We have Chris Colt, who has helped make communities thrive and is the founder of Let's Make an Impact. Chris will be the speaker for this workshop on how to grow and launch a powerful online community you can monetize. Chris, you may begin this workshop with a brief introduction of yourself.
Yeah, sure, it's great. It's great to see everybody here this morning. I know we're live on LinkedIn and social media, so welcome to all those joining us from the virtual world there and all those on live today, but I'm excited about today. For those of you that don't know me, you know what I do is help clients stand out from the crowd by building a thriving community that keeps their audience engaged while building a funnel for their brand with challenges.
So I am a massive community builder. I believe in the community substantially, and now more than ever, people will want to be around the community more than ever. You know, as humans, we crave community. That's our natural stance. We want to be around others. We want to move forward faster together.
I also assisted the brand in going from zero to bringing something to market, building a community around it, and crossing the $5 billion market in less than five years of sales.So I'm really into the community. I like bringing people together and helping them transform and get to the next level.
Chris Colt’s Presentation
I will present a simple framework to show you how to monetize a community because that's another part you want to monetize. I talked about a company I helped get to a billion in sales over five years. They monetized that community. But it was all about what the key differentiator was. It wasn't the product that was unique early to market, but it was the community around it. I'll talk about that a little bit more as we go through it.
So here are three simple truths about the communist community. Here's why I love the community: it gives you the ability to navigate a rapidly changing and chaotic world. I don't know; put some stuff in the chat here, on LinkedIn, and on Twitter. Is it kind of messy out there right now? This being around others. I talked about my cycling experience. We move fast there. You got to be around others who can help you.
You want to be around people who want to be around that and bring new innovative ideas, whatever that community idea you have. It's the single best place to build new practices, and it's also the single best place to achieve results and transformation. I'm going to show you a couple of examples of some communities we've built, so you can get an idea of what I mean by that.
So here's where I look at the community, and it doesn't matter where you are or how you are, but you have an ideal member who starts right. They're like, hey, what's Chris got, what's Res got, what's Mark got here, what are they doing, what's this all about, but where are you going to take them? It's all about the results and transformation. That's the Key thing you want to highlight when discussing anything like community building. How are you going to help somebody transform? Mark my words on that, and I'll give you some framework as we go through this. So you know, I saw this quote from Seth Godin pretty recently. When the world changes and does faster than ever, community and connection move us forward. I believe the community is the best business to build in 2022.
My experience has shown that I believe hosting is one of the greatest single assets that will perform over time when compared to, hey, listen, I have an e-commerce business, social commerce, and information-based products, and I use the community to leverage all of that. So to me, it's like, why not build a community and then bring in all of the different offerings you have, and here's the thing, no matter what happens, you know, whatever in the economy. People will continue to value and purchase memberships. Even in the most challenging times, community courses and community offerings.
I believe they buy them more in the most challenging times, so I'll give you this deck, but this is the key to marketing to the masses now. I can't spend much time on this right now, but here's the key thing I want you to get out of this, especially building a community, or I like to call them movements, because that's what you're doing.
So I kind of look at when you're going to show somebody what a community offering is. It's a new opportunity for them. It's a transformation, and community is the tool you will use. So as we go through this, what you want to look at right when you build a community is a character leader. Okay, not an ego-based one. You know, egos and community don't work too well.
The ego is not your friend. If you're a community builder, you have that charismatic leader, I like to call him charismatic, and eventually, they get that lone nut right, that first loan. I have a video that shows that, um, maybe if I remember at the end, I'll show you where to get that video, but what's happening is that a charismatic leader is bringing people to a future-based cause, whatever that causes. They put a new opportunity in the middle: the results they'll get for others.
So I talked about this. I'm going to skip this slide where I found the community to talk about who I am a little bit more, but here's what I ask you for the next 15 to 20 minutes as I go through this, and we'll take questions and keep on dumping questions in the chat. I have a conversation open here, so as I see them, if they're relevant to where I am, I'll bring them up, and the few that have been in there will get answered.
As I go through this, give yourself some time right now, take your know it, and put it to the side. That's all I ask you because some of the things I hear say, well, like I heard that, I heard that, but there's going to be key points that you're going to get that I guarantee you are new to you because you know, we're doing this day in and day out with clients, so what I'm sharing is real-time stuff.
So let's imagine a world where you can profoundly impact people's lives, especially in a moment of rapid change and uncertainty. You can create something that people love, right? I mean, that's the beauty of community. This is something people will love when you make it. You can create something that people need. You'll have your ideal members.
Here's one, and I'll show you something pretty cool in a second. What I mean by this is your ideal members, you know, whatever your avatar is, your target niche, I'm just going to call them ideal members. Okay, are you recruiting new members on your own? If you have a paid community, that's the most significant thing. When people are helping you fill that without your efforts, that's the best thing. And then, let's keep this conversation going.
Your ideal members bring new ideas and ways to help more people. This is what I like about the community. When you're around all these others, you get new ideas. Your community brings you new ideas. It gives you ideas and new things to launch to bring more value to your community or your business.
You're spending your time on things you love and can uniquely offer people. You're generating actual revenue and meaningful income because people pay attention to what they pay for. You know this is one of the things I want you to get out of this. As I get to the end of this presentation, I will give you some tips on monetizing the community.
I can tell you from doing this enough that the most successful communities are those that people are paying to be in. You heard earlier that the engagement was down. See, that's when somebody says to me, "I have no engagement." I don't use Facebook, LinkedIn, or anything else for building a community. It's all about tools like UUKI here, so when somebody says to me, "I don't have an engagement.
People pay attention to what they pay for. I could give you many statistics on that, but that's what you want. Less is more when you're building community. Believe it or not, people think I'm crazy when I say that another magic number for writing down is 30.
Things start to accelerate when you can create a community with 30 people, especially paying you. And here's the thing with community, you know you're building something meaningful that at first may have felt impossible, so here's the secret I want you to get out of this slide. I'm not going to read this. I've just come out of my mouth a few times, but here's the key: no matter what your business is, your business can be copied. That's the reality in this world, but a community cannot be copied
So I helped the company launch, and they came into the blue ocean. They were one of the first. They brought a disruptive health and wellness product to the industry. Everybody came up against them and said this stuff doesn't work. You're crazy. You're nuts. They did this in 2015.
Fast forward You're doing billions in sales now, but you want to know what if you read the blue ocean strategy? The red ocean started coming in there, right? It's hacking everything they did. Oh, those parents are gone. We can replicate this patent cicada. The Red Ocean is still fighting these guys because they built the largest community in the industry. They're still charging triple the price, bringing new products to market, and gaining market share while everybody else is fighting in the red ocean.
So you've got to understand you build a strong community and that your products are essential but listen, the community will help you get it to the next level. Here's what I mean by this: when you have a community, I believe it supports every stage of a funnel. I help people. I help a lot of subject matter experts launch their programmes, and to me, it's like, hey, this community that you build is your funnel.
Right. It's the keys. What this is showing you here is that it helps them grow, engage, and nurture. That's what community does; when you do this correctly, it brings awareness to who you are. It's bringing interest to what you're doing. Conversions start to happen right when you have community. Yeah, you might have.
So I'll show you how to charge it monthly and so forth and so on, but more than likely, you'll see on a value ladder, I'll show you how to have a much larger programme. So people start to convert, and companies become those more extensive programs, but the best part is the retention mechanism. When you have retention, that's when you have advocacy throughout the process. So I was talking about clients referring members to you. That's what advocacy is all about.
So this is critical to know that an online community supports everything in the entire marketing cycle, so here's what I have done. I will allow you to access this at the end, but I've been doing a community builder mastery challenge for the last four or five months. I've had hundreds and hundreds of individuals, companies, and subject matter experts go through this, but what I determined out of this is that people now more than ever want to launch communities or be part of communities, so we've been doing this.
If you want on replay, I'll allow you to get this at the end. It's highly engaging and will take everything I'm showing you today to a deeper, more profound level, but here's what we covered on that so that you know. I got people crystal clear on their big idea, which I'm going to help you with today, then I dived into designing their community. I designed it to run effortlessly, so that's key. A lot of people have this myth that the community's hard. It takes a lot of work. I use the challenge model to help people get around that.
If you're unaware of that, it's a taste-and-see marketing model, and I show people how to design a challenge to launch their community. Then I give them the steps of the successful challenge, which at the end of this all converted people into their community, so I'll give you a way to get that towards the end of this presentation.
But here's what I want you to see out of the community, right? You can see when you look at this and a lot of these you're seeing on this slide here of who builds community. Many of them say they do it but do it online on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. That is the biggest mistake you can make. I understand the interaction mechanism.
However, what happens if Facebook closes you down one day, Instagram, or LinkedIn? I've been kicked out of LinkedIn a few times for reasons I can't even figure out right now. What happens if that happens permanently and your community is out there? You've got to use these branded tools where you can control everything, so you can see the different kinds of individuals here on the right who are using community.
Here's what it does. You heard me say it turns followers into engaged evangelists to drive traffic to resources, which helps you retain clients and increase your revenue. And here's the biggest win for all of us. When you build a community professionally, it's you who build relationships. You build processes and features necessary to ensure our community supports as many aspects of the business as possible.
So let me get into some of the meat and bones you want to see here. I want you to understand this because this is big, and a lot of people come to me for help, and then I'm going to go into some design elements. Then, finally, I'm going to give you some other tips to get things going to monetize it, and then we'll wrap up here, and I'll take questions the rest of the way.
Here's something that a community is not. Please understand this. You do not need a massive following of tens of thousands of members. When somebody says, "Oh, I think I don't want to start with three or four, well, here's a writer down there. I started with three with my community. Okay, I started with three so that you understand. I love it because I see what happens from those three, and a lot of people take their social media content, and they post it there.
So when you find a tool that you believe in and love, you key here, work with it, and go forward and use it as your tool. Software is always going to change, but as long as they have a roadmap where they're going to be able to leverage that, and here's something important, you want to get engagement in your community, so I never add a link and say hey, what do you think? Nobody engages in that stuff.
So here's what the community has in general at the end of the day: joy, purpose, energy, and feeling part of something bigger working towards a common goal. Here's another big thing, you know, talking about nfts and stuff like that here, that's a very vulnerable space because people are learning new things, facing challenges, and looking for solutions together.
You have to allow people to not, you know, say to me, Chris, "I feel stupid asking this," and I'm like, "No, let's ask that in public because if you feel that way, there are about 30 other people who feel the same way," so I asked him, "Let's just put that out there in public, and it's amazing."
How many people, because they're in the right community? Oh my gosh, I had the same question, I didn't want to ask it, so understand that right, you have the vulnerability in this community, open it and then work together to have a purpose of building skills and getting better.
Here's what I want to do. I saw I forgot who it was asking me about an idea of how to get more individuals that are focused on writing more women to pay attention right here because this is the part I'm going to give you.
So when I look at the key element designs here, it comes to your purpose. Each and every one of us has a different big purpose out there. That's why I ask you that question really early on. Who are you fighting for and why are you fighting for them? So your big purpose is the motivation for your community. I'm going to give you an example of a community so you can see what this looks like because this will help you.
The best significant purposes, whatever they are, because in this day and age, if you just put a generic anything out there, community program offering, people aren't going to pay attention to it. There's too much noise. So you've got to speak right to their heart. Yep, I want to be a part of this. So your significant purpose needs to be a particular and clear picture of whom this community serves.
i'm going to show you a perfect example of community
We want to be around something new, fun and have the energy to it, so make sure when you write the purpose out that it's motivating and fun. Have an adventure along the way that people want to be part of, and then the results will show. This is where many people start to miss well. Unfortunately, I can't charge for my community.
I'm going to show you exactly how to do that, and when you see how I structure it, you'll be like, oh, that's why now I can charge for it. Still, the rewards of mastering the topic together, you know that, is fantastic. You've got to make sure whatever you have can only be achieved by working together right, so like when I talked about the peloton, we can only go further faster together. So you've got to make sure that that's it.
So, for example, I prefer we, because we are doing this together, so we bring together whatever subject matter experts, using an example here, two, what are your members going to master together, and I'm going to show you exactly how this plays out so that we can see receive result number one, result number two, and result number three.
This is gold. This is gold because if you speak to those ideal target members and you can speak this smoothly, they will want to be part of your community. So I'm going to bring a slide. You can read it for a second, and then I'll read it.
What am I showing you here? This is a real live community out there. We bring together 30-somethings, so that's the age group. Okay, very specific to new to small business ownership, to make the best, most informed decisions about launching and growing our businesses so that we can successfully build something we can be proud of and have a positive and meaningful impact on our customers and employees.
So, to recap, we bring together your ideal member boom. So you could take a screenshot of this because, as I said, you'll get it for being on here today, but I wanted to ensure you saw it because it's essential. The next step, okay, so that's how you design it. That's how you get your name down.
You know, you might be at Zoom meetings. We're at a lot of Zoom meetings these days. Virtual events. If you could dial that in, here's what my community does. Here's the people group. Somebody absolutely positively knows somebody who will be your group's ideal member. So when I work with clients, I focus on getting this message dialed for them. So when they have conversations and talk about the community, it just comes out, and somebody's like, "Oh, I know three people that would be all over that.
See, that's where we miss a lot of this. So I have a general small business owner community, but when you get very specific, you know what, Chris, that's John. He's 32 years old. He's got a small business, and that's the first wherever boom.
I want to keep that specific now to take this to the next level. Right now, there's you. Your story ties into your big purpose and comes over to your ideal member. So what's your story? What is it? What are the circumstances? Remember how I said those first few questions: For whom are you fighting, and why are you fighting for him? Boom Look back on that. What was your identity? Maybe that's who you were, and you now know you've come to the other side. You can help that people group. What's your cultural background? Where have you been and why? What have you achieved, and who have you helped along the way? Who have you taken a stand for?
Here's the thing you're going to learn with community building. I mean, here's the red alert. You are going to learn that you're going to repel people and you're going to attract people. That's fine. You're standing for something. It doesn't matter what you're standing for. That's what you believe. Don't let others knock you down because you're going to believe something you know.
When I worked with this company, we launched this. We were in an industry where like biohacking, everybody attacked us. That stuff can't do that in the body. Fast forward, here it is. It didn't mean it took three years, and all of a sudden, the movement was created. So you might have something in your heart that you know that half the world's going to attack me. That means you're supposed to do it because that's something you believe for me to take a stand for
Is so awesome. Yeah, Calvin, so okay, your answer is perfect. These are the ugliest and most clear sides. Yep, I'll try to keep your eyeballs on this. Okay, so you'll get this. Now let me show you what's next. I talked about this. Here's part two of the equation. We spoke of the starting programme. Now here's when I look at what's going to happen when somebody becomes part, and then I'm going to show you how to monetize your community, and then we're going to wrap this up.
So we're coming to a finish-line cycling guy here. We'll come to the finish line, but here's phase two of these top results for a year in life. You're going to start a community. Let's look at what happens over the next year if somebody joins your community. Right, because they'll pay you to come into your community. What's going to happen in their life? So what do I look at when I do this member result number one? So you can go back to you saw that.
So, what's one member result they will get from being a part of it? Remember result number two. What's the result they get? So, what's the result you get? Okay, so whatever that is, you're going to help a member do x. You're going to have a member get x and y; in return, I get z.
I began by asking you some questions: What can your members do in a year that they can't do now? What have they learned from you? What have they learned from each other? Okay, those are some key questions, and then your results. How will you structure your life in a year that you can't now because you have a community? You have it running. Your life is going to change; are you going to be able to invest more time in that mission I mentioned?
Missions that matter, right Are you able to put more time into that now because you now have your community growing and thriving? What does it look like to control your schedule? Have you achieved your specific goals right? These are the questions that all tie into member result number one, result number two, and your results.
i'm gonna go into how to monetize this
I'm almost there, but I'll show you how to go deeper in a second, but community monetization is okay. It's all about the more value you give, the more pricing you go along, so here's a value ladder. This is very generic. You start with something that's a free or low entry. Then you have a front end, a middle road, and a high end.
So I'm going just to give you an example. Let me go over these slides here, and then I will show you all how to monitor. So here's an example of what this would look like in a value ladder. You have this high-end program. This is where you want your community members ultimately, so that could be a five thousand a ten thousand, a twenty-five hundred one hundred dollar program.
i don't know what the program is using a different example right it could be software that's a million a year but more than likely you're gonna have to have a value ladder to get people along this way hey people will jump in on the high end no doubt you bring enough value boom they will but others want to get to know you along the way so why not have the value letter so that's what i mean so like what i do with my programs is i go with something like this that gift i gave you i'm going to give you is the ultimate step-by-step guide to a start launch and scale of thriving online community that's free download.
So I'm going to give you an example. Let me go over these slides here, and then I will show you all how to monitor. So here's an example of what this would look like in a value ladder. You have this high-end program. This is where you want your community members ultimately, so that could be a five thousand a ten thousand, a twenty-five hundred one hundred dollar program.
i'm going to give you four ways to start your community real simple to monetize it and then
You know you can do this. I'm going to tell you to free the support system to start with less engagement. People pay attention to what they pay for, so that's my only tip for you there. If you create something free, expect that you have 100 in that community because it's a lot easier to put 100 people into something accessible, don't be surprised if your engagement's 34. That's just a brutal reality when people don't pay for things.
But here's another option: a way that many of my clients work right. It's a paid community, and I'm just using an example here. Okay, a blogger mastermind. So this mastermind is the place you go for tips, tricks, and techniques to help you be more successful as a subject matter expert. This person charges, you know, I'm just giving you ideas, $25 to 197 a month, whatever that is. That is a simple example of a way to start a paid community.
It's paid in a course bundle, so we do a lot with these paid and, you know, course bundles. Here's what I mean. It's a very effective approach. It might have a course, like an academy, where I walk people through things, but it has a monthly or quarterly sport structure.
So here's an example: I thought this marketing out whoever's comment beau was, um, join a community of visual thinkers that revolves around sketching and sketching as their power. So what's this look like? That course could be 199, plus it's 19 a month to stay in the community for sketch notes and support, or the person could say, " Hey, out of the gate, take 3.99, and you're covered for the first year.
Another way that we see this and then I'm going to show you a final slide and I'll take questions. The rest of this is this one right here free plus a paid course system, so what do I mean by that? You have an email list right now, so you get them into your community. You do what I do, challenges to get them into the community and then those who upgrade get the course, the coaching program.
Here's an example: I did a client's mindful living challenge. It had a free offer, but then I had a VIP offer. I'm going to tell you that 100 percent of the VIPs went to the next level. There were only a few frees that advanced to the next level. So just remember everything I'm saying here. People pay attention to what they pay for. But the upgrade out of this was, of course, into the community of the world's leading true human networks for mindful learning and living well, so that's it.