Rebecca Tasetano talks about how you can use community to grow your business. Community Led Growth is the new way to grow. People search less for solutions as they move towards asking peers and their professional network for answers.
What does the phrase "community led growth" mean and why is it significant?
In order to increase sales and growth, a procedure known as "community led growth" entails periodically establishing trust with a group of people. It is regarded as being more significant than conventional techniques like email lists or marketing blasts and is thought to be the direction that the internet and business will take.
How might bringing someone into a community aid in fostering and expanding a sales pipeline?
Joining a well-run community can boost credibility and visibility, allowing the network to expand beyond the capacity of the person.
What suggestions do you have for someone looking to start a community?
One sentence response: Once you identify your target market, building and cultivating a community will significantly increase your company's revenue.
Ricky Pearl: We have Rebecca Tasetano on the line with us today from Project Kick Ass, PKA. Helping individuals get screen ready events, and more importantly, a very interesting topic for today. Communities. Welcome.
Rebecca Tasetano: Thanks so much, Ricky I'm excited to be here.
Ricky Pearl: I wanted to discuss communities with you because you told me about this and it blew my mind. This big topic at the moment; Community led sales community first sales? What is this concept?
Rebecca Tasetano: Yeah, I like to call it Community Led Growth because in sales Product Led growth is a well used term. Community Led Growth, I think is the future. I think a community is as important, if not more important than an email list or a marketing blast, a community is a group of people that you communicate with regularly that build trust with you, but not just you, all of the people in the community build trust with one another.
And in my opinion, it's the future of the entire internet and business.
Ricky Pearl: I've seen these communities go from zero to hero it really is amazing. I don't even Google anymore. I'll head to a community and I just ask peers, other professionals, " How do I solve this problem?"
Rebecca Tasetano: I think that community is the new Google and that's not something that I came up with.
I saw it somewhere, but community is the new Google because it's people that you trust. And when you are on a mission with people that you trust, and you can ask them your real questions in a place that you feel safe, where everybody is on the same mission. you can trust those answers. And so, they're coming from actual people that, know what they're talking about, and that is huge.
Your network is really valuable and you can leverage it in that way.
Ricky Pearl: This is a massive change. This is a huge segment within marketing. How do you capture people when they have intent? When they're looking for solutions? Oh, they go to Google. They enter a search term. We know, based on that search term, that they're interested in this kind of product you can pay to get your product put in front of that person.
They become a Market Qualified Lead, but people aren't doing that anymore.
They take it to a community and ask their community for answers.
How have you seen other companies leverage this? What does it look like when it's done well?
Rebecca Tasetano: Communities work best over time. The earlier you start your community, the more valuable it is, the more trust that builds up in your community, the more valuable it is. The first time that I saw community done really well was at Salesforce. Salesforce has built out their community.
They were one of the first in the game to get their community hats on. And if you read the story about Salesforce, it was one person that really had to talk to the higher ups and communicate the value of community because they didn't get it. And now the community that Salesforce has built has sustained them and grown them across the entire world.
So in my opinion, they're one of the leaders in community.
Ricky: Let me just make this a bit more practical. You're a coach, you're a trainer. You do sales training. Should they be using community
Rebecca Tasetano: 100% Sales trainers should definitely be using community. In general, when you're talking about marketing, you're talking about communicating with the people that want to talk to you.
And you're doing this one to many communication across several different channels. You're doing it on Facebook. You're doing it on LinkedIn. You're doing it on Twitter. You're doing it wherever you're trying to send out your message. If you've done that really well. And you've developed a following, why not bring that following into your own personal community so that you can go to one place
Ricky Pearl: yes.
Rebecca Tasetano: And be communicating with all of those people. All of the people that want to hear from you anyway, but maybe your email is getting buried in their inbox, or they don't see your post on LinkedIn. You don't have control over that, but you do have control over your own personal community. And, in that personal community, It's not just you, but everybody that's in that community gets to communicate with one another and gets to align, gets to be on a mission together that they couldn't successfully complete on their own.
And so for someone like a sales trainer who is trying to take people on a journey of success from zero to hero. Every step of the way is reinforced by the community. Every post that you make, every person that you add, every live event that you do is then gathered into and reinforced by the community that you're building.
And so it leads to a really wonderful cycle of
Ricky Pearl: That does sound like this virtuous cycle because your peers that are in that community with you. Help build that momentum to move you along. You wanna be part of this cohort. Whereas, to be one of a thousand on an email list means nothing.
I get an email from the sales trainer, new sales stuff,
Ricky Pearl: but when it's delivered in a way that I then see how other people are interpreting it, I see how other people are engaging with it. I'm having conversations about it. Hell I could probably even ask a question, to the trainer.
That's just absolutely remarkable.
Now, would you suggest somebody goes to a sales trainer as part of that course, they then join the community for post training? Or do you also see it as something that people could join as part of the top of funnel?
Rebecca Tasetano: Yes. I think that rather than adding someone to an email list or adding somebody to a LinkedIn group, that people should be adding people to a community, so that you can nurture those people along. They're going to be dropped into a place where your biggest fans already live and the people that have already bought into you, have drunk the Kool-Aid, they're all about you. They're gonna be the ones in this community that are posting about you and directing people to your latest podcast or your latest article, and getting really excited about it. And that energy is contagious. So when you take somebody that doesn't know much about you and put them into that community, and it's really well led and it's really well maintained. Then, that person is going to be surrounded by other people who are talking about you and that can connect them not only to you, but to other resources that are really important to the journey that they're on, which leads to increased trust, increased visibility, because they'll tell their friends about this valuable community that they've joined. It just, grows beyond your own individual ability. It leverages your network, so that the network works for you.
Ricky Pearl: It plays into some basic human psychology here. I remember when we were young and you'd go clubbing.
If you knew someone at the club , even if it was a shit club, let's go to Billy's. I know the owner. Having access to someone somehow makes you feel connected or important. It makes you wanna invite people there. I don't wanna invite anyone to an email list. I think you get a lot more of that social growth simply cuz it's a community over a newsletter
I want to talk to you about another use case. I have a cousin who has a successful podcast.
Of absolutely crazed sports fans, a very particular sport it's AFL in Australia. It is a religion here. He's got this community and they just put on their first live events where they came together for a lunch and watched a game
They're starting to form a community.
How could this work for a podcast?
Rebecca Tasetano: Because you have a successful podcast, you already have an audience. You already have people that are tuning in that want to hear from you. They want to listen to you on their drive to work, or they want to listen to you when they're, cleaning whatever they're doing.
What if that person could connect with all of your other fans that are excited to hear from you? What if that person could feel the energy and the excitement of being in an audience or being in a team? Like you talk about AFL, like being part of the team, being part of what is generating all of the excitement behind it.
You're like part of that hype when you're inside of the community. You get to make connections with other people that have a similar interest to you.
Ricky Pearl: You'd get such strong advocates out of that. That's where you get those super fans and those super connectors
Ricky: When they start meeting each other through this community now, it's this community that binds them I'd imagine for sales trainer's communities
Ricky: finding bosses and mentors and employees, it all gets tied through the community. It's so sticky.
Ricky Pearl: I'm a part of some communities I don't frequent often, but if I have a question, I know I need to go to that community because that's the community of those experts to ask that particular question.
Rebecca Tasetano: And I think that's gonna be the future of the internet is going to those communities that, you know, will have the answer for your specific question or, joining a community of people that are on the same journey as you. So that you can get there, faster. I've been thinking about this a lot, and when you're trying to make a new habit, a lot of times I'll include my friends.
Okay, let's all go to the gym. Let's , hold each other accountable. Let's go to the gym, but we don't all have that habit already. So, there's not as much of a chance of success. But if you join a community of people that are diehard gym advocates, you can think of a name like CrossFit or whatever.
Like it just comes to mind. These are people that are in a community that are on a mission. So you're gonna have a greater chance of success by joining and being surrounded by those types of people.
Ricky Pearl: Community is the sales channel for 2023, and companies need to get to it early.
I've also been part of a few communities that have died. We've gotta talk about the elephants in the room. We've all been in that ghost town now. Why do communities die?
Rebecca Tasetano: I think of it like walking in to a party and all of the lights are on and there's music playing, but only one person's dancing. The vibe just isn't there. You walk in and you super feel like, right, it's just awkward, and you don't know how to participate and you don't see other people participating.
And so, rather than spend your energy there, you're gonna move on and try to find a more vibrant place. Whereas, if you walk in and the music's blasting and people are dancing and someone pulls you onto the dance floor, all of a sudden, now you are in that motion, you're in that
Ricky Pearl: I love that analogy, walking into a party and there's only one person on that dance from the lights on. We don't want that. We want the lights to feel that bass there's a good vibe in there and you straight away know, this is how I get involved
Great. There's a new community. We're starting a community. I'm a busy professional. I can't even stay on top of my family, WhatsApp. What do you do to make sure that my community is a success.
Rebecca Tasetano: Well, one of the first things that we do to maintain the energy of the community is establish community rituals. These are things that, you know, every Monday this is going happen or every Friday, this is going to happen. They're the rituals that kind of keep the metronome going and keep the music playing.
So every Friday we share pictures of our pets. This is the thing that we always do. And so when it's Friday, come to our community, this is what's happening.
Ricky Pearl: I like that
Do you think the actual platform makes a huge difference?
Rebecca Tasetano: I think the platform is huge. Who your target audiences determines what platform you should be building this community on mm-hmm for instance, if you have a lot of B2B focused clients, if they're already in a slack community at work, and they're looking to focus on something else, your slack community would work really well for that type of person.
Ricky Pearl: One of the communities I'm a part of is the sales IQ Luigi's group. What I love about it is he's got these training courses, he's got these podcasts
I was a guest on the podcast and I can then go in the community and talk to all the people who listen to his podcast. It was amazing. And they could ask me questions.
Do you do those post event events? The after party
Rebecca Tasetano: The after party. That's how I should call it from now on is the after party. Yes, that's how I got started in communities is that originally Project Kick Ass my business with my partner, Eric Steeves was doing live events and sometimes the live events would go so well and there would be so much energy and you would get that high from having a really incredible live event.
And then I would always think, how can we capitalize on this energy? what can we do now that people are so excited that we couldn't do before. And I think the natural result of that is communities and having another event. If you throw a good event, people wanna know when's the next event.
But when's the next event? Yeah, it's in the community.
Ricky Pearl: I absolutely love that. I've just been at a corporate training event, there's 400 people in the room. Everyone learns at different paces, some picked up what they needed.
Ricky: Some didn't pick up what they need, but if I could say, Hey, we'll open up a channel in our community. I could be an ongoing resource. I could probably drip feeded some of my content there, which I've made specifically for this company. This is a no brainer.
Ricky Pearl: I don't think this is a question of if people should be doing this. I think it's a question of, is this gonna be your community or are you just gonna be joining someone else?
Rebecca Tasetano: I think this is the next social media in the same way that 10 years ago, only some people were on social media. Now it's commonplace.
Like your local car mechanic has a presence on Facebook. I think that we're going to be creating and owning our own communities. Not only in our current internet, but in the next iteration of the internet. And I think that if you can be the community that people want to spend their time in people.
voluntarily will be hanging out in your community when they're not doing something else. That's the place that you wanna be. And that's when you get those people inviting similar people to your group. So if you get one person that invites three people and another person that invites three people, then we hit critical mass.
And then we start growing and growing with like-minded people that are also interested in the same types of things that get excited about the same niche things as
Ricky Pearl: After a trade show, you're getting a thousand emails the day after if you could get this person into your community you're the only one doing that. You could just blow this out of the water.
Rebecca Tasetano: The events that I've seen most of the time don't capitalize on the audience members . If I'm gonna show up live to your event, I wanna be able to engage and participate in a way that I wouldn't be able to, if it was just a video.
So this gives people the opportunity to interact with the other people that were at the trade show. The other people that were at the event, because we brought together a group of people that are like you. And if you had 30 more days of interaction with those people, what network growth would happen as a result of you engaging with those same types of people?
Ricky Pearl: That's a fundamental change, if you can now get that audience to engage on the back of this webinar, that is an exponential increase in value.
Rebecca Tasetano: And what about
the people that didn't come to the webinar?
They were unavailable when the webinar was happening,
and they see all the comments and they see all the excitement and then they get to watch the webinar and then they make sure to come the next time, it's that synchronous and asynchronous feeling that we can all come together in this place over several
Ricky Pearl: The more I talk to you about it, the more I'm convinced this is a game changer for so many companies.
How are companies using community for customer success . Have you seen a lot of those?
Rebecca Tasetano: I think that originally community was leveraged by some of these.
More, dominant companies in community to promote customer success because other people that are successfully using your software can help other people to successfully use your software.
Ricky Pearl: You see those other advocates and talking about their use cases.
You're increasing the likelihood that they're going to get the right outcomes from your solution.
Rebecca Tasetano: Yes. And you can see what people get excited about as well. It's not just on, a post somewhere that you may or may not see it's right there in your community. So you can see not only what people are using your product for, but, what other type of people get excited about it.
And you can even see the language that they're using to describe their problem, to describe their excitement, to describe their feelings and their actual emotions about. The experience of being your customer so that you can keep your finger on the pulse of that customer and that you can replicate those customers.
Ricky Pearl: I'm 100% sold that if you can have a successful community, it is without a doubt, the most valuable marketing or sales, or customer success channel.
Just general revenue channel that your company would build .
So what would be your advice to someone wanting to start a community?
Rebecca Tasetano: I think that anybody can start a community, but it's that nurturing of the community and building it from a spark and adding some Tinder and making it a small flame and then adding all of those larger pieces of wood to make it a bonfire and sustaining that bonfire.
There's the cycle of growth, it takes a lot to nurture that seed into a, into a forest. And so to have the guidance of someone that does this frequently is, going to be really important. And I think that moreover, the most important thing is to get the community, to buy into itself.
If you can get those. Five 10 people that are really excited about your community and get it. And are constantly posting in that community and inviting other people into that community. Then, you know, that you've got something special. Sometimes it takes. A little bit of experimentation and a little bit of finingeling to get to that point.
But once you've gotten it, you've gotten it. It's a lot like product market fit in that way. Once you find your, your target audience that really gets it, you can feel it. And all of a sudden things are easier. So getting from the point where you've got nothing to the point where you've got that momentum, that even if you left, it would continue is what we're going for
Ricky Pearl: Absolutely amazing. So I know that Salesforce bought Slack. Just at the highest level. Give us an idea of what functionality is coming when you integrate your Salesforce and your Slack or your community to your Salesforce instance.
This is gonna blow people's minds.
Rebecca Tasetano: yeah. People have no idea. What's coming up next with Slack. So like you mentioned, Salesforce bought Slack. And so now they're able to talk to one another really rudimentary right now, but it's going to just explode in the next six months, you can build automations in Salesforce that then communicate with your slack and they can communicate with one another.
So you can set up things in your sales force to automatically spit back to your. And vice versa. That's one thing that I'm really excited about. And I think that most of selling is going to happen in slack. When we look at five years from now, if we fast forward to five years from now, I think that a lot of B2B selling is going to be happening in slack because of slack connect.
And I think that people should definitely be aware of that.
Ricky Pearl: Amazing.
Automatically creating deal rooms updating mutual action plans bringing in advocates, connect customers for a quick testimonial , bring in your sales engineer bring in your account executive, bring in your customer success team. You can have that pin to all the outcomes within Salesforce.
Can you also track activities and engagements and feed from Slack into a sales funnel?
Rebecca Tasetano: I think eventually that will be possible. The most powerful automation in Salesforce right now is called flows. And all of the automations Salesforce is saying don't make any of our other automations start making flows. Flows are the future
Ricky Pearl: Is that lightning in the background and thunder in the back background there?
I like, because it's like you say something important lightning and thunder strikes, like you mentioned Salesforce, lightning and thunder.
Rebecca Tasetano: It's just emphasizing how important it is. Or maybe it's foreboding, but yes. Every time I see something important, it's like Thunderhead lighting.
This isn't even a sound effect, I've got some of these sound effects here, but. Nothing as dramatic as God
like my entire house is shaking because of the thunder happening in
Florida right now.
Ricky Pearl: Amazing. You said something dramatic lighting and thunder.
That's how it felt to me at least
We like to ask a problem that you're having. That if we could wave Harry Potter's magical wand, you could have someone solve for you.
What is a problem that you're currently having that you would just love fixed?
Rebecca Tasetano: Hmm. When it comes to communities right now, transparently it's becoming so fractional. we're in the middle of so much change that it's hard to see which of these platforms is going to come out on top right now, it will be very interesting to know which of these platforms like winds up being the best or winds up being the most connected. And so that's one thing that if I had a crystal ball or a magic wand and I could see three years in the future to know I would want to know there are so many other things that I would wave.
a magic wand at
that's one of them.
Ricky Pearl: But we can at least say. That if you are on Salesforce, if you're a Salesforce shop, go with slack. That's just a no brainer. That's different sides of the same coin.
Rebecca Tasetano: 100%. If yeah, if you have Salesforce, you need to be on Slack.
That's there's no, question there. And the other platforms lend themselves similarly, too. You can tell what, like, when you think about what your business objectives are or the type of person that you are, it's pretty easy right now to tell which of those community platforms you should be building on, at least for the time being
Well, Rebecca, I have absolutely loved this chat. You've blown my mind. I've got a sound effect for it somewhere, but you've got thunder and lightning, it has really been incredible having you on talking about community. There's been so many good takeaways, so many great analogies, I'm more convinced than ever that if you have any service business, product business, startup. You need to be building community. If you're a trainer, if you're in education, if you're in podcasting, you need to start a community. They're not easy. So get some help.
Ricky Pearl: My advice, call Rebecca Rebecca's advice. Rituals, create a vibe, create a community culture, use the right platforms, do things while put in the effort, build up the energy. And use it presales during sales post sale at every stage
Ricky Pearl: from top of funnel through to customer success. I love it.
Rebecca Tasetano: I think once
you have a community. You realize all the potential for community. And so you start a community for one part of it, maybe for the customer success part or for the nurturing part. But once you have it going and it's going well, you can see all the other use cases where your community fits in.
So start small and then just keep layering onto it and let the community decide where the community is going to go. Because that's where the real magic
Ricky Pearl: Community led growth.
All right. I'm a busy professional. I want to hear more
Ricky: I really want this. I need additional resources to do this. How do I get hold of. .
Rebecca Tasetano: Yeah, I'll just give out my email here.
You can reach me at email@example.com that's PKA like Project Kick Ass, because that's what it stands for. PKA solves.com or you can find me on LinkedIn. Rebecca Tasetano that's T like Tom, A S E T A N O
Ricky Pearl: Everyone should be speaking to you, even if it's just for some advice.
Thank you for spending this time with us. I have learned a hell of a lot. I'm sure everyone listening to this is gonna pick up something that's gonna improve their business or change their way that they're thinking about their business or about how they can grow their business using community or what they might be able to do differently to get the community that they already have to be a little bit better.
Rebecca Tasetano: Yes. And thank you for starting this. I'm gonna call it a podcast for simplicity. Thank you for starting this podcast. Ricky.
Ricky Pearl: We need to find a name. It's a couple of pointers, it's just a couple of people here giving a couple of pointers.
Rebecca Tasetano: That's all it is. I know your audience is going to get. So many pointers from listening to your content, and you're just such a lovely person to talk to. And you know, so many great people that are part of your community that you're showcasing here. It's really exciting to watch. was
Ricky: gonna end this now, but you just keep talking, really been great. And we definitely need to get you back on to talk one level deeper on the actual operations of getting this stuff set up, but we'll save that for another time for now.
Ricky Pearl: This has been incredible. We'll chat again soon.
Rebecca Tasetano: Thank you.