127: Let’s Talk About The Importance of Community
Today, I’m discussing community and how it impacts mindset, networking, and creative direction. I’ll be talking about the benefits of being in a paid community and what benefits I’ve seen from being in Josh Hall’s Club (https://joshhall.co/membership)
Check out our YouTube channel > https://keeganlaniermedia.com/youtube
Listen to Josh Hall’s Podcast > https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-josh-hall-web-design-show/id1484689808
Do you ever think about the importance of community? Since I’ve joined the Divi WordPress design space, and really got into the groups that they have out there? Community has been one of those things that stuck with me. I’ve talked about it on the podcast here once or twice. I’ve talked about it on other people’s podcasts plenty of times. Community is key. And in this episode, I’m going to talk about this special community. It’s actually a membership of a colleague of mine, and a guy I’ve got a lot of respect for. And I want to talk about some of the great things that have come out of being a part of this, this small community have really driven and focused and really talented people inside of the design and website space.
Hey there, Keegan Lanier, back at you with another episode of The addicted to WordPress podcast. In this episode, as I talked about in the intro, really wanted to talk about community talk about the importance of community talk about the impact in my not only life, but business as well, of having strong community. In particular, I alluded to a guy that I work with a colleague of mine, someone I’ve learned from someone I’ve talked shop with, someone I really admire, and I’ve been watching his content in the evolution of his business for a number of years now. And that’s Josh Hall. So any of you who are in the Divi space, especially in the in the community of Divi and online education around word, WordPress development and business development word, WordPress, Josh, excuse me is one of those guys who I feel like I’m following in his footsteps. He’s laying out a strong path. And I’m doing a lot of the things that are very similar because Josh and I’s life, sort of parallel one another a little bit. Now Josh is a musician, Josh is a drummer. Although he was in a touring band, he went a little bit farther with it. I did I did marching band when I was younger, I play drums at home, I decided to go the professional route go the the corporate career, as opposed to you know, taking a leap and going out there and trying to make it as a drummer. Even though I still dream about it. And one day I will play on stage somewhere, especially after, after this whole Coronavirus thing shuts down, I will be on stage behind a drum kit at some point in my life.
But you know, we’ve got similar interest. He’s a risk taker, he’s someone who trusts putting his livelihood and the workload on his back. And he’s all around just just a good guy. A great person to learn from and in a really solid educator, and he’s somebody that I’m really happy to call a colleague and, and get the chance to be close to and work with and shoot ideas back and forth with. And it led me down this really interesting thought process. You know, a lot of people in different industries, not just in in web design, try to go it alone, they try and figure it out, they run into hurdles or bounce up against the wall, and try and figure out a way to get either over that hurdle, or through the wall around the wall, basically pass the obstacle. And a lot of people do that continually until they either figure it out, or they get so frustrated that they quit. I’ve seen a lot of people, ton of people in web design in general, who start do a few projects and then quit. I have been doing web design now, as a side hustle for almost five years. No, I’m sorry, this year is this year is the sixth year. So I’ve carried a full time job that is way more than a than a nine to five. It’s probably anywhere between 45 and 60 hours a week depending and sometimes whenever we get into a real heavy season. It’s in the restaurant industry. So when we get into a heavy season, it can be I’ve worked over 120 hours in 10 days before. So it’s I say that not to, I guess talk about the hustle mentality because that’s exactly what I want to get away from. But I say that to say like, I’m a very busy guy. I stay very occupied. And I still do the web’s web design stuff on the side and in my free time. So I say that to see if I if I’ve been able to do it with that type of schedule. I know that if you’re unhappy in your job in your life, just kind of where you are if you just need to make some extra money. WordPress and web design in general is the place you know it’s it’s the way that you can do it. And the You know, the easiest way to supercharge that is going back to community.
Community has has been everything for me. You know I kind of floundered around the WordPress space when I got back in the website design. I guess I had been off for about 10 years or so or maybe maybe a little longer that I had stepped away. Really from the MySpace days before that I was doing HTML web designs. And then I did my space coding and then kind of walked away from it. After college and then into the first part of my career. When I jumped back into it, it felt like a real discombobulation, like there was just stuff everywhere, you had all these different themes that you could pick from, you know, theme forest, you had x theme, you had Jupiter, there are a bunch of those things Avada all of the ones that a lot of people know about you. And to be honest, all the theme forest themes I hated. And it wasn’t because the themes were bad or because they weren’t well done. It was really because they use WP bakery or visual composer and visual composer was garbage. At least to me, it did not work for me. And I can’t say maybe I shouldn’t say it’s garbage. But I don’t know my opinion. It just wasn’t good. It did not work well for me. And so after I left some of those themes, I did come across the X theme. And x theme was a step in the right direction, especially when they introduced Cornerstone, their visual builder. It got me thinking about possibilities. And a couple of times throughout that process, I’d come across Elegant Themes, and, and thought maybe, maybe just maybe, but I wasn’t loyal to anything. I wasn’t loyal to any theme or any company, it was more about what was going to be the easiest way for me to develop websites.
And that all changed in 2016. I went to the Elegant Themes website, I took the plunge, I finally decided, you know what, $89 a year is not that bad. But you know, what, $250 lifetime? If I really liked this thing, I’ll never have to buy a theme again. Am I willing to take that gamble? And the answer was yes. Because it was basically if I use this theme for three years, it will pay for itself for the rest of my life. So I was sold. I got Divi and, you know, in, in looking up resources and things, ways to use Divi, the first person I came across was Geno Quiroz. And I’ve talked about this on the podcast as well. Like the godfather of Divi tutorials, he gives away all of this stuff for free. And while he gives away a lot of his tutorials for free, it’s got a lot of great services. And you know, I saw this and it was unlike anything else I had seen in WordPress, there were no, there weren’t really many tutorials around the x theme or visual composer and Jupiter that I could find that were really good and that were well done. And then I come across Divi and start looking at the Facebook groups that were around and I looked at, you know, John, sorry, Geno’s website. I started finding guys like David Blackman and Tim Strifler, took their courses and just got sucked into this community.
And that’s what I wanted to talk about today is the community around WordPress community around Divi each one of these visual builders, the page builders, and little micro communities have popped up. And Divi was the first one that were felt like home, felt like a designer’s technical crew. And then I find Josh, and Josh, his tutorials just clicked. They all made sense. They were simple, they were practical, above all else. It wasn’t just about making something pretty It was about making something pretty that converted, something pretty that was scalable, you know, a system, a process. And this all took me, you know, in ultimately into Josh’s business course, into watching hundreds of hours of Josh’s YouTube channel and listening to Josh’s podcast over the last year. I’ve spent a lot of time hanging out with Josh and in his content, you know, if you will. And late last year, Josh launched his first membership. So he took it you know, he had a 15,000 is actually huge shout out Josh, if you’re if you’re listening to this. Josh, his facebook group just crossed 15,000 members, which is which is really, really impressive. Well take that into a private setting where you have to pay and the stakes get higher, right? The stakes get higher because you’ve got skin in the game. And then it turns out once you do that you’re you know most people are very, very willing to put in the work because they paid for something. Well Josh’s membership launches. And we’ve got close to 50, or probably more now, highly dedicated people, not just to Divi and WordPress, but to each other, which is really, really cool. That’s where the magic happens. We all or kind of there’s this synergy between everybody because everyone has their own focus. Some people are on scaling business, some are on education, some are on SEO, you know, others are e commerce. There’s all sorts of different people, some that just like to do the backend, they want to set up hosting, manage the hosts, optimize those hosts, or work emails. And it’s really cool. We’ve got copywriters, and marketing specialists, and everyone who is centered around this ecosystem. And the community. Number one, because everybody’s paying to be there, they’re dedicated, they want it to work, everyone wants to get a return. So to get a return, the good ones know that they’ve got to put the work in, they’ve got to give something of value before they can, they can really ask for anything in return. And so this community is just loaded with value.
And then the other, you know, that that other big piece, not just the connection in the community. But the other thing you get from a really strong group, or really strong community is the connection, it’s the networking, it’s so you know, you can go out there and you can find people who comment and you can find people who post on certain things. It’s never, ever, ever the same as when you’re in a in an isolated group. And you know, everybody’s in a think tank, everybody’s like minded with their own perspective and opinions, but everybody’s there around the same topic. So there’s a central connecting point. And, you know, you can go and find these people who can do things that you either can’t, or don’t want to do. And you can work with them, you can you can pass the work along to them, knowing that they’re going to pass it back to you. And this built in referral network is just, it’s just unbelievable.
And it’s the biggest difference in mindset mind shift. Can’t say that. It’s the biggest difference in a mindset shift of going from, you know, these people are fighting for the same clients as I am. They’re web designers. They’re fighting to get businesses to pay them for, for them to build a website. And that’s what I’m doing. So why would I send them any business. There’s a word that has come up, it’s been created. It’s not a real word, but it’s come up in Josh’s content. And it all stems back from his talks with Divi with Divi chat. And going back to David Blackman and Tim, Strifler and the word is Co Op petition. And it sounds a little weird, it sounds a little bit silly. But when you think about it, when you really break it down, it’s a mix between cooperation and competition. And it just means cooperating with your competition, working with your competition, if they’re the right people. Knowing that they’re going to give back to you as much as you give to them. And it builds this synergy. It builds this trust, not just with you and your competitor, but also with the people that you send to that competitor. It builds your reputation. And although you might not have that one sale, and I’m not saying give away your business that you can work on, you don’t want to stretch yourself out, right? If you can do the work, do the work. But if you can’t, then you immediately become the person who knows the person who can do the work. And the other statement they throw out all the time, as you know, people want to work with people they know and trust or someone that they know, knows and trust. Basically, meaning they need a testimonial of someone else that they know and trust to do the work for them. Or they want you to do the work because they know you and they trust you.
And so this whole thing, the community, the synergy, the connectivity, the referrals, all that they just build this amazing. It’s just a feeling. It’s this amazing crew, this amazing group, and it makes your life so much better. And it makes you learn because you’re exposed to people who were maybe not even farther down the road, they may be, but they’re on a different road at the moment. And that’s really cool. Everybody has their own path. Everybody has their own journey. And everyone’s experiences a little bit different. So having people that you can, you can automatically go to put a question out there no one you’re going to get great answers, supportive answers. Not “Hey, go Google that” answers. You know, that’s what separates it from being in a free Facebook group, but 1000s of people and there’s inevitably going to be trolls in those groups.
So I wanted to talk really about community. But I wanted to talk about Josh Hall’s membership. So if you’re still listening to me flap my gums, all these 14 minutes later, and you’re in the WordPress space, or you’re thinking about getting into the WordPress space, you’re looking to make a little bit of money. The first thing I’m going to ask you to do, above all else, is find my YouTube channel. We do free tutorials, we put out a lot of try to put out a lot of content, and that will continue to ramp up throughout 2021. A lot of them centered on Divi, they’re going to be about WordPress basics. Divi, other page builders were come in, but it’s all going to also be about building a business using WordPress. So the first thing I would ask is that you go and subscribe to that channel and check it out. And if it’s for you, subscribe to the channel. That way you can check out the videos. And then the very next thing is to go and go listen to Josh Hall’s podcast. I’m going to link his podcast in the show notes as well. So you’ll have a YouTube link for my channel. And you’ll have a link for Josh’s podcast. I’m going to put it for Apple podcast. I know that’s where most people listen to it. Go check Josh out. If you have not already. I know he does things a little bit different. And this one you’re just listening to me talk. And and Josh is Josh does a few episodes here and there where it’s just him talking just given tips, but most of his conversations or interviews with somebody else, and his interviews are phenomenal. He just put out Episode 100. And he interviewed Pat Flynn. So Hell yeah, Josh, go, Josh. That’s frickin awesome, man. Super excited. The episode was incredible. Just to be able to chat with Pat is, is a cool thing, Pat is is a legend in the online marketing space in the podcasting space. The guy’s been doing it for a long time, I had the the the really nice pleasure of meeting him at Social Media Marketing World a handful years ago. And he is a he’s a genuinely nice dude as he comes across in all of his content. So super happy for Josh. So go check that out.
And really, look, if you’re here, and this is the first time you hear my voice and somehow you made it 16 minutes in. I would love if you would subscribe to this channel, we’re putting out new episodes, every single subscribe to the podcast, sorry, got YouTube on the head, subscribe to the podcast. And we’ll be putting out new episodes of this podcast weekly. This one, the audio quality is not 100% up to up to par of what I’m used to, on the road. And I do not have my normal podcast rig with me. And I’m actually recording this into an iPhone 12. So if the if the audio sounds a little bit different, that’s why I apologize for that. But I think the words, these are just raw thoughts. I did not have an outline for this episode. I didn’t have really anything other than my thoughts. And I just wanted to share them with you. So thank you for listening. I appreciate each and every one of you as always, thanks for continuing to support the addicted to WordPress podcast. Thank you for spreading the word. I truly, truly appreciate it. Go out there. Be Awesome and don’t settle for average. If you want something spectacular, go get it. And don’t settle for not being where you want in life. You can go out there, trust me, you can work your face off. And you can take what you want in life. You can earn what you want in life. Have an amazing day. We’ll see you next week with another episode.