Peers Over Beers - Community Experts Podcast

We have to level up our business knowledge and tie community to how it ties into helping these business problems. Chris and Nicole talk about how it is so important to drive business outcomes from the community. If you want to be a leader in community, get close to the CMO, CCO, CRO, etc. Talk about how the community is solving problems for their point of view. We give some examples of how to do that.

What is Peers Over Beers - Community Experts Podcast?

20 year Digital Experience and B2B Community Expert Michael Sandoval and 20 year Relationship Manager and B2B Community Strategist Chris Detzel are your hosts for this fun and straight shooting podcast for enterprise community managers and social media professionals. With their easy and natural inquisitive banter, your hosts will tackle hard issues facing community managers in their day-to-day struggles, and yes, over a beer. From starting new communities, digitally transforming enterprise culture, moderation, and globalization techniques are all up for discussion.

Chris Detzel: Welcome to another peers over beers i'm Chris Detzel so and.

Nicole Saunders: i'm Nicole Saunders.

Chris Detzel: call you just it just rolls off now so.

Chris Detzel: that's done so you've done so many of these.

Nicole Saunders: Are pro.

Chris Detzel: You know, have you been.

Nicole Saunders: Good you know always busy, but it certainly gets to be summer, this is like the really nice time for weather and Wisconsin so that's been good i've been getting out and gardening a little bit.

Nicole Saunders: Get back on the bike you know bicycle motorcycle um but yeah you know I think probably a lot of people can relate to an experience that i've been having lately, which is kind of across the tech sector we're seeing things slow down companies are getting ready for this potential recession.

Nicole Saunders: You know belt tightening regulations are going into place.

Nicole Saunders: And I know for me that's that's put me into your place of doing a lot of evaluating of our work and.

Nicole Saunders: Our strategies and that kind of thing so it's been interesting it's been a couple weeks of being really reflective on like.

Nicole Saunders: Okay, what are our goals and objectives and what do we do and what is everybody's role exactly and and really evaluating that and it's led to some some good learnings and some stuff its own process.

Nicole Saunders: How are you have you been seeing that kind of thing happening.

Chris Detzel: I have, I think that you know organization, then you seen all like Dan and other news and stuff like that that some organizations are going through some layoffs or you know they're not hiring and you know.

Chris Detzel: i'm the positive is from my standpoint, you know community is rocking and rolling but you know, it is also creating a lot of you know, work for myself because i'm still the only person in Community and have multiple jobs and ads and things like that so.

Nicole Saunders: yeah.

Chris Detzel: You know, from a hiring standpoint, I think you know I could probably say this at the moment we are we're still hiring.

Chris Detzel: But you know just more for specific roles right, the more kind of key key roles there, and so you know.

Chris Detzel: The outlook to get a Community head is going to be probably extremely difficult and so you know i'll just have to continue i'm doing what i'm doing you know but.

Chris Detzel: there's been so much demand or whatever lately that you know it's we kind of talked about this in the pre show is how do you say no to certain things that come up.

Chris Detzel: You know yeah that's that's I think that's a challenge for me is because we talked about this earlier is you get.

Chris Detzel: The goal for the Community at the or the The thing that you do with Community as you build the hype you then show the value you show what it can do and people start seeing it and they want more and more and more, and you know it's.

Chris Detzel: Great when people actually want more and you get you kind of do what you thought you were going to do, but then you know, there comes a time to where well you can't do all those things.

Nicole Saunders: You know it's a.

Nicole Saunders: Well, as you want to do to get people excited and they finally come to you and you're like on everything.

Nicole Saunders: Right you don't.

Nicole Saunders: You don't want to have that sort of disconnect but it's also true that, like.

Nicole Saunders: You can't do everything, and especially if you're in a situation where like.

Nicole Saunders: you're not able to hire or higher as much as you thought or if you're going through a budget tightening exercise.

Nicole Saunders: Or if there's even just more scrutiny on on the work that you're doing, you have to start getting really strategic and.

Nicole Saunders: i've absolutely had that experience of like I want a Community to be everything to everybody at the company and you know what we're going to go on a road show and tell everybody how they can engage with us and everything that.

Nicole Saunders: You do and then all the sudden like 30 different people want to do events with you and you're like Oh, actually, I can tell you five.

Nicole Saunders: yeah how do I pick i'm going to now be strategic I gotta figure out what to say no to and how to do it in a way that doesn't.

Nicole Saunders: make people feel like Oh well, that yeah the Community said no so i'm i'm not working with them anymore.

Right yeah.

Chris Detzel: Well it's kinda like anything like we're not the only ones in the business that have that problem.

Chris Detzel: I mean.

Chris Detzel: yeah you can imagine, you know sales folks maybe San to marketing that hey we don't do enough events or hey, we need to do.

Chris Detzel: campaigns on this thing and or you know there's always opinions out there, and maybe it's it's more about and i've been thinking about this too, and you tell me what you think it's more about community leaders like us learning to do what everybody else is doing.

Chris Detzel: You know what I mean and becoming business leaders and and being seen internally, as the business lead, you know and Community kind of be in that part of the business.

Chris Detzel: You know and.

Nicole Saunders: There go ahead.

Chris Detzel: No, no, go ahead.

Nicole Saunders: I was gonna say I think it all comes back to being strategic and your.

Nicole Saunders: strategy and knowing.

Nicole Saunders: What does follow your wheelhouse and what doesn't and community can do so many things and be part of so many programs and it's where you have to start to prioritize.

Nicole Saunders: And you know to your point when I think about other teams at the company, you know if I want something from this team I gotta submit a request for it.

Nicole Saunders: A quarter ahead of time and then they prioritize things and tell me what they can and can't do.

Nicole Saunders: And my team should function in a similar way and yeah we've always.

Nicole Saunders: Just sort of bent over backwards to try to accommodate everybody at all times, because we want to be those good partners and want people to engage in Community and see is valuable channel.

Nicole Saunders: But yeah it there are points in time, where you either get too busy or where things get too tight for you to be able to just accommodate everything on the fly, and so you have to know.

Nicole Saunders: What is my strategy, what are my priorities, what do we do what don't we do and what don't we do right now.

Nicole Saunders: And so you know we've been really kind of looking back at our stretching Okay, really, what is it that we do, what is the nugget that is at the Center of what our team is all about.

Chris Detzel: yeah I think that's so important because you know, the last thing you want to do is do so many things that you're not effective and so what's going to make the biggest impact so that's where the strategy comes in and saying well today we're focused in on you know.

Chris Detzel: Community led growth okay well, what does that mean and then that's the activities that drive Community led growth will be what we're focused in on and that's it right, you know not.

Chris Detzel: You know how do we do this event, how do we do that event nope does this kind of fit into what we're trying to do.

Chris Detzel: And you know something i've been learning as of late is and again i'm learning and i'm on the marketing team I report into the CMO, you know but i've got to work with.

Chris Detzel: His leaders, and you know the hard part is so i've created this really cool thing you know it's a webinar program I call it the real to Community shows, and you know, I have a.

Chris Detzel: shows almost every week now you know and it's it's a time suck but what marketing wants or certain people and marketing, and you know it's kind of leading to this is.

Chris Detzel: How do we kind of pull this all together right like if we're doing campaigns and Chris you're doing a community.

Chris Detzel: Show on let's say data quality but we're not you're doing it on data quality in June, but we have this whole campaign going out on data quality and July, you know.

Chris Detzel: You know you kind of missed it, you know what I mean, and so, how do you strategically insert yourself so it's more of those kinds of things like.

Chris Detzel: How do I play well with marketing it's well some degree i've got to like stop thinking Okay, I need all these shows, which is helpful to the Community, which is very important.

Chris Detzel: How do I also think about working with the business and making the biggest impact from a business standpoint, rather than.

Chris Detzel: hey you know, all I care about is our Community and what the Community is doing, yes it's important and you should think that way should also think somebody told me this today actually our CEO.

Chris Detzel: Chris you do a really great job of this what what you know really kind of getting the Community going, because what you need to work on is.

Chris Detzel: The internal business right not not that you're not working well with you know individual contributors and everything else, but how do you do the same thing that you're doing outside of.

Chris Detzel: You know, with the customers partners and even on linkedin and the stuff that you do, how do you do that internally to at the leadership standpoint, if you want to move your career further that's what you're gonna have to do, or is that from best my view I was like.

Chris Detzel: Jesus that was harsh, but that was good.

Nicole Saunders: I mean, sometimes the harshest feedback can be some of the most useful right be hard to.

Chris Detzel: Hard it was.

Nicole Saunders: kind of thing um.

Chris Detzel: I don't know if I get off there but.

Chris Detzel: That was on my mind, a little bit around the business piece.

Nicole Saunders: yeah well, I mean it's all part of the same story right which is that.

Nicole Saunders: And I think this is a topic that we've sort of touched on a couple different times and different aspects which is really that as Community is becoming a bigger part of businesses and business strategies.

Nicole Saunders: Community professionals really have to start to level up to not just being really good at Community but being good at business that's right and understanding.

Nicole Saunders: The relationship between the Community in the business and starting to tie those things together, and whether that is helping to manage an internal Community as well as an external community.

Nicole Saunders: Bringing insights and reporting from the Community and raising those up and sharing those out across the company, you know I know early in my career, I was like.

Nicole Saunders: Well, everything I do is public like if anybody's interested in Community they can just go look at it right.

Nicole Saunders: But like that's not really what the business needs what the business needs is me going in every week and saying okay we've answered this many questions here are the topics that customers are really concerned about.

Nicole Saunders: here's a really interesting product suggestion that came out of the Community there's a group of users, that are kind of upset about this thing that we did that we.

Nicole Saunders: need to rectify with them, those are the insights that a business really needs us to.

Nicole Saunders: yeah in and bring into it and again aligning it with the priorities and the strategy right it's not just oh there's 37 posts in the Community, this week.

Nicole Saunders: So what okay great and what, if I can say hey there were 37 posts in the Community that were about this product launch That was a big part of our strategy last week and here's what they said, and how they feel about it.

Nicole Saunders: yeah totally different context, right now, that's got some meaning, now that aligns to something that's a key you know business strategy or key driver.

Chris Detzel: yeah it's a good point I like that, and I also think that you know what while we're on strategy you've really got to focus in on how does your.

Chris Detzel: Community strategy tie into the business goals.

Chris Detzel: You know.

Chris Detzel: And you know, like you said community can touch almost every piece of the organization almost every piece even HR you know you can get people engaged to help answer.

Chris Detzel: You get excited about that, and they can do certain things but there's a lot of different parts of the business, but if you're more strategic around what are you trying to accomplish with Community.

Chris Detzel: You know, and as it grows, you can start touching more parts of the organization, whether it's marketing or customer success or support or you know, whatever.

Chris Detzel: You know, I think that that is the key, and then you like you said communicating the value bringing those stories and those those Community type things that hey you know here's some trends, here are some things but it's also saying you know Community lead to 15 leads this month, which.

Chris Detzel: be great or and then proven it out, you know what I mean like this is hard shit and you know this is a journey again because.

Chris Detzel: communities are starting to do this, you know case deflection is a good strategy, you know damn I know it's not a sexy one.

Chris Detzel: But it's it's it's a it's a huge opportunity, you know to if you can prove that out say you know your community is even a million dollars a year, or whatever the money it's.

Chris Detzel: I mean, who doesn't want to hear that you know, depending on your audience, you know you might not go to a marketing person or CMO and say hey.

Chris Detzel: we're saving support this much it's great So what are you doing for marketing, you know what I mean so it's always talking about the language to the people you're here with.

Nicole Saunders: Well, and you know what i'm hearing there's a couple of things, one is an you like, we can clearly do many podcasts just on the data piece right.

Chris Detzel: Like yeah.

Nicole Saunders: How do you get your hands on your data, how do you use it, what are the metrics, what are the kpis are you measuring the things that are actually your primary objectives.

Nicole Saunders: You know there's that whole like you're going to get what you measure.

Chris Detzel: yeah.

Nicole Saunders: And so, make sure you're doing that and make sure you can tell the impacts and so there's there's the whole data piece there's also that piece of you know.

Nicole Saunders: The communication touch so many parts of the business and ideally as things grow you grow your team, and you start to reach more and more, I think that many Community teams have this tendency to try to like spread ourselves super thin.

Nicole Saunders: And like no i'm going to touch all the parts of business at once, you know i've often felt like a lot of key programs, which are like raising a tent where you like you get all the tent Poles you gotta lift it all at once, right there's this whole ecosystem.

Nicole Saunders: Like if you don't have.

Chris Detzel: My look I.

Chris Detzel: yeah i'm i'm guilty.

Chris Detzel: Does you know.

Nicole Saunders: You know hands on all six tent Poles by yourself right yeah.

Nicole Saunders: When your foot one of your teeth.

Chris Detzel: trisha.

Nicole Saunders: anyways but that's one of the things that we've been looking at is like we've done a really good job.

Nicole Saunders: of getting ourselves integrated into many parts of business right we work with product, we were to force the customers marketing or sales or customer education and training we're on the marketing team, we have a huge role and support.

Nicole Saunders: And now we're getting that point of oh wow we are doing a lot of different things, what are the most important, and so one of the exercises that we're going through is measuring impact.

Nicole Saunders: yeah really get all of the different projects we've started, you know oh we've got the space in the Community, we created to.

Nicole Saunders: Just for product managers to write about what they do with the product and tell people about it and Oh, we have this recognition program over here and Oh, we were trying to.

Nicole Saunders: bring these aspects of training into the Community and so now we're going back and looking at Okay, if all this content we're creating what's getting page views and what isn't.

Nicole Saunders: yeah and like one thing that we found is we were spending a lot of time a very carefully thoughtfully hand crafting beautiful content was getting like no page views, and the reason it wasn't getting any page views one is a little bit of that seo thing.

Chris Detzel: Right yeah.

Nicole Saunders: And a big part of it was that we weren't we hadn't built out the strategy for how we're going to promote that content.

Nicole Saunders: So we're doing this great content and we knew it was super useful.

Nicole Saunders: But then it was just getting posted and sitting there it wasn't going out in any marketing it wasn't getting posts on social media we weren't sharing it and so.

Nicole Saunders: That was one of the things we looked at said Okay, we either we have two choices, here we can build out that promotion strategy, make sure we're really driving.

Nicole Saunders: Cars you know traffic towards this content and that it's getting out there it's getting used or we can just stop this activity, what we can't keep doing is spending a lot of time building out content.

Nicole Saunders: that's not going anywhere.

Nicole Saunders: And you know it's not because i'm not good content it's just because nobody knows it's there right.

Nicole Saunders: yep and you know.

Chris Detzel: We open, is it.

Chris Detzel: like this.

Nicole Saunders: Okay yep yep it's open to the public, so it's you know it's primarily customers that interact there but anybody can come in and check it out, and I think it's great for prospects, or anything.

Chris Detzel: I guess, I was.

Chris Detzel: The reason I.

Chris Detzel: Think about, that is.

Chris Detzel: yeah I do a lot of that too and and.

Chris Detzel: And I think that one is there's technical seo type stuff that can be done, and whether or not you kind of manage that or somebody helps you manage that, if nothing.

Chris Detzel: Then I would certainly the kind of look at that maybe you are but that's that's key so one of the key things to me and creating content like that is.

Chris Detzel: so that people can find a question that they have an answer it on Google, you know, Google answers, because I always say this is, if you don't have the content.

Chris Detzel: If somebody searches for you on Google about your product in as a question about it and they don't see it there it's a very frustrating experience they don't want to go to you know.

Chris Detzel: docs.to.com support you know, whatever they don't want to go to those sites they've gone to Google on purpose.

Chris Detzel: yeah so now, they have to figure out.

Chris Detzel: Where to go and zendesk or realm to or whatever to get the question answered, and then they buy search different places can't find it.

Chris Detzel: And maybe eventually they find it but it's a very frustrating experience and then, when they do find it on Google they're not excited about it they're just expected.

Chris Detzel: You know, so what I wonder is and maybe you thought about that, but is if they're searching on Google and they're not finding the answer, and maybe their contents not really helpful anyways because maybe not helpful content I don't know but.

Chris Detzel: It could be an seo problem like seo technical problem within you know your systems.

Nicole Saunders: are waiting, I think there's this part of that you know I know for us part of it is like this is new stuff.

Nicole Saunders: And so it takes time to build up the.

Chris Detzel: Yes, yeah long time.

Nicole Saunders: The Google juice, as it as.

Nicole Saunders: It right.

Nicole Saunders: yeah like.

Nicole Saunders: So that's that's a piece of it.

Nicole Saunders: yeah but you know the bigger point is really just like how important it is to regularly look at sort of the portfolio of all of the work that you are, that your team is doing.

Chris Detzel: By the way down bring this back.

Nicole Saunders: Always i'm I like to play Chris.

Chris Detzel: You get you know sorry about that.

Nicole Saunders: No, not at all, I mean, these are all like important aspects of it right and.

Nicole Saunders: yeah and so, and that is part of the evaluation Okay, is it an seo problem is it a promotion problem we're not putting this in the right format, should it live somewhere else but the key thing there is that we can't just keep doing what we're doing.

Nicole Saunders: yeah once we've recognized like okay this isn't really delivering we either have to do something different, where we should stop doing it, and it is.

Chris Detzel: Absolutely.

Nicole Saunders: I think that's the hardest thing, sometimes, especially when there's something that you feel really deeply is like oh man this.

Nicole Saunders: is so great for our members and they're gonna love it so much.

Nicole Saunders: And then, if it doesn't work, the way that you were expecting sometimes it's like well, maybe if I just do it a little bit more.

Nicole Saunders: And and really what you have to do is evaluate what's working what's not and I think when we get into these periods of time, where we have to start being like extra strategic right.

Nicole Saunders: Whether it's because you're delivering something or your organization is going through a change or you know interesting the top like maybe you've got a budget cut or maybe don't didn't get headcount your accounting on or something like that.

Nicole Saunders: You have to really dial in and the first thing to do is look at what am I doing right now.

Nicole Saunders: How much of it aligns with my top priorities.

yeah.

Nicole Saunders: What is the stuff i'm doing that doesn't really align and then, of all of those things what's working and what isn't I mean you got it either.

Nicole Saunders: You guys take the things that aren't working any the figure, it was going to make them work or scrap them you can't just keep letting them zombie on because they're just in a way you down and hold you back.

Nicole Saunders: And so I really excited to see, I am my team and I are doing a little exercise right now we're all keeping track of where we're spending our time right we're basically filling out time sheets us it was not a fun exercise.

Chris Detzel: Right here's over beers.

Nicole Saunders: I think this falls in brand awareness campaigns.

Nicole Saunders: Or maybe professional development, well that's good I like.

Nicole Saunders: i'll put a subcategory, though.

Nicole Saunders: Okay, well, I do have people qualified like you know how much time are they spending on professional development and reading books listening to podcast because I think that is part of your job it's really important part of your job.

Nicole Saunders: But it's gonna be really interesting to see because I suspect what we'll find and I suspect most teams in mind this is that most of us probably spend most of our time not actually working on our top priorities.

Nicole Saunders: Right so like these two programs are my top priorities.

Nicole Saunders: Are you're only spending like eight hours a week, total on them.

Nicole Saunders: And then you're spending a whole bunch of time checking emails and organizing your tasks and being in meetings and things.

Nicole Saunders: And so the reason i'm doing this is really just so that we can have a good discussion and an informed discussion about where we're spending our time, where are the things that are inefficient that we could maybe automate or stop doing or hand off to other people.

Nicole Saunders: And how can I get refocus so that we're actually spending, most of the time working on the things that we've stated, are key priorities and our key deliverables this year.

Nicole Saunders: And I I think this is something that we all imagine.

Nicole Saunders: We would do on a regular basis, but you actually really have to stop and take a couple weeks and sit down and look at it and talk through it and make sure that you are spending your time working on the things that are the highest priority.

Nicole Saunders: And this is like, not a Community specifically this is for anybody, but I think it's particularly helpful for new teams, because we get pulled in so many different directions.

Chris Detzel: Such is such a good point, and you know I I kind of find myself.

Chris Detzel: Here here here and here at times and.

Chris Detzel: Totally you know and and you're like right now that's important right now that's important right, but if you kind of look back and you start thinking.

Chris Detzel: But I have this thing that I have to get done over the year you know, am I, making headway to this year, you know getting these goals and things like that done.

Chris Detzel: it's everything that i'm working on, for the most part i'm not saying you don't do one off whatever things you know, but is it aligning with that.

Chris Detzel: Like you said this to the strategy that you're trying to accomplish in the roadmap that you've put together for your teams to go on accomplish and if it doesn't.

Chris Detzel: Then you kind of know where you can cut i'm not saying that you just cut everything you know because life is life right you gotta go sometimes and you got it, but you can say.

Chris Detzel: You know i'm going to these meetings every week and really doesn't align to what i'm trying to accomplish today or the year so you can easily.

Chris Detzel: At some point, say look I can't go to this meeting anymore it's not i'm not gonna be able to accomplish my goals and then that gives you more time back to be able to accomplish those things, it allows you to prioritize I love that you're doing that because it's so easy to get off like.

Nicole Saunders: it's just yeah I mean i'm.

Nicole Saunders: Sure example for it at the top of the podcast right oh somebody came to me, and they have a special project they wanted me to do it, I felt like was really important to say yes to them.

Chris Detzel: yeah.

Nicole Saunders: But does it align with the Community strategy, and I think the really cool thing is like once you're really focused on your strategy and, once you know your priorities.

Nicole Saunders: It creates space to be able to say no, if you don't know what your strategy is and somebody comes to us as well, can we do this special thing you're like yeah I guess I sure, but if you say you know what I love that idea, it really doesn't align with our strategy right now.

Chris Detzel: So maybe it's a bit in in July, or you know yeah.

Nicole Saunders: I think this will really aligned with the stuff that we're going to q3 let's put it there and it creates a really great way for you to be able to start to control your time.

Nicole Saunders: yeah and to be able to know what to say yes and no to and why, why are you saying yes or no to things.

Chris Detzel: yeah, I think, too, is like, if I had a team.

Chris Detzel: What you know just from this conversation, something I would say is you know if you don't know the strategy.

Chris Detzel: One have one and then two is, if you don't know it backwards and forwards, because maybe you're not the one as a community manager putting that together, maybe your leader is or whatever.

Chris Detzel: or you're helping or whatever it is, maybe you should go back and continue to look at that and saying well there's these kind of tactical things or whatever align with what i'm trying to do.

Chris Detzel: Because, sometimes I have to go back to my own strategy and think.

Chris Detzel: You know i'm supposed to accomplish you know this, many references this many whatever and i'm like.

Chris Detzel: What am I doing to do that, you know, like.

Chris Detzel: I haven't done it yeah really.

Chris Detzel: yeah so.

Nicole Saunders: you're a runner right Chris.

Chris Detzel: yeah.

Nicole Saunders: And if you were getting ready for a race it'd be a real bummer if you got to the day before, is there, like I didn't didn't really train.

Chris Detzel: I was doing some.

Nicole Saunders: I got distracted by other things right know if you're running a race you've got a schedule of like doing a two hour run on Tuesday i'm doing active recovery on Wednesday.

Nicole Saunders: Night strength training on Thursday like you have that, and you know that you have to hit almost everything in your plans that you'll be ready for that race and yet a lot of US approach work like will put out our plan and our goals for the year and then we take off moving and we never.

Chris Detzel: Do you know we've had my back my back.

Chris Detzel: and actually we forget to go back to plan and kind of look at that and that's what the roadmaps for and to really kind of keep you on track and probably as a leader.

Chris Detzel: is something that you should go over with your team, you know every so often to say hey look.

Chris Detzel: here's our roadmap, this is what we're getting you know, this is where our strategy is and then this is how we're going to accomplish it let's make sure we're on track and I like how you're kind of.

Chris Detzel: You know, in a sense, tracking some of the you know everybody's tracking sort of what they're doing, and you know, then it probably allows you as a leader to say great.

Chris Detzel: You know what what are some of those things that you know here here's our goals, but so and so mentioned, and maybe you don't maybe you look at your own self and say.

Chris Detzel: i've been doing these things right and that looks like I probably shouldn't be doing these three things that i've been doing for the last I don't know however long.

Chris Detzel: So i'm going to stop doing at least one or two of them what are some of yours that you're trying to you know what I mean like i'm thinking out loud because because this helps me to be honestly to be selfish.

Nicole Saunders: Here, for it.

Chris Detzel: So i'm just kind of balancing that.

Chris Detzel: five.

Chris Detzel: You know even further kind of thinking, because I think that is so important, you know, and I don't I don't do it enough to be honest, I should, but I don't.

Nicole Saunders: Know yeah I mean, I would say, this is probably the first time i've really put my team through it rigorously.

Nicole Saunders: Where we have like okay we're going to track our time.

Nicole Saunders: And we're going to look at our goals we're going to figure out what aligns and what doesn't and where there's gaps right maybe there's something we're really trying to accomplish and nobody's working on it right now, because we're all doing other things, or we all.

Nicole Saunders: Think somebody else is doing it.

Nicole Saunders: And so I think it's it's just it's an important exercise and i'm really excited to see what the outcome of it as I feel like I think for my team it's going to really help us feel really clear on what we're doing how we're working together.

Nicole Saunders: You know how we're going to get to and accomplish the things that we're accomplishing and again it gives us that ability to say no, or to recognize like hey that is a great idea.

Nicole Saunders: let's put that on a backlog and next time we're doing strategy let's talk about how we can incorporate it but right now we don't have space to add anything else.

Chris Detzel: yeah is it hard for you to say don't do that anymore to.

Nicole Saunders: Go hard it's the worst especially.

Nicole Saunders: If it's something that you know we I hear the quote lot like communities built by doing things that don't scale right and that's so true especially early on.

Nicole Saunders: You got to be super hands on and do things that like work when you have 100 members that would not work if you have 10,000 members.

Nicole Saunders: yeah um, and so I think the hardest thing is when we've got those things were like man, this is like super awesome impact for these six people and you're like Okay, but we gotta serve like 600 now.

Nicole Saunders: So.

Nicole Saunders: Like yeah I hate to tell you, not to do that thing, because I know that it is super valuable for those six people.

Nicole Saunders: But we can't keep focusing on just those six people.

Nicole Saunders: yeah.

Nicole Saunders: You gotta get out there, a little bit broader or hey we're going to put it on pause and come back to it and so that's hard and it's also I know for me.

Nicole Saunders: I like to give my team Members the opportunity to learn the things they want to learn and pursue what they're interested in in the context of their jobs.

Nicole Saunders: yeah so i'm constantly sort of like trying to figure out how we can organize our work in such a way to create opportunities for people to build the skill sets they want to build get the experience they want to experience.

Nicole Saunders: And so that's why it can be tough sometimes to say no right because maybe somebody really wants to learn something i'm like.

Nicole Saunders: Man I get that and I see where it would be valuable for you and we can't do it right now I could just this is way outside of the wheelhouse of what we're trying to do this year or this area.

Chris Detzel: um.

Nicole Saunders: And I you know i've already had some conversations like I had one team Member I looked at it, like you, are leading seven major projects.

Nicole Saunders: Seven, that means you can spend an hour on each of them every day, and you only get five hours a week on any of your projects you're not going to be successful, doing that we got to figure out how to get you down to three or four and it was so hard to like pick.

Nicole Saunders: Right like what are the things that you're like yeah We really should do that but it's not something we can accommodate right now it's.

Chris Detzel: Not in the strategy.

Chris Detzel: it's not a gonna accomplish what we wanted to yeah.

Nicole Saunders: let's talk about what happens if you don't do that right you end up with all of these things that are sort of like maybe they get 80% done maybe you get an mvp out the door and you're never able to do the version two.

Nicole Saunders: You get something that launches and then just sort of sits there and doesn't go, and so the.

Chris Detzel: way it happens.

Nicole Saunders: yeah, and I mean gosh I you know i've got examples of these things.

Nicole Saunders: Probably from every job ever right i'm sure all of us to you.

Nicole Saunders: And so, when you're thinking about like gosh I really want to deliver something I want to see this through all the way to fruition, I want to have it be really successful.

Nicole Saunders: It means expanding other things, and you know another quarter came across the street better like I want to see this came from like a Tom Hanks article that was going around one of the business publications.

Nicole Saunders: But as the recognition that everything you say yes to means that you're saying no to something else.

Nicole Saunders: And I had never thought about that way I just kept being like I just I have infinite yeses I can just get everything right and that's.

Nicole Saunders: sure not true.

Nicole Saunders: And so the question really there is like, are you saying yes to things like so many things that you're not actually say able to say yes to the most important thing.

Chris Detzel: So you're so smart is is really good.

Nicole Saunders: I read a lot.

Chris Detzel: I probably should read something.

Chris Detzel: I don't have time because i'm doing too much she has seen.

I.

Nicole Saunders: Doing to us, yes that's gonna be our new catchphrase here um I mean I i'll be honest, I wasn't do a lot of stuff like it wasn't a lot of podcasts and books and things will i'm out.

Nicole Saunders: walking or gardening or something like that it's always have to remind myself like it's okay to just not listen to anything and just have like a Zen moment.

Nicole Saunders: You know, and in constant input, but you know it does help bring some of those insights together and I I love learning that stuff.

Chris Detzel: No, I think that's awesome and you know, I think that any way you can kind of focus in on one your career your personal growth and.

Chris Detzel: Things like that is highly important, you know, one of the things that helps me from my personal growth is things like this is talking to people like you, because.

Chris Detzel: You come with you read you you listen to smart people in all the time, and so, but you know you're doing this for living as well right and so some of this stuff really helps me.

Chris Detzel: But you know I encourage everyone to have their outlet to one look you don't have to think about work all day every day.

Chris Detzel: You know, and you shouldn't yeah you know, on your time off Okay, maybe you're doing personal growth and trying to be better at business fair enough.

Chris Detzel: But you know go do some runs go do some biking go do whatever it is that you know it's fun, do you play dungeons and dragons I don't know but, whatever that is do it have fun know.

Nicole Saunders: Your brain needs that.

Nicole Saunders: That time to rest and be creative and you know.

Nicole Saunders: it's interesting during this time tracking exercise because I realized, I took a walk before work, which I tried to do most days and.

Nicole Saunders: I spent the entire walk thinking about strategic things for work.

Nicole Saunders: yeah So when I got back, I wrote that down it's been an hour doing strict strategic planning this morning before work and it it's really helped me realize like oh gosh I might only work eight or nine hours a day, but I might think about work another two or three outside of that.

Nicole Saunders: saying I know it's it's not that that's a major problem, but it's also a recognition that like you know, do you need that break time you do need those gaps.

Nicole Saunders: And also that you know professional development should be part of your workday.

Nicole Saunders: It shouldn't be I work 40 hours, and then I go take a class or I work 40 hours, and then I go read a business book and so when I created that my my time tracking sheets for my team Members I should put professional development at the top of the list.

Chris Detzel: We have time tracking okay.

Nicole Saunders: that's interesting well, I mean this is this exercise we're going through this spreadsheet, but that was the first thing I put down is how much time you guys spending.

Nicole Saunders: listen to your podcast reading a book going through a webinar talking with peers in the industry and, I suspect, most people are going to find that it's very little.

Nicole Saunders: yeah and I want them I want everybody to be spending time every day you just have a couple of hours a week for you're out in the industry.

Nicole Saunders: Learning these things or you're reading up on a business book or you're having coffee, with people to learn about what they do, because that's going to make your work better it's going to inform you.

Nicole Saunders: But it doesn't just happen on the fly, and I think that's the biggest mistake people make they feel like I got to be productive.

Nicole Saunders: All day every day i've got to get my tasks done and they don't spend enough time kind of zooming out and thinking about their work and and that's really what ultimately is going to help you.

Nicole Saunders: grow in your career be more hole with your work and it keeps you interested like you and I are both clearly very passionate about Community we're sitting here nerd out about it.

Nicole Saunders: yeah every couple weeks, I mean you do it every single week, but if you don't take it.

Nicole Saunders: Twice sometimes.

Nicole Saunders: wow i'm a true a true athlete of podcasting right there.

Chris Detzel: You know it's yeah.

Nicole Saunders: But yeah those opportunities you got to build that into your workday accounts that's part of your work, you know.

Chris Detzel: I agree, I mean I feel like I need lots of personal growth, and you know when I kind of looked at.

Chris Detzel: One when Michael passed away, you know, I was doing the podcast with them and things like that I thought.

Chris Detzel: You know something I wanted to do anyways was talk to leaders like yourself in the industry right, you know and just one give you a platform to I want to learn.

Chris Detzel: You know, because to me, he was the smartest person I knew and around community, and you know he helped me in my career and that's why we did it.

Chris Detzel: But then I was like I still want to learn, I still want you know that was really an opportunity there.

Chris Detzel: And you know I do sometimes twice a week, you know to do these podcasts because you know I want the opportunity but.

Chris Detzel: Doing these podcasts really difficult sometimes it's not difficult, but you know it's a lot of time and effort you know you think about cutting some of this sometimes you want some quick hits and things.

Chris Detzel: You know so nobody else but me doing it, but it's but it's so beneficial to me that and it's also extremely helpful, I think, like others, like to be on podcast you know what I mean and so.

Chris Detzel: Great you love to be on the podcast Nicole me too, you know, like when I get together and I get i've got to know you know you like, I can reach out to you.

Chris Detzel: In a month and say hey I really need your help, what do you think about this, you know, and you would probably reply back within you know, a day or two.

You know.

Chris Detzel: Now I have a whole network of community leaders that can help me solve problems like sometimes Scott, you know he'll get on here and other Kate.

Chris Detzel: What does this really mean like I heard this thing and I don't even know you know, like Should I be doing this, or I don't know whatever and you just have somebody to go to a network that will will reply to you instantly you know.

Nicole Saunders: Well, and it's so valuable you know one because it's so important to get diverse perspectives right and having a number of different people, you can tap into you but also you're the only Community person at your business right.

Nicole Saunders: Exactly, and I think for so many of us.

Nicole Saunders: we're often the top Community expert, you know we may have more depth and experience and Community than our own managers because Community typically you know it's still pretty rare for there to be a chief Community officer, or even a VP of community.

Nicole Saunders: And therefore, you need other Community professionals, that you can lean on when you're facing these problems where it's like Okay, I could talk to my boss about it but i'd have to explain, like all of this context.

Nicole Saunders: yeah for them to have, in order for them to help me through this decision, but if you can go tap into another Community professional that okay yeah I know what that kind of a thing is.

Chris Detzel: let's dive into the problem is something.

Nicole Saunders: That can be really, really, really valuable and you know it's it's part of my like like you said you just with the podcast I try to have conversations like this with other Community professionals, a couple times a month just.

Chris Detzel: To.

Nicole Saunders: Have coffee pick their brain and get to know them and it's it's something I really encourage all my team to do to because it's that's been the single best thing for my personal growth or my professional growth really.

Chris Detzel: Is.

Nicole Saunders: just been sharing knowledge with other people it's you know it's so funny people like so what communities you participated in like Community manager communities.

Chris Detzel: kind of is right.

Chris Detzel: that's funny.

Chris Detzel: want to call this has been really, really good hey.

Chris Detzel: what's off, but.

Nicole Saunders: I know we could go on for hours, but we.

Nicole Saunders: can probably don't listen to three Ireland podcaster.

Chris Detzel: yeah you know I think 40 or 50 minutes is probably.

Chris Detzel: good enough yeah I think so.

Nicole Saunders: Take it easy so well thanks everyone for tuning in to another peers over beers i'm Chris Daniel and.

Nicole Saunders: i'm The co founder.

Chris Detzel: thanks again Nicole.

Nicole Saunders: Thanks Chris.