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): And now for something completely different today, we have seagulls a horrible goose, Dungeons and dragons, super Mario brothers, Monty Python. That's right. It's time to meet another client of mine, Robin Bates, founder of coaching for geeks, audience building for content, creators, and entrepreneurs. It's a highly engaged digital community on Facebook that helps its members build their own digital and real life audiences from conventions to discord servers, to podcasts, Robyn coaches, geeky business owners, to get heard and seen what stands out to me about Robin's community is the way he engages his members. He starts conversations, even the mundane ones about goal setting, for example, in his own absurdist way. But when Robin approached me to help him with his community, just three months ago, he was working himself into the ground. What was different about Robin versus most business owners that I work with is that he already built a great brand world.
(01:23): More about that later. So what was missing when it comes to building your digital community, there are two ways to think about your niche. There's your who and your, why, who belongs in your tribe and why should they join? What's the aspirational outcome, your community delivers? What do you help people do for Robyn? Sorting this out was the key to immediate engagement, inbound leads and easy sales. Weren't far behind. As we say, in America, the riches are in the niches, or maybe it's the riches are in the niches. There's one other idea. I want you to pay attention to in this interview, it's bigger than engagement growth in sales. The idea is this. If you're not excited about your community, then your members won't be excited about your community. You've got to fall in love with it. So if you don't mind seagulls, occasionally squawking, well, a couple of friends laugh their way through an interview. I'm going to pass the mic to Robin. Are you ready? Here we go.
(02:20): Thanks Rachel. Yeah. Coaching for geeks it's coaching, but for geeks, Dawn, it started out essentially as something that I needed when I was younger, I was a shy nerdy kids. I didn't really want to go outside. You know, I was pushed to Cub Scouts and I wanted to stay home and play on my computer. Play on my super Nintendo play on my and 64. I to watch TV shows about game shows and adventures. You really want to govern them myself. Thanks very much as I got older, I developed could get deep hair already. I tell it to drink, drink, control habits, or unhealthy coping mechanisms. And I wasn't in charge of my career in any way. It just sort of bumbled along wherever the wind blew me. That's where my work went. And it was purely through chance that I was working at the Institute of physics.
(03:17): And they trained me up from up into manager, started to grow my confidence, or they sent me on a certificate in learning and development practice. And that's where I got my first taste of mentoring and coaching. I excelled at it. I was Swati top of the class, loved it. And it wasn't until a few years later, I took the next step in my career thinking it was the logical next step. It was an absolute disaster. Worst mistake I've ever made, found myself crying on the London underground. I was, we have a chain bakery store called Greg's here. I was going to Greg's and having two bacon sandwiches every morning, I was eating my feelings and it was about four that's it. So I'm leaving London forever. I shall go to Devin and get a dog and walk on the malls in the drizzle, stroking my beard, and don't have a beard as well. They're very Jane Austen, very bleak. But without the honky mum at the side, just Poldark guessing away from the point.
(04:17): Bye. So why, why don't you do something with all that mentoring and coaching, but you can bet you've been doing with those that you've been doing with your team, but you've been having such great success with, so I, oh yeah. I should do something with that. And retrade got my NLP practitioner coaching certificate did some CBTS IMTS it's a bit, but on the other and launch Robin Bates, life coaching boring. No one cares. Okay. It's about Roman based life coaching it wasn't in silhouette. Well, who's I really wants to serve who are the people I want to work with? Who are the people I don't want to work with? And I realized it was me. Why create something for me that I could have really benefited from 5, 10, 15 years prior. And so we did confidence and careers we did about health and fitness. It was a really a grab bag of anything that geek culture might benefit from board game reviews and convention survival guides and how to survive, standing in line at the Pokemon center. And it was a real mixed bag of a bit of everything. And it wasn't very successful. We grew a fabulous community, but business side of things, wasn't very successful because we're not niched down in the staff. It's a geeks, but sorry, I'll try and say niche for you. That's right.
(05:39): It's not the, the the Reese's are in the niches. The riches are in the niches. I'll be honest with you. It wasn't actually until our conversation where you went. Yeah. But what do you actually do? Tell me something that you've done. Like, wow, I get people on stage at comic con you help people criminology. And so that was when the light bulb went on ping. Oh my God. Coaching for geeks helps people grow an audience. And that's when we rebranded and added a colon audience growth for geeky content, creators entrepreneurs. And since then, or rocket. Thanks very much, Rachel.
(06:23): You're welcome. When you came to me, I already knew about your group. I've seen it before. I think your branding is fantastic. It looks like visually. It's really stunning. I see you are wearing the coaching for geeks shirt and you to do that for rock your truck. We've
(06:38): Got the Vaporwave moving background style with lent very heavily into vapor and sent them retro away for the branding and colors. People seem to like it just because I like it. I like it.
(06:51): I like it. I was looking to see if I had any records of kind of go along with, with what we're doing today. And I saw like, I've got the Mantronix right here. Very retro, retro, eighties, synthy hip-hop. So yeah, I love, I love the branding. So when you came to me and I had seen your group, I was aware of it. So I was like, what, what is Robin coming to me about when you booked in a strategy session? Cause your group looked good to me. So you kind of already said it, but let's talk about what was on your mind. When you booked that
(07:21): Session. I was drowning a bit in the work of trying to keep a group engaged, continually create content for them across information, entertainment, education, promotion of so much state plus maintain a website and a healthy social media presence and work with my clients and build my membership and everything else like doing, doing my taxes, cooking, clean, everything that goes along with life. It's not just running a community. And I was really struggling. I was running out of steam. I just needed some help. They engagement was down. It wasn't growing. I've fallen out of love with it a little bit. And that was showing in my posts as well. One of my clients said to me, you drop a post and then you run off. You don't engage with it. You don't respond to people and it's can come across as a little bit on friendly sometimes.
(08:34): And it was when he said that that way. Oh yeah, I do do that. Don't I, I do just drop a knowledge bomb and run off because nobody's engaged with it. And rather than engaging with the people who have replied, you have responded, I just wash my hands of it and run off thinking of, oh God, I've got to do another one saying crap. What, what quick? Get the brainstorm, going to mind mapping what to be points know about. And I didn't know what people wanted to know about and coaching for geeks. Again, it was saved such a broad banner that people didn't know what they were getting from being a part of it. We always had a great community and they've always stuck together and looked out for each other over the last COVID year. What value would they get in to? That's why I came to you because I was close to setting the whole thing on fire and running away, laughing maniacally. I've done.
(09:33): A lot of people come to me for this. This feeling of my Facebook group is like this heavy weight. I don't know what I'm doing here. And it's exhausting me. And then they are also saying people are not engaging. And the thing is, if you're not excited about your group, how can you expect your members to be excited about
(09:49): Your group? And I'm assuming these long teaching posts and getting guests in and felt like I was really trying, I am doing all this for you. Why are you not engaging you ungrateful swine because it's a community, not a classroom. Yeah. Facebook really doesn't seem to like long form posts anymore and needed to communities. So
(10:14): We had a great one hour session where we nailed, okay, Robin, what are you doing? What do you really do to help people? What do they need from you? What's your super power. And we landed on the audience building piece. It works in real life and it works online cause there's conventions. And then there's podcasts. There's YouTube channels. There's Twitch. And I think I, I thought of a question, an engagement post for you to ask in the moment, something about audience. I can't remember what it was like, do you have a podcast or YouTube channel or something to that effect and you went and posted it and what happened?
(10:48): Oh, hello, haver. All the answers. Wow. Ah, that's the implications blowing up? Isn't it? Yeah. I proved it works. It was very, it was immediate. The difference was astounding and immediate. I should have checked. Yeah, it was. Do you have a podcast? That was all the question was no. Do you have a podcast? And here's 13 ways to promote it, which is why I would have known.
(11:18): So what's been the biggest shift in your community and in your business since we worked together. Oh gosh, the biggest shift has been, it is taking me less effort to get more results. People weren't really buying from me. They weren't buying in some coaching packages or courses very often. That was a hardcore core of people that was, and I wasn't really launching anything because I didn't have the time to, because all of my effort and energy has been spent on trying to get this engagement and get people to buy into something which was a bit nebulous and unclear. Whereas now we've launched the membership group, which is called CFG turbo and that includes, they get all the training on a training platform and they get daily accountability in the Facebook group and they get weekly coaching sessions and people are just sort of coming out of the blue and may to say on Twitter today, a new members joining our community, someone approach me, undo my Twitter, DMS and went, Hey, we've got fairly big streamer and went, Hey, we've got this discord and we'd like to increase engagement.
(12:38): Is there anything that you can do with those quick put the strategy session page up? Yes. You can book one right here. So my time is much better spent working on things that is delivering value to the people who want it. Meanwhile, in the I'm able to find out what it is that people want and give them back. Whether it's through a quick answer in the group, or I've got three lead back magnets currently being made sexy and pretty. And I started to think, oh no, maybe we should turn these into guides and sell them because they're really good slate. There's just a whole flight for Robin cinematic universe. The robbing coaching universe has expanded to have all these planets within it that make sense in a congruent and the things that people want. And I'm proud of it properly for the first time. In a couple of years, it's big shifts in mindset for me and in my productivity and creating the content that people will get lots of value from. This makes me so happy.
(13:54): This is the whole point. This is the rock, your tribe strategy in action. And you're doing it. You're knocking it out of the park. So congratulations. Thank you. It's taken a while to get that. When did we have our session? It was a few months, but now yeah. And so I beat attested the membership group in February and then we launched it in may. So yeah, it was to be around about that time every March. So I'm still working on it still. I look today by, oh, I haven't updated the group description. I start talking about the tri force of Gaetan being confidence and other things. That's not what we do anymore. Even though there's a little bit of 30 through everything that we do to, so yeah, it's getting there is we're still on. The journey always will be right. There's always more to do. There's always more learning to be hard. There's always more valleys to pack in, but it's well on its way. It's well, its way
(14:52): 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.
(15:11): Well, you seem a lot more excited about it than you did when you booked in a strategy session for me, like I am just like watching you talk about it and you sound really proud of it. Yeah. This is how I used to talk about it. When we got started to get animated and excited and that all fallen away and sure it was a rough year on everyone and I've been unwell and all of that, but I had lost the love and the passion for it and that spark. And now we're seeing great people achieving great things purely from being in the free community. That's awesome. If we're having that much of an impact on people collaborating and finding the right guests and starting podcasts and just like so proud of all of the, if any of you will watch it on the fuel
(16:01): And that's what we want. That's a big part of what we do in rock your tribe too, is helping our members network with each other and create things together and build teams. And my point of view is people are going to remember where they found their co-conspirators. They're going to remember who helped put those teams together, that's you that's me. And they're going to come back into our world and they're also going to spread the word, how much referral based growth do you get in coaching?
(16:30): Oh, it's like 90% people finding people and 5% Facebook recommended it to me. And then 5% over the last week it's been from your group, the vast, vast majority it's members member get member and bring them into our world. What's been the biggest lesson you've learned about community. Since we worked here,
(16:54): Everybody wants to feel like they belong. And that comes down to your values and really embodying your values and living them and using your voice and infusing your brand with what you believe in and what you stand for. And you know, I'm quite a, left-wing homosexual male of a certain age. And with that comes certain responsibilities, but I'm going to use that word responsibilities stand up for what's. I believe in whether that's trans rights and gay rights would be our land movements. As we think, I think is good own rights and is worth fighting for, and we don't take any longs from those who maybe those views. And it's something that we have to do a few times in we're moving people, blocking people like Asians. My community are not exposed to things, but I don't think they should have to put up with.
(18:06): And that's been really key in sort of stepping up and into more of a leadership role within my community, moving from teacher to leader. That's what it is in this leadership role. It's knowing your values standing for those values and being that support people in living those values as well. And that will create that feeling of belonging, but people are really looking for, and I've been really looking for over the last year. It's people in my group who aren't content creators or entrepreneurs of any kind, but just like the vibe and the buy for the, the means and the charts and the networking and that feeling of belonging, because we are all kind of geeky we do in like similar stuff. And we can all learn from each other and support each other and grow together.
(18:57): And the seagulls are in solidarity. Well, I'm right there with you. And this is really central to the way that I run my community too, is to stand up for all of these community values. And we really have a zero tolerance policy and standing up for what's right, is really important for helping your members who really do belong and making sure that they know that they're safe with you and they are protected.
(19:25): I've had to do a lot of learning myself over the last year. I wasn't hugely aware of people who are asexual non binary folk. And I fought to update my learning and my use manual and, and drill down and see in some of my own possible incorrect thoughts and processes and question them and our community that you're your controller on to go, Hey, I know you don't have to educate me. Where can I go and learn about this stuff? And I've seen, you've been great as well. Rethinking some languages, knowing this area where this is a term that it's fine to use in the states. The question was basically
(20:03): Asking for our, your unpopular opinion in your industry. But I, I was trying to use some colloquialisms to humanize, put it in my brand, right. And I use the words FAS and I found out that this word is not so nice, especially in the UK
(20:19): And Australia things open. So then that Nintendo put it in one of the video games and had to patch it out really, which game was that I'm not able to save a line because it's just not okay for me to say that. But if he wants to, you can look it up and you can see the Mario party on the way they put that in because of the American usage of it. And it was localized by American writers who just didn't know. So that's another thing that I've been very open to is learning and adapting and changing my thought processes based on what my community knows, because they know more than I'll ever know. And I love that you kicked someone out of your group who was being a no as well. It has
(21:08): To happen sometimes, unfortunately, but that's your job as a moderator when we start Facebook groups. So we start digital communities, not coming from a tradition of moderating. We have to learn that skill as well, where it is on us to sometimes remove people from our communities, according to policy, it is, that's just what comes with the territory of digital community building. And
(21:33): Then that gives you content for days, which is great. That is true too. It makes for really good content. So I wanted to talk about a couple of things that you've touched on a little bit. You've built an, an excellent brand world, which is something that is part of this podcast. Part of my strategy of taking your personal brand, expanding it out into your community, building your brand world. And I suspect this kind of relates to video game brand world building. Perhaps maybe you can tell us a little bit about
(22:04): That. Yeah. We've dived into is more Dungeons and dragons role playing game world-building, we've dived into using leveling up and quests and missions and reporting into sort of the Guild master. I think that background in world building has paid off in that I know what I want my brand to look like and feel like I know what what's, everyone's going to interpret things in their own way. I know what I want people to feel as a result of being a part of it. I didn't know what I wanted them to do. That's where you came in, but I knew what I wanted them to feel, and that really played into it. I suffer from empathy deeply. And so that feeling piece, what's going to go on internally when that in my worlds and making them feel good about themselves was really important. The rest of it, the logo and the colors is just conflict. It's just why, like I was thinking, it looks cool trying it Lego. So we've got sort of wings. This is more video gamey, but we've got you. Can't see it. There's a little dice in the bottom of it. And there's a joy part. It's a sword. So it's a little bit legend of cells there. It's a little bit Overwatch. It's a little bit Dungeons and dragons. It's quite a lot of things. Then a little bit Robocop, stranger things and everything. Eighties. It's just, I'm just an aging nerd rage.
(23:45): It's I literally have a boombox same colors. Our brands are adjacent if you think about it. Yeah. That's shocking pink. It's beautiful. Isn't it? It's just, it says, look at me. Part of your brand world and your world building relates to the way you do engagement posts. The core of what you're asking in many ways is kind of mundane. It's the same. You know, that we ask across many Facebook groups, but you don't just ask about what are your goals? What are your accomplishments? You have a way of phrasing your engagement questions that I think is part of the brilliance in your group. So can you speak to
(24:33): That? Sure. I just try and be punchy and fun. I like a certain kind of comedy, a very British comedy, the league of gentleman, Monte Python which has almost absurd ways of phrasing things, but they make sense in that context. So someone new coming into my world might not get why I'm shouting get your goals in my face. Now you start that's the prompts to tell me what the week two goals are, because we did that every week on a Monday. And I've just vent into that much more heavily. I think, because if you're using a color background, you've only got a few words to play with haven't you Rachel? So you've got to be punchy and get there. So being almost absurdist about how I'm presenting things has really helped in people that very much associated me with the goose persona couple of years ago, again came up called untitled goose game, but you've got to be a horrible goose and steal the farmer. Some which is make a little boy fall over and steal his glasses, things, horrible, ghost finger, aggressive people. I love this so much that I created a panel which had been pitched and came over to the states and run a panel about morality and gaming. But I hosted it as the goose and ever since then, people are very much lent into this goose persona for me, which enables me to be really ridiculous. I can host a panel like this and it's, it's fine. People just kind of expect nonsense.
(26:28): So I have this, I have not only the Robin, the overlord, which is the job title I've given myself because coach McGee's Michael, [inaudible] kind of got robbing the goose, which means I can be a bit cheeky and naughty and vulgar and post really close to the knuckle means, which causes some people to leave. I remember once we posted a meme for, this is one for your video gamers, a Bowzer buddy from Mario games and Yoshi, Mario is kind of dinosaur right along. This is I'm sorry if there's any people of a sensitive nature watching, but Yoshi was rimming, bowels, and the tongue was coming out of Bowser's mouth. Well, you know, she has the long tongue. That's the thing about Yoshi and the majority of my group thought it was funny. It's Robin being a bit ridiculous and it's cheap, but a couple of art, somebody lost their rack with me and was very, my child was watching me browse Facebook over my shoulder.
(27:42): How dare you post this? Like, it's migraine. If you don't like it, you can leave leaning into that. Again, it gets the right kind of people around me, the people who don't mind a laugh in a joke, even when serious things going on and are going to accept my nonsense and buy into the nonces and sometimes encourage the nonsense because it just means we're all having a bit of fun as well as getting things done and grabbing our audiences. And it's one of the ways of growing my audience is by being ridiculous and posting stupid stuff, because I like it and it makes me laugh and it entertains me. And because I'll put a goose Hutton, orange socks, and white shorts and a Cape on and fly to Boston and go on stage, Chris, some very important people about the moral decisions they'd make in video games, wholly unrelated to my business, but I wanted to do it. So I did. I think
(28:38): That's fantastic. And that's exactly what we are doing here in rock. Your tribe is throwing our party. This is your party. It's an absurdist party. It's a lot of fun to be in because the world is sort of absurd. Isn't it? It's a pretty ridiculous place. We're literally cooking ourselves alive. But the things that our leaders are arguing about are like archaic us versus them kind of nonsense when we collectively need to stop the oven that is literally cooking all of us.
(29:10): Yes, please. We don't have air conditioning in the UK and it's nearly 81 degrees in this room because I've had some fun off of this conversation. Pretty absurd. Isn't it? And if you don't laugh, you might cry and cry. It's all right. Sometimes, but it's better to laugh. Right? Better to not panic. Yeah. As the guide says, That's right. We are very Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy around here. And we saw, so Robin, let's start to wrap this up. Where can people find you
(29:41): A yes. You can find a firstname.lastname@example.org. Very easy to track down because coaching for geeks is a registered trademark coaching for geeks. So if you type coach with gates, I will turn up every way. If you'd like to join the Facebook group again, look for coaching for geeks on Facebook or coach.com/facebook coaching geeks on Twitter, coaching for geeks everywhere else, because there aren't enough characters in a Twitter user mate to pick the coaching.
(30:10): And do you have any shout-outs . Shout-Outs I would like to shout out Amanda lake Amanda's been with coaching for geeks for years. She responded to an ad back when we were playing with Facebook, ads spends a lot of money. Didn't get much results from it, but I did get an Amanda Lee count of it. And she actually joined the team. She's helped me out. She's on my admin team and she's launched her own business which is lbs, which is content marketing for quirky and weird business owners. So I fit in there as well. So check out Amanda's content. It's been a huge help over the years, and now she's likely Siegel babies on the garage roof over there.
(30:58): Shout out to Amanda leak. So now I'm going to set up the outro and I'm going to say my thing, and then I'm going to kick it to you. And you're going to say you rock that's your line. Okay. So here it comes. Okay. Thank you so much for being here and as always.
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