Episode 03

3 Steps To Turning Your Loyal Fans Into a Rabid Community

with Nicole Warshauer

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In this episode Adam (@AdamVazquez) and Carlton (@CarltonRiffel) are joined by Nicole Warshauer (@NicoleWarshauer) who is the Head of Community for Trusted Health. Nicole shares her three steps for turning your audience or customers into a rabid fanbase online. She also touches on her experience building communities for brands like Yelp and Dribbble, and explains the secret to getting User Generated Content that kills. 

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Show notes:

How does community building affect the bottom line? 

What does building a community for a brand look like practically? 

How to find community ambassadors who can help make relevant content on behalf of your brand

How Nicole would spend $150k on content marketing

The role email plays in community building

Have you Heard? Wyze + Rise and Fall of Mars Hill

Links & Resources: 

Transcription

Transcription generated by Otter.ai

Adam Vazquez 00:06
Nicole Warshauer is the head of community for trusted health which is the leading digital platform for travel nurses. Previous to her work with trusted Nicole has led community building initiatives for Yelp, General Assembly dribble, Dior, cosmetics, the mom project, weather calm, Chase Bank, and many others. I first met Nicole after her talk at the ns BAM conference and immediately gravitated to the enthusiasm and authenticity that she shared her experience with. In this episode, we discussed the importance of being proactive and community building the role of user-generated content and how trusted health trains their customers to be their most prolific content creators. I really enjoyed this conversation with Nicole and hope you will too. Let’s get into this episode with Nicole Warshauer.

Adam Vazquez 01:15
All right. Welcome back into content is for closers, where each episode we talk to business owners, marketers and entrepreneurs alike about how they are creating content, how they can create content that actually impacts their business. This is episode number three. We’re very happy to have you here. And On this episode, we talked to Nicole warshauer, who is the head of community for a company called trusted health Carlson. We’re gonna talk a lot about community. We’re it’s all about community building. First of all, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us.

Carlton Riffel 01:40
Thank you. Good to be back. Good to see excited than ever

Adam Vazquez 01:43
Good to see you. And you’re very clear jawline. If you’re not watching this on YouTube, go check it out just to see that. Have you ever seen the show before we get to Nicole. Have you ever seen the show community before?

Carlton Riffel 01:54
I haven’t. I am. Community lis watcher.

Adam Vazquez 01:57
Okay, well, it doesn’t wholly relate to the type of community that we’re gonna be on today. But Ken Jong, the actor and comedian does play a Spanish teacher named Senor Chang who is overly sensitive that people question his accent and Spanish abilities. So I highly recommend that show if you if you haven’t seen it, I would clip it in here. But I think you’d probably get taken down so yeah, we’re gonna talk to Nicole about community she is has run community for several different companies. And we actually met her together at the last conference in the world before COVID the really good emails conference, remember that? That was good. That was fun times. Yeah, she gave her was bumping elbows and didn’t know bumping elbows walk. I mean, that was that was pre the dark times. So we did a lot of dumb we ate all from a buffet table a couple of times. A single dish. Yeah. Weirdly, but Nicole gave a talk there on on email and community which we’re gonna we’re gonna talk about a little bit today and had clips of the movie Dirty Dancing throughout it. And so it was the really the only talk that i’ve i’ve clung to over the last because it was just so funny and interesting and engaging. So when we were trying to come up with guests for this season of the show, she was at the top of the list, I’m really glad we’re able to get her

Carlton Riffel 03:17
community is a lot about authenticity. It’s a lot about relationships. So she dives into all sorts of different ways that you can do that gets pretty tactical at some points, talk some about platforms and some about, you know, some tips to engage your community. Absolutely love how she wrapped everything together and talking about insider information, and really gets into some some details about how you can engage your community on a deeper level. So a lot of good stuff in this conversation.

Adam Vazquez 03:44
Nicole, thank you for for joining the show. We’re so happy to have you. Of course. Thank you so much for having me. Yeah. So I think we’ve given a quick background on on who you are and what you do in the intro, but I’d love for you to describe, first of all, just trusted health in general, and then specifically what you do there.

Nicole Warshauer 04:01
Yeah. So trusted is really the place for the modern nurse. And what that means to me and my team and really trusted in general is that while we have travel nursing assignments all across the country and truly every state in the US, we also have this really wide plethora of resources for nurses. So think licensure guides, we have podcasts, we have mental health supports. And then obviously, for my team, specifically, we have a really vibrant social engagement and then lots of events. And then building community is kind of at the heart of what we do every day. And then for me, what I do specifically as the head of community, like everyone’s favorite answer is it’s different every day, but it truly is. My job is really to support and engage the nursing community, whether it’s a new grad or a longtime travel nurse or a seasoned staff nurse. I think we’ve learned over the past year that nurses not only need they also deserve that support that education and frankly on our social channels. A little bit of Buddy, I really believe obviously, personally, as well as the company, nurses are the backbone of the healthcare industry. And I think you’ll agree that 2020 just further underscored their importance in that industry.

Adam Vazquez 05:12
Yeah, yeah. So I mean, lots to get into. And I feel like, to your point, you’ve been with the company for about a year and a half or something like that. Yeah. So I mean, what a time to to be in the space and cultivating the conversations that you are during COVID. And the ramifications of all of that. But I guess a couple of things just to sort of start us off first, why didn’t I get a podcast? what’s the what’s the podcast for trust?

Nicole Warshauer 05:34
Yeah, you’ll see it, you’ll see if you look up trusted health, you’ll see, it’s called the handoff. And that’s a pretty common term within healthcare and nursing. It’s when the handoff report to the next nurse crew coming in. And so that’s mostly centered on nurse leadership and innovation. And just so you can catch that one there, too.

Adam Vazquez 05:51
Cool. Yeah, we’ll be sure to link that in the show notes as well. But I think when people come to the idea of community, and and it’s paired a lot of times with content, or there’s content around it, or something like that, you can become this sort of ambiguous term that is a little bit ethereal, or vague or worthless, and doesn’t necessarily people don’t think of community and business results always tied hand hand in hand. So what what maybe Can you describe a little bit how you think about community for either for trusted health or just in general? And and sort of what your perspective is on building it for a company like trusted health?

Nicole Warshauer 06:34
Yeah, I think you’re so right, is that it’s very this, like, very nebulous thing that, yes, everyone wants, but not everybody can achieve, especially without some serious hard work and connection and partnership with people in your community and those that are ancillary to it. So I said this a lot of times, and so if you’ve ever worked with me, or near me is that like, you can copy process, you can copy product, when it comes to companies. Copying community is extraordinarily difficult, it’s expensive, it’s time consuming. And frankly, I haven’t really seen it been done in any companies I’ve worked with, and I was at Yelp for seven and a half years. And so review spaces is that’s a hot one to try to copy this, it’s been copied over and over again. But I will tell you, of all the different communities I’ve worked with and in nurses can sniff out authen inauthenticity faster than like any other community I’ve ever been part of. So when I think about the importance of community and how it can set your company, or your brand or your service, apart from anything else, it’s the heart of who you are, and why you do what you do. If you don’t have a community, whether it’s a structured one or a loose one, you’re probably not going to be very successful, because you’re not solving the problems or the challenges of the people who you intended to do that for. So it’s again, I think, to your point, like it is this nebulous thing, it is up and coming, it is growing very, very quickly. I think, especially over the past year with a pandemic, it’s never been so important that if you’re not supporting the people who are spending money or time with you, you’re going to be in serious danger at that point with your with your business. So maybe dive in a little bit on like, what it looks like tactically, like the social fall under community, is it? Is it a marketing function? How does that work within the organization? Yeah, for us on my team, I have a social media manager, I have a community lead, who heads up our community Ambassador Program, which I can talk about in a second. And then I have a community manager who does more of a classic event support is also leadership in the event side, and then some of our groups or social groups on Facebook and things like that. So I think you could talk to 10 different people in community leadership and probably get 10 different answers to that question. It is really about what’s needed on the business side, right? Like, where, where is your community? I think that’s like the first question that I asked myself every time I start a new position, or every time I started a consulting gig is where are your community members? And so if you’re going to craft your team, that’s the question you need to answer first. And so for us, nurses are very social, right? You see a lot on Instagram used to we just started tik tok a couple months ago, which is a whole other conversation. But I think you need to figure out where they’re spending their time where they’re playing and chatting. And social for us is a big piece of that. Now, you could talk to a lot of people about which channels to be on for social and what ones make sense. But my question still remains the same. Like, don’t just go to a place because you want to be there, you should be really intentional about where you spend your time. And that means, you know, finding the right staff for that particular component as well. That’s kind of how I think about how to build a community team.

Adam Vazquez 09:34
I there’s every time you say something, there’s more levels that I want to pull on. But so first of all, like the brand ambassador program, you kind of mentioned in passing. wouldn’t say it again. Community ambassadors community mesh, okay. Talk a little bit about that. Yeah.

Nicole Warshauer 09:48
Yeah. So the woman who’s the community lead on my team, who’s Casey Smith, she’s brilliant, and they’re all I have three badass women on my team and they’re incredible. And then we also have an intern who we just hired to but something We identified last year and I think we knew that this was brewing for a long time, is that nurses very much want to see that support from their own right, they want to support each other. So very much of a kinship there. And since with COVID, we can’t really do in person events right now, for obvious reasons just for safety, and access. we piloted a small community and bath ambassador program last year, we wrote it up, we put it together, we found three nurses, two out of the three of them last year were travel nurses with us at the time or had been recently. And they helped us craft really authentic social content, they hosted some events with us, they worked on some blog posts, they really were the face and voice of trusted in the community. And I cannot underscore how important that is. When you find your community, finding the people who can be your evangelists, like you have to take care of them, you have to support them. And in turn, they’ll probably do the same for you. And we pay our ambassadors, I think that’s really an important thing to note that if you’re expecting this type of work, and it is work, you need to be able to compensate them and not just with the T shirt, right, you need to be able to pay them what they’re worth. And it’s a little bit different to me than a true influencer program. I think influencer programs have their own beast, their own their own community to figure out, but these particular nurses that we work with on a pilot program, we knew them already, we had a relationship with them, they had hosted virtual events with us in the past, so we knew what it would be like for them to work with us and vice versa. So we started with a pilot of three in the fall of last year. And we made it into a full 10 Person program that Casey our community lead has been leading since March of this year. And so it’s been extremely successful. And when I say success, I mean that we’re seeing the engagement, the return. And just like the sheer connectivity by having these 10 nurses of all different disciplines, backgrounds and interests, really help us share the message of trusted how we can support fellow nurses how we can lift them up, whether it’s their career, or it’s something fun with through an event through social media through a blog post. And it’s been it’s been a real joy to see that happen, especially in a time where things are really dire for the nursing community right now, as we were saying earlier, going on to a second, third, whatever wave this would be, depending on your community of COVID. We can’t solve all these problems, obviously, for the healthcare industry. But we can feel really good that we are doing everything we can to add that levity add that education, add that support for the nurses and doing it through some really passionate nurses who we love dearly, near and dear to our hearts, that a fairly frequent basis is the way that we’ve been able to do that.

Adam Vazquez 12:38
I love this because I think one of the big ramifications, obviously, that have been coming out of COVID is people are realizing Okay, there’s there’s, we’re not going back to the way it was like there’s not, there’s never, we’re never gonna be the same where you and I were talking a little bit beforehand, going to events and just everyone congregating in the same space and eating off of buffet tables, like probably some a lot of that is done. And for probably for better than than worse. But in light of that everyone every brand is trying to figure out how do I create more compelling content on a regular basis? And how do I distribute that. And the issue is that everyone’s doing pretty much the same thing when it comes to brand videos that are getting sent out on Facebook ads and huge budgets to the to the ad platforms and all that sort of thing. And that’s fine, but it’s the same. And it’s it has a little bit of a diminishing return at some point, when you talk about bringing in brand ambassadors, for instance, has such a unique way to engage authentically with your community. So I want to hear a little bit more about like how you develop this. So you said you you had some relationships with these people, but how did you like the first thing I could hear some of our customers or prospects? Asking is like, well, we where would we find people who know how to make content? Because nurses my wife’s a nurse? And you’re absolutely right, you have to be incredibly authentic, or they will sniff it out and know that so the content has to be good. And nurses, some are good, some are not but most are not necessarily the most technical forward people just by virtue of what they do. So how did you all go about that process of finding these people who have that mix?

Nicole Warshauer 14:17
Yeah, that’s a great question. It’s one that I can’t answer in totality because we’re still working on it. Right? Okay. And I think it’s really fair to say any customer base like it’s very unlikely that you’re going to have a customer of yours who loves your product loves your brand and appreciates the partnership with you and also is like an extreme influencer like that’s just that’s not very realistic and we know that going into it. It is more important for us to partner and and really bring aboard community ambassadors who understand our mission of getting care to people everywhere like that is that that’s like the number one and understanding that they want to support nurses that they have a positive but not unrealistic idea of What that could look like. And so what how we did it in the fall a little bit and how we do it now. Now it’s a little more of a choose your own adventure and frankly, aren’t my team is extremely skilled at all of those aspects. Instead, they’re also nurse that didn’t mention that. So I have Casey’s our community lead, and she’s a nurse. And then I have Brittany grieves, who she was a travel nurse for eight years. And so in case he was a travel nurse to and Jada, her social media manager has nursing and her family, her mom’s a nurse, her sister’s, a travel nurse. And so having those perspective that these community ambassadors who we bring aboard, they are working nurses at home, right, like they are working 36 or 40 hours a week, they are busy, just like your wife, I’m sure it is. And so our expectations of what they can push forward has to be adjusted. It’s not like we’re hiring an agency to do these things. But I will tell you, if there’s interest from them, like we’re able to teach them things that will help them with their own consulting opportunities. Because I’ll tell you, nurses have so many opportunities for jobs like not just by the bedside, right is that there’s a whole slew of opportunities for them. And so to help them build their skill sets, and also kind of flex that creative muscle is something that’s really fun, obviously, on the content side, either like you really like to write or you don’t. And so we don’t try to push something, just to push it with them, we try to figure out what they’re really great at, and what they want to learn and what they want to do and adjusted from there. And that takes time. But you have to understand your your evangelists that you brought in and how you can help them and how you can help the brand. It is a symbiotic relationship, like we want them to get better at it, they want us to be able to promote their content and their perspective. And so there’s not like a formula, like you must be great at these things. But what I will say is, when you’ve asked me about how to find these people, well, first you got to be able to talk to your community, the first place to understand who they are, what they do, what interests them, and how you’re solving their problems. But on the second piece is when we kind of put out an application for community ambassadors, we gave them a very clear like, it’s probably gonna be about this many hours a week, this is how much we pay. This is how long the duration is. It’s a six month if anyone’s curious, we do a six month clip right now. And it is really a choose your own adventure. We have all these tools and expertise levels of these different things. But we had them rank themselves on different pieces of technology, like whether it comes Instagram reels, How comfortable are you creating one all the way down to tick tock and things like that. And they are very honest, which is incredibly helpful for us, we want to make sure that we’re not tossing them things that are way beyond their interest or their scope of expertise. So it’s a work in progress, it’s we’re never going to have it perfectly on the mark. But I think the opportunity for them to learn as they go, if that’s of interest to them, has been extraordinarily helpful.

Adam Vazquez 17:45
I love that we had another interview with the head of growth for a company called Rutter stack in San Francisco. And they have taken a similar approach in hiring journalists. So like journalists, or they don’t hire marketing people, they don’t hire community people, they hire journalists who obviously have that writing skill and then can can transfer that over. So you’re doing a similar thing. I mean, but actually even more grassroots where it’s it’s the actual community member and bringing them in I love that your use the way you talked about it, just using it, like building a job description and having someone apply and do all of that. So it gives the right expectations to to for them on how that relationship is going to work. So that makes that that’s really helpful. How do you feel like, aside from the that part of it, the brand ambassadorship program? How do you all view the content world when it comes to internal productions? Like do you use a for lack of a better word, like a hub and spoke model or a pillar? And then ancillary content built out? Or how do you all think about that?

Nicole Warshauer 18:50
Yeah, so content isn’t necessarily under my team at the moment. But with the community ambassadors, again, kind of going back to what we said before, we want to go with what they’re most passionate about, again, we we are in the process right now of bringing on some SEO support, just to make sure we’re writing the things that actually matter most to nurses. But for me, when it comes to organic content, I love organic content, I think it gets a I don’t think it gets nearly as much as sparkle as it should. But for us, we’re going to write about things that are evergreen first, right? We want to be able to, to lay that foundation down. So when nurses come to us, they know that we have an incredible licensure guide. So if you want to get your nursing license in anything United States, you can find it a trusted, which is really cool. Because that’s a very complex process if you’ve ever, you know, been connected to it. So all the way to things like racial disparities in in different nursing nursing environments. So I think there are some things that that we can provide from the community side that can be very evergreen because we’re talking to subject matter experts, right? We’re talking to these people who know this, this matter these type of subjects every day, versus something that’s a little bit more timely. We did start pushing fairly, I would say monthly to bimonthly basis. We call it the Tea, trusted tea. So when we talk about kind of real things that are happening in the travel nursing industry that maybe other companies don’t want to touch, don’t want to talk about. But I think from a content side, that’s the type of thing that I think community can really shine with is that organic content, because you’ve got people on the ground who know what that chatter is all about, and how we can make it into a real learning experience for people coming to our site and our brand.

Adam Vazquez 20:24
cool, very cool, very helpful. Switching gears just a little bit. But when it comes to the paid side of things, you talked about organic, how much you like it, when it comes to paid. And that may not be within your current role. Pay is not

Nicole Warshauer 20:37
know, obviously, like we do have budgets for certain things. But I don’t play very much into the paid social side, obviously, I want to know what’s going out. Because as you can probably understand the social side. Any add comments, anything like that my team is the one are the ones who are supporting those those conversations. And so we want to know what’s happening. And we need to be in lockstep with the communication style and the personas that we’re that we’re trying to target. But our paid acquisition is separate. It’s on our team, but they’re damn good at their job. So I kind of select school from a distance, right? Yeah, what’s happening, but I try not to put my hands too deep into that.

Adam Vazquez 21:15
Yeah, well, I was framing that incorrectly anyways, but where I was where I was going with it was just going to ask like, we do, like a couple rapid fire. Yeah, but if you were gifted a budget of $150,000, to us, so it’s money, but it doesn’t have to be used on paper. That’s the difference. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Where are you? Like, what are you excited to experiment with or to use it for?

Nicole Warshauer 21:38
I think anybody in organic or community, like, it’s really excited about the process of getting money, because typically, parts of the company like you’ve seen this, I’m sure most most listeners have to bet money usually goes to product and engineering and like growth and acquisition, like, that’s great. And that’s fine. But obviously, I’m going to fly my community flag and be like, if you invest in community, you’re going to get it back tenfold. Like that’s really where I think you can make a lot of room. And so because of that, obviously, it’s like kid in a candy store, like what I do, I would probably hire a few people. I know that sounds like probably like a canned answer. But I believe that like the humaneness of bring on someone who’s really passionate about your community, who’s really willing to like, get out there make those connections, like the ambassador program like this, it’s not free, right? Like it costs money. Like I think hiring folks, whether it’s a full time role, or a contract role, or something like this program would absolutely benefit from something like that. Because if you treat people extremely well in your community, they will treat you well in return. And that usually means better brand affinity, better brand awareness, like more retention in terms of customers with you. And so that’s probably where it’s been to a few hires, or on a ambassador program that really, really connects to the community really understands what we’re doing here, what we want to achieve.

Adam Vazquez 22:56
Yeah, very cool. I think that’s been a actually, a couple of people have given that response, I think the idea of what we’re seeing now is like, and this goes with all of the changes in privacy, all the changes in email, and paid and all those things. But the the value that we use to place on being able to scale on distributed to everywhere has kind of become much more now rifle segmented approach where a person is going to be able to delineate those differences and make those conversations happen more effectively than what we used to just blast in an ad and hope that the numbers would play out in our favor on on Facebook or whatever. So

Nicole Warshauer 23:32
yeah, that that approach, I think, is is kind of old news. In my opinion, I just think as you said earlier, the cost of acquisition through through paid social is just skyrocketing. Because a lot of us have been there already. And so you have to get more creative. And I don’t think investing in community is like this, like crazy new concept. It’s it’s not like we’ve seen it again, I spent a long time at Yelp. And that was back in 2010, or 2000, like mid 2000s to a couple years back. And so we’ve seen what kind of impact it has when you invest in communities and invest in the people who are paying money to support and buy your products. Like that’s not that’s not rocket science. But with that kind of investment. It’s not a crazy amount of money. But it’s good enough to bring in someone who can really explore those passions and make sure that you’re being very authentic to what you’re saying.

Adam Vazquez 24:22
Yeah, yeah, totally, totally hear that. The other one that I would be curious to your thoughts on just because of where we met and things like that is there seems to be a renaissance of the email platform and like, especially when you talk about paid versus organic. I think I just saw yesterday that the current average ROI for email campaigns is like $42 to every dollar invested. And that’s more obviously for the DTC and honeycombe side, probably but how are you all think about email? What do you what are you seeing as it relates to to everything else that you’ve got in the mix?

Nicole Warshauer 24:54
Yeah, I think for me, and so we’ve got some great lifecycle marketers who we work with very frequently. And to me, I think one of the biggest things I try to remember and try to instill upon anybody who works with us on a campaign or project or partnership, is that email can’t be an afterthought. It’s got to be integrated into your full campaign. It can’t just be Oh, yeah, like we’re pushing this new update, like, make sure to email people. It’s like, No, no, like this, this should be centered to what you’re doing. Because for a lot of nurses, and they’ll I think a lot of people in general, emails still is their go to to get that knowledge. I think SMS is is really interesting. And there’s for sure a place for that. And we all know, it’s extremely effective and in different, different capacities. But if you’re trying to distill more rich information with maybe some interesting graphics, or some interesting concepts, you can’t do that in a text message. It’s very hard. And so you’re kind of left with like, Okay, well, if we’re going to have this integrated campaign, email needs to be a major component of that. And so that’s making sure that your communication is on point and needs to make sure it matches your brand personality, it needs to make sure that your CTAs are extraordinarily clear, I again, this is probably basics, but like I always put myself into the shoes of the person who I’m communicating with. And if it’s not clear exactly what I’m trying to convey and exactly what I’m asking for them. To do that I need to go back to the drawing board and figure it out. So I think to answer your question, I think it’s critical. And I really hope that it’s not an afterthought for most people, that it’s something that when you’re building a campaign, whether it’s social or paid or organic, or content, email is a major component of that, that can’t be forgotten.

Adam Vazquez 26:28
One last question for you. And then if you have a question for me, and we can kind of dive into that to wrap it up. But what do you think? Or how integral would you say shoe whoring backing in whatever you want to call it, some form of a mention of Dirty Dancing is to every campaign that you end up working on I

Nicole Warshauer 26:45
do think it’s critical, I think it’s it’s at the top of the list, like maybe just the love email, right? Like your again, if you’ve got social, you’ve got community, you’ve got email, and then you’ve got dirty dancing, some

Adam Vazquez 26:58
very good, very good that for viewers when I met Nicole at the really good emails conference in March of 2020, that was a key part of the presentation that she gave, which was very funny and, and enjoyable, too. So Nicole, thank you so much for for coming on. This has been super helpful and transparent. I feel like for people who are interested in developing community are interested in using organic content, but aren’t necessarily sure where to start. Before we go. Do you have any questions for me or anything else that you want to discuss?

Nicole Warshauer 27:27
I do have a couple. Okay. So first one is, what’s something that you’ve learned in the past year and a half? That was due to the pandemic?

Adam Vazquez 27:36
Due to the pandemic? Okay, this is a good one. You mean in terms of marketing? Or just? in general? Yes, yeah. I think the, the, I guess the value of I’ll call it of like, one to one messaging, so specifically text messaging, which I know you just talked about a little bit, but I had never really used that or leveraged it, I had worked with a bunch of brands who had done it well. And in the last year, we’ve seen several accounts that have been able to go past the, like, reply for a discount, or whatever types of transactional things and really build out like some really great conversational campaigns on text. And I think that’s something that we’re going to keep seeing grow over time, like, people are more tuned to their phones, they’re more comfortable texting and texting with brands than I think they used to be. So just yeah, that that medium has really just been a whole new learning experience for me over the over the last year. That’s interesting.

Nicole Warshauer 28:38
I had a really good experience recently, with a small boutique, I wanted to order some shorts for summer, add note size to get in touch with questions. So I was like, let me just see how this goes. It was awesome. Like the shop owner was texting me back and like showing me pictures. It was great. And so that’s that. I mean, I think we think about the pandemic, right, and how many new opportunities to understand products and how many new things can be delivered. Now, I think that’s been really, at least we can find some sort of silver lining from the past year and a half that can be one of them.

Adam Vazquez 29:09
Yeah, and I think that the, I don’t want to call it automation, necessarily, but the the text streams that you can build out in order to make it feel like whether someone’s always talking to a real person or not, but at least answer 95% of their questions and make them feel like they’re they’re having that conversation. The technology is just way past where people might be expecting

Nicole Warshauer 29:30
that. Yeah, those those bots, we use a bit of that it trusted just through your Facebook in particular, just because of the volume of questions. Again, they’re all the same questions, right? And it’s not that we don’t want to answer them. It’s that we want to be able to take care of questions that are very specific that can’t be answered with these different blocks of information. So that’s been very helpful. For sure. Yeah. Yeah. Great question. And then last question, what’s one thing you’re looking forward to in the next three to six months could be anything. This is where it’s gotten me for the last year and a half. And so I think Having something to look forward to is always a nice, nice surprise to answer.

Adam Vazquez 30:03
Yeah. Now’s a good one too. I would say I am excited for. Well, yeah, I mean, who knows when this will be. But I’m excited for just to be able to have in person work, like brainstorming sessions and collaboration and all that sort of thing in person. Again, we’re remote company like you all are as well. But even being able to schedule quarterly meetups where we we work together and things like that. We haven’t done that to this point. And with vaccinations, everything, we probably could, but we just haven’t. So I think being able to get to the point where everyone’s comfortable, and we can begin doing that on a regular basis, again, will be really exciting. Like, it’s just there’s no replacement for at least some time spending space. Together. Yeah. Yeah. I agree. What about you? Yeah,

Nicole Warshauer 30:55
I mean, I think it’s, it’s tough, because at this point, I feel like we like we’re almost there. And then we had like, we have to pull back now. And so like live events to me, I’ve always been like, that’s my bread and butter from years and years ago, that’s really fun to be around human beings beyond my love dearly. But it’s nice to be around professional people talking about fun things. Yes, no, I do think that in person gets togethers, having a glass of wine with a co worker like that, it’s really hard to replicate. And obviously you can talk about the very specific things like wakeboarding and all that, like there’s some great tools that that can satisfy a lot of that, but there is some magic that is being missed of that person get together for sure. Yeah,

Adam Vazquez 31:33
yeah. 100%. All right. Thanks so much to Nicole for joining us. And for just sharing her time and expertise as she did. I think one of the biggest takeaways for me was just how she views community, not so much as necessarily a transactional tool or something that needs to be converted. But more so the sharing of insider information with, you know, other people who are a part of some some segment that you’re going after. And that might be a part of an existing community that you already have. What did you take away from that? Or what what stood out to you, as you were thinking through what Nicole was talking about?

Carlton Riffel 32:12
Yeah, it was a great episode, there’s an element of closeness and really this insider information that she was talking about, it makes you feel so close and related to the brand and the person you’re engaging with. And so with content, I think there’s an opportunity to think about it as a almost like a secret, like, What secrets are you telling your audience that that you want them to know? People love secrets, they love this idea of things that no one else knows, or like the one thing that’s gonna help me in, in this, the work that I’m doing. So specifically, with community, it’s not necessarily always about insider information, as much as it is helpful information. And I think a good comparison is, you think about your actual community, the people you actually live around, not digitally, but physically. And there’s a lot of things that are in common with how we could we can think about that digitally. So, you know, for me, I lived in a neighborhood for about a year that’s famous for its newsletter. And so the newsletter was famous because it was everything from old ladies talking about, you know, the cats a loss or, you know, some random, you know, some random questions that people would have about, like, who left their trash on the corner, whatever. So, people love that newsletter, though, because it was this insider information that people felt like, if they keep coming back to you, or if they see something, eventually it’s going to be worth it. Right. So for us the one time that it was really worth it was I think it was two weeks after we moved here, there was an email that went out on the newsletter for a group playing basketball. It’s so for me that like solidified, you know, my purpose for having this annoying newsletter come in every day, like 10 times a day. Because I enjoyed that group, it was a great time playing basketball with them. So providing little points of value along the way, will help solidify people’s engagement in your community, because it’s a relationship. Right? So you know, from your perspective, what other ways are there to develop a relationship in that sense of community?

Adam Vazquez 34:25
There’s probably multiple ways to look at it. I have to touch on I love that you said, your neighborhood. It’s like some neighborhoods or some cities are famous for like, like Philadelphia is famous for cheese steaks, or whatever it is these different different things the Eiffel Tower and like your neighborhood is famous. Like we have an awesome newsletter. Yeah, shout out to the St. Elmo newsletter. Yeah, shout out. That’s awesome. Yeah, I mean, I think it’s a great analogy or a great line that can be drawn between how we think about real communities how we think about in person, you know, neighborhoods or communities and then to see how Contrast, how differently we look at these digital communities. I think too many times, businesses look at community and kind of like I said, they think of it as a transactional thing. So how can I give the least amount of effort here to be able to pull the most amount of value out of most of the time when we’re talking about community, we’re thinking of either social or, more often email lists, right? And so where do we go with email is, we go to news, if I can share news, if I can share three articles a week, it’ll make me look like a professional. And so maybe someone will buy something for me that that’s the opposite of community, there’s no conversation happening there. There’s no real value exchange happening there. And so when you think about it in terms of a neighborhood, my neighborhood has a Facebook group, my neighborhood has an email, you know, not not to the extent that yours did, but we have an email newsletter going around. And really, things break into proactive parts of that, and then reactive parts of it. And so I don’t know, you know, you can kind of dive through each, each part of that. But if you just think about how your neighborhood or how you relate to the people that you live around in real life, that apply to your business is going to be a lot more effective than just sending out a few links and hoping people click on something and buy from you.

Carlton Riffel 36:17
Yeah, absolutely. I think that was a great point in talking about the newsletter, and how one side of that can be, like, please listen to me when I’ve got something to say, but you’re not listening to other people. And I think that’s a big part of it relationship takes to, you’ve got to not only be talking, but also the listening. So you’ve got these components that are reactive, and some that are proactive, something that would be a reactive would be maybe listening to questions, and then answering them, keeping them updated on concerns that people have, you know, responding to comments that that are that people are talking about? That’s one,

Adam Vazquez 36:54
nobody wants to comments anymore. I don’t understand when that fell off. And I get organic doesn’t give you that much as it used to on social especially. But a lot of the businesses we see, and a lot of them just have given up on that. I don’t know why. But yeah, that’s a great, that’s a great example.

Carlton Riffel 37:10
And then on the other side of it, you have proactive opportunities for engagement. So asking the questions, and then obviously, you want to go back and answer those questions, too, that people have been asking questions and getting people to engage with your channels, telling them about opportunities, you know, this is something that someone might be interested in, or might somebody might be able to use, you know, posting new events, even just posting new content that’s related to the conversation. Having individual conversations with specific people that can go a long ways, even if it’s just one person, for that one person to be able to trust your brand and trust you more. And its content, you never know who’s reading that comment. You never know who’s following up and, and looking at the the posts, you know, the stalkers of the of social media, the people who are just scanning and perusing for information they can use, you never know how that will come across. I think about this, especially with reviews, that’s huge. Always make sure you’re responding to those reviews and building trust in community. That’s not just your Facebook page, or not just your newsletter, but these broader pieces, little pieces of content floating on the internet as well.

Adam Vazquez 38:21
Yeah, I like what you said there about the proactive components and just thinking a little bit more about how you can relate, you know, maybe something that you would do in your neighborhood or do with a real life community, whether it be a school or a church group or whatever, taking some of those thoughts and applying it to your business. So instead of just doing the news, instead of just trying to do these transactional things, what what you know, for our neighborhood, we have a committee that’s always planning events, they’re planning fireworks, food trucks, whatever your business might not be the type of retail business or something like that makes sense. But I guarantee you that there’s some digital equivalent that that makes sense whether it be a webinar that you know, would really be helpful and after hours just meet up with some of your prospects or customers that that could be helpful to them a proactive guide on how to use your product or your or you know, your industry we’ve talked a lot about landscaping on the show. It’s my goal to bring up landscaping once per episode I think but again, you know, going back to Derek loving his landscaping and having the some of that content that is less reactive, but again more trying to get into the thought and the brain of your prospect and offering them something that is actually value add I think that’s what Nicole talked about the most is it’s less so about communicating is less so about even the tactic or you know, the the execution or the framework or the platform or whatever these buzzwords you want to use. Nikolas found it in user generated content, she goes out and finds her prospect and gets them to help Create, you may or may not be able to do that. But you can still at least put on the skin of your prospect to go psycho killer for a short amount of time and then use that empathy and context mentally to be proactive and reactive in your communication.

Carlton Riffel 40:16
Oh, yeah, absolutely, the meetups element is incredible. When I first moved here, another story for getting connected is going on meetup.com it sounds a little weird, sounds a little kinky, but being able to go there and just, you know, find actual groups that care about things in your community. I’m not like the person that’s looking at every single person as a sales opportunity. But if we’re honest with ourselves, every relationship we have is an opportunity as either a prospect or a partner of some sort. So sometimes just thinking outside of the box of, I’ve got my newsletter that no one’s going to sign up to at the bottom of my website, I’ve got my, you know, I’ve got my facebook group that only five different people check into step outside of that box for a minute and look at other ways that you can engage people. Yes, those things are great. email newsletter is an incredible way to reach people. Facebook community is great as well. But you’ve got to be engaged on a deeper level than just telling people things and expecting them to listen.

Adam Vazquez 41:22
Yeah, I love it. Well, this was another great episode. So obviously, we were kind of moving through here, if you’ve been following us at all, we’re working through kind of the foundations of content creation, and how you can do it in a way to really impact your business. So this week is all about building community. In the next episode, we’re going to get a little bit more tactical on those of you who maybe aren’t marketers full time, maybe you’re running your business, and you have to be the marketing person as well. Or you’re trying to build a media company on the side or whatever. There’s a bunch of different variations of that. How can you effectively create when content creation isn’t your full time job? What are the tactics, the tools, we have very special guest Tony Miller coming on who has built a media brand, while while being employed full time and with several side jobs, so that’s going to be really good episode. My new thing is I’m not going to ask people to subscribe. Because if you’re listening to this, hopefully you’re already subscribed. So I’m not even gonna ask. I’m just gonna assume that you have subscribed, but if you haven’t, you should subscribe. But at least share this. That’s what we would ask if you could share this. We are on the march to 100 new listeners. And we’ll update you next week on where we are in that. Otherwise, I appreciate you all joining us and we’ll see you next week.