GrowthLab (Why so many big guns are killing their free Facebook Groups and what that means for your business).- or anything where you go above and beyond.

You might say that you could go above and beyond with a free community, and I’m sure you could, but the time and resources required to do that wouldn’t leave you 10 minutes to drop the kids off at the pool (plop plop).
1ynnrr

So many people have this idea that setting up and running a free community isn’t a big deal, that it’s a great way to grow your list. Now…that may be true…it probably can help you grow your list…but at what cost?

Do you honestly know how much time and energy it is going to take to get that group up and running?  To engage it and police it from the sea of self-promoter, cray-crays, and assholes out there?

The only time where I recommend taking the plunge into the community waters is when there is green on the table folks. That’s right Jerry Maguire. SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Someone needs to put a wad of cash’ola in your hands and in exchange for that wad they get access to a course or coaching program which has a community as well. This applies to memberships as well.

How does an engaged course community help your business?

Just in case you’re not sure why an engaged course community is an asset for your business, think about what it is you want to have happen for your students.

You probably want them to:

  • Work through your course material with ease.
  • Have any and all of their questions and doubts answered quickly and easily (Which you can then use to improve your program for version 2.0).
  • You want them to interact with the course material on a regular consistent basis.
  • You want them to finish the course and get results.

All of this -and more- can be achieved by setting up and fostering an engaged community.

When members know that they are not alone –that their peers get stuck at module 2.5 too– and they can actually support and encourage other students…magic happens.

Your members will feel so many different emotions as a result of being a member of your community. Pride, acceptance, connected, elite, supported, understood, challenged, etc.

The list goes on and on, and these emotions are the strategy that will make or break your community. In this guide you’ll learn how to use those emotions to make your community amazeballs.

Who the heck am I and why did I write this guide?

I wrote this guide to answer the massive number of Qs that A-list entrepreneurs have about this mythical beast called community engagement. So many business owners know the power of community and yet they struggle to set them up, to maintain and grow them and especially to keep their members engaged.

It is my dream to write the be-all-end-all guide to community engagement, and serve it up on a fun to digest platter, just for you. Easy to read and implement, while inducing LOLs throughout.

As for myself, I’m Diana Tower and I’m an Online Community Strategist and community is my bag baby.

Also, when I join an online course, I can’t help myself from adding to the community and helping bring everyone together.

That’s how I landed my first (and biggest) client I, “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” (IWT). I joined Ramit Sethi’s Zero to Launch program to learn how to set up my own online business and as I worked through the material I realized I needed more support and so I joined Accelerator as well for personalized coaching.

I joined the exclusive community and starting doing what I do best…adding value to the community and the company noticed. Within a couple months I was brought on as the Accelerator Community Manager and also one of the Business Coaches.

I’ve also supported other A-list entrepreneurs like Selena Soo, Primoz Bozic, and Tiffany McLain with their course communities.

So if you’re looking to get useful insights with a sprinkle of humour, then this guide is for you.

Read on entrepreneurial badass…

On to the next chapter

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.

006 – How to Confidently Set Up a New Facebook Group for Your Paid Program.

006 – How to Confidently Set Up a New Facebook Group for Your Paid Program.

 Right click here to download this episode to your computer.

Here is a special treat of a solo-episode.  Last week I had the pleasure of helping Allon Khakshouri set up and launch the Facebook group for his new program, “FOCUS like a World Class Athlete”.

Not only did he need to do it in under 24 hours, he was hoping to have his VA do all the work.  That’s when I jumped in to help set things up right.  The first thing we did was have his VA set up the group.  Once it was done they let me into the group as an admin so I could take a look around and roll up my sleeves.  That is what this episode is.  I recorded a video walkthrough of how I audited and assessed the group and so I wanted to share this walkthrough with you.

You can listen in, or watch the video.  It might be easier/better to watch the video as you’ll be able to see what I’m talking about but if you’re driving, feel free to listen in.

== Fascinating people and resources from this episode ==

Allon Khakshouri, High Performance Expert, and Former Manager of World Number One Tennis Player Novak Djokovic

Sign up to get exclusive access to juicy bonuses help you engage your audience.

005 – Meet Nick Wolny; who helps business owners attract more clients and make more revenue.

005 – Meet Nick Wolny; who helps business owners attract more clients and make more revenue.

 Right click here to download this episode to your computer.

Aw yeah!!  It’s finally time to release this hilarious interview with my good friend Nick Wolny.  We did this interview at the end of 2017 and I couldn’t wait to share it.  Not only will you get a some nuggets of gold to help you with your business, you’ll get to know the REAL Nick Wolny…like you’ve never seen him before.  Air French Horn and all.

I knew this was going to be funny but I never imagined this.

Everything from Lululemon, Black swan, french horn, crying in his car and writing long form content like a boss. He also shows us what “the Nick Wolny” dance move looks like and shares his thoughts on sandwiches.  Not to mention he played us out of the episode…with only his mouth!!!

== Useful, Interesting and Fun Moments ==

  • 00:07:37 – Discover the cold heartless side of Nick Wolny.
  • 00:09:07 – Diana kills the romantic story of how Nick chose which instrument to play.
  • 00:09:38 – Where Nick’s black-dead-heart comes from.
  • 00:11:35 – How Nick kills dreams and the Disney “kill-room”.
  • 00:14:02 – What’s Nick’s blended strategy?
  • 00:15:00 – Nick talks about UGS (not the boots).
  • 00:17:06 – What rumour would Nick start about himself?
  • 00:19:00 – What happens to the people in your life when you start something new?
  • 00:21:10 – Why Imposter syndrome shows up?
  • 00:22:10 – Does Nick have everything together?
  • 00:23:40 – Why Nick sometimes cries in his car.
  • 00:28:55 – Why balling hysterically is totally normal in the yoga space.
  • 00:30:21 – The one person Nick wants to add into his group of 5.
  • 00:33:38 – Does Nick ever feel lonely as an entrepreneur?
  • 00:34:37 – The importance of feedback loops.
  • 00:38:24 – The one time when Nick should have taken action in the past but didn’t.
  • 00:47:21 – What’s your dream that is so big that people will think you’re crazy.
  • 00:49:17 – REAL LIFE MOMENT – My husband plays a trick on me and it’s caught on video.
  • 00:51:21 – Nick sacrificed this one thing to be an entrepreneur, did you?
  • 00:53:30 – CONTROVERSIAL SANDWICHES
  • 00:57:38 – Nick has always wanted to do THIS.
  • 00:59:31 – FAST FACTS SEGMENT (Nick creates my segment music)
  • 01:06:25 – If Nick Wolny were a drink, what would it be?
  • 01:08:40 – If Nick Wolny were a dance move, what would it be?
  • 01:10:09 – What ONE piece of advice did Nick give my 5 year old son?

Be sure to watch to the very end, to see Nick play out the episode. 🙂

== Fascinating people and resources from this episode ==

Primoz’s premium course: “The Ultimate Guide System“: The best course online on creating ultimate guides. Getting more high quality traffic, email subscribers and paying customers with ultimate guides. (I love this course…as I used it to write my 2 ultimate guides).

Ramit Sethi, CEO of I Will Teach You to Be Rich (www.iwt.com) and his Accelerator program (providing online coaching and an exclusive community for ambitious online business owners).

And of course…The Diana Tower Show Podcast 

Sign up to get exclusive access to behind the scene video bloopers and other juicy bonuses.

CASE STUDY:  Power Up Podcasting Course & Community by Pat Flynn

CASE STUDY:  Power Up Podcasting Course & Community by Pat Flynn

Back in October 2017 I was chatting with my good friends Primoz and Marc via Whatsapp about how I could infuse more fun in my business, help more people and {of course} get my name out there more.

I had been secretly toying with the idea of starting a podcast, and when I told them about my idea they encouraged me to go for it.  I wasn’t sure how it fit into my business exactly; all I knew was that I wanted to create content that would allow me to help entrepreneurs nail their online course community woes, while at the same time, sit down with some of my favourite entrepreneurs.

In this case study I wanted to highlight the Power-Up Podcasting (PUP) course community, so that you can see first had the importance of a community for your students, and how you can make your community insanely valuable.

I’ll also be sharing my own experience with Pat Flynn’s Power Up Podcasting course (as it’s hella good and it helped me launch The Diana Tower Show podcast).

Here’s a video that I made:

Disclaimer:  No Dianas were paid, compensated or offered any bling to write this post or make the following video.  It’s an honest review of a course that I’ve actually taken.  I also wanted to showcase the PUP course community and how it’s a crucial element to my success as a student, and how you can make YOUR course community help your students engage right off the bat (avoiding the dreaded crickets) and help them achieve their goals too.

Following my conversation with Marc and Primoz, I dove in and recorded 15 interviews and while it was exciting, I was kind of freaked out about the “under the hood” of what it took to do a podcast.

I started doing a bit of research on how to launch my podcast and I read an article from GrowthLab called, “Thinking of Starting a Podcast.  Don’t

It’s an amazing article by the creator of the “Art of Charm” podcast, Jordan Harbinger, which really makes you think, “Should I really be doing this?”

For many, it’s a NO. If you’re thinking that a podcast is going to make it rain Benjamins for you, then you’re probably going to be disappointed.

For me though, it wasn’t about making money…it was about creating useful content that would help my readers/listeners and have fun while I’m doing it.

I love interviewing people and talking into a mic is seriously fun for me.  I feel like a talk show host!

Not only that, it provides me with the outside accountability that my “obliger” self needs.  I wanted to help people with their online course communities and this was a fun way to do it.

I started doing research on how to start my podcast.

Why not just do it myself?  Cause, I’m the type of person that wants to do shit right the first time!

I knew that there would be A LOT of moving parts, and back end work to the podcast, but I didn’t have the time (or the patience) to test things and figure it out myself. Fuck that.

I wanted someone who had been there, done that, bought the podcast T-shirt and packaged up their learnings in a course.  Someone to take me by the hand and lay it all out there for me, in an easy to implement way.

So first, I grabbed Digital Marketer’s $47 Podcast Launch Plan.  

I’m not going to lie, I was a bit disappointed as it wasn’t a “from scratch” plan.  It was more of a how to launch successfully plan (which makes sense now as that’s the title of it!).  While it gives a good roadmap for launching, it doesn’t break everything down into actionable steps for where I was in the process (umm…GROUND ZERO).

Disappointed

It didn’t tell me what specific software and equipment to use either.  It was high level…when I was looking for my digital shepherd to take my hand and lead me the whole way.  Not surprising though, as it was under 50 bucks.

So I kept searching, and as I was Googling I asked myself, “Who is already doing this successfully?”  I mean, why reinvent the podcast wheel?

Scrolling through a list of random podcasts

That’s when I thought of Pat Flynn.  I mean this guy was NAILING podcasting like a boss and not only that, he seemed like such a nice guy too.  I wanted to tap into his brain and learn from him.

A quick google search later and I found his free podcast guide.

Dude…this guide alone was more useful for me than the $50 paid guide from Digital Marketer.  As I scrolled down the page that’s when I saw it.  That massive green button below.

Screen Shot 2018 01 17 at 15.28.57

Ooh what's that?

Power-Up Podcasting?  What’s that?

So, I got my clickity-click on and gobbled up the sales page. I was nodding my head like a bobble head-hula girl on the dashboard of Lightning McQueen.

BUT there was this little voice in my head saying

“Diana?  ANOTHER online course? Are you serious?  Do you really need to pay for something else?”

I hesitated because when you’re starting your business and you aren’t making bank, you need to watch how you spend your money.  It can be hard to justify the investment sometimes.

The thing is though, I knew that I was going to launch a podcast (it was a WHEN not IF scenario) and I wanted to do it right…and without wasting time, which for me made signing up a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, there was a waitlist at the time, so I signed up and kept looking for other options.  I really wanted to get started then and there and I didn’t know when the course would open up.

I thought about it for a couple of days, considered doing it myself (gulp), when I got an email that the program was opening again!  AWW YEAH!

Then I saw the price.

SIGN ME UP.  Talk about a no brainer!

TAKE IT.  TAKE MY MONEY PAT!

I did it.  I jumped in and signed up and didn’t look back.

What’s it like working through Power-Up Podcasting?

Power-Up Podcasting is hosted on the Teachable platform and is SUPER easy to work through.  There are bite-sized videos with some written explanations and you can download a transcript PDF, the video and the audio from each section.

The course is divided into 7 modules which really helps you focus on where you are at, without getting overwhelmed.

  1. Pre-Launch // Step 1 – You and Your Future Podcast
  2. Pre-Launch // Step 2 – Planning Your Podcast Episodes
  3. Pre-Launch // Step 3 – Recording and Editing Your Show
  4. Pre-Launch // Step 4 – Preparing Your Audio File for the World
  5. Pre-Launch // Step 5 – The Launch Plan
  6. Launch Week
  7. The Post-Launch Plan

There is also a Facebook community (aw yeah…I love me some quality course community!), and it’s an intimate group of amazing people doing exactly the same thing…working on launching their own podcasts.

Everyone is super friendly and ready to support you, encourage you and answer your questions.  Especially Jason Skinner…what an absolute rockstar!

Pat is quite active in the community as well, in addition to hosting weekly live office hours.  It’s refreshing to see someone at his level still providing direct access and support from himself directly. Plus he really does care about the success of his students.

We’ll dig into the community more in a minute.

Time to get to work

What I loved about the course is that it’s broken down into tiny baby steps that you can work through at your own pace (and you get access to EVERYTHING from day one).  The videos are anywhere from 3-10 minutes long and it is the perfect way to introduce you to a small parts of the process.

So I put on my blinders and got to work.  I didn’t get overwhelmed thinking OMG I’M LAUNCHING A PODCAST, I simply focused on one piece of the puzzle at a time.

Creating my cover art, or setting up Garageband or Audacity.  Step by step (ooo baby…gonna get to your girl!)

Step by Step - NKOTB

More things that helped me launch my podcast?

Pat doesn’t just tell you what to do and how to do it, he goes as far as recommending specific equipment that he has tested himself, eliminating any guess work or decisions.  I ordered it all up (from Amazon) and it was so easy to set up because Pat sets everything up with you.

For under $200 I was able to get a great mic, mic boom and pop filter and not only does it work really well…it looks pretty bad-ass as well.

IMG 9409

It’s also worth mentioning how personal the course feels.  It feels like Pat is actually sitting across the table from you, talking you through everything and encouraging you every step of the way.  On the days that I was feeling particularly nervous or feeling “the resistance” it was great to have Pat encouraging me and helping me move forward.

So far I’ve been focusing on the course material, and you might be thinking, what about the community Diana?  You’re a community strategist.  Shouldn’t you be focusing on his community?

You’re right, but one thing that needs to be said, is that a course community is nothing without an outstanding course.  Think about it.  If Pat didn’t NAIL the course content, the community would be flooded with questions that should be answered by the content.

An online course community can’t save a shitty course.  It’s like putting a bandaid on a bullet hole.

So when you are creating your course community, ask yourself a couple questions.

  • Have I nailed my course content?
  • Have I gone above and beyond providing the BEST insights, and learnings in the course itself?
  • Is there anything I can do to make the course content easier to work through, digest (user experience)?

When your course is outstanding, your community will follow suit.

Now of course, if you’re running a beta program you might not be able to say yes to those questions YET.  That’s the whole point of a beta program, and your beta students will understand that as long as you message this from the get-go.

Then, it’s your job to use what you learn in the beta program to get 3 yeses to the questions above.

The Power- Up Podcasting Facebook community.

Screen Shot 2018 02 02 at 16.25.13

Ok.  I’m not going to lie here.  When I first joined the FB community it was kind of intimidating.  Which was weird because I was SO comfortable with Pat and the course content…the way I felt in the community didn’t line up.

When I first joined the PUP community

Everyone seemed to already know each other and it looked like everyone was kicking ass and taking names.  Here I was, a total newbie and I didn’t know anyone.

  • What should I do first?
  • How could I break the ice?
  • What is ok to post and what isn’t?

NOTE:  This is what I call the “Late to the Wedding Syndrome” (LWS) and as a course creator or community manager it’s YOUR job to eliminate or minimize this feeling as soon as possible.

How could Pat have punched LWS in the face in his community?  By doing 2 things, that you should also do.

  1. Having a welcome thread.
  2. Having clear and easy to find guidelines.

1. A Welcome Thread

Having a welcome thread is a set it and forget it task, but once it’s done it can change the entire experience a new member has.  When you have a designated place to introduce yourself, people relax and know that what they are doing is ok.

People can also mingle and break the ice right off the bat, which helps squash LWS.  In terms of the PUP community, there wasn’t a designated place to introduce myself and so it felt a bit nerve wracking trying to figure out how to dive in (and I’m a freaking community strategist!).

Instead of me posting and getting involved I didn’t engage in the community for another 2 weeks!  I focused on the course work until I needed help, and then I turned to the community to ask a question, which I still felt awkward asking…because I felt like a stranger.

So what would you include in your welcome thread?  Here are some questions to ask yourself and answer with your thread.

  • Have you welcomed people into the group?
  • What emotion would you like your members to feel after reading the post?
  • What action do you want your members to take after reading the post?
  • Is there a specific way you’d like your member to introduce themselves?
  • Did you include an image to grab people’s attention?
  • Better yet, did you create a video to welcome everyone in and explain how to use the community and to encourage everyone to introduce themselves in the comments of that thread.

2. Guidelines

In the Power Up Podcasting community, there currently aren’t any rules or guidelines on what is and isn’t appropriate in the group, and this is a problem for several reasons.

Firstly, because it can create another barrier for new members to join.

How?

Because they don’t know what is and isn’t kosher…so they end up doing nothing.

That’s right.  Most of us peeps don’t want to mess up or do something out of line, so we’ll simply do nothing (which is NOT what you want happening).

Having clear guidelines allows your members to relax and know that they understand how things work in your community and they can feel confident when posting and interacting with others.

Now, not having guidelines might work for a while.  When you set up a group it can be easy to brush this off and “go with the flow”.  Not having guidelines might feel like you’re keeping things fun and light but it’s actually a recipe for a lot of problems down the line.

Here’s the deal, when you create guidelines you are setting the standard in terms of expectations.  As a result your members will act accordingly 99% of the time and this means less “policing” from you.

Also, it is MUCH easier to start a community with set guidelines than to try to incorporate guidelines down the line.  It’s like trying to get a river to flow in a different direction or reroute it.  The current wants to go the easy way, the way that things have always been and it can be difficult to get people to get on board with new guidelines.

Most people who create a course community don’t give guidelines much thought and tell themselves “let’s go with the flow” or that it’s not really all that important, but this is a mistake that will cost countless time and headaches down the line.

It actually sets you up to spend MORE time in the community dealing with fires than if you had simply set clear guidelines from the beginning.

So what should you include in your guidelines?

This is something I cover in my Ultimate Guide to Building a Profitable Online Business from Scratch at a high level, but here are some questions to ask yourself to ensure that your guidelines are serving your community and your business.

  • How do you want your members to FEEL in the community?
  • If your member were to describe your community to a friend or colleague, what do you want them to say?
  • Imagine any situations that would make you uncomfortable AND make other members uncomfortable or unhappy.  How could you blend in a point or two to address those situations?
  • Once written, ask yourself how a member will FEEL after reading them?  Be sure to focus on the benefits for them, not simply saying what they can and can’t do here.

Why is a course community so important?

People get stuck.  I got stuck in PUP too.

That’s right.  Despite having course content that was AMAZING, and knowing exactly what to do, I stalled when I needed to upload my audio to Libsyn (the host).

It wasn’t the course, or that I didn’t know what to do.  It was me feeling the resistance of pushing out of my comfort-zone.

Trying to do it alone wasn’t working.  I just couldn’t get myself to do it and I wasted a couple weeks focusing on “other things”.  That’s when I turned to the PUP community, and they got me back in the “action taking” saddle.

Screen Shot 2018 02 04 at 15.13.10

It really is a tight-knit group of people all working towards the same goal, “launching a podcast”.  It’s wonderful to have a place to connect with people doing exactly what I am. And everyone is working off the same material so it was easy to get questions answered quickly (even outside Pat’s office hours).  The community was instrumental in me launching my podcast and working through the course material.

Do you see why it’s so important to give your students the gift of a course community?

It’s a win win for both you and your students.  They get the human connection and support that they need when their feeling stuck or not able to keep moving forward, and you get your students results.

Students finish your program, they love and appreciate you and they might even write amazing reviews or massive case studies about your program to share it with the world (kinda like I’m doing here).

Providing a course community is the cherry on top of going above and beyond for your students, and when done correctly (and strategically) it saves you time, energy and a whole lotta headaches down the line.

I launched…everyone celebrated.

Launching was pretty scary, but when I posted in the community, I got so much encouragement and celebration.  Pat even jumped in too.

It was amazing and felt so good to feel like I wasn’t alone.  Not only had I nailed my goal of launching a podcast, I had friends there with me giving me digital high fives and congratulations.

Screen Shot 2018 02 04 at 15 22 51

The live office hours

This is a pretty awesome addition to the program.  Every week Pat sits down and answers our questions LIVE.  You can watch via FB live, or Zoom and you can post your questions in advance or live on the call.  It’s a great way to connect with Pat and other members of the program.

The one drawback though (cuz NOTHING is perfect right) is that it’s a Q&A, so there isn’t much structure.  If you have a question you need to be there for the entire call, and if you can’t attend live, you have to listen to the entire recording (1 hr) without knowing when your question will be answered.

Having to watch the entire hour long recording to hear your 5 minute answer can feel like a waste of time, but honestly…I’d rather have the opportunity to ask, then not have office hours at all.

That being said, that really is the only criticism I have about this program.  Everything else is spot on.

Plus, to be honest, I haven’t needed to ask Pat any questions because the course material explains everything really well.

Final Thoughts

So, as I sit here with my launched podcast, I am thrilled that I put my trust in Pat to walk me through the process.  I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him and the PUP community.

Well that’s not true.  I COULD have done it without him and wasted hours of time (that I don’t have):

  • researching equipment,
  • figuring out software,
  • trying to make decisions about which host to use,
  • how to set up the recording workflow,
  • if I should get professional music or voice over intros or not,
  • cover art,
  • how to add metadata into my episodes,
  • how to level out the volumes in my interviews,
  • which host to use,
  • how to get into iTunes and what other places to submit to,
  • how to create my RSS feed,
  • how to actually launch,
  • what do do once it’s launched and now how to keep moving forward.

Pheeewww, that’s not everything but you get the idea.  All of that and more is broken down into baby steps where Pat walks you through each step.  It really is that easy.

The final thing I wanted to mention was Pat’s attention to detail, that you might be able to do for your students as well.  Not only is the course itself impressive and super easy to follow and implement, he sent everyone official pins and stickers for being a part of the course.

IMG 0093IMG 0097IMG 0098

How cool is that?  It was such a treat to get a handwritten card from him and his team in the mail.  It made me feel like a valuable member of his community too.

YOUR TURN:  How can you apply this to your course community?

Is there a way that you can make your students feel special and taken care of?

Maybe it’s sending them a card, or hopping on a welcome call with you or a member of your team, or maybe it’s simply sending them a quick one minute video welcoming them to the program or thanking them for being a member.

And for anyone starting a podcast, I highly recommend getting Power-UP Podcasting to show you how to do it every step of the way.

Also, as I said at the beginning, I’m not an affiliate for Power-Up Podcasting.  This is simply my experience with an awesome course and I wanted to share my experience with the course; to help you improve your own course community.

BTW…being an affiliate wouldn’t change much, as I would only promote something that I truly believe in.

How to Promote Yourself in a Facebook group?

How to Promote Yourself in a Facebook group?

What’s the best way to post my [XYZ] in a Facebook group without being banned?

This is SUCH a fantastic question and I never thought to answer it until Joyce Akiko from joyceakiko.com reached out to me.  You might be surprised by my answer.  Keep reading.  🙂

As a fellow Ultimate Guide System student, she reached out via Slack.

Screen Shot 2018 02 02 at 18.21.05

You know you’re a community strategist when you actually get excited about community questions on a Friday night.  Lay it on me Joyce!

Screen Shot 2018 02 02 at 18.22.55

Now of course, I could have simply shot her back a quick reply.

Add value, focus on them…blah blah blah but that’s not how Big D likes to roll.

Joyce reached out because this obviously was something she is worried about.  Heck…I’VE worried about this as well.  I’ve written two Ultimate Guides and one of the hardest parts was actually promoting it;  so I know the feeling.

Picture it:  You create something mind blowing that you know will help your audience (which you adore and want to help), but, when you need to actually get it in front of your peeps, you start second guessing.

There are many ways to get the word out.

  • Be a guest on a podcast and mention your content (in this case an ultimate guide) on the show.
  • Email influencers that you mention in the guide and let them know if you feature them (don’t ask them to share dude…just no).
  • But one of the easiest ways to share is social media.  Awww yeah.

We get all excited because we can post on Facebook, tweet it, snap photos or quick videos on instagram…etc etc.

It’s so “simple”.  Of course your content is going to go viral in a New York minute simply by posting to social media.  Right?!

Or not.

You share on social and nothing really happens.  Your network likes it, maybe a couple people share, and your aunt Rose comments something slightly embarrassing but you leave an emoticon and move on.

You know that your target audience is hanging out in specific Facebook groups but you don’t want to be THAT dude.

You know, the douche that joins a community and drops a post with a link without even introducing themselves (or reading the guidelines).

DELETE.

I’ve seen many different approaches to trying to promote…something clever I’ve seen recently…you share that you’re hiring a member for you team…so you HAVE to link out to your website and explain what you do and who you help… right.

That isn’t self-promotion.  You’re simply looking to hire someone.  Riiiiiight.

DELETE.

So here’s the deal Joyce {and the army of entrepreneurs asking themselves the same questions}… I know you mean well.

You also know this kind of “sharing” is kind of douchey.

Now, you aren’t a D bag and you want to share your work with people to help them.

Here’s the thing though.

If you simply write a list of Facebook groups you want to “share” in, and you then copy and paste a post into all of them (with a link); you’re not only gonna piss off a lot of people {who are probably in more than one group and watching you morph into a spam bot} you’re going to get your ass kicked out of these groups too dude.

What’s an entrepreneur to do then?

Well first of all.  Be a human for fuck’s sake.  Be you.  Embrace that weirdo that your friends know and love.  Be that person when you interact in these groups…that’s what they are there for.. (For me…I’m a GIF maker, writer and helper…so I roll with that).

Second, I’m willing to bet that you KNOW when something is shady and weird.

You know that feeling.  You’re sitting there looking at the newsfeed of a FB group that you know is crawling with your peeps.  If you could just drop your link subtly into conversation, then everyone would flock to your site to sign up to your list.  You’d get hundreds of subscribers in minutes, right!

Now…put down the kool aid for a second (methinks there is more than fruit juice in-dhere).

Here’s something that might shock you.

Linking to your stuff doesn’t always translate to more subscribers.

Yes my pet.  It’s shocking but true.

Think about it.  In many FB groups, community managers or hosts create “promotional threads” where people can drop their links on certain days of the week.

How many of your peeps are going to be reviewing that promo-fest of a thread?  Um…not a lot.  It’s filled with other promotion starved entrepreneurs, or coaches looking to tap the gold-mine of the community.

Now, here’s how I recommend approaching “promotion” in communities.

DON’T.

That’s right.  Don’t promote yourself or your shit in someone else’s digital living room.

That’s like a friend inviting you over for a coffee and you showing up with a Pampered Chef demonstration kit and kicking off your spiel: If you or your “guests” — {um…my 5 year old who lives here??} — buy over $200 dollars of merchandise today you’ll get this free garlic press or ice cream scoop.”  

Umm…I just wanted to have you over for a coffee dude.

Now, I’m not ragging on Pampered Chef or any other MLM peeps, but if I invite you over for a coffee, I’m expecting you to show up at my house…preferably clothed– and possibly with a jacket and a purse.

It’s the same for online communities, and actually goes one step further.

The host of a free Facebook community is most likely using it to promote their own shit.

So it makes our metaphor even worse (or entertaining).

It’s like me bringing a friend to another friend’s Pampered Chef party and the tag-along friend sets up her OWN fucking table in the corner with her own Pampered Chef swag…or another brand that is more trendy or one time use!

How fucked up would that be?

Seriously, stop and picture it for a mo please.

You’re in Sally’s Pampered Chef party and having a great time with all the local Mom’s when your friend Tamara goes rogue with a collapsible table with her own Pampered Chef items.

What would you do?

  • If you were Sally how would you feel?
  • If you were Sally’s guests…how would you feel?
  • Fuck dude…if you were Tamara…how would you feel?

Well…here’s how it plays out in my head.  Sally’s guests are gonna be like…WTF Tamara.  Keep your swag to yourself this is Sally’s party.  Communal hatred for Tamara is born and no one ever thinks to even talk to Tamara again, let alone throw money at her.

Sally is a no BS kind of lady and she simply walks over to the competitor like a baller, swipes all the items into a garbage bag, grabs the table, and Tamara and tosses them out the front door.

A “delete, remove and block” in real life.

As for Tamara, she probably feels like shit cause she KNEW that this was a bad idea, but she’s just trying to get some traction.

Now of course, you aren’t Tamara, and you certainly don’t want to be pissing off the Sallys of your niche.

So now that we’ve established that you’re scared to death of being Tamara, what can you actually do?

Being banned from your beloved Facebook Groups is a big deal, and it’s time to dish out the goods on how to avoid anything Tamara-esque.  Here are some simple steps to avoid this.

Update your Facebook Profile

Here is where you can have a link to your ultimate guide or your website (or even a landing page); in your FB profile. THIS is where you get to flaunt what your mama gave you (your biz).

Here’s what mine says:

Screen Shot 2018 02 02 at 19 54 05

I help A-list Entrepreneurs create engaged online communities for paying clients.  www.dianatower.com

Make sure that your profile tells people what you do and provides a link to get there.

Looking at Joyce’s profile there’s a lot of room to provide more information about what she does and who she helps.  She doesn’t have an intro saying what she does and there isn’t a URL for people to check out.

Screen Shot 2018 02 02 at 21.06.46

There is a link to Joyce Akiko Consulting LLC but that link goes to another Facebook page that is an unofficial page.

Screen Shot 2018 02 02 at 21.12.38

I would recommend saying something like:

Helping [specific type of person] do [something] followed by your website.

Wait a second Diana.  You’re telling me NOT to drop links and to simply have my profile updated?  But surely that isn’t enough Diana.  Who will actually take the time to explore and creep my profile?

Someone whom you’ve helped, entertained or “added value to”, that’s who.

That is why your post needs to do SOMETHING extremely well.  It needs to help your audience, entertain them or simply connect with them.

When you go above and beyond in a community WITHOUT link dropping or trying to sneak your business into your post, it creates a curiosity gap.  People will ask themselves:

  • Who is this person?
  • Why are they taking the time to help people without anything in return?
  • This person knows their shit…I wonder what they do?
  • Cue the profile creep.

Offer value with NO links.

That’s right link-zilla.  Keep your link in your pants and focus on the value or content that they get if they had clicked a link.

Say what?

If you’re looking to share an ultimate guide, why not share a story or a couple of tips from the guide in a post?

You could mention that it is pulled from your ultimate guide BUT no links dude.  Simply share the value.

Why? Because if someone reads the post and they love it, or find value in it, they will creep your profile.  The kind of creeping you want, not the kind that makes you sleep with the lights on.

So you’ve got your profile set to “this is what I do!” and you’ve got your link gun holstered.

Now it’s time to actually…dah dah dah…post something in a community.  This is the moment that makes people feel seriously uncomfortable.

How are you supposed to just post in a community like a human being but in a way that makes people curious to learn more about you and what you do?

First Review the Guidelines

Before you do anything, check the guidelines.

Make sure you know what is and isn’t kosher.  You never know, it might be ok to post a link to your guide as long as it isn’t in the main post (aka keep it in the comments)..

Or if someone asks you a question that can be genuinely answered by reading your guide, adding a link to a comment might be ok.

Reach out to the admin

If you do want to share the guide directly, the only way I would ever consider doing this would be if you reach out and speak to the admin directly and they give you the green light..

Being a community manager, I know first hand what it’s like to suddenly see a post promoting a guest post someone has written or a guide.

Honestly?  It’s fucking annoying because it makes more work for me.

Suddenly I need to judge:

  • Is it abusing the community or not?
  • Should I leave it there or remove it?
  • If I do remove it, do I message you and let you know or simply delete it?

Don’t be THAT person that makes the admin of a group have to ask themselves these questions.  Show some respect for the space and reach out to them.  Also…don’t assume they will allow it.  Maybe it’s going to be a no, but at least you reached out and asked.

Here is a sample template to reach out to an Admin if you’re gonna be ballsy.

Hi NAME,

[Compliment specifically about the group, something they have done or anything else that is super specific to them or the group].  I wanted to reach out to see if it would be ok for me to share a guide that I wrote on XYZ in the community.

The guide looks at [describe] and will help members [benefits].

I wanted to check with you first, before sharing it, as I know the guidelines say XYZ, and I wanted to be respectful.  If you like, I could write a post about some of the core content (sharing some advice) and then if anyone is interested in the full guide I could provide a link in the comments (so that it isn’t so prominent).

Thank you so much for everything you do in XYZ community.

All the best,

NAME.

As an entrepreneur looking to “share”, this template seems reasonable right? (BTW: If you use it…don’t copy and paste…make it YOU).

But then my community manager mind kicks in and starts to ask questions.

  1. Can’t you read the guidelines? This is a good point.  If it clearly says in the guidelines that you can’t share links or content…don’t.
  1. If someone reached out to me in any of the communities I manage, my response will really depend on how active this person is in the community, if what they want to share will actually help the majority of the community.

Honestly, I would rather they create a piece of content for the community specifically.  Maybe a Google Doc that plays with the same issues as the content they really want to share, but it allows the community to read the whole post in the community or a Google Doc.

So let’s land this plane.  If you’re really worried about getting banned from a group I would play things safe by doing the following:

#1:  Don’t drop links, apart from having your profile clearly linked up.

#2:  Focus on helping others, writing helpful or entertaining posts that add to the experience members have in the community (so people will creep your profile).

#3: Be human and be YOU.

  • If you have a fun writing style…write it up.
  • If you are great on video maybe a quick video.
  • Great with Canva?  Create some fun, inspiring or silly art.
  • Love GIFs?  Make your own.

#4:  If you really want to try to post a link or promote something directly, reach out to the admin.

Now I’d like to hear from you.

How do you share your content with others?  I’d love to hear what has worked for you, and what have been epic fails.  

Leave a comment below.