Facebook Groups. Do you have one? Do you think you should have one? Are you just not sure?
Diana Tower shares the pros and cons of running a Facebook community as part of your business model.
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Flori Pyke: [00:00:53] Welcome to Episode 21 of The Brave Business Podcast we are Anna and Flori the queens of small business and we deliver female entrepreneurs both the business and mindset tools needed to start, grow and scale your small business for success. And today you've got me in your ear, Flori, with a seriously exciting guest. Oh my goodness. And her name is Diana Tower and her jam is all about helping A list entrepreneurs to create engaged online communities for their flagship courses during their launches and beyond. And Diana huge welcome to you. So great to have you here.
Diana Tower: [00:01:39] Guys thank you so much for having me. It's so funny when people intro you. You're like 'that's me'.[both laugh] It's so great to be here. I'm really excited Flori.
Flori Pyke: [00:01:50] Oh I'm like I was telling you before we went live how we have just had so much fun collaborating with you because I think it's worthwhile to note as well Diana before recording this podcast episode with us, I have to give you a massive shout out here because we had the privilege and the pleasure of hosting you already once within our student community, a few weeks back where you delivered an epic one and a half hour session with our ladies complete with hotseat sessions and the works. And like I said honestly our community was blown away by your insights and experience, your passion for this topic is just next to none. So thank you so much again. It was awesome.
Diana Tower: [00:02:38] That was. Thank you so much. Thank you guys for having me. I think it was I mean it was an hour and a half. It could have been WAY longer. I had to stage hook myself more like let's just focus on the really juicy stuff then we got to move forward but it's just such a pleasure to sit down with people that really actually care about their clients and they really want to figure out like is community a good fit for my business. And if it is how do I make it work, how do I make it not drive me crazy, but also how do I make it so that it's really good for my clients because that's really what it's all about.
Flori Pyke: [00:03:10] Yeah I know I love it and so can you actually just elaborate a little bit more before we kind of start diving into things to our listeners, a little bit more around when we are talking about your expertise Diana with creating online engaged communities, are there communities that live exclusively like on social media or are they also communities that you know you might create like in the back end of a dashboard or what kind of communities do you really focus on, what's your niche.
Diana Tower: [00:03:41] First of all here's the kicker the main one is that I don't really focus on free. So for example a lot of people are really into like oh I'm going to set up a free Facebook group and then people are magically going to come to me and buy all my stuff. And I actually don't like that. I focus on paid. So like for example if it's like you have a course or you have like an evergreen course or a membership, a mastermind, something like that where people have paid you money and now you really want to go above and beyond to make sure that they get value from that course or that they connect with each other or that they can reach their goals more effectively. That's kind of the community that I focus on. But in terms of like social media and platform, I would say the majority of the work I do is on Facebook. It's just like that's where people are going but also I've worked with clients with just even like WhatsApp groups. So if you have a small coaching group – you can set a platform up there. It’s really useful you guys if you have a small group of people and you just maybe want to answer questions between live calls. WhatsApp is fantastic, not more than seven people because that just gets crazy. And then also there's another platform called Slack that people generally use for inter office communication. But it's also very good for community because it's very similar to a forum. You can set up the different channels, like different forums, so imagine you have say six modules you have a different channel for each module. So those I would say are the main three platforms that I focus on. But the principles and the engagement strategies, this applies wherever you're doing it, if you're doing it in a forum, if it's like a membership site, if it's in the comments of something. Like basically the fundamentals of what I work on is emotion because that's the strategy of community. It's how are you making people feel. And you know this actually applies to your business in general. So like when you write an email, when you write a reply or whatever you're doing, an image that you use. How does it make your members feel. And is that the right feeling. Do they want to feel supported, proud of themselves excited or maybe is there a mistake happening and they feel maybe belittled or ridiculed or excluded. You want to like back the truck up a little bit and figure out like oh crap like I don't want to be doing that. So you want to be, it's basically focusing a lot on how they want to feel and reverse engineering everything that you create to make sure that they feel that way.
Flori Pyke: [00:06:19] You know it's so funny, have just had a giggle because when you said the word feeling I remember the very first email introduction that we had with you Diana [laughing], you sent us this gif and I don't know what you did in it but it was like so random, I don't know like a dance or something. And like if you're tuning in on this on our YouTube channel you could have just seen Diana do a little shimmy because that was kind of exactly what she did but with a coke can I think you use like some prop on your desk.
Diana Tower: [00:06:57] I had a prop.
Flori Pyke: [00:06:57] Yeah. You had a prop, anyway but my point is I didn't know you nor did Anna and you sent us this little video. And you're so right, like the emotion that it created within us we're like oh my god this lady seems hilarious like we can't wait to meet her. And it really stood out. It was something different. It was memorable. Imagine how many people we got introduced to and here I am telling you I remember the very first e-mail that I got from you and you did that. You really hit on emotion and starting to use that emotion right away when you connected with us from the very first time before we even spoke. So that really resonated with me when you just touched on emotion and how compelling it is.
Diana Tower: [00:07:43] Yeah and I think that's so important because that's actually something I do. I love making my own gifs. So I actually have an account on giphy and it's just like pages of me doing weird stuff [both laughing] but it's the power of visual. Like I was reading something or listening to something and it's like 97 percent of communication is body language or tonality. So actually it was Ben Perry OK. Ben Perry he does organic social media engagement focusing on Facebook. And he was talking about 97 percent of your communication is body language or tonality. So why would you only write something when you could send an audio note or you could make a gif or make a little video. And so that's actually something I tie into the communities that I help people with for example like a welcome thread. Why would you just have a written welcome thread when you could have a little welcome video or a little welcome audio or a welcome gif you know 'welcome to the community' [Flori laughing] and it seems silly and like oh yeah it's not that big a deal but the experience, like you just said, you got that e-mail you remember it. You feel a certain way. That's exactly the way you want people to feel when they first step into your community because it's like from the minute they get accepted into Facebook or WhatsApp or wherever you are, they're assessing it and they feel a certain way. So if they feel like oh I don't know what to do here this is kind of weird. What do I do. Confusion, excluded. They're associating that feeling with you. Whereas if they walk in and they're like wow these people are so nice, I feel welcome, I'm going to write something, I'm going to post something, they associate that feeling of being welcomed and comfort and support with you. And so that's the thing is it's you might think oh well it's not really that big a deal to like have a welcome thread or a video, but for the experience and the journey of your members it's super important.
Flori Pyke: [00:09:39] Yeah. No I can definitely I mean yeah I just gave you my little anecdote on how memorable it was for me to get that e-mail from you and the same with Anna. In fact we even chatted about it. Do you know what I mean.
Diana Tower: [00:09:54] And this is the thing and this is so I love this because it's that's what people are going to do. Because imagine somebody comes into community you do something weird or really lovely or they feel something they're going to talk about it and they're going to either talk to other people in the community or they're going to talk to other people be like Hey I just joined this amazing group this program and the community is crazy, she makes these gifs, she always replies with an audio or she just makes me feel really special or whatever that emotion is. And I would actually say that's potentially one or two of the biggest mistakes that people make with community is they don't know how people want to feel. They just say okay I've got a course, I've got a mastermind, I'm going to set up this group and you'll engage and it will be great and it won't because you really need to set the foundation and the first thing you need to know is how do they want to feel so that you can really set up your foundational content like your imagery, the first couple posts that are there so it's not just like a dead zone. Right because nobody wants to go into a group and there's nothing. You need to know how they want to feel. And it's really interesting because the number one way people want to feel is simply supported. So if you just want like a default emotion how can I make people feel supported. So like your Facebook cover image does this make them feel supported. So like is it maybe an image of people like working together or like depending on what you're niche is but most people what they'll do is they're like 'it's the me show here's me'. I'm working with you where I'm coaching. And then there's nothing else. It's just maybe them in a name and it's depending on what you're doing, imagine if it's like you're coaching them directly then yeah they pay for access to you maybe they want that. But if it's something different like what is their goal. Think of the goal. And then how you can visually represent that and sprinkle in some support. That can really go a long way since it's the first thing they see when they get in there the image, like oh, and make sure and like basics people, like make sure the words aren't cut off. There's so many groups that I go into it like the words are cut off, it's not the right size for Facebook. Facebook makes this a little bit hard because they don't actually tell you what the correct measurements are.
Flori Pyke: [00:12:13] Well they change it like daily.
Diana Tower: [00:12:15] Exactly they keep you on your toes which is really annoying. [Flori agrees] But actually here's the trick though for that and this is actually another thing thing too, is you should actually have fewer words on that image at the top. And also what I recommend is you put them really in the center. So even if you do get the image a little bit off you're going to be cutting off the image not cutting off words.
Flori Pyke: [00:12:37] So this is for the cover image that you're talking about right.
Diana Tower: [00:12:39] Yeah yeah. The cover image at the top of the Facebook group you just have something in the centre. Maybe it's the title of your program. And then another tip. So if you're looking to trigger that emotion you simply state it in like a subtitle. So for example imagine if it's you know I have one client she's setting up a group for this exam for nurses, they have to take this certain, I think it's the TEAS exam. And so what she wrote was the name of the group and then at the bottom it's just a a supportive community for, like, studying this exam. Just by saying it this is a supportive community, people are 'oh it's a supportive community' it's like a subconscious thing. So whatever you want to be providing, just state it, put it in there.
Flori Pyke: [00:13:24] Yeah. No I love it. And in fact a lot of those great tips carry through even you know to Facebook ads like it's the same kind of thing. Right. Whatever you're promising to deliver try and tangiblise that with an image and then use some supporting words. So I can certainly see how the same would apply with a cover image for your group. And it really speaks to what you were saying where you heard this quote that I think you just thought it was 97 percent of people resonate with the visual. So it just it goes to speak to all of those things together. And it's very compelling. So I couldn't agree more. And what about so you know I'm a digital marketer here at BSFM as you know and I work really closely with our students. And it's funny because you know in our personal coaching forum, so we have a forum where we coach our students, like I can't tell you enough how much emphasis I hear from them around wanting to create an online community for their customers. And what's your take on that. Like I mean is there a specific industry or a specific type of business like whether that be service or product or coaches like is this idea of creating a supportive online community, you know as this generalised sweeping statement, we'll keep going with the supportive angle right because that's what everyone wants to feel. I mean does it apply to every business or how do you know whether it's going to work for you or not depending on what kind of business you have.
Diana Tower: [00:15:05] I think it's such a good question and I think it really like there is another question that's a little bit before that is just like why are you doing it. And this has come up even just since that class that I did for you guys. I was thinking about it more because we were talking a lot about free Facebook groups and paid in this sort of thing. And there's so many people that you know have this pressure they feel like they have to have a free Facebook group or I have to have a community for my people or that your members are asking for it but they're not really sure if they want to deliver this thing or like what is in it for them. And so there's this fine line, there's always this balance between balancing them and you, because with community and this is the thing too is that community it's not business, community is not business. It's not about selling. It's not about you know promotion and like how to get more leads and sales. Community is about human connection over one similar topic. That's it. And so what's happening is obviously like community is super powerful, people connect, they talk about things, they share things. And so what online marketers or business people are doing is we're kind of hacking into this community effect and trying to use it for other objectives. But the issue is that your members they don't care about your business, they don't care about selling they care about themselves. And so I think that it's really important to ask yourself what is it that they want and what is it that they want to get from the community. And if it's something that you can provide great. And also when you provide it, having limitations. So I think that another mistake people make is that they say okay I'm going to set up this group and then they're in it all the time. I've got to engage, I've got a post, I've got to be in there and reply right away and do all this stuff like they're doing and they do that from the very beginning. And the problem with that is that you set the expectation of what happens in that group from day one. And here's the rub right. So for for example myself if I set up a community, you literally have to sit on your hands and do nothing for like the first day and even the first week and now look at you [both laughing] I can see you're like, what are you talking about, like what the hell is Diana saying right now. How does that make you feel right now. Imagine you set up a group and I told you Flori to do nothing on day one when you invited everyone in. What would you do.
Flori Pyke: [00:17:38] Oh like when you said that I was twitching basically I was like [Diana laughing] like we might have to turn the podcast episode off now. No I'm just kidding.
Diana Tower: [00:17:48] It's like what craziness is Diana saying, um like Diana's been drinking, we need time out. [both laughing].
Flori Pyke: [00:17:57] And it's not tea. [laughing]
Diana Tower: [00:17:58] [Laughing] What's in your water bottle.. water. So here's, let me explain it because what happens is when people normally set up a group they don't have foundational content. They don't have a plan. They haven't thought everything out and they don't have a system kind of set up. And so what happens is they set it up and then they invite everyone in. And then your tension you're like I need to make this work. I need to make people engage. I need to get people to do things. And the only way people think to do it - is for them to engage. They think oh what I have to post so that then they will engage and this is wrong because what's happening is as you are setting up the expectation that okay Flori comes in, she posts I respond, I become reactionary. I don't become engaged in the sense of I'm going to post something like proactive right. And so for example like imagine your welcome post, you welcome your people. You've set up your welcome post. Here's the thing you've added a video and it's basically talking to individuals who don't do group speak so don't say I'm so happy to have you all here. No you say I'm so glad to have you here. This is what we do here. I'm so excited to have you here introduce yourself in the comments below. Get to know everyone. We're gonna kick this off. What happens. So people go into the comments they introduce themselves, they'll comment on other people's posts and replies and they start to kind of connect with each other. Now here's the thing it might be a little bit slow. Just breathe and sit on your hands. Don't do anything. You let them engage with each other and then what you're doing is you're teaching them that you don't always jump in right away. Now the little asterisk of this is though it depends on your offer so you're doing like a six week course and you were providing coaching. People are going to maybe expect you to jump in and answer their questions. That's like you having a coaching hat on. That's not a community management hat. It's not your job to jump in and answer everybody's questions right away. Okay. What you want to do is kind of facilitate a place where it's peer to peer depending on what you're doing if you're doing coaching that's when you're gonna jump in more. But if you want a community where people engage with each other, they answer each other's questions, they support each other, you want to teach them from day one that that's what they do. And so this is kind of where it goes into one thing that I teach is this idea of happy hours for the owner. OK. So how much time do you want to be in your group. How much time do you actually have to be in your group. And like actually creating a schedule for yourself and really break it down so that you set the expectation. So for example I have one of my students Jenny she has a membership group and it's exploding right now. So we're working to kind of like give her some systems for that, but she has set the tone from day one that she is always in there on Fridays. She has a Facebook live. She jumps in. She sprinkles in some support in the comments and they know this. They come in on Fridays and they know they're going to connect with her and they know they're gonna have her jumping in and answering questions but it's not this expectation that she's going to be in there 24/7. And so it's it's one of those things where it's terrifying and your mind is gonna be like No you have to go and you have to post. You have to get in there and you literally just have to sit back and be like I'm going to let them engage. I mean let them connect with each other. I like to think of it almost like with parenting with kids. Okay so imagine you take your child to a playdate. There's like other kids and there's two options right. There's you go in, your kid is by your side, you're helping them with everything, you're doing. You sit down with them. You're playing with them. You're kind of teaching them okay so mum's coming here and we're playing we're doing this versus maybe going in oh hey these are your friends right. You can go play. I'm gonna go chat with the mums. You're setting up expectations.
Flori Pyke: [00:21:59] You're creating behaviours basically right.
Diana Tower: [00:22:02] Exactly now here's the thing. Neither is right or wrong. It's just that down the line like six months from now if you don't want to be sitting on the floor with your kid, you don't want to be starting that expectation from day one. Right. [Flori agrees] It's like go and have a little drink or go sit down in the dining room or whatever with the mums so that your kid knows oh this is normal. And now here's the thing too. Maybe they'll be a little bit upset at the beginning maybe they'll be like oh I don't really know, but you just put things in place like the foundational material we talk about, well composed, a couple of engagement posts, guidelines. This is another thing, this would probably be the number one mistake people make is that they think oh we're all adults here. I don't need to have rules. Yes you do. Like hands down. If you're going to do any like one thing with your group.
Flori Pyke: [00:22:52] Yeah I couldn't agree more.
Diana Tower: [00:22:52] Have guidelines like have you like, we kind of call it a manifesto it's kind of like why you're here. What we do. But also what's not kosher like what do we not do here. And just the thing is people think oh well but nobody's going to read that at the beginning and they might not. And here's the thing. It's ok as long as you have them written from day one it's your insurance policy. So somebody goes and does something and you're like that's not actually what we do here for your reference. Right. And it also saves you time and energy because you know when stuff happens. And that's another thing, s**ts going to happen. Somebody is going to do something and be like Why are you promoting your s**t here.
Flori Pyke: [00:23:31] Like everything you're saying I'm just like aha aha. Because like I know you know we run like a lot of challenges and different activations and in fact I was telling Diana like we were doing one in an hour less than an hour to 1200 people. And the group is like growing thick and fast. And it's different it's a free community. But in this case. But to your point Diana exactly like we need to set boundaries and exactly we need to have guidelines in place because it has happened so many times in the past where people come in and they just promote themselves willy nilly and it's like that's not why we're here. This is yeah it's frustrating.
Diana Tower: [00:24:16] Yeah. This is the thing and I think that's another reason why, like with free Facebook groups. And here's the thing. Like I know that in some cases they work. So I know that this is my sort of personal thing I'm just like I probably would never set up a free Facebook group. I don't generally advise it. But I do know that it works. So I know that it works for some people and if it's working for you. Awesome. If it ain't broke don't fix it right.
Flori Pyke: [00:24:38] Yeah. And I think it has a time and place because we certainly like I know that was totally a blooper for us in the past. We launched a challenge and then we decided okay we'll let's just try and keep the community open because it had like 1000 people in it you know. And let's see what happens. You know we might be able to drive some additional leads down the sales funnel what have you. And like it was really hard work to drive the engagement after activation went down. So I think there's a time and place for it but I think that from my personal experience in driving free groups I think it's pretty tricky to nail. Yeah. To be honest with you.
Diana Tower: [00:25:29] I think that there's this idea like oh yeah it's like a magic bullet. It's super easy and you just do X Y Z and then it's going to magically like you know drive leads. And the energy and the time that it takes to actually engage in a group because then you're fighting also, you're working with Facebook algorithm right so that people actually see the posts. And that came up during our our masterclass was that people's posts are not getting seen and the deal is and this is the thing because like here's an analogy that I thought of. Actually I think it was right before the masterclass was that there's two situations. Imagine that I invite you and Anna and a couple people over for dinner. I'm like ok they going to come over dinner, we're going to eat dinner, I'm going to make it yeah we've got some wine, going to chill out, there's candles, we're going to chat. You going to meet a couple of my friends it's gonna be super intimate like lovely. Right. When I think of that Oh my god that's sounds amazing okay. Lovely dinner connection. Meet friends. So there's one version. It's a dinner. Okay here's another version like a thermomix promotional dinner. Or a Tupperware party or a pampered chef or whatever you know where you're coming over for dinner. There's no pressure to buy but it's still there. It's like the elephant in the room and that's kind of the feeling I get with free Facebook groups is that there's an elephant in the room that people aren't talking about and that elephant doesn't exist in paid groups because you've already paid, there's no it's like you're paying to be in this mastermind, you've paid for a course. So that's gone. And then it's just purely focused on value like going above and beyond and that for me, if I'm gonna spend time and energy doing community, it's going to be above and beyond for something that someone's already paid for. And it's one of those things where I think as well this is something else. If you're choosing one form of lead generation like if for free Facebook group is the only thing that you're focusing on. Great. You have the time and energy. But for the majority of business owners it's not the only thing they're doing, they're writing guest posts. Maybe they have a podcast. They're making videos on YouTube. There's all these other things that they're doing. And it's so much harder to focus when you have so many things going on. So I would say double down on one form of lead generation. And if it's community fantastic you know nail it. But if you've got all these other moving parts it's going to be very difficult to do it and to do it well because community is not very forgiving. You're going to know like pretty quick if it's going well or if it's not.
Flori Pyke: [00:28:03] And on that note Diana like that was certainly a question that came to mind as you were talking about you know sitting on your hands when you set up a community. I mean is there like in order to kind of kick start a community effectively is there a minimum number so to speak that you kind of need in there to start to make it work and to get others to drive it for you. Like what are the kind of like the playbook rules there.
Diana Tower: [00:28:34] Do you mean like in terms of like content or people.
Flori Pyke: [00:28:38] People.
Diana Tower: [00:28:40] People. OK. So again this is going to depend. It's so funny because that question I don't really think about because normally what happens is it's people that are buying a course they come in and it's just maybe there is. Now here's the thing. I've had groups where there's 10 people maybe there's 500 1000 and there's another group there's like 9000. So I mean in terms of the number and there's more people there is more potential for people to create content. Right so there's probably going to be more people creating content which is fine but I wouldn't say that you know having a group of 10 people you might not get as many posts but the engagement and the value that you're getting or giving to each other, it might feel like it's less but it's actually more focused. And so what I would say is you know when you first set up a group and this is the thing as well like when when I work with people and we set things up you're creating, your front loading basically. You're creating sort of like this before you launch you've got like your community set up and everything is ready. And generally what I say is like you've got your welcome post, you've got all the fundamentals like group description, imagery, all that kind of thing. But then you've also got at least two engagement posts so that it's for example that this could be anything it could be like a video tour of the community. It could be a like a check-in. So for example imagine if you're a mastermind or a business course and you want to see where people are right now. I actually would recommend this. It's where you kind of capture where they are right now they'd like a day 1 check in or something like that. And they share where they're at. So that in three months, six months or a year you go back and say hey look this is where you were. And then they're like holy shit this is where I am now. Great for testimonials by the way. Testimonials, case studies. And then also just in the beginning it's a great way to break the ice. It's something easy because here's the thing. Like in the very beginning people don't want to look stupid. They're going to join the group they have a look around okay. What do we do here. Generally speaking people will introduce themselves that's usually the first thing. But some people won't introduce themselves. You're probably going to have what we like to call lurkers. There's going to be at least a couple in there, that's OK. They're still getting value they're still happy. You're gonna check in with them and make sure you know you could do a survey or you can just reach out them and say hey like check in how everything's going. And you might get an email back saying like everything's great I'm loving the program this is fantastic. You might think well I haven't seen you like you're not doing anything in the community and that just might be because it's not their learning style. They don't get value by posting. And so you can reach out depending on obviously like how many people you've got in your group. You can sort of scale it. So imagine if you have say 10 people I would be reaching out via e-mail or even hopping on calls you know just quick calls to check in if you've got like hundreds or more this kind of thing maybe it's a survey. You can then check on the survey and if anything like maybe somebody is having kind of a negative experience or a really good one you can then spot check and check in with them. But I would say in the very beginning that the main thing is just taking the time to think about where you want this to go and your involvement in it and what you want to provide people and then setting that foundation from day one so that they know what the rules are they get the idea of how frequently you're going to be in there. And they just that there's a clear understanding from day one and then the more you do it it's like a spinning wheel it's going to get bigger and bigger and faster and faster.
Flori Pyke: [00:32:12] Yeah. No I love it. I know. I definitely know like as I was saying before you know our experience with the whole free group has been really challenging and something that we we decided to kind of put to bed because it just wasn't really, it's exactly what you were saying Diana, it wasn't really like grooving with what we're all about like we kind of felt uncomfortable and not really authentic and genuine. And so instead like our focus has been really on developing you know our student community for you know our memberships students who are in our flagship program and all these things that you're saying like we can so relate where you know we've had to set boundaries and we've had to also bring in support team and admins because now there's like I don't know almost I think 500 ladies in there. And exactly. Creating engagement posts, clear do's and don'ts. But it has over time like it has become such an awesome part of our program. And I can certainly see the power in creating a really compelling online community. And how important it is for people especially like you know mums because it's such a lonely gig at times you know.
Diana Tower: [00:33:36] Well and I think that that’s so funny….I feel like you know what's the good stuff because obviously I feel like I'm like a precautionary tale here like oh you know this is what people are doing wrong and that sort of thing.
Flori Pyke: [00:33:44] No it's great, it's great to hear the pitfalls.
Diana Tower: [00:33:48] It's kind of the reality.
Flori Pyke: [00:33:49] Yeah.
Diana Tower: [00:33:49] It's like the red pill… the blue pill like let's see what it really looks like.But you know I feel like when I think the key really at least the people that I work with is when you care about your people, you will create a space for them where it's going to be really good for them but then you also enjoy it like this is a mistake that people make as well is that they just don't enjoy it. They're like this is work or I mean obviously it's work but they don't get value from it. Because these are people. Half the time when I'm in a community it's like these become your friends.
Flori Pyke: [00:34:23] Yeah 100%.
Diana Tower: [00:34:23] You're connecting with them. You're supporting them and that's what you really want. Like if you want a really connected supportive awesome community that will get you awesome case studies, testimonials, improve your products, give you feedback, promote other like cross promotional because people talk. If you're in like a program and then there's a mastermind and somebody joins the mastermind and shares this amazing result. I mean that's beautiful organic like promotion. You don't even have to do anything for it. It just happens. And that's way more powerful than you know creating something and sharing it and just somebody excitedly saying oh my god I just joined this program and I just got like 3 new clients and it's amazing you know. That is so much more powerful. And when you can find the sweet spot like it's a thing I call it like the community vibe. So it's you're figuring out what it is that they want and need and their goals in this sort of thing but then on the other side it's you and this is something that people forget is that you need to make it you. So if you're a weirdo that makes gifs you bet your a** like it's going to be full of gifs like you're going to see this or maybe there's memes or maybe you really love being on video so you hop in like you want to make it you and have your flavour because that's what's going to make it sticky. That's what's going to make people stay because they're going to connect with you as a person and they're going to want your support and your opinions and your advice on entrepreneurship, baking, artistry, writing, whatever the industry that you're in. It's not like the difference between them choosing you and a competitor is probably your personality or the way you address things or the amount of caring that you give to your people. And so a lot of people are scared of that and like oh well I don't want to be weird or maybe people won't like me or maybe they won't like that. And you need to push through that and just be you and you're going to push away a couple of people which is fine but you are going to bring in like your people, your tribe, your group of people are going to love you so much more for it because you're being authentically you, which allows them to be authentically them in that space that you're creating.
Flori Pyke: [00:36:43] Yeah I couldn't agree more. I mean we're so big on exactly like focusing in on your niche and as part of it you're going to push people away. But when the right people come to you they'll know they're absolutely in the right place and that's where it's really exciting isn't it.
Diana Tower: [00:36:59] Exactly. And it also doubles down on creating that feeling because they're gonna feel even more supported because it's like she gets me specifically for this one problem it's not oh I help you with everything. Now with this one situation and they're gonna trust you so much more because you're you're focusing in on that one specific thing and you have your perspective for that. And that's so powerful especially now because you know everything is going online. People aren't connecting as much, people you know most of my friends are in different cities or countries. And so how do you get that human connection. So if you can provide that in your community, mastermind, course whatever it is if you can create that human connection the friendship the support that's going to be hugely valuable for you and your business. And also it's just good like you're genuinely going to create an amazing space for your clients. And it's a win win.
Flori Pyke: [00:37:57] Oh totally. I mean I like obviously as you go through this I just like thinking back to you know our community and like the amount of what that experience has been like and just where it's up to today and like the calibre of questions that get asked, the support, the openness it has developed into something that we're so incredibly proud of and is such an imperative layer of the program that we've developed because yeah we've put a lot into it you know and it becomes something that like you said it does become sticky. People have become friends. I've created so many friendships from this community and so have so many of our students and it's like you know it's quite beautiful to see like this community unfolding and this beautiful support between them. So I totally get like your passion for this stuff because when it works it works so well.
Diana Tower: [00:38:57] Yeah. And I think even it's what you're talking out there with your group. I mean one other thing that people can think about if you don't have like live elements like even just live calls or in person elements encourage your members to make them happen. So imagine if your members like there's three people that are in the same city. You'll get them to have like a meet up because here's the thing is when people meet in person that's like when the real magic happens.
Flori Pyke: [00:39:25] Yeah the fireworks go off.
Diana Tower: [00:39:26] And it's not usually so for example live events or summits or conferences are awesome. But the magic doesn't happen when you're sitting listening to the speakers. It's at night. It's at meal times. It's going to the gym. And so you have these moments where people connect as human beings not related to the business or the subject matter. And that's what people will talk about. They have their inside jokes and they bring that energy back and they bring it into your group. And that's actually like one more thing that's super important this idea of uncommon commonalities. And so this was something that Jayson Gaignard, he has a podcast called Community Made and he talks about this it's like how do you get people to connect. You figure out what their uncommon commonalities are. So it's not that they're both entrepreneurs it's that they both like cherry gum and they practice judo. Those are things that they're gonna be like oh my God you love judo or they like sloths you know I got a sloth behind me like whatever those small insignificant things are or even like his wife actually has this water bottle this water bottle here, so hydrate spark it tracks how much water I drink. And she had one and I freaked out. I went to this event they had and I was like oh my god you have the water bottle and we were talking about this water bottle. That's an uncommon commonality. And so if you can create opportunities for that in your group. So imagine you have a post and you're even just talking about things that are not related to the subject matter. That's what can really connect people and bring people together on another level.
Flori Pyke: [00:40:54] I love it. That is yeah. And it's you know what though. It's so true. Like it's funny because the past few podcast episodes that I've recorded, there's been a big emphasis on like the offline and I think that it all starts online though the offline doesn't happen if you don't have it happening online first. So I mean as much as the offline is a very powerful and magical thing if you don't have the online where it all starts it's not going to happen right. So it's so fundamental to really be able to if it's exactly like you said you know you have a reason behind creating a compelling community and you know it's right for what you're doing then I think it can be such a powerful tool to drive your program and your membership and or whatever it is that you do, you know.
Diana Tower: [00:41:48] Yeah and I think it's also like what you said before because like you said you guys had kind of killed this community. It is okay to kill a group. I know that sounds a little bit dramatic but like a lot of people what they'll do is they feel bad they've created something they they feel like oh no I have to keep it going people are gonna be disappointed. I mean if you sit down and you are looking at the amount of time and energy you're investing. the amount of return you're getting. Even just the enjoyment that you have with the group. If it's not adding up you are allowed to close it down and you can do it in a totally respectful way. And honestly here's the deal, people might be upset but later they will move on. People will forget about it. They will move on to other things. And so you know if that is something that you need to do, like do it because it's going to be better for your business. It's also going to be better for them. Like if you're not really feeling it and you kind of like I'm doing this because I have to, they have to they will feel that in the community and they're not going they're gonna mirror it back. They're not going to be in there for real.
Flori Pyke: [00:42:47] Yeah no absolutely. People will pick up on that. I couldn't agree more. Well thank you so much Diana that has been absolutely awesome. Your knowledge and again you know just your passion around this stuff is contagious. I absolutely I feel like I could chat to you about this till the cows come home. [Diana laughs] I find it really interesting. Yes. A hundred percent. So thank you so much for your time. It's been amazing. For our listeners to grab your show notes please pop over to our site businessschoolformums.com/podcast. If you love the episode absolutely let us know. Drop us a review. We'd absolutely love to hear from you. And what about Diana. Can you tell us a little bit more about where listeners can find you. And you know where can they learn more about what you do. Give us a bit of a download here.
Diana Tower: [00:43:40] Actually right now I'm super excited. I'm finishing up my first beta program, so a course on launching and engaging your own online community. So I'm just finishing up with my first group of people it's super exciting and it's really funny because I go above and beyond with my communities and I apparently do the same with my courses because it turned from a six week program into a 10 week program. [laughing] So what do you guys need, I'm going to give it to you. And so I'm going to be relaunching that sometime soon. Like we're just wrapping this up and probably like the end of the year, that sort of thing. And so if anybody is thinking about setting up a community or wants to do that but want some guidance and support and to have a lot of fun while they're at it, you can get on the waitlist for that you can just go to dianatower.com/beta, you can get on the waitlist. I also do have two massive ultimate guides on the same thing so building and engaging online communities so if you want to read up and have some literature which is full of gifs, colourful language and just my voice written on paper. You can also download those for free at my website as well.
Flori Pyke: [00:44:56] Oh I love it. I'm going to check out those gifs. Your gifs certainly gave me a bit of a smile so I'm going to definitely check that out. No and that course sounds amazing so thank you for sharing more with our listeners about that. That's really awesome. Now Diana before we wrap up every episode we always share a bit of a parting thought and I would love for you to share this with our listeners. So I'm going to put you totally on the spot here, but what's you know based on what we've discussed and what you know about our audience and small business and whatnot. Can you share with us what would be your biggest parting thought for today.
Diana Tower: [00:45:40] I think, oh this is tricky, I would say like...
Flori Pyke: [00:45:45] I know sorry. [both laughing]
Diana Tower: [00:45:46] You're like sorry not sorry. I would say I think one of the biggest things that I find is that people feel a lot of pressure to do everything. And so it's like well I've got to do this and I've got to do that and I feel like community has become one of the things on the list. And it's like why have to do this. And honestly I would say like I would just love to give you permission to A - if you don't have a group and you don't want to have one I give you permission not to. You do not have to have it in order to have a successful business. It is not the key, it's a piece of the puzzle okay and you can choose to use that piece or you can leave it out. But if you are going to do community, just focus on how they're going to feel but also you. Be unapologetically you, just like you are in your businesses you know being you and make it unique and you'll be successful with it.
Flori Pyke: [00:46:41] Yeah I love that piece of advice. That is such a golden nugget and something that we talk about, we harp on about so much with Anna is just like be authentic, be genuine, connect with people, be yourself because that is just that's your golden ticket. That's what makes things sticky. Like you said before. I love the use of that because it's so true it's what people remember they don't remember other things they remember you. So I couldn't agree more.
Diana Tower: [00:47:09] You're so welcome. Thanks so much for having me.
Flori Pyke: [00:47:11] Oh it's been such a blast such a blast so thank you. And to our listeners remember ladies be brave in your business.
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