New Home Forums Community, Engagement & Gamification How are you Growing Community around your Work and Message

21 replies, 7 voices Last updated by  Jackie Burgoa 8 years ago
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    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    The most important work you can be doing for “marketing” or “pre-marketing” is growing community around your work, message and mission (in person & online).

    This is your homework from our Coaching Campfire today:

    What is your plan for growing community so that when you launch your course, you already have people excited to buy what you’re offering?

    Explain your plan.

    If you don’t know, then share at least one idea.

    Building a community and serving them is what will make you successful. 


    Kellita Maloof

    I just created a closed (not secret)  free facebook page on Embodied Intentions (a core Showgirl Awakening practice, which my first ecourse will teach, perhaps along with other parts, not sure yet)

    I’m first inviting the students who attended workshops I taught on tour this year so far. There are about 100 of them, and I intend to continue fostering relationship with them through this page (goal of the page is to practice Embodied Intentions together and support each other)…and I’ll also be learning what will serve the Awakening Showgirls best through their shares there.

    So far I’ve just made the page and invited a bunch of them, but am about to write an email to them to introduce what this page is about, as it needs explanation (and we may have 3-4 languages going on the page, which could be cool!)

    PS once there’s some activity there, I’ll point new folks to the page, and would love to have a way to require an email as “entrance” to the closed page (does anyone here know how to do this?).

    I actually can see a very short e-course (perhaps my first one?) being a free gift that comes once someone joins the page, so they know how best to do the practice???  Or do I just want to have a good opt-in gift that’s simpler than an e-course to teach this practice???  I don’t know!!

    This all feels very circular!






    Jackie Burgoa

    I recently launched my site Sovereign Women .  Right now it has a temporary WP theme while I work on my courses.

    The site is for women wanting to be financially independent.  The site’s Motto is “This Site Kills Inequality Against a Rigged Economy.”  Nothing against men, it’s just that I can personally resonate with women’s frustrations when trying to build a business and raise funding.  The goal is to build a community of female entrepreneurs large enough where we can Crowdfund our own products and use our community as a tipping point.

    This site actually started as a Case Study for my course “BUSINESS IDEAS: Identify The Ideas That Will Make You Wealthy.”  It was my validation course before jumping into building the Millionaire’s Roadmap™.  Once my courses are ready, I am also planning on moving my current 2,700+ Facebook followers to my Millionaire Roadmap ™ group.




    Scott Brandon Hoffman

    My YouTube Conscious Variety Show (with daily/weekly videos of me writing and playing songs, behind the scenes, Improv comedy, sketch, Vlogging etc),  and Podcast, along with Live Video on Facebook, live events and stages here in San Diego.

    Creating and building the above content with the intention of creating a Revolution and Movement around self expression, creativity, and living your truth!


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Awesome Kellita. Perfect timing, right?

    Curious what your intentions are for keeping the conversations going in your community?

    What is your plan for keeping people engaged (challenges, video sharing, picture sharing, etc…?).

    Good luck with your budding community!


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Jackie, is there a community aspect (two way conversations) for your Sovereign Women website?

    That’s what we’re meaning for this. Every community needs a gathering place, which is where the conversations and connections grow from. So what is your gathering place and how do you facilitate/inspire conversations amongst your community members to create a sense of connection and belonging?

    I think you’re heading in the right direction with your Millionaire Roadmap group, but I question if you should keep that particular group for actual paid participants of that program and stick more to the neutralness of the Sovereign Women group, which occassionally pitches its paid offerings like the Millionaire Roadmap.

    Just opening up this conversation. I don’t know the right answer for your business and tribe. But worth exploring.


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Awesome Scott! So those things you listed above are the mediums for engaging with your community, but where is the gathering place for your tribe? Where’s the community hall where everyone can share their voice, videos and inspiration too?

    For the GEA, we created this Community Campfire. Many people do private or invite only Facebook Groups.

    It’s important to think about the gathering place. It’s one thing to have fans, but another to have loyal members of your movement and community.

    Feel free to brainstorm here about ideas.   🙂


    Jackie Burgoa

    @bradleytmorris you are actually bringing a huge issue I have been struggling with for the past few weeks.  I love Thinkific, that platform is truly great, BUT it’s limiting in nature when it comes to engagement.  It has a discussion area, but you and I know that is not for community building.  Additionally they do not provide any gamification and I have not been able to figure out how to integrate one.

    I can add a forum, but that would be in a sub-domain, not part of the course like you have it here.  So, I am sort of stuck in the decision making process…do I leave Thinkific and move to WP so I can build a site like yours?  If I stay in Thinkific, how do I approach the gamification / community issue?

    Now, here is another issue to think about.  My courses are divided into 3 different courses.  The reason for this is because they target 3 different avatars (target markets):

    1. Women just interested in making enough passive income to have a decent lifestyle
    2. Women who want to learn how to start a business to grow (to $1 MM in revenue, which translates to approximately 10%-20% profits)
    3. Women who already own a business but are stagnant and do not how to pivot or grow ( to $10 MM in revenue, which translates to approximately 10%-20% profits)


    Therefore, is it a better idea to build a common community with different sections for each avatar?  or a separate community for each?

    The Millionaire’s Roadmap and all the other courses are hosted in their own domains and they are just offerings within the Sovereign Women site for the exact same reasons you mentioned (The Sovereign Women site is mainly a blog that brings topics in relation on how women can become financially independent and marketing.).

    So if you look at the the Sovereign Women’s blog/site mock-up below, you will see the Menu tabs that take you to the different courses…maybe that is where the solution lies?  But then it would have to be a sub-domain forum… unless I am missing something.  This is a huge issue for me and it seems to be where I am most stuck 🙁

    …any suggestion on your part would greatly help.


    Lisa R

    I’m really behind on this aspect of ecourse creation. I don’t have a list. I’m starting from scratch with friends and branching out from there.

    I started a secret Facebook group to start piloting my content and response has been great from people who are engaged and virtual silence from everyone else.  The people who ‘got it’ REALLY got it. But there are a lot of people inactive. I’m limited as to the value content I can post before I have more of my videos produced, so engagement is a struggle right now. Then again, I don’t feel as though I can meaningfully gauge response until I have a good chunk of content available, on the final platform. So, I am aiming for 1/4 of the materials done before further testing. Dr Wayne’s got my back on that front. I also have a lead magnet in the pipeline and intend to start collecting emails ASAP.




    • This reply was modified 8 years ago by  Lisa R.

    Chris Gilmour

    I am in a similar place to many ppl here as I don’t have an actual established list or centralized place for my following. With that said I have been teaching for 10 years and have many connections and students that I keep in touch with through various means. My goals for growing community are: 1) Create a central gathering place and centralized list of my existing following  2) Branch out to a much larger audience above and beyond my existing audience.

    Here is my current strategy map to do that. I’d greatly appreciate thoughts and feedback!

    1) Create fun video of me telling a story as to where my new project, Changing World Project, is coming from – the “Why” – This will be aimed towards ppl who know me already and would be interested in this story although I hope others will be intrigued as well. Will try and keep it to about 2 minutes.

    2) Create a multipart landing page (likely using Thrive), first page is the video with a place to sign up for my new e-mail list

    3) 2nd part of landing page is survey to gauge peoples interest in the topic/project, this will hopefully serve three purposes. One – build some interest in my new project, Two – help my existing community feel like they are a living part of the project, Three – help me better understand whats on their minds in relation to my project so I can cater my content, language and e-course to their interests. I will have a number of prizes and do a draw for anyone who enters in the survey and signs up for list.

    4) 3rd part redirect them to my new webpage and blog I am launching, Changing World Solutions, once they have completed survey. This is if I have time to get this up by then. If not maybe it is launched after through e-list and social media.

    5) Use fb, Twitter and my existing networks to promote the landing page & survey contest

    6) Stat creating content for blog and have built in discussion forms on blog and website

    7) Use social media, blog and newsletter to communicate with my  following and start to build buzz around e-course. I was listening to a podcast on this service for increasing Twitter following called, Social Quant. They have a 14 day free trial. Anyone every heard of this or used it?

    8) Launch free resource, possible even a mini 7 day course around my topic

    9) Launch full e-course

    That’s the thought for now, any feedback is quite welcome!


    Chris Gilmour

    Changing World Project



    Chris Gilmour

    Some thoughts on other peoples posts:
    @LisaR – One thing I have noticed with Facebook is I get way less engagement on posts then I used to a few years ago and I have heard a lot of other people speak about this as well. It may work great for sharing ideas with friends and getting feedback but have you started using other social media to build your following as well?

    @JackieBurgoa – I love the Soverign Woman theme and tag line and commend you on your work for equality in the workforce. I know A lot of woman really desiring movement in that right now and think it is long overdue. Without having worked with many platforms yet I can’t comment too much on your challenges but it seems like your Sovereign Woman site could be the “central fire” for ll the programs and a place were all woman could mobilize to discuss ideas. Maybe there could be public forms as well as private ones for program members. Kind of similar to what Brad & Andy are doing with this platform. I see the challenge have having the forms outside the page. For the one eCourse I have launched we are using an external private Facebook page with a link from the course page on teachable and the students do not seem to mind exiting the course page for the discussions. Maybe your students would not mind being redirected either and this could create good continuity between your projects.

    @ScottBrandonHoffman – What about encouraging your audience to film and post their own comedy bits and creative pursuit to a form on your page to encourage interaction. I have no idea how well this would support your vision but thought I would throw it out there. It could create some real fun and intimate interaction amongst your following.


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Jackie, the answer from me comes with some questions…

    1. What is the simplest solution for you right now?

    2. Where would you most like to hang out with your community (Private Facebook, Forum, etc…?)

    3. What is your budget or amount of time you wanna spend building your community?

    It wouldn’t make sense to get off Thinkific. If you built a community elsewhere (Facebook or Forum), you could easily link to the community from your lessons. That’s a simple solution.

    At the moment, all the courses are created, so what you need to be doing is growing your overall community. It doesn’t do you a service to show the three courses that have yet to be built. It makes it more confusing. I imagine that people will eventually have to do LEVEL 1 before they can get to LEVEL 2. So I’d just keep LEVEL 2 hidden for now, at least til it’s built. That’s my opinion though.

    You need this to be simple for you and your tribe. Having three communities right now will divide you a lot.

    With all that being said, what do you feel the solution is for this next step. (it can always be upgraded later)

    We started with a Facebook community for members when doing the eCourse Creation Blueprint. Then we upgraded to this beast of a community platform when launching the GEA.


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    JACKIE, here’s a pretty cool one that we were considering. It’s a bit on the expensive side but quite beautiful.


    Jackie Burgoa

    @bradleytmorris thank you for your response.  What is “this beast of a community platform when launching the GEA.”?  LearnDash?   BuddyPress?


    Andy Freist
    Mountain Guide

    Hi Jackie 🙂

    Here’s the primary tools/plugins that allow our platform to be what it is:

    Social Learner Theme (which is a buddypress theme, which we have heavily tweaked as we are not using it with Buddypress anymore)
    Thrive Content Builder (for page layouts, landing pages, etc)
    Ultimate Member (this is the social media/profile features which replaced Buddypress)
    LearnDash (for the course itself)
    bbPress (Forums)
    BadgeOS (badges)
    MyCred (alternative currency)
    WooCommerce (mountain shop)
    WPFusion (Membership plugin that syncs WP with ActiveCampaign – this allows us to protect pages/etc based on contact tags in activecampaign)
    SamCart (3rd party shopping cart app that syncs with activecampaign)

    Full disclaimer: I certainly do not recommend anyone attempt to recreate this without either sufficient technical experience, or a developer on their team. Also, I don’t think I would recommend anyone use that specific set of plugins/etc anyways. For instance, I am going to switch to a better WP theme as soon as I have an extra week of time to tackle that issue, as there’s tons of code bloat from the themes built-in buddypress integration, which we are no longer using.

    With a platform of this scope and size, it is literally a full time job keeping everything working properly, dealing with bugs, etc. And for what it’s worth, I could spend days complaining about all the things i don’t like about our set-up. Finding “the perfect” set up is like finding a unicorn, or a pot of goal at the end of a rainbow. It seems like it’s always just around the corner, but you never really ever quite get there 😛

    If you go the WordPress route and really want community features, getting a buddypress-ready theme is a good way to go. Check out “Social Learner” by Buddyboss, and also “Woffice” on Themeforest. They aren’t close to being perfect, but they can get you up and running quite quickly if you are friends with tech.

    The hard truth of it is that “the perfect” solution doesn’t exist. It’s something that has to be custom built. And creating platforms like this is complicated and expensive.

    Which is why we always come back to “what is the SIMPLEST approach”?

    It’s best to create a thriving business, then invest in a custom made platform when that time comes.

    Rather than spends tons of time and energy trying to get something to work.

    Now, in your case, I’d consider the following:

    You have everything on Thinkific, but you just need better community+gamification.

    First off, gamification does not just mean simply adding badges. What it means is creating a more game-like learning experience, which could be simply by creating challenges with rewards. Of course, having badges helps, but aren’t critical.

    As for community, I would suggest looking into setting up a forum on a subdomain – I hear great things about IPBoard, which is what Fizzle uses (our fav biz building membership site).

    I think in your case, you could have one forum for everyone, and then just create subforums within that for the different groups. You could have some forums that are accessible to everyone, and then reserved forums for each specific course.

    Once you can justify investing $10,000+ into your perfect platform, then you can have it done exactly how you’d like it.

    This would be a great onramp to get there.

    Hopefully you’ll glean some golden nuggets from this

    Let me know if you have any further questions or need clarity – im here to help 🙂


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