Creating an Online Community: Podcast Ep 183

Oooh, oooh, oooh! We didn’t have a focus for our show today so we asked the members of our (free to join) Own It! the Podcast Facebook Group and one Q sprang forth pronto and one that I am really interested in.

I LOVE online communities.  I love everything about them. I love creating them, curating them, fostering community in them and hanging out and encouraging and supporting people in them.

I own and run or co-run seven groups. And that’s enough if you want to do it well. Two of them are paid and the remaining five of them are free to join and play along, although one does allow donations to join if so desired. Membership of that one is also something I give as a gift when I see people who would benefit from it. One of the five is what I would call a hobby one, it’s about books, but all seven of them I regard as marketing either directly or indirectly. I also happen to love all seven of them very much and why I probably wouldn’t be starting any more right now unless a very good reason comes along.

I am less keen to join the groups of others, but that’s just me – a leader more than a follower. However, I make an exception for all those groups (13 at today’s count) which are about living, renting and having your shopping delivered on my favourite Caribbean island. The value of those to me is getting to know the movers and shakers on my island before I got to live there for 90 days each year, or longer, finding somewhere to live and getting my groceries delivered.

What do all these groups have in common?

They foster a sense of community, they are a network which binds people together, and in today’s podcast we talk about how, why and where to set up a community including our respective thoughts on how to do them well, a relevant book recommendation from each of us, how to create the rules and police them, how to ask people to join, how to get them to stay, how often to publish content and how to be an engager not a broadcaster. This one is a particular bugbear of mine, engagement is key.

Once you hit critical mass your community will take off and the members will play nicely with each other without you being required to over-work it. Discovering a light touch with that takes a while and policing the tone and enforcing the rules requires diligence but it is SO worth it. It doesn’t mean that you or your community group will never offend or provoke high dudgeon, but perhaps it reduces the chances of that.

LISTEN HERE TO TODAY’S PODCAST: Own It! the Podcast #183 Building a Community

In other news, Nicola’s offline at home for a few days while she is upgraded to Superfast broadband and while we were chatting her sister Sarah was tasked with trying to puzzle out the new router. I began the show with the story of my new business card and updating the expiry date for everyone from Audioboom to Webex and triggering the over-zealous fraud team at my bank; they are hyper-vigilant.

Nicola describes implementing what she’s learned from Playing to Win which she’s been talking to us about for a few weeks now, she also has JV phone calls coming in, two this week alone! She’s setting up a free monthly masterclass and starting a new 30 Day Challenge on 4th June.

In turn, I had rather a long list of things which had fuelled my fire, mostly about my life and very few about my biz. Not that I am not excited about my biz, I am, especially having inducted three new clients this week to Small Business Big Magic. Wow! An abundant little flurry of creative and ambitious joiners, I feel totally blessed in manifesting the new three to add to the existing gorgeous posse.

Our Words of the Week are Strategy (hers) and Language (mine).

Project Updates include news about book sales and revenue projections, podcast download numbers, and the blessed GDPR!

And finally we are impressed by the sunshine in Windsor for the Royal Wedding where I learned that the British fashion industry is now bigger than the British car industry, I tell Nicola about K who is making some cross stitch patterns of my favourite sayings like Stop It Immediately and When It’s Right It’s Easy, and Nicola loves The Split on BBC1, as do I. Anything with Nicola Walker in is unmissable.

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Your Biz Your Way

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