Do you want to know how to create simple yet profitable communities?
Listen as Maruxa Murphy shares how to cut through the noise and stand out from the crowd using the power of communities.
Do you want to know how to create simple yet profitable communities?
Listen as Maruxa Murphy, Community Architect and Instigator for 100s of changemaker communities, shares how to cut through the noise and stand out from the crowd using the power of communities.
In this week's powerful episode "How to Best Create Simple Yet Profitable Communities" you will discover...
• What it takes to build a community to create six to seven-figure revenue streams
• What you need to know to map out your customer journey to easily attract and guide your perfect customers
• 5 types of communities that generate revenue
• The strategy you need to engage your audience with your content, even if you're an introvert
And a whole lot more...
Get more gems from Maruxa and other guest experts, when you join the Book Marketing Mentors Premium Membership today!
Susan Friedmann: Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas and tips from the masters. Every week, I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books. Today, my special guest is Maruxa Murphy. Maruxa is better known as the Community Maven, who helps to turn online communities into six and seven figure revenue streams. She's the community architect and instigator for hundreds of changemaker communities in a way that blends the good of people, purpose and profit into one another. In addition to running her community architecture and culture-building consultancy, she's also the founder of Perky Perky Coffee, which invites their customers to rise up from the first cup of coffee and onwards throughout the day. Wow, Maruxa, what an absolute pleasure it is to welcome you to the show and thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.
Maruxa Murphy: Oh, Susan. It is such a pleasure to be here. Thank you so much for having me.
Susan Friedmann: Well, I love your description, the Community Architect and the culture-building consultancy that you've got and the Perky Perky Coffee. Oh my goodness. Just that alone we can go and talk about. I know that communities are what you share with your clients. You help them build them but let's start at the beginning and understand what exactly do you call a community that allows you to create these six and seven figure revenue streams for your clients?
Maruxa Murphy: Ah, that's such a great place to start, Susan. Thank you so much for asking that. And I think it's a great question because so many people meld the idea of community with the idea of audience and they are actually two very different things. So the way in which I would love to answer that is to answer it first by inviting us to understand what I see an audience to be and then that way, we can better understand what a community really looks like. So an audience is...
Imagine, for those of us who are authors, we love to share our ideas, typically in on paper. But imagine if you are an author and you have the opportunity to speak on the stage and you're speaking now to hundreds of people. You have their captive attention or you might be on a podcast or you might be doing a YouTube show or, gosh, goodness, even TikTok or Stories on Instagram, et cetera. Those are all examples of audience. Why? Because they are one directional conversations between you, with your expertise, and people who are interested in understanding a little bit more about what it is that you're speaking on. That right there is an audience. When we write books, our book reader is our audience. We have captivated their attention while they're there reviewing your work but it's one directional. You don't have a way of necessarily listening into a conversation that they might be having right then and there. An audience is one directional.
A community, on the other hand, is multiple directions. It starts with a two-way conversation, like Susan, right now, you and I have a short term community that we've built because there's two of us here having back and forth conversation. But then, let's say we invited a few other guests to be part of this. We'll have a short term community with multiple people, inviting their ideas, their thoughts, their comments, their questions and if we were in person, the experience of being in the room with one another all form a what I design into community. And so communities can be seen in physical form, in face to face form, when we're all together in a space or it could be if we live together in a home or if we went to the same concert. Those are different communities and communities have a purpose behind them. You come together with a group of people for a reason or because of an interest or to reach a goal, if you will.
Online communities are often found in multiple forms but the most common that I know many of the authors I work with choose to create are Facebook group communities. It's a container experience. Basically, a group is different than any other type of experience on Facebook, if you will, from a Facebook profile or a Facebook business page. They're different because it allows us to be in this closed container with one another around a specific interest. For example, let's say you were a dog trainer and you wanted to talk about dog training. You had a dog training book and you wanted to talk more about dog training to your readers who, i.e. your audience, again, bringing it all back in, but you wanted to have them all together in a space, getting to know each other, getting to know more about your work, deepening their relationship with you and the know, like and trust factor with you. We would potentially bring them into a Facebook group to deepen that connection with you, if that makes sense.
Susan Friedmann: Oh, it certainly does and I love that model. What's coming to mind as well is, "How does this differ, let's say, from a mastermind?" I'm part of several mastermind groups.
Maruxa Murphy: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Susan Friedmann: You and I are in a group together as well.
Maruxa Murphy: Yes.
Susan Friedmann: What's the difference there?
Maruxa Murphy: Ah, great question. The biggest difference between a community, and just the general term of community and the way in which I described it, and a mastermind, is all about intention. In fact, as I have been building communities now for, goodness, 22 years, Susan, what I found in over the 100 communities I've designed and executed, brought to life, is that every single time we build a community, especially in the early days when we would build communities just to bring people together, they actually never worked. But when we come to community with intentionality and with a plan and an intention, not just for attention, but an intention to create substance, value, life, that really is where the difference is. And what I mean by that is, for example, we could create a Facebook group today, you and me, Susan, and we could say, "Facebook group for interested book authors," or, "People who want to become book authors."
It's a Facebook group to, in essence, invite them, people who are interested in becoming book authors, to your services on the back end. This is what I call a lead generation community. Now there's different models and different ways to do that, to make it so that you are designing it very, very intentionally so that people will then want to say, "Yes, I want to buy your program, your service," et cetera. Whereas in a mastermind, that is more of what I call a client retention or a customer retention type of a group. What do I mean by that? It's an opportunity for us to deepen relationship and in that, in deepening that relationship with people who've already paid money to be there or invested something, either it's time or money or resource, to be in that space, our goal there is to deepen the work, deepen their learning, deepen their trust and the value that they're getting so that they want more on the back end.
And how we design those two types of groups, a lead generation versus more of a client or customer retention group, are so incredibly different, as you would probably imagine because they have different elements to it. In one hand, on the lead generation type of a community, we're there to attract people to initially build that know, like and trust with us and really they're on the first part of their customer journey with us. Whereas somebody who's in a mastermind is there because they have an intention of maybe, in the business mastermind, let's say, intention of creating more revenue for their business or maybe the mastermind is about how to grow your audience. So maybe it's learning how to grow your audience. Does that make sense?
Susan Friedmann: It certainly does.
Maruxa Murphy: Yeah.
Susan Friedmann: What's coming to mind too, is you said that there were these different models for communities. So you've got the community where it could be a lead generator-
Maruxa Murphy: Yes.
Susan Friedmann: ... generation and then what's coming to mind, too, is I'm assuming there's a model where it's pay to play.
Maruxa Murphy: Yep. That's absolutely correct. I use different terminology but really, in a nutshell, Susan, that's what it is. What I've actually found is, in over these 22 years of designing communities, a couple years ago I actually took the summer and I said, "You know what? I want to do a review of all these a 100 plus communities that I had designed up to this point," and this is me being boots on the ground, getting my hands dirty in each of these communities, working with the visionaries, working with their teams to design out these six and seven figure communities behind the scenes. What I did first, before I tell you what I found, is what I did is I literally looked at every single one of those communities and I broke it down from, "What worked? and, "What didn't work?"
Then I put everything in the, "What didn't work?" pile and really looked at what was the wisdom that I gained from each of the things that didn't work from each of these models and then from the things that did work, I looked at that and I said, "Whoa." I started to see that there were actually very, very similar systems and processes that I did to create more profitability and from all of that, I started to recognize that there really are only five main types of communities that general revenue. Now we see lots and lots of models. Probably, you've seen many. I've seen, definitely, a gazillion of them but at the end of the day, there's five core types of models that work, bar none. All the time. Every time. Right?
Susan Friedmann: Yeah. You know that I'm going to beg the question, "Would you be good enough to go through those five types?"
Maruxa Murphy: Of course. I'd love to. Well, before we go into the five types, let's break it down into two core categories and it's the two categories I just mentioned to you. Lead generation and there's three models within lead generation that we could talk about and then two other types, if you will, are more of that client retention and deepening the customer and client retention experience. So if you're writing this down, put those into two categories. Now, the first three... We're going to talk just lead generation right now. The first three, the first one is called an engaged community. This is typically what we see where... This is actually very valuable for non-fiction authors. If you have a community around a topic that you're really passionate about or that's your expertise, again, let's go back to the dog trainers.
Let's say it's a group for dogs. Maybe on the back end, your expertise is dog training. Maybe this group is for understanding why my dog, and then it's dot, dot, dot. Why my dog does dot, dot, dot. We name a group something to that effect and it becomes this beautiful community and database where people are sharing things that our dogs do, crazy things that our dogs are doing in this day and age. This is a phenomenal opportunity for a lot of authors to be able... And let's imagine, again, you're the pet trainer. This will be an awesome opportunity for you to have a community where people are able to generate their own content in there about what my dog does and such and where you get to show up and say, "Hi, my name is Maruxa Murphy. I'm a dog trainer and I am so excited to share with you this tip. I was working with client so-and-so and client so-and-so was really struggling with their dog. So here's how I supported my client with this strategy."
And we used Facebook Live or that video type of format to do a very, very simple mini training in there. Now, people are going to because they know that you're the founder of the group. They know that you're, in essence, the host of the party and the bringer together of all of us having this fun experience and enjoying our time in this community. We want to come together and learn from you. We're like, "Oh man. Maruxa is that dog trainer. I want to get to know her better. Man, when I really have a dog issue, I'm going to go to her," or, "Wow. She even has a book on this. Let's go get her book on Amazon," or wherever your book is sold.
So that's the kind of group and it's an engaged group. The whole point here, the intentionality here, is to create engagement to then lead people to build that know, like and trust with you over time and when you do launch your book or when you do launch a program on the back end of your book or if you have a masterclass or anything, we can then really take all that beautiful engagement that's been happening in there and turn that attention over to other programs and products. Pretty cool, right?
Susan Friedmann: Pretty cool. Again, everything that you say, of course, generates a question in my mind. In terms of timing here, in order to create that know, like and trust, that you can start the idea of, as you say, a masterclass or some kind of training, is there a certain timeframe that you would wait before you did that? Because you wouldn't jump in necessarily straight away because that would give me the wrong impression. Is there any timing behind that?
Maruxa Murphy: I love that question. Thank you for asking. The way in which I imagine it... So the short answer to that is you can really start at any time but you have to recognize that this is a long term relationship play with your audience. So this isn't for those that don't want to continue to have a relationship with their community on a long term basis. We're really inviting our audience to now become a part of the experience of what you're designing. I'll give you an example here. I used to live in Austin, Texas. We lived there for about 10 years. When I lived there, I created this moms network. It was called the Austin Moms Network. I created it because I was a mom of young kids and I wanted to have a village of other moms that I could connect with on a regular basis.
Well, Susan, next thing you knew, my friend Sarah and I were the ones who co-founded this group. It started with three of us. There's myself, Sarah and this woman named Lynn. Within three months, I had 500 people. Within a year, we had 5,000 people and we were having mom side outs and play dates with the kiddos and things like that. Obviously, this is all pre-COVID. We were connecting in that way. Well, then I decided to start a coffee company, that coffee company called Perky Perky. Well, because I already had this community of moms and I was creating a coffee brand that was all about inviting women to step into their power from their first cup in the morning and onwards throughout the day, I just invited these women along the ride with me.
So I remember going to them and I said, "Ladies, I'm creating a new company and I'm dedicating it to us and the reason I'm dedicating it to us is because I've heard our stories over and over again about feeling like we've lost ourselves in motherhood. I want us to remember how powerful we are and what actually we have within us," and I shared my story about my morning ritual and things and how coffee was such a big part of that. They started to follow me, in my own little mini-community, beyond that to really launch my coffee brand. So on month one of creating our coffee company, we sold a thousand bags of coffee. Month one.
Susan Friedmann: That's pretty impressive. However, we don't want to lose sight of the fact that you had built up this community over, like you said, a year and that there was definitely that know, like and trust and it went with that. So it wasn't just that you started this brand new and all these people came along.
Maruxa Murphy: No.
Susan Friedmann: You had worked very hard.
Maruxa Murphy: I bring it up very intentionally to share that story because people think we can just turn on a Facebook group and it'll start raining money on us. It's just not how it works. When you're building a relationship... Now, that being said, we can turn on a Facebook group today with intentionality, with strategy and in doing that, create a group quickly. Not necessarily that would take years, but quickly meaning three, four months to have a rhythm and a routine in such a way that when your book is about to get published or you're ready to get out there and start marketing that book, your community can follow that process with you. That's group type number one. The second group type is called an endorse community. Endorse. And an endorse community is very, very similar to engage.
However, the difference is that endorsers don't have their own products. They tend to have other people's products that they're absolute fans of. And we started to recognize this because we would work with influencers from YouTube or Instagram, et cetera, and they didn't have a single product but they had a million followers and they were like, "People tell me I should monetize. I have no idea how to do this." So we used a similar model to the engage experience, but instead of them bringing their own products, they would then introduce their community to new products. They would start utilizing those products within the community and then they would have all these buyers from those experiences. So those would be our endorse communities and then our final lead generation community model that we love using and that works phenomenally well is what I call an excite community. Excite. Why do we name it excite?
We name it excite because people love these for how excited they get because they've just gotten this win with your help. So excite communities are short term communities. Sometimes they last a few hours. Sometimes they last a month. Sometimes, I've seen them last up to 45 days but the way in which you want to think about it is these are small but mighty communities. You give them a small win but it's a mighty win that opens their eyes to what it would look like to work with you longer term. We see these oftentimes as trial offers of product, getting them in for 30 days for seven days, et cetera. It also could look like a challenge. You're introducing them to a small challenge where they have a win that really lights their brain up in such a way that they see other possibilities can be formed or it can also look like a workshop.
A workshop is a community in and of itself. It's just a very short term community and in that workshop, we're leading them into an opportunity to take the next step with us. Those are the three types of communities that are more lead generation focused and then the final two that are more client retention or customer retention focused. The first one is called an educate community. Educate. These are what we typically see in the online world. We see them when an author has an online course or an online program and on the backend, you have, let's say, a Facebook community for all of your private clients or for your program attendees or your program students, the students that are taking your course. And a lot of people do this wrong.
This is actually where it started for me because a lot of times, companies would come to me and they'd say, "Maruxa, someone told me to put a Facebook group with my online course and I did and it is dead. There is nothing there. I have no idea and it's stressing me out because actually, I'm losing clients and customers because we have this group. Is this salvageable? Can we do something with this?" I was really excited about those opportunities because honestly, it's just some few tweaks to really intentionally design out that community so that your currently paying clients want not only more from you, but feel held and connected to the work that they're doing with you and they start to see the value and you're highlighting that value.
You're getting them excited because they're seeing the value on a regular basis. As you know, Susan, if you're like me, I've been in programs where it takes time and I don't even see the small incremental wins that I've been having in those programs. If we can highlight those, it makes a massive, massive impact on people that are part of educate communities, if you will.
Susan Friedmann: And they love that. People love to share their wins and I'm assuming that there is interaction between the people so that they could help each other.
Maruxa Murphy: Absolutely. Yes. I love that you brought that up because a big part of community design is to support the leader to lead and when I say lead, it's not lead by doing all the things. It's lead from the genius that you have within you. So when you're leading from the genius within, typically the reason we've gone into speaking and we go into writing books is because we have a body of knowledge that feels so aligned with us but that also means that we should really invest in empowering our students and our teams, if we have a team, to be able to stand and support one another. So it's creating a culture of reciprocity and altruism and if we have more time, I'd love to talk about culture and the difference between that and community, for sure.
Susan Friedmann: Let's do that for our premium members. You and I talked about the idea of having something that you would share with our premium members. I think that would be perfect. Before we run out of time, let's talk about the last client retention model and then I'll invite you to share some contact information with our listeners.
Maruxa Murphy: Okay, great. So the final one is what we call an evangelized community. Evangelized path. The evangelized communities are just that. These are your clients and your customers that just absolutely rave about your work. They can't help but want to talk about you from every single rooftop they're on. They just love you and typically, this is a smaller group of your people but we want to partner with those individuals to do two things in these smaller communities. We want to partner with them to get the word out about upcoming programs to people that they know and want to, in essence, evangelize to about you and your programs and your books and things like that and secondly, invite them to have a sneak peek before anybody else gets access to upcoming books, programs, keynotes, anything like that. Why is that important?
Just as it is important to do that on the front end like I did with Perky Perky, the coffee company, on the back end, when you're doing that with your elite group, the smaller group, you're really continuing to deepen that connection with them and they're able to give you feedback to improve the products even more. These are your VIPs. Now, sometimes I'll also include in this evangelized community aligned partners. So if you have joint venture partners or colleagues in the industry that are just super aligned with your work and that you just know that you know that you want them in this circle, there's no harm to be able to invite them into that. It's your smaller community of trust that you've built with them and that they inherently would love to then promote your stuff like crazy to other people and be your evangelists around the world.
Susan Friedmann: Well, they have bragging rights too. They want to tell people, "Oh, I'm in the inner circle. She shares things with me that she doesn't share with other people."
Maruxa Murphy: Exactly.
Susan Friedmann: It's like our premium members. They get some special treatment, not that our other listeners don't because we give them a lot of information and talking about information, let's get you to share your information so that our listeners can find out more about your services and how you could potentially help them build their either lead generating or client retention communities.
Maruxa Murphy: Love that. Thank you so much, Susan. There are really two simple ways that we can connect right away. If you've loved learning about these different types of communities, the five different types, I highly encourage you to really find out what yours is. What would be the ideal profit path for you? So we have a quiz for that. It's completely free to take the quiz and on the back end, you'll actually get some very detailed information about your particular type of group. I just laid it at the surface here and then a little bit of a training that I've recorded for you so that you can really look and see, "Wow, what kind of group am I able to create now that I've written my book or I'm about to write my book?"
So it's at createsellimpact.com/quiz. Super easy. createsellimpact.com/quiz and if you wanted to join our free community, it's on Facebook. It's at facebook.com. Actually, the easiest way would be createsellimpact.com/facebook. Super easy and I'd love to see you there and let me know that we met through Susan and I'll throw in a free gift as well when we connect that way.
Susan Friedmann: I'll put all of that in the show notes because never know how people are listening to us and so that they don't have anything to write it down, that it's there for them. So we always love, Maruxa, our guest to give a final golden nugget, those words of wisdom to our listeners. What would you like to leave them with?
Maruxa Murphy: What's popping in for me is that right now, we're in a world that has so much noise and the thing that differentiates us at this point, which is really quite ironic, I think, with all the technology that we have going on is leaning into what I call heartbeats and humanity. What do I mean by that? What I mean is that if we remember that every single human that we get the opportunity to touch their life with our message is an actual human with a heartbeat. That means that they cry, they laugh, they sing, they dance, they are curious, they adventure, they have wisdom just like you. If we treat them with that respect and that reverence, what kind of a community can we really create that would sing to their soul? That's what's going to make a difference in this world is to cut through the noise is just bring it back to recognizing that every single number of on your email list, every single number, every number of readers that you have have heartbeats and we are one humanity because of that.
Susan Friedmann: Very much so and everybody listening to this has one too and I'm sure that it's beating really hard at the moment because they are excited about what you shared because this has been unique. I have to tell you, Maruxa, we have not had anybody talk about this in this way and the fact that this is your business, I love it so thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and thank you all for taking time out of your precious day to listen to this interview and I sincerely hope that it sparks some ideas you can use to sell more books. Here's wishing you much book and author marketing success.
Get more gems from Maruxa and other guest experts, when you join the Book Marketing Mentors Premium Membership today!