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Show highlights include:

  • How to build a community and attract new members by being yourself. (2:10)
  • How to replace running on the ‘hamster wheel of engagement’ with intriguing one-liners. (6:48)
  • Why treating your Facebook Group like a friend saves you from writing long boring posts no one reads. (10:38)
  • Why establishing Facebook Group culture keeps out more bad members than your rules. (14:27)
  • The Introvert’s Guide to moderating your community (even when you hate confrontation). (22:46)

You've heard the same advice about Facebook Groups everywhere. Ask questions. Add value. But what does it mean? Let me show you what a profitable, engaged, and FUN Facebook Group looks like. AND I’ll pop the hood for you so you can see exactly how I do it. Join my Facebook group Rock Your Tribe: Community Building for Entrepreneurs at http://www.rockyourtribe.com/facebook

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What's up? I'm Rachel Spiewak and this is Rock Your Tribe Radio where community, fun, social media and business collide. I firmly believe that parties are the answer to all of life's problems. Seriously. Building a community, bringing people together for a common purpose and serving them, that's your mission as a business owner. Let's make it happen. It's time to rock your tribe.

(00:28): Welcome to the show word on the street is businesses are starting to figure out that the next wave in marketing is creating conversations, creating meaningful engagement online. If you've been listening to this podcast or hanging out in my Facebook group, rock your tribe community, building for entrepreneurs. Guess what you are way ahead of the curve. And it's not just conversation for conversation's sake. And we're having conversations to build relationships and to gather data about who your people really are, what they care about, what their lives are like, their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations, what makes them tick that's information. You can use to serve them better, to create content that's interesting and helpful, and to sell more of your stuff today, I want to introduce you to one of my clients who really gets it. She's a natural at it because she's intensely curious about her tribe because she's dedicated to providing them with actually useful support, according to what they want, rather than what she thinks they need.

(01:30): She's building a culture and that's the key to creating a successful and lasting community. Meet CC Reagan, twining, host of the wonderfully impactful Facebook group, right? To heal helping survivors unearth their inner warrior. She also owns an estate planning business for high net worth UK business owners called brilliant estate planning. Her group is growing exponentially right now, and she's using her community building skills to grow her estate planning business to the best way to understand my strategy is to see it in action. So let's welcome CC to the show and find out how she's rocking her tribe. Ready? Here we go. We are talking

(02:09): About understanding your tribe. I have brought my clients twining on with me today because we have rocked her Facebook group. I want to hear it from her. So CC welcome. Tell us about yourself. Tell us about your business and your Facebook

(02:22): Group. It's amazing like how much my group has grown. Amazing. So really it's all down to Rachel for the strategy and things, but I own two different businesses. So the bit that I sort of have for my community, my Facebook group is right to heal. I help survivors of addiction, abuse and trauma on earth, their inner warrior, and heal through the power of writing. And it's really cool. I love it. And then my first business, which has been going for almost three years now is brilliant estate planning. So I help primarily I net with UK business owners to protect their businesses, families, and assets through bespoke estate. But it's cool because a lot of this stuff that you teach, I can sort of also use for other things too. So it's been really, really helpful. Awesome. So when you came to me, why did you want to focus on building your community?

(03:12): Because I saw the power in it because I followed you and saw like what you were doing with your community. And because what I wanted to build with right to heal was is a community. So I needed to know how to do that well, and I'd seen a lot of people and I still continue to see a lot of people start groups, whether it's on like, you know, Facebook, discord, whatever kind of thing that they want to do. And then it just sort of falls off. And I just don't think it's a great look for, and I didn't want to do that. If I'm going to do a thing, I want to do like a really good job. So I was learning from you from like everything you do and all your resources and stuff like that. And then I really wanted to like buckle down and do like an actually good job. So I paid the or one-on-one services so I could get your eyeballs on my stuff. And it's made a huge difference

(04:07): When we're in the business of bringing humans together, it's a lot messier than just following the AA to B to C directions.

(04:15) It's so much more nuanced. It's more of like, depending on who your audience is and who you are and, and what your brand archetype is and your personality and all of these different moving parts have so much, even your visual identity, which is pretty important. All of those things kind of come together. So there's no real, like one size fits all. If you take all these boxes and do all these things, you will have a successful group. You have to like learn from your people to make it good.

(04:44): Exactly. So when we started working together, we had a one-to-one session and there was trouble with the engagement in your group. And so what was at the foundation of getting your group members to engage with

(04:57): You? There was a disconnect between like my visual presentation and then how I was like talking in the group. My visual identity was very much, it was like pink and it was which it still is like pink, but it's like the rock, your tribe, hot pink, you know, it's not like baby pink and like script font and all these different things. And it was sort of like presented that way. And then when you got inside, you realized all sec has tattoos and the septum piercing. And she likes to curse sometimes. And she's really like spending needs and all these things. So there was a disconnect between what you say, your metaphor, which you think is really good, which is like the wrapping on the outside and the actual, like present on the inside. I think attracted people who maybe thought it was one thing.

(05:40): And then they got in and they were like, this is not, who is this crazy lady? So that was sort of like the big thing that was off. And as soon as you told me that was off and I fixed it, my group has just skyrocketed. I welcomed like 21 new members this week. Wow. And how did they find your group? And while some people I have found it through the search, it was like recommended to them. So that's pretty cool. But a lot of it is also guest expert spots and other groups and other communities and going in and little things for them. And then their audiences like, Hey, she's cool. And then they come follow me. So that's really neat.

(06:16): That's one of my most highly recommended strategies for growing your digital community is go talk to other people's audiences, go be an I guess, expert. And then the call to action is you want to hang out with me if you like all of this and you want more join my digital community, the link is in the comments or wherever you put it, it works so much better than individually inviting people, which nobody likes anyway. So always take that one to many approach as much as you can to grow your digital community. So it sounds like the real key to understanding your tribe is being yourself. So once you've created that foundation, you've developed your personal brand. And if you go back to my last podcast episode, it's all about building your brand world. So you've discovered your personal brand. You expanded out into your brand world, that's your digital community. Once you did that, and you started implementing the one-line engagement posts, how did that go? Was it easier?

(07:19): It's a lot easier because in the beginning it was difficult because I felt like nothing was hidden. You try these different things and you write these different engagement posts, then you see which one does the most, you see what people comment back and say, and then you just develop more from there. So if you're writing these posts and nobody's commenting, then there's nothing to learn. And then you're just like constantly sort of running on this hamster wheel. But once I changed things, then it became a lot easier because suddenly these were my people and we understood each other more. And when I would ask them something in the group and they would leave their feedback, you know, I could ask them, what do you consider yourself? You consider yourself a survivor. You consider yourself in recovery. You know, I could ask things. How do you speak about yourself?

(08:05): What do you think about yourself? And they tell me, well, yes, because this, well, no, because this, and it was really interesting to see like how different people describe themselves and what this sort of thought process is there. So when I go and create my posts, now I just scroll back through the group and like, see what posts have done well. And what sort of people asked about. And I'll just make like variations on a theme. And I can schedule like two weeks worth of posts in half an hour. So what you're really talking about is data,

(08:37): Which I love, it's an anthropology major. Okay. So you're gathering data. It's not just about engagement for engagement sake. When you're creating these one line engagement posts in your digital community, are you fixated on just trying to get the up or what are you thinking about when you ask your questions?

(08:59): It's not really just about the numbers, because engagement just for engagement's sake is sort of pointless. It's about learning more. And I want to cultivate that sense of community with other people talking to each other as well. So somebody will comment something and then somebody else will say, I relate to that. Or I tried this, or I did this and kind of offer their suggestions and get this sort of back and forth going. And it just good vibes. So that's a lot of it, but I want to learn about them. I want to learn like, okay, you guys are my people, you're here for a reason. How can I serve you? What do you need? And it's been really good. So for example, I was in their lab today talking about communication because I posted something, one of my one line engagement posts. And I said, do you find it difficult to communicate sometimes?

(09:50): And then people were like, yes, yes, yes, yes. I was like, right. Okay. But then I just had yeses. I didn't have the reason why. So then a few days later I made a poll and I said, what is the most difficult thing you find about communication? And it was like, I don't know where to start. I'm afraid of rocking the boat. I'm afraid of upsetting somebody. I'm afraid of being misunderstood, all of these different things. And then everybody could vote and everybody can sort of add their own things. And then I figured out, okay, well, this is what's wrong. And I found sort of the common theme. And then today I did a live and I was like, here's some tips on how to like, handle all these things. I mean, people were like, that's great. And I was like, cool. You know, they'll tell you, but you have to learn how to ask. That's

(10:35): Exactly it. So how do we figure out how to ask the right questions? Probably I have to ask the wrong ones first. Yeah, It's true. I asked questions in my Facebook group that flops sometimes. And I think you have to be unafraid to ask questions that might not get the engagement that you want.

(10:55): Yeah. You sort of need to know, like my, you consider yourself a survivor post didn't go down very well. Do you consider yourself a warrior post went down really, really well because everyone is like, hell yeah, I'm a warrior. I'm a fighter. I'm like overcome all these things. And then they thought maybe survivor had like more of a negative connotation to it. You know? I mean, not everybody, but sort of like, generally it was like, you know, sometimes I post stuff and it doesn't do well at all today. I posted something. Do you meditate? Just like to know what people are doing and you know, just ask questions. And I'm just like, we'll see how this lands. And then, you know, everybody was commenting like, yes. And I do this and I don't know how, how can I start? And I raised like going in and helping each other.

(11:35): And I was like, wow, that's just the most simple ones. But I had to ask a bunch that just flopped. And then I started to ask ones that flopped less, and then they would leave comments. And then I would look into those comments and find some insight in those. And then I would ask different questions, reword my questions. And that's when it started to become so much easier because it's almost like if you think how people talk about your ideal client is like an actual person. You could like personify them. If you think of like the people in your community as like a cohesive unit of a person, then you're just like learning little bits about them. It's like when you make a friend and you hang out more and more and you get to know more about each other, it's exactly like that. So it becomes easier to have conversations because they just know them better.

(12:26): So I love how you went from asking a yes or no question to a poll that got people to talk about, you know, what was behind the yes or no answer. And then you can take that into your instructional content. And you can take that into a live video because the big mistake I see people making with their digital communities, one of the many big mistakes I see is writing instructional content. We call it value. We're giving value. We'll write these value posts that nobody asked for. We put a lot of time and energy and so it, and then nobody engages. And then it's very frustrating. So, I mean, you nailed it. That's the progression of how to create that valuable information. Those information will posts or videos that actually resonate with people. So gold star

(13:10): For you. I love that people liked the videos. They liked the engagement posts. I mean, when you're like scrolling on social media, it's because you're bored. So if you're just writing like informational posts, like when you're bored and you're scrolling through social media, do you want to read super long posts and then give like super thoughtful responses? No, you want to watch like stupid videos of dogs on Tik TOK or whatever. So, so you have to sort of make it easy so that people want to respond. And then people prefer when I do the more like information dumping in video format, that's what they've told me that they like. So that's what I do. He is like what we've learned and what we're discussing this week. And then I go on my live chill with CC and give you some information and people listen to it while they're at work and do another thing. So they come back, I'll watch it on the replay and it's great. They really like it. And it saves me a whole bunch of time writing a whole bunch of boring posts that nobody cares

(14:09): Rocking a digital community. That's the future of marketing. Do you want to get ahead of the curve? Let me show you how to use real life, community building strategies to grow your brand, your authority, and your army of marketers. Head over to rock your tribe.com to send me a message. Let's get this party started.

(14:27): That's exactly it. And I love that. You're talking about giving people information in the form that they are likely to consume it because this is the other mistake. This is the other piece of that. Very same mistake is assuming that people want to read your lecture. They want to read your term paper. They don't, people want to be entertained. Videos are way more entertaining than very long instructional posts.

(14:50): Yeah, for sure. I, you know, I keep it really chill, like, especially in my group and my dog Harley will like jump on the couch as soon as I get started sometimes. And I'm like, okay, well, Harley wanted to say hi before we officially start the video and I'll make a joke and tell stories about my life. And it's not like, here's all this information and let me fix you. It's like, where are the same? And this is what I've learned. It's so simple. Yeah, it is. It's so simple that it took me forever to figure it out.

(15:22): So you've got a trauma recovery group. And one of the big points that I make all the time is that your digital community should not be a pity party. And so this is one of the big challenges of trauma recovery groups. So how do you manage to create a non pity party trauma recovery?

(15:41): Well, I think we set the culture in our groups, right? So it starts with me how I sort of lead and the way that I phrase things and the way that I speak to people and the way that I come across, I think sets a lot of the tone. Like I like to joke about stuff. And I like to say little like anecdotes about things and make fun of myself or whatever the thing is. And I just sort of, you know, it's like you got to laugh about it sort of thing. And I try to kind of have that mentality. So rather than it being like this bad thing happened to me, this bad thing happened to me. This bad thing happens to me. It's like, oh my God, I'm a member of so many groups. So it's like, how can we honor our emotions and feel what we're feeling?

(16:25): And then change our perspective and see it in a different way. And that's really hard for people to step out of and do that. But you know, you can help people do that. And it's not about being fake. So yesterday I had posted something because we've been talking about gaslighting as well. And I posted a question, have you ever been gas lit? And people were commenting. And they were sharing about their experiences and being really vulnerable as they are in my group. And it was really cool. And then somebody else commented and said, everybody's been gas lit. The real question is, are y'all ready to admit when you've done it to other people are y'all able to admit when you've done it to other people down. And I was like, well, that's not my favorite tone.

(17:10): So I just commented back. And I said, you bring up a really interesting point side note. Tom can easily be misconstrued over comments. So it's absolutely fine. But I just wanted to let you know that, you know, this is we use inclusive language and this is an uplifting space. So just letting you know, and then he commented back, of course, he's one of these like, well actually people who like, when you say something, they'll be like, well, actually and he was like, what's more uplifting than being self-aware or something like that. And I know I can, my tone can come off as confrontational, but I think it's important of getting the truth when you're asking these questions. So what's wrong with that? And I commented back and I was like, well, I feel like you answered your own question because you're very aware of your tone, so I don't need it.

(17:59): So I question because you've explained it very well was very confrontational tone. And I don't think that self-awareness and honesty are synonymous with confrontation. I said the tone in my group and the tone is kindness. First. I haven't gotten any responses back, but some people do like that comment, but that's the thing is like, my group is still a baby. I started it in like December. It's still very much a baby and it's still like very much growing and I'm getting new people all the time and I need to show people like, we're kind here, we're uplifting here and we honor our emotions, but I'm not going to have people in here like stir in. Cause they feel like they really did something

(18:41): There's so much here. I want to unpack so good for you for being a great moderator because when we run digital communities, our job is to moderate. And I think this is something that when people start basic groups around their business, often don't consider the responsibility of being a digital community moderator, which is something I ran into in rock your tribe. Pretty recently with somebody deciding to use my name and my group name and my business name, which is trademarked to spam my members with her pitch as if it was like, you know, sanctioned by me, which it wasn't. So that was something that I had to moderate on in my group. And it is, it's a big responsibility that we need to take into account when we're running these digital communities. Another thing you mentioned is that you set the tone, you build the culture, I've got another podcast episode that the title is something like base it.

(19:33): Nobody cares about the rules in your Facebook group, because what I see is this sort of reliance on the rules, oh, people should be aware of the rules in my group and follow them. And remember them, even though there's hundreds of millions of Facebook groups, each with our own set of rules and then people using the ones that Facebook sort of provides these sort of like cookie cutter rules. So we're supposed to remember all of the rules and all the groups that we're in and care and abide by them. And it's not that we shouldn't have rules because the rules help us moderate, but we have to be culture first. It's your job as the admin of your group is to build that culture, which you're doing a great job of doing you're welcome. So I wanted to ask you or talk about, because I have a little bit of a ranty soap box here about trauma recovery groups.

(20:24): If we can go there for a second, cause I have a master's degree in social work, you know, I have feelings about, you know, whether you should be credentialed or not to deal in mental health and provide mental health services. There's a reason why it's a regulated industry, at least in the United States. So I observe a lot of trauma recovery groups and see the engagement posts. And I find them to be retraumatizing to be asking about pain points, constantly, the struggles, you know, asking about the throes of trauma, these engagement questions. What do you think about that as a person who runs a trauma recovery group?

(21:02): Yeah. I don't love it. I mean, I'm a big advocate of like trigger warnings. I mean, I use trigger warnings in like in conversations with my friends, like even in phone calls, I'll be about to bring something up and I'll be like trigger warning, but like CC, you don't need to do that. And I'm like, well, it's a good habit. It's going to keep doing it. And you never know what can be triggering to people. And if that's the point of your group and if you know that your group is full of survivors of trauma, then you know, maybe you don't do that. I don't tend to ask. I mean, I did ask about like, do you have like difficulties with communication and stuff like that, but it was following on from the gaslighted conversation. It was sort of like on a wavelength with that where it made sense to ask, obviously I got a good response and it was okay, but that's not really very triggering. Is it, do you struggle with communication is not really like a, like a triggery sort of question. It's not

(21:54): Like, are you struggling with your PTSD flashbacks? You know, that's another kind of question. Yeah. Does anybody else have flashbacks about this relating to this? Or just like, what is your sleep paralysis even look like? And I'm like, you know, can we just not do that? I hate it. Like, I don't want my group to be like that. And that's probably another reason why I went so hard on Mr. Well, actually, because I don't want my group to be like that. You see those people who just sort of like poke and I'm like, you're not going to do that here. You put the mama bear. I'm like, Imma call this out.

(22:31): That's right. And that is how you need to be, if you're going to moderate these groups. And there's like a lot of introvert identified people in my world, running digital communities. And that's something that I talked to the introvert crowd a lot. We talk about this element a lot because you still, if you want to run a community, I mean, you can have those rules and fall back on those rules, but it is still your job to moderate set the tone and be the mama or the Papa or the parent bear. Yeah. Did you like that? That was so slick. The parent there, those are like, you know, non-binary of me.

(23:04): Yeah. I know. I love it. Very inclusive. I mean, it's not like comfortable. I don't love confrontation. And I do identify as an introvert. I spend like most of my time alone, even pre pandemic, I was like, yes, please. Joggers and sweatpants and stuff like that in front of the TV, you know, my favorite place. But you have to like put that aside for your people. Yeah.

(23:30): It just, it comes with the territory of running a digital community is you have to moderate or else it's going to go off the rails. Yeah. And especially at this stage when it's like so new and it's growing exponentially, especially at the moment, I feel like it's more important now than ever that I sort of delineate. This is what I expect from people. And this is how we talk to each other. And here you can say stuff and you can disagree. That's absolutely fine, but we just need to be respectful of each other.

(24:01): I agree. And that's why I'm always thinking there's no magic cookie cutter answer to literally anything on the planet. There are principles and foundational things and stuff that does apply across the board. Generally. That's why I have the prerecorded Facebook group, success masterclass. Those are the foundational things that I tell literally, everybody write into a one hour video session. But then beyond that, it's a lot deeper.

(24:30): Yeah, for sure. But you need those building blocks in place. Like I had done all the backend stuff that you were like, do this, do this, do this, set up. These questions, set up this email sequence, have this thing. And that was like, I have do the welcome posts and make people feel special. Like comment back to people, engage back with people, all the things that you have to have those foundations in place. You have to have the machine turning before. Then you can go in and make those little tweaks and do those like specific things it's important to invest in the basics first is think is what I'm mean to say, well, that brings us

(25:05): Right back around to the beginning where we started, which is that we are in the business of people, you know, it's messy. It's like people weren't messy. The world would probably make a lot more sense than it does. Yeah. But also be like more boring, Probably human beings, man. What's with us. I know we can't beat them. Join them, CC Reagan's training. I love you. Thank you for being here. So if people want to find you in these internet streets, how do they do that? CC reagan.com. And you can find all of my stuff there. That's mostly where you can find all my stuff about right to heal and my community that we've been talking about. And you can get to my Facebook group from there. And if you want me to sort out your will and stuff, people in the UK, then you can go to brilliant estate planning.com. And that's sort of like the other, the other side of me, professional lady disguise side professional

(26:05): Lady. We are professional ladies. Well thank you for being here. It was great talking to you and catching up and finding out about how you've added 21 new members to your Facebook group in the last couple of days, week or however long it's been.

(26:19): I mean, it was like within the last week, but I was, my group was going crazy. I was getting more people. I was getting people in there, like faster than I could accept them. I had to like keep refreshing the page. It was like, it was a hell of a problem to have immediately texted Rachel. And I was like, okay, I'm so proud. I love getting message from clients being like, look at my Facebook group.

(26:45): Yeah. It's amazing. And I've learned so much, I've learned so much about like communities in general and about my voice and who I am and who I want to show up as across both of my businesses. And it's caused me to be myself a lot more even like in my estate planning business and post the things that maybe some people don't like sometimes. And that's sort of the point, whereas maybe before I was like a little bit more Demir or something in the way that I wanted to come across, but it's really been freeing and seeing the success that I've had and just fully being myself in my community has given me so much more confidence to be myself in all aspects of my businesses and probably personally as well. It just knowing how to talk to your people. I know in the right way to do it, but I'm so glad I have Rachel in my life.

(27:37): So I'm glad you're in my life too. So do you want to tell everybody you rock not you like they rock, but you're going to say you rock. Are we going to say it like together or do I just say it For, do I just, do I say you and then you say rock. I don't know how do we do it? Okay. So let me do, I'll start the outro, the podcast out, right? Thank you so much for being here and as always you rock,

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