The Proven Framework For Building A Thriving Community

The Proven Framework For Building A Thriving Community written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Liz Lathan

Liz Lathan, a guest on the Duct Tape Marketing podcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Liz Lathan. Liz is a community design strategist, a community enablement architect, and the Creator of Return on Emotion™.

Questions I ask Liz Lathan:

  • [1:11] I read one of your recent LinkedIn posts and you said that community-first companies are growing 30% faster than product-first companies – what is a community-first company in your definition?
  • [6:53] What are a couple of examples of companies doing this really well?
  • [8:44] What’s a more relatable example or way somebody who is seen as much more of a conservative business can approach this?
  • [13:56] How do you get somebody oriented to what their strategy ought to be when it comes to building a community?
  • [15:20] What elements ignite a community when you’re trying to get started?
  • [16:06] What are some ways that you’re seeing people take that literal idea of “show” and broaden it?
  • [17:21] When you talk about gatherings sometimes people just jump to big trade shows or events – but bringing your customers together for lunch could be a really simple way to gather, right?
  • [20:02] Could you talk a little bit more about this idea of being a sounding board and how that differs from an advisory board or an actual board?
  • [21:22] Where people can find out more about your work or connect with you?

More About Liz Lathan:

  • The Community Factory
  • Connect with Liz on LinkedIn

More About Strategy First:

  • Apply for the Agency Workshop

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

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John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Outbound Squad, formerly Blissful Prospecting, hosted by Jason Bay. It’s brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. Jason Bay is a leading sales expert and he talks with other leading sales experts to get you the information you need. I’ve recent episode, he talked about how much time you need to spend prospecting. Really, really eye-opening. Check it out. Uh, listen to the outbound squad, wherever you get your podcasts. Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Liz Lathan. She’s a community design strategist, community enablement architect. I’ve got all kinds of terms here, pioneer of community as a service and creator of Return on Emotion, the quantifiable value of experiences. So I don’t even know where to start, but Liz, welcome to the show,

Liz Lathan (01:05): . You know, it’s fun when you get to make up all of your own. Exactly. Titles right,

John Jantsch (01:09): .

Liz Lathan (01:09): Exactly. Thanks for having me.

John Jantsch (01:11): So I read on one of your recent LinkedIn posts, I think it was, uh, community First Companies are growing 30% faster than product first companies. So there’s a lot to unpack there. First off, what’s a community first company in your definition?

Liz Lathan (01:25): Yeah, I mean I think when you look at the marketing funnel and the evolution of the marketing funnel, it’s how companies are evolving to engage their, not only their current customers, but their prospects too. So if you old days, product first funnel was awareness, consideration, purchase, get the product out there, let people know you have a solution to their problem and your product is it and go down the pipe. Then you move to the evolution of customer first marketing funnel where we have our buyer’s journey, discover, learn, try, buy, advocate, all that stuff. We believe that we’re now evolving to a community first way of doing the marketing funnel. And so we, the process we see in the funnel now is the top of funnel is the show. That could be a podcast, it could be a book, it could be a TikTok show, whatever it is.

(02:07): It’s your top of funnel using the people and the content from your community. And the next one down goes to the site. Where’s the place where people can actually find the people behind your community? So it’s not Lululemon’s Shop of Stuff, it’s Lululemon’s Events and Gathering and Slack channel and the place where they can connect with actual people. The next one is the series of gatherings because that’s what community’s all about. Whether it’s virtual or in-person, it does not matter, but you have to bring the people together. And then one we like to call the sounding board, which is the small five to seven people. That’s either your advisory board or their own advisory board. And you’re just mining them for trends and insights and they are your testimonials. They are the people helping you determine what content’s relevant. And then finally, our shareable moment is kind of the advocate part of the buyer’s journey is it’s a swag store or it’s content that you’ve created that they can share or those white papers. But the whole funnel is built on creating content, buy and for the community and re-shared by them. And it turns into actually a flywheel. Usually your flywheel and your funnel are totally different. This is one and the same. You just move ’em down the pipe and then it just spins it all up.

John Jantsch (03:11): So, so, so the topic, it’s funny, do you know Mark Schaffer than on the show before? Probably I, and he, he’s got a new book coming on January. He just pinged me today to be on this show and it’s called Belonging to the Brand, why Community is the Last Great Marketing Strategy. So I think this is a topic that’s not going away fast, is it?

Liz Lathan (03:29): I agree. You know, my major concern is that community is gonna become that useless word like experiential where no one has a real definition and it means something different to everyone and then it means nothing. Yeah. So I think it’s really important for us to kind of grab that bull by the horns and kind of define it right now.

John Jantsch (03:44): So as I listen to you talk about those ideas in the, in this journey or funnel as you were calling it, you know, how do you, I mean, does it matter what I sell? I mean, because I could see a very product oriented company having trouble wrapping their heads around this where I mean somebody like me, I mean this is what I’ve been doing for 15 years. , you know, because it’s the way for a professional service business certainly to thrive. But I think you’re suggesting this is anybody and everybody, isn’t it?

Liz Lathan (04:09): I really, we’ve been trying to poke holes in it and we’ve been getting a lot of feedback, our own sounding board and we haven’t found the holes yet. So I’m open to hearing where the problem is. But yes, from a professional services, from coaching to tax strategist, our own tax strategist is gonna starting to use this for our own services. We were contacted by a c PPG company recently and using that kind of community funnel to the, like the sounding board is the moms of kids will be eating the products and getting the feedback back. So it’s really just putting structure to the marketing with the community first. Because nobody trusts papa ads and you don’t even see emails anymore cuz they go into spam. And so those normal ways of marketing are kind of, they’re hards to do now. Whereas you always look at the reviews on Amazon, you always put it to Slack and find out what your community does. So if you can have the community marketing for you, we’ve always known that. But now there’s a process to it.

John Jantsch (05:00): And I think you hit on like the tax strategist. I think B2B companies in particular have probably been slower to come to this idea. Whereas b2c, I mean m and MS has had a, has a community, right? I mean I think a lot of B2C companies kind of get that. We have to get out there where the masses are. B2B companies I think are probably the greatest untapped opportunity right now.

Liz Lathan (05:22): I think so too. A lot of, I work a lot in the tech industry and so they, the history of a community has been an online forum or a Reddit sub thread or you know Right. Subreddit, something like that. User groups. Yeah. And so they throw a community manager at it that’s just throwing some questions in there and to engage the community, which is one way to do it. But I’m suggesting that’s one of the five. Yeah. And so the opportunity to broaden that and make community more of your business strategy and less of a simple marketing tactic. And I think it’s coming around, I think the problem that B2B is gonna have is actually executing it. Yeah. Because it’s hard to get approval or funding for a role that no one knows if it’s gonna have value yet. You kind of intrinsically know, but you don’t extrinsically know . Yeah. So that’s where we have this, the idea of community as a service, which is, you know, helping those companies map out a strategy, map out the monetization plan and either we help execute or we give them the full plan so that they can outsource the pieces they need to execute

John Jantsch (06:15): Well. And B2B companies that were naturally slower to come to say social media. And I think in a lot of ways, I’m not saying this is an outreach of social media, but I think people started realizing what was possible, you know, in community because of the public facing social media. Wouldn’t you say?

Liz Lathan (06:30): Absolutely. We’ve had lots of conversations on is social media community and I think social media enables community. Yeah. And can be top of funnel for community and can be bottom funnel, bottom of the funnel for real connection. But it’s, social media isn’t inherently community. Same with events. Events. A lot of event professionals are like, well my event is the community. Well it’s not the people or the community. The event was simply a vessel for that community to form and bond.

John Jantsch (06:53): So I know you write about some of the companies that are doing this well. So maybe you could share a couple examples of people that you think are really not just embracing this but doing it well.

Liz Lathan (07:04): Yeah, I think that, oh my gosh, there’s a lot of really good examples. They just quite haven’t quite put it into the structure. But you mentioned the whole variety of things. Think about Mr. Beast, you know, he’s like, what was he, he’s not a brand, he’s not a product, he’s not a service. What, what is this guy? He’s a philanthropist but he is also, I don’t even know what he is anymore. But his community is so rabid and he fits all of the pieces. I mean top of funnel. He clearly has a show. If you haven’t seen Mr. Bass, definitely go look at him. I think he’s one of the top YouTubers in existence. Mm-hmm. Scroll back to top

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