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Episode 87: CMX Summit Recap with Deb Schell

by Deb Schell
September 21st 2022

In this episode of the Community Strategy Podcast, host Deb Schell shares her notes and thoughts from the recent CMX Summit which she attended virtually on ... More

Hi there and welcome back to the community podcast. My name is Deb Schell. I'm a creator turned community builder. After launching my online community in 2020 I have a passion for online events and bringing people together. I now consult business owners and leaders just like yourself who have a message, their life's work or a vision for helping others transform through their online courses, cohorts or memberships on this interview style podcast. You'll hear conversations with community leaders, passion for bringing people together online. Our goal is to provide you with interesting conversations to inspire you to build, launch and grow an online community with energy, confidence and purpose. Let's get started. Hi everyone, this is Deb and welcome back to the community strategy podcast. This is a special episode that I have decided to host just with me today, so there's no guest.

But what I'm going to talk about is the CMX summit that happened last week as I'm recording this now on September the 21st, which is actually international peace day as well. Um I'm sharing with you the notes and thoughts that I have from the last uh to the two days during the CMX summit. So I don't know if you're familiar with cm X. I'll give you a basic background with, you know, you can look up CMX later, but basically I've been a part of the CMX slack channel and community for basically the last two years I've met several people through CMX, but basically it's a, it's a network to connect other community builders together. Most of who those people are building communities for organizations or companies and so they're hired as, and that's their jobs to be a community manager and they work full time or maybe part time, um, growing online communities for either organizations, nonprofits, startups or, or larger enterprise companies.

And so what happens is these um, connect chapters that are all over the world that CMX hosts brings together these community builders and, and so they've had an event um, ever since they started, I guess I, I can't remember the exact dates, but um, this is the first live in person event that CMX had and they hosted in san Francisco and I didn't go in person, but I attended virtually. So that's the recap I'm going to do for you today is around my virtual experience. So I'll tell you the first, the first big takeaways I'm gonna share was they had some really great speakers. There was amazing conversations in the chat of the virtual attendees as well as um, people that were in person that connected later. Um, let me see, what else do I want to say about that. Um, so I did notes and I did them live and so then I was sharing them with people and so I'll go over a little bit of my notes with you. Um, it kicked off from a virtual aspect of what I, my entry point was when Derek Anderson who's the co founder of, he was working with the startup grind.

It was his first venture into community building. And he um is actually the co founder of Bevy, who bought CMX a few years back, he talked about um how community is impactful in the world today and um he said when you need someone, you should treat them as if they are in serious trouble and each community has lives that can be positively impacted. And he said we're in this together, I think that's really an important statement to make um that you know, you don't know how people come into a room, whether it's in person or virtual. You don't know what baggage they're bringing with them with their personal experiences. And so knowing that we could assume, you shouldn't assume anything. My stance is, we never assume things, but I think what he's getting with with this is that you don't know what a person's life is or what's happening with them. So community builders are people who are welcoming, no matter where you come from, no matter what your circumstances are and having the expectation that you know nothing about somebody and giving them the benefit of saying this person might be having a really hard day.

So I want to make sure I help them and support them versus you know, coming to them with my objective or my mission or my, you know what I want to talk about. And I think that's the basis of being a really great community communicator and the community builder is is to have that ability to see the 4th, 4th site of, you know, maybe not everybody is in the same place I'm at and so I really want to be cautious about how I approach people, making sure that I feel like I generally can relate to them and say I want to, you know, meet you where you're at, basically. So expanded on that just a little bit too much. But anyway, that was my thought there when he said that um Savannah Peterson did an amazing job as the in person M. C. She had lots of energy. She was very funny. I had little quips and funny things that she was talking about. Um she was amazing at just keeping it flowing through the event. Um The first speaker was Parker obviously the highlight of the conference I think from what everybody else has said, she talks a lot about how it's changed from when we gathered before the pandemic.

It clearly has changed. Groups are complicated. She says groups are complicated and community is complicated being a community, there is hard, she commends people who take this task on. And I think that's a big um a big note that a lot of people are kind of dismissing right now because there's so many tools and apps and hacks and things to do um that people can assume. And I think a lot of people do assume that community building is really easy when it's, it's just not, it's very, it's very, you have, there are certain people that have strengths around building connections and elevating people and empowering others and that is a very amazing strength that community builders have. I want to do an article on that as well at some point. Um anyway, so she talks about how it is challenging and it can be complicated and and a lot of people actually make it more complicated, and I think that's just the world we live in is that it seems like there's so many things that overcomplicate.

Um she said the biggest challenge at the end of the day, we all have as community builders is how to get people to show up. That's it, if if, you know, there's more to it than that, but I'll say like that that's the biggest challenge that a lot of community builders are facing right now is how do we just get people to show up to these events if we're gonna do virtual ones or in person ones, how do we get to get them to show up inside in the community and engage? How do we get them to show up? Um how do we close that gap is what she's kind of bringing to light here? Um most people don't aren't trained on how to actually facilitate these conversations, even if you've had formal training, they don't teach how to better relate to people, especially now and everything keeps changing so fast. It's very hard to keep up. Um she talks about A group is just three people, you know, uh it doesn't have to be 1000 people, it doesn't have to be 500 people or 50 people, it could be a group of five or 10 and actually it's actually great to build relationships by starting small.

She mentions that as well. Um what do we need, what's required um you know, to get together? Like she talks about a dinner party gathering and what you need, what you need to have um conversation. You need to have people, you need to also have people that feel safe and have and give them permission. And so those are always to um think about, she talks about the gathering in the space, the physical space, the culture of the environment and and how to cultivate gathering in these spaces. Um she talks about how the world changed with the pandemic. And when you decide to connect convene, decide on how to interact as well as what experiences you want to have and you want to be a part of her notable quotes here, uh what do we think, What do we want to bring through? What is it we want to do going forward? Having that thought process in mind.

Um she said the pandemic was a massive interruption to our entire social, political and economic structure, but what it did for us was forced us to change how we gather. Uh she talks about weddings and just how people met differently during the pandemic. It helps us align with people who we are, who we want to hang out with and and you know, it made us question like you know, who are we spending our time with? Where are our communities at like where is our community? Uh she talks about some mistakes, things to avoid, is assuming, assuming the purpose is shared or obvious. I think the biggest thing I work for clients on is people said, well they should know, no, nobody knows, nobody knows anything. You have to very much handhold and tell people up front and be very clear and stop over complicating uh the experience, she said we learned to keep it simple. Um she gave some examples and I went into a little bit more detail there, but she brought it home, which is saying community is community, it's not a hack, um but how can we have the technology to bring us bring people together um for purpose and not, not just for, not just for transactions but for purpose and like providing a way for people to align with that mission that you have as a creator or founder or leader of a community and aligning that with what the participants want to do and allowing them, how do how do we connect those dots for them to be seen valued and heard.

So those are all kind of looping back there. Um Then the next thing I attended after pria parker's session was the virtual stage our community needs to be a heart of your customer success strategy and this was with Kenneth um and I have to say his name. Riffs card from Incited and he talks about the customer experience, his transition to the customer success manager uh term. And he talks about is the response just to hire more customer service managers. Or what is the what how does community factor into customer success? He said um Some of the challenges are to solve the fragmented experience across digital resources uh established, effective one to many communication channels, managed product feedback uh effectively and um reach all users, not just ones in specific funnels. So talks about expanding, how do we include more people?

I think that's really what he's talking about. You know, he talks about communities now, top strategic priority for B two B sas companies and customer service organizations. Um Community becomes a hub for everything for the community, customer needs, they can find and meet each other that are using the same software. They can get answers fast to solve the problems that they experience. They can also attend events to learn more about upcoming Software improvements, new features and functions to the software. Um and then he gives 10 steps for the community um at heart with having the heart of customer success. He says start with small team uh just smart small um what does your the community do, What's the purpose talking about? Like alignment with business goals and purpose? Um You don't need to solve everything from the start. He mentions aligning your CS goals to the community, use cases focus on the support needed and what is most beneficial for the company and the community.

Um So supporting the customers will improve your customer experience, Right? So how do we solve those two problems? Number three, use community to break down silos. Uh Again just providing a more accessible communication experience for um all of the customers by uh community can touch all sorts of departments um aspects like programming with teams discussing breaking down walls between other departments, like sales and marketing, product development as well as um background I. T. Teams, bringing those people together and having conversations right from the beginning around. How does community incorporate with all of these other teams and departments? Um get enterprise community capabilities, focus on the building of the community, not just the platform, but the team and community platform experts support you think about what you'll need over time and do the project in phases.

That's a great point to say that you don't need to do and you shouldn't do everything all at once. You should phase in your project. So you know, maybe you don't have the 10 features that you really want to have from day one, you have two features, two functions, you have two goals, you know, and that's to get members there and to have it start filling, filling some conversations um and then maybe later you do events or maybe later you do other aspects of like courses or you know, other kinds of content um but you don't need content from the start, we always talk about that in the community strategy podcast. Here is you don't need a whole lot of content to get started. What you need is a core group of people, your ideal members and need to find those people first and talk with them about how they want to connect inside an online space. Before you even talk about all of this content that you're going to create or somebody's gonna create where you before you even know if that content is needed, useful or or going to be um consumed and then let's see what else performance.

We talked about position your community at the heart of the journey, so in the central online destination of your community, make everything easy for them to find that they need um connect your Crm and CS tools, adding the valuable content to your data from your customers will give you the tools and support around um the other arms of the business, the other product feedback and all that good stuff, incorporate community into your playbook. So consider community committees, placing all of your processes, how can the community support other aspects, your product team, your feedback loops for products and features, improvements with customer service, um reducing support tickets, all of those things. Uh then he says blend online and offline engagements with customers. Bring online events, promotions, pre pre and post event engagement and networking during the event, customer roundtables as well as industry discussions with groups offline.

So he's encouraging more um maybe hybrid approach. So having, you know, in person engagements in online guns and how do those converge and connect. So that's a good tip there, embrace community for all segments. Um think about different ways to reach different segments of your core customers or clients and then measure and report on the real value. Uh evaluate the data, demonstrating the value of the community is providing for the company and how the community supports engagement, product feedback, customer service and providing the valuable on what is valuable for the business. So you talked about that? He said what is needed for a community team just to focus on the strategy first to have a good plan is the most important part. That's what we talk here a lot about the community strategy podcast. Uh making sure you cover your basics with what your customers need first online, your strategy and structure with the needs of the business and make sure to do research and reporting.

We talked about that a lot as well. Um then there was a session that I attended. So the next session, so I finished that session, the next session I did, I'm gonna skip through some of these, someone's gonna share some highlights. There was some really great um conversations around lessons with community building in africa and europe. The highlight, there was just talk about, you know, there are different ways that different cultures connect and consume, so if you are hosting an international community or international brands, uh thinking about the messaging differently and how community members connect differently, um or receive messages differently based on where they're at geography in the geographic regions. Uh and so he said um there was two people on that session, it was up to and uh I think her name is a thera might say that wrong and I'm sorry if you're hearing this and they talked a lot about um just those shared experiences in the thriving community, everyone has a part to play and we want to make sure that everyone has a strong vision and structure for the community.

Um she says we started gradually building a community that provides um members with comments that are picked up and shared with our customers on the blog and partnering with marketing. Um so they brought all the different departments together. Justice says in Africa, there's more focus on people using smartphones. So just that user experience would be different if you have a mobile app versus a desktop app only. And in the UK there's an individual sense of what community means versus um, a cultural sense in africa where, where they have, you know, more formal, they're, they're used to community being communal with people versus a personal experience with an online community. So this was some of the highest from that session. Then there was a session with laura ness our VP of community at Reddit. This was one of my favorite, actually the, one of the top favorite um of both days, I think this was my second favorite session and laura really broke down that community is just, let's how do we just get right to the point?

Let's stop making a complicated um focus on less and get to do more. Um she talked about just keeping it practical and simple. Um sometimes work, it's in the way and we really just need to be practical tracking the metrics of what we're doing in the moment and get out of the weeds of confusion and over complication. Uh just yes or no, and if not, let's optimize for it, you know, like just really getting back to the foundations of community building, she said, um companies have a hard time giving up control and sometimes that's why they have a hard time with community because community is about letting go is about giving over that control. If you aren't going to give up the control, she says it's going to be opaque. Um you don't need to sell fancy tools to solve problems. You just wanna have build relationships and understand what problems there are so that you can then provide the solution.

People get caught up in resources. Um you have to get volunteers to host world wide events and to solve real problems, but you can also solve them uh in different ways. But the tools are not the thing like the platform, not the thing, that's what she talks about. So I really love that some great top great tips there. Um and then the other session I attended here was Richard millington. He went into a lot of data and talked about um prioritizing the health of a community and how do you identify that? And I guess the big takeaway from me here was really about understanding members better and to understand them better. You have to talk to them. So I talked a lot about this with the ideal member interviews. Um he talks about attitude and behavior um attitude data is the best data because it's brand attitude, brand perception, brand preference and quality of life.

Um some questions he said was how has the community influenced your likelihood to utilize the products? So these are questions to ask your community members, how has the community influenced your results if they're using some of your products as a community? Um if your support community, how many times has the community saved you from having to call or make a customer support ticket. Um Those are some of the ways to measure some of the value, but there's just still a lot of challenges as far as like how do you measure the actual value of the community's worth? And it's not just numbers and it's not just um lowering tickets. It's really about how is it's giving the power to those community members to say, What do you really want to tell us so that we can make our product or service better for you? I think that's the way of seeing that. Um then another session that there is a lot of sessions. So I will try to zip through some of these and just want to pull out some highlights from a few different ones here.

I'm not gonna highlight everyone that I attended, but I will tell you the creator uh getting rid of the future of creators was very interesting as a creator myself writing a book called community creator to community builder, by the way. Um it's still crowdfunding. So if you could please support the book, that would be super helpful for me. Um If you've found value from anything I'm doing and really think that um you've been helped by the community strategy podcast or when you if you are a member of the Fine come here community or if you found value with my notes and you have any or any of those things or other reasons why you'd want to support me would be greatly helpful. Okay off of the platform begging pedestal um back to communities. So she her name is Celine and I'm not even attempt to say her last name, but she's a community advantage er with canvas, the german Canada um chapter uh and she talks about who creators are and where their market share is.

So 4.2 billion social media users of those 500 million are passion, what she titles passion economy users and then two million are in there are creators. And so she terms that the difference between a passion economy user is somebody who is um consuming content that is being created but maybe not investing in it. And creators are actually finding ways to monetize their creation. And so she talks about their, you know, that there's a lot of creators out there that are starting to make really real money. Um and that's amazing as a creator to hear as well as how do we work with creators and support them in this space of online, um how can brands support creators? So here's something I want to talk about um as a creator myself, as somebody who is building constantly building content and somebody who's not an app developer.

I'm not somebody who's creating my own product or service in the sense of development, I'm using the tools that are out there and I'm trying to navigate the best tools for me to use that are gonna fit what I need to do in my own business ending service, software platform that gives me the ability to earn some money by talking about their product is going to definitely garner my interest, my attention. So if you have an affiliate program, if you support, if I'm talking about your brand and there's a way for me to have a revenue sharing opportunity, those programs are going to encourage creators to share your product or service. So making it really easy for creators to do that is a game changer there. Like we just said the number, what did it, what did I say?

200 million creators. 200 million creators is what she said are actually trying to reach audiences and probably using your product or service if you're a software developer, how do you get more growth? Encourage creators by paying them for their time by sharing when they share their your message, that's them promoting your brand. So that's a big deal. I'll just say that and leave it there because I have a lot of other thoughts on that, but I'll leave it there for now. Um, but she did talk about just how amazing it is to be in the space of being a creator and a community manager and how um, these two concepts collide and intersect um, community of creators. She talks about um, if you have a community within a community.

So a community for creators specifically, I've seen this with uh what is the, just the one thing I wanna say? Um, Matador Network, I mean, I know that that's not really a community platform, but I'll just say Matador Network has a really nice creator space where they give a lot of resources as a writer, as somebody who does freelance travel writing, they have some really great resources on the back end for creators to tips on how to pitch for stories and press trips and things like that. Um, so she talks about leveraging partnerships with creators to help your brand, uh, takes time to build online communities. Um, a company with a creator program and she says there's two different kinds of company with a career program or companies that have, or creators that have their own communities. Um, and then the need for the need to create and grow partnership with creators Is she has five components there.

Um, they need a community manager, a budget, a platform, engagement tactics and content delivery. So if you're going to offer a community for your creators who are maybe your brand ambassadors to connect to support each other, to offer a space for them to like see what's working as far as bringing referrals in our people, incentivizing their programs to make sure that they're getting their affiliate revenue that they need. If you're talking about something like that, then those are some of the things that she recommends having, um, a dedicated community manager for that, that group of creator subset of people and then having content delivery directly for those people, I think circle also does this pretty well because they send out specific just recently, I got an email from circle about their new upcoming seminar and um, how I can promote it as an affiliate. The other thing I would mention here is um, she talks about the apps that brands need and how creators are creating their own content and hosting spaces for them to speak directly disciple does this well as well as um, circle in allowing consultants to have workshops to talk about community building.

So I'll highlight those two, those are really great spaces as well. Okay, so next we have uh, john Cantrell a he's with meta, he talks about community economy from the business, from business to creators and he talks about the creator economy and this concept that instead of working for others, these creator communities are being supported by meta through he said they've supported these creators through movement, creating impact and helping them make change. Um you said communities bring joy to others, which we know and he said the most successful companies and creators build things that they care about. They can connect with and have a meaningful impact. Um, he's mentions around some surveys and reports that they did and he says focusing on community first is more than making a is more than a marketing tactic.

It's a strategic advantage, which I thought was a really great quote that he said, um because that just means community is a game changer and we know this, but I think it's very challenging to get by in like what we talked about always is getting buy in from leadership or if your community is your own buy in would be actually getting people to sign up for your course or join your membership and um, if you're selling that, those would be, you would be selling to commute consumers versus B two B. Um the thing that I thought was interesting that he mentioned is the minute that you look at communities capital, you are dead in the water. And I thought that was interesting because I do see that there's this trend or flip coming around with, you know, community monetization is this, you know, where does it fall? Where is it prioritized that we talk about? How is it valuable, is it meaningful?

Should we be charging for community, should it be open and free? Um, I think those are really interesting conversations to have right now. I think it's challenging. One of the things I talked with about a few other leaders in this space is everybody knows community is super valuable, but what we can't seem to figure out is who is paying for it because at the end of the day, somebody has to build this space, somebody has to create the space, somebody has to manage the space and create this cultivating of conversations and what one thing I've learned is that everybody's time is valuable and we only have a certain amount of time each day and we don't know when our clock is going to run out clearly. So that means we want to make the most of each day that we live as human beings and we don't necessarily want to be working at jobs that we don't like anymore become relevant with this whole great resignation, which I, you know, I quit my job before, before all this started, but I'll just say that it's an interesting conversation that I'm looking forward to having more of in the future.

I'll stop there. Uh then Stephanie um from the head of global community and customer advocacy and elation. Um she talked, she had an interesting, really interesting talk about the fact of theirs, there's deficit or there's challenges to having too much segmentation. Um, so one of the lessons that she learned was about, you know, not segmenting too much too fast or too soon without and without validating with other members, um by splitting out community sections, um without asking the members around like what bucket do you want to be in or where you want to be placed? Um just moving them somewhere. Um isn't cool. And so you always want to ask your members if you are, you have an existing community, you're talking about, you know, reform adding that or reframing it in some way, like making sure the members um are aware of all the changes and you're talking with them and getting feedback from them.

And then she talks about being transparent um and just being honest about, you know, when challenges happen as a community leader or a business, like just be honest with the community members and that shows that you trust them enough to be able to share those things with them. Um Did you talk about these are focused on building measurable programs? So telling the R. O. I. Story is tied to the authenticity of user experience. Um she says thinking about community gatherings differently uh by knowing the people in your community through ideal member interviews again, help the members help the members make the dreams come true, help the members make the dreams come true, build programs and other platforms if needed and show up for your culture and your region. So she's talking about getting to know your people better and understanding where they're at and meeting them where they are. How can we make their lives easier.

She talks about. And getting by and speaking, going back to this concept of getting buy in for community founders and leaders, um they understand the importance we need to remind them. It's more than just about data, it's about people. So as community leaders, we have these day to day experiences with members that we could talk about, but then when we should report to management or just like I'm not in this role, but I know from examples of things that I've heard that you would ask, they would provide a report of most active members or, you know, if there's conversions to website clicks or purchases or things like that, those would be metrics, that would be uh community managers role to provide to leadership so that they know that here's why here's, this is how it connects to our business values and mission and purpose, but it's more than that, right? Not everything can be measured in a number. Um, so she shares about weekly, wow moments, um, sharing like the state of the community saying, hey, here's, you know, what's been happening, giving that personal and storytelling aspect kind of like bringing them into the community and, and like saying, hey, this is what's happening inside, um let members define the community and what they stand for and then tell leadership, here's what the committee members are saying.

So that was that session and then I'm gonna, I'm gonna finish up here. I've got, this is only day one, so, um, I'll recap two more things and then I'll go to day two and then I'll close out. So I'll say the other session that I did was with Tod Nielsen, he's with Clock tower advisors, he's one of my partners and I've been working really closely with Todd the last few months, he talks about talent communities and how a talent community could be something to think about when you're talking about improving your um, onboarding and recruiting process and he also talks about how it could solve a lot of the problems that recruiters face today um with getting to new clients, better, having better fit with role fit and how a community could solve that problem. The let's see. So that was those were the highlights from day one, there was a lot more again, but I'll just, I'll just skim through and so I can get to day two for you real quick.

Um, and day two was really interesting as well. There was some great conversations around developer communities. My favorite session from day two was the growth and deeper engagement through diversity with um, a few, a few people who were on a panel that spoke around this topic of diversity. one of the speakers um had mentioned around diversity has been the key intersection with community building and sharing the approach, diversity and inclusion in the community can offer ideas on how to increase diversity inside your company in general, um, broader reach and deeper engagement for meaningful conversations can, can be as simple as um looking at your yourself first and saying, where, where are you stepping from in the world and what's where are the things that you see most challenging and um, separating your personal and your professional life.

Um, and then realizing how that intersects how your personal professional life intersects is one thing that that was mentioned as well as um just bringing more intentionality and purpose and understanding language and terms, um knowing what's important to tap into with specific industries and what, what's the way to bring more diversity into that industry. Examples about that. She brought an example by the construction industry and how others um speak, you know, there's underrepresented groups there as far as women goes and so you know, how do you bring up these underrepresented groups is just by speaking to them and intentionally bringing these, these voices to light? Uh let's see. So that was a really good talk. So if you do have an opportunity to listen to some of the recordings that are gonna come out here, I would say definitely check out the diversity uh topic. That was a really great um that was a really good conversation.

I would encourage you one of the quotes here. I think her name is uh Aboul Abaya gonna mess the names up so much. But she said, I would encourage you to know that belong. Doesn't take a take place in a bubble. It's not just one person's responsibility to ensure that others feel like they aren't alone, don't like others don't feel like they are alone. So it's everybody's responsibility and sometimes that feels challenging for people, but I would just say like just, let's just all become to it with a openness with openness around each other wanting to learn more. Um And then let's see, I think there were some more conversations around um diversity. So there's some good talks there and then my friend kurt did a session on community consultancy and talked about the framework and background around what it looks like to be a consultant, the space there and what that might look like.

Learning to be a lifelong learner. I know that for True as well as being flexible, diligent and disciplines and having good work ethics are really important, he said. Um And then I mentioned about the community consultants collective and that's a group that I lead that meets on the first Wednesday of each month and we have different talks from different community leaders there. It's been a really nice session that we've been meeting about a year now. Um and then I attended some Web three conversations, which was really interesting because I know nothing about Web three. So just diving in just like first starting to learn about what that might look like and what I learned was It's kind of still all getting figured out as I don't know the value of spending a lot of time in Web three just yet if you're in the community space. Like if you're new, I would say focus on web to uh unless you're, you know, working for a company that's going to pay you to learn the strategies around Web three, I think there's some challenges there And then there was a really great talk with um morgen would who's the community strategist with high bright and melissa Kirby director, executive director at Girl app.

They talked about how to um increase the number of women in leadership roles across the board because we really um she put some really crazy um statistics 62% of c suite positions are held by white men compared to 20% taken up by white women, greater than 13% occupied by men of color And a mere 4% by women of colour. So women make up 47.7% of the global work first, but only 27.1% of women are managers or leaders. Uh so she brings some really interesting stats around women and of course we know this, but it's it's it's just like how do we encourage more women to step up to these roles and I think it's just empowering them as as we speak with with women and another and fellow women for me and as we speak to people, making sure that everybody, it's not impossible to get to these positions.

And in fact you should definitely be working if that's a goal of yours to be in one of these roles, then um we're championing you for sure. Uh then the last session, I think it's the last session that having community programs must be created around delivering an outsized amount of impact for both participants and the business to justify the time, investment and resources. Uh, so really validating what the outcome is going to be from your participants and what the outcome is for the business. Um, reflect often and give reflect often on your give versus take balance check in with what you're asking and make sure the timelines fit. There's some tips that she recommended. She gives some examples about Patreon, some programs and discord programs, partner programs that that she reviewed over. And she said one of the ways for you to know when, if it's the right time to launch, you need to consider these things before you think about launching a new program.

Do you have your mission and vision? Are they aligned with communities? Mission and vision? Um, what's the annual roadmap say? And the okay rs and goal setting. Whereas the head count on the organization chart, like do you have processes down, are there big strategic bets that you're placing? Like, let's look at those and then and then decide, is this the right time for program? I think that's a really good step to just ask questions before you launch. I think as creators for sure, we're just like, let's do a new program and it can be really challenging when we're facing that, right? And then the other thing here is. Um, there's a formula she says get to and buy and what she means by that is. What do I need to get to do what and by when? So thinking about like what do I need to get together to accomplish?

And then what's the goal and then what's the date? So assigning this program formula will help you gather with the tools and resources that you need, establish a timeline and the goals and outcomes. And then she says about the community programs could be looking like super user programs, Gamified programs or customer programs uh, to increase engagement or active members. Um, there's also programs that she mentioned around measuring the success and she talks about the best incentives that sparked the deepest engagement are offering interest IQ or scalable recognition, giving back and growth. So just thinking about how you can serve your community members again. How do you serve your community members the best and how can you have fun in the process? Let's talk about having more fun. I think, I think, you know, communities should be fun and so let's figure out how we can make this more fun.

So, if you're interested in my notes, I did post a link on linkedin. There are some resources there. I think the biggest takeaways to just to recap here for me are there's a lot of transition in the community industry right now and I think the biggest challenges as a creator as, as who's, you know, how do we figure out the monetary and how is that connected to the purpose and mission? If there's a business organization, they clearly have a mission of selling more products or services. How is that? What does that look like in, in the landscape of online business for smaller businesses or creators? Um, there's conversations around like we should have free communities, but then what's the value and how there are so many community platforms? I'll say this number one, there's like community platforms all over the place. It's gonna be really interesting to see in the next three year, which can be platforms are still around two or three years from now.

It's also gonna be really impactful to see um, how people are valuing the communities that they're in. Are they paying to subscribe to a community or is it more valuable to be a part of a community that isn't charged for monetarily, but they're getting something else out of it. And what is the course? What does it look like for these course creators and how does that pan out? Because there's a lot of platforms that excuse me that are coming out with course and community together. So I think these are really interesting times for us as community builders. I'm excited to see what's happening in the community space and until the next time I hope you're finding calm, please let me know if you found this episode valuable. And I'm curious to think what to know what your thoughts are. Shoot me an email, support the book creator to committee builder.

I'm doing a crowdfunding campaign. You'll hear about that shortly. Thanks take care until the next time. I hope you're finding calm by hey, this is Deb Shell and I am super so psyched to let you know, I am writing a book, big deal. I know maybe it's not for you, but for me it's a big deal. And guess what? I'm writing this book for you because honestly, as a new community builder, two years ago in 2020 I had no idea what I was doing and I really got really confused easily. So I'm going to simplify things for you. But what I need from you right now is to actually help me make this book possible. And so you can support me with a crowdfunding campaign that I'm running through. I fund woman, I'm going to have a link in the show notes, please support me this. This is running from September one through the end of october so I'm really hoping to reach my goal to be able to write this work style book.

It's gonna have worksheets, it's going to have templates. It's going to be something that you can actually use today. It's not a course that you have to take for four weeks. It's not a big book that's not going to give you actionable steps. You're going to be able to take action the same day that you read the book. I'm super excited about this. I've had lots of feedback from clients. This is what they want, This is what they need. So I'm putting it together and I hope you can support me with it and I hope I hope it's going to help you. So let me know. Please check out the show notes for that link to the I fund Woman crowdfunding campaign for the new book I'm writing. It's called creator to Community Builder. I'm so excited. Thanks for helping me if you've already donated.

Episode 87: CMX Summit Recap with Deb Schell
Episode 87: CMX Summit Recap with Deb Schell
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