Episode 267 // Community vs Audience vs Market

September 14, 2021

Many bosses get confused when it comes to knowing the difference between market, audience, and community. In this episode, Emily of Being Boss sits down with Corey to discuss how you can know your market, sell to your audience, and build a community in order to grow a fulfilling, successful business. Learn how you can nurture all sides of your business at any stage of development.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"Community and audience are not the same things, and this is where I think a lot of people begin to mess up on the customer journey."
- Emily Thompson

Discussed in this Episode

  • What is the difference between market, audience, and community? Why does knowing the difference matter?
  • How you can define your target market in your business
  • Ways to engage your audience at varying stages of the sales funnel
  • Building an audience vs the development of a community (they’re not the same thing)
  • Emily’s story of how she and a local business developed an accidental (and fun) community while buying roller skates
  • How Being Boss made some recent shifts to their community
  • What is community and what is it really about?
  • The difference between leading a community and having a community to turn to for support
  • Offers you can create for your community vs audience vs market


More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


[00:00:00] Emily Thompson: Hello bosses, Emily here with a super timely update. We have a virtual event coming in October 2021 that I really want you to know about. Even though we talk entrepreneur mindset and business practices, many bosses like you feel really connected to us here because we incorporate the woo into what we do too.

[00:00:18] And every October we show up to really embrace our boss, man. On October 6th and 7 20 21, we're going live with our second virtual gathering, an opportunity to set aside time for yourself to explore the connections between our creative businesses and our magical practices for those of woo and woo

[00:00:36] curious amongst you. Joined panels with experts in the spiritual space workshops and more while hanging out and connecting with bosses who are just as gloriously weird as you. Learn more and join now by going to beingboss.club/gathering. This event is exclusive to and totally free for Clubhouse members.

[00:00:56] That's beingboss.club/gathering.

[00:01:01] Welcome to being boss, a podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who wants to take control of their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host, Emily Thompson. And in this episode, I'm joined by Being Boss sound guy and frequent podcast companion Corey, who's helping me dive into a comparison of market, audience and community. Three words that are often used interchangeably to talk about the customers, but are all very different

[00:01:28] words with incredibly different meanings.

[00:01:36] As a boss, you know that starting and scaling your business are two very different things, but we have to dive into both first starting then scaling and you're going to need help all along the way. And since you're obviously a podcast listener, I recommend checking out the Entrepreneurs On Fire Podcast as another resource to help you on your path. From episodes on getting funding, to building businesses based on creative ideas.

[00:02:01] It features amazing conversations, strategies, and tools that help you tap into your entrepreneurial spirit no matter where you are on your journey. Listen, learn and grow with Entrepreneurs On Fire on the HubSpot Podcast Network at hubspot.com/podcastnetwork.

[00:02:23] Welcome Corey!. 

[00:02:24] Corey Winter: I'm a podcast companion.

[00:02:29] Oh, okay. In that case, that makes it a lot better. 

[00:02:32] Emily Thompson: I thought you might like that. 

[00:02:34] Corey Winter: That's my new byline podcast companion. Make a little name tag. Good on my desk. 

[00:02:41] Emily Thompson: I'll get you one. I'll get you one. We'll write it off. It'll be great. Perfect. Welcome back to Being Boss, even though you basically live here. 

[00:02:48] Corey Winter: Yes, i, this is my, my home.

[00:02:52] So companion does not mind the words we're talking about today. Well, maybe now it is, but I'm going to work it back in there later somehow. We're talking about [00:03:00] market, audience and community. And the reason this is coming up is because there seems to be a lot of confusion about the different groups of people that a business may interact with.

[00:03:10] For instance, your business may have 50 billion Tik TOK followers, but that doesn't mean that you have 50 billion paying customers. And the reason that this is important is because the way that you should be interacting with these different groups of potential customers should vary from group to group.

[00:03:26] So today we're talking about the difference between a market, an audience, and a community. And to start us off. Can you tell us a little bit about why it even matters to begin with? 

[00:03:35] Emily Thompson: I mean, I think you just started on it. I think first and foremost, I'm hearing it used interchangeably as if they are all the same thing all the time and they are not.

[00:03:47] And I think if you're just using the word, it's fine, but I think because the words are getting mixed up, the concepts are also getting muddied because there is a very clear difference between your market, your audience and your community with customers even being almost like a whole other fourth subset?

[00:04:06] There's some Venn diagrams around, for sure, with some, like some gray areas between them, but these words are, cannot be used interchangeably. And I want, I want bosses to know the difference so that they can take people through their customer journey correctly. And so that they can serve each individual group in the way that they need to be served and sound like more competent business owners along the way.

[00:04:31] Corey Winter: So let's just dive into what I guess is probably the bigger one in what is a market. 

[00:04:38] Emily Thompson: Sure. It's funny. I like this is probably the most common business term, right. Your market, but it's not one that we talk much about. We don't really talk about market. We usually just talk about, we usually, I guess, use the word or term dream customer, whatever, thinking about market.[00:05:00] 

[00:05:00] And so I guess I'm bringing the usual dream customer term into the real business term. And so market is the entire pool of potential customers. So whenever you're sitting down and creating your dream customer profile or avatar, or, you know, I feel like creative business owners is one of those business terms that we'll just sort of

[00:05:21] paint up to look like however we want it to look, basically. There are so many ways that our realm of business describes this, but your market is your entire pool of potential customers. It's anyone within the age range, the sort of professional capacity. Desire for what it is that you want. Whatever that profile is, this is every person, every human being on the entire planet that fits within that profile.

[00:05:51] Corey Winter: So it's actually gonna be like, like really base level example. If your business is a grocery store, your market is humans. Yes. It's people who eat food. Yeah. Okay. 

[00:06:06] Emily Thompson: Right. Your market is huge. It is anyone who fits into your profile of a dream customer, whether or not they know who you are. If anyone's a shark tank fan you'll know that the sharks get really annoyed

[00:06:23] whenever someone walks up in there and they're like, you know, market share is $50 billion or whatever. And that's basically how much money every human within their market spins on the thing they're trying to sell. Not that they know who you are, not that they are actually buying it. Not that they're interested in, none of those things, it's a made up number that is fluffy AF.

[00:06:43] Right. And so, market is a fluffy word. It's anyone who is interested in what it is that you do. The idea of creating a niche business is to get a tiny market, right? Is to get like a tiny slice of the market [00:07:00] who are incredibly interested into what you do or in what you do. Which is something that our realm of business often talks about is like having a niche business with a very niche market so that your market isn't actually.

[00:07:13] That big, there are pros and cons to that a hundred percent, but basically your market is everybody. Everybody who fits your dream customer profile. If you are a grocery store, it's going to be everyone who buys food. Right. But it's also probably going to be everyone who buys food within a geographic area.

[00:07:36] If you're like a basic grocery store, if you're a niche grocery store, let's say you, you specialize in, you know, organic fruits and vegetables, then your market is going to get a little more narrow. Right? You're going to be everyone who's buying food, any geographic area who cares about organic fruits and vegetables.

[00:07:56] So. Your market is big, whether or not they know who you are. And it includes everyone who is, who fits your dream customer profile. 

[00:08:06] Corey Winter: Okay. So let's use a different example. Let's use Almanac Supply Co. as an example, who is your market over there? 

[00:08:15] Emily Thompson: Who is our market. So this is sort of the fun part of like having an online business.

[00:08:19] Right. We use the grocery store example where there's like a geographic location requirement. You're not going to drive four states over to go to the grocery store, unless you like really love Trader Joe's. And there's not one close to you. That's a thing I've heard of people doing things like that. 

[00:08:36] Corey Winter: We just got one here, so I don't have to do that anymore.

[00:08:39] Emily Thompson: Right. But having an online business, you are not limited to. Almanac is one of those things where we actually have both now. Right. We recently did an episode about our opening of the retail store, which gives that geographic sort of barrier. But because we also pair it with online, that geographic barrier is no longer there.

[00:09:00] So yes, at Almanac, our dream customer is about 25 to 35 female identifying though that is very loose. But if I had to define her, her, because most of our best customers are ladies. Though rocks are genderless and everyone loves crystals, which is my favorite. She has a great job. Career she loves, loves her house, wants to make it special and fantastic so that whenever she is there, she's enjoying it.

[00:09:33] And because we're online as well as local, because we recently did an episode about how we recently opened our first retail store. But because we're online, there is no geographical boundaries. So she can live anywhere in the world, which I think is great. And there's also this idea that she wants to fill our home with beautiful, natural things.

[00:09:54] She wants to connect with nature and do some seasonal living, embracing. Luckily, I think because we are a rock shop who also sells or who also sells candles. I don't have to define too terribly narrow. However I know who our dream customers are. And whenever I'm doing things like curating our social media or creating our email marketing, I'm definitely having that dream customer profile in mind.

[00:10:21] Even though it's left open enough that anyone who enjoys candles and crystals, which is basically everyone, can also connect with what it is that we're doing. 

[00:10:33] Corey Winter: So I'm sure we'll have a follow-up episode to talk in more detail about how to actually define your market and defining your audience and defining your, your dream customer, but initial baby steps.

[00:10:44] How can someone, in any business or maybe a specific business to find just in general, who their market is. 

[00:10:51] Emily Thompson: I love this practice of really just picking the one person, one person that maybe you have worked with before, or was your customer previously, that was totally dreamy. Or someone that you would like to work with, who is totally dreamy.

[00:11:07] How old are they? Give them a name? What is their occupation? What do they love to do? Where are they hanging out to engage with whatever it is that you are offering to this person? And just define this single person. And every time you're creating content or, you know, marketing or whatever it is that you're creating a new offering, your next product, whatever it may be, keep this one person in mind because even though you've gotten really narrow with this single person, an entire market of people are going to identify

[00:11:42] with this person, which I think is fantastic. So that's, my little practice is just pick one person and define her, make her the dreamiest her, make this person, the dreamiest person that you could ever imagine coming into your business and being a customer and let that inform everything that you're doing.

[00:12:02] Corey Winter: Perfect. So, so really the market is just, the top level, like I'm picturing a funnel, like a pyramid, like I'm sat down pyramid. The top of it is your entire market. That's where everybody comes in. 

[00:12:17] Emily Thompson: Can I say, I feel like your market is actually like the clouds above your funnel. I know. 

[00:12:24] Corey Winter: Okay. Sure. So that's the entire pool of customers, whether they know who you are or not.

[00:12:30] How do you actually market to those, to that market?

[00:12:33] Emily Thompson: So, you know that person and you know where they're hanging out. So what magazines are they reading? What social media platforms are they on? What blogs are they're reading? What podcasts are they listening to? What TV shows are they listening to? Where are they consuming and seeing things where they could bump up against what it is that you are doing, right.

[00:12:53] Whenever you know, this person. You know those things and then it's your job to show up in that place. So you just mentioned, you know, your market is you're in that entire pool of potential customers. Your goal with your market is to market to your market, right. To make them aware of you and what you do.

[00:13:17] So you're like kind of gathering the cloud dust from above your funnel. Sucking them into your funnel. I don't think this analogy is carrying over, but

[00:13:37] Right. So anyway, your goal is to find where they are and go to that place, make sure your brand is there so that they see what it is that you're doing. Have a call to action, whether it's visit your website, click this link, go to the store and buy me whatever it may be. It is to appear in those places and make them [00:14:00] aware of what it is that you're doing.

[00:14:02] Corey Winter: Okay. So that's a good segue because you just mentioned, once you find your market, you're sending them to your website, but that's actually where they become your audience. So, who is your audience? How do you define that? 

[00:14:16] Emily Thompson: Your audience are the people who have seen you, who know what you're doing. So you can even think of, you know, let's say you're Beyonce, okay, doing a concert.

[00:14:26] Your audience, this is me. This is Beyonce. This is not the best example. I know everyone is Beyonce. So let's say, okay, let's say then you were an up and coming artist in a small town, right? The room has fit. You're playing at a bar. The room has filled with people and they, those people are your audience. They are aware of you, that you are standing in front of them, singing your songs.

[00:14:51] The people who are milling out about a milling about outside are not your audience. Those that's maybe your market. Those are just other humans in the world. Once you both become aware of you, once they are standing in front of you, or you are standing in front of them, they become your audience. Once there is that level of awareness.

[00:15:11] They become your audience. They are still part of your market, right? This is where, like where the Venn diagram comes in and right, this is it. This is like a little circle is not quite a Venn diagram. I gave a big circle of your market and there's a little circle within your market. That is your audience.

[00:15:27] They're still your market, but they are a subset of your market. They are your audience. So it's, and this is where it can get really Venn diagramming. We're just a little gray area where it, sometimes you will hear your market called your target audience. These are sort of the audience that you want to target was they're targeted.

[00:15:53] They're just your audience. Does that make sense? I know, right? This is where some like business jargon gets a little, a little. 

[00:16:03] Corey Winter: So we have big top level market. We have 

[00:16:07] Emily Thompson: also sometimes known as your target audience.

[00:16:09] Corey Winter: Oh my God. 

[00:16:10] Emily Thompson: Yes. Sometimes it's called your target audience. It doesn't mean they know about you, but they are they are the people in your audience that you are targeting with your marketing. 

[00:16:22] Corey Winter: Guys pay attention. This is, oh my gosh. 

[00:16:24] Emily Thompson: Put out a piece of paper and a pencil. 

[00:16:27] Corey Winter: Yes. So you have big top level market slash target audience. That's who you want to be your audience. Okay. I'm with you. Okay. And then you dropped down a level and that's who your actual audiences.

[00:16:37] Emily Thompson: Yes, the drop, the target can adjust the audience. You've got them. They at least know who you are. Big circle 

[00:16:44] Corey Winter: got smaller. 

[00:16:45] Emily Thompson: Okay. Big circle. Totally got smaller. So you have like, and if we can go back to market target audience, right. Sort of one thing, and then you have your audience, which is no longer target.

[00:16:58] They've been targeted now, they're they know about you. They're the audience. I see this there on the hook. This is your usable audience. These are the people who at least on some level know who you are and what it is that you're doing. I think the most usable sort of subset of your audience. Are the people who are consistently tapped into what you're doing.

[00:17:20] So technically your audience is just like anyone who's sort of aware of you. Like if you are Casper mattress with an ad on the subway in New York, right then your entire audience is anyone who's on that subway looking at your ad. However, the people who leave the subway and follow you on Twitter. Are an even more usable portion of that audience, because it's not just, they're not just seeing you on the subway, almost called the Metro.

[00:17:54] How Euro am I? I'm on the subway in New York, but they're actually seeing you beyond that ad space. So there's like,it's in the very middle of the funnel, actually. That's actually very top of the funnel. 

[00:18:04] Corey Winter: Okay. So let's actually continue that magic where you're done with the grocery store. Let's go, let's go to the mattress store.

[00:18:10] So the mattress stores market slash target audiences, any human that would ever sleep on a bed, their audience are people that are in need of a mattress. Like they're, they're going mattress shopping. Right? 

[00:18:29] Emily Thompson: Or might someday, which is basic. 

[00:18:31] Corey Winter: Oh my gosh. 

[00:18:35] Emily Thompson: Right. You're just going to keep narrowing and. Sorry, if this is confusing everyone, this is probably why everyone's using all of these words, incorrectly.

[00:18:44] But like, what I really want to know is there is market sometimes also known your target ad known as your target audience. Also anyone that falls within the parameters of your dream profile. Once they know who you are. It is your audience. A very usable portion of that audience is going to be people who are consistently following you.

[00:19:02] So they're on your email list. They follow you on social media. They read the magazine that you advertise in every quarter, right? They're consistently seeing you they're plugged in and your goal at this phase, once people know who you are, is to convert your audience into your customers. It's also to keep your customers as a part of your audience, because once people are bought in, if they like stay in and stay interested, you provided such an amazing service that they are like still a part of your audience.

[00:19:33] They haven't left because they were annoyed. Then they become like audience generation engines.

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[00:21:17] Corey Winter: Okay, so good, because you mentioned converting audience into customers. How does community play into this? What is the community? How does. What is the difference between a customer and a community? 

[00:21:29] Emily Thompson: Okay. Customer. Okay. Let's go back to audience and community really quickly, because these are the two that I see interchanged the most, especially, and, you know, creative information product, like our realm of businesses, these who are getting confused a lot, people think that their audience is their community, or they think their community should be treated like their audience.

[00:21:54] And they are not the same thing. And this is where people, I think start messing up with how it is that they are continuing people down, that customer journey. They're getting these two pieces mixed up and there is also that extra layer of customer. This is where things get very Venn diagramy because an audience member can turn into a customer and never become really a member of your community.

[00:22:21] And basically all variations of that amongst those three, but let's talk about community specifically. Your community is a group of people who are interacting probably without you to engage deeper around your brand and what it is that you are offering in general. An audience isn't necessarily interacting with each other.

[00:22:53] Right. They are just watching you, they're listening to you. Sure. They may be like, like in Instagram comments together. Right. But they may not be actually speaking to each other. Everyone is speaking to you. Whenever you have an audience, you are building an audience. It's like one person at the top and then a sea of people underneath that, like are all individual molecules not actually touching each other.

[00:23:18] Corey Winter: So it's like, If your business is a band, like you're a rock band or something, your market is anybody that's listening to music. Your audience is people that may be like here at genre, or know who your band is. Your community is like that little fan site on the internet that is not organized by the band, but they all have a common interest in your band and they want to talk about you.

[00:23:43] Emily Thompson: Absolutely. And other music similar to yours. Right. Like they have, they have found each other in this commonality. And it could be an unofficial fan site. It could also be an official's hand size fan site, which is where, like the sort of like community can split into. It's either unofficial or official, or it's just a sub or separate.

[00:24:09] Right. And so community is this really interesting thing. And a lot of people do get the two confused people will be like all high and mighty on Twitter. Right thinking that they're speaking to their community or you know, that they're building community, but really all they're doing is building an audience.

[00:24:25] They're not actually giving space or haven't actually fleshed out their brand and their message and their products enough for it to be forming offshoot communities. And so there's just, there's some confusion there. And, and like, I'm also very guilty. It's been lots of years of me seeing these things of really understanding that each of them has a place in the customer journey and within business models.

[00:24:52] I mean, every business has a market period. That's why you're in business. There is a group of people in the world that, that needs what it is that you are creating or else you don't have a business, right. Audience is what we should all be building. We want to. Taking our market and pulling them in and making them aware of what it is that we're doing.

[00:25:13] Community is an option. Community is like a whole other beast. And it also though might happen whether you make the option or not, right. Groups of people can get together and talk about what it is that you're doing. And I have some, I have a couple of fun examples of this. But I don't want bosses to get confused as to the difference of building an audience of you being the expert of you creating a thing that, that pulls people in that makes them buyers that makes them want to buy you, makes them interested enough.

[00:25:45] And following along that one day, they will become buyers. That's your audience. That's what we all need to be building. And what you think is building a community because those two things are not the same. So I want to share an example of like unofficial community and then share sort of official community.

[00:26:06] An unofficial community actually is, is a fun one. So I think I've mentioned around here maybe at some point that, my little family and I recently all invested in skates. 

[00:26:19] Corey Winter: And I remember that story vividly. 

[00:26:22] Emily Thompson: It's so much fun. Absolutely love it. And just as much as skating is going to buy skates was the most fun I have had in so long.

[00:26:32] It was like, if I could just go buy skates once a week, it was so much fun. And to make it even more fun, there is a female owned business in Chattanooga that makes amazing skates called Moonlight Rollers. Highly recommend anyone who's interested in a pair of skates. Very cool designs, very cool company.

[00:26:52] Love it all local Chattanooga. So whenever we went to go buy skates, me and David and our friend get in the car, go downtown, go to the shop in there, trying on skates, the woman who is selling a skates was so fun and so cool. And we're talking about like all the places that they go skate and just really trying to dive into the culture here, being skaters, I guess.

[00:27:18] And while we're trying on skates. This guy that we know from this place that we go have dinner came in to buy his skates. And so we saw each other and recognize each other and he's trying on his skates and we're skating around the shop and having the best time. And afterwards we're like, okay, we have skates.

[00:27:37] What are we going to go do now? Let's go skating. So we decide to come back with this random guy. Okay. Well, we mentioned that we're going to go skates. He's like, can I come and work? Of course you can. So he, we put him in the car, we drive to the office and as we're leaving, though, we tell [00:28:00] the woman who was selling us the skates.

[00:28:02] Whenever you get off work, come skating with us. And she's like, okay, maybe we'll see. So we show up. We're in the parking lot at work? No one's here. We like strapping on our skates skating round circles in the parking lot, having the best time, the girl who sells us, the skates shows up. We're all skating in the parking lot.

[00:28:25] Total Moonlight roller community moment that had nothing to do with well, an employee showed up, but she was just there to skate. At that point, she's totally community. She's not working. She didn't put this together. Right. She's just delighting in the fruits of community. 

[00:28:44] Corey Winter: But she's nurturing her community of roller skaters, which is super important when you have a community.

[00:28:51] Cause that's how you build loyal customers. Which is the goal, right? 

[00:28:57] Emily Thompson: Yeah, it totally is. So that's a way of like having something, having your brand be so deep and involved and not in the, not shallow, which is literally the definition of deep. But this idea that there is like a whole ethos that goes into it, that like, it makes people interested in talking more about it, of diving into it, of taking the next steps of doing these things.

[00:29:21] They get together to do it together. Like they see each other like, oh, you're a Moonlight roller skater. Right. And you're like, oh, where do you skate? What nights do you go? I'll see you there. Like you start making these plans. Then you guys we've gotten together a couple of times to skate, like total offshoot community happening.

[00:29:38] Has nothing to do with the brand. It is not being officially organized by any means, but a little community has formed and I don't think I'll ever buy another pair of skates, like at other brands, like also loyalty. Yeah. I told you I want to go skate shopping, and it's all I want to do. 

[00:29:57] Corey Winter: This community happened organically, which is one way to build a community, but you can also build a community purposely.

[00:30:04] Do you wanna talk about that. 

[00:30:06] Emily Thompson: Absolutely. So another, another example of this and I'll use Moonlight rollers again is every month they do skate nights at a couple of different places. So they are actually showing up to organize things that have the local skate community showing up to skate together. So we can expand our sort of unofficial community.

[00:30:26] And so there's also, obviously something that we've done at being boss. We talk about this all the time. We have the Being Boss community, but I will say we started the community. We started our, like our organized, official community because it was happening without us, before we even had it. And here's sort of like, how this evolves, oftentimes unofficial communities will begin forming people connecting with each other.

[00:30:50] Like that is what a community is. A community is not a whole bunch of one-off. Connecting with one person that is audience. A community happens when people start connecting with each other. And so early on people were connecting with other. Or wanted to connect with each other and didn't know how to get started.

[00:31:09] So being boss started the Facebook group back in the day and people started connecting with each other. And even now though, I'll often get photos of small groups of bosses who are building communities, sort of off shoe communities on their own. They may be official members of the official Being Boss community.

[00:31:29] But they're bringing in people who aren't, or maybe they're not at all. And I think that's awesome too. They are, they are facilitating these community moments all on their own. We built not really the framework, but the ethos under which they come together. Moonlight rollers has greeted the ethos under which we get together and skate.

[00:31:53] There's like cool disco. That theme happening there. So there's always like the skate dancing is totally a thing. All of their, most of their skates are named after crystals. So we're talking about rocks, right? Like there is a whole depth of brand Moonlight rollers, and they are not sponsoring this literally although,

[00:32:17] I do hope to get the founder on the podcast one day, I would love to meet her and chat with her. And then same thing at being boss. We have created a whole ethos like this whole, like way of thinking and being, and doing business and living your life and all those things that people want to get connected to talk about.

[00:32:34] And so the being boss community came from. Organic community wanting to become more organized and central, but even with this central official being boss community, there are other offshoots that happen there. I know that there are so many little masterminds. These group meetups,not too terribly long ago, I guess it was like mid year

[00:32:56] 2021. I got a photo from a boss who got together with another boss to do CEO day kit together. Like there are things happening without us facilitating them, but it also resulted in us recognizing that we had an amazing opportunity to create this community for our bosses. So organic and like very purposefully created community, but the goal of having a community is not necessarily to convert them into customers.

[00:33:29] Right. That's the goal of the audience. The goal of the community is to simply nurture them, maybe that results in them being customers. And there is this like great side effect that it keeps them usually as customers, right? I'm and creates brand loyalty. I'm not going to buy anybody else's rollerskates.

[00:33:56] It's just probably never going to happen. It is to nurture them so that they are supporting our business in ways that are significantly greater than just a one-off purchase. And I think that's the piece that, that is the resulting piece that makes me snarly only knows when people start getting audience and community mixed up, because oftentimes what they're doing is just selling to their community and they are missing amazing opportunities that are so much better than a one-off sell. You nurture your community, you sell to your audience.

[00:34:33] Corey Winter: Okay. So with that in mind, you actually mentioned the being boss community, and we've realized that nurturing your community is super important because it is. And we just made some shifts. I almost said so many different, bad things right there. We just made some shifts in how we actually structure our community.

[00:34:53] Did you want to talk about that? 

[00:34:56] Emily Thompson: Yes. Yes. And that wasn't necessarily the purpose of this podcast, but it is timely right here. Right? This is incredibly shameless. Shameful, shamefully, shameless, shamelessly shameful. You're proud of it. Interesting. So we did actually decide to take the being boss community free. Period. Because we wanted more opportunities to nurture and that meant removing the barrier of entry to join the community.

[00:35:30] And just to be very clear, the being boss community is still very much so for people who run businesses. So if you were looking to start a business now are probably not going to be the best place for you, necessarily, unless you're like literally starting it right now. But if you're thinking about it, this is not your place, but if you are in it, if you were doing it, we wanted you to be able to just show up and do it.

[00:35:54] No barrier to entry, no question, come check us out. All of those things. And let us nurture you because we have found so many examples of amazing things that have happened when bosses get together to do things and sort of, here's another piece about community that I really want to point out and why it's so important to understand the difference here is because when you're building an audience, it is about you, right?

[00:36:18] It's about you explain to your audience why it matters who you are, why they should invest in what you're doing, why they should buy the thing. Maybe even why they should tell other people about you a bit, right. Audiences about you, it's getting it's you getting them to like you more or less to buy you and what you're doing.

[00:36:38] Corey Winter: You're you're, you're encouraging people to like you. Yeah.

[00:36:46] Emily Thompson: Isn't that what marketing is basically right. A community. Is not about you, your community is about the members of your community. Free, paid, it doesn't matter. It is not about you. And so, we wanted to give bosses a more open opportunity to get together and connect with each other period. We do still have a membership community like a separate sort of next here.

[00:37:12] And that's the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse has always been our paid community tier. We started the first iteration of a clubhouse probably five years ago at this four or five years ago. So we have opted as a part of our business model to have a paid community, but even that's like a diversion from community, if Moonlight rollers was to try to open like an, a membership community, I'm probably not gonna join it.

[00:37:40] Like I'm not that hardcore in it. I will be there. I will be a customer. I will go to some events I'll even occasionally I'll occasionally. For a one-off event for sure. But if it were a membership community, like if I had to pay a monthly fee to buy their skates and wear them, I don't know if I do it. I don't know if I do it.

[00:38:00] So a paid membership community is not a given part of any business model. And I think like, that's really the thing I want to get here because oftentimes as business trends come and go, I see the swarm of boss businesses adopt trend after trend after trend. And I see boss business drop trend after trend after trend, because they didn't think about the true implications of adopting that trend.

[00:38:33] And so many people are seeing membership communities, paid membership communities as like just the obvious next step, when I'm telling you right now as a trend and not for everyone's business model at being boss, it's almost always been a part of our, but like it is our business model. We built this business to have that model, not necessarily to

[00:38:56] build something else and then add it to the model later. Now, if Moonlight roller and it kind of bad, like use grocery stores, can we get back to grocery? No, that's probably not a really great metric. That one in that fast, 

[00:39:09] Corey Winter: I'm sure they have grocery stores have memberships where you get like discounts. If you're a loyal customer.

[00:39:16] Emily Thompson: Right, but that is membership. That's not membership community. Cause remember community is about giving people access to connect to each other. And I do have like a paid membership to grocery store delivery app. Right? Like I have one, like if you really recurring revenue is not the same as having a membership community.

[00:39:42] All membership communities are recurring revenue, but not all recurring revenue is paid membership communities. Right? So, and again, I want to share all of this because I see people using all of these terms interchangeably, right. And as you can see, like they are all parts of each other, they sort of like either offs, you are, or are a portion within the whole or whatever it may be, but these are not all

[00:40:11] the same thing. And I want everyone to truly recognize that and see where each of these parts fits within their business model and know that if community is something that you want to build, it is not about you. It's about your community members like connecting and learning and engaging with each other.

[00:40:34] And community does not have to be paid. You can nurture a community and get so many things out of it without making them pay for a paid membership community. And if you decide to opt for a paid membership community, know that you're adopting a whole business model. A whole way of being and doing in your business that you better think through very thoroughly as a whole thing.

[00:41:07] And then if I can off shoot one more time. 

[00:41:09] Corey Winter: I mean, you may. 

[00:41:11] Emily Thompson: Right. One more time. I've mentioned several times that community is not about you. Community is about them. It's about them connecting with each other under the ethos or under the brand or under whatever it is that you have created. It is not your community.

[00:41:30] And it's, I was having a conversation recently with a fellow boss. He's totally gonna recognize this. As I talk about it, who built a community because she wanted a community, she wanted to surround herself with these people to get the support. And once it grew to a certain point, And especially once she, it became a part of her business model.

[00:41:58] So it became a paid membership community. She lost the benefit that she initially went into for herself. Because at that point it's not your community. You are leading the community and guys it's always going to be lonely at the top. So if what you want out of a community is something for yourself. Be careful, I think is the best thing I can say.

[00:42:26] And I think in those situations, keeping, especially if it's around the brand that you've created, keep it small, keep it personal and don't monetize it. If you, if what if the benefits that you want out of it are personal, emotional, creative. If it's support that you need, that's not money. So be very mindful as you are building your community as to the benefits that you want out of it, and know that if it's dollar bills, it's likely not going to give you any of those, like touchy, feely things.

[00:43:05] And I say that as someone who like, I love the being boss community, I am often in our platform. I am chatting with bosses. I have very great connections to several bosses in that space. However, because it is a space that I lead, I can't go in there bitching about my business stuff. 

[00:43:22] Corey Winter: That's what our team's slack is for.

[00:43:25] Emily Thompson: Right. That's that is what the team's lack is for. I can't go in there in the same capacity that the community members can because I'm leading it. I'm setting the example. Right. And so it's something that I had to settle in with long ago that I had to create sort of personal small communities that were a little bit separate from that space for me as the leader of that space.

[00:43:51] And I mean, I came to terms with those things a long time ago, and I will say like when we're on and actually no perfect example of this online [00:44:00] communities. One thing let's talk about my events guys. I love being boss vacation. Love them. And I miss them so much, but I will also say rest in peace. No, they're going to be resurrected.

[00:44:14] They are not dead and gone. They will rise again, very excited. But similarly, whenever I'm in an event, which is a very like real world bringing together of a community, we do it to bring the community together. Whenever I am doing those sessions, I'm leading them. I'm there in a very different capacity.

[00:44:35] It is not. I mean, usually the first dinner that we have before any of the events start. Yeah. And usually like the last dinner, when the event is over, those are the parts when I get to revel in my community and the way that I most want to. And so, even something like that, like otherwise I am on and I've been to events where, you know, the leaders of those events decide to be a part of the community and it's unprofessional.

[00:45:05] It's usually very messy. It sets weird expectations. Um, it's a little off. And so even those things. So whenever I'm looking for my boss vacations, my personal boss vacations, it's me and Kathleen running off to the woods, right. Or me getting together with small groups of people otherwise. What does it? I don't shit where I sleep.

[00:45:28] That's I that's a really, really bad one, nothing about this does shitting or sleeping by any means, but there is something to be said about separating what is a part of your business model and you know, how it is that you were positioning yourself within those spaces, and recognizing that sometimes you need community outside of the community that you're with.

[00:45:54] Corey Winter: And we are bringing vacations back. Emily has it on our planning docs. She's been talking about it every single week. It's just, we're waiting for the right time, the right climate and our planet for that to be feasible. But it is coming back people. 

[00:46:09] Emily Thompson: There's so many layers of meaning there, climate of our planet.

[00:46:12] Corey Winter: Yes. 

[00:46:13] Emily Thompson: But indeed one day everyone joined our email list beingboss.club. As soon as we feel good about doing them, we will bring back boss vacations for sure. It could sneak up on me on those, like after event dinners and see me really let loose.

[00:46:31] No, not that just your apple one time use only. 

[00:46:38] Corey Winter: Okay. So before we wrap up, I had a little question that came to my mind that is not on our agenda. So to sum up the goal of your market is to turn them into your audience. The goal of your audience is to turn them into your customers and the goal of your community is to nurture them to support your business.

[00:46:57] But can you use your community to turn them into your customers without pissing them off? 

[00:47:04] Emily Thompson: Absolutely. Absolutely. And this is one of those things where, I mean, I think you should not piss them off, obviously, but like you should be correct. So your community is going to be like very concentrated group of dream customers.

[00:47:21] Right? I mean, they are like, they are your biggest fans. Not only will they buy you, but they're going to hang out too. Because usually your community is people who have bought you. Sometimes they won't be like, actually my kid chose not to get rollerskate. She wanted blades. Right. But whatever, right.

[00:47:45] Whenever we get together to skate, having our little Moonlight roller community nights, she's still there skating. She still loves them. She thinks they're great. And the future, she will probably get a pair of skate. She's a little jealous now. Right? So absolutely she's part of the community. It is. Is this a solid example?

[00:48:01] I feel like it might be. We've definitely had people. There are people in the free being boss community who have not purchased anything from us yet. That's true. Right? So there is a goal to have people become customers. Again, we're still a business. You are all still a business you can and should sell to your community.

[00:48:24] You just gotta be a little different about. And needs to be special and needs to be purposeful. You need to be building the things that you are building, making the things that you were making for your community, because they are your dream customers. And if you are not keeping them in mind, you are turning your back on the people who could make or break your business right.

[00:48:46] More or less. So yes, you can enjoy it. So whenever we do the next thing, boss vacation, guess who I'm going to tell first. The clubhouse number one,for sure. Paid community. They're good. They get first access. First tickets go to them. If they've all buy them or if they buy them all, then it's going to be a clubhouse vacation and that's going to be a ton of fun.

[00:49:06] Any leftover tickets will go to the community and then we'll release them to everyone. Same thing with Moonlight rollers. I'm now going to know when the best new stuff comes out because I got the connections. 

[00:49:18] Corey Winter: Do you have like a platinum membership or something? 

[00:49:20] Emily Thompson: No, I don't. And this is where I need to, we're going to send this one to there'll be like, look, obviously Emily's a fan y'all.

[00:49:26] Can I like to be in it? And the blue one's going to be a skate influencer, gave him awful, like creating life content, so they should not do that. I would not recommend that investment. Anyhow. So yes, you can. Yes, you should. And I think, and around you should, I think too often though, people don't sell to their community for long enough, that that expectation is just gone.

[00:49:52] Like we're never going to get sold to, and then they do sell something to them and they're called sellouts. 

[00:49:59] Corey Winter: Okay. As long as they're not doing it in a sleazy way, it's a good avenue for, for converting customers. 

[00:50:06] Emily Thompson: Yes, I think so. You just, you are not, you don't have them gathered to continue to sell. I mean, you do again, you are a business that is not purpose

[00:50:16] number one. Purpose number one is nurturing them so that they continue telling their friends and sharing and loving what you do. Purpose number two is that they're also going to buy stuff. 

[00:50:31] Corey Winter: I have learned so much this episode, I thought I, it was all like straightforward, like, oh, markets, target audiences, blah, blah, blah, blah.

[00:50:39] No, I just learned so much. So my takeaway is that, whether I'm picturing it as a pyramid or clouds or a Venn diagram, or just a bunch of bubbles, market is big audience is, is small community is what you would like, you're hugging them and they love you. And yeah. And there's customers all throughout that somewhere.

[00:51:03] Emily Thompson: Indeed customers are peppered. I mean, I guess there are no customers are peppered for sure. For sure. More highly concentrated in your community, mostly coming from your audience. I mean, because your audience is also your market, that's like where things get peppery. Um, but yes, for sure. Any final thoughts?

[00:51:23] I think I want to leave everyone with yes. That beautiful illustration you just made or a rundown, I guess, of what we talked about, but also I think when you understand the difference, make sure that you are not getting your audience and whatever you are currently calling your community mixed up. They are not the same thing.

[00:51:47] Your audience is not your community. Your community, is your audience. A small portion of it. I know. I know. I know. Just been know that's like a bubble in a bubble. But also don't make the mistake of monetizing your audience. That's just call selling what you do. Not making a paid membership for people who were just interested in your business in general, you actually have to build a community and should have some commute, some organic community things happening first, before you jump into some sort of paid membership community situation.

[00:52:29] And then also do not make the mistake that your community really has anything to do with you. It is built from your brand, but your community is about the people in your community. You can think of it, like this is not your community. This is their community. And you are here to serve them within the context of their community.

[00:52:55] If it's an official, like organized community situation, otherwise you also just sort of have to let go of organic community that you have. I remember Kathleen and I have had some conversations really early on, almost like freaking out that, that we were losing handle on our brand on how our brand was going to be translated in use and all of those things, whenever people did their own Facebook groups or did their own meetups or whatever it may be.

[00:53:22] And it took us a long time, to get to a place where of understanding acceptance that that is the beauty of community. It grows far beyond you and your control over anything. This is also why you should probably have a trademark. That's a whole other conversation, right? So those are my takeaways.

[00:53:44] Beautiful rundown structure. Know the difference. Use them appropriately build and nurture them appropriately and only dive into paid membership communities if you actually want to make that a part of your business model, that's going to require tons of processes, tons of nurturing, and a lot of you letting go your hold over your ego and all the things, and really just focusing on for people.

[00:54:13] If you can do all that, you got it. Focus on that audience, build it and everyone should be build your audience, tell them all while you're amazing and just get them to buy your stuff. That's the goal. That is the goal. This episode is brought to you by FreshBooks. There's a lot to love about being your own boss, but it's likely that trying to figure out your financials on your own

[00:54:38] isn't one of those things. Luckily there's FreshBooks, but all in one accounting solution that's built for business owners like you. FreshBooks takes all the not so fun part of running a business from building and tracking invoices to organizing expenses and managing online payments and automates and simplifies them and saving you up to 11 hours a week in the process.

[00:54:58] Just think, what would you do with an additional 11 hours a week? Try FreshBooks for free for 30 days, no credit card required. Go to freshbooks.com/beingboss and enter Being Boss on how did you hear about us section. And until next time, do the work, be boss.