Gamification & Experiencification

Core Experience #8: Community

Murray Gray in Gamification & Experiencification

Feb 02, 2024 - 43 min read. Available on all plans.

There's a famous African proverb, "If you want to go far, go together."

"If you want to go far go together."

That's something that's so easy to forget in our busy lives...

But humans are hard-wired for Community because we have a far greater chance of success and survival together than we do apart.

We long to feel connection and belonging, and appreciate opportunities to engage with each other -- not just with a product.

And as we connect with each other, we inevitably learn from each other. We help each grow and expand our thinking.

Community is the rising tide that lifts all boats.

Yet most people feel the opposite, Anti-Experience of Community -- which is Isolation.

Research shows that loneliness is widespread, with 40% of people reporting they don't have meaningful social relationships in their lives. And the consequences of that are huge. Social isolation creates many significant health and wellbeing issues...

It can lead to a higher incidence of all kinds of diseases, increase the risk of mental health issues and decrease the quality of life. It's been reported that loneliness can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day!.

One of the side effects when people feel alone and disconnected, is that things can feel harder than they actually are.

So part of our job as product creators is to create the feeling of Community in our courses, so our students can feel like they're part of a tribe of people who are connected by a shared interest or common goal.

Community is Core Experience 8 and it does some heavy-lifting when it comes to creating Experience Escalation...

And here's something interesting...

You're in a unique position to create Community, because each of your customers has self-selected to be part of your product. The Mission and Future Self you've communicated to them has resonated and attracted them to you. Your Core Solution is something they need.

So in most cases, the group of customers you attract have many things in common and have great potential to become a united and supportive community.

It's like you found all the needles in the haystack and brought them together. And this can be a HUGE part of what people LOVE about your product. The chance to find other people just like them.

The chance to step out of the state of loneliness and find their tribe.

And in many cases, your customers may have more in common with each other than they do with their own family.

As I've shared previously, I met my wife Marisa in the first row of a Brendan Burchard event… so we were definitely two needles in the haystack brought together!

And actually, on the flight TO that event, I said to myself -- "I wonder if I'll meet someone who shares my interests here?" And then he walks in right on that first day and sees me!

So the Community you create in your product, program or course has the potential to become a really connected group of people. And for many, your Community can feel like a lifeline where your customers can get support and understanding they can't find anywhere else.

It can be incredibly challenging and lonely to make a big change in your life, especially if you're surrounded by people who aren't supportive of that change or people who just don't get what you're trying to do and why.

This is known as the "crab mentality" and it goes like this: "If I can't have it, neither can you." The term is based on the phenomenon of how crabs in a bucket behave. If one crab tries to climb out of the bucket, the other crabs will pull it back down -- even if that means that they all die together.

It's a lose-lose perspective on the world.

Unfortunately, many families and communities don't support their members in achieving success beyond the level of success achieved by the community as a whole. Outliers are not tolerated or encouraged. So, whether they realize it or not, they pull each other down… and miss out on a huge opportunity to lift each other up.

That's when Community can work AGAINST Experience Escalation.

But your Experience Product doesn't have to be that way. You can create a positive, uplifting and intentional Community Culture that:

  • celebrates each other's wins, rather than being envious or comparing with others
  • supports community members when they're struggling or doubting themselves, without enabling their struggle
  • allows ALL voices to be heard regardless of age, background or beliefs
  • and encourages a mentality of positivity, action, implementation, done is better than perfect, and iterate your way to awesome

You get to create the culture that will MOST support your customers in getting from Mission to Mission Accomplished…and when you can do that… your Customers' success also guarantees your own success.

So, as you're doubling down on Supercharging your Experience Product, you definitely want to have this Core Experience in the mix. Because it's key to getting your customers engaged and keeping them excited about taking action, getting results and ultimately spreading the word about you and your products.

The best Communities let your customers feel like they have dozens or even hundreds of workout buddies to motivate them into shape… so even if your main buddy flakes, you're covered…

Can you imagine providing that much support to your customers, as they get out of their comfort zone and take on a big life-changing Mission?

You can, right? Because that's what you have here in the Experience Product Masterclass.

And when you can tap into the power of Community, you can provide WAY more support to your customers than you could ever have on your own or even with a team.

Being a part of EPM is a totally different experience than buying a product and sitting alone at your computer to consume it, right?

Many products without this Community experience, send people into the Downward Death Spiral as they feel isolated and unprepared for the monumental task before them.

Because -- remember -- "If you want to go far go together."

Workout buddies work for a reason.

We don't want to let each other down. While we may back-down from the commitments we make to ourselves, many people are more hesitant to back down from the commitments we make to others… so community can be one of the most motivating experiences of them all, especially for the 75% of the population who are externally motivated.

There are four ways to create that Community Culture in your Experience Products:

  • The first and best way to create a Community Culture is by modeling the attitude and behaviors you want, because -- when it comes to community -- what YOU do and how YOU show up as the Community Leader is MORE important than what you say.
  • The second is by acknowledging and encouraging the attitudes and behaviors that will help your students be successful.
  • The third is by creating a shared language within your Community so your customers feel like they're an insider.
  • And the fourth is by weaving shares and conversations throughout your product delivery.

Let's start by looking at how YOU can model the attitude and behaviors you want...

This takes a little bit of self-awareness.

Before you can understand Community, you have to understand yourself…

Let's start by exploring what it means to feel like you belong or to feel like you don't belong.

Let's start with a question:

Have you ever been in relationship with someone who had different needs for alone time and social time than you?

Perhaps one partner likes to see friends several times a week and the other prefers to relax at home alone... and this creates conflict.

Because conflicts arise when two people have different motivations, needs and desires. And the best way to resolve that conflict is to dig deeper and understand what's DRIVING our behavior.

One tool to help you do that is the Enneagram, a personality-typing system used by psychologists and life coaches around the world.

The Enneagram describes nine personality types that influence the way people perceive and respond to human interactions. It's helpful for understanding our own choices and reactions, while demystifying what makes other people tick.

The Enneagram also identifies three key biological drives, or "instincts," that influence our feelings and actions -- what they call self-preservation, sexual, and social.

While everyone has all 3 biological drives, we tend to prioritize one dominant drive over the others.

Enneagram teachers call your specific combination of these 3 drives your "instinctual stack".

Close your eyes and imagine a three-layered cake, where your dominant instinct is on top, your less-developed instinct is in the middle, and your least-developed instinct is on the bottom.

Your particular stack develops in childhood and persists throughout your life, though it can shift during times of dramatic change or when you CHOOSE to develop other instincts.

So let's quickly talk about each of the 3 biological drives so you can identify your instinctual stack, and understand why you may have felt the way you have about community in the past and -- ultimately -- how you can create community in a way that respects other people's needs.

I'm pulling these descriptions from the blog, Experience Life, and you'll find a link to the original post and full descriptions in the Worksheets for this session.

Listen to all 3 descriptions first, so you can identify your instinctual stack...

The self-preservation instinct is focused on enhancing and protecting personal safety, security, and comfort.

If this is your dominant type, you may be focused on physical well-being, financial security and mental health.

Self-preservation types are good at taking care of practical necessities like paying bills, maintaining the home, and investing in the future. This type tends to be self-sufficient, disciplined, and devoted to self-improvement.

Next up we have the sexual instinct, which is focused on creating and maintaining a powerful sense of "sizzle" through intense, intimate interactions and experiences.

This type tends to prioritize intimacy, connection and excitement.

Sexual types have deep passions and they aren't afraid to try new things.

Keep in mind that the term sexual is a bit of a misnomer, because this type is more in search of chemistry than the sexual act, though they do seek an especially powerful connection with their intimate partners.

Finally our third instinct -- the social instinct -- is focused on creating and maintaining relationships to build a sense of personal value, accomplishment and community.

They prioritize interpersonal relationships and group participation.

Social types typically maintain many friendships, feel a strong sense of social responsibility, and work to protect the group. They have a keen understanding of group dynamics and its emotional currents, and they're highly adaptive.

To understand this better, let's look at the gymnast Simone Biles who made the controversial decision to pull out of the 2021 Olympics -- BEFORE coming back to win a bronze on the balance beam.

When she withdrew from the U.S. Women's team, she told the press: "I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being."

She was praised by some for her courage in putting herself first, but she was criticized by many others for abandoning her team and her country. And the U.S. Gymnastics Team DID end up taking home silver instead of their usual gold...

So what's going on here? And why do people have such different opinions about her decision?

Well, in this decision, Simone led with her self-preservation instinct, which is what makes her a world-class gymnast. Because -- remember -- this type is focused on physical well-being, financial security and mental health. Self-preservation types tend to be self-sufficient, disciplined, and devoted to self-improvement -- and you couldn't win Olympic gold without a strong self-preservation instinct.

And that inherently puts the social instinct further down in the stack...

But the pundits and social types who are looking out for the greater good, but haven't personally experienced the discipline required to be a world champion, just don't get it...

And this is one reason people can feel misunderstood -- like they're not seen for who they are and they don't belong.

So -- as a product creator and ultimately Community Leader -- you have to become aware of your own instinctual stack so you can understand and make space for other people's motivations, needs and desires. Otherwise you run the risk of unintentionally excluding people or making them unsafe.

One of our core values here at Live Your Message is: Everyone Counts.

Because we understand that embracing what makes us different also means embracing the different voices and perspectives on our team and in our tribe. Diversity and inclusion aren't just buzzwords, they're ways of being.

As you can see, this value includes all 3 instincts -- it includes the sexual instinct which loves the excitement that comes from diversity, as well as the social instinct of inclusion and the self-preservation instinct of embracing yourself first.

And that's personally been an evolution for me as I understood that -- as a Creator -- I lead with my passion and the sexual instinct... then next in my instinctual stack, is self-preservation, or the discipline I need to achieve my goals.

Because -- as French author Gustave Flaubert famously wrote -- "Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work."

So that means my least developed instinct is the social instinct and I've needed to learn how to be me and how to achieve my goals, while being in relationship and in community.

Once I understood this about myself, I realized that the places I felt like I didn't belong were the places that led with the social over the individual... the harmony of the group over the expression of each of its members. And I was able to heal my wounds by seeing that I wasn't being rejected because of who I was, I simply hadn't found a community that allowed for my full expression.

And because I have a deeper understanding of my own needs, I'm able to more deeply understand the needs of others and create a Community where all types can gather. So now it's YOUR turn to complete Step 2 here in your Worksheet -- to define the 3 layers in your instinctual stack. When you can understand and accept your own needs, you're more likely to be able to understand and accept the needs of others.

Because -- as I mentioned at the start of this training -- when it comes to Community, what you do and how you're being is more important than what you say.

So go to your Worksheet and review the list of three key biological drives, or "instincts," that influence our feelings and actions.

And you can see them listed HERE -- self-preservation, sexual, and social.

And while everyone has ALL 3 biological drives, we tend to prioritize one dominant drive over the others.

So take a few minutes now to think about which of these three instincts or drives you would consider your dominant drive. And when you have a sense of what that might be, put the number ONE next to the relevant drive HERE in the space provided.

And now it's time to fill in the other layers in your instinctual stack. Let's aim now to identify the LEAST developed or prioritized instinct of these 3. What might be the LAST "go to move" you would make? That's going to be at the BOTTOM of your stack and you're going to put a 3 next to that item in the space provided HERE.

And then the remaining instinct is going to be the middle layer in your Instinctual Stack and you want to put the number 2 next to that.

What you have now is a snapshot of your Instinctual Stack -- which is like your own personal three-layered cake -- where your dominant instinct is on top, your less-developed instinct is in the middle, and your least-developed instinct is on the bottom.

By understanding how these drives influence your behavior and your community preferences, you can learn a lot about how to more effectively manage the Community and Culture for YOUR Experience Product.

Culture starts with you. YOU have to model the attitudes and behaviors you want to cultivate in your Community.

From there, you can start acknowledging and encouraging the attitudes and behaviors that will help your customers be successful.

One of the ways that you can do this is through Community awards, contests, prizes, leaderboards and bonus gifts. And I'm going to share what we do in our programs, because Community is a Core Experience that's easiest to learn by example.

And, yes, we did also talk about contests, prizes and leaderboards in Feedback Loops but -- I hope you're starting to see -- how these Core Experiences can stack together to create that Experience Escalation.

In other words, you may be able to create a particular experience in your product that incorporates several Core Experiences in The Experience Formula -- and these tend to be the most powerful experiences of them all!

So let's talk about awards first. In our yearlong Momentum program we give 4 awards at each of our Quarterly Accelerators: Tribe Superhero, Action Superhero, Sales Superhero and the Fail Forward Award!

The Tribe Superhero is awarded by community vote to the person who has contributed the most to the community.

This award is designed to recognize the social instinct in our community and encourage more sharing and support. So we play We Are Family by Sister Sledge, dance around and -- when we're in person -- I place a superhero cape over their shoulders, so they can be recognized as the Tribe Superhero that they are in front of the very tribe they've been a superhero for.

And when we do these Accelerators virtually, we mail this student their cape, so they have it when we do the Awards Ceremony.

Next is the Action Superhero, who is nominated by the coaching team. This award goes to a student in each Level of the program who has taken HUGE action outside their comfort zone.

This award is designed to recognize the students who jump right in and make things happen, and encourage more action-taking in the Community.

We play "S&M" by Rihanna, dance around and I give each of these students a whip... which does raise a few eyebrows...

Funny story -- one of our Action Superheroes -- Meridith Hankenson Alexander had the whip on her kitchen counter when she got picked up for a first date...

Let me just read her story -- in her words -- since it beautifully demonstrates the power of these Awards:

And....last but not least, may I say how honored I am to have received this token of Action Hero-ness from my Momentum family! I am so humbled and beyond energized! As Lincoln said (or something like this), "I am a success not because of who I am but because a friend believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let them down."

However.... success doesn't always come without some twists of excitement. Case in point...

Me... actually met this really phenomenal man who is also a speaker trainer... he invited me on a date... he stopped by yesterday evening to pick me up... and notices the whip on the kitchen counter.... hmmmn.... how to explain that it's not what it looks like... it's simply that I'm an Action Hero....

Things go well... (hopefully he's not TOO ok with whips on my counter)... my daughter and assistant caregiver come home knowing that I am on this date -- and see a whip on the counter...

Dear Marisa Murgatroyd, Ed Dale Paul Keetch... I am beyond excited and enthused to be a bonafide superhero action taker... I just may need an extra coaching session on how to explain the sudden population of whips around my house right now... Wink!

As you can see, the Awards and Prizes add a fun ritual into our Momentum Community -- and I've had Mentos seek to get all 4 Awards... which definitely encourages some very important actions and behaviors.

Because, next up, we have the Sales Superhero, which is self-nominated by students in each Level of the program who have made a huge income leap that quarter... and it's represented by some Money Bling, which is the most coveted of all the Awards...

And this award is designed to recognize the self-preservation instinct of actually prioritizing money and financial gain, which is key to success in business. For this award, we play All I Do Is Win by DJ Khaled, dance around and I hang the Money Bling around each student's neck...

Students have even told me they wear their Money Bling on sales calls, to get them into the sales zone...

And, finally, we have the Fail Forward Award, which is also self-nominated by students who share their mishaps and stories of failure en route to success!

This award is designed to encourage imperfect action, learning from mistakes, becoming the scientist in the experiment lab of your business and, yes, Iterating Your Way to Awesome... and it allows us to normalize mistakes and quote unquote failures as a natural part of the learning process -- something to be proud of rather than ashamed of.

We play "All Star" by Smashmouth, dance around and I place a pair of monkey ears on each person's head...

So I hope you can see that these 4 Awards and their corresponding prizes recognize the behaviors we want to encourage in our community… and encourage more people to be supportive, to take action, to get financial results, and to fail forward.

Now you can also use Contests to recognize and encourage the attitudes and behaviors that you want.

For EPM, the Contests start in the marketing. We do a big launch for EPM once a year and have 50K+ prospects opt-in for our free launch materials in just a few weeks...

So we run a Contest at the end of our 5-Day Profitable Product Idea Challenge... Every participant who has posted their homework on each of the 5 daily FB Group threads and submits their Challenge Takeaways are entered into a drawing to win a spot in EPM, which is a HUGE bonus! We also do daily prizes and drawings to reward action taking and train our tribe to participate fully!

During the launch, we also offer a Fast Action Webinar Bonus -- which is a Golden Ticket to EPM. Since the annual co-hort is a large group, the Golden Ticket gives students priority access to 3 things -- coach assignments, spots on the break week laser coachathons I do, and done-for-you membership site design...

But the Golden Ticket is also a LOT of fun in that we send all our Fast Action Buyers an actual chocolate bar in the mail... and 5 of those chocolate bars contain a Grand Prize Golden Ticket -- just like in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. And the 5 students that get the Grand Prize Golden Ticket get to attend a small group VIP day with me.

The only other place people can get this level of VIP access to me is in the highest levels of my Momentum program, since I stopped doing private coaching years ago.

So -- as you can imagine -- this is a pretty hot prize... and it gives us a lot of opportunities for Community-building and fun!

First of all, my team recorded a little music video of us packing chocolate bars to send out that we post on the Facebook group...

Let me play that for you now so you can see how much fun we have!

Then, once the bars go out, we post another fun little video asking golden ticket holders to post a photo of themselves once the chocolate bars arrive...

This builds the anticipation and we get hundreds of photos from students posting their pictures... which builds the anticipation even more, especially since it takes weeks for all the chocolate bars to arrive around the world! And eventually the Grand Prize winners start to appear and they're THRILLED!

You can just see their expressions here on the screen!

And -- of course -- we're recognizing and rewarding fast action here, because no one can get the chocolate bars if they don't sign-up during one of the 3 live webinars I offer before the cart officially opens in our launch.

The message we're sending is: If YOU KNOW you want to do something, don't wait until the last minute, jump right in and get going... and the world will reward you for it!

And that's a powerful success mindset to build into the EPM Community right from the start...

Then once students get into EPM, we run 3 contests:

The first Contest our EPM students experience is the famous Jump Contest, which comes after the first 4 weeks of the program. The goal is simple: complete all MVP Track Content in Modules 1 & 2 during our Break Week before we head into Module 3 -- or jump from behind by 20 points.

We created this contest to encourage our students to follow the program timeline and keep moving forward even if they feel stuck on a particular step. And the prize? Everyone who wins this Contest gets to choose one of our Live Your Message t-shirts.

We also run a Chatterbox Contest after Module 3 to encourage students to get into Chats & Conversations about their MVP, so they can get the feedback they need to Iterate Their Way to Awesome and start making sales.

We teach that the fastest way to Prove Your Product is to simply talk to people about it -- and we know from experience that so many people resist doing this because it feels comfortable...

Yet the moment they embrace Chatterboxing, everything starts to flow for them. So -- to encourage this simple marketing practice -- everyone who gets into 30 Conversations about their product will get their own "Always Be Chatterboxing" teeth mailed to them...

And our final contest in EPM is the Experience Escalation Contest. Since we want to encourage you to start using The Experience Formula in your products, we start contest threads for each Core Experience where you can submit your ideas for implementing that Core Experience in your product. Then we award one winner for each of the 10 Core Experiences and send you your very own framed copy of The Experience Formula -- to inspire you around Supercharging your product even more!

Now you don't necessarily have to get this fancy with your Contests and do things like videos and physical prizes, which DO cost a lot to manufacture and send. Instead, you can give away digital prizes like Amazon gift cards, bonus trainings or time with you. The message behind the Contest is more important than the prizes, especially when you're just getting started.

The goal is to mobilize the Community around a micro-Mission that will help your customers get to your main Product Mission! As I always like to say, "Presence is more important than perfection." As long as your customers feel your intention, they'll take action! You don't need the perfect contest with the perfect prizes.

Now in addition to special contests that you run 1-3 times during your program, if you're creating a product with a point system, you can also post weekly Leaderboards on your FB Group or Course Community.

In the cohort version of EPM which we run once a year -- where all our students start and finish at the same time -- we post 3 weekly Leaderboards in the FB Group: one each for the MVP Track and the Supercharge Track which simply celebrates our top point earners, and a special Leaderboard for those students who made the biggest leap forward in points -- often coming back from behind.

Leaderboards are incredibly motivating to many people, since they're a great source of social proof, and a reflection of how you compare to other people who are currently also going through the course at the same time.

And -- while not everyone is motivated to have their name in lights like this -- some people definitely are! These Leaderboards also remind the entire Community that there are points to be earned... and allow the community to celebrate themselves and each other.

Many people find that it's sweeter to celebrate their progress in Community, than it is to celebrate alone. That's why it's so powerful to stack Constant Wins, Feedback Loops and Community through something like a Leaaderboard. Of course we also incentivize students to win the Leaderboard Contests through hot prizes, which are super motivating!

Now during the rest of the year, when people join EPM at different times, Leaderboards are a bit trickier, but they're still possible.

We're in the process of building micro-Leaderboards directly into Xperiencify that will allow people to log-onto their Dashboard and see where they are on the Leaderboard in a more relative way -- for example, compared to where people have been historically. Or compared to students in the last 3 months. Or some other variable that allows them to celebrate their progress from a group or Community perspective.

You can also create Community through bonus gifts.

We do this a lot in our Momentum Business-Building Program, since this is a more premium program and we can set aside a bigger budget for things like gifts and awards.

One gift we give to all new students in their Welcome Boxes -- as well as at key moments throughout the year -- is a roll of Mentos...

We call our Momentum Members Mentos, so this simple gift reminds them that they're part of the Momentum Community.

We also send all new Momentum Members their Online Business Success Path, with pins that symbolize their Level in the program and the goals and revenue they've reached... and as they progress to the next Level, they get the next pin -- plus a super fun Level Up ceremony that I'll tell you about in our Mission Accomplished Session!

Finally, we always offer our Mentos a special discount to re-enroll for another year at their fourth Quarterly Accelerator, and we recognize students who choose to continue for another year with a special ceremony.

First of all, I dress up in my astronaut gear -- because our goal for you in Momentum is to leave the gravitational pull of your past limits so you can reach higher and higher altitudes... which means more money and more impact.

So while I dress up as a pilot in the EPM Welcome Video, I dress up as an astronaut in the Momentum welcome video!

And while top EPMers can earn their Wings Pin, top Mentos earn their Rocket Pin when they build their $1M business and qualify for the Ascend Level of the program... and of course, there are pins for the major Goals en route to becoming a global authority with your own million-dollar a year business...

We have a hot air balloon, a bi-plane, a jet plane and a satellite!

Now to go with this space travel theme, we have a very special bonus gift for Mentos the first time they re-enroll...

We buy them a star in the sky... yes, you heard me right!

There's an International Star Name Registry which allows you to buy the rights to name a specific star in the sky...

And that's something we do for students as they enter their second year in the program, to represent that the sky's the limit in how far and how high they can go!

Since that's something we can only do AFTER the Accelerator, I still like to celebrate this moment at the event -- in Community. So I dress up in my astronaut gear and, as I say each person's name, I light a sparkler candle for them...

And at the end of the Ceremony, I have a whole tub of sparkler candles burning bright... and it feels magical!

So I hope you can see how you can use Community awards, contests, prizes, leaderboards and bonus gifts to recognize and encourage the attitudes and behaviors you want!

Now let's talk about our third way to cultivate Culture & Community by creating a shared language so your customers feel like they're an insider.

Political scientist Benedict Anderson wrote a famous book called Imagined Communities in 1983. Originally he wrote the book to analyze nationalism. And he defined a nation as a socially constructed community, imagined by the people who perceive themselves as part of that group. He calls these Imagined Communities because it's unlikely that the members of even the smallest nation will ever know their members and yet they feel united.

Since then this book has been studied by people interested in creating all kinds of Communities...

Anderson discovered that these large Imagined Communities only became possible with the rise of the media and the printing press, which created a shared language and shared imagery. And shared language and images allow for self-identification.

So if you want to tap into Core Experience 8: Community, I highly recommend creating as much shared language and imagery as you possibly can.

You want to name your Bird's Eye View, as well as every step within your Bird's Eye View plus any other frameworks and signature systems you use, and ideally make it visual!

We're constantly showing you the Experience Product Flight Plan graphic, the MVP Graphic, and The Experience Formula & Anti-Experience Formula graphics.

So by now I'm hoping these are seared into your mind's eye...

Of course, these graphics also include specific language -- by now you may be referring to your product as the "Paper Plane Version"... and you're fluidly talking about the 10 Core Experiences of Mission, Future Self, Bird's Eye View, Constant Wins, Peak Emotional Experiences, Normalizing Challenges, Feedback Loops, Unstoppable Momentum and Mission Accomplished -- and these words are just rolling off your tongue...

I also see them popping up on your Facebook shares and that's helped build the community more.

We've also created Shared Language specifically designed to be used in the context of the Community -- specifically the 6 hashtags I talked about in our Session on Normalizing Challenges:


Students are using these Hashtags in our Facebook groups ALL the time...

And as we get closer to the end of the program, we integrate a few more hashtags to represent our program goals...

We teach you to let the Community know when you've hit Mission Accomplished with the #MissionAccomplished. As well as our other goals with #FirstSale, #ProveIdea, #AWholeLotMore. And we associate the idea of earning your wings with each of these goal states, which creates a powerful image that we reinforce further by sending you your wing pin when you reach this goal.

And, of course, getting your wings makes you feel like part of a Community who have rallied around a shared Mission and prevailed.

Then if you continue with us in Momentum -- we replace your Experience Product Flight Plan with your new Online Business Success Path...

And you learn additional language related to the Stages of Business Growth and the Momentum Model, which is a new shared language to help you launch and grow your business as a whole, beyond any one product.

Having this shared vocabulary and set of symbols is so powerful that EPM grad, Danilo Tambone, shared this about his experience of the EPM Community:

"When I entered the EBM FB Group, in my first post I described myself as a shy guy and not a 'FB animal.' I was used to like, love, repost other people's posts, give them advice whenever I had something worth saying. But no 'putting myself on the spot.'

Yet, as we entered the course, I felt the power of the Masterclass community, something that I had missed in my previous online instructor experience (I've been online for two years now, on a popular e-learning platform), and a parallel space started populating my mind.

Sounds ("cha-ching!"), expressions ("Building Momentum!"), roles ("FB Community Magic Maker") became a shared alphabet and language within the community, and the creative source compelled me to give them structure and dignity into a cohesive whole.

That's the way the "Experience Product Master RAP" flowed out of my pen (and keyboard). As it was taking shape, I clearly saw that it was my way to express gratitude to Marisa, her wide Team, and the whole 400+ members' community for the precious melting pot of experiences that was being created and shared all around me.

So I stepped up, got into creative mode, and put together something I had never done before. I found a rhythmic base, modified it, recorded my voice, crafted a slide, put everything together, uploaded on YouTube and then on the FB Group..."

That's right, Danilo was so moved by the Community he experienced in EPM that he recorded a rap song for us... let me play that to you now so you can feel how much devotion you can create with the Core Experience of Community.

It's amazing, isn't it?

Danilo sent this to me after our very first class of EPM wrapped -- way back in 2016 -- and I was blown away by the power of what I had created. Danilo used all the shared language I created in his song...

and -- when we played it back on our Closing Ceremony -- you could see the spark of recognition on everyone's faces...

And giving back to the community by recording this Master Rap, was also transformational for Danilo. He wrote:

"I received dozens of messages of appreciation and love. I had painted our common universe, and took the courage to show up against my shyness! I had taken a step forward towards gathering a community with no expectation, just around our "tribal" world.

I had made a shift of mindset that had propelled me to a different level of consciousness, that will come in useful with the Experience Product that I'll create, especially for the international audience that I'm targeting. And without the Masterclass, that wouldn't have been possible."

I hope you can see that the Core Element of Community can be life-changing for your customers -- and for you, when you can invest the time and focus needed to Supercharge this Core Experience.

And to help you do that, it's time to go back to your Worksheet and complete Step 3 -- where you'll brainstorm at least 6 ideas for shared language and hashtags you want to include in your Experience Product to build Community Culture.

Based on those initial ideas, you'll then choose at least TWO ideas you'll aim to implement right away and add them HERE, along with your timeline and any further notes on how you'll implement these new ideas.


Let's end this by talking about the fourth way to cultivate Community by weaving shares and conversations throughout your product delivery.

Because -- when it comes to Community, often the hardest part is getting the Community going in the first place. There are LOTS of dead Facebook groups where no one is posting… because Community doesn't start on it's own. You can't just throw a bunch of people together and expect Community to form. You have to train your Customers to lean into Community starting in your onboarding sequence. Then create regular opportunities for your students, clients and customers to interact not just with you, but with each other, while allowing all voices to be heard.

One way to do that is by seeding "Share Exercises" into your core content from Day 1 of your product where you ask your customers to post something specific in your community.

If you're using a Facebook Group, you would give them a permalink to a specific post.

If you're using Slack or Discord, you would invite people to post something specific on a specific Channel.

And if you're using something Xperiencify's Community Forum or something like Circle, you would invite people to post in a specific space.

An easy way to do this if you're using Xperiencify is through pre-actions, which we discussed in our Session on Constant Wins. Pre-actions are the handful of housekeeping things you want your students to do right at the start of the program.

If you're using a Facebook Group, I recommend giving 1 XP for requesting to join the group and 2 XPs for introducing themselves on a particular thread in the group, so you're recognizing and rewarding Community behavior from Day 1.

Then you can weave Share Exercises into specific sessions of your product and even incentivize them with points -- if you're using a point system...

You may have noticed that in EPM, we incorporated Share Exercises at a higher frequency in Module 1, to really get the Community going and get our students in the habit of posting and checking out what other students are doing. Then we reduced the shares in Modules 4 & 5, since they're in the Supercharge Track and we don't want our MVP Track students to feel left out...

You especially want to recognize and encourage the attitudes and behaviors you want to see more of by responding to specific comments and shares on the group and publicly tagging or mentioning people you want to recognize.

If you have a larger course or program, this can quickly become a full-time job and it could be worth hiring a Community Manager to do this for you.

We have a dedicated Community Manager to support our programs. They post and engage as our page -- Live Your Message with Marisa Murgatroyd -- and we require all of our Coaches to spend time each week interacting and engaging on the FB group. We also hire a few coaches to spend a lot more time...

Our Community Manager creates engagement prompts on Canva, then posts them weekly in each of our Product Groups in addition to special announcements – like when Weekly Coaching Pod Calls and special events occur. We follow a set schedule of posts that reinforce our Mission and, of course, fun posts to get the group excited. Each post has a goal, some might be simply for engagement, like asking the group to post a fun gif to express how they're feeling, and another might be to inspire and motivate – often by using quotes or celebrating big wins made by students. But each post follows our Experience Formula and has a specific intention.

The Community Manager also has the important job of fostering community and monitoring posts to make sure that the group remains on topic, i.e. no self-promotion, spam or negative comments.

Now, another thing you can do to seed sharing in your Community from Day 1 is to post Welcome Messages when someone new joins -- and, if you have a larger program like EPM, you can wait until the end of each day to post a Welcome Roundup. Or do a Weekly Welcome Roundup.

Xperiencify allows you to automate this process through a feature called the "Surprise Party" where a post can be automatically created in your student Facebook group.

And our customer Bob Doyle, who was featured in the movie, The Secret, has used this feature to create a friendly, welcoming vibe in his product community from Day 1. Because not only is he -- the product creator -- personally welcoming them to the community, other people jump in to welcome them too!

Facebook will also suggest this to you -- if you're the administrator of your group -- and give you the option of posting a Welcome Post to greet your new members.

At the time of recording, the way you do this on Facebook is to go to your Facebook Group, click on "Members" in the top menu bar, and then on the right-hand side, you'll see "New Members" and underneath a prompt to "Write welcome post". Click on that and it'll automatically start a new post tagging the new members -- you can publish as is or edit the post before publishing to make it even more custom to your community and the culture you're creating.

Xperiencify also has a feature called the Warm Welcome, which happens right inside of your course. When a new student logs in, students who are logged in will immediately receive a pop-up notification, letting them know that a new student has just joined, and inviting them to "click" to send the new student a welcome.

When the new student sees that, they instantly feel like they're part of a vibrant community, which can be really tough to pull off.

Many membership sites including Xperiencify let you turn on a threaded commenting system and allow your customers to leave comments under Modules and Sessions, in addition to replying to each other's comments in threads. This makes comments more contextual and encourages connection-building and community.

Finally, if you do create a Facebook Group or other Course Community, I highly recommend taking the time to write a short description about what the group is about and posting some ground rules or a set of shared values around what your community is about. What's OK and what's not OK.

For example, on Facebook, there's a space to add a description of each group that shows up in the right sidebar for that group.

In the Experience Product Masterclass Facebook Community, here's our description:

Just say no to "business as usual." The Experience Business Masterclass Group is devoted to supporting each other in having more fun making more money.

This is your place to be controversial, spark discussion, and challenge each other to be the boldest, most self-expressed version of who you are online and do business differently.That's how you stand out from the noise of a billion websites, become the superhero to your tribe and make big money.

Our goal for this group is for it to be the most amazing resource possible to help you create, market and successfully launch your Experience Product.

We also shared very early on that this is not a place to post customer support or tech support questions, since we want to keep the conversation relevant to everyone.

If we notice behaviors that aren't supportive of the community as a whole, for example, if people start to become overly negative or self-promotional on the community, we address those issues as they arise.

Another common way to build more Community shares into your products is to give people the opportunity to form 2-5 person accountability groups where your customers meet anywhere from 1-4 times a month to support each other around the content and Mission of your product.

The biggest challenge in creating effective accountability partnerships is either allowing partners to choose each other so they have some chemistry and connection, or having very specific parameters for creating groups. Otherwise, if there's no common ground other than the program, it can be hard to keep a group committed to each other.

For example, in Momentum, we place students with Coaches and Pods based on the results of their Flowmapping Assessments and Stage of Business Growth, so they're more likely to feel like they're in a group that thinks like them and understands their entrepreneurial style.

Since our Coaches run these Pods, we know they're useful and well-facilitated.

If you offer self-run accountability groups, I recommend giving your customers a set of guidelines on how to run their groups so everyone gets value from the meetings.

Accountability groups work best when there's a specific structure to follow and a set of shared expectations.

You can also create Contests between accountability groups or pods, so the first group to get all its members to a certain outcome will win a prize, such as a small group coaching call with you. This encourages members of each group to support each other across the finish line and can dramatically increase the amount of Community sharing and interaction.

You can also run similar contests with smaller programs or programs in which you have smaller groups within a larger program, where you can encourage Community support by rewarding the entire Community or sub-group within the community if everyone achieves a specific outcome. For example, if everyone in the group gets one client in the month of November, you give each person a $100 gift certificate for a future purchase with you or a special bonus Group Workshop.

Finally, the best way to cultivate more sharing in your Community is to have people meet each other either in-person or in a virtual immersion or Accelerator.

One big reason I gift everyone in the Experience Product Masterclass 2 bonus tuition waivers to Live Your Message LIVE is that I know that NOTHING replaces the experience of spending a concentrated chunk of time together... ideally face to face.

This works so well that we've even had an EPM love story. There was a couple -- Des and Kat -- who met in EPM, then sat next to each other on Day 1 of Live Your Message LIVE and hit it off. They had their first date that first night of the event, then their second date shortly after in Florence, Italy. One year later they were engaged to be married… and now they're living together in their dream house, which they bought with the money they earned from their Experience Products -- all that because of the Community we created in this program!

You never know what's going to happen when you stay open to receiving everything there is available to you.

If you're doing a longer program or a higher-end program, it can be super effective to have one or more virtual or in-person retreats where you bring the tribe together for specific experiences.

In our yearlong Momentum Program, we offer Quarterly Accelerators that the community absolutely loves... because they get to really connect with each other and build the relationships that will support them through the program.

Many students re-enroll in Momentum year after year, just to attend these Accelerators!

So -- you've seen a bunch of ideas for how you can cultivate Community by weaving shares and conversations throughout your product delivery.

And now it's time to head back to your Worksheet for Step 4, which is to brainstorm ideas you can use to cultivate more shares and conversations throughout your product delivery.

You're aiming to come up with at least 6 ideas and you can see we've listed many of the ideas we've discussed here as thought-starters for you.

So -- go ahead and enter your 6 or more brainstormed ideas HERE in the space provided.

And then enter your top 2 ideas that you're going to implement right away HERE in the additional space provided, along with any notes on your timeline and how you'll get it done.

So those are just a few ideas in each of the 4 Ways to Create Community Culture in your Experience Products:

  • Create a Community Culture by modeling the attitude and behaviors you want, because -- when it comes to community -- what YOU do and how YOU show up as the Community Leader is MORE important than what you say.
  • Acknowledge and encourage the attitudes and behaviors that will help your students be successful.
  • Creating a shared language within your Community so your customers feel like they're an insider.
  • Weave shares and conversations throughout your product delivery.

And now that you've got a shortlist of ideas you can implement.

Lots of people found these next topics pretty useful...