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Dec 12, 2019

Creating an online community sounds easy in theory—but what does it take to build a thriving community? How do you interact with your group? What are some of the best ways to add value? If you’re struggling to answer these questions, Lori Kennedy is here to answer them. 

Lori is the founder of the Wellness Business Hub, a business consultant, and host of ‘The Business of Becoming’ podcast. She’s been in the health and wellness industry since 1999 and is passionate about helping entrepreneurs in alternative medicine learn how to run successful online businesses. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:40] How to build a community
  • [1:55] I introduce our guest, Lori Kennedy
  • [2:40] Lori’s background as an entrepreneur
  • [5:55] Why Lori created her first online community
  • [9:40] How do you cultivate a thriving community?
  • [18:40] Mistakes people make in FB groups
  • [20:25] You get to be the leader and the expert
  • [25:50] Where should you be most active?
  • [30:30] What holds people back?

What is the ‘why’ behind your online community? 

Lori was completely honest in this episode: she launched her first online community because she felt alone. Her friends were school teachers or worked in an office. No one truly understood her entrepreneurial journey when she launched her nutrition practice in 2007. It was just her, diving into the unknown. 

When your path is so different from everyone around you, it’s important to find somewhere you belong. Her mission was to create a community where she could collaborate with clients as a leader and a peer. She wanted to help others in her industry not feel so alone. Of course, being able to learn from each other was an added bonus. 

You must be intentional about your community’s structure

Lori pointed out to us that you must be intentional about your community. If you have your why in place, how do you want it carried out? She didn’t create her first group to make money or be a lead gen pool—even though it does do those things. But she wanted a judgment-free zone for colleagues and peers to come together. That’s pretty powerful stuff.

So she recommends writing a vision statement. At the time, hers was to “Create a community of alternative health practitioners that are 100% supportive of each other (where they can) be totally and completely honest and vulnerable”. What vision do you have for your community? What is its purpose?

Do human beings lack the ability to be real?

Honesty and vulnerability are the cornerstones of what makes Lori’s Facebook community so successful. If you desire to have a community where people are real—then YOU have to be real. People see through false bravado, sales techniques, and know when you’re being fake. So Lori shares silly photos and embarrassing stories to create an atmosphere of playfulness and comfort.

Whatever you do, be sure you’re being real with your group, even with ‘touchy’ subjects. Speaking of, Lori’s mission is to change the stigma around making money. She wants her group members to celebrate their milestones. To share their wins and show new members what is possible. You should be proud that your business is succeeding and making money. 

Be sure to listen as Lori chats with us about mistakes to avoid making!

The balance between connecting and selling 

Even if the primary goal of your Facebook group is to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs in your space, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for selling. It IS your business after all. You get to be the leader and the expert—so share your expertise. Lori publishes high-quality teaching content and tutorials. She does Facebook Live rapid-fire coaching sessions.

She always prefaces the ‘selling’ with a disclaimer but follows it with powerful content that compels you to work with her.

It goes to show, if you are consistently offering value in a community that shares its successes and failures, you’re doing something right. If your job hinges on helping your community find success, do it! Everyone needs a little accountability and support. Don’t be afraid to dive in and give it a shot. 

To hear how Lori is active in her community and her tips for success, listen to the whole episode!

Resources & People Mentioned

Musicfor “Just The Tips” is titled, “Happy Happy Game Show” by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Connect With James and Dean

James P. Friel:

Dean Holland:

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