Rules for Growing a Community

Rules for Growing a Community


Growing a community, whether for a podcast or on social media platforms, comes with significant challenges. In this insightful episode, Dr. Terri Levine discusses essential rules for cultivating a thriving community. She emphasizes the paramount importance of authenticity in community growth. Rather than resorting to traditional sales pitches and promotions, she advocates for genuine interaction and connection.

The journey of growing a community begins with a strategic approach to finding the right audience. Dr. Terri Levine advises identifying 5-10 social media groups that have your target audience. Next, she highlights the importance of actively and genuinely interacting with members of your community. By focusing on building relationships rather than pushing promotions, you can establish trust and foster a supportive community environment

Dr. Terri Levine also emphasizes the significance of creating and sharing highly engaging content tailored to the interests and needs of the community. Moreover, she underscores the power of engaging content in attracting and retaining community members.

Tune in to uncover more valuable insights on growing your community.

Key Highlights From The Episode: 

[00:55] Today’s focus; Basic rules for growing a community

[01:03] Why authenticity is crucial when growing your community

[02:30] Facebook: Heartreprenuers with terri levine

[02:58] #1 Find 5-10 social media groups which have your target audience

[03:43] #2 Start interacting with members of the community

[04:42] #3 Attract more members to your community by posting highly engaging content

[05:11] Types of content ideas 

[05:20] Facebook:


[07:25] Building relationships in everything you do

[10:11] #4 Retain people as members of your community

[11:41] Clients case studies

[12:50] A recap of the episode

Golden Nuggets:

  • When growing your community, focus on being authentic and avoid sales tactics and promotions. [01:03]
  • When searching for social media groups with your target audience, prioritize those with high engagement. [02:58]
  • Using questions as content ideas significantly enhances engagement. [05:13]
  • The content you post should be relevant to the interests and needs of the people you serve. [06:08] 
  • Treat everything you do as building relationships. [07:25]

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Full Transcript:

Welcome back to Digital Marketing for Coaches & Consultants. I’m Dr. Terry Levine, your host. And this is going to be really important for you if you have a podcast, or ever thought of starting one, or if you aren’t getting enough attention on social media. Not enough followers, not enough listeners, not enough downloads, not enough engagement. Maybe you’re stagnant, just not growing. So, I want to share the basic rules when it comes to growing a community, growing a podcast, growing social media. And the first thing I’m going to say is be authentic, be yourself. You really don’t need to sell. There are too many people in sales mode trying desperately, whether it’s to get us to listen to a podcast, or selling us over and over on social media to join their communities or engage with them. 

And frankly, I think people are sick of marketing messages and they get tired of your non-stop promotion. So, I want you to think about it. Only a small percentage of your followers are actual people who would join your community, or listen to your podcast, and even a smaller percentage are likely even interested in the topic that maybe you talk about in your community, or in social media, or even the topic of your podcast. So, you’re only ever going to convert a fixed percentage of listeners who are interested in your topic and a fixed number of potential group members. 

Now, I have good news for you. What if I told you that there is another way? There is a way that you can flip the script and truly have the odds be in your favor. There’s a way for you not only to get your podcast in front of thousands of people who’ve already prequalified and shown they’re interested in it, as well as to attract social media followers and community group members. It’s actually a very easy way, and then you convert them into highly engaged members of your community. And, by the way, we do this here in our community; Heartrepreneurs with Terri Levine in less than seven days. 

The other thing I want you to know is this podcast, Digital Marketing for Coaches & Consultants, grew on its own organically. We didn’t do ads. And I have many clients whose podcasts and communities I have helped and I have supported the exact same way with the same system. So, let me take you through what we’ve done and what I’ve done for client family members, and you can do. Number one; you want to find five to 10 social media groups. I don’t care if you’re on LinkedIn, Facebook, wherever you are. Groups that have your target audience. And when looking for groups, I always suggest that you look for groups that are highly engaged. That have at least one post a day. 

And you do want to be in more than one group, however, not all groups are created equal. You’ll quickly find that out to see how engaged a group is. Some groups, Heartrepreneurs with Terry Levine, is very, very engaged. So, being in more than one group helps you cover more turf. And, in my experience, finding the right group and hanging out with that group, it’s like hitting a jackpot. The second: Once you have joined these groups, you want to start engaging, commenting, liking, and generally, interacting with members of the community. And that’s not what most people do. This only takes me about 10 minutes a day. When I first started, it took me 20. I have it down to a science of 10 minutes a day now. 

And here is the big lesson for you to breathe in, do not, and I repeat, do not go into these groups and promote. You are building relationships. You’re building connections. At Heartrepreneur, we do business heart-to-heart. You’re connecting with members of your community so don’t force anything down on them. Whether it’s your own podcast, or anything else, you never know, there might be some people in your community that aren’t fans of podcasts and just don’t dig them. So, once you’ve gotten into the habit of consistently engaging in these communities, so let’s say after five to seven days, then you can move onto step three. 

And the goal of step three is to attract more ideal listeners to your podcast and more community members to your community. So, the way that I do this is, Monday through Thursday, I post highly engaging content within each of the groups that I’m a member of and, of course, my own community. I’ve been doing Facebook Lives in my community every Thursday at 2:00 P.M Eastern. Let me give you the types of content ideas that I use, and that my client family members use. First are questions. By the way, we get huge, and I do mean huge engagement questions. 

If you look at my Facebook business page @mentorterrilevine, or at my Instagram account @mentorterri, same. Questions work really well. Second thing that works really well are polarizing polls. A poll where someone’s going to take an opinion of something and someone else will have a different opinion. People love to have those conversations on social media. Third is the tip of the day. Fourth is the thought of the day. Fifth is a fact of the day. Sixth is creating value posts and stories. By the way, stories do really well on IG. They also do really, really well on Twitter, if you happen to use Twitter, X. And then, the last kind of posting are what I call relatable statements. 


So, the content that you post needs to be on the topic related to the people you serve. Again, it could be the same topic you cover in a podcast, or in your community, or that you work with client family members on. So, what you’re trying to do with the stage — I’ll say it again lovingly, do not promote — is to qualify members of your community who show that they’re interested. By the way, I teach this, it’s called reverse marketing. They raise their hand showing you that they’re interested. They ask to join the community, or they go subscribe to your podcast, or they start engaging with pieces of content that you’re posting in groups. You engage with these folks. 

And the only difference is you can reach out to them privately and continue the conversation in the comment section. I don’t do that because I use reverse marketing where we don’t DM people, we let people DM us. However, you can do that as long as — I’m probably going to repeat this many more times — you’re not promoting. Heartrepreneur is doing business heart to heart, so we build up relationships and connections with the members of our community and other communities who can be our community members, our prospective client family members, as well as potential listeners. Treat everything you do as building relationships. Ask how people are. Ask a lot of good questions. Be much more interested than interesting, and simply have amazing conversations. 

It’s so much fun meeting some of the cool people out there. Ask people what they do. And if they ask what you do, you don’t have to go, “I have this community,” or, “I have this podcast.” Don’t push. People will either ask for you to share, I had somebody ask me today, “Hey, I’m really interested in following you on YouTube, do you have a link?” And if they don’t, that’s totally fine. At least they’re aware of you and they perhaps even know that your show exists. So, to me, that’s a win. It takes you one step closer to having them either become a member of your community, or a listener of your podcast. I recommend that you do reach out to group members regularly after the initial point of communication. 

And anyone that’s commented or in conversation with you in groups, I just check in; see how they’re doing. Nurturing a relationship, just the way you would do offline. And if I feel like the time is right, and that the conversation is ready, I may make a polite ask. I may say something like this, I did this last week, “Hey, episode…” I believe it was 101. “Episode 101 of Digital Marketing for Coaches & Consultants, based on what you’ve told me, would be an episode that you can gain a lot of value from. It’s a fairly short episode. May I share it?” It’s very simple. By the way, I’m going to share with you a personalized template message that I created for my client family members. 

And this is it, and they all use that. “By the way, I forgot I actually have an episode talking about X,” whatever that group is talking about. “Speaking to you made me remember the episode. I would like to know if you’d be interested in checking it out. I know it’s a fan favorite, I think you’ll love it.” Then I have them end with this. “If you’re not a fan of podcasts and not interested, no problem. Just say, ‘Hey, it’s not my thing.’ Or if I invited you to the community and you don’t want to come in, totally cool. I prefer the honesty.” So, let me tell you what that does, and that’s why my client family members and I use it. It gives people a slight nudge to either check out your community or your podcast. You’re not just not being slammy, spammy, slimy, aggressive. Slammy is my new word. 

And I always give people a way out because some people aren’t interested. Because you’ve built a relationship with these people, they’re going to be more inclined to join your community or to subscribe to your podcast. Let’s get to number four, this is the final piece of the puzzle. Now you want to retain people as members of your community long term, and are podcast listeners long term. If you do have your own community, simply ask and kind of pitch the group. Let me give you an idea. A guy said to me today, “I’d love for you to join my group. I have 200 people in it, and they’re coaches.” I said, “Hey, thanks so much for the invitation, I really focus on my own community. 

I don’t know if you’re interested, however, my group is for coaches and consultants who want to scale their business.” He said, “Yes. Can I have a link?” Very simple. I said to somebody else recently, “Hey, based upon what you’re posting, I can see you do business heart to heart. I think you’d be an awesome member of my community, let me know and I can send you a like.” If they accept, boom, whether they’re in their community or listening to my podcast. And if they don’t, there’s enough conversation in the community and online that I just continue nurturing them. Some of the people will be inclined to, eventually, say, “Let me check it out.” And some won’t.

So, again, I have this down to a science for myself, at this point. It’s only 10 minutes of focused work a day on social media. And I’m going to tell you, if you do this consistently for the next 90 days, you’re going to see your podcast listeners explode and your community grow. And I mean that. This is the most effective way to grow your community, and podcast, and your social media. And the same thing I taught you applies on all social media platforms. I’m going to tell you about my client, Lauer. I think this is important. Lauer applied the strategy and was able to grow his show. He only had 200 podcast listeners, he had 200 downloads, to 4,000. From 200 to 4,000 in just a little under two months. 

That’s impressive. Then I’ve got Jessica. She took her community, her Facebook community, from 150 members to over 3,000 members. And we did that in less than 90 days. So, if you keep doing what you’re currently doing to grow your show, your community, your followers, then you’re going to get more of what you have or don’t have. More frustration, “It’s going too slow, it’s not working, I don’t have clear direction on strategy.” You can get really burned out by spending hours a day doing all of this, and constantly promoting. It’s no fun. So, there’s a better way, a much easier way. One that is proven to work for social media, podcasting, and community leaders. 

And by implementing this little step I just taught you; take action today, watch your numbers rise. So, let me summarize your actions: Find highly qualified groups; LinkedIn or Facebook. Create hyper-targeted and highly engaging content that qualifies the members fast. Go join my group; Heartrepreneur with Terry Levine, on Facebook. Create a simple workflow that makes it easy to implement consistently over a period of time without you feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. And then add custom messages that are proven to convert total strangers into active members of your community. If you want more help, reach out, I really hope that you’ve subscribed to our show. 

If you haven’t written a review or given us five stars, man, I would absolutely love that. And then, sharing our show. I hope to see you in our community. Thank you very much for tuning in today here at Digital Marketing for Coaches & Consultants. Bye now.

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