Lloyed Lobo's 13 rules of community-led growth

Lloyed Lobo's 13 rules of community-led growth

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Lloyed Lobo, Founder of Boast.AI and Traction, shares his 13 rules of community-led growth.

Lloyed Lobo harnessed the power of community-led growth to bootstrap his startup Boast.AI to $10 million in revenue.

In his WSJ best-selling book "From Grassroots to Greatness," he shares the 13 rules of community-led growth.

In episode 57 of the Marketing Powerups Show, you'll learn:

  • The different types of community-led growth models.
  • How to design unforgettable community experiences.
  • How to make your community sticky.
  • A powerup that has accelerated Lloyed's career.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcast and Spotify now, or watch it on YouTube.

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⭐️ Framework

Communities are central to building strong brands and businesses. But how do you create a community that stands out and makes a real impact? Lloyed Lobo has unlocked the formula. Today, he shares 3 out of 13 rules of community-led growth.

1. Pick your community model.

According to Lloyed Lobo, there are three main types of communities, each serving distinct needs:

First is communities of practice that bring together people interested to learn about a specific skill or craft. For example, the Marketing Powerups community fosters knowledge-sharing around marketing tactics and strategies.

Communities of product center engagement around a particular product. Notion, Atlassian, and Apple have cultivated robust product communities.

Finally, communities of play focus purely on shared interests and fun. Sports clubs, gaming communities, and niche hobby groups fall into this model.

"Consider what need your community aims to fulfill. Is it empowering members to improve at particular skills? Deepening advocacy and usage for your product? Or simply providing an entertaining escape for people with niche passions? The community model you embrace must align with your purpose and strengths."

2. Design unforgettable experiences.

While online communities enable global, low-friction participation, Lloyed emphasizes that in-person events incorporate more senses and emotions, leading to stronger connections and impact.

"Anytime you incorporate more than two senses, you build stronger connections. It's like we were hanging out in person. We'd build stronger connections. Aim to facilitate experiential gatherings like workshops, trainings, mastermind groups, meetups, and conferences that leave your community feeling transformed through memorable multidimensional interactions."

Consider what senses, activities, tools, spaces, and people would contribute to an unforgettable experience for your community members. Appeal to their emotions through humor, inspiration, intimacy, intrigue, solidarity and other feelings that resonate. Well-designed live experiences anchor the passion of member relationships and propel word-of-mouth about your community.

3. Make your community sticky.

Nir Eyal's Hook Model illustrates how external triggers lead to variable reward dopamine hits that make behaviors "sticky." This applies to making community engagement irresistible too.

Instead of a single annual conference, Lloyed suggests regular local meetups where "every week I'm sending you a different message. It's a different dopamine hit. So you don't know what to expect." The element of surprise and breakthrough realization keeps people coming back.

Consider what external triggers might spur your community to take action, whether it's event invitations or content recommendations. Then intricately design the internal variable rewards - what insights, connections, activations and other "aha" moments will they discover through your community?

Structure your community platforms and programming to facilitate delightful unexpected moments of mutual growth and insight. Soon your community will be hooked into spiraling engagement and impact.

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    🎉 About Lloyed Lobo

    Lloyed Lobo is author of the WSJ best-selling book "From Grassroots to Greatness" and co-founder of Boast.AI and Traction. Lloyed an entrepreneur, podcast host and community builder. He actually experienced the Gulf war as a young refugee in Kuwait and witnessed the strength of community and evacuating the population to safety.

    🕰️ Timestamps and transcript

    • [00:00:00] Lloyd Lobo's 13 Rules of Community-Led Growth
    • [00:00:37] Building Iconic Brands with Community-Led Growth
    • [00:06:07] Building Community at Every Stage of Life
    • [00:10:24] Creating Community-Led Growth
    • [00:11:17] The Four Types of Comminuties
    • [00:13:28] The Camper Framework
    • [00:16:34] Building Communities to Inspire and Energize
    • [00:22:02] Building a Community Around Your Product
    • [00:25:05] Building an Audience and Creating Content
    • [00:29:35] Finding Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
    • [00:34:35] Building a Community from Grassroots to Greatness
    • [00:38:40] Career Power Ups: Community, Communication, Creation, and Consistency
    • [00:41:55] Marketing Power Ups with Lloyed Lobo

    Episode transcript

    [00:00:00] Lloyd Lobo harnesses community-led growth to bootstrap his startup, Boost AI, to $10 million in revenue

    [00:00:00] Ramli John: Lloyd Lobo has harnessed the power of.
    [00:00:01] Lloyed Lobo: Community led growth to bootstrap his startup, boost AI to $10 million in revenue.
    [00:00:06] Lloyed Lobo: In his Wall Street Journal bestselling book, from grassroots to greatness, he shares 13 rules of community led growth.
    [00:00:13] Lloyed Lobo: In episode 57 of the marketing power show, we learned, first of all, the different types of community led growth models.
    [00:00:19] Lloyed Lobo: Second, how to design unforgettable community experiences.
    [00:00:22] Lloyed Lobo: Third, how to make your community sticky.
    [00:00:24] Lloyed Lobo: Fourth, a power up that has accelerated Lloyd's career.
    [00:00:27] Lloyed Lobo: Before we get started, created a free power up strategy that you can download and apply Lloyd's 13 rules of community led growth.
    [00:00:33] Lloyed Lobo: You can get it now on marketingpowerups.com or find the link in the show notes and description.

    [00:00:37] Building iconic brands with community-led growth

    [00:00:37] Ramli John: Are you ready?
    [00:00:38] Lloyed Lobo: Let's go.
    [00:00:39] Ramli John: Marketing power ups.
    [00:00:42] Ramli John: Ready, go.
    [00:00:46] Ramli John: Here's your host, Rambly John.
    [00:00:50] Lloyed Lobo: I'm excited for you to come on.
    [00:00:52] Lloyed Lobo: You just wrote this amazing best selling book both on Amazon Wall Street Journal.
    [00:00:57] Lloyed Lobo: From grassroots to greatness, you shared 13 rules there about building iconic brands with community led growth.
    [00:01:04] Lloyed Lobo: I'm curious you've been in this community led growth.
    [00:01:07] Lloyed Lobo: Actually, we've chatted a couple of years ago with traction and a bunch of other stuff that you're working on.
    [00:01:14] Lloyed Lobo: How did you get started with community?
    [00:01:16] Lloyed Lobo: Is it like just you're a kid and you just like community?
    [00:01:19] Lloyed Lobo: Or how did you get plugged into start building community?
    [00:01:22] Ramli John: Everyone is jumping on the community bandwagon, which is good.
    [00:01:27] Ramli John: I think everyone should build communities.
    [00:01:29] Ramli John: I'll tell you something.
    [00:01:32] Ramli John: There's four skills I found through my journey that if you adopt, will lead to infinite success.
    [00:01:40] Ramli John: The first one is community.
    [00:01:42] Ramli John: Your companions matter the most.
    [00:01:44] Ramli John: You're the average of the four or five people you surround yourself with, right?
    [00:01:48] Ramli John: Some common learnings here is I only ever worked for startup founders.
    [00:01:54] Ramli John: And so after doing working for three startup founders, it was inevitable that I would become a founder, right?
    [00:02:00] Ramli John: Because I'd hit a ceiling.
    [00:02:02] Ramli John: Your companions matter the most.
    [00:02:05] Ramli John: Everything I have is the community I built.
    [00:02:08] Ramli John: From getting early customers to bootstrapping the company to eventually the folks who bought 50% of boast and made me and my co founder millionaires, they also came to a community event.
    [00:02:19] Ramli John: So now I live in Dubai.
    [00:02:21] Ramli John: More than 50% of the key stakeholders I met here is through the traction community.
    [00:02:26] Ramli John: So for me, community is huge.
    [00:02:27] Ramli John: But I'll tell you why.
    [00:02:28] Ramli John: It's part of my dna.
    [00:02:29] Ramli John: So I was born in Kuwait.
    [00:02:31] Ramli John: My parents are from India.
    [00:02:34] Ramli John: They were piss poor.
    [00:02:35] Ramli John: My mum grew up in the slums of Mumbai with nine other siblings, lived in this house that had four cement block walls and aluminum roof.
    [00:02:46] Ramli John: My dad was a farmer.
    [00:02:47] Ramli John: Uneducated.
    [00:02:49] Ramli John: They couldn't go out west.
    [00:02:50] Ramli John: They needed to make ends meet.
    [00:02:53] Ramli John: So they moved to Kuwait for better prospects.
    [00:02:57] Ramli John: Currency conversion.
    [00:02:58] Ramli John: Where are you from, Ramley?
    [00:02:59] Ramli John: Like background?
    [00:03:00] Lloyed Lobo: Yeah, Philippines.
    [00:03:01] Lloyed Lobo: I'm from Philippines.
    [00:03:02] Ramli John: Lots of Filipinos and Indians in the Middle east, right?
    [00:03:05] Lloyed Lobo: Yeah, there is.
    [00:03:07] Ramli John: So you understand that currency conversion.
    [00:03:10] Ramli John: And so one of the benefits of being in the Middle east was no matter what, your employer has to give you a 30 day vacation and free return ticket for you and your family to back home.
    [00:03:22] Ramli John: That's the rule.
    [00:03:23] Ramli John: And so my parents couldn't afford to take us to Europe or anywhere else.
    [00:03:26] Ramli John: So every summer of mine as a child was spent in the slums of Mumbai.
    [00:03:31] Ramli John: And this is what the life was in the slums of Mumbai.
    [00:03:33] Ramli John: Eating was a communal activity.
    [00:03:36] Ramli John: Watching tv was a communal activity.
    [00:03:38] Ramli John: If you cooked a little extra, you'd share it with your neighbors.
    [00:03:40] Ramli John: Going to the toilet was a communal activity because the house didn't have a toilet.
    [00:03:45] Ramli John: Now you got grandkids and ten adults and grandparents living in the same house.
    [00:03:52] Ramli John: And I kid you not, man.
    [00:03:53] Ramli John: In the summers it would rain a lot, so puddles would turn into ponds and we'd be swimming in that every morning.
    [00:03:59] Ramli John: You had to pump water.
    [00:04:00] Ramli John: That was a communal activity.
    [00:04:01] Ramli John: People are talking, associating, and I kid you not, man.
    [00:04:04] Ramli John: Every summer when we had to go back to Kuwait, I would grab my parents by their feet and say, just leave me back here.
    [00:04:10] Ramli John: I don't want to come to Kuwait.
    [00:04:11] Ramli John: I want to be here.
    [00:04:12] Ramli John: Now fast forward a few years.
    [00:04:15] Ramli John: Kuwait was hit with a gulf war.
    [00:04:17] Ramli John: Security lapsed.
    [00:04:18] Ramli John: There was no Internet, no cell phones.
    [00:04:21] Ramli John: Security completely lapsed.
    [00:04:23] Ramli John: The country was rescued by the people.
    [00:04:26] Ramli John: Every building became a subcommunity that communicated with the next building and the next building.
    [00:04:31] Ramli John: And they coordinated with embassies and governments and the United nations and organized refugee buses and camps to get people from Kuwait to Baghdad, to Jordan, and eventually to their countries.
    [00:04:43] Ramli John: And that time I witnessed one of the greatest marvels.
    [00:04:47] Ramli John: Man, it taught me a bunch of different things.
    [00:04:49] Ramli John: The first thing it taught me was, there's no feat that a group of people motivated by a common sense of purpose can't achieve.
    [00:04:57] Ramli John: They can move mountains.
    [00:04:59] Ramli John: The second thing, genuinely like looking back, it taught me about some of the key principles of leadership.
    [00:05:05] Ramli John: Great leaders don't cascade goals, they cascade purpose.
    [00:05:09] Ramli John: I was this nine year old kid.
    [00:05:10] Ramli John: I threw on a bandana like Rambo.
    [00:05:12] Ramli John: Rambo was huge at the time.
    [00:05:14] Ramli John: And I'm, like, acting like I'm helping.
    [00:05:17] Ramli John: I want to be helpful.
    [00:05:18] Ramli John: And, you know, as a nine year old, you want to be helpful, but you're more disruptive.
    [00:05:21] Ramli John: Nobody made me feel like I was a frustrating kid.
    [00:05:26] Ramli John: They're like, help along.
    [00:05:28] Ramli John: I genuinely felt through that experience that I was Rambo saving Kuwait from Saddam Hussein.
    [00:05:37] Ramli John: And a similar analogy comes to mind years later.
    [00:05:40] Ramli John: I heard or read about this urban legend, that President Kennedy was walking the halls of NASA, and at midnight he sees a janitor sweeping the room.
    [00:05:50] Ramli John: And he asks the janitor, what are you doing at this hour?
    [00:05:53] Ramli John: And the janitor says, sir, I'm putting a man on the moon.
    [00:05:56] Ramli John: That's what community is about, right?
    [00:05:58] Ramli John: Like great leaders, cascade purpose, where the lowest common denominator feels like they're driving the greater purpose.
    [00:06:06] Ramli John: So that was my experience.

    [00:06:07] Building Community at Every Stage of Life

    [00:06:07] Ramli John: Then fast forward a couple more years.
    [00:06:10] Ramli John: I ended up in Canada.
    [00:06:11] Ramli John: We immigrated, finished engineering, worked at one startup after the next startup, after the next startup.
    [00:06:18] Ramli John: And so I was a part of the startup community, startup weekend, HubSpot's inbound marketing community.
    [00:06:23] Ramli John: I learned a lot about startup creation and about marketing because I studied engineering.
    [00:06:28] Ramli John: And after I finished engineering, I wanted to go into learning about building companies.
    [00:06:34] Ramli John: And all the advice I got was go into sales, go into sales, going to sales, because as a founder, you're selling, you're communicating, you need to learn to communicate better and putting yourself in an environment that forces you to communicate all the time, like sales is probably the best learning you can have as a founder.
    [00:06:51] Ramli John: So I was to learn everything about sales.
    [00:06:53] Ramli John: I took a sales job.
    [00:06:54] Ramli John: I learned everything about sales and marketing from HubSpot's inbound marketing community.
    [00:06:58] Ramli John: I learned everything about startups from startup weekend community.
    [00:07:00] Ramli John: And that became my tribe.
    [00:07:02] Ramli John: And then when we started boast, literally we were cold calling and we couldn't get customers.
    [00:07:08] Ramli John: And so we were forced to build a community of practice around our customers aspirations.
    [00:07:16] Ramli John: And it became our community.
    [00:07:19] Ramli John: And over time, we've grown it to 120,000 subscribers.
    [00:07:22] Ramli John: But here's the kicker, man.
    [00:07:23] Ramli John: All my life I was surrounded by community.
    [00:07:25] Ramli John: Think about it.
    [00:07:25] Ramli John: As a child, I talked about slums of Mumbai, to Gulf war refugee, to growing up.
    [00:07:30] Ramli John: I was always gravitating towards community.
    [00:07:33] Ramli John: And your experience.
    [00:07:34] Ramli John: When you get punched in the face, Ramley, your experience goes out of the window.
    [00:07:38] Ramli John: Your reflexes kicks in, right?
    [00:07:40] Ramli John: And so for me, punch in the face moment.
    [00:07:43] Ramli John: Punch in the face moment is when we're cold calling for boast and trying to get customers and we're getting turned down.
    [00:07:51] Ramli John: And so the reflex was build a community because that's what we rebound to our reflexes.
    [00:07:57] Ramli John: And all through that, while Remley, I was poor and had no money, okay?
    [00:08:04] Ramli John: Modest family, lower middle class family growing up.
    [00:08:08] Ramli John: And then my wife was a resident in medical school when we started boast.
    [00:08:12] Ramli John: And so she paid the bills.
    [00:08:14] Ramli John: And then, of course, she started doing well.
    [00:08:16] Ramli John: But nonetheless, across the last 1012 years, she was paying the bills.
    [00:08:20] Ramli John: I didn't really make any significant money then when we sold half of boast one day, I became a multimillionaire, and I ended up depressed and lost, overweight and faceplanted.
    [00:08:35] Ramli John: And through the self discovery that I went through, I realized something which forced me to write the book on this topic.
    [00:08:46] Ramli John: All my life, I had no money, but I was surrounded by great people.
    [00:08:49] Ramli John: I had my community, I had my tribe.
    [00:08:50] Ramli John: When I left the day to day at boast, my identity was built around boast, and boast was a community led company.
    [00:08:55] Ramli John: I was Mr.
    [00:08:55] Ramli John: Traction.
    [00:08:56] Ramli John: I was everywhere at events and everything, and I felt I lost my tribe, and I faceplanted and ramley, I kid you not, man.
    [00:09:02] Ramli John: I went so crazy that I would randomly call people and say, I'm coming to your city.
    [00:09:07] Ramli John: I'm going to fly to you, wherever.
    [00:09:09] Ramli John: In that time that I was depressed, I went from France to Romania to Costa Rica.
    [00:09:13] Ramli John: I just went meeting community people, and then I had to see a shrink and go through this self discovery.
    [00:09:19] Ramli John: And then it was a fitness community that brought me to good health, and that's why I decided to write the book on communities.
    [00:09:27] Ramli John: When I came to good health and sanity, I said, man, it's neither the destination nor the journey.
    [00:09:32] Ramli John: The most iconic brands have one thing in common.
    [00:09:36] Ramli John: They have community at its core.
    [00:09:39] Ramli John: Yes, they have product led companies.
    [00:09:40] Ramli John: Yes, they have many things going, but they have a solid community of raving fans at its core.
    [00:09:48] Ramli John: I went on this journey to research and look and find what are the things that made it tick.
    [00:09:56] Lloyed Lobo: I love how community has been so central in every stage of your life.
    [00:10:00] Lloyed Lobo: You start all the way from the beginning when you were a kid to now you've grown out and grown for people who don't know.
    [00:10:08] Lloyed Lobo: You've grown your company to over $10 million, maybe even more now.
    [00:10:13] Lloyed Lobo: And you became a multimillionaire because of the community you built through.
    [00:10:17] Lloyed Lobo: It, essentially, is what I've heard is so important for your life itself.
    [00:10:24] Lloyed Lobo: Yeah.

    [00:10:24] Creating Community-Led Growth: Insights from Ramli John

    [00:10:24] Lloyed Lobo: I'm curious.
    [00:10:26] Lloyed Lobo: You've written this book.
    [00:10:28] Lloyed Lobo: It seems like you've gone from hell to back, and you're now a best selling author.
    [00:10:34] Lloyed Lobo: Can you share a little bit of insights from this book.
    [00:10:36] Lloyed Lobo: I know you have 13 rules of building community led growth, and I'm curious if there's.
    [00:10:44] Lloyed Lobo: Out of those 13, we probably don't have time to cover all 13 of them, but you must have a few favorites.
    [00:10:49] Lloyed Lobo: There's ones that really stick out for you, or maybe ones that you keep hearing or seeing other communities, community leaders make a mistake on.
    [00:10:59] Lloyed Lobo: Can you talk a little bit about some of the ones that you like, some of the rules of community led growth that really sticks out for you?
    [00:11:07] Ramli John: Definitely.
    [00:11:08] Ramli John: I'm going to tell you a little bit about the research.
    [00:11:10] Ramli John: Maybe a minute or so.
    [00:11:11] Ramli John: Yeah, that'd be cool.
    [00:11:14] Ramli John: And then I'll share the rules because I think this will make it tick.

    [00:11:17] The Four Stages of Building a Community

    [00:11:17] Ramli John: So as I was going on this journey, I found a bunch of interesting things.
    [00:11:22] Ramli John: One is loneliness is the number one killer in America.
    [00:11:24] Ramli John: Number two, there is this concept of blue zones, the places around the world where people live functionally until they're 100 and see, longevity without functionality is useless.
    [00:11:35] Ramli John: But these five places, people live functionally until they're 100, they've got nine traits.
    [00:11:39] Ramli John: And four or five out of the traits have to do with community and social.
    [00:11:42] Ramli John: And then I started research all the companies and brands that endured and became iconic over time.
    [00:11:51] Ramli John: So I must have talked to like 1000 or so people in the community.
    [00:11:55] Ramli John: I looked at maybe 150 or so brands and I found something very interesting.
    [00:12:01] Ramli John: Through all this research and conversation, every obscure idea that eventually became an enduring global phenomena, from Christ to CrossFit, every small idea that became an enduring global phenomena had the exact same four stages.
    [00:12:18] Ramli John: Ignore the product and the technology.
    [00:12:20] Ramli John: And all that aside, they had the same exact four stages.
    [00:12:23] Ramli John: Stage one, people listen to you or buy your product, you have an audience.
    [00:12:29] Ramli John: Stage two, you bring your audience together to interact with one another.
    [00:12:35] Ramli John: You have a community.
    [00:12:37] Ramli John: Now, community is the springboard of what's to come.
    [00:12:40] Ramli John: Because when your community comes together to create impact towards a purpose that's greater than your product or your profit, it becomes a movement.
    [00:12:50] Ramli John: And when that movement has undying faith in its purpose, through sustained rituals, over time it becomes a cult or a religion.
    [00:13:01] Ramli John: So you got audience, community, movement, religion.
    [00:13:06] Ramli John: So through this journey, I've tried to cover companies that's gone from audience to cult.
    [00:13:12] Ramli John: Both stopped at community, but we have a long way to go.
    [00:13:16] Ramli John: So I'll cover the rules that span taking you from audience to community.
    [00:13:23] Ramli John: How about that?
    [00:13:24] Lloyed Lobo: Yeah, let's do it.
    [00:13:25] Lloyed Lobo: I love that.
    [00:13:26] Lloyed Lobo: Let's go there.
    [00:13:27] Ramli John: Awesome.

    [00:13:28] Building a Community-Led Business: The Camper Framework

    [00:13:28] Ramli John: So the first step is Ramley with anything, you need to have the DNA for it, right?
    [00:13:35] Ramli John: If you don't draw joy from something, you won't do it for long.
    [00:13:39] Ramli John: Right?
    [00:13:39] Ramli John: You're a creator.
    [00:13:40] Ramli John: You've been creating for long.
    [00:13:41] Ramli John: You love this process.
    [00:13:43] Ramli John: You love marketing.
    [00:13:44] Ramli John: You love product.
    [00:13:45] Ramli John: If you hated it and you're doing it, you wouldn't sustain, right?
    [00:13:48] Ramli John: Yeah, I'd give up.
    [00:13:49] Lloyed Lobo: Yeah.
    [00:13:49] Ramli John: 100%.
    [00:13:52] Ramli John: The first step is figuring out your core values.
    [00:13:56] Ramli John: As I looked at all these community led companies, I think having the joy of giving a love for your audience and the values of a community led company is essential.
    [00:14:08] Ramli John: You may have any number of values, but the core values I found for a community led company are.
    [00:14:12] Ramli John: One is connection.
    [00:14:14] Ramli John: They like to bring people together and create connection.
    [00:14:17] Ramli John: Two is autonomy.
    [00:14:18] Ramli John: They don't like to control.
    [00:14:20] Ramli John: They like to give people the way to lead things.
    [00:14:23] Ramli John: Because when people have the autonomy, they don't just create, they lead the way for everyone.
    [00:14:29] Ramli John: The third is mastery, meaning helping people not just be stuck, but become better and better at what they do.
    [00:14:36] Ramli John: The fourth is purpose, meaning something that's bigger than your product or profits.
    [00:14:41] Ramli John: And think about it.
    [00:14:41] Ramli John: In 2023, people have the option to do consulting and be solopreneurs and do 100 different things.
    [00:14:47] Ramli John: Why should they come to your nine to five?
    [00:14:49] Ramli John: There should be a purpose that's greater than the product or profit.
    [00:14:52] Ramli John: Fifth is energy.
    [00:14:54] Ramli John: Energy is huge.
    [00:14:55] Ramli John: Look at every moment.
    [00:14:56] Ramli John: Movement that's sustained over time.
    [00:14:58] Ramli John: It's high energy.
    [00:15:00] Ramli John: Imagine going to a conference where you love the talks and the people and everything, and suddenly before lunch or at a certain time, a speaker comes and you're so bored and everyone, it just kills the energy, and you want to leave.
    [00:15:13] Lloyed Lobo: I'm sure you've been there, Lloyd.
    [00:15:15] Ramli John: You've been there.
    [00:15:16] Ramli John: Yeah, I've seen some speakers.
    [00:15:18] Lloyed Lobo: I was like, man, reading off the script.
    [00:15:20] Lloyed Lobo: They have cue cards or something like that where their energy is not there.
    [00:15:26] Ramli John: Energy is key to building a community.
    [00:15:28] Ramli John: And the last one is recognition, man.
    [00:15:30] Ramli John: When you recognize people proactively for even the smallest things, because in a community led business, like, look at notion, for example, right?
    [00:15:37] Ramli John: It's not just their employees.
    [00:15:38] Ramli John: It's the people that are volunteering their time.
    [00:15:41] Ramli John: Or look at GitLab.
    [00:15:42] Ramli John: When you proactively recognize them and make them feel good, they keep showing up.
    [00:15:47] Ramli John: So I call it camper, the camper framework.
    [00:15:49] Ramli John: Connection, autonomy, mastery, purpose, energy recognition.
    [00:15:52] Ramli John: And when you have the camper framework in your company, in your community, and your relationship, you have happy campers.
    [00:15:59] Lloyed Lobo: That's so good, dude.
    [00:16:02] Ramli John: How long did it take you to come up with that?
    [00:16:04] Lloyed Lobo: Like, just the camper idea?
    [00:16:06] Lloyed Lobo: There's so much like.
    [00:16:10] Ramli John: The funny thing is the camper idea is not something I came up with.
    [00:16:14] Ramli John: It just came to me, and it came to me as I was ranting at a management offside.
    [00:16:23] Ramli John: And I just blurted it out.
    [00:16:25] Ramli John: And I just blurted it out, and I don't know how it came to me.
    [00:16:28] Ramli John: And people are like, that's so cheesy.
    [00:16:29] Ramli John: That's so cheesy.
    [00:16:30] Ramli John: So I used it here.

    [00:16:34] Building Communities to Inspire and Energize

    [00:16:34] Ramli John: What I love about it is so visual.
    [00:16:36] Lloyed Lobo: I mean, it might be cheesy, but the idea of taking happy campers and making sure you're building that relationship, bringing your energy to it, it really does make a difference.
    [00:16:46] Lloyed Lobo: People sense that, especially if they're in a room, even more so in virtual, where you have to amp up your energy.
    [00:16:53] Lloyed Lobo: I'm sure you have a podcast, you host webinars.
    [00:16:57] Lloyed Lobo: Your energy just goes on a different level.
    [00:16:59] Lloyed Lobo: I noticed, Lloyd, when you hit record or you go live, just because you know that you need to bring that energy or else people are not going to feel your exactly what you're talking about.
    [00:17:11] Ramli John: And my energy amps up ten x when I'm in person in front of people, like literally I'm bouncing off the walls.
    [00:17:19] Ramli John: Because you have to, man.
    [00:17:21] Ramli John: A big part of that is captivating people.
    [00:17:24] Ramli John: Right?
    [00:17:24] Ramli John: A job of a leader is to build, inspire, and motivate a team to deliver.
    [00:17:28] Ramli John: Deliver is the output of building, inspiring, and motivating people.
    [00:17:31] Ramli John: Right.
    [00:17:31] Ramli John: And so what are a key part of doing that?
    [00:17:34] Ramli John: You have to consistently communicate your vision, your values, the mission.
    [00:17:40] Ramli John: So you energize and inspire people.
    [00:17:43] Ramli John: If you want to just inform people, send a freaking email.
    [00:17:47] Ramli John: But if you are a leader who wants to communicate, then communicate to inspire and energize people.
    [00:17:52] Ramli John: When people walk out of the room, they should pick the damn thing and be like, I'm going and I'm not stopping.
    [00:17:58] Ramli John: Right?
    [00:17:59] Lloyed Lobo: Yeah.
    [00:18:01] Ramli John: So that is key.
    [00:18:01] Ramli John: I think having that camper values is key.
    [00:18:04] Ramli John: The second thing is figure out the kind of community you want to build, man.
    [00:18:08] Ramli John: There's three kinds of communities.
    [00:18:10] Ramli John: Community of practice, which is bringing people together to learn about a specific skill or a craft.
    [00:18:16] Ramli John: Your PLG community that you are part of is a community of practice.
    [00:18:20] Ramli John: The marketing power ups community is a community of practice.
    [00:18:23] Ramli John: Saucer is a community of practice.
    [00:18:25] Ramli John: Startup Grind is a community of practice around skills, how to make people better and better at their craft.
    [00:18:31] Ramli John: The second is a community of product know like the notion community.
    [00:18:34] Ramli John: Atlassian community.
    [00:18:36] Ramli John: GitLab community.
    [00:18:37] Ramli John: Bringing people to come together to learn about a product, to make the product better, to build on top of the product to earn from the product, to evangelize a product.
    [00:18:45] Ramli John: Community of product.
    [00:18:46] Ramli John: Right.
    [00:18:47] Ramli John: And then the last one is a community of play, which is maybe like the Harley Davidson Community Writers Club or the Nike running club.
    [00:18:55] Ramli John: Or you may be a part of a number of communities of play where you're just hanging out and having fun with people coming together to have fun.
    [00:19:05] Ramli John: What communities are a part of that fit under those three buckets, you'd say?
    [00:19:09] Lloyed Lobo: Yeah, I would say play wise, I like playing basketball.
    [00:19:15] Lloyed Lobo: I'm part of this League.
    [00:19:16] Lloyed Lobo: So I think that's community play practice.
    [00:19:20] Lloyed Lobo: I'm part of this creator community online called Creator Science.
    [00:19:26] Lloyed Lobo: And what was the last one?
    [00:19:28] Lloyed Lobo: Again, there's practice.
    [00:19:29] Ramli John: Community of products.
    [00:19:31] Ramli John: You're probably not a part of any product for our community.
    [00:19:34] Ramli John: Maybe Apple.
    [00:19:36] Lloyed Lobo: All my products are Apple.
    [00:19:38] Lloyed Lobo: Like, I have a MacBook, I have an iPhone.
    [00:19:40] Lloyed Lobo: I think that's an interesting thing where your community, you were talking about what you're building stops being about the product and more so being about feeling like people like they belong and some.
    [00:19:54] Ramli John: Exactly.
    [00:19:54] Lloyed Lobo: Brands have gone past just the product itself.
    [00:19:57] Lloyed Lobo: I love that.
    [00:19:58] Ramli John: Yeah.
    [00:19:59] Ramli John: So fall in love with your customer and make them successful beyond your product or service.
    [00:20:03] Ramli John: Right.
    [00:20:03] Ramli John: And that is the key thing.
    [00:20:04] Ramli John: Now here's the kicker.
    [00:20:06] Ramli John: How do you know which type of community to build that is important if you have no customers or you don't have product market fit or you don't have a product that requires people to engage with it regularly, like your notion or your apple.
    [00:20:25] Ramli John: If you build a community of product in those kinds of situations, people are just going to think you're trying to sell to them.
    [00:20:30] Ramli John: Right?
    [00:20:31] Lloyed Lobo: Yeah.
    [00:20:31] Ramli John: Say you have no customers for your product and be like, oh, it's a product community for XYZ product.
    [00:20:36] Ramli John: You're going to think, dude, they're inviting me to a timeshare presentation.
    [00:20:39] Ramli John: No.
    [00:20:41] Ramli John: Yeah, you're right.
    [00:20:42] Lloyed Lobo: You're trying to get me to lock in for many years that I can't get out.
    [00:20:48] Ramli John: Exactly.
    [00:20:48] Ramli John: So in that situation, you build a community of practice so people are coming to learn about the craft.
    [00:20:54] Ramli John: A perfect example of community of practice to come to mind that built multi billion dollar companies.
    [00:20:59] Ramli John: HubSpot inbound community gainsight customer success.
    [00:21:03] Ramli John: Community.
    [00:21:04] Ramli John: The word customer success didn't exist.
    [00:21:06] Ramli John: I watched Nick Mehta literally will that into existence.
    [00:21:10] Ramli John: He said, customer service is broken.
    [00:21:13] Ramli John: It needs to be more proactive.
    [00:21:15] Ramli John: We need to create content around making people better customer success professionals.
    [00:21:20] Ramli John: They started creating events when they had a critical mass.
    [00:21:23] Ramli John: They created a product HubSpot.
    [00:21:25] Ramli John: I'm telling you, 2005, four or five.
    [00:21:27] Ramli John: Everything I learned about sales and marketing as an engineer was from HubSpot's inbound marketing community.
    [00:21:32] Ramli John: All that inbound marketing certification, the courses, the events.
    [00:21:35] Ramli John: I didn't even know they have a product, man.
    [00:21:36] Ramli John: They barely had a product.
    [00:21:38] Ramli John: They had the marketing grader or the SEO greater or the website greater, but not much of a product beyond that.
    [00:21:44] Ramli John: Right?
    [00:21:44] Ramli John: And then what?
    [00:21:45] Ramli John: When they built this critical mass, then they started leveraging the community to give them feedback on what to build.
    [00:21:52] Ramli John: Became early adopters.
    [00:21:53] Ramli John: And then years later when I had money, I've had so much affinity towards HubSpot.
    [00:21:57] Ramli John: That boast uses is the, that is the thing.

    [00:22:02] Building a Community Around Your Product

    [00:22:02] Ramli John: So figure out the kind of community you want to build and it all depends on where you are in your product journey.
    [00:22:11] Ramli John: Then you got to nail down your ideal customer profile.
    [00:22:15] Ramli John: Figure out this underserved niche and identify their pains.
    [00:22:19] Ramli John: Figure out where they eat, breathe, drink, sleep, figure out their goals.
    [00:22:22] Ramli John: But I also say not just figure out their pains and their goals, figure out their aspirations too, because problems and pains and goals can be short lived.
    [00:22:33] Ramli John: Right?
    [00:22:33] Ramli John: Like, okay, I have a goal for a year, next year, but if I want to build a long term company, then I need to latch onto the aspiration.
    [00:22:41] Ramli John: Look at every company that has 100 million in revenue.
    [00:22:43] Ramli John: They don't just have one product, they have multiple products.
    [00:22:45] Ramli John: If you just latch onto the pain, you're solving for the immediate thing at hand.
    [00:22:49] Ramli John: So you got to latch onto the aspiration.
    [00:22:51] Ramli John: So with boast, we knew our ideal customer profiles aspiration was to get traction.
    [00:22:58] Ramli John: So the community is called traction.
    [00:23:00] Ramli John: It's not called the Bose community.
    [00:23:01] Ramli John: If I called it the Bose community, people would think we're trying to sell them something, right?
    [00:23:05] Ramli John: Exactly right.
    [00:23:06] Ramli John: So we started with automating funding for research and development.
    [00:23:11] Ramli John: Then the next product became the government.
    [00:23:15] Ramli John: Funding takes a long time.
    [00:23:16] Ramli John: So we raised 100 million dollar line of credit to lend them money for R and D.
    [00:23:21] Ramli John: And then we are now launching products that give people better analytics on who they should hire, how they should innovate, how they should invest in r and D, because r and D is the lifeblood of tech startups and companies.
    [00:23:35] Ramli John: Without developing products, you have no traction, right?
    [00:23:38] Ramli John: And so that's the whole goal.
    [00:23:39] Ramli John: Why do people need money to fund their business?
    [00:23:42] Ramli John: Why do they want to fund their business?
    [00:23:43] Ramli John: To get traction.
    [00:23:44] Ramli John: And so that's the journey you follow in a way, is like, what is the aspiration?
    [00:23:48] Ramli John: Now, once you have this goals, aspirations, problems, and understand what stands in their way, essentially, I would frame that as you've seen this, and I think you've shared this.
    [00:23:58] Ramli John: That infographic or picture of Mario eating a mushroom and becoming super Mario.
    [00:24:05] Ramli John: Your product is not the mushroom.
    [00:24:06] Ramli John: Your product is Super Mario.
    [00:24:08] Ramli John: Your customers want an outcome.
    [00:24:10] Ramli John: They have an aspiration.
    [00:24:11] Ramli John: Deliver that aspiration.
    [00:24:13] Ramli John: So once you have a good understanding of the customer, now write down three things around your customer.
    [00:24:18] Ramli John: Your customer being the nucleus, who do they follow?
    [00:24:20] Ramli John: Meaning who are the influencers in the space?
    [00:24:23] Ramli John: This gives you a list of people that you can invite to your podcast, that you can write about, that you can invite to your events.
    [00:24:29] Ramli John: Because their social proof, their brand rub will give you social proof, right?
    [00:24:33] Ramli John: So when we were nobody, we started inviting well known speakers who are influencers to our ideal customers, and we got their social proof.
    [00:24:43] Ramli John: Then who do they frequent?
    [00:24:45] Ramli John: Meaning what platforms they're present on, what blogs, magazines they read.
    [00:24:49] Ramli John: So you can distribute your content on there.
    [00:24:51] Ramli John: And the last one is, who do they fund?
    [00:24:54] Ramli John: Meaning what tools or services they pay for.
    [00:24:57] Ramli John: That tools or services provider list will give you a list of people you can partner with or co host stuff with or sponsor.
    [00:25:04] Ramli John: Yeah.

    [00:25:05] Building an Audience and Creating Content

    [00:25:05] Ramli John: So first step is build an audience, right?
    [00:25:07] Ramli John: You can either be a curator, meaning summarize content from experts for your niche, or be the expert for your niche.
    [00:25:13] Ramli John: For example, if your niche is like founders who are making just starting out and you're making like maybe eight figures revenue, so you can talk to them, right?
    [00:25:23] Ramli John: Either you be an expert for your niche or you can be a curator, or you could do a mix now, through your customer development exercise of understanding your ideal customers, their pains, their goals, their aspirations.
    [00:25:34] Ramli John: Make sure you write down like 100 burning questions that your niche, your audience has.
    [00:25:38] Ramli John: So you have a repository of ideas, right?
    [00:25:39] Ramli John: Yeah.
    [00:25:40] Ramli John: And you've written books.
    [00:25:41] Ramli John: So you know this.
    [00:25:41] Ramli John: Like, if you had to write the ultimate guide to XYZ, what would be the chapters, subchapters and topics it would include?
    [00:25:48] Ramli John: And so then, now the simple thing is to build an audience.
    [00:25:52] Ramli John: You know where the platforms where your ideal customers frequent, right?
    [00:26:00] Ramli John: If they're on LinkedIn, start creating content on LinkedIn on a cadence regularly.
    [00:26:04] Ramli John: But what I would do is this, create a primary channel where your audience predominantly hangs out, but then also slice that content for different channels.
    [00:26:14] Ramli John: So you can have eyeballs there as well.
    [00:26:17] Ramli John: Little, maybe a long tail.
    [00:26:18] Ramli John: So for example, you turn an interview into a full YouTube, then turn into shorts, TikTok reels.
    [00:26:24] Ramli John: Then you turn the short text into Twitter, and you turn the long text into LinkedIn and you're providing value and you're doing with a cadence I kid you not, man.
    [00:26:33] Ramli John: Keep doing this for six months and you'll see what happens.
    [00:26:36] Ramli John: Now, here's what people don't do.
    [00:26:38] Ramli John: They take all this content, they dump it on the channels, and they hope that the channels will drive them traffic.
    [00:26:43] Ramli John: It never works like that.
    [00:26:44] Ramli John: You have to see it in the beginning, right?
    [00:26:47] Ramli John: So go into your contact list and see who are all my email contacts that fit that ICP, who are all my WhatsApp contacts, my LinkedIn contacts.
    [00:26:55] Ramli John: And I know people hate doing this and saying this word that I don't want to spam people, but scrape it all and send them like a personalized email, or that's your initial newsletter, and say, hey, you know what?
    [00:27:08] Ramli John: I've created this content for you and it's going to provide you XYZ value if you like it, if you found value in it, please like it, share it, get them to engage with it.
    [00:27:19] Ramli John: Get your closest, have a one down, closer circle from the initial, I'm going to reach out to a mass bunch of people and get them to engage with it.
    [00:27:26] Ramli John: So you'll start building an audience.
    [00:27:28] Ramli John: Now, once you've built an audience, don't stop there.
    [00:27:32] Ramli John: And I'll tell you, we were fortunate to start the traction community at a time where LinkedIn wasn't prevalent for content distribution.
    [00:27:40] Ramli John: The impetus for traction happened in 2012, even before we called it traction.
    [00:27:44] Ramli John: But in 2012, what was happening was LinkedIn wasn't a predominant channel for content distribution.
    [00:27:50] Ramli John: Podcasting for business wasn't prevalent.
    [00:27:53] Ramli John: So there were two things that were happening.
    [00:27:55] Ramli John: There were all these big famous bloggers like Neil Patel and Jason Lemkin and Jason fried from basecamp and all these guys, Brian Balfour.
    [00:28:04] Ramli John: And then a lot of events were happening.
    [00:28:07] Ramli John: And when we started the company, here's how we landed on our ICP.
    [00:28:10] Ramli John: This is a funny thing.
    [00:28:12] Ramli John: Initially, our reflex was call our ICP.
    [00:28:16] Ramli John: We didn't even know how to pick the ICP.
    [00:28:18] Ramli John: So we said, we'll call manufacturing, construction, oil and gas.
    [00:28:21] Ramli John: And when we started calling, cold calling these people to buy our stuff, which is, oh, give us your product development data and we'll give you money from the government and no equity, no interest, they're like, this sounds like a scam, right?
    [00:28:32] Ramli John: Manufacturing, oil and gas, construction.
    [00:28:34] Ramli John: And the people who didn't think it's a scam, they're like, oh, we're working with a big accounting firm.
    [00:28:38] Ramli John: So dejected, when you're punched in the face, I say, your reflexes kick in.
    [00:28:43] Ramli John: My reflex was community.
    [00:28:44] Ramli John: So I said, forget this cold calling.
    [00:28:45] Ramli John: Let's just go to the events of oil and gas, construction, manufacturing, and I kid you not.
    [00:28:49] Ramli John: When we went there, we looked like two guys wearing a suit jacket on top of a hoodie and they looked like the cigars club.
    [00:28:54] Ramli John: We just couldn't resonate.
    [00:28:56] Ramli John: We couldn't resonate.
    [00:28:57] Ramli John: It felt like, oh man, we're done here.
    [00:29:00] Ramli John: So dejected now, further dejected.
    [00:29:02] Ramli John: We start researching any startup community events happening.
    [00:29:05] Ramli John: And this was Calgary, Alberta, Canada at the time.
    [00:29:07] Ramli John: And when we went to the first startup event, we felt like we found our tribe.
    [00:29:10] Ramli John: Immediate conversations.
    [00:29:12] Ramli John: We were starting out, they were starting out.
    [00:29:14] Ramli John: We started hanging out with them.
    [00:29:16] Ramli John: One conversation led to the next.
    [00:29:18] Ramli John: We started partying with them on the weekends, we started having dinners, lunches with them, we started participating hackathons with them, we started even hosting events with them.
    [00:29:28] Ramli John: And then I realized, actually when you're in it, it's like throwing spaghetti on the wall.
    [00:29:31] Ramli John: But when you've made money, you realize, what's the framework?

    [00:29:35] Finding Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

    [00:29:35] Ramli John: Now I talked about finding your ICP.
    [00:29:38] Ramli John: Say you don't know how to find an ICP.
    [00:29:40] Ramli John: Here are four steps to figure out the ICP.
    [00:29:42] Ramli John: Number one, do I love this audience?
    [00:29:44] Ramli John: We talked about this.
    [00:29:46] Ramli John: Building anything is a marathon.
    [00:29:48] Ramli John: And if you hate your audience, you won't sustain.
    [00:29:50] Ramli John: Number two, is it a small but growing niche?
    [00:29:53] Ramli John: The startup niche was small in 2012, but we knew the number of funding that was going from investors and whatnot.
    [00:29:59] Ramli John: If you want to follow anything, just follow the innovation if you want to follow growth in an industry.
    [00:30:03] Ramli John: And so we knew that it would explode.
    [00:30:05] Ramli John: So number two was, is it a small but growing niche?
    [00:30:09] Ramli John: I like small niches because when you niche down, you find white spaces.
    [00:30:12] Ramli John: When you niche up, it's just like you're trying to be everything to everyone.
    [00:30:16] Ramli John: The third thing is, is there a propensity to pay?
    [00:30:20] Ramli John: If they don't pay you, you have no freaking business.
    [00:30:22] Ramli John: And number four is their ease of access.
    [00:30:25] Ramli John: Imagine you have love for this audience and it's massive and they have the propensity to pay, but you can't get a hold of anyone.
    [00:30:33] Ramli John: Then that's the difference between being a businessman and an artist.
    [00:30:37] Ramli John: Like a starving artist, right?
    [00:30:39] Ramli John: So those are the things to pick your ICP.
    [00:30:42] Ramli John: But then what happened with boast was we found two white spaces.
    [00:30:46] Ramli John: White space one.
    [00:30:47] Ramli John: Number one was in Calgary at the time.
    [00:30:48] Ramli John: Nobody was covering startups.
    [00:30:50] Ramli John: And number two, all the events that were happening in person was high level CEO platitudes, like these inspirational talks from ceos of companies that are like 5000 million in revenue.
    [00:31:01] Ramli John: If I quit my job to do a company rambly.
    [00:31:04] Ramli John: I don't need inspiration, I need tactics.
    [00:31:06] Ramli John: No, like how do I get my first customers and how do I launch my product and how do I do the onboarding flow?
    [00:31:11] Ramli John: I don't need like Elon Musk inspiration.
    [00:31:13] Ramli John: How much will I listen to?
    [00:31:16] Ramli John: And no tactical business podcasts.
    [00:31:19] Ramli John: Only blogs were happening.
    [00:31:20] Ramli John: And we said if we write a blog on our website, we'll be crushed.
    [00:31:23] Ramli John: It'll take years to get the SEO.
    [00:31:25] Ramli John: So we said we'll do one or two things.
    [00:31:28] Ramli John: We need to have an online audience and we need to bring this audience together in person to build our credibility because we're asking for R D data.
    [00:31:34] Ramli John: It was just like we lucked into this in a way, in the sense it was necessity being the mother of all inventions.
    [00:31:39] Ramli John: So I reached out to the Postmedia, which was running Calgary Herald, and asked them to give me a blog to cover startups.
    [00:31:45] Ramli John: And they said no.
    [00:31:46] Ramli John: So I reached out to tech vibes, which is the regional blog at the time, and I said, hey, give me a post.
    [00:31:52] Ramli John: I'll cover startups in Calgary.
    [00:31:53] Ramli John: They want content.
    [00:31:54] Ramli John: If you reach out to tech vibes and beta kit, they'll give you.
    [00:31:56] Ramli John: So they gave me a blog post.
    [00:31:58] Ramli John: I covered local startups.
    [00:32:00] Ramli John: Now again, I leveraged this strategy.
    [00:32:01] Ramli John: I didn't just leave it on the blog, I reached out to my whole contact list and asked them to share and retweet.
    [00:32:06] Ramli John: They retweeted the hell out of it.
    [00:32:08] Ramli John: And I went back to the newspaper because I wanted to be in the newspaper.
    [00:32:12] Ramli John: And I said, see how much traffic this blog post that I did got?
    [00:32:15] Ramli John: You're losing the young demographic.
    [00:32:18] Ramli John: If you cover startups, the newspaper won't be a dying medium in this region, right?
    [00:32:23] Ramli John: And he's like, fine, you know what?
    [00:32:25] Ramli John: This blog post has got a lot of traffic.
    [00:32:27] Ramli John: I will give you a blog post.
    [00:32:29] Ramli John: A blog post.
    [00:32:30] Ramli John: Not a column, a blog post.
    [00:32:32] Ramli John: Now another key learning is if you're an entrepreneur, unless you're doing something illegal, never ask for permission, beg for forgiveness.
    [00:32:41] Lloyed Lobo: I like it.
    [00:32:42] Lloyed Lobo: Yeah.
    [00:32:43] Ramli John: So I called that blog post.
    [00:32:45] Ramli John: Now it was a blog post.
    [00:32:46] Ramli John: Hey, he didn't give me a recurring column.
    [00:32:47] Ramli John: I called that blog post startup of the week.
    [00:32:51] Ramli John: And that implied now it's on the newspaper blog that the newspaper has started this weekly column to commemorate and award startups.
    [00:32:59] Ramli John: And Lloyd came into this community like a messiah.
    [00:33:02] Ramli John: And I covered a startup that had got 3 million in funding and wasn't getting any coverage and they blew it up.
    [00:33:09] Ramli John: And I reached out to the whole contact list.
    [00:33:10] Ramli John: Everyone blew it up.
    [00:33:12] Ramli John: Startup of the week in the Post media Calgary Herald.
    [00:33:15] Ramli John: Now I have missed calls from the editor and I'm freaking out.
    [00:33:19] Ramli John: I mustered some courage and I call him and he's like, lloyd, that was great.
    [00:33:22] Ramli John: It got a lot of traffic.
    [00:33:24] Ramli John: If you commit to writing it every week, I'll give you a print column.
    [00:33:27] Ramli John: Boom.
    [00:33:29] Ramli John: So now two obscure guys.
    [00:33:31] Ramli John: All of a sudden, our newspaper level credibility.
    [00:33:34] Ramli John: I get a backlink every week to my new website from the highest domain authority website in Canada.
    [00:33:41] Ramli John: Postmedia, which is either it's a news website or the government website, have the highest domain authority, right?
    [00:33:45] Ramli John: Yeah.
    [00:33:47] Ramli John: I have this interesting dynamic happening every week where people still believe in the print medium, right?
    [00:33:53] Ramli John: It seems legit.
    [00:33:54] Ramli John: So entrepreneurs were going at six, seven in the morning, collecting papers, newspaper clippings, taking photos and sharing it all over social.
    [00:34:00] Ramli John: And the fourth thing that happened, which is the key thing, it helped me collect email addresses.
    [00:34:04] Ramli John: I put a form there saying, if you want to apply, fill out this form.
    [00:34:08] Ramli John: So my database started building.
    [00:34:10] Ramli John: I didn't stop there.
    [00:34:10] Ramli John: We did that startup of the week column every week for almost three years.
    [00:34:14] Ramli John: And when I stopped writing, it got busy with boast.
    [00:34:17] Ramli John: That column also stopped.
    [00:34:18] Ramli John: But every week we did one very interesting thing.
    [00:34:21] Ramli John: We knew that all the events were high level CEO platitudes.
    [00:34:23] Ramli John: We started a weekly meetup.
    [00:34:25] Ramli John: We reached out to everyone who applied and people we knew and said, hey, we're hosting a meetup and Ramley is going to talk about how to design the best onboarding flow to have highly engaged users.
    [00:34:34] Ramli John: Talks like that.

    [00:34:35] Building a Community from Grassroots to Greatness with Ramli John

    [00:34:35] Ramli John: Very tactical.
    [00:34:36] Ramli John: We have only ten spots and free pizza.
    [00:34:38] Ramli John: We had free space at the co working space, right?
    [00:34:40] Ramli John: Ten people would show up.
    [00:34:42] Ramli John: So basically what I did was an influencer for that audience that was immediately relevant to talk about a tactical topic.
    [00:34:48] Ramli John: And fomo.
    [00:34:49] Ramli John: Ten spots.
    [00:34:50] Ramli John: We never stopped, man.
    [00:34:51] Ramli John: We kept doing it and doing it and doing it.
    [00:34:52] Ramli John: Free co working space, venue, right?
    [00:34:56] Ramli John: One day, Ramley, I kid you not, 200 people came to the coworking space for an event.
    [00:35:00] Ramli John: That's pretty cool.
    [00:35:02] Ramli John: And the guys who are running the coworking space lost it.
    [00:35:05] Ramli John: They're like, you hijacked the aisles, you put some projector in the middle of the aisles, what the hell is this, right?
    [00:35:11] Ramli John: That you can't do this?
    [00:35:12] Ramli John: And at that point, the event wasn't even named anything.
    [00:35:15] Ramli John: It was just pizza nights.
    [00:35:17] Ramli John: And that transformed into eventually becoming the traction conference.
    [00:35:21] Ramli John: So the point I'm trying to make here is have an online medium where you consistently create for your ICP, where your audience is most active.
    [00:35:32] Ramli John: And then you can slice that content into multiple formats and put it on other channels just to get the long tail of the eyeballs.
    [00:35:38] Ramli John: But then make sure you find a way to collect that audience's email addresses.
    [00:35:42] Ramli John: Otherwise you will not own it.
    [00:35:44] Ramli John: Like, think about it.
    [00:35:44] Ramli John: You think you own your audience on LinkedIn, you don't.
    [00:35:46] Ramli John: You don't have their email address.
    [00:35:47] Ramli John: You think you own it on podcasts, on TikTok, you don't.
    [00:35:50] Ramli John: If they change the algorithm, you're done.
    [00:35:52] Ramli John: So make sure you collect the email address.
    [00:35:54] Ramli John: And it doesn't have to be like a saster or a web summit or attraction style production.
    [00:35:59] Ramli John: Because instead of doing one big conference a year for most people, building community, doing a weekly or bi weekly meetup run in a very sort of grassroots style with pizza and good conversations is not only easier, it's also better.
    [00:36:16] Ramli John: It follows this framework of hooked, right?
    [00:36:18] Ramli John: Think about it.
    [00:36:19] Ramli John: You know the hooked framework by Niriel?
    [00:36:21] Ramli John: Have you heard of it?
    [00:36:22] Ramli John: 100% right.
    [00:36:23] Ramli John: And that's also a way to make your community sticky and many things sticky, right?
    [00:36:27] Ramli John: It basically turns your core action into a ritual.
    [00:36:32] Ramli John: How?
    [00:36:33] Ramli John: There's an external trigger, right?
    [00:36:35] Ramli John: Everyone in the beginning needs an external trigger.
    [00:36:37] Ramli John: Like you need to be beaten on the head to do something for the first time, and you get that trigger and you take an action.
    [00:36:44] Ramli John: Now, when you take that action, if the dopamine hit is variable, it's different.
    [00:36:49] Ramli John: Then it keeps you coming back for more, and you get this new dopamine hit and you get invested.
    [00:36:54] Ramli John: Now, what happens when you promote one big virtual summit or one big annual conference?
    [00:36:58] Ramli John: You're sharing the same message.
    [00:36:59] Ramli John: Come to this, come to this.
    [00:37:00] Ramli John: Come to this, come to this.
    [00:37:01] Ramli John: But if I say this week Ramley is going to talk about onboarding flow and next week Lloyd's going to talk about how he bootstrapped his company to 10 million.
    [00:37:08] Ramli John: And every week I'm sending you a different message.
    [00:37:10] Ramli John: It's a different dopamine hit.
    [00:37:11] Ramli John: So you don't know what to expect.
    [00:37:13] Ramli John: And so then you start getting more and more hooked.
    [00:37:16] Ramli John: And so that's what happened.
    [00:37:18] Ramli John: Now, a lot of people say, oh, do you need to do in person events?
    [00:37:23] Ramli John: Let's not look at the anomalies, but look at everything from like christ to crossfit and everything in between, right?
    [00:37:28] Ramli John: Some of the biggest iconic brands and sustainable community led businesses.
    [00:37:32] Ramli John: They built on in person connection.
    [00:37:35] Ramli John: And the reason for that is right now, we're sound and sight.
    [00:37:39] Ramli John: If we were in person, there's more senses, taste, touch, smell.
    [00:37:43] Ramli John: Anytime you incorporate more than two senses, you build stronger connections.
    [00:37:47] Ramli John: It's like we were hanging out in person.
    [00:37:49] Ramli John: We'd build stronger connections.
    [00:37:50] Ramli John: We'd get to know each other's families.
    [00:37:52] Ramli John: Imagine we got this far on the phone a couple of times, right, on video chat.
    [00:37:56] Ramli John: But if we were in person, we'd hang out.
    [00:37:58] Ramli John: Then we'd have dinner, and we build a stronger bond.
    [00:38:01] Ramli John: And when you do that sustainably over time, you build a strong community.
    [00:38:05] Ramli John: And then when you layer on a purpose that's greater than the profit of the community, like, let's create some impact.
    [00:38:14] Ramli John: Boom.
    [00:38:15] Ramli John: That becomes a movement.
    [00:38:17] Lloyed Lobo: It's so good.
    [00:38:18] Lloyed Lobo: You really went on a master class about building a community and the impact it is.
    [00:38:22] Lloyed Lobo: Thank you for sharing this story.
    [00:38:25] Lloyed Lobo: I really do appreciate that everything you've talked about is so valuable.
    [00:38:28] Lloyed Lobo: I can't wait for people to hear this before we shift gears.
    [00:38:33] Lloyed Lobo: I'm going to encourage people to check out your book once again.
    [00:38:35] Lloyed Lobo: It's available on Amazon everywhere else, from grassroots to greatness.

    [00:38:40] Career Power Ups: Community, Communication, Creation, and Consistency

    [00:38:40] Lloyed Lobo: I want to shift gears one time and talk about career power ups.
    [00:38:44] Ramli John: And I know it's probably going to.
    [00:38:46] Lloyed Lobo: Be around community, but I'm curious.
    [00:38:47] Lloyed Lobo: You've been in marketing and sales now for a long time.
    [00:38:51] Lloyed Lobo: Having bootstrap boast to 10 million in revenue, what's a power up that's helped you in your career?
    [00:38:59] Lloyed Lobo: I guess other than community, if you.
    [00:39:01] Ramli John: Can pick one, there's four power ups.
    [00:39:04] Ramli John: And if you have these four power ups, you'll have everything.
    [00:39:07] Ramli John: Trust me on this.
    [00:39:08] Ramli John: And boast is now over 20 million.
    [00:39:11] Ramli John: It's done.
    [00:39:12] Lloyed Lobo: Amazing.
    [00:39:12] Ramli John: Well, congrats, but not bootstrap.
    [00:39:15] Ramli John: Of course, we raise money and whatnot, but these four things.
    [00:39:21] Ramli John: Number one, community.
    [00:39:22] Ramli John: Right?
    [00:39:22] Ramli John: I said that your companions matter the most, and everything I have is because of this community.
    [00:39:27] Ramli John: Number two is communication.
    [00:39:29] Ramli John: From convincing your spouse to let you do a company despite repeated failures, to evangelizing customers to believe in you when you have no product, to aligning employees around an obscure vision when it's not fully formed, to eventually convincing investors.
    [00:39:44] Ramli John: Media is all communication.
    [00:39:46] Ramli John: If you can't communicate, Ramley, you don't have an audience.
    [00:39:48] Ramli John: You have an empty room.
    [00:39:50] Ramli John: Number three is your ability to create creation.
    [00:39:53] Ramli John: Think about it.
    [00:39:54] Ramli John: And creation doesn't mean just creating products.
    [00:39:56] Ramli John: It also means creating content.
    [00:39:58] Ramli John: It also means creating influence.
    [00:40:00] Ramli John: It also means creating playbooks.
    [00:40:02] Ramli John: Because as a founder, when you're starting out, you're just creating, right?
    [00:40:05] Ramli John: I need to create the playbooks.
    [00:40:06] Ramli John: How do I get customers creating messaging?
    [00:40:09] Ramli John: It's all creation.
    [00:40:10] Ramli John: And number four, Ramley, without this fourth c.
    [00:40:13] Ramli John: You have nothing.
    [00:40:14] Ramli John: You may have the best community, you may have the best communication, and you have the best creation.
    [00:40:20] Ramli John: But if you don't have this fourth thing, you will fail.
    [00:40:23] Ramli John: And from Warren Buffett to Larry Ellison to Elon Musk to Mr.
    [00:40:27] Ramli John: Beast, have this fourth thing in common.
    [00:40:30] Ramli John: It's consistency.
    [00:40:32] Ramli John: Consistency on small actions lead to big outcomes over time.
    [00:40:37] Ramli John: The greatest of all times.
    [00:40:38] Ramli John: They never stop.
    [00:40:40] Ramli John: They don't do 100 things.
    [00:40:41] Ramli John: They do one or two things consistently.
    [00:40:42] Ramli John: Well, repeatedly over time.
    [00:40:44] Ramli John: Look at Mr.
    [00:40:44] Ramli John: Beast's first few videos.
    [00:40:46] Ramli John: They sucked.
    [00:40:46] Ramli John: Look at NasDaily's first few videos.
    [00:40:48] Ramli John: Hey, I was part of HubSpot's inbound marketing certification.
    [00:40:53] Ramli John: Gary Vee in 2004 or five, was running this wine tv and he had a 60 minutes master class on video creation.
    [00:41:01] Ramli John: You know how he was, this chubby guy with not the best communication, but he was so bullish about this, he never stopped.
    [00:41:08] Ramli John: He was Gary Vaynerchuk.
    [00:41:09] Ramli John: And I'm like, who is this guy today?
    [00:41:11] Ramli John: He's Gary Vee.
    [00:41:12] Ramli John: He's an icon, right?
    [00:41:13] Ramli John: And so that's the thing.
    [00:41:15] Ramli John: Community, communication, creation, and consistency are my four power ups.
    [00:41:21] Lloyed Lobo: If you enjoyed this episode, you'd love the Marketing Powerups newsletter.
    [00:41:24] Lloyed Lobo: I share the actionable takeaways and break down the frameworks of world class marketers.
    [00:41:29] Lloyed Lobo: You can go to marketingpowerups.com, subscribe, and you'll instantly unlock the three best frameworks that top marketers use, hit their KPIs consistently, and wow their colleagues.
    [00:41:40] Lloyed Lobo: I want to say thank you to you for listening.
    [00:41:42] Lloyed Lobo: And please like and follow marketing power ups on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify if you're feeling extra generous, kindly leave a review on Apple podcasts and Spotify.
    [00:41:52] Lloyed Lobo: And leave a comment on YouTube goes a long way in others finding out.

    [00:41:55] Marketing Power Ups with Lloyed Lobo

    [00:41:55] Ramli John: About marketing power ups.
    [00:41:57] Lloyed Lobo: Thanks to Mary Sullivan for creating the artwork and design.
    [00:41:59] Lloyed Lobo: And thank you to Fisal Hygo for editing the intro video.
    [00:42:02] Lloyed Lobo: And of course, thank you for listening.
    [00:42:05] Lloyed Lobo: It's all for now.
    [00:42:06] Lloyed Lobo: Have a powered update marketing power ups.
    [00:42:12] Ramli John: Until the next episode.


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