Third Tribe

Masterminding A Membership Site

Along with Tara Agacayak, I run a private mastermind group on LinkedIn (it's a subgroup of my Creative Entrepreneurs & Social Media group). Once a week someone steps into the center and asks for feedback and suggestions on their next steps. A week of discussion ensues. Here's my prompt about what I'm thinking of doing.

Hey all! Besides the in-progress shift at expat+HAREM (which includes among many other changes, making the content evergreen and getting off the feed the beast with original content every week treadmill), with Miss Tara I am working on creating a spin-off community.

Globalniche.net. GN will be a private and paid membership site for the same global citizen/multiculti/expat audience, but focused on solutions rather than simply discussion and entertainment. Adding practice to the theory.

In many ways Globalniche.net will reflect what we’ve seen at ThirdTribe.com this past year: bulletin boards for discussion of numerous topics, regular hosted seminars, audio and video interviews with experts and fellow seekers, custom-created educational material and special offers from solutions providers, and a support community to enact the things being discussed. It will be an actionable space, and since it will be shielded from public view, it will also have an intimacy we can’t experience on the open web.

Everyone in this mastermind group (along with some other solid members of our current eH and creative entrepreneur community) will be invited to join as founding members. When we’re ready to launch a monthly membership option will open more widely.

When we get started (date not set but within 6 months) we’ll be asking the below kind of questions to our founding members. It would be great if you could get the ball rolling, tell us what would make this a VERY valuable community for you, as well as throw out your own questions about the plan, or what we might also want to ask our founding members.

What is your biggest pain in finding your place in the world outside of your culture and comfort zone, and operating to your true potential both professionally and personally?

What is your biggest pain embracing all the worlds you love to belong to?

What drew you to e+H (and kept you coming back)?

What improvements to e+H’s brand and offerings would you like to see in a membership community at globalniche.net?

What tutorials, resources and educational material would you want from GN? What do you want to learn how to do? What do you need support for?

What kind of people would you want us to interview and make accessible to the community (by name if you know them)?

 

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Here are some of my responses to the feedback I received (I'm not sharing the direct feedback since the group is private). Five people participated (thanks to Catherine Bayar, Catherine Yigit, Sezin Koehler, Jessica Lutz, and Tara Agacayak!) and contributed 34 comments:

Thanks all, keep it coming! Characteristically, I have so many other deadlines this week I am practically missing my own party.

Thanks for the broader view of who might be of interest to hear from. Yes, futurists. In particular, may be able to address the tensions of living ahead of our time...because that certainly encapsulates a lot of the issues we face. It's coming for many others too, but we happen to be dealing with it all now.  Agree, Global Niche is a widening of the Expat Harem window, and I'm looking forward to transitioning to it, as well as bringing in new people for whom expat+HAREM may have seemed too 'niche'. Glad that the questions feel deep to you, and thanks so much for plumbing them. The deeper we can go here, the better we can start off the block. It's heartwarming to be able to trace where we came into each other's lives -- and so far back, too. Want to hear the revolutions the link has caused in your life, because it's a natural path to where we are taking this -- together.

Ooh yes I like the idea of being able to discuss whatever topics of the day that people are interested in (like art and culture and world affairs)....that would be possible in the bulletin board area where anyone could start a thread of their choice. Definitely on my list of interviewees are Amna Ahmad and Justine Musk!

You guys are really giving me some good direction here, about bringing my own worlds together. Being that bridge to make sense of how different communities and the leaders in them are informing who we are, and what our issues are. In particular, you're giving me some very clear ideas about how GN.net can synthesize all the best elements of what we know to be happening out there (rather than cover the same ground other expat or travel sites do and in the same way...because frankly, if those other sites were speaking completely to what I/we need, we wouldn't even be talking about this right now.) <- Exciting, challenging!

Thanks for your words about the newsletter, and the type of people and ventures mentioned in it. The newsletter can be a bridge between expat+HAREM and the GlobalNiche, and be a way to transition those who are interested into GN.  I'm also thinking about upgrading the newsletter to be more graphic...will need some tutoring please. Yes to the real-world meetings as often as possible (Tara and I've been making plans for a recurring Istanbul gathering) and I think we could also use a freaking major retreat on a regular basis.

This is really great feedback, thank you!

$$$ >> ONE LAST QUESTION << $$$

if you have any thoughts on it: price range. What would membership in this private community be worth to you?

Could be a range of prices...from the most basic offerings we talked about to more intensive and developed services.

Like Third Tribe -- the early adopters pay very little, and were part of the growth of the community. Now, they've just capped the community at a much higher rate and when they reopen, it will be still higher. All the while they've improved their offerings and built a year's worth of equity that new members can tap into from the very first day. So, can you share some comparable prices for memberships you have paid for, or know about?

Yes, the target market is a widening of the demographics attracted by eH material. Expanding to everyone who finds themselves geographically disadvantaged (could be and American in Kansas), culturally fragmented, etc. The idea is that this notion of a global niche may have come from our own need to find solutions but it can be applied to many other life situations too that may not seem so extreme in their disconnection.

Third Tribe is an example of an educational support community. It happens to be for online marketing. That does intersect with part of our interests at eh/GN but I don't mean that GN = internet marketing community. The model is instructive. As for cost, they opened the community at $27/month. I found that easy to sign on for, even though I'd never been part of a paid online community before. I think one of the reasons is that they had done a good job of letting me know what I'd be getting, and how I needed it.

I agree it would be great to have a resource area of best links on different useful topics...and self-help/self-improvement experts too. The counseling leads: There's a newish website of counselors globally (ExpatExpert.com was passing it around), as well as whole organizations for online counseling. Things have really changed, and it would be good to be on top of what's available.

Today we wrap up...thanks again to everyone for your fantastic comments and food for thought. (And excitement at the prospect of GN.net!)

FYI, we've got a Global Niche Facebook page as of today, and are collecting interested parties over there -- so head on over and like up. Thanks again for a terrific week of masterminding. You are all wonderful.

Masterminding How To Deal With Social Media Anxiety

Along with Tara Agacayak, I run a private mastermind group on LinkedIn (it’s a subgroup of my Creative Entrepreneurs & Social Media group). These are my thoughts on a session dealing with social media anxiety.

Successful social media use is ALL ABOUT THE FILTERS. Definitely a good topic for a mastermind because the solutions presented this week have the potential to revolutionize your experience with social media and that is major.

My first thought is *use automating tools* so you can stock your feeds at your convenience, decide when the info goes out and where to, and you don't have to visit the sites to post. Much less overwhelm. I use SOCIAL OOMPH for my twitterfeed. It's free, and dead simple. (I also post extemporaneously, but for purposes of this response on automation, that doesn't matter.) Social Oomph allows me to enter as many posts as I want, choose the time and date. Hashtags. Only thing I can't do is post the same tweet twice or "@" replies. You use Networked Blogs at Facebook, I see, great. Email mailing providers also let you post a link to FB and Twitter. You can hook up LinkedIn to Twitter to post at LI your Tweets. For Twitter if you try a third party app like HootSuite or Seesmic or Tweetdeck you can break your subscriptions into categories and only peruse one category at a time. "Friends", "Photographers". "China." That might help you dip a toe in.

Also, you can create a category based on a search term so you can easily respond to tweets on your favorite topics without having to wade through lots of material. So, my first advice is USE SOME FORM OF AUTOMATION on each platform and alternate it with spontaneous contributions, reactions to others, replies. (There is such a thing as overdoing it, and obviously not being present which makes people feel they are being pushed at by a machine.) On the Twitter site itself you can use "Lists" to group your subscriptions and only peruse what one list is tweeting. Personally I have used lists to expand who I follow without making my main stream 10,000 people strong! Here is a good list of "power twitter tips" from Chris Brogan "in five categories: intent, technical, business, integrated usage, and off-twitter. Here's a post about "How to overcome the concern that social media is a time suck" with tips on strategic following and here's a personal branding checklist for Twitter usage. Someone here mentioned to weed out tweeters who 'don't say thanks'. To me, I'd rather not read tweets solely thanking people -- empty tweets that say "thanks for the RT!" are a last case scenario. Sometimes I do it when I'm falling behind, but it's of little value.

A way to better thank someone is to look thru their stream and RT or react to something of theirs. To engage with them, then it's not about keeping score, but the fact that it becomes natural to be involved with them.

You might like this latest post from TRIBAL WRITER's Justine Musk about building an author platform with social media (whether you're an 'author' or not). She writes that the path comes partly from 'strategy' and partly from following your instinct.  Figuring out why you're driven to write (or whatever else creative thing you're doing) and sharing that "inkling, which will lead to other inklings, which lead the way. You'll promote your own work while you're at it."  Musk also she talks about how your blog is your hub, and all these other sites are spokes where you meet your network. "And those different platforms require different forms of content. But you can take your big content – long blog entries, or ebooks or whitepapers — and break it into smaller chunks and bites and tweets. You can take your small content and explode it into something more in-depth. You can transcribe your podcasts and post on your blog; you can tweet cool quotes from your video interviews; you get the idea. Your content feeds your content feeds your content." In a recent Third Tribe seminar Sonia Simone interviewed Naomi Dunsford who said "scare off the people who aren't interested". That could be by your topic alone, your attention to detail, your tone, your seriousness or flippancy, whatever. But basically, you need your people to gather, and how will they know if they're you're people if you're holding back and trying to please everyone? You mentioned not wanting to break down your blog posts. Here's a list of 40 things you can tweet that aren't derived from your blog postings. Good ideas, show the depth of experience and expertise you can demonstrate.

Masterminding A Writer, Artist & Cultural Curator Platform

Along with Tara Agacayak, I run a private mastermind group on LinkedIn (it’s a subgroup of my Creative Entrepreneurs & Social Media group). Once a week someone steps into the center with a case study and asks for feedback and suggestions on their next steps. Here are my thoughts on building out a writing and artist platform:

I use Wordpress and Tumblr (simply as a feed of my blog, microblog and Delicious activities). It seems moving to Tumblr or Posterous might make things much simpler for you as a blogger-- they seem easy/breezy as blogging platforms -- whereas Wordpress's wider capabilities will encourage building a bigger site with more going on. So, since you're talking growth and not just 'make it easier' then I'd say Wordpress.

As for platform building, where are you meeting and engaging with potential readers of your novel (besides Twitter, SheWrites, Facebook, LI, your blog)? Any communities out there specific to the topics in your novel? Taking part in reader-based litchats on Twitter would be another way to start being known as the woman behind the voice that people will be able to read when your book comes out. (Consider posting small excerpts of the book so we know what it's about and grow connected to it?)

Maybe someone here can share leads to artists, writers, cultural curators that you are aware of online -- if you know of them, they're doing something right to get your attention.

As for making the hybrid nature of your work clearer through your platform, I'm reminded of the blog convention of another multifaceted woman: Ruth Harnisch.  She breaks down the different channels of her being and lets that be the structure of her site. "The Maker of Mistakes". "The Philanthropist". "The Catalyst". "The Recovering Journalist". Perhaps something like this might allow you to indulge your interests and help a visitor to your site/blog comprehend your better?

The expatharem site has sold books through its Amazon link -- in the first couple of years of the site. The #s since I relaunched the blog are too tiny to count for anything and that may be a result of the maturity of the book or the fact that I don't push it much on the site, and/or people aren't coming to the blog to buy the book or learn more about it. However, yes, making things available to our interested parties is part of making what we do a business. We have to make the offer. It's relevant. However, I also know being on twitter has sold books. People I met there, people who found out about the book on twitter (like during #litchat on expat lit).

Also: here's a great interview with a 'unmarketing' book author about how he built both a support system and a target audience on Twitter and presold 3,000 copies of his book. Good lessons there about how to engage and when to sell. 

In response to your question about using your own name as a brand, an SEO specialist I know from ThirdTribe (@CraigFifield) just offered an impromptu SEO consult on Twitter before the end of his workday/workweek. I took the liberty to ask him for an opinion on this, in general terms. Here’re the tweets (which overlap, as Twitter does)....

CF: i have 15min before I quit for the day -- how can I help you with SEO or your Blog?

AA: wd someone's name be a better blog name for SEO than tagline about art and the creative life?

CF: in terms of SEO I would use a keyword that people are searching for. Or, I would go for branding and ignore SEO

AA: that is, are proper names SEO at all? and generally used words and phrases amount to very little in SEO world?

AA: so in researching keywords "creative life" what result would prompt good use of that phrase in blog title?

CF: depends how your audience uses those words. I would do some keyword research to decide. do you have an example?

AA: ok think i got it! (branding with a proper name means SEO considerations unnecessary)

CF: well, unless your brand will eventually be big enough to be searched on :) make your brand name unique to win there

Spot That Paradox: Open-Minded Misapprehensions And Other Global Values

Phew, just under the wire -- or there'd be no such thing as the May newsletter. Still tweaking what's to come. This first issue we're pleased to feature a reader query, some of the latest content on the site, a new experiential magazine for culturati, and a special offer for entrepreneurs who want to ramp up their professionalism on the world's widest web.

+++++ YOUR THOUGHTS

A reader in California sent us this question: What are global values?

Tricky! ...if they exist, they'd be the binds of a global community. Let us know how you'd answer him.

+++++ AT expat+HAREM

This discussion about Russian customer service and its complex roots in culture, politics and religion shows it's difficult to agree on something that seems pretty basic: how to treat another human being during a transaction.

+++++ AROUND THE WORLD & AROUND THE WEB

In a recent issue of AFAR, a brand new experiential travel magazine "for Americans who aren't part of the close-minded crowd", two articles admit some open-minded misapprehensions. One writer thinks the Inuit in Canada's High Arctic will be as worried as San Franciscans are about global warming, while another discovers 20 years of trying to fix a Filipino rice-farmer's life has only changed the comfort level of his own privileged birthright.

+++++ SPECIAL OFFER: [expired] Zero to Sixty While Keepin' It Real

JOIN THIRD TRIBE The web's a natural place for global citizens like us to test and actualize our ideas, build community, and even create an unbounded livelihood.

Are you looking for a way to raise the professional level of your online presence? Third Tribe has been getting our online derriere into gear since it opened three months ago. Our newsletter wouldn't have been born this decade if it weren't for a Third Tribe seminar telling us exactly how to do it, and why it's important. (They'd be freaked to hear I'm sending it out during a long holiday weekend. See, lots to learn.)