Deepening Connection Within Your Membership Community, with Erica Courdae and India Jackson - Rick Mulready

rick mulready

Deepening Connection Within Your Membership Community, with Erica Courdae and India Jackson

April 13, 2022

Today I’m talking with Erica Courdae and India Jackson. Both have been previous guests here on the show, and I’m excited to have them back.

Erica is my diversity, equality, and inclusion coach and consultant. In our episode together we talked about how you can incorporate diversity and inclusion in your business. 

India is the CEO of Flaunt Your Fire, and is Erica’s business partner. In our previous episode we got into the details of what marketing is, and how to use stories in your business to set yourself apart.

Together they are the co-founders of Pause on the Play, and they help entrepreneurs amplify their influence without changing who they are.

In today’s episode we’re continuing our membership series. I’ve brought Erica and India back to talk about onboarding new members to your community, fostering a safe space for everyone to interact with each other, and how to make deeper connections with your community.

Erica and India have a bunch of great insights and wisdom to share with you, and I’m very happy to have them back on the show. I know you’re going to enjoy today’s podcast.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to transition a Facebook group to a Mighty Networks community
  • How to keep your community safe and inclusive for your members
  • Tips for creating a great onboarding experience for your community
  • Candid insights about community growth and retention
  • The difference between leading and facilitating a community
  • How Erica and India foster deeper connections within their community

Links & Resources:

Erica Courdae & India Jackson’s Links:


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Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy:

What Would I Do: Optimizing a Membership-Model Business

Case Study: 0% Churn!, with Ali Manning (Membership Series)

How to Legally Protect Your Membership (and Yourself) with Autumn Witt Boyd and Chanteé Hallett


Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Rick:
Hey, my friends, if you are looking for a faster, better way to grow and scale your online business, you very likely do not need another course, or to be reading more books about how to grow your business.

What you need instead is a personalized, cohesive growth strategy for your business, along with one-on-one coaching, and group coaching support and accountability to help you every step of the way. That’s exactly what my Accelerator coaching program delivers for you.

Accelerator is an intimate, ongoing open enrollment, personalized coaching program and mastermind experience for established online course creators and coaches who want to take the guesswork out of optimizing. Accelerator is all about growing towards a profitable seven—figure—plus business without more anxiety, without more stress and hours spent in front of the computer.

Accelerator is also about thinking differently and bigger about your business, about your team, your funnels, your ads, your vision, et cetera, so you can create more profit and more impact with less.

Accelerator is application only. Again, this is rolling, ongoing open enrollment. If you want to learn more and apply, just go to

Erica and India, welcome back to the podcast. How are we doing today? What’s happening with you all?

[00:02:13] Erica:
The interesting thing for me is that I think mercury retrograde can put people in that place of like, this is why everything went wrong. And sometimes it’s a part of it because some wires are getting crossed, but at the same time, I think it can represent an opportunity to slow down and be a little bit more aware, a little more mindful, a little more intentional, so that can help to minimize some of the confusion that can happen or the like.

The else that can kind of come up. So, you know, I, I like to try to find a way that it can be beneficial. So yeah. I’m kind of looking at

[00:02:51] Rick:
It that way. Yeah. And. Facebook and Instagram were down earlier this week from when we’re recording this. And, you all host a, a membership that’s not on, not in the Facebook group.

So we’ll talk about that, as well. And so you’re like, I, I said welcome back because you’re both previous guests separately on the show here, Erica, you, we talked about, diversity quality inclusion. How that, how do we incorporating that more into your business? We can have a whole podcast, just like you all do about that.

It one.

[00:03:31] Erica:
Broad all the offshoots of it subject, how it’s, how everything can come through that filter. So,

[00:03:37] Rick:
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And then India, we, we chatted about here in the show and I’ll, I’ll link up the specific podcast, links for the episodes in the show notes for today’s episode, but in India, we’re talking on the marketing side.

Yeah. How to about doing it differently. Yeah. Doing it differently. So today, I wanted to have you both back on to be talking about, continuing with our membership series that we’re doing here on the podcast, specifically talking about onboarding and really your recommendations, how you all have done it in your member ship, really fostering a safe space, an emotional, safe space.

During the onboarding process for a membership, which hopefully results in a, you know, a deeper connection, both from, with you all and the members of the community and the community members themselves. So where do we even start? With this, because I know that you’ve done a, you you’ve both done a lot with your membership, so why don’t we start there?

What is the membership and why did you start to incorporate some of these? Do we call ‘em strategies? I don’t even know. that sounds so approaches,

[00:04:53] India:
You know, we’re not attached to the word.

[00:04:54] Rick:
Yes. So what is the membership? What’s start. Why don’t we start

[00:04:57] India:
There? Well, I think. One of the most important things is to take you back to the very beginning of the membership, which was when it was a Facebook group, we started it as a Facebook community and we really designed it to be able to provide a space for people to integrate their values into their visibility, to dig into what their use, even our, I think underneath that we had the intention of wanting people to be more of who they.

Really are, you know, and let go of society, shoulds of how they need to show up in the world, do business. And then also being able to take those things and figure out how do we now want to look at supporting others in creating more equity in business as an action and not just a conversation. We have the conversations there that people don’t have anywhere else.

And what I mean by that is talking about. sexuality, social injustices, religion, race power. And at the same time, we also turn those conversations into actions that we can integrate into our lives and into our businesses. And, I’m sure Erica has some thoughts about the Facebook days, but I think that you hear so much about starting an online community in so many communities at that time or Facebook groups.

Mm-hmm so that’s kind of where we began.

[00:06:22] Erica:
Right. And a lot of people, I think did Facebook because, you know, low hanging fruit in the sense that if that’s where people already are, you meet them there. But some of the things that we were encountering, and I don’t think that this was by any means, something that was exclusive to us, but it was the, the worry of emotional safety, the worry of the conversations that we’re having sometimes feeling sensitive and knowing that like, If we start talking about something, then all of a sudden you’re gonna get an ad for it.

And it’s like, I don’t know that this is something I wanna have to worry about. I don’t want the algorithm to now try to, you know, wrap itself around, you know, me having a discussion around trauma or the processing of things. And so it became. Pretty clear pretty quickly that Facebook was not going to be the place to stay.

And the reason that I’m so happy that we did that is that we were able to not only shift our platform from a place of emotional safety, but we were able to. Purposefully and intentionally create something that wasn’t just about. I’m leaving a social media platform and it was more about what do we want to create and how can we take ownership of it versus trying to force our square peg into a round

[00:07:44] Rick:

Yeah. Yeah. Did did making that change to a quote, another like external platform outside of Facebook, did that change? How you. Well, yeah, I don’t know. Did it change anything as far as the onboarding goes and introducing into a community, it changed

[00:08:07] Erica:
Everything. Yeah, really every single thing,

[00:08:10] India:
And we are so happy, it could, I mean, we both started our entrepreneurial careers with in-person businesses, not virtual of businesses or online businesses.

And so we felt like offering our community is something. On Facebook or online period was just already kind of different for us. And we instantly knew in that process that some of the things that we really enjoyed about meeting people in person were getting lost. being able to hear someone’s voice, being able to say hello, or watch them or whatever that accessibility looked looks like of those Additional emotional cues are just lost when you only have text. And so being able to leave the Facebook platform and in a way I’d like to say, we kind of created our own social media network in the way that it functions, allowed us to do video and integrate that onboarding. It allowed us to do things in a more linear step by step way and make it exciting and fun.

Almost like a online challenge.

[00:09:17] Erica:
Right. And I think there’s a lot to be said. And I think Rick, you understand this well that it’s, there’s really something to be said about creating something, because this is what you want versus I’m gonna do it because this is what’s here and I’m just gonna use whatever’s in the box, because I think anytime we do that, you still end up creating somebody else’s outcome and not your own.

So I, I think that there’s really something to be said about that.

[00:09:43] Rick:
You also have a heck, a lot more ownership. Of it such that, I mean, all technology goes down, everything, something happens, but when it almost feels like a little bit different, when a platform like Facebook goes down for so many hours, you know, all their properties went down and you it’s like, Hey, wait, that’s my community over there where I’m trying to create this amazing space and experience and community for.

My people, if you will, but yet I can’t, I can’t speak to them right now.

[00:10:21] India:
And there’s also the concern for us that we’ve had since the beginning of censorship, you know, how vulnerable, how. Authentic are people willing to show up and be, and use their own words. And if that includes cursing or whatever else may be there to do that on the Facebook platform, because you risk people, flagging you, you risk the algorithm, seeing you using certain words, even if we’re having a very inclusive.

And productive conversation about white supremacy. That word in itself can do something to you within Facebook’s algorithm, which is also connected to Instagram’s algorithm, not just in what ads that shows you, but also our you flag is being someone who is using hate speech. even if that speech is being used to explain a term and so.

We wanted people to be able to speak freely. And we also wanted to be able to do the same ourselves. Sure. And that was not possible on the platform. Now, the beauty is we actually left, and it wasn’t like a cold stop leave. We transitioned our community and gave them some time to get acclimated to a new space while we still had had the Facebook group open mm-hmm

But we moved over to something called mighty networks. Yeah. And. Within that platform, just like many other platforms that had the ability to have a course. We built out our onboarding as a course, and we didn’t just start building that. We took a lot of time behind the scenes before we made the shift to really set intentions of how do we wanna bring people and how do we want them to feel.

First we asked them, how do they wanna feel? And then also, how do we not want them to feel? And they got to share how they don’t wanna feel as well.

[00:12:13] Rick:
Right? Meaning you were asking them within the membership.

[00:12:17] India:
Okay. Yeah. Actually part of that process is we had built out a survey, where they got to pick the number top three emotions that they wanna feel top three emotions that they don’t want to feel.

And then the number one emotion. That they want to feel. And the number one that they absolutely do not ever wanna feel in our space and that let us prioritize, not just what we were doing, but the energy behind how we were doing it.

[00:12:48] Erica:
And I think that that’s important because one, I don’t know that I’ve ever been in a space before that that was actually asked of you and that the answer made a difference in anything.

Right. And that the person wasn’t simply doing it for themselves. But I think that when you dig into. Kind of some of those, kind of like psychographics of like, what is it that makes you the type of person that you are and why are you here? And what do you wanna get out of this? How do you wanna feel as you get that, that, that helps you to connect in a different way?

And that helped to inform the choices that we made, because one of the things that I wanna make sure if it hasn’t and explicitly communicated that it is explicitly stated that when we made our shift. From Facebook to mighty networks. When we shifted our onboarding, when we shifted how people come in, when we shifted the way interaction went based on the responses that we got, it was never about us.

It was always about them.

[00:13:48] Rick:
Yeah. That’s been a big theme on many of the. Talks, I’ve been having with people as part of this membership series on the show here where I know at least for me and I, frankly, a lot of my students, especially an Accelerator, many of us feel like we have to be leading the, the conversation we have to be leading the community.

We have to be,

If you will. And. It’s. Yeah, it’s, it’s like, it’s more, it is about the members, but it’s also, but it’s, it’s almost like it’s contingent on the business owner or the membership owner. Whereas in all these conversations that, that this, it keeps coming up. Exactly what you just said, Erica is like, it’s not about.

Us it’s about the community and the community’s there supporting one another. We get to do our part in creating that safe environment and creating with intention of what we, what we want it to be. But it’s for the members and the members are creating this community with each other.

[00:15:01] Erica:
Right. And I think it’s a paradigm shift of taking it from, I am the leader here to, I am facilitating this space for the outcomes that you are here to feel and the type of impact that you want to make.

And for us, that’s been a cornerstone. Now I know that everybody’s space is not going to be maybe is impact driven as ours, or it’s not going to be based on the same types of, of content or, kind of themes, but. Being able to kind of remind yourself that this is not about. How much, you know, how much you can do, how you are showing your authority.

And you’re able to shift that to being more about, I’m hoping to foster this space. I wanna be a part of these conversations I want to interact with you. And I want to learn from you in the same way that I hope that I have something to offer to you. I think it to a very different way of positioning our.

Those and allowing people to understand that they’re a part of co-creation because that is a huge thing. That definitely was there for us, from the word go. And again, it differentiated spaces that I’ve been as a member and why I didn’t want to create something that was just about, this is really you creating what you wanted and what you needed.

This was never about your members. We knew. That that was not what we wanted. And we’ve been able to, to honor that consistently.

[00:16:27] Rick:
Yeah, sorry, go ahead. And yeah, yeah,

[00:16:30] India:
No, I was just gonna piggyback off of Erica and say, that, that word community stands out to me. And I think that we knew before we even started building anything, figuring out when we wanted to roll it out, anything like that, of this.

Extension of our business, that we wanted it to be a community. And we would refer to it as that, even though there would be workshops, there would be coaching and consulting available inside of it, hot seats, you name it that the most important thing for us was that people continue to connect with each other outside of those things, that we are sting and facilitating as leaders.

And that informs so many decisions as well.

[00:17:13] Rick:
So, well, and that’s what it’s called. It’s called pause on the play, the community. mm-hmm so it’s right there, right there in the name. So, my audience loves tactical, like do, like here are the things that. That we can try in order to accomplish X, Y, or Z. So this

[00:17:33] Erica:
Is India’s love language.

So , now we’re talking, we have the right person in the room, right?

[00:17:38] Rick:
So, so with that in mind, India, you wanna be very intentional about the onboarding to be able to create that safe environment, to be able to create that deeper connection with the community. You ask them how you want to feel.

How do you not wanna feel you created kind of a minicourse if you will. So, so what does that look like? What does, what does the onboarding process look like? That’s able to foster that type of connection and feeling of safety.

[00:18:09] India:
You know, I thought before we started recording this, that I would actually start that with our start here challenge.

But my instinct, my gut, my heart is saying that that process actually starts with how we talk about the community. When we talk about it, it starts with, when they finally land on the sales page for the C the, how it is mentioned there and how we explicitly state here’s what we talk about. We are talking about.

Challenging things that you can’t talk about anywhere else. And it’s a safe space to do that. And our community is free of know-it-alls. It’s free of people who feel like they are there yet, or there is a there, you know, and I think that, that messaging already repels some people and attracts other people.

And that’s so important because. I think who is in the room can shape the vibe of the room. As I say, one bad apple can spoil the bunch so to speak, but we’re, I.

[00:19:10] Erica:
I wanna pause you cuz we do our like pause and play thing on ours. And I wanted to pause you only because you are correct. It does start on the page, but it also starts with the people that share about their experiences in the room before they even get to the sales page, because we have members that what they’ve experienced in our space.

Fellow members has shifted in shaped how they show up in their businesses, how they show up in their lives. And when they are transparent with their stories and they are sharing, then they are letting people know this is what has been possible for me. And being able to see that somebody is simply.

Laying out, Hey, this is what I’ve experienced. I’m not even really looking for anything from this, but this is what I have had happen for me. And this was a big piece of that. That to me is a huge piece of it, cuz this is somebody that like, yeah, I’m just talking about my life and my experiences, but is what’s been a part of it.

And then hopefully it’ll trigger them to go over to the sales page. But before they even got there, they’re like, What is this magical unicorn of a space that you mentioned? Cause I’m not used to this

[00:20:21] Rick:
And that type of person is usually maybe not all the time, but usually going to attract similar type of person.

You know, personality, values, et cetera.

[00:20:32] India:
Absolutely. And they’re incredibly transparent about what their experiences are and what they’re learning. and they’re collaborating with each other about that as well. we’ve seen some beautiful collaborations come out of the community. So yes, to everything that Erica just said, getting down to the tangible, once you click that, you know, join now or sign up button, One of the things that you’ll find is we leave our card open.

And so we intentionally don’t wanna bring people in with any type of energy of urgency or scarcity. And so while some people may feel that. open and close cart guarantees you more sales. We made the executive decision on our side that even if it potentially hurts our sales

[00:21:22] Rick:
According to a standard, there was a collective gasp by the way, by thousands of people right now,

[00:21:28] Erica:
I know that there was, I cannot it

[00:21:32] India:
I’m sure. We don’t launch and we don’t close our card.

[00:21:38] Erica:
We don’t like the word. We don’t even like the word launch. The word launch makes us itchy. And I think there’s something to be said about. You know, if you are launching and let’s say it’s a, a coaching program and you literally can only take eight people that is real, you know, scarcity from a sense of like, if I have one seat left, I have one seat left.

Yeah. But to have a space that we are not capping, how many people can come in at a given time, that’s four urgency to say, if you don’t join now, you’re gonna miss out. It’s like, But why is now different from tomorrow or any other day, if that’s the game that you’re playing now? I think that there’s always that sense of like starting now is always, you know, the, the, the best place to start.

If you didn’t start yesterday, but if we’re gonna put that there, then there needs to be a. Real reason why, or you start to get to that place of like we are playing with people’s, you know, mental health to have these types of gymnastics that we wanna do with them. That’s yeah. Not always the best integrity to play that up if it’s not real.

And it’s only for sales. Sure.

[00:22:42] India:
Sure. Absolutely. And what I think about that decision, I think about if you’ve ever been running late for a meeting or something like that back when most people were doing things in person, right. You arrive and you’re already like a little sweaty under your armpits. You’re super nervous.

Like anything might come out of your mouth because you already have that. I was late or in this case, urgency energy behind it. And now you’re. Bringing that energy into the space. You’re bringing it into the meeting. You’re bringing it into what you say while people are sharing very real and very vulnerable things.

And so we made the decision that the protecting of the energy of our space was more important than being able to launch an open and close cart. Mm-hmm and once you make that decision to join, then you go through a process where, In the purchasing, we don’t have bump offers. We’re not one upselling you to make last minute decisions that you might regret.

We also have it to where you can come and leave at any time. So you are not locked into a year unless you choose to be. You can do month to month, and there’s no monthly minimum on that month to month. And then once you actually have entered the network, which is a private network, we made that decision so that none of the content there can be searchable by the public or seen by the public. What happens in the community stays in the community like Las Vegas.

You then go into immediately being in our start here, challenge, not into the main network or any trainings or educational material, but you immediately go into something that we call our start here challenge, and we call it a challenge because we intentionally wanted to make it be light and fun and very well coming.

[00:24:35] Rick:
And so. So, what is, it’s a series of, and I remember going through it when, when I joined, but take us through, what does that look like is, and it’s a, so it’s a video series, but you also there’s like activities and stuff like that. So talk about that. Cuz when I, I remember going through, I was like, wow, this is really smart.

And unlike anything I’d seen before.

[00:24:57] Erica:
The interesting thing was, I remember when we were recording those videos during COVID and having to kind of preface, like we’re not being reckless, like we’re at each other bubble, we’re sitting next to

[00:25:08] India:
Each other. Right.

[00:25:09] Erica:
And because for us, it was important. That our start here challenge did include some like actual video interaction.

We wanted people to see our faces and hear our voices so that they didn’t think that they were kind of being, you know, dumped off into a space that like, Hey, go talk about diversity, equity and inclusion. Good luck. Bye. And so we felt like it was really important for them to have that moment of connecting with us and to be able to lay out like great you’re here.

Let’s go ahead and kind of, you know, Asage any nervousness you may have let’s manage any expectations you have of yourself of kind of, how do I do anything in here? I don’t know where to start. I’m not sure what I can or I can’t do. I don’t know, how to, I, I literally don’t know how to operate it because I’m used to face Facebook.

And so for us, it was really important to not only give people that know how of. This is how to navigate the space. This is where certain things are, but also this is how to interact. This is how to have conversations with your fellow members and really setting the stage for. What we hoped would be their experience, but also how they were a part of co-creating that together.

And we really wanted to embed those pieces of our values of how we created the space and why we created it for them being there from the very beginning, because we didn’t want it to be like, oh yeah, by the way, This is kind of the thing. So we really, and that was again, another one of the reasons for having the videos there and letting it feel a little bit more personalized so that it wasn’t okay.

Here’s just, it’s just text and I don’t know what to do, and it’s scary in here. And I just, you know, it was really just trying to take that edge off of that initial step of like, we are doing this together. You’re not alone.

[00:27:07] Rick:
And in doing that. What was the, I mean, number one that’s I mean, to my knowledge, and from my experience over the years, I don’t see a lot of membership people doing that.

No onboarding people in that way. How do you think that that is creating in emotionally safe space for people once they join? Is it, is it, is it. Is it simply, I don’t mean to oversimplify it, but is it like describing what this is and what this isn’t in the membership or is there

[00:27:45] India:
More to it? It is. And there’s a little more to it.

I think that there are strategic reminders. Of we’re all human here. We’re going to make mistakes. And there’s what we do after we make that mistake that matters more than a mistake itself. Right. there’s a lot of little pieces that we’ve included in there and I think. I would love to hear Erica’s thoughts on that, but I do think it is so much bigger because it’s like certain things, you know, would be easy to feel like, oh, that’s common sense.

You don’t call somebody, you know,

But when you have people from all different walks of life and they’re living in all different geographic location, they have different religious backgrounds, different parts of their, gender identity, their sexual identity. Their, ethnicity, you name it.

Mm-hmm there is so much room. Once you start talking about what is your normal, what lived experiences you’ve had, wanting to incorporate more inclusivity into your business to say things that we may think are fine or normal, everyday phrases or words that actually could be harmful to someone else.

And so I think that. It’s even more important that type of space to build it in such a way that it’s not necessarily 100% focusing only on how do we prevent mistakes. Right. But how do we actually create a space to where you know, it is okay. If you make a mistake, if you make amends, if you take the time, when you make that mistake to listen to why it was a mistake and then course correct.

[00:29:34] Erica:
And I think. We are fortunate to have a space in members where there has been a lot of empathy fostered. There are people that are like, I don’t know if I’m gonna say this the most eloquent way, but I also don’t wanna not say it because that doesn’t feel like that’s the right choice either. And they, they dive in and they’re willing to have those kinds of conversations and.

The, the interesting thing is I think anybody that has heard us before, knows that India and I talk about values a lot. Rick is probably like here’s these values again? Yes. The, the interesting thing is like one of the cornerstones for me is imperfect allyship. And with pause on the play, we all talk a lot about, you know, reconsidering your normal on all fronts and.

I think that when you have values that reflect what matters to you, it’s a lot easier to create an environment where those things are considered a standard of how things are done. And so you don’t have to think, do people understand this? Do they know this? People know that if I say imperfect allyship, I’ve talked about it so much that they know that it’s not just a tag, that it’s really about action.

And they know for a fact that. The more and more, I talk about reconsidering your normal. It is having that type of dialogue that is like, well, this isn’t something I always understand, or this isn’t something that I thought I had access to, or that I could do it this way. And being able to really just have that cornerstone a.

Of even just those two concepts really opens people up to being able to have dialogue around things that they aren’t talking about regularly in other spaces. And I feel very confident to say that, cuz I know I’ve had some of those conversations in other spaces and people have been like, oh wait, what is happened in here?

She said, what? So having a space that we can do that really does open people up in a way that they take that with them back out, into the world of like, oh. We are not talking about this stuff. Why I don’t wanna be silent about these things and it’s not about it being bad. It’s just different.

[00:31:45] India:
Yeah. Well, and can I say that, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on about it as well.Rick cause we have different spheres and different lived experiences, but I feel like most people are told not to talk about those things and you absolutely can’t do that if you’re a business owner. Yeah. And here’s a space to do it.

[00:32:05] Rick:
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, my problem, my problem with it is when, leaders of a community, for example, or membership, or what have you are saying, like, Hey, we’re not gonna talk about, political issues.

In here when it’s not a political issue at all, it’s just a human being issue. Right. That’s a huge problem. I, I do have a big problem when it’s, it’s like, wait a minute. No, that’s not what this is about. And, I think that there’s a ton of opportunity still to create. I mean, we’re talking about creating safe.

Safe places and safe communities within our, within our, within our business. I think there’s a ton of opportunity for this as I like to call it the online, the online bubble, the online space, for us to do more of that. And, I think that there was maybe some starts and stops. Along the way or the past year and a half or so.

But I think there’s, I think something there’s a long way to go.

[00:33:16] Erica:
Honestly. Yeah. I mean, I think there’s a long way to go. But part of that is as we’re discussing safe spaces, it’s just first kind of pausing to acknowledge that a safe space is not a space that you have said out loud. Hey, I am putting mistake in the ground.

This space is safe. That’s not what it means. And it’s really trying to create a. Space where other people are able to operate in a way that they feel safe and that they’re able to communicate if that’s not happening. And so I think if you’re moving through this type of, of, you know, shift or evolution, that there does need to be an opportunity to acknowledge, you know, if you say you wanna create a safe space, what does that actually mean?

And not just, what does it mean to you, but what does it mean for your people?

[00:34:03] India:
Yeah. So when I think about that, an intangible standpoint, I relate it back to that survey, right? Mm-hmm what emotions on the emotional wheel, which is like a tool in psychology. Did your people say are the emotions that make them feel safe, because those are the ones that you need to infuse into everything you say and everything that you do as much as possible in your space.

And if you’re deviating from that, then you need to be intentional about why. and when I look at it for us, as we started to lay that out, some of the emotions that came up that people wanted to feel was supported, they wanted to feel inspired and. The number one thing that they did not wanna feel is judged.

So that is one of the things that we absolutely have. A no one in our space is any energy of judging someone else for their choices, their decisions, their experiences is not okay. You can ask questions to further understand you can keep the dialogue going, but if it’s coming from a place of being judgemental, It’s not allowed.

And we’re very explicit about that and how we bring people in, both in the video content. And also from a tangible standpoint, we have a part of our start here challenge that is where our community manifesto lives. And it explicitly says, this is what we don’t do here.

[00:35:27] Rick:
Are you with that manifesto? Are you also touching on those things that are within the manifesto throughout the other videos as well?

Or is it more so only there and. I don’t know the answer, you know, the answer to, I was just gonna say, I don’t know the answer, but I do know the answer as I’m asking the question. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:35:50] India:
The sins dunno the answer, right?

[00:35:53] Erica:
I mean, I think anytime you create something like that, And it only lives in one place and it’s not echoed and mirrored back in other places, mm-hmm, , you’re doing your energy and this, this entity a disservice.

So it should constantly be reiterated. It should show up. In other places, you should notice the, the kind of ping ponging back and forwards of things that should absolutely have happened so that it never feels like, oh, you said this here, but you don’t say this anywhere else. Let alone actually do that thing.

And so. It should be in all the places.

[00:36:28] India:
Yes. And the beauty is, I think that it is, is in all the places and also do not skip on making it be an explicit place that you can point to where there’s both video content about it and written content about it. And one unified place, because that is a part of being able.

And I know you’ll go into this with Diana tower who supported us with some of our boarding it’s part of your community manager in supporting them of being able to say, I removed this post, or I edited this post, or I changed what section of the community it shows up in or what hashtag is with it.

Mm-hmm because of this thing over here, this manifesto. So it never feels like it’s a personal decision, but Hey, we have this. Manifesto or we have this community guideline, and this is why I made this decision. Mm-hmm

[00:37:23] Rick:
Doing this work also from a, you know, I’ll go here from a numbers perspective, from a data perspective, from a churn rate and retention perspective.

How do you all feel that this is affecting retention? Overall in a membership.

[00:37:44] India:
That’s such a good question. and we have discovered that for us, the people that do not make it, we’re gonna start your challenge do not typically stay within the community and the people that do have been with us. From the beginning or have come later on and do not leave.

Like they’re like, this is home and I am here. like, this is my mental health, my friends by everything. This is the place I feel like I belong and I am not going anywhere.

[00:38:17] Rick:
I’m curious. So wait, people that don’t make it through the challenge, the start here challenge,

[00:38:22] India:
They typically are the ones that, I mean, every community is gonna have churn, especially with open cart and not having like a cutoff amount of minimum time.

You can stay. We find that those people come and go really quickly. And that actually was our goal. We want this in addition to our content that leads up before you join to say, this is for me, or this is not for me. If it’s not for you. we have a very strict rule about not having people lurk in our space and witness other people’s stories, experiences, and things like that, that they’re not contributing to cuz that takes away from the emotional safety.

Hmm. So I’m curious to hear Erica’s thoughts, but looking at the numbers, and the tech of it, the people that typically do not make it through more than 50% of the start here, challenge don’t stay. And that’s exactly what we want because they’re not prepared to engage in the way that we would need them to.

[00:39:20] Erica:
Mm. I think it becomes another filter because I think it helps to really kind of show like, okay, am I here? Just because I want to take, or am I here because I want to be a part of a community that I want to give and I want to receive, am I here because I actually. Want to understand what it looks like to feel safe and to facilitate safety for others, or do I not wanna follow the rules?

And so I’m just not going to, and sometimes it is just because that’s a moment that you are not capable of doing it. So I wanna acknowledge, particularly in. The current, like social climate capacity is a thing. And so for some people, they don’t have the capacity to hold space for others, which is fine, but it’s worthwhile to acknowledge that this may not be the space for you right now.

And so I think it’s important to kind of have something in place that manages expectations and kind of, not only what’s of, you know, others toward you, but like, what is your, what is the role that you are playing? And so doing this helps for them to be able to. Cognizantly say yes, or to be able to cognizantly say, this is not for me right now.

And I would much rather have that than to feel as though, you know, Nobody really leaves the space, but the people that are in there are not fostering connections. They’re not creating impact. They’re not taking their, you know, relationships and dynamics, and opportunities offline with each other.

They’re not sharing. Things with each other. And so in order to be able to get to that impact and what can happen, you need to make sure that the people in the space can do what needs to happen. And those that it’s just not for at that moment that they’re not made to feel shame because they’ve stayed and now they don’t wanna leave.

[00:41:10] India:
Hmm. Yes. I couldn’t have said that better. And I think that it goes back to looking at our intentions. That is always our intention to make sure that who we have feels safe and supported and like they’re thriving in the space more so than it is to massively add new people in. we’ve been very grateful that our community has continued to grow.

And a lot of that is from the people who are already there. sharing with their friends and their network. I know though. If, if you’d like I can pull out and kind of give you some breakdown of what is in the start here, challenge and where the community manifesto sits in that process.

[00:41:52] Rick:
Yeah. I think that’d be super helpful.

And because we’ve talked about, you know, this. this intentionality from a new membership perspective. And as you go through that, India, I’d love. If you could incorporate how someone with an existing membership with an existing community could start if they wanted to make a shift, but there’s fear involved about like what the, you know, number one, how to do it.

And number two, like what, how this could affect their membership.

[00:42:26] Erica:
Well, before I let her do that, I wanna point out something though. We moved from Facebook to mighty network. So we already had it, had a format and had members and switched, not knowing what was gonna happen, cuz everybody could have been like, I’m not going over here.

I’m out. I’m going back to, to the book of faces and you know, we. We actively created this while having it true from a, you know, from basically saying this is what we have and then we evolved it. And so I want India to obviously go into those tangible pieces, but I wanna acknowledge that we didn’t start with all these pieces in place.

And I think it’s always important to remind, any, anyone listening that things don’t end up at their current iteration, because this was your first iteration. That’s why it’s the current iteration. And so you have to give yourself that grace of understanding that you have learned some things you’ve garnered, some understanding, you foster some things that you wanna do different by holding the space open and being like, let’s see what, what happens here and experimenting a little bit.

So I wanna just preface that with everything that she’s gonna kind of share with you came from us. Really witnessing what was happening and being able to take that into how can we continue to grow this? How can we do this better? What’s next? What else can we provide for them? How does this provide, you know, ease for everybody involved mm-hmm

And so I, because I it’s so easy to get stuck in that, like I’m not there. I can’t do it. I didn’t do it before. And I just wanna make sure that nobody gets stuck in that loop because that’s not how we got here.

[00:44:10] India:
Agreed. and to explicitly lay that out, we were in mighty networks for probably a few months before we started building out our start here challenge.

And after we built the challenge, I’m gonna take you through, we requested required such a strong risk. I’ll say we requested light gently and kept nudging our current members to go through the challenge. So it wasn’t just for the, the new people coming in mm-hmm . And I think that that’s important is if you decide to move in this direction, know that you can take your time building it out, you don’t have to do it overnight.

We certainly did not. It took us several months to plan this out. And then we did like a batch recording day of all the videos. and then once you’ve done the, that you can gently nudge your current members to go through this challenge. And I think if you keep it fine, Right. And you find the energy that they’re looking for, but not making it feel like, oh, this is just one more thing to do that I’m required to do.

They’ll gladly go through that process. So when I think about our start to challenge, and there’s a lot of options that you have in the way that you do it. So I wanna be transparent about that. We did ours based on what our people needed to feel, is we started out with an overview and an introduction and that video and the content with that is laying out a reminder to why you joined here.

What was your intention that you had when you first signed up? Reiterating what’s on the sales page. What do we talk about all the time? What happens in the space and the impact that it can have in your life and then the life of others? And of course, when you’re changing things in your life, it’s naturally gonna change things in your business or in your workplace.

And so that kind of overview, just kind of reiterates that it also goes through some housekeeping of accessibility, things like close captioning and how you can turn that on how our videos are searchable to save you time and stuff like that. and from there we go into a. Several sections we have let’s get started, which just goes over basic here is where everything is, think orientation at school.

But for our network, mm-hmm, we go through, our community manifesto, which is right after that. And that’s really setting the intentions of what’s okay. Here. It also says what’s not okay here, how this place got created, why we’re here, you know, to create this judgment free zone for conversation. what values influence our space is included there as well.

And then we also have room for legal stuff, cuz there’s just kind of no way Matt, which. Truly starts in the signup process of how you’re agreeing to legal terms and conditions about not disclosing of anything in the community, outside the community, as well as not having any hate speech or any discriminatory, Erica put in the word there.

I’m looking for,

[00:47:12] Erica:
If you, if you discriminate discriminating against anyone by any type of societal indicators, not limited to sex age, gender, socioeconomic status, immigration status, the short answer is it’ll get kicked off.

[00:47:26] India:
Right. So free

[00:47:28] Rick:
To anybody listening. Pause that. Let’s go back. Copy that down. Add it to your terms of conditions.

[00:47:37] Erica:

[00:47:38] India:
Said. And we reiterate that in the manifesto, because how many times do you agree to terms and conditions? And then you’re in a space and you forget what those terms and conditions were once you’re in it. So it’s reiterated there in a more tight and more everyday language way.

And we talk about all of those things in the manifesto before we get to introducing.

Don’t introduce yourself until you know, what’s happening here and why. Right. What’s okay. And what’s not okay. And I think that I have seen that people who get to introduce yourself. Show up in a way that sets themselves up for success from day one and how they’re greeted, how they are acknowledged, how they are communicated with, from other members, whether or not they feel like they belong once they’re there, because they’ve already gone through these other pieces.

And we literally go through like within mighty networks, there’s a little section called introduction of like what you may wanna put in that introduction. And. Not necessarily in telling them what they need to say about themselves, but just here’s how this functions, literally, in a text standpoint of, once you fill this part of your profile out, it’s gonna make this why I’m here post introducing yourself.

Hmm. Where people can comment on it. And part of that is sharing, you know, a little bit about yourself, but also what you’re hoping to gain from being in the space because you are here for a reason.

[00:49:10] Rick:
I, I love thank you for breaking that down. And I’m just thinking about it remembering when I went through it and some of the things that I did too, So with that kind of onboarding and that kind of intentionality behind it, what would you, and I think we’ll shift back over to Erica for this. What would you say to somebody who wants to who currently doesn’t have this? They have a, you know, we’ll, we’ll call it a successful membership. Maybe it’s an, it’s an engaged membership, successful from a numbers perspective, but now they wanna incorporate more of a, exactly what we’re talking about here.

Deeper connections within the community, a safer space for everyone. They want to incorporate something like we’re talking about here, this like this onboarding process, however, and have existing members go back through it. However, there’s a fear of what people are gonna think, you know. Right.

[00:50:14] Erica:
Well, I think that if this is something that you want, you have to first acknowledge.

Do I want this type of outcome more than I want my feelings to be spared in people not wanting to be on board mm-hmm because people not wanting to be on board is gonna feel like, well, what does this say about me? What does this say about my decision? What does this say about my space though? I think you have to decide first, you know, Is it your, is it your kind of feelings or how this reflects on you that it’s a priority or is it the outcome?

Because I think that there’s always an opportunity for you to recognize that people either aren’t on board simply because they don’t like change because sometimes that’s a thing mm-hmm or because the values that you’re trying to really follow. Isn’t maybe what they’re there for. However, you know, I think that we all kind of, you know, we begin things with certain things in mind and you start something six months in you’re like, I don’t know if I wanna do another six months to this.

I don’t wanna know if I wanna do another year or two years, five years of this. And so you decide it’s time for, for things to change. There is always an opportunity of repelling some people, because they’re not. They’re not meant to go for that ride. Mm-hmm but there’s no way to really draw in the people that are like, oh my God, thank you for doing this.

Or the people that are like, oh, you’re doing that. I wanna come in here. I want this. There’s no way of being able to. To, to even have the opportunity for that to happen, if you’re so fearful of what the outcome is gonna be, because basically you’re like, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. So therefore I’m gonna assume it’s gonna be bad and I won’t do anything.

Right. And we all know that that’s not how online business grows. That’s not how you get the types of comes that you want by essentially being. So stuck in your risk aversion to an extent, because it’s, it’s not the same kind of risk aversion that maybe feels like it’s stuck to numbers, but it is. And I think it’s important to, to really assess that.

And then for me, it’s really kind of threefold it’s, you know, If you’re gonna do this, what are your values so that you can begin to anchor them in what’s gonna happen. And then using that to be able to be clear of like, okay, what, what do I wanna foster here? What do I want to have happen? What do I want this to look like?

And making sure that, is it, is it about you? Is it about them? Like getting some clarity on that? But I, one thing that I don’t see a lot of people doing is stepping back, like just really kind of moving back for a second. And witnessing what is happening here? Because you can’t change anything, if you haven’t gotten clear on what’s actually happening.

So that’s where you do need your data. How are people interacting? What are the conversations that are continued? What are the conversations that are dropping off? What do people feel like they can or cannot talk about? What are they being present for? What are they looking to me for? What are they looking to each other for?

Like, there’s a number of questions that can be asked and you can actually go through and pay attention to what has historically been happening that I think needs to happen before you make changes. It’s like being like, I wanna change my diet. But you haven’t taken the time to recognize like, wait, what was I eating that maybe I shouldn’t eat?

Or maybe what should I eat more of? You just decided it doesn’t work. So let’s just throw it all out and start again. That’s not how this works. And that’s how to me, you get to burn out. Cause now you’ve decided, oh, Nope, I’m a burn it all down and start again. That is overwhelmed. That is burnout that is taking the good ideas and the amazing things that you’ve created and throwing them away because you’ve allowed them to get caught into things that maybe you don’t wanna do as much of.

[00:54:02] Rick:
Yeah. Yeah. I’m just sitting here listening and just taking all in. And I’m like having these conversations that I’m having in this membership series are I’m learning so much way more than I thought I would if I’m being honest. Right. And I just love these conversations that we’re having. And I mean, to be honest, and we’ve talked about this, but thinking about.

Things like member retention and creating a community and stuff like that through the lens of different ways to think about it. And, it’s so good and more people need to, to, I think, need to be talking about this. And we all have talked about that, that these types of conversations need to be, had more, there’s absolutely more to, Increasing or decreasing turn rate or increasing retention in membership, then adding an extra blank or whatever, or more content or whatever. so I wanna invite anybody listening right now. If. They’re super jazzed about what they’re hearing right now about, Hey, I wanna be a part of that community and oh, by the way, see this onboarding process in action.

Where can what’s the best place for them? We’ll start there. What’s the best place for them to go, to learn more about the community.

[00:55:29] Erica:
You can come on over to the website, which is pause on the Pause on the play is essentially India and I together we are the two co-founders together. And again, we are the facilitators.

We don’t label ourselves as the leaders. but if you come on over and you go to. Pause on the You’ll go to the sales page where you’ll read a little bit about, it’s a little bit of an anti sales page because it is not the typical sales page. There will not be the infinite scroll when you go there.

But it will, it will tell you a little bit about what happens in the space and it’ll tell you about the benefits, but some of my favorite pieces, that air, which. We will have more of it once COVID lets us out are some of the images that really were, you know, when we were able to do things in person and us, being able to bring that type of energy online and into our space has been huge for us.

So you’ll be able to learn about the community as well as joined today.

[00:56:29] Rick:
Awesome. And what are all the other various platforms to connect with Huon? We have multiple podcasts. We have Instagram feeds. Talk to us. Where can people connect with you both? Ooh.

[00:56:43] India:
So I would say the best way to kind of get warmed up to who we are and what we do together would be listening to the pause and the play podcast.

We have. Wonderful conversations about everything, values, visibility, and specifically diversity equity, inclusion, and creating safer spaces for your team. For your coworkers, you name it there. you can listen to it, whatever you’re listening to this podcast. We’re also in Instagram, but based on where we started this conversation of the social media sphere crashing. right. I’m gonna re when you go to the podcast first, but we’re at positively on Instagram.

[00:57:24] Rick:
Okay. And what is your podcast?

[00:57:26] India:
I also have fought your fire and that’s where Eric and I dig into a lot more of the branding and visibility side of what we do together and how you’re able to really approach that differently and really leave behind the shoulds in your marketing.

[00:57:43] Rick:
Which is really what we dove into on when you were on the show, yourself, India on, on that episode, I’ll link everything up. I’ll link. The episode that I had with Erica, the episode with India, pause and play podcast, the community link, font, your fire podcast. I’ll link it ALA on the show for today’s out.

So, I just really wanna thank you both for coming back on and, also again, Because I’ve talked about it before, but publicly, thank you both for all the work that you’re doing with me and helping me navigate all of this. And I was just telling somebody yesterday, actually here we are, we’re recording this, early October.

It has absolutely been a year of growth are talk this conversation. We’re talking about like expanding the edges, if you will. And those edges are, Progressively going out further, and a big part of that is because of the work we’ve been doing. So thank you for all that. thank you,

[00:58:45] Erica:

Absolutely. For being willing to do it, like we, cause you don’t have to do it a lot of people don’t and they’re definitely not willing to publicly. Talk about it and the growth edges. And so for being willing to go on that ride and be willing to, to do it for yourself and to model what’s possible to your listeners.

I appreciate you have a lot of gratitude. Thank you.

[00:59:05] Rick:
Yeah. And it’s, , I will box you Eric, and I’ll say this isn’t easy, right? This is cuz it’s not been easy and you’re like, right. Well, you don’t have to do it. it’s like, okay. Yes, you’re right. You’re right.

[00:59:17] India:
You know, but the beautiful thing that stands out to me is that even witnessing you and your journey.

It’s been one step at a time. And for someone who’s listening, even if you’re just thinking about starting with your onboarding, it’s literally one step at a time taking that one small action, and then adding another action. When you’re ready to add another action,

[00:59:39] Rick:
Start with a survey. You put together a few questions and ask people, and say, okay, I’m gonna do that. Then take the information and decide what’s next.

Yeah, absolutely. I love it.

Thank you both, again. I appreciate you.

[00:59:53] Erica:
Thank you.

[00:59:55] Rick:
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Alright, my friends, thank you, as always, for tuning into the episode here today. Super appreciate you.

Until next time, be well, and I’ll chat with you soon.

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