Creating a welcoming and personalized onboarding experience is essential for any community. But how do you onboard new members effectively? What information is most important? And how do you make a lasting first impression—one that motivates new members to take action and keeps them coming back to your community? In this hour-long session, Circle expert Jordan Godbey will give you the keys to onboarding your members and setting them up for long-term success.
Jordan is the founder of GrowthCommunity.co, a consulting agency that helps coaches, course creators and experts create engaging learning communities on Circle. Having built an online course from $0 to over $1M/yr in revenue and coached dozens of creators to do the same, Jordan is an expert in how to create new revenue streams using the power of community. Jordan also created the course Build a Community-Powered Course on Circle, which provides templates and best practices for setting up your community fast.
Jordan Godbey—course creator, founder of Growth Community, and Circle platform expert—shares his insights on creating engaging and rich membership experiences, leveraging online communities and courses. The session delves into various strategies for enhancing member interactions, from onboarding to engagement leveraging Circle as your community platform of choice.
The session revolves around five key takeaways.
During this session, Godbey’s insights will provide you with a roadmap to enhance your community’s member experience. You’ll also discover strategies to boost engagement and improve the success of your online courses. The session will include practical templates and examples that simplify the customization process, enabling you to meet the specific needs of your community.
Hear about the impact of implementing these strategies first hand as attendees share how this playbook has positively impacted their businesses. “The guided onboarding process really helped me feel welcomed and set me up for success in the community.” Another attendee noted, “The use of timely notifications kept me engaged and made me feel part of the ongoing conversations.”
The session “Elevating Member Experiences” offers valuable insights and practical strategies for those looking to create or enhance their online communities. By applying these techniques, community builders can expect to see personal and professional growth in their journey as community managers or course creators.
Emma Catranis: Hello everyone. Thank you so much for joining today. We have a really great session planned for you. Um, today’s masterclass will be led by the one and only Jordan Godby.
Jordan is a Circle expert, a course creator. He’s the founder of Growth Community where he works with a truly impressive roster of clients to help them build and launch their own communities. And most recently he launched his new course, which is called Build a Community Powered Course to help creators design and launch online courses that are powered by community.
So he has a ton of great insights to share with us today around creating really seamless member experiences. He has a ton of experience helping his clients do exactly that. So without further ado, I will turn it right over to him. Welcome, Jordan.
Jordan Godbey: Awesome. Thank you so much, Emma. Excited to be here and talk about member experiences today. That’s one of the things I love so much about Circle is I come from the online courses world and I like to call them now old school courses, which many of us have taken in the past.
And the experience is just not great. And that’s why most of us don’t finish the course or implement the course. And so with Circle, I’ve just been so thrilled at how much we can elevate the member experience, not just in courses, but all across community and events and things like that.
So yeah, let’s dive in. I’ve got some, some good things to share today. I’m excited, so I will share my screen. Okay, cool. One sec.
And then, uh, you’re gonna manage comments and questions for me in the chat, is that right?
Emma Catranis: For sure, yes.
Jordan Godbey: Perfect. Feel free to drop any questions in the chat and I will be keeping an eye on that. Yeah, feel free to jump in. We’ve got a few section breaks if you wanna pop in some questions, but we’ll also have time at the end.
So here we go. So today’s goal is, what I wanna do is I want to help you set up your members for long-term success inside of your community. So what that would look like would be things like introducing them to the Circle platform, helping them get really comfortable.
Uh, maybe they’re migrating from another tool, maybe they used Slack or, or Facebook groups or some other type of l m s. So we want to get them comfortable and understand where everything is, navigate and find things in the community, which is really important, and being able to connect with other members.
So live events are a key way to engage with people. So we’re gonna talk about events today and how to find them and join them and manage replays, but I have some other unique settings and customizations and experiences that I have built for my clients that I think will be really interesting for you and your community as well.
So the main things that I wanna cover today are going to be onboarding. Onboarding is a super important topic. Most people don’t think too much about onboarding or they have a very minimal experience and it can just not set people up for success right away on day one. You have to work to kind of reengage them. So that’s gonna be an important thing that we’re gonna dive into first.
Next is gonna be polished spaces. So how do we make your community look amazing, look professional, and generate high engagement? And then I’ve got some bonus tips, some operational things, some automations that I use that I’m gonna share with you.
And maybe you’ll want to adopt some of these for your community. And then lastly, we’ll just open it up to some q and a. I love answering people’s questions, so I’ll try to save some time and we’ll get through everything so that we can do that at the end.
Okay, quick background about me. Um, circle expert, course creator, founder of Growth Community. As Emma said, I built a a course from zero to over million dollars in the medical space before Circle existed as a platform. Um, I’ve consulted over 250 online businesses, entrepreneurs. I built some of the top communities in Circle and I live here in Mexico with my wife Sarah, and my…Jordan Godbey: Daughter Izzy, and we love it. Okay, let’s dive into the first section. Onboarding. This is a really important section because first impressions really matter. You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression. It’s an opportunity for you to create excitement, engagement, and get commitment straight away when people join.
Or you might create confusion, frustration, overwhelm, which leads to disengagement. This is something that I see a lot. People join because the marketing was great or the video or they had a call with you, then they get in and it’s like, “Now what, what is all this stuff? There’s all these spaces. I don’t really know what’s going on. Am I supposed to have a one-on-one onboarding call with you?” We don’t want to do that, right? We want it to be automated, seamless, and something that gets people motivated to start digging in and taking action right away.
So, I have some templates here that I’m gonna share with you. We’ve also got some other links and resources that I think Emma’s gonna drop in the chat. And then also after the call in the show notes and in the recording, you’ll be able to find links to all these different resources so that you can just grab what I’ve done and customize it to meet your needs.
So the goal here with onboarding is that we want to personally welcome new members, but automatically. We don’t want to have to do this manually, especially if you have a larger community or you’re growing quickly. We want to reassure them that they’ve made a great decision.
I work with a lot of coaches and a lot of course creators where their customers have maybe spent hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars to be in this community. There’s always an opportunity to have buyers remorse. So we don’t want any of those thoughts entering our members’ minds. We want them feeling excited, motivated, and like, yes, this was the right thing for me.
Then we want to set expectations. We want to let people know what they need to do next? How are they gonna get the most value out of the program? Where can they find everything? How do they get help and support? So you’re gonna explain how your program works and where they go to get the value that they’re seeking.
Another thing I like to do is I like to walk through all of the community spaces and actually give them a tour, a handheld tour where I’m doing it over a Loom video. It feels very personal, it’s very quick, and now there’s really no question or confusion.
The last thing I like to do is I like to give them next steps. So when they finish the onboarding, it should just usher them into the very next thing that they need to do. So that might look like introducing themselves or maybe starting the course videos. There could be a bunch of different options, but we just want to make the entire experience very stepping-stone like, and there’s never any confusion of getting to a dead end of like, “now what?”
This is an example of an onboarding experience that I’ve built for my clients, and I’ve started to really refine this and templatize this and use it across many different clients because it hits a lot of the best practices and fundamentals here. And I’m gonna show you exactly what the steps are on the next slide. And we’re gonna do a live demo and actually dig into this.
Some of the things that you might notice here is that we’re doing a list view layout, because we’re showing steps. So this doesn’t look like most spaces inside of circle because of the customizations that we’ve done. And these are things that any of you can do. It’s just a set of settings that you need to go in and apply.Jordan Godbey: I’m gonna show you exactly what those settings are. So what we’re doing here is we’ve got a pinned post at the top. We’ve got a really nice welcome video, really short a minute, 18 seconds, and it just covers those things that, thank you, welcome, made a great decision, here’s the expectations, here’s what you need to do next.
And for the video, what you need to do next is you need to go down and actually complete the onboarding steps. And really, you’re always selling someone when you’re asking them to do something, you’re selling them. Why do I need to do this? Well, it’s so you understand how the community works. You understand how circle works, you understand how to start getting value.
And so we’re answering all of their questions before they even come up. So that’s what you’re doing is really selling them like, Hey, you need to take these next five minutes because it’s gonna help you go so much faster and get so much more out of your, your membership here. Um, and then we do a few other things. So we do a little bit of customization with some custom code so that we change the like buttons into completed buttons.
You can see here these are not yet complete. So they say Mark is complete, and then the ones that are done, we’ve changed to complete. All right? So these are the actual steps that we’ve come up with. We customize them a little bit per client. So for instance, number two is earning badges.
Some communities don’t have badges or don’t use badges. Um, the correct term is member tags, but a lot of times people call them badges. So sometimes we do as well. So if you don’t have that, then obviously you don’t need the that step. Um, this can be ki kind of a lot of steps, but our goal is to get through them really quickly, like maybe a minute or so per step.
So for other people, they’ve cut it down and said, you know what? I really just want five steps. So let’s actually dive in and take a look at this in the wild. Okay? So, uh, this is the right your way to freedom community that I built with Sarah Turner. And she was coming from an existing platform. She was on Kajabi and they had a Facebook group.
And so we moved everything and consolidated here into Circle. And one of the things that they didn’t have at all was an onboarding experience, cuz it really wasn’t clear of where’s the home base, where do people live? They’re over here in the l m s watching the videos and they’re over here in Facebook talking. But where does a new person start, right? Like, what’s the very first impression? The first interaction.
And so now this is it. As soon as they pay, this is where they land. So they’re immediately welcomed, really clean, nice space, nowhere to go, you’re just right here. Watch the video. And then you go through the steps. So what I wanna do is I wanna run through these steps really quickly just to show you what it looks like.
So step one, set up your profile. A lot of people skip this. And for a community, if you’re trying to network with each other, connect with each other, support and help and, you know, give accountability. It’s hard to do that when someone doesn’t have a picture, doesn’t have a bio, doesn’t have any information about them, they’re just John Smith or Jane Doe. It’s it, we just don’t feel that same humanness, right?
So that’s why we explain in this really quick one minute video that 1500 people have watched why you need to fill out your profile. And then we help them do it really quickly. We show them where do they go, uh, to access their profile. And we also give them a really quick link so they can just click on it and it will start to open up the profile edit screen.
So then at the bottom we have removed all metadata. So it doesn’t matter who created this post or when they created it, it’s just a system message. The way I like to think about it, it’s just gonna be evergreen forever. So we also have removed comments, right? There’s really nothing else to do here except click on step two. So the only other thing would be to mark the step as complete, which you can see.Jordan Godbey: 817 people have done. And then go to step two. So step two is the badges. And we created a custom badging system using Typeform so that people can select the badges that they want. Normally tags or badges have to be added by an admin. And we wanted to create a system where people, people could add flair, like in office space. They could add all these little things, these personality or these demographic or these, you know, experience, uh, background experiences that would differentiate themselves in the community.
So they have over 3000 members. So they are, uh, a copywriting community. So people are coming in with different experiences, but then they’re also writing about different niches and they’ve, they even have some badges around when they joined, cuz this program is now about six years old. And they also have a badge for how much money have you made in a single month from copywriting.
So it’s a nice way to be able to see maybe you leave a post, someone answers you, and they just joined this year, they haven’t made any money yet, and they, they tell you, you know, they give you some feedback, you might wanna take that feedback with a little bit of grain of salt, whereas somebody else leaves a comment and gives you some suggestions or ideas, and they’ve been in the program for four years, they’ve made 25 K a month. You’re like, oh wow, cool. This person is legit. They know what they’re talking about. So gives you a little bit more context about people. At a quick glance, I also have a link that’ll be shared for how you can set up your own member tagging system using Typeform and Zapier if you’re interested in doing that.
So we’ll just jump to the next step, the community tour. So I’m a big fan of Loom videos. They’re really lightweight, they’re really easy. This is a seven minute video made by Sarah the creator, which is really nice because Sarah’s not super involved anymore in the day-to-day operations and running of the community, uh, because she’s been doing it for six years, right?
So she’s built a team, the team is great, and this is a way for her to still have that personal touch and be connected with her audience, right? They’re listening to her, they’re watching her, and she’s not doing this anymore, right? This has all been recorded once and watched 2,600 times. Like it’s incredible. So they get a nice seven minute tour and you can see that people are loving it, they’re leaving all these little reactions and comments here.
And now everyone knows where everything is. So on somebody’s first experience to circle, this might feel overwhelming. Now, to me, I’m totally desensitized to it. I’m like, I get it. This is simple. There’s only five or six groups, but somebody else, this is like, whoa, what are all these things? Where do I start? Uh, et cetera. So this really helps them to feel really comfortable and like she’s holding their hand through the whole journey.
So next step is the RSVP for live events in their community. They have three different types of coaching events every single week. They’ve got a live q and a with her. So sh that’s one of the things that she does every week for an hour. Then they’ve got these other types of sessions where they focus on the business side, like getting clients and negotiating and sales and proposals.
And then they’ve got the copy stuff. So they actually focus on the craft of writing, how to write better, more attractive hooks, headlines, all that kind of stuff. And they bring in a bunch of different coaches to help them do that. So she’s showing them like, Hey, you, you can go through the course and that’s great and that’s what everyone needs to do right away so that we all have a baseline understanding. But join these weekly calls because we bring in these experts and the topics are always different every week you’re gonna be able to get live help and feedback. So it’s really valuable that you do this as soon as possible.
Okay, this step is really important. One of the things that’s great about Circle is the notification system. Um, sometimes IJordan Godbey: I hear people are worried about moving a group from Facebook to Circle because they’re used to going to Facebook every day and checking it. Well, that’s becoming less and less true. I don’t use Facebook anymore, and a lot of people don’t have that habit or don’t have accounts anymore.
People also don’t have the habit of going to your Circle community every day and checking it, right? So notifications help to bridge that gap and keep people connected and engaged when they’re outside of this screen and just doing their daily stuff.
What I like to do is I like to turn almost all notifications on for all spaces. We can notify people via email, inside the app, or send a push notification to their mobile app. By default, I like to put most of these things on and then show the members how they can turn them off or control their experience.
You can unsubscribe from everything, but that’s quite extreme. What I like to do is show them that maybe there’s just one space, like introductions, that they don’t want to see every single new person’s introduction. They can just turn that space off.
But maybe they really want to make sure they’re aware of all the general discussion or the live coaching calls. They can ensure they’re getting all of those updates. This is a really important step and that’s why we explain it. But again, one minute and all these people have watched it.
Now they’re all gonna set their own preferences so that they’re not coming to you saying, turn off all these notifications. I’m getting too much spam because it is true. Some of these communities are huge and you could get hundreds of emails a day.
So we definitely don’t want that. But you can see how controlling your notification experience to your own taste, your own preferences, your own liking, that’s definitely gonna elevate your experience. You’re gonna feel great that every time you get a notification from Circle, it’s something you care about you’re interested in.
And it’s not just unwanted spam like you might get with some other platforms. Next, we’ve got how to get the most out of the community. This is really a community guidelines type of post. We’re just giving some rules, but it’s really also setting expectations.
For instance, they have some rules around don’t just come in here and complain. Don’t just come in here and rant and say this is too hard or I don’t get it. Look for solutions, we’re all here to help each other, but what you put into this is what you’re gonna get out of it.
The culture in this community is fantastic. People are so helpful, so supportive. If you go and look at any of these posts, people celebrating or asking for help, they’re just getting so much support piled on.
And part of it is the leader, the founder, setting the vision, setting the culture, and setting the expectations of this is what we do, this is who we are, this is how we operate, and this is what we don’t accept and we won’t tolerate.
hen we’ve got the introduction step. She makes it very clear that she wants every single person to go do that and how to do that and gives them some guidelines for that.
Finally, we’ve got step eight, downloading the mobile app. It’s really about using the fundamentals and the best practices, but trying to make it as easy as possible. I’ve seen some welcome spaces or onboarding spaces where they had pretty much everything that I listed, but in one giant post. That’s really overwhelming.Jordan Godbey: For us to read. You know, the wall of text kind of thing. It just hits us and I think our brains automatically just go, Ooh, do I have that much time right now? That’s feels like a lot of hard work to try to read and digest all of this. So the goal here is that we make it feel really easy and light. We’re just presenting one little thing at a time.
So here it’s like, hey, you should probably download the mobile app so that when you’re away from your desktop, you can still get updates, you can leave comments posts, et cetera. So this is a really great thing to do to get more engagement inside of your community. And then we come to almost the last step. So just bookmark again, just helping people get back here easily, add it to your browser, bookmark it, and the last step is you’re done. Congrats.
So we do one more little badge, uh, integration where we actually apply an onboarding completed badge. And what’s cool about that is they feel like they accomplished something, they got to the end, they checked off all the steps, and now they get something to show for it. And also for you as the admin, let’s say somebody’s in the general discussion like, I don’t understand, where are the live events? How, how do I see what’s coming? And then you look and they don’t have a picture, they haven’t filled out their bio, they don’t have the onboarding completed, uh, badge.
You’re like, okay, so you just skipped all of this, right? That’s why you have these basic questions because you ignored the onboarding process. So what you could do is you could, you know, answer their question and say, I think it’d be good for you to go through our onboarding because it’s gonna answer all of your questions that you have now and future things that you, you don’t even know about yet. So it’s a cool way to be able to see who’s actually done it and who hasn’t. Cuz this is optional, right? This is on them to do. They land here at the top, but they can easily click to anywhere else and skip it and that’s not what we want.
All right. I know that was probably a lot. Hopefully that was some interesting and new stuff for you. Um, Emma, should we pause here for any questions or should we keep going?
Emma Catranis: Um, Lillian had a question a little while back around, you know, given your tour that you filmed the Quick Little Community Tour, how would you approach that if you add new spaces somewhat frequently?
Jordan Godbey: Yeah, I would probably just rerecord it if, if it’s gonna be a dramatic change, but if it’s obvious enough and it hasn’t changed, like if it’s only been a 10 or 20% change, I might not, uh, I would only do it if it’s completely different or very, very different than the, the video. And if it’s confusing, you think without instruction.
Emma Catranis: For sure. Um, and then we just have a couple questions around people who want to check out Sarah’s community. Unfortunately it is a private paid community. Um, yeah, but we’ll be uploading this recording so you can rewatch anything that Jordan has shared on his screen when we upload that replay.
Jordan Godbey: Yep. And I’ve also made a couple other posts in the Circle community around onboarding and the badging system, and I do reference Sarah’s community. So there’s some videos in those that you can check out as well if you wanna rewatch some of this.
Emma Catranis: Totally. And when we upload the replay, we’ll include all these links that we’ve been sharing in the chat here. So all that will be in one place for you to access.
Jordan Godbey: Yep. Awesome. All right. So I love to make my lessons and my, my masterclass, um, actionable. So now it is your turn. You don’t need to do this right now, but I want to give you some homework. So some next steps. I want you to write out your onboarding steps so you can go back and look at the ones that I’ve laid out and change them. So figure out what, what makes sense for you. And then go and actually set those up in circle. You can just make them as basic posts and then start to work on them. But this is gonna be a really high value thing because every next member that joins is now gonna have, you know, a 10 times.Jordan Godbey: Better onboarding experience. So once you set it, you can kind of forget it. But again, if you do make a bunch of changes, you would want to go back and modify some things, but it’s a really valuable asset for you inside of the community. So write out your onboarding steps. You could do it really quickly into Google Doc, figure out what do you want to talk about.
You can compare mine. Go set ’em up inside of Circle and then record your videos with Loom and you’ll be done. Okay, so that was onboarding. Next I wanna talk about polished spaces. So polished spaces, they just make the entire community look beautiful. It makes it look like not a standard out of the box default setup where you haven’t really changed anything. Not that there’s anything really wrong with that, but I work with a lot of higher ticket programs and they want to make their experience look professional, feel professional, like they put a lot of intention and love into it.
And they want it to match their brand. And when you do it, it just, it looks amazing. So some of the other things around polished spaces, we want things to be easy to, easy to find and easy to use without instruction. There’s a saying around design where if you have to explain how to use something in, in design, like in an app or in a website, if you have to say like click on this button to do something, then it’s not good design.
Like the design itself should just be intuitive and should be clear and obvious what people need to do. And we want it to look professional and feel professional. And so circle already does a huge amount of that work for us. So thank you to the circle team. And we can add our little bells and whistles and polish to it to make our brand and our program look and feel really great for people and feel like they just spent, you know, the money was well spent.
So I work with a lot of people that are charging many thousands of dollars and their customers are really happy with it. Yeah. And then the last thing here is just removing confusion and doubt. So let’s take a look at some examples. This is an example of a new community that is launching this week, actually, a marketing community. And this is an area for templates. So what we do here is we do some customizations around the layout, around pinning posts.
And I’m gonna give you a list of what all of those things actually are. The images at the top and then the description, you know, what is this? So this is a library of useful templates and they want you, they want the members to add more. So you can just go through here and you can do a search or you can scroll and you can just watch, um, and find what templates you’re looking for.
So another example is a general discussion space. So this is gonna be a common space in every community, but the way that we lay this out, I think just looks really, really nice, looks very welcoming, very professional. Got a little bit of description here. We remove the sidebar, we remove the members in, in a lot of cases. For me, I just don’t find those things to be much of a value add or or necessary. In other spaces it does make sense, but here I like it to just look really clean.
Um, and then we’ve got another example from Write Your Way to Freedom. So this is her course and we ended up building this course in circle before circle’s official courses feature came out. So we did a configuration of card view layout in the space and just again, I think looks really, really nice. Welcome to the course. And then down here you’ve got the different lessons. Over here you have the module. So each space is a module in the course.
And so we’re in the welcome module and you’ve got three lessons in the, in the welcome module. You can use this same type of layout for resources, knowledge base, archives, knowledge library, like there’s so many ways to use this card view layout, maybe recommended products, you know, these could be books, these could be apps and tools, whatever. So whenever you’re looking for more of a visual.Jordan Godbey: We have it set up where when a new member joins, we automatically send them a message, introducing myself, welcoming them to the community, and giving them some next steps. This is a really great way to make people feel welcome and give them some direction right away.
Next, I want to talk about events. One of the cool things about Circle is that you can integrate with Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar to create events right inside your community. This is great because it means members don’t have to leave the community to see what’s happening. They can just go to the Events space, see all the upcoming events, and even add them to their own calendar.
Live streams are another great feature. You can use a tool like Zoom or Crowdcast to host a live stream, and then embed the live stream right inside your community. This makes it easy for members to join the live stream without having to leave the community. Plus, once the live stream is over, you can replace the live stream embed with the recording, so members who missed it can watch it later.
These are just a few examples of how you can use Circle’s features to create an engaging and efficient community experience. I hope these tips were helpful, and I encourage you to try them out in your own community.Jordan Godbey: I sent them a message and just saying thanks. And then checking in, like, what are you up to? How are you using Circle? Would love to hear what your community is all about. And it starts a lot of great conversations for me. So you could do something very similar, just touching base with your audience, shows that you know your care, you’re interested, and then not everybody responds, but then the ones who do even some people are like, is this an automated message? And I’ll jump in like, yeah, it is, but I’m a real person. What’s up? And then we’ll, we’ll talk back and forth. So that’s been really great.
You can set this up inside of Circle workflows, there’s actually a template. So it’s really easy. You just click like two, two buttons and you will have it. You just type in your message and it’ll go out for every new person that joins your community or however you want it to be set up. So this is something that I would recommend doing, and it removes, you know, this is just a great practice in general, in a manual world, right? But this removes the need for you to sit down and have to do it. It’s really, really timely and it’s quick and automated.
Okay, next is live events. So I love doing events through Circle because they’re really easy to manage. You can see how many people have RSVP’d and then it makes it really easy for them to add it to their calendars. And you get the automated reminders. Now this seems so basic and so simple and so obvious, like, duh, this is the only way that anyone could ever run live events. But without a tool like Circle, there are other alternatives.
There’s like Ad event and a few others that are just these event management tools, but many people are still not using anything. I know a lot of coaches, I know a lot of people that are either doing it manually over emails or creating a calendar invite, inviting the people. And then we’ve got issues like time zones, right? So I didn’t even mention that. Circle’s automatically translating everything into everyone’s local time zone.
You’ve got all the information really easily. So I can see exactly when this event is starting in 53 minutes from now, the the Zoom link or the Circle Live stream link that I need to click on. I always add it to my calendar. I’ve gotten burned a few times when I forget to add it to my calendar because I live on my calendar. So if it’s not there, it doesn’t exist. Um, so that’s something that you can also reference when you’re doing your onboarding videos of like, here’s how you sign up to our live events. You gotta come in here, R S V P, and then make sure you add it to your calendar. Super, super important.
And then we get the automated email up here in the right from Circle. So I got this earlier today that the event is starting soon, and then you get the nice little notification inside Circle as well. So it’s, it’s hard to miss. And, uh, Sarah Turner, for example, the right your way from Right Your Way to Freedom Community, they were running outside of Circle for three or four years. And so they were doing all of this manually every week. They were creating a webpage and updating all of the dates and times, and they had to put it all into Pacific and people had to try to figure out what it was in their time. They were using some complicated calendar linking tool. The whole thing was a mess.
And once we moved it over to Circle, nothing changed. She, she was doing these weekly calls and then we moved to Circle. She immediately saw a 50% increase in live attendance on all the calls and nothing changed. Same amount of clients, same amount of members, same calls, same schedule, just way more people showing up because it solved the friction, it solved the confusion, it solved all of that tech headache. So this is actually a really, really cool feature.
And this goes hand in hand with live events. It is live streams, right? So you can use Zoom, you can use anything you want. I’ve been using Circle Live rooms lately. So this is an example of a call that I do inside of my community. So for people who join my course on how to build.Jordan Godbey: Community powered courses, we meet live and we go over questions and go through different, uh, scenarios. So I really like it because it’s really lightweight. I use Zoom a lot on a day-to-day to do sales calls. I I integrate it with my Calendly, it makes a lot of sense, but I’ve been enjoying the experience of running my, my group calls and my community calls inside of Circle. It’s easy to set up.
So as I’m building the event, I can just literally select Circle Live Room, and then I don’t have to deal with anything else. It’s super easy to record. And then the replays are easy as well. So I can just go into the back, there’s a, there’s a control panel to see all the lives that I’ve done. I can click a button and say, post it back into a space, space called replays, hit Go. Totally done.
So if you are doing these things a lot, um, you know, there’s a burden that kind of adds up of like needing to download the Zoom call, which can take a little while. I think it has to process for a while, then you download it, then you gotta go host it somewhere. Maybe you put it in Vimeo or in YouTube, maybe you upload it straight into circle. Uh, if you do put it somewhere else, you’ve gotta go and get the embed. You gotta come back to circle.
So you’re just like removing all of those little steps that add up over time and end up chewing away a bunch of time and energy for us. So that’s an efficiency that I’ve really enjoyed and works really well for me. All right, so I think that went even quicker than I thought it would. Uh, we went pretty fast. So we’ve got more time for q and a here.
I want to thank you guys for showing up, uh, to this call. I’m really excited to be able to share all of these things that I’m learning and, and experiencing and doing with clients. So I wanna share with you quickly a few ways that I can help you and some resources that I have for you. And then we can move over into q and a for the rest of it.
So this is my website, growth community.co.co.com. So go check out my website, you can sign up for my newsletter here, and you’ll hear from me from time to time with different tips and videos and advice and just stay in the know with what I’m up to.
I also have a free course called the Circle Quick Start Course. So I get tons of questions all the time, very specific, very detailed things from clients and from people in the Circle community. So I just decided to start recording Loom video answers. So this is a database, a, a, a repository, a collection. Here you can see on the right of all of these different questions of specific things.
How do I change the sort order of all of my posts in a space, right? Like that kind of stuff that you might have to dig in and search for a while to go find. And I just started to group them into different sections. So we’ve got now, I don’t know, maybe a hundred or so tutorials. I’ve got another batch that’s gonna come out tomorrow with some new updated stuff around workflows.
So if you’re interested, you can come check it out, it’s totally free, it’s inside my community. You can go to growth community.co/freecourse and there should be some links to this as well for you after this is over.
Um, next is my course on building a community powered course. So if you want to go a bit deeper, because the, the free course is is unstructured. So you go and you look for what you want, it’s kinda like a toolbox. Whatever tool you need right now, you just go and grab that lesson. You don’t necessarily watch all of them in sequence.
But here, if you want help on how to build a course on circle, make it really effective, figure out your price point, your offer, your audience, the community structure, then I would love to have you join Build a Community Powered course. I’ve been working on it for a while now and it’s still in the final days of pre-sale. So I’m finishing up a couple of the last lectures.
And that means for you, you can have it for 50% off. So if you’re interested, you can, whoops, my screen just went out. Uh, you can go to growth community.co/cpc-presale and use the code presale 50 and you’ll save 50%. Okay? And thenJordan Godbey: We’ve got the onboarding blueprint. So if you are really interested in the onboarding, if you want help with that, if you want me to just do it for you and implement my template with my text and all of that stuff, I can go in and do all of it for you and it’ll be done in a day. So if that’s something that you’re interested in, you can go check out Growth community.co/onboarding. And I’ve got a product here called the Onboarding Blueprint, where we’ll just go in and build you an incredible onboarding experience and you can fill it in with your video and be done.
And the very last thing is I do some limited one-on-one work. So if you’re really interested in having me lead you and guide you through the entire process of design, the strategy, the architecture, the build, the migration, the launch, and then post-launch, I would love to talk to you. I’ve worked with over 40 clients now doing this on circle, and I really love what I do. So happy to support you and you can go book a call and we can chat more about it.
All right, and that is it. So would love to open it up now through some questions, have some conversations here. Jordan, how do you wanna do this? Do you want people to drop questions in the chat or raise their hand on Zoom and we can go in that order?
Emma Catranis: Sure. Were there any questions already queued up or should we just start doing hand raises and bring people on?
Jordan Godbey: Let’s do hand raises.
Emma Catranis: Okay. Yeah, let’s do it. So Yeah, if you have a question for Jordan, feel free to raise your hand on Zoom and then we can call on you and you can come off mute and share your question or we can read a couple from the chat if they come through as well.
Jordan Godbey: All right. While we wait for people to raise their hands, it looks like we have a question from Chris here in the chat. And he’s asking, when someone goes through the onboarding process, how do you ensure they return back to the steps when they’re taking, when they’re taking to a different page, taken to a different page?
Mm, Yeah. Yep. Good question. So one thing that we did for a couple of those steps, like the introduce yourself in checking out the live events is we used the, uh, open and new tab feature of a link. So you can’t do that natively, you, it’s custom code, but it’s pretty basic H T M L. So on the back, so we basically wrote the post, and then the very last thing is gonna be the link to take them to introductions. So when you edit the post, there’s a sp there’s a place at the bottom to put in custom H T M L. So we just did a normal hyperlink and we use the target underscore blank. You can Google that and it’ll give you the, the exact code. And what that does is when any, when anyone clicks on that link, it opens it in a new tab. So they’ll go to introductions, they can make it, and then ideally they close that tab and they’re right back to where they were. So we don’t want to kick them out of the onboarding flow. That’s a good question. I hope that makes sense.
Emma Catranis: Okay, perfect. And then I think Brandon has a question.
Brandon: Hey, um, I think my question is pretty simple and you may have covered it. Um, in terms of the onboarding email, do you have any tips there, like how long it should be, um, what kind of copywriting you should use? Just any insight there would be helpful. I’ve had to revise mine so many times, and I found one thing is if they, once I got rid of, um, the profile options so they didn’t have to put in so much information, the profile people to join faster, I just would love to hear some of your insights, uh, on that process. Thank you.
Jordan Godbey: Yeah, you said the onboarding emails, right? Can you describe that a little bit more?
Brandon: Yeah, so when you just send an invite, so somebody, let’s say somebody expressed interest off of LinkedIn and then you shoot ’em an email, um, and then that actual message in the email to where they then click, um, activate account and then they’re getting in there getting into the community. Does that make sense?
Okay. So you’re saying if you’re talking to someone on LinkedIn and they wanna join the community and then you go in and you manually invite them.Jordan Godbey: Them, which sends them an email and they need to accept that email. Yeah, so I like to keep those as short as possible. You can customize the copy that goes out on those emails in your settings in Circle, and I’ve seen some people try to put almost like a whole onboarding sequence in that email and it’s too much. The email is just there to do two things. One is to get them to open the email and then to get them to click on the button that says accept invite so that they can start setting up their profile. So I like to just make it really bare bones, really clear and simple. One, one call to action. Don’t confuse ’em with too much because then the onboarding sequence is gonna have a ton of the meat of what you wanna explain to them.
Brandon: So if they don’t click the email, nothing else is important, nothing else happens. So I just try to focus it on just getting them to click on that button. It’s, it’s helpful, just one call to action. I have two, so no, this is very helpful. Thank you very much.
Jordan Godbey: Okay. Yeah. Great. Do we have any other questions? Feel free to raise your hand on Zoom or even drop it in the chat and we can keep an eye on those. Yeah, and I’m, I’m curious where everybody is at. So do, do, do you know the folks here? Are you just now starting to think about building your community and get it set up and so this is something you haven’t come to yet, or do you already have your communities up and running? Lots of members in there, you already have an onboarding experience, maybe you’re gonna revisit now and make some changes. So would love to hear that in the chat as well.
Emma Catranis: And I think we have a question from Suzanne.
Suzanne: Hey Suzanne. Hey. Hi. I’m in Hampshire, England, and um, we’ve been up and running since December. We’ve moved from a, well, we still have our Facebook community, but we’ve kind of got our space there. We know our users are through our kind of other work we’ve been doing with them are 70% of the time on mobile devices. These aren’t people that sit at a desk for work and you know, they’re carers that are on the go, et cetera. So we are kind of really keen we get ’em to use apps so that they’re kind of in there more frequently and can, can access it really quickly. But just thinking about that onboarding process, I know I need to get out my head of not what, look, what it looks like on a computer screen, but what it looks like on my phone. And I just had a quick play with some of the suggestions you’ve done there and that, that seems to work quite well. I can see that it can cr create a nice menu to work through with, with just using those list posts. I wish I’d thought of doing that before. So that’s something new and seems easy. Um, but yeah. Any other tips for onboarding when people are using the app?
Jordan Godbey: Yeah, so with the app, you don’t want to use any custom H T M L or custom code as much as possible. Mm-hmm. The app’s a little bit more sensitive around that. So you can just use normal text hyperlinks. Like at the bottom I have a button that says go to step two. That could just be text that says go to step two and that’ll work just as fine. Mm-hmm. Um, but really, you know, the app, I feel like the app is the, the secondary experience because right now everyone needs to sign up through the desktop. So first you’re on the browser, first you sign up and so immediately after you sign up, you’re straight away into the onboarding experience. You can’t really avoid it, or at least that’s the way that we design it. And one of our last steps is to download the app. So for me, the flow is that by the time they finish the onboarding, that’s when they’re getting the app and now they’re using the app just to start engaging, but they’re not really using the app to join or to go through the onboarding.
Suzanne: Yeah, I, I think we’ve tried to make our first stage onboarding like the welcome really easy so that they get in, they’ve completed, they’ve completed some basics on their profile and they’re in, because we know these are people that they’re not comfortable with tech, it’s all very new and um, you.Suzanne: I know, quite often that’s exactly that they’re using the browser on their phone to work through it. Um, so yeah, maybe that’s helpful to keep them on their browser and then yeah, the do the app bit last because yeah, the instructions are different, aren’t they? Like the tour of the tour of things and Right. That sort of thing is a little bit different, but a lot of people, yeah, they’re signing up on browser and it’s a slightly different experience on phone than it is on a desktop for the browser as well. So yeah, try not work that into That’s help. That’s really helpful. You may made me avoid doing custom code, so thank you for not sending me down that rabbit hole.
Jordan Godbey: Yeah, sure. Thank you. You’re welcome.
Emma Catranis: Hey Jodi, you have a question?
Jodi: Uh, yes, thanks. Um, have you encountered anybody that is concerned about the fact that when people members sign up through the onboard onboarding process, the default is for, um, their email to be shared that they have to turn it off? Because I’m mixing clients with other members in my community and I really don’t want people seeing my client’s email addresses.
Jordan Godbey: To be honest, it’s never come up for me. Um, nobody’s really mentioned that to me before. There is the option to turn it off, but it’s just something that they have to select. That’s not my default.
Jodi: Right, Right. Yeah, I know like in heartbeat it’s the other way that, So yeah. May, maybe an idea of what you could do is one of your steps might be to just call attention to that in your onboarding of like, hey, if you know your, your email’s on by default, but if you want to turn off direct messaging or you want to turn off your email visibility to others inside your settings, inside your profile, you can click on that just to let people know. They might not have seen it or known that that was an option.
Jordan Godbey: Yeah, that’s what I think all I have to do. Thanks.
Emma Catranis: Sure. Jordan, I have a question for you.
Jordan Godbey: Yes.
Emma Catranis: What do you think is the biggest mistake you tend to see in people’s onboarding processes?
Jordan Godbey: Hmm. Yeah, a couple of things. So one that I had mentioned, well, I guess biggest mistake would be to have no onboarding or to have super minimal onboarding where it’s like, welcome to the community, have fun, that doesn’t really do anything. Uh, the other mistake would be one gigantic post, one big wall of text where it’s, it’s too much and eyes just glaze over and you’re gonna miss 80% of the content in there. So it’s not even worth having it almost. And then the other thing would be, I’ve seen a lot of people do onboarding with the card view layout, and they have all of these posts and it looks really pretty when you first land on it, but they’re not connected in any way. There’s like no sequence, no flow. Like one post will be about community guidelines, another post might be about something else. And so the actual experience of going through that is really difficult because from the space homepage, you click on one of the posts after you read it, it’s just a dead end. So then you have to go back and then maybe you click on the next post and read it and then go back. And then maybe, maybe you go through all of those things if you’re really like studious and disciplined. Otherwise you’re just gonna probably pick and choose a couple that maybe look interesting to you and then just start bouncing around elsewhere in the community. So I like to really make it almost like a funnel, it’s just a one direction easy. Next, next, next, next, next. And then they’re done. And that way I’ve hopefully assured that they know what they need to know and that I’ve covered all the bases.
Emma Catranis: Totally. These are all great tips. All right. Uh, Stacy, you have a question?
Stacy: Hi, great ideas. Um, I have a pretty deep community that does some training, uh, technical training and users come in at different levels, all different kinds of levels. Like it’d be like if they’re entering your community in their circle. Beginners versus circle fluent. Do you have any tips for guiding users down different paths or any examples that you’ve seen included in onboarding sequences to address this?
Jordan Godbey: Yeah, one thing that we did…Jordan Godbey: In one client community, we created two onboarding experiences because they had two membership tiers that had access to very different things. We needed to create different community tour videos, different explanations of how you’re going to engage in the community, and what are the main things you need to be looking at. Some of the basics like download the app remained the same, but for most parts, it was different for the two groups. So we created two different onboarding experiences and funneled them down their appropriate one.
Stacy: That makes a lot of sense. I do have two tiers in mind also. So creating two separate options is an interesting idea. I’m trying to figure out how to get people searching for the content they need because everybody comes in with a different use case in my community. I’m just interested in ideas about that.
Jordan Godbey: One of my clients offers a kind of a toolbox resource where it’s not a course, but it’s a collection of trainings and tutorials across a lot of different topics like sales and marketing, business operations, finance, etc. When you come in, you’re going to have a certain problem that might be different from everybody else’s. For instance, if you really need to hire someone, you would go to the hiring space where there are tons of different trainings about hiring. We linked at the bottom of that tool other related tools that you may need to actually solve the problem. Writing the job description is step one, but then you need to interview. There’s another tool about how to interview, about doing the offer, and then doing the employee onboarding. Everyone’s able to choose their own adventure and we show them in the beginning how they can search for keywords.
Stacy: That’s great tips. I mean, you sparked an idea too. Like in my community, I could focus on our most popular content and maybe give a roster as a springboard that hits different groups kind of a thing. I like it. Thank You.
Emma Catranis: Great. You’re welcome. All right. Tana, you have a question?
Tana: Yes, thank you. I am just starting to set up my community and I understand the two different options are to either set up an outside website or to just have people come straight into the platform where they can kind of see what’s happening and come into a free space or whatever. I created a space named “Radical Connection,” which is the name of my community, and I was wondering how much you would recommend putting in that space rather than trying to let them into some of the other spaces. For instance, I have resources like on videos or books we love and things like that. Do you have a recommendation about that?
Jordan Godbey: I think you would do a pinned post that would serve as a sales page, essentially. It would give the full overview of who you are, what you do, who’s it for and the value. Maybe you would have a series of posts.Jordan Godbey: Underneath that, maybe in a list view, could be a card view, doesn’t really matter that much, I guess, which could be your examples that you wanna share. Of example, resources, videos, and just letting people know that this is a small little snapshot that’s been curated out of the bigger private community. And so you’re giving them a little bit of a taste in this really controlled space. And then you could even have another post or, or in the major pinned post that has your call to action to sign up to become a full paid member and, and gain access to the rest of the community.
Tana: Okay. Yeah, I like that idea. I was thinking about it the other way, like giving them more access, I thought, oh, that could get confusing. So yeah, and I, I guess I really could put a call to action in, in each one of those posts.
Jordan Godbey: Absolutely. Yeah. So you would just set up, uh, a Circle paywall and inside that paywall you’d put your membership price and the details, and then you’d select the access that they would receive, which would be all the rest of the spaces in the community, most likely.
Tana: Okay. And they’ll give you a URL. So then you can just put that URL at the end of all of your posts of like, Hey, if you liked this little preview, you know, click here to join and become a full member and get access to everything else.
Jordan Godbey: Mm-hmm. So is a URL kind of hidden? Are you doing like a link with like, you know, join now or click, you know, or whatever and then, or do you actually just put in a link and the, you know, is that
No, I like to say like, join now and then select it and make it a hyperlink to your paywall URL.
Tana: Okay. Awesome. Okay. Thank you. I really appreciate that.
Emma Catranis: Sure. You’re welcome. Looks like we have a question from Lillian in the chat. She’s asking, what are the top five spaces a community should have? Um, those that are essential and have the highest engagement.
Jordan Godbey: Yeah, that’s a great question. So I’ve, I’ve really spent a lot of time on this, uh, thinking about it. I wonder if I could share, share a slide real quick, um, cause I’ve got this ready to go. Would that be all right?
Emma Catranis: Yeah, of course. Go for it.
Jordan Godbey: Okay. Yeah, just give, gimme a second here. So the welcome space at the top of every community or the welcome space group is a pretty common one. And I feel like there’s usually four or five spaces there, but I’m gonna show you, I’m gonna show you mine. Um, community setup. Yeah, here we go. So this is a little sneak peek. This is from my Build a Community powered Course. Course. So common setups. So you’ve got your welcome space group with spaces inside of it, your community and discussions space group, which could have multiple spaces inside. You’ve got a resources space group courses. Yeah, those are really the major groups. Uh, and so within them, like let’s say the welcome, uh, I’m just gonna quickly fly through this. So this is the really common spaces that I see inside of Welcome. So we’ve got start here, which is the onboarding that I showed you today. An announcement space where only you can post. It’s a really nice way to just blast and broadcast everyone, especially if you don’t have an email marketing system. But even if you do, this works really well, an introduction space, FAQs and support, those two can almost be combined. There’s ways to, just a place for people to get some help, right? So those are very common, um, but they’re not gonna use them all the time necessarily. They’re gonna post one time in introductions. Maybe they’ll check out the support in FAQ if they have a question. Um, whenever you make an announcement, they’ll see it. But then, yeah, and this is just what that looks like in different variations and iterations. I’ve taken a lot of different screenshots from different clients and communities. Um, people use different names, but this is essentially all the same stuff. Then we’ve got the community and discussions. So these are some examples. If you want to grab a screenshot, feel free. So general discussion is like the most common one. So you want to have a general discussion space, then you maybe have a place to, um, that that’s more specific. So you might have ask a question or wins or challenges, but again, you wanna avoid having space overlap. So you don’t wanna, you don’t wanna have someone say like, I have a question, but I’m not sure if I should post it in general discussion or questions or get help or get support. Like that’s too many very similar things. So you just wanna make sure that you really only have one clear space per subject or topic or action, for example. And then, um, yes, we’ve got courses. I’ll just get through this resources. So some people will have a video library or a knowledge base where they’ve curated content that they’ve built over time or that people have asked in the community and was a really good post. So they wanna save it for later for people. Yeah. So that, that’s pretty much it, I would say. Um, one thing I, I noticed that’s not on here would be live events. So live events space or event space is a super high value, super common one. General discussion, introduction, onboarding. Those are kind of like four or five really, really good ones. I hope that’s helpful.
Emma Catranis: Yeah, that’s great. Um, wonderful question, Lillian, I think that’s all the time that we have today. I want to, first of all, Jordan, thank you so much. This was such a helpful, informative session. So massive thank you to Jordan. And then thank you to all of you for joining. It was really great having you, you were a really great group. Um, I will be uploading the replay of this later in the week, so keep an eye on our video library for the replay and all of the links. I know we shared a ton of links in here. It’s probably hard to keep track of them. Those will be in the replay. So keep an eye out for that.
Jordan Godbey: Thank you. Thank you so much Emma, and for everyone that showed up today, I really appreciate it. Love doing these and engaging with all of you and helping you build amazing communities.
I just dropped my email in the chat. It’s Jordan@growthcommunity.co. If any of you wanna reach out to me there or you can find me in the circle community and all of those other ways that I can help you, feel free to reach out if you’re interested. Thanks.
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