Hot Seat with Ayelet Marinovich
Tell us who you are, what you do, where we can find you online, and tell us about your community.
OK. I am Ayelet Marinovich. My training is speech language pathologist and a parent educator and I work with families with infants and toddlers. I also have a former infant and toddler. (laughter) That's a good way to say it isn't it?
It's funny how those things change isn't it.
When we first started talking they were infants and toddlers. Anyway. So I run Strength in Words dot com which is a set of resources and a company committed to furthering parent education and promoting baby-caregiver interaction.
So how do you want a new member to feel or any member to feel really when they're inside of the Strength In Words community?
So, when someone joins the Strength In Words Community Lab I think the most important thing is that, similar to you, that they feel like number one a sense of relief and peace of mind. Like they know that they are in a place where th...
ey can receive a big hug. That it's an acknowledgement, this is a really hard time in your life. Everyone says "Enjoy it. It's so beautiful". And yes it is but it's also really hard And that sense of okay this is a place that I have what I need.
Yeah love that, awesome, cut print beautiful. (laughter) So what actions do you know if a member does this thing they're going to feel that way. So a live event is a huge, huge thing. I know that because I've pulled my members in the past I have sort of four areas that are things that we offer within the community, including a developmental curriculum which includes different kinds of activities and ideas that you can just sort of pull from anytime that are appropriate for your child's age and based on what we've talked about yesterday I'm definitely going to be integrating more ways for that to be engaged with instead of just something that people look at and passively say, oh that's a good idea I'm going to try that. So much more member generated content in addition to the content that I've created as well. So there's that developmental curriculum, there are live Q & A workshops with special guests that we bring in to the community, people who are either professionals, who work with young children or who are parents and often times these are professionals and parents who have young children or parents who have had a specific kind of experience perhaps. The last one we had was a parent of a toddler who has sensory processing disorder. So what that looks like, how that feels, what you can do, things to watch out for, things like that, what that looks like in my family.
I'm actually going to pause you just there for a minute because we're getting back into the these are things that we provide.
That people can interact with no it's a great reminder right because you did mention member created content and that's huge but I mean obviously we're going to be doing things, we're going to be creating content, we're going to be hosting events. And we want people to engage with those things because absolutely that creates more of a sense of investment and commitment but we don't want them just attending.
No. Exactly and of course I was getting there but I'm fairly long winded sometimes so. And something actually that you have said in the past, which is, because I'm in your CoCo Community the real excitement happens not with the live event of course, that's really useful but the discussion afterwards. So what were your take-aways, lets hear about what was useful for you and also of course people interact and ask questions during the live Q & A workshop, that's the whole point but after that, getting members more engaged around why was that useful, how can you apply that to your life, do you see those things in your family or whatever it is.
So those kinds of things and the aftermath of that.
Actually let me pause you there sorry. So those are things you can prompt right and these are things we forget because we'll say, Why don't more people ask questions? Why don't more people follow up? You have to tell them what to do.
Okay so you can think about that as every time I invite my community to an event, I don't just say register here and attend this LIVE event. I say come up with a question that you want to ask this expert. Right. And so it's not just come, which is more passive, it's come and participate. If you want more people to engage if you want more people asking questions, tell them that's what you want them to do.
I know it sounds really simple but I know because I've done it. How many times we sit there and boo hoo how people aren't engaging with what we're doing tell them to engage and tell them exactly how. This is what I want you to ask a question about or think about the last time you ran into this problem what kind of advice would you like from that expert that we brought in.
Yeah. Right, so those kinds of live workshops and then also we have parent support groups and sort of a developmental check in type group. So I find that when families attend those, any kind of live event that I have, they are much more likely to continue to participate, engage and provide value for others. It's much more back and forth.
And I think it's because they see the value of each other. When they get to actually sit there on a software like Zoom for instance, and see each other and all of a sudden that ability to connect socially when you feel very isolated as a new mom and obviously we have some neighborhood based resources that we can go to hopefully but if you have just moved to a new place or your support network is somewhere else or just nonexistent, or you're an introvert and it's just easier to connect online what an amazing opportunity to go and literally see inside somebody else's living room. And not only that but how they live their life, how they organize their kids toys, all of these things are informative.
Yeah absolutely. Which brings me to another really
We're off topic.
No no no no no this is great because that brings me to another really good point coming back to the content element too. How many of you guys have made an online course and gotten frustrated when no one used it. Putting it in a container of community doesn't change that. Right? So if you put lots of content in your community and you still get frustrated when people aren't engaging with it that's because content in and of itself is not actually that engaging.
Right. It's not interactive.
You sit and read it.
Exactly. What gets people using that content is going to be engaging with others with that content. Using the content as a tool to connect with other people. That is what makes real immersive learning happen, happen. That's what happens here, right? You guys walk away with so many incredible insights because you go and talk to each other at the break or like at CoCommercial right now there's a chat happening behind the scenes on our platform where people are watching the class and talking to each other and they're getting more out of it because they're not just engaging with the content, they're engaging with each other. That is more action that you want to prompt. Yes, go read the resource that you came here for because a lot of time people do come for the resources, they stay and they get value from the resources because they connect with other people and that's something you absolutely wannna build into your onboarding process if you do have a content component to your community.
Huge. Yeah. Yeah.
Alright, let's move on to the next question. What does a new member need to know about using your community?
Right, so definitely the basics about how do I make a new post, how do I actually attend an event, how do I connect with other people but also I have my community sort of categorized in one area through your child's age. So of course showing people how you can connect with other people who have another child your age or who are potentially geographically located near you. Like whoa amazing. Two-fold. Virtual and real life, if you want to.
Yeah totally. Alright, awesome. What does a new member need to know about being a great community member? What does that mean for you?
Yeah definitely. So a huge part of it is mutual respect and this is a place for uplifting and sharing experiences not advice. There's plenty of parenting advice out there. This is a place where people can feel comfortable pulling from the knowledge of other parents who are going through it at the same time or have just been through it and who either live down the street or across the world.
And that's powerful I think.
Absolutely, I'm going to pause you there again I'm sorry. So I'm glad you brought up the advice piece because Gina kind of went really fast through that and I wanted to come back to it and I think we'll probably come back to it another time before we wrap up the class but Gina talked about how advice often shuts down conversation when the expectation is advice it often means that conversation doesn't start in the first place as well because most of your members are going to feel they don't have advice to give and the people who do, often time you don't actually want them giving advice, right?
Yes (laughter) Especially moms.
Yeah, Yeah. Yes, so instead the real value here is in sharing your experience. We all have experiences right? We all have stories. Not all of us have advice. So when you say the value is in experience, the value is in the story, then suddenly every single member's experience is now valuable. They understand how their contribution is valuable and so they're way more willing to engage in a conversation with someone or to offer their perspective than if the expectation is advice. And this is one you can not over communicate, you just can't, you can not over communicate this one.
I know that you've definitely driven the point home for me in the past about how the name of your product is not that important but in this case I think it helps me because one of the reasons why I have named my product the Community Lab is because it is a place for shared experience and experimentation and so integrating that into my onboarding process and the explanation of what we're doing here I think is essential and useful.
Yeah absolutely. Anything else new members need to know about becoming a great community member?
I think the citizenship, the acceptable behavior piece, what's okay, what's not okay but also just the feeling that this is a place where you can feel supported and where you can support others. So again with that, what goes around comes around.
Yeah. Yeah. And just in terms of learning theory and learning strategy when we support others, when we teach others, when we share from our experience, we actually gain a greater sense of mastery ourselves. We gain more confidence and so creating that cycle of yes get supported but also support as well is really, really beneficial and valuable for your members. I know it can feel like we're asking other people to do our work for us, that's not what's going on. You're asking them to do their work.
Exactly and actually I have a great example of that. This morning I woke up to one of my wonderful members Lisa who made a post in the community. It was: My daughter is really not enjoying diaper changes right now, these are the things that I find sometimes are helpful does anyone have any other experience with this, it's just so hard. And what I really appreciated about it was its not just what do you do with this, and what should I do, but she also shared what she has tried and what can be successful for her. which then prompts other people to do the same. So I'm trying to think, how can I maximize this and promote that kind of sharing of my own personal experience in addition too. Which is exactly what you were saying.
Call it out.
Yeah and I did.
Good, good, good. And I would screenshot that stuff and I'd put it in a newsletter and I'd be like this is how you ask for help.
Or this is how you start a conversation. You literally can not over communicate this.
The other thing you can do is coach people to make better posts too. So you can kind of tuck that away in your swipe file of amazing posts, amazing conversation starters and then when someone posts something that's not getting the engagement that you wish that it would and that they wish that it would you can message them or you can comment and say "Hey, I think you could tweak this post so that it gets more comments, here's a really great example of one of our members, here's why it was great, give it a shot."
And I know our members really appreciate that. It can feel a little like you're stepping on toes as a community manager but really you're helping them have the best experience possible and everybody wants that. And a lot of people don't know how to ask for help, right? Especially as women, right? This is a big problem that we have, we are really bad at asking for help so the more you can coach people on how to get the help they need, the more they are going to appreciate you.
Yeah. And of course that personal touch is awesome as well.
That's great cool.
Alright, one more. What actions help a member feel more invested in or committed to the community?
So like I said definitely attending a live event, definitely filling out as much on the profile, and then adding themselves to the group that is the category that matches them so whether it's member category I think is how have it, where it's their child's age, and then sharing a story and I love the idea of prompting them too. What is the struggle that you're dealing with right now because of course number one that is exactly why. Some thing triggered them to want to join my community to get help with a struggle.
And so let's hear it, what is it let's see if we can help.
Yeah, because this isn't a passive product right? You have to engage with it to get the value from it and so if they are joining because they have a problem they need to dive right in with that problem.
Alright, thank you Ayelet.