There is a big difference between building an audience that’s watching you and building a community that’s engaging with you. So how do we build strong, engaged communities that connect people rather than simply entertaining them?
This week, I’m joined by Kim Johnson, head of community at Geneva, a New York-based messaging app. Geneva helps creators, brands, and leaders build communities from the ground up. So in this episode, we dive deep into all things connection, conversation, and community.
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Episode 163 Topics:
- Building an organic community that is engaged and passionate about you and your work
- The changing landscape of the content creation and audience interaction
- How people are getting good at sniffing out inauthenticity
- Having your community build content with you
- The imperative value of mutual exchange
Episode 163 Resources:
- Join the Balanced Black Girl community on Geneva
- Download the Geneva App
- Follow Geneva on Instagram
Episode 163 Sponsors:
- BetterHelp | This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/BBG and get on your way to being your best self.
- Framebridge | Visit Framebridge.com and use the code “BALANCED” for 15% off your first framing order.
Episode 163 Transript:
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Tuning in so I want to kick off today's episode with a really fun announcement that I have been.
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Dying to share and that is that we have launched a brand new balanced black girl community on Geneva yes
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we now have a free community called Club balanced that you can join right now to connect
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other balanced black girl listeners my community manager sequela and I have been working on this community for months and
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it was really important that we were able to offer a free supportive space for our community to continue the conversation
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beyond the podcast Club balanced is part balanced black girl hi pal sparked balance black girl group chat designed to help you connect with other balanced Besties
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now because we all know making friends as an adult can be hard making new friends when you're on your healing Journey on your Wellness ish can be even harder
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if you listen to this podcast that you probably share some interest with other folks who listened so let's all hang out in club balance
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I'm also excited to share that we have officially brought back the book club now real day one.
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OG balance bike or listeners remember the book club well it's back and it now lives in our home in Geneva where we will have monthly book picks will share recommendations and we'll chat about them in the community.
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Again this is a free space designed to Foster conversation with one another beyond the podcast because I do a lot of talking to you but
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I wanted you to have space to talk to one another so the link to join the community is in the show notes to follow the link download the Geneva app answer a few short questions so that we can get to know you better and then join the club,
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clip balance that is,
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so through building balance black girl I know how important it is to not just have an audience but to have a community especially if you have a business or are a creator.
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Audience is just eyeballs watching you but a community is in conversation with you
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they're involved in community we support one another it's a mutual Exchange
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so for our black women in business series I wanted to make sure we also really touched on that because fostering Community is really really important when you're creating something new.
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So I was excited to bring on one of the most expert Community managers I know and admire on the show to chat about building thriving communities and why that should be the goal over having an audience
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I guess today is Kim Johnson Kim is ahead of community at Geneva and New York based messaging app for communities of all shapes and sizes which is also the platform we just launched Club balanced on
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her work at Geneva focuses on helping creators Brands and Community leaders of all kinds build their communities from the ground up
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so if you're looking to build community around a mission or a movement this episode is for you,
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let's jump into our conversation with Kim
Kim Welcome to balance flat girl it's always a pleasure anytime I get to talk to you
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I'm so excited for this thank you for having me I feel like this is very full circle.
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It is so a context for our community listening came and I met
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several years ago maybe 2018 or 2019 when you were head of community at glassy a and you're opening the Seattle pop-up and glossy about time
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yeah I was when we met and like so much has happened since then.
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I know truly it feels like a lifetime ago a little bit but the yeah it's so fun to now be doing this,
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with you definitely well I'm super excited to have you here so you are
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just a master of all things Community as I just mentioned you were previously head of community at glossy Aur now head of community at Geneva and incredible platform that we're going to talk a lot more about.
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But I would love to just hear more about how you became interested in cultivating and fostering Community like where did that,
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Interest come from have you always been a community Builder or is that a skill you've cultivated over time.
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It's so funny I well I guess first of all I never really thought that this would be my job partially because I didn't know that it was a job
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when I was like in high school and second because I was like always such a shy person when I was younger.
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And so the idea of like doing anything related to being a people person,
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probably not comprehensible for me at that time I kind of fell into Community work when I was at,
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glossy a it into the gloss into the glasses the editorial kind of beauty site that Emily launched before she launched the brand.
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And I started working it into the glass before I actually started a glossy a solely because I loved the.
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I loved the interviews and I loved the comment section in the comment section was like such a party in like 2013 and so I was obsessed with it and I was like I want to come work here.
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Worked in editorial was like okay don't know that this is my thing but I still loved like engaging with people in the comments and just like,
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having conversation about beauty and so when I ended up kind of starting full-time and trying to figure out my role in my space,
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Community was something that we had talked about a lot because it was kind of so core to what into the glass had been but no one had really landed and so I would just kind of like.
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Took it on and I didn't really know what that meant at the time but it is funny because when you,
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a lot of times you think things just happen right like you think like oh yeah that just kind of happened in my life and I
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you know just fell into this thing but I think actually it was like such a perfect kind of like manifestation of what I had come to the company for initially which was like.
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This incredible Community around Beauty on into the glass that then became my work so I wouldn't say I was actively.
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Building it or thinking about it but I think it was a really Natural Evolution of like what.
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Made me excited about beauty in the first place yeah yeah it was what you were drawn to and
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stories like that I think are so great because as we're navigating our careers sometimes it can be very easy to think in very black-and-white terms it's like this is the job ID on this is the job that it exists,
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but oftentimes credible opportunities happened very organically when you see
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that needs to be met and you can kind of evolved in a roll and create something new,
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yeah I completely agree I mean I feel like we'll talk about this later but I think.
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The best work is like when you are.
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Able to have your own sense of like Vision the space that you occupy and I think,
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so often we think about our jobs is just like being a part of this you know bigger thing and a lot of times they are and most times they are but also like you have your own little like nugget of the world and like,
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to be able to come into it with your own ideas and some Division I think is like what makes this kind of stuff fun you know,
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absolutely absolutely speaking of vision I mean right now on the podcast we're talking about being black women in business running our own businesses creating our own Ventures and that's something that,
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takes a lot of vision right whether you are starting a business whether you're a side hustle or whether you are.
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Incorporate but you're creating maybe a new program or managing a career Vision like that takes.
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A whole lot of foresight and willingness to create something out of nothing why is community such an important aspect of doing and being in business
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I mean I feel like there's okay I think there's like multiple elements to that the thing that comes to mind for me first is.
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The community that you're you as an individual or able to find or be a part of or Foster when it comes to the work that you do so.
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I think that is like the biggest thing that I think about when I started doing community at glossy I really didn't have.
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Many friends who worked in community I'd friends work and Beauty obviously like so many of my friends at that time were for my job.
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But I didn't really have like a reference point outside of the company for what like community.
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Driven by a brand looked like.
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And I think part of it was because like a lot of brands at that time in that space weren't really doing community in that way and maybe because I was just so new in it and I just didn't know anything and I was like nervous about networking and stuff like that and.
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I really I think been able to cultivate that only really in the past like two years I would say honestly a lot of like.
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Doing this stuff going to different cities and like meeting you and meeting people locally was a huge Catalyst for me and doing that yeah I think that finding people.
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either because you all come from similar experiences and maybe you do different things in the work but you come from similar experiences and so you have.
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You know similar struggles or wins finding that community and like your career so important and then.
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Additionally finding community of people who do work that you do and who you can get inspiration from and who you can get you know constructive feedback from.
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Is also so essential I remember the first person that I met,
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that I was like so excited about because I was like oh my God this guy like does what I do and I can ask him all these questions,
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was this like 50 year old man who worked at this company called riot games which is basically like an Esports thing,
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it could not have been more different from life the brand that I was at yeah but the ideas and the stuff that he was doing we're so similar.
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And I was just like blown away and we talked for like an hour and a half because I was like somehow this is so new for me and that was such an important.
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Thing and such an important like opportunity to have that first touch point,
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even though he and I could not have been more different and like the things that we talked about are the things we brought people together around were different the the core of it was like the same definitely that's such a prime example of
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I think our human needs for connection being fundamentally the same even if we're connecting over different things yeah I think that.
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I mean Community is such a an interesting term right now because it's so.
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Overuse yeah I think in someone who has it in my job title I think it's overused I think it's like under defined,
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and like under valued in a real way a lot of times it's very like Hot Topic but I do think that.
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When you're able to make those relationships with people in your work that.
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Can push you or you know give you Clarity like that is so you just know it when you experience it you know and I think I.
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I have personally gone out of my way along more in the past like year to build those and to seek those out because they are so.
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Look I really yeah and I think to your point about having.
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To be super intentional about it in the past year so I think we've had to be with the pandemic and with being a lot more spread out and everyone working remote I mean I love remote work I personally don't ever want to go back to an office selfishly,
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when I think about the beginning of my career so many of those early
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head of adult relationships that I formed were with my co-workers and with people who I
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had to work with and build team wife and that is so valuable and so I think now it's absolutely possible but we have to be so much more intentional about it,
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yeah it's so funny when I was at when I was really early on it and into the gloss it was like at the time I must have been a junior in college like I was really young that was my first internship.
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And I remember going to my dad and being like.
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I think that I'm going to go do something else like I feel like I should get a different experience I want to try marketing I didn't even know what marketing was like I literally just really so I didn't know what I was talking about but I was like I'm gonna go do marketing or like,
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go to a PR firm or something like that my dad was like I'm with you got new experiences.
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But also like don't you love the team here don't you like love the people and I was like yeah I do.
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He was like well why don't you see if you can talk to them about getting a new experience at the company he was like cuz you know relationships are like one of the biggest things.
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When you're young and you're trying to figure out what you love.
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And I took that advice I ended up like doing something slightly different at the company and it really worked out for me because I was then able to continue to kind of like.
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Explore and find new opportunities.
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And I think you know I don't know that I would always say that for people right like it's good to go out and like try new things and be in different places but I do think that the under lying message of like the value of relationships that you've built and.
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And when you have your around people who are great especially when your early on in your career and you're young and for me it was like.
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I was going from being really shy to like coming out of my shell and a lot of that happened at that job.
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I think it was such great advice for me in that moment because it allowed me to just like deep in my relationship with the place that I was at the work that I was doing.
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Which was so invaluable ultimately for me.
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I mean the relationships that you have can really make or break the experience you can be doing incredible work but if you're doing it with terrible people or a boss that you don't have a good relationship with its.
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It's not going to matter I know I know and it's I always feel so bad for.
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I think that must be like the worst thing until like get a job and like have your dream work and not enjoy the people you work with because I just don't I don't know how it's possible for anyone right like.
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For Better or Worse we spend a lot of our time working a little.
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Some of us meant maybe most of us and we want to do it around good people like you want to do it around people that you enjoy.
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And I will say that's why I Community is also really fun when it comes to work because you got to like make that world a little bit for yourself too so that is one of the things I like love love love most about this work and this job absolutely.
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And thinking more about Brands being intentional about building Community that's something that we've seen a lot,
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increase over the past few years I feel like that's a concept that came to be maybe in the past decade and then over the past couple of years it's really becoming a priority for a lot of businesses,
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and I'm curious about why that is because when I think about.
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Maybe large companies that are really old or businesses of the past I'm like in the 90s I don't think businesses most businesses were very concerned about community and less it was like
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an MLM type of situation I think about like Tupperware parties in the 90s or something that's big on community and this was trapped model yes but outside of that a lot of the brands we've interacted with for most of our life.
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Community wasn't really a thing until the past decade.
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A few months ago I did an episode on this podcast talking about Community Care and I found some really interesting research in that that essentially over the past four decades or so for American specifically,
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we basically have like less friends
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it's like a like the nicest way to put it but that's basically Americans today compared to 1980 have smaller communities and less friends despite social media and
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so many more interactions with so many more people we don't necessarily have a sense of interconnectedness and so I'm wondering if because that change has been made for a lot of us from a social standpoint not having that sense of.
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Interconnectedness and closeness if that's why we're almost looking to Brands to start facilitating that for us.
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Yeah I think that's really interesting I think there's a little bit of that I think that from a Brand's perspective.
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I am a believer I'll just say this before I get into this I'm a believer that like not every brand needs to have Community it which we talk about also but I think that a lot of it stems from.
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There are so many Brands and they're so much product guess there's just we are like in this like overload.
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Version of the world you know what I mean there's like content overload information overload product overload you have like,
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50 different companies making the same like one individual thing you know what I mean when you think about your mattress used to be like you go to the mattress store and you like lay on that and see which one is Central to you and then you go get it and now it's like,
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you know which of the d2c companies is like most aligned with you from a brand perspective or a creative perspective or like a tone perspective.
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That makes you want to buy at the you know it's so different and I think because we're in this this era just like product and Company and content overload.
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Brands recognize that they have to work a lot harder to get people to care about what they're putting out in the world and I don't think that that's just Brands I think a lot of kind of entities not way are realizing that,
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and I think that additionally what we've seen in the past maybe like 10 years is that the brands that,
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a lot of the brands that have risen to the top have either done so because they.
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Are so convenient for people that it's just it just fits in with people's Lifestyles or their brands that people just.
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Identify with and that that feel emotional for people and a lot of the community element of things comes into play for that second bucket where.
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Brands that do a good job of making people feel and also creating.
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And identity that resonates with people often have a people forward or Community forward approach to what they build we all have short attention spans now and so.
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I will go out of my way to buy certain brands because.
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I like the brand I'm like I identify with it and especially if I have you know.
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No the team or I like Matt people through the brand I mean that's sick of one layer deeper but I think that those things really do matter to people in terms of why they should spend their time or their money with a company.
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and then I think an addition I think your point about people looking for that is so true.
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And so I think it's kind of the combination of those two things really but I think that what,
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can sometimes happen because of the fact that Brands know that they need to build that connection with people and they that Community is important is that they can.
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Go about it in a way that might not actually be rooted in wanting to have a people first approach right and so I think that's where some of the challenge comes in.
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And Community is not easy and it's not like a short-term thing and so that's always challenging and I think that's a challenge for Brands who really want to be committed to building Community but know that it's you know you're in it for the Long Haul.
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But yeah that I think that that is kind of the root of why we're in this phase where Community is so important to Brands and businesses right now yeah yeah that totally makes sense and I really like your point about the fact that there.
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I mean every Market is saturated there's no shortage of options of things to buy or check out or be influenced about and so finding those brands,
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that really resonate with our mission and values or for you know people who are entrepreneurs or want to be entrepreneurs really leaving with their mission and values so that people can really connect with what it is they're offering is
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going to be really really important especially as we move into this next phase of business because,
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entrepreneurship is in such a weird spot right now right like in the mid-to-late 2010's we had kind of the girlboss era which I think,
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also looked very different for black women entrepreneurs and continues to look different for black women entrepreneurs but coming out of that it's like okay how can we.
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How can we create businesses that are sustainable in terms of how we treat people what we offer where we're not.
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Doing those same old business practices that we know.
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Are not great but wrapping it in pink and calling it something different even though it's not it's just it's such a different era in terms of building and creating business but also a lot of opportunity which is super exciting totally.
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I think there's so much that.
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Has like yet to we have not seen about where the space will go and I do think that your point like we're kind of.
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Inching out of this like.
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Boom of everyone is an entrepreneur but it's not inching away from that idea but rather inching towards it and I think different ways or perhaps in ways that harken back to
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years before this the things that we've been in and I'm just really curious like what that will be and look like definitely.
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I'd love to talk to you about content creation a bit because I think content creation has become a lane where,
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a lot of entrepreneurs are getting their start something that I can relate to I mean we talked about this in a recent episode in this series with Alexis Barber who is a fellow content creator who is now launching her own product line,
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so when it comes to content creation and being on social there's a lot of focus on building an audience,
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Sprite gaining followers gaining eyeballs I would love to talk about the difference between what it looks like to,
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build an audience who's watching what you're doing versus building a community who is kind of engaged and.
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Experiencing it with you can we talk about that a little bit I would love to hear your thoughts yeah I think you just described it very well yeah I think that like
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the world of social media has like really,
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put all eyes on eyes yep I guess on building an audience right and like having followers and creating content for those followers but I think that is like a.
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One-way relationship in a sense mostly because of the way that it's structured right you create stuff you share stuff.
00:23:51.237 --> 00:23:59.360
And you will consume it and of course there's the comment section right there's the ability for people to say oh I loved that so I didn't love this etcetera.
00:23:59.582 --> 00:24:05.986
I actually think that what the difference between that and a community is is not necessarily that.
00:24:06.289 --> 00:24:11.999
Those people can now have real to a conversation with you,
00:24:12.122 --> 00:24:22.388
but I actually think what the community is that the many-to-many conversation right and so what you've been able to do when you build a community is say hey.
00:24:22.547 --> 00:24:28.734
All of these people who are you know engage with I'm doing are all interested in the same things.
00:24:29.317 --> 00:24:41.932
Let's have a conversation together right I think that's the beauty of it both for members of community and also for the leaders right like I think so often
00:24:41.866 --> 00:24:48.287
I have such admiration for people like you who are content creators and who like spend,
00:24:48.311 --> 00:24:56.416
time and energy and so much strategy and thought and Care into what you are creating for folks because it is so.
00:24:57.116 --> 00:25:02.637
Time and work intensive and I think the beauty of community for.
00:25:02.895 --> 00:25:16.185
Creators in this space is the democratization of it and the ability to have your people really take part and kind of co-owned what you are building together and.
00:25:16.435 --> 00:25:24.828
Equally for members Community isn't about you no follower count it as an about how many people listen to you.
00:25:25.041 --> 00:25:33.911
It is about conversation and so you know some of the most amazing communities that I've seen you know digital communities that I've seen being built.
00:25:34.106 --> 00:25:43.075
I've been created by people who are like just obsessed with their thing you know and it might be a community of 20 people I might be 2,000 but.
00:25:43.801 --> 00:25:50.475
It's it's a really kind of I think one layer deeper kind of relationship that you're able to.
00:25:50.643 --> 00:26:00.071
Let's build with your people and kind of amongst your people absolutely I think I've seen such a different response to content.
00:26:00.330 --> 00:26:06.634
When you have to take people behind the scenes and you you bring your community along to let them see kind of.
00:26:06.838 --> 00:26:14.493
How the sausage is made I hate that expression because it's nasty but like when you from a little standpoint I'm like oh oh
00:26:14.454 --> 00:26:24.459
anyway but when you let people see that and see how like the content that they enjoy comes together I do think it really strengthens that
00:26:24.321 --> 00:26:30.553
because they feel involved and they feel like they're a part of it and they have a deeper appreciation of it
00:26:30.442 --> 00:26:42.292
totally that to that point you know recently we've seen a lot of creators and the specifically on Tick-Tock Tick-Tock is a wild Place we've seen creators be very publicly criticized for.
00:26:42.775 --> 00:26:47.621
Talking about content creation and there's a debate over you know how much work,
00:26:47.682 --> 00:27:03.861
do content creators really do our content creators over compensated for the work they do when you compare that to other occupations that have a very different impact on society but may not be paid as much and I think that if there is a continuation of focusing on community as opposed to
00:27:03.697 --> 00:27:07.129
followers I think those conversations would be,
00:27:07.270 --> 00:27:15.690
really different but I would also love to hear your perspective on those conversations yeah that's fascinating I.
00:27:15.913 --> 00:27:24.783
That's really fascinating conversation I think the piece of like our content creators overcompensated is really difficult because,
00:27:24.915 --> 00:27:30.382
in comparison to certain roles perhaps but also that is it that is an issue that is sits Beyond,
00:27:30.514 --> 00:27:35.000
content creators for sure right yeah I think that.
00:27:35.448 --> 00:27:44.633
Yeah I think that the thing about community and the thing that that is really different about it is it's about depth of impact and so it's kind of that like.
00:27:45.161 --> 00:27:46.964
As opposed to kind of.
00:27:47.448 --> 00:28:00.396
Going wide and trying to find as many people as possible to hear what you're saying or to listen you want to build as many like strong connection points as possible with the people who are really excited about what you're.
00:28:00.780 --> 00:28:07.651
You're thin what you're into whether it's Wellness whether it's queer books whether its beauty.
00:28:07.883 --> 00:28:12.756
And I think that I mean I have this belief that.
00:28:12.924 --> 00:28:23.973
The Creator identity is going to evolve a lot over the next few years which I think we're already seeing that and I think we all kind of feel that.
00:28:24.285 --> 00:28:33.578
And especially with like the I think what you and I were talking about earlier you know they're being so much content right actually really liked.
00:28:33.755 --> 00:28:47.243
Emma Chamberlain's podcast where she talked about like social media and content and and like feeling like as a content creator that like she's done everything she possibly can which must be like so existentially difficult but but I
00:28:47.232 --> 00:28:55.130
I think that the idea of a Creator identity is going to evolve a lot I think that Community Builders.
00:28:55.388 --> 00:29:04.690
Well become a part of this Creator umbrella I think that a lot of people who maybe today identify as content creators.
00:29:04.867 --> 00:29:14.628
But are now also building really incredibly engaged communities are going to start sitting in this interesting middle ground and you know.
00:29:14.977 --> 00:29:22.929
I also think that people who are building incredible communities that actually do really incredible work are going to start.
00:29:23.403 --> 00:29:36.045
I hope and I believe start getting more recognition for those spaces so I think we're in this place where the Creator identity is going to evolve there's going to be different kinds of what.
00:29:36.276 --> 00:29:38.484
Creation on the internet,
00:29:38.572 --> 00:29:48.432
and I'm excited for that I think I think a lot of people in this space are excited for that because we're also all having a bit of like a social media kind of fatigue,
00:29:48.492 --> 00:29:56.003
and so I think the people who that hits hardest must be Creator content creators yeah.
00:29:56.297 --> 00:30:00.108
So I think it'll be interesting to see how that that all just kind of plays out
00:30:00.078 --> 00:30:11.559
I do agree that I think we're going to see a different intersection I mean I think what's expected of content creators is very different than what was when we think about the idea of an influencer how that
00:30:11.403 --> 00:30:15.421
came to rise I mean I feel like the peak of influencer culture is very
00:30:15.382 --> 00:30:21.731
2016 Instagram in 2016 and sodium was all about who can create the best
00:30:21.701 --> 00:30:31.661
aesthetic and that snapshot of a moment that has like an aspirational image to it and over time we've seen more and more layers added where
00:30:31.649 --> 00:30:42.581
the content of your character is also as important as the content you're putting online or at least the perceived content of your character because I don't think we know what people's character is but we can.
00:30:42.794 --> 00:30:56.615
You know create assumptions based off of e and I think and it's connected to the stuff we were talking about with Brands and that's why I said it's not just Brands like people are Brands disappoint like people are making a house brands at this point and.
00:30:57.233 --> 00:31:03.826
It's the same thing with that right like everyone can we consume so much.
00:31:04.021 --> 00:31:07.814
That people are really able to sniff out bullshit,
00:31:07.946 --> 00:31:15.583
yep now in a way that just we were not before we were alike you know there was so much in the newness before and so I think.
00:31:15.796 --> 00:31:25.647
Yeah I think people are like the things that that people really spend their time on now I think are that much more.
00:31:25.825 --> 00:31:32.435
Impactful because of the fact that we just are so we're consuming content and things,
00:31:32.522 --> 00:31:39.484
so much all the time absolutely and in continuing to think about the content creator,
00:31:39.499 --> 00:31:47.694
conversation and where I think community and authentic Community comes in is a lot of the critiques of content creators or just that they
00:31:47.664 --> 00:31:56.093
get to a point where they're no longer considered relatable and I have kind of a love-hate relationship with that that word because I understand what people mean,
00:31:56.135 --> 00:32:01.296
if they are following a Creator maybe lives a lifestyle that looks more similar to them,
00:32:01.348 --> 00:32:11.226
and then because of their support now all of a sudden this person is kind of in a different Stratosphere and they don't see themselves in that person anymore I can understand how that can feel a bit jarring,
00:32:11.286 --> 00:32:19.301
I don't necessarily think that it's a room for critique because I also think that what's relatable or what's realistic is completely subjective like.
00:32:19.712 --> 00:32:30.347
If they started someone's life that is realistic for them and even if it it's not what you can no longer relate to you that doesn't mean that it is in general unrelatable but it means that like what you want
00:32:30.326 --> 00:32:37.864
saw of yourself in them is maybe no longer the case and that happens as people evolve whether their platform grows or they move or they do something different.
00:32:38.275 --> 00:32:44.948
But I think what is really great about community and creators not necessarily centering themselves as like okay.
00:32:45.306 --> 00:32:49.918
Maybe you can't relate to me anymore but if you can relate to one another.
00:32:50.068 --> 00:32:58.740
Great then you're still finding that connection point and how can we Foster more of that as creators totally and I think that.
00:32:58.980 --> 00:33:06.041
You know the best Creator Community is create our LED Community is that I've seen have been.
00:33:06.767 --> 00:33:19.670
Not about the Creator right but like a lot of times you know there's this incredible community on Geneva called CMOS girl is and I always talk about them just because they were really early community and I think what they've done is.
00:33:20.153 --> 00:33:25.126
Such a perfect example of the kind of thing that I think will become more and more prevalent.
00:33:25.321 --> 00:33:30.653
They've created this Wellness Group on Geneva and it's like 5,000 people now,
00:33:30.794 --> 00:33:44.210
and it is like it lives it has its own life without them being present there there they you know they ask questions they get questions from Members before they do podcast interviews but.
00:33:44.451 --> 00:33:53.096
The beauty of the community is members supporting each other going through mental health experiences or.
00:33:53.255 --> 00:34:05.195
Sharing what they're eating sharing recipes they had members plan walks in like their local areas with each other right it like becomes a takes on a life that is.
00:34:05.399 --> 00:34:15.034
So much more than the individual and I think that that is what is so cool to me about like.
00:34:15.256 --> 00:34:24.432
You know creators have so much power to bring people together right I think that's like one of the most amazing things about having a platform is that.
00:34:24.655 --> 00:34:34.119
Especially you know something like what you've built with balance black girls like the people who are all here are all here for such a similar.
00:34:34.458 --> 00:34:44.039
Experience they can we care about similar things we could probably identify similarly you know and.
00:34:44.271 --> 00:34:51.736
I think that that's like the most amazing thing that creators can do is really create a community that is like.
00:34:51.923 --> 00:35:06.275
Now I'm pregnant I'm not pregnant but like I'm pregnant and I want to create Community with folks who also are pregnant because we're having the same life experience together right something that is like connected to them but not necessarily about them and I think that's it.
00:35:06.605 --> 00:35:11.172
I really nice evolution of your relationship with your you know your audience
00:35:11.061 --> 00:35:25.594
oh 100% I mean that's really my goal with the balanced black girl Community as we're working on relaunching it the other day my community manager and I were doing some work behind the scenes as we get ready to launch our community on Geneva which
00:35:25.582 --> 00:35:38.098
will be available by the time this episode is out so I'll link it in the show notes you all can join which is amazing and so we were just kind of going through some of the planning and some of the different areas in the community we're going to have and she was like
00:35:37.870 --> 00:35:41.276
well it's your community what do you want I was like it's not my community,
00:35:41.291 --> 00:35:51.088
it's not it's everyone's everyone who's going to be a part of it it's their Community it's not about what I want it's about what's going to best serve the people who are in it actually has very little
00:35:50.995 --> 00:36:00.649
to do with me I'm a talking head last day almost podcast but it is this community is not for me it's for everyone who's going to be a part of it and so I'm constantly,
00:36:00.673 --> 00:36:08.904
and of reframing and reminding that that is the ultimate goal and I think what is so cool to is like when you.
00:36:09.216 --> 00:36:16.970
Have your community not only like build that Community with you but also like then,
00:36:17.102 --> 00:36:22.668
also build your content with you is so cool right like I think.
00:36:22.935 --> 00:36:32.697
You know to have the people who are most excited and most invested in what you're up to what you're talking about there in conversation with you so.
00:36:32.892 --> 00:36:46.281
Beautiful and I think we'll also I think hopefully Community will also really change content and really change how people go about creating content in a way that's maybe more Collective so I think that's quite exciting to.
00:36:46.774 --> 00:36:48.982
00:36:49.258 --> 00:37:01.558
So we've covered a lot of ground here which is amazing I would love to get into just some some takeaways but our listeners can have whether someone is a Creator or a business owner or
00:37:01.411 --> 00:37:12.937
just wants to connect with other people and wants to start facilitating that what are some steps they can take to start either building or nurturing Community around them
00:37:12.817 --> 00:37:21.903
so I think that one of the best steps to take is to especially if you're already a Creator or maybe you already have a business.
00:37:22.251 --> 00:37:25.234
To just like get in touch with the people who.
00:37:25.564 --> 00:37:39.989
Are the folks who come to mind first especially if you like our new business and you think about like the first 10 people who purchased your product who's not like your mom you know yeah think of those people who come to mind when you think about.
00:37:40.355 --> 00:37:47.389
The people who love what you're building and like on the phone with that it seems so silly but I think that.
00:37:47.647 --> 00:38:00.721
Having starting with that foundational like connection point with those core folks will allow you to one start in a way that from day one building with people,
00:38:00.844 --> 00:38:08.697
and the people who you know will be there and he and I want to be there and to it will allow you to.
00:38:09.162 --> 00:38:15.953
Have you know a collective and a team building something together so I think really starting with.
00:38:16.769 --> 00:38:25.756
The people who maybe are most thoughtfully engaged in giving feedback about the podcast or your first customers for your brand.
00:38:25.987 --> 00:38:32.958
Start with them chat with them figure out what value would have Community hold for them because I think.
00:38:33.243 --> 00:38:38.396
One of the most important things when you're thinking about Community is like why why would people come here.
00:38:38.573 --> 00:38:52.286
What is the value to them and then what's the value to me I think there's this kind of a version a lot of times especially with Brands to the idea that Community has to have value to me as a brand or is a personal eating it,
00:38:52.418 --> 00:38:59.812
and I think that's I think you should know that if you don't know why you're bringing people together then oh no.
00:39:00.196 --> 00:39:07.059
You're probably not going to do it that long yeah and so I would start with you know those first few people.
00:39:07.479 --> 00:39:12.973
Think about the value for you and for them and Define that and,
00:39:13.087 --> 00:39:27.404
then start kind of like thoughtfully and slowly building it with them and maybe what you do is you say okay every person who's a part of this community bring the three people in your life who you know would love to be a part of this space too,
00:39:27.545 --> 00:39:30.563
and want to build an intentionally with us right.
00:39:30.795 --> 00:39:40.106
I think if you do those things it's really about kind of getting your footing grounding and having a sense of purpose and then you can always.
00:39:40.283 --> 00:39:48.550
Yeah you build from there you water as you as you go yes that's such good advice we can't underestimate the power of.
00:39:48.871 --> 00:39:54.104
Hopping on the phone or hopping on a conversation with Folks at something that I've done,
00:39:54.183 --> 00:40:02.477
since the beginning of balance black girl throughout the year I'll hop on Zoom with just a handful of people who I notice or super engaged
00:40:02.438 --> 00:40:15.971
unsocial or super engaged you know on my email list and who respond to my newsletters I'll just like hop on Zoom with a few people a year just to see what they're thinking and how they're doing and how we can best serve them and it's so
00:40:15.968 --> 00:40:20.796
so valuable because when you take care of the people who are already on your side.
00:40:21.208 --> 00:40:28.646
They evangelize and when they feel supported they want to support you back and it can become this really beautiful,
00:40:28.724 --> 00:40:41.141
Mutual exchange like you mentioned like it's okay for you also as a brand or as the Creator to receive something as well like it should be this very balanced mutually beneficial relationship that you're building with your people.
00:40:41.598 --> 00:40:50.828
Yeah 1000% 1000% I love that the kind of mutual exchange like concept yeah I think that's the like.
00:40:51.248 --> 00:40:59.461
That is the best thing that you can do is
really spend that time because I also think it provides,
00:40:59.566 --> 00:41:11.389
a real sense of clarity like I can't tell you the number of people who I've talked to who are like I know I just have to do it I'm so scared the idea of like launching communities so scary and I get it but I've been there.
00:41:11.647 --> 00:41:20.904
Yeah and I think that's why I like pulling in your closest people and saying okay look yeah I'm building this for us let's do it together
00:41:20.803 --> 00:41:33.778
they'll be like what yes I'm I course I'm here to you know do this with you and you will have such a sense of clarity and trust and and just confidence knowing that you know.
00:41:34.180 --> 00:41:43.536
You guys will figure it out together and that the people who who you think of first when you think of the community are already here yes so I think that that's,
00:41:43.668 --> 00:41:47.740
the best thing you can do and everything kind of unfolds from there and you'll always be.
00:41:48.349 --> 00:41:58.516
Community is never there is never a final destination so you'll always be learning and building and growing my gosh yes I could not agree more,
00:41:58.531 --> 00:42:07.140
I'd also like to talk a bit about Geneva which is the company you work for it's an incredible digital platform like I mentioned that's what we are using to,
00:42:07.218 --> 00:42:11.272
facilitate the New Balance black girl Community which were really excited about.
00:42:11.440 --> 00:42:19.815
Can you tell us a bit more about Geneva who can use it who can build on it and just what makes it a great platform for community,
00:42:19.947 --> 00:42:28.466
yeah well first of all we're so excited to have balanced black girl on Jimmy but I think I told you this but.
00:42:28.689 --> 00:42:31.473
When I joined the team at Geneva two years ago.
00:42:31.659 --> 00:42:45.409
Balanced Walker was like one of the initial communities that came to my mind so it's so exciting for me personally very selfishly thank you but yeah so we are
00:42:45.388 --> 00:42:50.054
I guess in the most simple terms we are a messaging app.
00:42:50.294 --> 00:42:56.067
For communities so every kind of like social group or community in your life.
00:42:56.434 --> 00:43:00.767
Can exist on Geneva version of it probably does exist on Geneva so,
00:43:00.881 --> 00:43:06.987
anything from we have a lot of book clubs and run clubs and sororities.
00:43:07.164 --> 00:43:16.998
Two brand ambassador programs Creator LED communities even like nft project Community is it really kind of runs the gamut activist groups.
00:43:17.472 --> 00:43:22.525
TV show fan clubs everything in that realm and
00:43:22.405 --> 00:43:32.643
yeah I the way that that we are building the app is really to be a more robust version of like your group chat with your friends or your,
00:43:32.785 --> 00:43:40.395
Club has the ease and accessibility of you know your group chat app but.
00:43:40.671 --> 00:43:47.272
Built for communities in the thousands so you know what you'll see is you have everything from events built into.
00:43:47.557 --> 00:43:54.438
Lots of different roles and permissions and really fun fun stuff built in specifically for communities,
00:43:54.534 --> 00:44:02.369
and that's what rebuilding I love it I mean I am someone who gets very easily overwhelmed and over stimulated
00:44:02.249 --> 00:44:15.747
buy a lot of platforms which is why I can't use a lot of things and I as someone who gets very easily over stimulated just appreciate how clean and simple and intuitive and beautiful it is it's part of what,
00:44:15.825 --> 00:44:26.783
took me so long to like build a community is because I would start and then I would just get way overwhelmed with like doing the most or you know Facebook groups I'm
00:44:26.780 --> 00:44:30.384
very much like not a fan
00:44:30.363 --> 00:44:40.926
I don't know if you're familiar with that Tick-Tock sound where it's like if they have a hater I'm one of them like if they have and they have no haters I'm dead that's me about anything related to face
00:44:40.923 --> 00:44:52.701
groups and all and so I'm like I refuse out of Facebook and into safer spaces and so that's just a big part of what I really love about it is you,
00:44:52.752 --> 00:44:54.159
create a really,
00:44:54.300 --> 00:45:04.539
beautiful intuitive experience yeah and I think the thing that you know we really believe in is we're not a social media app right like we're not.
00:45:04.779 --> 00:45:12.110
You don't have a feed of stuff that's being delivered to you yep there's no followers there's no likes there's no algorithm.
00:45:12.260 --> 00:45:25.577
We are truly a messaging app but for your favorite Community is and that's always going to be our mission is to be a utility for people really but utility that's fine and that's.
00:45:25.835 --> 00:45:31.366
Easy on the eyes and that people really enjoy and that brings you know.
00:45:31.777 --> 00:45:39.341
Hopefully that notification sounds like brings them excitement and joy and that's that's the goal that's the vision
00:45:39.276 --> 00:45:48.029
yeah definitely so highly recommend for anybody who's looking to communicate with with a group of folks whether it's like a book club,
00:45:48.125 --> 00:46:01.055
networking groups I mean I used to be a part of like networking group chats back in the day where the iMessage would just get out of control yeah I'm like something like Geneva would be so much better for that so really any way that you want to communicate.
00:46:02.114 --> 00:46:08.986
To do it yeah yeah it's an exciting time and yeah we're just really happy to have so many incredible.
00:46:09.622 --> 00:46:12.650
Community is building with us and.
00:46:12.845 --> 00:46:23.371
Building what I thought I believe will really be the future of you know our social internet for lack of a better better phrase so definitely check us out.
00:46:23.531 --> 00:46:27.584
Trying to bounce back off Community when it launches yes yes,
00:46:27.708 --> 00:46:38.468
thank you so Kim you have given us just so many amazing nuggets today thank you so much before we wrap up today.
00:46:38.637 --> 00:46:45.085
We've talked a lot about Community specifically from a professional lens I would just love to hear a little bit more about.
00:46:45.361 --> 00:46:55.960
For you how community and being in community has supported your well-being like Bring It Back to Wellness a little bit yeah I love that you know it's so.
00:46:56.254 --> 00:47:00.317
Important for me and I think I actually was thinking about that.
00:47:00.584 --> 00:47:10.580
Recently earlier today really because two of my friends are hosting and an art studio night they have Art Studio that they work out of.
00:47:10.739 --> 00:47:14.342
And they're having a bunch of friends come over and just paint and.
00:47:14.853 --> 00:47:24.542
When I got the message about it it was this immediate sense of like oh you know and I think that I'm actually thinking a lot about,
00:47:24.683 --> 00:47:37.946
going into the winter how do I facilitate more of those kinds of environments for the people that I love are the people that I think are super interesting or that I want to have conversation with and so.
00:47:38.241 --> 00:47:43.321
I think that Community shows up in our lives in so many different ways right like.
00:47:43.507 --> 00:47:48.650
A lot of ways your your family is one subset of your community.
00:47:49.196 --> 00:47:54.744
The people you go to school with right I think the most important thing.
00:47:55.111 --> 00:48:01.073
That I strive for on that I think you know is really healthy for us all to strive for is.
00:48:01.394 --> 00:48:08.410
Having balance of different kinds of communities that show up in your life and different ways they don't always all have to be.
00:48:09.217 --> 00:48:17.610
All the time but to have different venues for conversation and connection around the.
00:48:17.914 --> 00:48:27.837
Different elements of who you are is so important yeah that is I think like if you can find that and you can maintain that.
00:48:28.068 --> 00:48:36.263
That's the goal that's her that's the North Star if you will so I think I'm still in pursuit of that like I totally don't think I have.
00:48:36.827 --> 00:48:43.168
Found all my communities and I'm good to go not at all I think that I'm like totally in pursuit of that especially like.
00:48:43.813 --> 00:48:53.926
I'm not even 30 like I'm just like figuring out my life and stuff the more I find those venues the more I'm like cherishing them now because.
00:48:54.175 --> 00:48:58.661
They become more and more important I feel like the older that you got
00:48:58.559 --> 00:49:10.697
oh yeah I mean that's such a beautiful Pursuit I think that the need to feel seen heard understood I think that that is just as critical in need as you know,
00:49:10.748 --> 00:49:20.113
food clothing shelter you know those those initial needs that we have that sense of belonging is just as important totally totally agree
00:49:20.047 --> 00:49:33.716
well Kim thank you so much for joining me today I loved getting to chat with you as always love to this conversation I feel like I learned so much so how can our community keep in touch with you and your work
00:49:33.596 --> 00:49:45.347
well I love this to first of all thank you so much for having me and you have the most common voice of all time so I'm going to go take a nap,
00:49:45.362 --> 00:49:50.181
how can people are rather so Geneva is just at Geneva on all.
00:49:50.349 --> 00:50:02.028
Social channels so definitely if you're interested in just like catching the vibe seeing you know what we're up to definitely check us out on Instagram or,
00:50:02.133 --> 00:50:09.239
Tick-Tock or Twitter I'm Kim Johnson. Underscore because I have a common name on Instagram,
00:50:09.245 --> 00:50:20.230
but I would recommend Geneva before me because I don't post that much anymore so yeah definitely you know check this out and if you're interested in community stuff or you know.
00:50:20.497 --> 00:50:23.408
Thinking about building a community of your own,
00:50:23.504 --> 00:50:34.058
or work in community and are just like any other person to talk to about these things I'm just Kemet Geneva.com I always give out my email because it's so short
00:50:33.965 --> 00:50:37.911
and also like I don't know it just makes it easy you know he's i'll
00:50:37.836 --> 00:50:52.053
hit me up if you're interested in learning more about Geneva are just talking Community things perfect well we will make sure that we have all the info for a Geneva in the show notes make it easy for people to come find you if they want to chat Community thanks again for joining me.
00:50:52.420 --> 00:51:06.754
Thank you for having me huge thanks to Kim for joining me on today's show I always love talking to her and learning from her and I hope you did as well,
00:51:06.805 --> 00:51:14.847
head to the show notes to learn more about Geneva which by the way we are not sponsored by Geneva in anyway I don't even
00:51:14.754 --> 00:51:34.724
know if they do that but I love the platform as a member of other groups and I'll say I've used so many different platforms from Facebook groups Discord Mighty networks and Geneva is truly the best community platform I've used it's clean its intuitive to use it doesn't feel like you're on Slack
00:51:34.523 --> 00:51:43.798
for work it's not overwhelming and I'm excited to have our community Hub living there so you can create your own Hub on Geneva and of course,
00:51:43.912 --> 00:51:49.884
above if you joined hours Club balanced again the link to join us will be in the show notes.
00:51:50.313 --> 00:51:58.625
Huge thanks to the sponsors of today's episode we will make sure we have all of their information Linked In the show notes so you can take advantage of their special,
00:51:58.757 --> 00:52:04.198
first if you liked this episode make sure you rate your review And subscribe and we'll.
00:52:04.080 --> 00:52:27.315
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