How Can Online Communities Empower Entrepreneurs? 
with Natalie Franke

Content and Community, a podcast for entrepreneurs 🎧

Episode 5: My guest Natalie Franke is probably even more jazzed about the value of communities than I am. And that's saying something.

She's the Chief Evangelist for HoneyBook, a really cool software for creative entrepreneurs and other professionals. (I think it's great for any solopreneur, for example). 

At the time of this recording, she'd been head of community for the business for several years and she'd cofounded the Rising Tide society, a community for creative entrepreneurs. 

I loved chatting with her. 

Links to what we chatted about

Honeybook - a client management software for creative and other entrepreneurs

Rising Tide, a community for creative entrepreneurs. Natalie co-founded it, it's now a part of the HoneyBook brand and it has over 200,000 members, including me.

Built to Belong, Natalie Franke's book on how to support your business by supporting a community

The Kendra Garagan episode of the podcast I referred to.


Ashley: Welcome to the Content and Community podcast. 

I’m your host, Ashley Ashbee, an inbound marketing consultant, and I love to explore ways people can share their expertise to bring in sales. 

My guest today is probably even more jazzed about community than I am (and that’s saying something). It’s Natalie Franke from a really cool client management software called Honeybook. 

At the time of this recording Natalie had been head of community for Honeybook for several years and since then she’s been transferring skills and insights from that position in her new role as Chief Evangelist.

She says: “I believe that we have a unique opportunity as a company to leverage technology to support our members as they build sustainable livelihoods. 

As Chief Evangelist, I want every independent business owner to experience the freedom that comes from having a seamless clientflow—it is the revenue generated while they sleep, the extraordinarily happy clients that refer them more qualified business, and the time saved to spend doing more of what they love.”

Full disclosure: since recording this episode, I’ve been so impressed with Honeybook, that I’ve registered as an affiliate marketer for the company! This means that I can commission from sales made with my special link (no longer active).

I’m super stoked to be launching this episode. I loved chatting with Natalie!

Natalie also co-founded The Rising Tide Society, a large community of creative entrepreneurs, which has been acquired by Honeybook.

She’s also written a book called Built to Belong. I love that title! We had a great chat and I think you’ll enjoy it.

Visit me at to get the show notes, learn more about what I do and my own book I’m writing.

You have a book coming out. Wow, that's exciting. And it's like on a topic that's very close to my heart. How did that, how did that come about? 

Natalie: It's a great question. I actually have spent the last six years of my life building communities. It began when I was a full-time wedding photographer. I had just graduated from Penn and I started photography, too. You know, make money on the weekends, pay for my college education, but it quickly became a full-time business. And I realized after going full-time and building that small business, that entrepreneurship was incredibly lonely and that leadership in many capacities, in our life, can be incredibly lonely in so many different ways and so I actually started and entered into the community building Arena from that point of loneliness and from that entry point of view. 

In the pain and needing a solution and kind of looking around and going, “I don't see what I need anywhere,” the unique type of community where creators in my space, we're coming together in the spirit of community and not out of competition. Not a fear that share knowledge, ideas and supporting folks that do the same thing that you do could take away from their business. And so I set out to change that and I co-founded the Rising Tide Society and it started as a simple coffee meet up. But over the last six years. Do you have expanded to over 70,000 members and hundreds of local chapters around the world? And that experience building that Community from the ground up scaling that Community being acquired by a tech company stepping into the role of head of community, at HoneyBook, and also working sort of, in the SaaS space to build a product communities. Just just made it apparent to me. That there is such a need to address the fact that the world tells us. We are to compete with one another, the world kind of pits us against one another. 

Especially in these highly competitive arena as we talk about entrepreneurship, but it extends so far beyond that to so many different aspects of 0ur lives. Whether you're working in the corporate world and trying to climb your way of that corporate ladder or you're a parent and suddenly, it feels like Parenthood is one giant competition. The competition is so present but although we are in many ways created to compete, we're wired to compete. 

We are ultimately built to belong and so the book was And out of those realizations over the last six years of building communities in highly competitive spaces, understanding the mindset shifts that have to happen in order for us to really overcome, some of the narratives. 

We've been taught to tackle, things like comparison, you know, obviously a scarcity mindset and step into and to a new mindset and a new framework for thinking. When we engage with other people in communities, such that we actually can forge deep and meaningful relationships. We actually can enter a room not in a traditional networking sense. I hate the word networking, you know where it's like, what can I get out of it? 

Instead walking into a room and saying, what can I give, how can I serve, how can I show up and provide value? And what that does have, it transforms entire ecosystems and groups of people. And so that's what the, the heart of the book is really about tackling that for ourselves as individuals, but it started from my own Journey, sort of through the muck and the mess of needing Community Building Community scaling Community Stepping beyond the entrepreneurial space, even to work into Tech and Tech communities, and advise startups. Rebuilding communities and just seeing sort of these similar issues and pain points that kind of attack us at different stages and how to combat that and really grow meaningful relationships with others in our personal and professional lives. 

Ashley: Yeah,any Community I've been a part of kind of works based on the quality of the moderation. And I feel like a lot of people especially professionals are afraid of communities being like, as just a space where it's bunch of Talking Heads and like, you know, by the so punching the calls to actions like, by this do this or whatever. I think a lot of people are just jaded. Like, how do I know that this is a legit Community? How do I actually make a name for myself? 

Self when there were like 30 300 other people doing the same thing that I do. Yeah, so I think overcoming that is probably probably one of the biggest challenges I would think in creating a community. Did you have to overcome a lot of myths, over a lot of apprehensions or do people just come right on board? Get it right away what you're doing. I think a little of both, you know in kind of looking retrospectively. We at what we've built over the last five, six years. I mean, it was clear from the beginning that there was just such a need, but there was a natural influx of people into the community. But then when you tackle sort of this myth side of it or even you know, the concerns, right? The the myths and concerns in the struggles that we face. Of course, not only were they there in the beginning, but they've shifted and changed as the community has grown and as our world has changed. I mean, our world doesn't look anything like it. Did. 

Six years ago when we started Rising tide, you know, and we've been through a lot in the past six years and so collectively. And so, you know, I think some of the biggest myths that I dealt with right from the start is, you know, our Mantra is community over competition. And a lot of folks that had been especially long time entrepreneurs or had done this, you know, building small businesses or whatever in their competitive arena for a long time. Sort of looked at this and said, well that doesn't sound like it's going to work. You know, what is this? Like Kumbaya? We sit in a circle. Hold hands and sing, and try to forget that we're actually competitors. And so that's one of the biggest misconceptions about the work that I do. And I talked about it at length, in the book about the fact that competition is widely misunderstood competition. Inherently is actually a wonderful thing for our bodies competition acts as a performance-enhancing drug of sorts in the brain, you know, there have been studies done. 

And we're human beings, especially in other animals, not just humans perform better. Just simply in the presence of another human being in the arena. Just having one other person competing against them, or observing their behavior yields higher output. They've done this weight lifters and, you know, it's qualitatively, we've all kind of felt it. You know that that Adrenaline Rush when suddenly, you know, if you've ever played an intramural sport or sport growing up, where somebody else, you know, is on the field with you on the court. With you takes the swimming block next to you, you know, and that that moment of, oh, you know, there's competition that spark of life, that kind of fills our our bodies and our minds. And so competition isn't inherently a negative thing. And when we say community over competition, we're not saying, you know, let's pretend like competition doesn't exist or lets, you know, vilify competition as this terrible thing in our lives because the reality is when competition is healthy. It's a wonderful thing. It Spurs innovation. 

Sparks our greatest ideas, it gives us that little jolt of energy that we sometimes need to kind of push through and keep doing the hard work and even discover things for ourselves that we never knew. We were capable of. But what has happened and what I've seen, especially as we've kind of emerged in and sort of this new technological reality. Where, you know, we are inundated with the successes of other people on a daily basis. We are overwhelmed with the amount of content. We are consuming that other people are putting out. Out to the universe, we Begin to swallow the highlight reels, as reality of people's lives, their career accomplishments, you know, and and and we do it in such a way that we aren't competing in a healthy manner anymore, you know, we aren't competing from from a healthy place of an arena where you know, the boundaries are clearly marked. The rules are clearly in place. We follow and Obey sort of a an unspoken or spoken, you know, an abiding by the Society of sportsmanship, for instance, were talking about Athletics or even a code of ethics. Ethics. If we're talking about entrepreneurship small business and life and enter at these things have started to be thrown out the window and so many Arenas and I use use a bunch of examples in the book. But even like, you know, the most recent, you know, college bribery scandals, where, you know, it's like we are at such, we are at such a place where individual performance is. So highly valued that we are doing on ethical things, in order to get our kids into better colleges or we see people, you know, taking performance-enhancing drugs and 

Healthy and in the small business space, there's no shortage of examples either. And so the biggest misconception is well, what do you mean community over competition? And how can we possibly navigate without competition? 

It's not without its just putting people before the competition. It's living an operating from a mindset that Community comes first and our understanding is that we will compete, but we must ensure its in a healthy way. I'll never step on somebody else to make myself taller, right? And adaptation of the mines. Set, right? And to shift in how we perceive it. And so that's definitely been a challenge especially in a community of competitors, a community where, you know, you are actually competing in the same space. And that applies not just in small business, that's sort of my corner of the world, but even content marketing or marketers, right, the idea that marketers can should and do have communities where they come together and they might be competing for the same freelance opportunities or Consulting, gigs or roles at companies, but there's still so much. 

Human coming together and collectively, sharing ideas and best practices and upholding these ethics in these standards that have become very important. But so easily overlooked when we prioritize competition and individual performance over the collective and over what is right. Yeah, a little things. A lot of people are unaware of like a lot of freelance writer. Get a lot of their work from other freelance writers because they're in a different Niche or they're overloaded or there's all these opportunities for for people in business who are actually competitors actually help each other and doing so help themselves. You know, it's like what's that story? 

Department store in England. There was a show about it. Selfridges (Mr. Selfridge). Basically, what he did was he part of a strategy when he was starting the business was people came to his door and is stored in the hub. What they wanted, the clerk would look through the catalog of the store that was across the street or somewhere nearby and see if they had it. And if they had it, they would refer to that client. 

Prospect over to that store and people are saying, why are you burning meals? Marriage is doesn't make sense, but it actually brought him more business because it made him respected him because he was honest. His company is honest. They respected that I wanted. What was best for the client. It's a comment it's now but it's it's just one of those things that like being in part of a community even and when you're like potentially pose a direct sale in this moment that sin that help. 

Natalie: Oh absolutely. And it all comes at all comes back around to know. I think what you're really referencing here is the idea that, you know, when you realize you're not the best fit for purpose 

To kill opportunity operating from that mindset of abundance and knowing the right opportunity will still walk through the door for you. But you have an opportunity here to actually be a great resource and provide a referral out to somebody else. Whether that's freelance writing or here in the case of this department store and I see it every single day in the work that we do in the community that I work in and even when I was back in the day as a photographer, you know, I could only take so much work every year and when I hit my cap of 39 to 40 weddings a year just to Just to think about that. I photographed. That many weddings a year. I had a ton of business still coming in because I had found success in my market and so I would refer that business out to other professionals. 

And what I learned is one, it's proof of the idea that, you know, someone else's success doesn't take away from your own but actually can build the success of others. So, when someone in an industry is doing an extraordinary job, when a department store is renowned for being the best in its field. When a writer is 

Sought after and preferred. Right? And they actually find success. It's easy for us to look at someone in our space, who's doing well? And think well, then less for me, but I've actually found so often. Now again, they're always exceptions. But so often is that the success of one can actually be to the benefit of all that when one person succeeds, it could either be through something, very tactical like referrals, but also it can be through shattering glass ceilings and changing what had been done in the past. Streit setting new records. That Encourage us all to reach for more. It could be bringing new innovative ideas to the table that sparked yet, more innovative ideas from the collective. And so, we see often the sphere of well, if they're winning that I'm losing, but so often, I think if we're able to switch that mindset to say, Well, they're winning. So can I if they're having success, so can I, if they're doing something and finding a market for it there, that's, that's not evidence that I shouldn't pursue that route. It's just Market, validation that there's a need And therefore, if I attempt to to move in that direction, or I take learnings from what I'm seeing in the marketplace and put my unique lens on it. My unique spend my unique offering, my unique value proposition. You know, it doesn't it kind of leans us in a direction where we can all Thrive just a little bit more. And so that's one side of it. But also, that mindset of abundance or scarcity. I mean, this has been, you know, talked about forever and originated in the book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. 

People and you know, it it goes back to this idea that so often were eating people would say to that department store, owner will, how could you send this away? How could you possibly do that? You know, what are you imagining doing that? You're going to, you're going to lose that customer, but the reality being that there is more than enough opportunity out there and I truly have found that to be evident in our current technological landscape. Where now we may be physically separated, but we're digitally together. We're connected by the internet. So, I can do work for someone and Tel Aviv, or I can consult with a start-up in San Francisco. I'm base now on the East Coast or I can edit and I'm not bound by my geography. So abundance is even more evident today than I think it was in the past. And so, you know, it's this combination of acknowledging that the success of one can actually become the success of many in certain circumstances and moving away from these mindsets of scarcity. That I need all the business. I need all the clients. I need to say yes to every single 

Opportunity that inbounds in my inbox because maybe tomorrow it won't be there. And instead saying no, like I have a clear purpose and direction for myself for my career or my business and I know and I am confident that the right opportunities are going to come to the door if I keep putting in the work and I keep showing up and I keep innovating and all of the great things that we need to do. And so it's just adopting these different mindsets and just starting to shift our conscious Behavior around our conscious Minds at Our Behavior around the, these sort of daily occurrences that we come up against. 

Yeah, there's some, it reminds me of like, any kind of any kind of Labor. Advocacy, whether it's like, a hundred years ago or fairly recently. It requires people who all did the same thing to come together. That's the only thing that's the only way change can happen is we're all family saying similar things and we're all like like backing up each other's messages and it's really fascinating to see how the 

Imposter that further. And I'm wondering if you have any particular learning points for an individual who's never really been part of a community as professional. And doesn't really know how to look at it in terms of like their overall Business Development. Like how do they decide which communities to participate in? How do they decide like what to devote to it. 

So that it's not like taking too much of their time, or their kpis, that you can look into, were watch out for when they're exploring communities of their business. So many Fantastic questions. Thank you. Thank you. Like, for once. I love it. It's like it's like a course and there's like five of yes, I know and I'll try to, I'll do my whole do my best but kind of taking a step back. I think, again, at a more macro level, it starts by acknowledging. What you're looking to get out of a community and also what you have to offer a community and this is going to be a unique balance that I think will shift in different seasons of your life and I'll give a give some specific examples. So if you're just starting in your career, right, you might have less to offer a community in terms of knowledge and wisdom, but you might have more to offer when it comes to investing time volunteering starting to grow in roles in that Community, where you can actually, you know, do some of the heavy lifting, right, but maybe you're not coming in as the speaker or as the educator. 

That space said, you're the one actually learning and gaining. A ton of value or maybe you're at a point in your career where you want to Pivot, you want to try something new, or you want to launch a new business or you're joining the, you know, the great resignation of 2021 and you've decided you're quitting and you want to do something new, right? This is another area where Community can be really beneficial. So getting clear on. Okay. What is my goal? What do I want to get out of this? What I want to put into. It's very simple, very Elementary, but it's shocks me all the time that so many folks. Just look for groups to join and they join a billion groups and don't deeply engage in a single one of them or get any value out of a single one of them. And so, that's why I encourage starting from a place of, okay. What do I need to get out of it? What am I willing to put into it? And having those clear boundaries understanding set from day one, before you even start your search before you start kind of investigating what communities exist in your space. Because again, going back to purpose going back to why. It's always very, very important have Clary there. So that would be my first 

Either back into Community or I'm in a new season where I need to lean into a new community. So getting clear on that is important. And then what I'd also recommend is having an understanding to of sort of what is out there in the landscape. So you're going to have opportunities to join communities. That are very peer-to-peer. There are also maybe communities that are require investment. Let's say, but are aligned around mentorship or a mastermind or an educational experience. Being taught by a leader in your field, but always requiring, an investment, by the way, there's so much incredible free kind of access out. There are many folks do lead free communities, but I've noticed that if we're talking about professional development. Yes, while a lot can be gained from some of these peer-to-peer type environments. There also can be depending if you discern correctly and find the right Mentor for you or the right group for you opportunities that can really further your career simply by being a part of 

A deeper dive of less, you know, sort of high-level conversational community, and one that's more tactical into, okay. We're going to burn to do this training or somebody's bringing in multiple speakers to teach you or giving you access to knowledge and information that you wouldn't otherwise have access to for free in combination. With let's say that that connection of alongside others who are doing what you're doing and kind of combining those components. I've seen folks have a lot of success with, and 

Kind of taking that to account as well and saying, okay, you know, I know what I need to get out of it, and I know what I'm willing to put into it. Let's look at the landscape. And so yes. Peer-to-peer also, you know, sort of mentor and mentee type communities. There's also Grassroots, meetups happening all the time everyday. I mean, truly like less formal less organized, but still deeply meaningful and Incredibly impactful. Where, and I talked about this in the book where, you know, I give great examples of how to go find this these communities and I Them on different right now. We're talking a little more on the professional side. But and the book giving kind of a wide range of like, hey, here's how you find them. But if you can't find them, there's also this opportunity for something a little more Grassroots where you can create them. And so taking that step to actually identify perhaps three to five people that you would love to be in community with that. You think to yourself, whether it's on Twitter that you've connected whether you attended a different event at a different community and, you know, hit it off with a couple people, not hesitating to reach. And saying hey if it's you know, virtual that needs to be virtual. Hey, could we do a virtual media have been and connect and talk about, you know, insert subject here. That seems to be of interest to all of us at really. I'd really love to just chat and then from there if it's if it seems successful and it seems like something you want to continue doing, making it a regular meet up. Some of the most featherweight, some of the most successful groups are not these massive organizations. And in large communities connected to bigger, bigger Orcs bigger products. It's, you know, like I'd even think about what we do. It's not always the right fit for people. Sometimes the most impactful meetups are three people grabbing coffee once a week, you know, right. Or, you know, five people once a quarter getting together to connect on a certain subject and I've seen that, I mean, how do you book? We have folks who, you know, work on our Ops Team, for instance, that started meetups with other Tech Ops Team individuals in the city. Al Granite, not of last year, but prior to that. 

Where they would get together and just talk shop, and just connect and share, what's working for their company. What's not working? What learnings they've had, what struggles are facing and the amount of innovation that then came into our company, based on, you know, members of our Ops Team single. Hey, you know, so-and-so has tried this approach and it's working really well or they face this problem and scaling to, and now, you know, they're, they're kind of leaning in a different direction. And they've seen seeing this output which would which one of us to the next part of this conversation that you raised which is kpis or how are we measuring, right? How we measuring the Roi of time, spent in community. And so, obviously, the kpis that I experienced and have to, kind of come up against quarter by quarter as professional Community Builder are going to look different than your personal, perhaps goals, and your personal metrics that you might set around, you know, is this time spent worth the investment? And so look here would be my best recommendation. Going back to the initial answer to this question. Have 

The clarity around what you want to accomplish is the place to start and then building. Goals and very clear performance. Indicators from there and saying, for instance, you know, I want to Pivot in my career. And in order to make this pivot in my career and go from X to y. I, you know, really, I'm going to need to a learn more skills and have access to education. Be create more relationships in this Arena such that I'm getting access or knowledge to a job opportunities are opening or what's happening in the field and setting those benchmarks accordingly. So it might look as simple as As you know, I want to make five key relationships in the next quarter with folks who are one stage in business ahead of me, but are in my space and in my Arena and it could be something very simple like that is a very simple metric to make and you make a list and actually when I talk to folks, who are doing who are struggling with kind of like, hey, where do I begin? I sometimes say, make a list of five people, you want to connect with tape, it behind your computer and then actually keep track of how often you're engaging with these people right now. I don't know if anyone else is has 

Permanence issues. But listen, I do. And if I don't tape it behind my computer, I'm going to forget to constantly engage and stay on top of nurturing, these relationships with long run. I actually have a list where I'll rotate through for me. It's more about loving on folks in the community that I see stepping up. And I'm like, right? I want to make sure I'm constantly letting them know that I see them. And so, I have a little list of my own to help help me stay on top of this, but it means, it's sometimes a simple as saying, hey, in order for me to go to the next level. I need to connect with five. Key people in. These are the people I'd like to connect with and and showing up value-driven. Always from the start of what you can give not what you can get, how you can serve, not what you can take or gain and continuing that throughout the relationship. But then also I talked about education and sometimes that's component of it to where it's like, hey, you know, in order for me to make this pivot order for me to grow professionally. I need to learn XYZ. I need to strengthen my skills in this space and you can also get again. Build key performance. 

Caterers based on that if it's a certification that you need, it's a language need to learn if it's you know, a new technology to become fluent in if it's whatever that looks like for you. Aligning that really clearly is critical because I think sometimes we think about Community Building or access to networks and Community as something that is a bonus, a nice to have, of course, Manila to be doing that. But rarely do, we recognize that? It can be one of if not, Got the key ways to change our trajectory. It can be one of the fastest routes from A, to B. Because relationships are with Drive, Industries relationships are a drive opportunities relationships, are what, make, or break a business, right? And so I've seen it time and time again and I think I think sometimes it just requires you understanding what you want to get out of a community. What you have to offer community and what your goals are either personally or professionally for engaging, you know, a 10 

Sting time. And then the rest sort of falls into place based on your unique circumstances or time, constraints desires, whatever that may be. And again it can look different for everyone. But I think I hope that's a at least a framework from where you can begin. Yeah, and I loved your objectives that you gave those are so manageable and so measurable. You don't need to be like a finance person to see if that's working or not. I think that's so important. Is just some people If they're measuring the wrong thing. 

They may think that they're in the right direction. They may think that, oh, this justifies spending more time on it, but maybe it doesn't because they're just not measuring something that's easily. Discernible is like valuable. That's awesome. Excuse me. I'm Terrell short-term memory. 

Oh, so how did you? How did that grow? So large was it was it a case of people, you know, bringing other people in like how did it get so large, probably? Really interested. Yeah, no last. So I you know, Rising tide, it grew and grows very much organically. And so we experienced, I think, primarily in the early days, especially a tremendous amount of growth by adding our local chapters. And so what makes Rising tide a little bit different is that we are both online and in person and so many of the communities that previously had been a part of, we're just were Facebook groups that didn't have that in-person element and so 

We found is that in starting to grow Rising tide so many. Of our local leaders, were the key to kind of cracking the code to growth. And I'm also always very hesitant. By the way, whenever I talk about growth, I think I think we've become a world that's very consumed with vanity metrics. We become a world. That's very like, wow, a rising tide. That's so big. And like, they'll people are, people are shocked when they'll go to a different city. And they're like, wait, you mean there's a meet up here too, you know, like oh wait, there's a beat up there to like. Well, this is even bigger than I thought. And I always kind of hesitate to say like, you know, growth is obviously. 

The goal. This feeling with intention and wanting to maintain the intimacy of a true Community is very, very difficult at at large quantities, in large numbers. And so kind of referencing back. We found that with our local leaders. They were deeply connected to their own communities, their own networks, their own areas. And so by growing, not by one member at a time, but by one leader at a time, we actually experienced much more rapid growth. So I think sometimes, you know, and actually you are. France. This earlier on, we said, you know, sometimes the most important component of a community is how its moderators moderate, right? Or how people are engaged. And I believe that, I believe a community is only as good as its leaders. And it's only as good as its moderators. It's only as good as not just the members that are part of it, but the folks who are leading the way. And so, our leaders really supported that growth, you know, adding one chapter in a city and adding one leader often adding, you know, 20 to 30 people. If not more depending on the location. Obviously a bigger city. We're 

Thousands of people as smaller town. We're talking, maybe 100 200, small business owners, so, The leaders definitely helped when we talk about growth, but I also think that we leverage technology to our advantage and when we first started Rising tide, it was sort of right at I hate to call it the Heyday of Instagram because I don't want to loo to the fact that Instagram is dying or dead in any way. But I do want to say that it was at a point where Instagram was starting to hit its peak and it wasn't a point where when we started sharing about Rising tide on Instagram hashtags could trend on the platform. 

And so our hashtag continually trended on the platform. We continually solve a ton of organic reach and engagement, not only in our content, but in the content being shared by our local groups and chapters. And so we truly scaled by ultimately taking one step at a time and growing the community leveraging. What we knew about these platforms to grow and Instagram being the primary platform that we've used. And we we don't really even use Twitter, not really linked it and we don't use any visits. Instagram was where we Kind of found our sweet spot because of the community that we focus on with your creative entrepreneurs. So they're creating content that the time videos and photos primarily. Right? Right. Actually, it's funny. I'm I don't spend much to any time on Twitter to the point where over the last year. My husband said that you should check out Twitter and I was like, no one uses Twitter and dads. I forget that it's just my circle. Like my little pocket of the universe in the creative space where. Yeah, okay. A lot of 

With the exclusion of like, writers, obviously, love Twitter or on Twitter frequently, a lot of marketers, love Twitter on Twitter evenly, but a lot of the artists, the makers, the photographer's, you know, they're, they're more on Instagram or even now Tick-Tock has become huge. So, it's interesting, but it all that say, like, aligning with the platform that aligned with the community showing up, where they are is critical. And the same goes, if you're looking for Community, like look for Community where you are, if you spend time on Twitter, there are so many communities on Twitter, so, 

People starting conversations on Twitter, right? If you are on Instagram, the same goes Facebook. The same goes LinkedIn. Exactly the same goes. And so it's interesting that we met them where they were at. We leverage the technology as we could and we grew one leader by 1 liter, which enabled those local chapters to kind of push our growth, in our scale, rather quickly in the beginning and then the challenges to that come with that, you know, having so much growth so quickly and Having it happen. I think with the team that we had in place because again, I'm I was at the time, a wedding photographer. I was not a professional Community Builder and even what the, the idea and term Community Builder meant, even just three years ago compared to today, where it seems like it's a hot button conversation everywhere. I look. And it shocks me because I should have known better, but it shocks me because I remember so fiercely having to convince Folks at the ROI of community, you know, not that long ago. 

Looking at me like I was nuts and someone said to me. Well, you know, they used to think this way about social media, you know, used to be. What's the ROI? That was the big question of like, what do you mean? My brand needs to be on the internet? What do you mean? It has to be of a social be no component? Like what is a social media manager? Anyway, what do you do all day on your phone, right? Like that. There was a time not too long ago. I shall mention when that was the question and now we're seeing again that shift happened in this community space where folks are like Like, you know, whoa. Wow, you know that company has a community. Look what? Opening to their growth or, you know, that person really invested in those relationships and look at where they ended up in their career, like, look who their local company. They're working for now, how they get that opportunity and coming back to like, well they invested in, you know, relationships, they busted in their community. That was doing that work at different places and those opportunities often truly. I mean, I know you seeing this too but a lot of opportunities never make their way onto public websites, like some careers. Don't ever make it to the career page that as they open up. Sometimes it's sort of Of like, well, hey, you know, let's let's interview candidates in the work with an agency and it's all about relationships. So it's so fascinating to me. I think the direction that Community is going both in the personal and the professional both for product-based communities and for Grassroots movements and the opportunities that exist in the space today that didn't even exist a couple years ago, but it's an exciting time. I think for all of us to engage with one another in community and for those who are interested in building it or creating it or leaving within one that already exists to kind of start. 

Take the steps to establish ourselves, more deeply. Well. I think you're for someone who's not primarily on Twitter. I think you're doing an amazing job because that's actually how I discovered you. And I wasn't even looking for guests or anything. I just I think you. I can't remember, I should've kept track but I think he responded to someone's tweet or something and then I read your bio and I was like what? That's exactly what I need to have her so good for you for. Fine. I had to leverage. Yeah, actually, I'm really, my husband is pushing me to be on Twitter. I really tried. Well, you're doing an awesome job. And I know it's hard juggling different communities, especially when like we're talking about Roi, not overextending yourself in all that, it's hard to juggle.. So that's really impressive. I actually didn't even know you were on Instagram. Yeah, that's that's no comment on you. I'm just not really active. 

That's great. And I think one of the other versions people have to community and it's the same reason. I I noticed as a consultant people had similar versions and still do about social media. Is there's this idea that if it's not a place to hustle like to broadcast and try to get a direct sale, you know, like try to open and close a sale at, that's not what happens. That means, it's not valuable and I think that myth still Is around, not just eating with older people, but I find younger people to is like the whole concept of community. I still I feel it's still new and 

Yeah, it's interesting. Sometimes I find that even with talking to people like sometimes it's really about going to the fundamentals about like what does it mean to be like one human to another? And what do we get out of that? And I find usually when I break it down, like that, people are a little more receptive to the idea of, you know, Community being worth. Something investing in you and I do. Sorry. Go ahead. 

To say I have an unpopular opinion here that I'd Lo stir up some drama here is yes, but I do have an unpopular opinion here. I think I think often were very short-sighted often. We like for example, if it's not going to close a sale, then I when I invest my time and I think that that stems from the fact that so many companies are built on customer and client acquisition models and not built on evangelism models, and we're moving as a society in a direction where every human being has a platform ever. A human being has a voice that now can be heard on these on the, you know, the social media platforms that exist and the platform safe now built on these platforms, right? And so businesses. I believe in the future and let's Circle back in a couple years and see if I'm right here businesses in the future that Focus not just on acquisition, but actually on evangelism the focus not just on converting someone to customer or on acquiring the client. But instead on how they actually make that customer feel how they make that. 

Feel and how they nurture that relationship to the point where that individual wants to shout from the rooftops about their experience become, the Evangelist that organically markets that brand, you know, I think that is the future of Commerce. And when we start to see people and Grant it love or hate Kylie Jenner when we start to see the inner step into the arena of making what 900 million or being worth something like 900 million. I know. I know, she's crossed the billionaire. Threshold. I know that's been a conversation about more recently. There was some metrics that came. When she has nine employees, listen to me, very carefully 9. Okay, we would be silly not to take note to what's happening to how people make purchasing decisions, how the next generation is choosing where to invest their money. And it's not just based on strategies of the past, but being acquired as a customer, it's based on social proof and it's based on what people are talking about. And it's based on how that company makes people feel and whether they're willing to stand up and rally and fight behind a 

See. But we're seeing a shift in how people make purchasing decisions that I think we're just starting to understand because the Technologies are so new. And even the way that platforms that we've used now for a decade, almost. I mean, I think about what was it 2010. I can remember when I first started getting on Twitter, Instagram, and all this places. But even, even those platforms that we've used every decade. They're no longer the platforms. They were a decade ago, and that's by Design. That's because the way people are engaging with this content has changed and the way people are making He's purchasing decisions to change and so I would I would kind of look back to saying, I get it. I get the understanding that look. If I can't see the clear Roi in terms of sale acquisition money in my Brands, pocket or career opportunity, door opening the minute, you know, I touched the doorknob then why invest? And I think it's because we have to understand that that's the short-sighted thinking that's playing the short-term game. When we really should be ultimately playing the long-term game, looking down the line, at where things are going, not. 

Where they are seeing how the shifts in our society, or happening very, very rapidly. And how we make these, purchasing decisions. But Brands we aligned behind, you know, how people ultimately enter a Marketplace and find success, whether it's a start-up or, you know, even Brands as they go through rebrands and shift their positioning. I look at area and Victoria Secret as a great example of this and sort of what happened. When, you know, area recognize this Gap in the market, made a strategic business decision to say, hey, we're going to be the most inclusive. You know, underwear lingerie and athleisure kind of brand here. In the space. We're gonna start doing, you know, not models. But, you know, you know, these these different types of ambassador's, I think they call them at Mary's, it's like spokesmodels or Real Models. And and they shifted their entire model of how to Market and then you witness as Victoria's Secret became less and less relevant by the year. And now this year even Sports Illustrated on their Runway had plus size and 

Sighs models and women of all alike, all shapes sizes, colors. Everything they shift in an industry by paying attention to the trends and paying attention, ultimately to what people were talking about, what the pain points were and how to show up and serve a community. And they built a movement or rebuilds a movement that now Victoria's Secret is even started to shift and change some of how they're operating because it ultimately begin to take away their market share. And I can tell you growing up, I used to up. It's like, oh Victoria's Secret. That's where you go to buy, you know, your broaden, your understanding. Her, I haven't walked into Victoria's Secret, or shop from Victoria's Secret. Now. Eight years, seven years, right? And why is that and trying to evaluate? Because I'm hearing about brands for my friends and they're not aligned anymore with what that company is about and to starting to evaluate. How did that happen? When did that happen? Why are his eyes at happening more and more not just in lifestyle brands that we engage with but even at the SAS level like we're a company's decision on a certain topic can go viral. And in fact, how users are using that product and that's that's community at work. That is the power of opinion. 

And and conversation. And so I think it's short-sighted for us or companies, you know, whether it's the individual or the institution to think that's not worth my time to worry about it today or South, my time to invest in it today, when it's moving mountains and changing Commerce, right? Before our eyes. Yeah. I actually, in the first podcast, I did, we spoke about power of advocacy and how, you know, no matter how small this was with Kendra Kerrigan Athen. Let's just Refer back. Just a matter how small your company is. It doesn't matter how like little influence you have or or anything. Anyone can have Advocates, if people are personally invested in what you're doing. If it had, they have some Source taken it. They will support you. They will talk about you. It's not a popularity contest necessarily and you can get so much even contents out of just the insights of just listening to 

People listening to what your advocates want. So they can not only push your brand forward for you and help you scale because they tell your friends...

We were just talking about advocacy and why it's really really important in. Anyone can do it always accessible as long as you're invested in where Community is about invested in. I think that's all I had to say. Yeah, it's really amazing that like no matter what your bandwidth, no matter how like low your influences. You can still either create a community or participate. In Hello, I'm still here. You hear me? Oh, yep. Sorry, there were some sort of glitch. I didn't hear you every second great. Yeah. Okay. So thank you so much for joining me. I will give you your info in the outro. Is there anything else that you wanted to mention? I should have asked you this earlier. That's okay. No, not at all. It's been such an incredible conversation and I'm so grateful to, to get to sit with you. Oh, nice. Oh, just one more question. So for honey, book, how did that, how did that come about? Where you were? They just really Impressed with your community building or Gore. So how do you book actually discovered what we were doing at Rising tide? Several months after launching and initially we connected with the company in the hopes of partnering and creating some sort of lasting relationship, but after meeting and within truly like several hours of just deep diving with our CEO Oz realized that there was so much more we could do together decided that we wanted to pursue instead acquisition. And so honey book acquired Rising tide. 

Back in. I want to make sure I get my ear right 2016. 2015 and I've been a part of the team ever since both maintaining Rising tide and kind of growing and nurturing our community there and working internally at Honey book to support our members and cultivate really extraordinary experiences for for for those in our in our honey. But Community to awesome. It sounds like a perfect marriage with honey book making so many things, so many processes automated so Freelancers can scale, which is so exciting. It wasn't necessarily possible to even just a few years ago. Awesome. Well, thanks so much for joining me.