As the co-founder of the Community Leaders Association, Warren Carlyle, a community building strategist who works with purpose driven brands and influencers to build highly engaged online communities. And he's going to really go into depth on the differences in what you may think that is. Now, he's also the founder and CEO of Octonation. It's the largest Octopus fan club, a non-profit organization that inspires conservation of the ocean by teaching the world about octopuses.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 431
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Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[04:01] Tom's introduction to Warren Carlyle [06:41] Genesis of Octonation [12:47] Community leader is different than an influencer [17:09] You don't have to be a model to be successful [20:34] Making Octonation into a non-profit [28:50] Starting an association for community leaders [39:23] Sponsor message [42:28] A typical day for Warren
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Episode 431 – Warren Carlyle
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey, everybody. It's Tom here with episode four hundred and thirty one of Screw the Commute podcast. We're here with Warren Carlyle. He is a British director and choreographer. Wait a minute. Larry. What is this British director and choreography stuff we're supposed to have the really important Warren Carlyle on. Oh, I got the wrong. Oh, sorry. Wrong paper. Wrong paper. Sorry. So, yeah, we're here with Warren Carlyle. But it's not that that guy that just dances all day long, this is the real guy, the one of the most brilliant guys that I know. And he is a community builder, is an expert at it. And I've talked to him on many occasions in person and over the web. And he's the first guy I go to if I really want to know something in depth, because he's he's just brilliant. So we're going to bring on Warren in a minute, not the director choreographer, by the way. So I hope you didn't miss Episode four hundred and thirty. That was a little bit of a drag on GoDaddy. All right. And with GoDaddy, you got to love it or hate it. That's certainly a force to be reckoned with. But there's a lot of potential perils of using too many of their services. I'm fine if you get domain's there, but you need to listen to that episode. If you're if you're dealing with them a lot. And there's there's a lot lot better options out there. And of course, this is my not so humble opinion. Now, I hope you didn't miss getting a copy. You know, if you've listened to this show, I've been hammering you to get a copy of my automation book. This is allowed me to steal customers from people because they're too slow to get back to them, save me millions of keystrokes. So grab yourself a copy at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. We sell it for twenty seven bucks, but it's is free for listening to the show and also pick up a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app and you can put us on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road. Now check out my school. One of the the things that's going on with this pandemic is everybody's freaking out because they they had to either quit their job or they had to come home. And, you know, kids still aren't in school.
[00:02:41] I mean, I guess they're going to burst into flames if you put them in school. Nowadays, people are really suffering. But I mean, twenty three years ago, I've been preaching the the you don't have to be stuck in these situations if you have the ability to sell from home. So I've been teaching that forever. But then about thirteen years ago, I formalized it in the form of a school. It's the only licensed, dedicated Internet marketing school in the country, probably the world. Warren's partner is a graduate of the school and doing extremely well. So check it out at IMTCVA.org. A little later. I'll tell you how you can get a full scholarship to it. If you happen to be in my mentor program and you can either use it yourself or gift it to somebody. I mean, we have people making money a few months into the school because it's hard core skills that everybody, every business on Earth needs. And so you can really, really help out the young people in your life or use it for your own business, because if you go to a professional firm, you can pay literally up to 100 times with something should cost. That's just crazy for taking the time to learn some of these skills. And you can have a massive Web presence on a shoestring budget. So check that out. Well, to get to the mentor program later so you can possibly get a full scholarship to the school
[00:04:01] Let's get to the main event. As the co-founder of the Community Leaders Association, Warren Carlyle, a community building strategist who works with purpose driven brands and influencers to build highly engaged online communities. And he's going to really go into depth on the differences in what you may think that is. Now, he's also the founder and CEO, listen to this, Octonation. It's the largest Octopus fan club, a non-profit organization that inspires conservation of the ocean by teaching the world about octopuses. That's the I would have thought that was octopi or something, but apparently it's octopuses. Let's see, he and his communities have been featured and gotten the attention of celebrities and global organizations like Michael B. Jordan, Ellen DeGeneres, Joe Rogan. And I think I got a note to have him on again from Mark Zuckerberg, who totally depends on Warren for his success is what I think. And Warren believes online communities are the lifeblood of brands of a brand's relevancy in today's crowded digital marketplace, and especially now given the global pandemic. Warren, are you ready to screw? The commute?
[00:05:24] After 400 episodes? We'd better be screwing the community.
[00:05:28] It's going to take your four hundred and thirty one. And then you were on that previously with other ones. I don't remember the numbers, but folks you're going to want to go back to. Listen to this guy, because, you know, I take notes when he's around because his his mind is like a steel trap. So tell everybody what you're doing with this community building.
[00:05:49] So I've always been obsessed with community building. I've always been really interested in very topical stuff. I remember as a kid, I was interested in dog breeds and made flashcards and wanted to master every dog breed. And then I worked at Godiva and made flashcards about chocolate and learned about chocolate from all over the world. And and so when Facebook came around with Facebook groups, I like lost my mind. I was like, wait a minute, I can I can create a community around something that I love. And I started creating communities and sort of working with other people, creating communities. And we've I mean, we've just blown a lot of these communities up. And I really feel like community leaders are this next wave that are going to surpass influencers that are kind of peddling shirts and makeup. I think we really we really can take control and start really having really important conversations online.
[00:06:43] How did the what was the genesis of OctoNation? How did that one come about?
[00:06:48] So I've when I was seven, I went to an aquarium and I remember we had to stay in a straight line and we walked through the aquarium. We couldn't move anywhere. They told us to put our hands behind our back. And I was at the back of the line because, of course, I was. And they all were walking forward and I was like, the teacher isn't really looking. And so I just dipped off the back.
[00:07:09] And how old were you? How old?
[00:07:11] I was seven years old. Oh, seven years old. And so I decided to take my own tour because they're so boring. And I found myself next to the octopus exhibit. And I just remember looking at this thing and being like they they somehow captured an alien. Like because you have these big eyes with these horizontal pupils, you have its head expanding and contracting. It has two thousand two hundred and forty suckers. And I think I just looked up at that and I thought, like, what is this? And and I think it started there. But when I went to the library and looked for resources, there wasn't any books on them. And I was like, why is it why are there books on turtles? There's books on all these animals. There was like really no comprehensive guide or anything with octopuses. And I didn't really know what to do with that, because when you're a kid, you just kind of like, OK, well, that sucks. Like, they're not they're not giving me what I want. I don't think until you get older, you go, oh, I can create that for other people. And so it wasn't until much later that I learned how to use social media. I started working with Roberto, who's now my husband. But Roberto's largely learned Internet marketing from you. And we went to, you know, a lot of your trainings. And I was like, wait a minute, I can do this full time. Like, I can build a business online.
[00:08:31] And I think that really inspired me and him to just, you know, screw the commute. Yeah. And really think, OK, how do I make products, programs and services that that serve a nonprofit organization or how do I make products, programs or services that help community leaders. And so that's just kind of been my go to is how do I create these streams of revenue online. And so, yeah, that was kind of like the genesis of it. I started growing it. I started working with, you know. Authors, underwater photographers started collaborating a whole lot to find audiences of people that loved the octopus and kind of siphoned them into donation. And now you know where this I think I did the numbers yesterday were like close to 600000 members across all platforms and regularly featured by Facebook. And that's why I think he said that forgetting Mark Zuckerberg relies on us. And we were we were just featured, you know, there launching a new feature. And it's the audio. I think it's like a clubhouse kind of like thing feature. And they included us in the article. Facebook is always spotlighting OctoNation when it's because it's a great story. And two, because we have a very highly engaged community where they're just like, how do you have so many comments about the octopus? And so maybe we can talk more about how do you build a highly engaged community. Yeah, yeah.
[00:10:02] And and I kind of find it hard to believe that there was six hundred thousand people that were just waiting for a place to talk about octopus. I think you probably developed some of them and people told others and it kind of grew from there.
[00:10:15] The story with the story of that as I read this book called Soul of an Octopus. And in the first three pages, Sy Montgomery, she wrote that throughout history, the octopus was a demonized animal. They made attack ships in Hollywood. They made it, you know, just to be the demonic kind of creature. And when people grew up, they had this irrational fear. And they're like octopuses. Oh, they're weird. They're slimy. And it was like, no, actually, they're really complex. They're super intelligent. They can recognize human faces. They want nothing to do with us because they're a squishy floating protein bar and like they're really efficient hunters. And so they would they wouldn't attack us because that would expose their bodies. So, like, you know, you start learning all these things and it's just like, oh, wait a minute, it's not all about us. It's like, no, it's not. Not this time.
[00:11:06] Well, let's let's back up just a second, because your husband is taking care of his mom right now because you two have a lifestyle business.
[00:11:16] Yes. Yeah. She just had surgery and Roberto has had some health issues in the past. And we know that everything's going to be OK. I think it's like this freedom that once you know the system, once you plug in with people who know the system like you, Tom, and you like buy your products and programs. I remember one of the first things that we bought from you, I think it was that how to build a website for ninety nine. Right. Seven bucks. And it was so it was like the most comprehensive thing. And I think prior to that Roberto had gotten ripped off like fifteen thousand dollars. Yeah. And then we built your website for ninety nine bucks and ended up making money online and it was just like, you know sometimes if you're not getting results with other people, it's like learn the damn thing and just knock it out and start generating revenue to start listening to a mentor and just start doing the work instead of looking to be like, I don't know how to do that. It's like actually it's it's pretty easy once you start going through somebody who has created a product that walks you through it
[00:12:15] And the professionals don't want you to know, you know, there and they see you coming because in two seconds they can tell if you know what you're talking about or not, then they can sell you anything because, you know, you need that website. You know, you need all the stuff.
[00:12:28] But you and you were just like, OK, you need that website. And to be very basic, set it up and then you need a payment portal, someone to give you money. Then it's just like you walk you through. How do you know, how do you create that first product? And it's like then you sell it, it's OK.
[00:12:43] No, there's no hocus-pocus. There's just steps you take like an any, any kind of thing. But so into the community building. A lot of people, you know, over the the past years, some people get discouraged, including myself sometimes. I mean, I've been very successful, but it's like I never hit anything really big. I never hit any millions and millions of downloads and all this. And so it's a little discouraging. Like you go on Instagram, the Explorer function and you see, you know, bikini after bikini after bikini. And trust me, if I was in a bikini, would not be in the Explorer page, though, is to top.
[00:13:23] It just might.
[00:13:24] Yeah, that's true. So, so. So this community leader is a different thing than an influencer, right?
[00:13:34] Yeah. So tell us about a community leader. Could could be an influencer. They don't typically subscribe to be an influencer. I know that way without donation. I'm not necessarily the face of the the the talent is actually the different types of octopuses that we feature. But a community leader is somebody who is really the driving force and is like almost like the content deejay or the person who is. A really good eye at curating, almost like you have museum curators that curate these really cool exhibits for people to walk through, a community leader walks people through through really big topics that they have just fall in love with. And so you have groups like I Like to Paint My Shoes, which is a group that's nothing but artists that love painting vans or painting whatever shoes that they have. And they have thousands and thousands of members. And then Tom, I mean, you wouldn't know how to create a product program or service or somebody who would want to first get into painting their shoes. But I mean, there's just so many stories. It's you know, if you look at if you just go to Facebook page, this is like a prototype, go to a Facebook page and scroll down the communities that they talk about and understand that those communities that they feature have a very clearly defined who like, who are they serving and a very clearly defined what what is the topic the more vague those two things are.
[00:15:01] And so if you say I help all women entrepreneurs make money online, well, entrepreneurs and women, that's a that's a huge space. You're going to alienate somebody who is an entrepreneur in the food service industry versus in the tech industry versus in the only thing you don't have. And so there's no way that you can create content and there is a way that you can create content. But what's going to happen is that the end user is going to have to reframe your knowledge to their specific industry, and you're going to lose the strength of the connection that you have with that community member because you've decided to be broad in your topic category. And so if you look at the topics that are you know, if you look at the groups that Facebook are featuring, they're featuring black girls who golf. So a community for women who that have a shared identity that choose to golf and that want to remove the stigma that it's not possible for them or maybe like what spaces can they show up in, like their collective feeling about that.
[00:16:06] And the collective sport makes it to where the community, the leader of that organization, has a deep connection to everybody that follows. Meaning every single time that she goes to post, she is going to be talking to a community where one hundred percent of the community relates to it. And the more you can't say that, the more you say, well, what I'm saying is 30 percent of my community and then the other 40 percent. You can't say that anymore because what the algorithm does and what all algorithms do is they go they're judging the affinity that you have with your community. And the more broad your topic is, then the more you're going to suffer in the algorithm. The what what Mark in the algorithm is going to say is I'm not sure if you've built the deepest connection you potentially could as a result of you choosing a very broad category. And so just getting very specific with with with what you choose is going to to make you hit big in the algorithm.
[00:17:10] Yeah. And so a couple of things there. So, yeah, first of all, you have to be very specific. But the bottom line for from when I started this segment was you don't have to be a gorgeous bikini model or male model, which I mean, you were in the modeling industry. But that's not why OctoNation is so successful. So you don't have to be. So everybody should be encouraged by that, because if you can just do what he says in a specific niche, you can be massively successful.
[00:17:42] Yeah. And it starts with like that. Who in that? What if you're really passionate about something in particular, like I've just seen so many groups, like I've worked with like the largest Gilmore Girl fan club, which is a multi six figure business of people that love nostalgia. As a result, as like the Gilmore Girls, there's this group called Wild Green Meems for ecological themes. So people people that love Meems, that are science or ecology related and they have over three hundred thousand members, they have a patron account where they have thousands of patrons. And all they do is, is create these really funny, niche specific mediums as it relates to ecology. Like, you know, you can be this this curator behind the scenes, kind of very similar to what I did with Optimation. I was like, I'm not seeing the platform or the community that is showcasing the octopus in the way that I feel like it needs to be showcased. And now it is because we have a publishing platform like Facebook and and really this is platform agnostic. You can do this on Twitter, you can do this on Tic-Tac. Now, I can create that. I can curate that experience. And so what did I do? I started reaching out to aquariums all over the world and I did virtual octopus encounters. I started reaching out to underwater photographers and collecting their underwater photography material and then pairing it up with a science writer who would talk about that. Specific species of octopus like I created, almost like the National Geographic of octopus related stuff because I didn't see it there.
[00:19:11] And so if you have this this thing that you're really passionate about, that you're like, you know what? You're not really doing a good job at this. I really feel like boxer dogs need to have like they need to be the most favorite or beloved dog. How can I create this community? You know, you can really go into that and even be more specific, you know, training for specifically for boxer dogs or, you know, the more specific you can you can get with that, like the more I just go back to every single time you post. If if it doesn't apply to one hundred percent of the community, you could do a better job at being more niched in. And, you know, because and that's just it, because if it's 30 percent of the community here, 30 percent of the community here and the other 30 percent, Facebook goes, OK, you're going to have to spend money on ads to reach all of those different varying communities. We're not just going to to organically serve all of those audiences because it's too broad. And that's just what I've seen happen over the years, is the more like like Nike, you get where you cater to all these different women, men, tennis, basketball, all these different things, you're going to have to spend money on ads like you're not Nike yet. And so serve a specific audience and then build from there and build notoriety. And yeah, that's my advice.
[00:20:35] You know, what the what was the decision process to make a non profit out of this?
[00:20:43] My decision process to that was I could have probably chosen, you know, Roberto and me go back forth about this and we're thinking about creating a separate LLC for the merchandising. But so people kept contacting me like the second year after I created OctoNation and just wanted to give me money, like they were just like, hey, we really love your posts. We want to support what you're doing. They assumed that I was a non-profit because of how educational I was. And people were like, hey, where can I send 50 bucks? Where can I send 20 bucks? And I was like, I can't take your money. And and I was telling Roberto and he said, well, how often is it happening? I think it's starting to happen like three or four times a week. And he was like, OK, well, you know, this is this is what it would look like to start a non-profit and develop programming. And I really wanted to I started looking at organizations and I started looking at their mission statements and I started looking at their nine nineties because if you look at an organization like a nonprofit, if you type in a nonprofit and then type in 990, their tax records are public. And so I started looking at the top organizations in the oceanic field and they were bringing in five hundred million dollars a year and all of these different things. And I was just like, oh, and I was just like, I can really get my community to get behind this programming that I want to create for OctoNation. And that's why I started doing I started developing out programs like Interview with an Octopus and OctoNation Kids, which is curriculum for elementary pre-K through fifth grade and just started building and more and more and then applying to accelerator programs, got accepted to Facebook Excel accelerator program and started just moving up that ladder of of that non-profit organization. But as I look at more and more like, I think merchandising and licensing, I think we're going to create a separate LLC for that.
[00:22:41] Yeah, yeah. The reason I bring it up is because I'm taking a grant writing course right now and just as an educational thing. But I'm also
[00:22:50] Like, you write grants for me Tom.
[00:22:51] Oh, thanks, but yeah. But it's as I'm going through the course, I mean, I took the course knowing that most of the money was not for for profit. That's available is not for for profit, but it appears like 90 plus percent of the money is for nonprofits. But there's just enormous amounts out there. Every company you can think of has a
[00:23:18] Lot of nonprofits. There's a lot of nonprofit going because I've worked in this space for well, I mean, not that long, but I feel like, you know, any time I get into a space, I study it like crazy, right? In twenty eighteen, we launched our nonprofit and I've been looking at all these like programs in a lot of nonprofit organizations. The biggest ones hire they they contract for profit agencies to do a lot of the work. So, you know, and a lot of ways that, you know, what some of them are doing when you get these million dollar, 20 million dollars, one billion dollar contracts from the government as a nonprofit organization, they're hiring these for profit agencies to do work for them. So, you know, that's just kind of what I've seen.
[00:24:00] Yeah. So but I'm wondering how fishy it looks if if you own the for profit part, the non-profit is funding.
[00:24:09] I think as long as you can draw a line to the mission and that's what I've done with the nation, as long as you can draw a clear line to as a result of working with this for profit company, we our impact has grown this much that's directly in line and that's ethical. And I mean, I've hired plenty of contractors, some writers that have written blogs that have gone viral. I've I've contacted me and Roberto to do some of the Internet marketing stuff that you taught us. And so and it has a direct correlation to the success of the nonprofit. So.
[00:24:47] Yeah, so. So, yeah. So what I'm thinking is, is for my school, you know, I mean I preach this for twenty three years, but but it's always been something that's perfect for a physically challenged person. So so I'm looking at these grants to possibly help physically challenged people go through my school. So not only can they learn remotely, but they can legitimately work remotely, which they always could have. But it's in the forefront now because of the pandemic. Everybody everybody's working at home now, so it's become commonplace.
[00:25:23] So this is this is a really good case study right here. Even even just listening to you talking, because just because you have this Internet marketing, training, training school and just all of these things doesn't mean that you couldn't create a Facebook group that caters to a specific audience of people so that when when somebody is searching in the search algorithm or they're, you know, they're typing in these specific keywords, it can it could funnel into a service that you provide on the back end. But on the front end the Facebook group title, it's very specific. So the who in the way. So Internet marketing for disabled veterans like something like that or like creating a business from home for disabled veterans, something like that, where the consumer can read that and be like, that's me. Or they can say, I know exactly who needs this course or I know exactly who needs to be in this group. You have to empower people to be able to talk about you behind your back. And I always tell people, because I worked in the fashion industry, you know, you want to confidently manufacture the words that are being said about you behind your back. And if you're not in control of that brand of that positioning statement or that marketing statement, then you're giving your friends, hey, what is Tom Antion do? I don't know. You just it seems like he just sits at home and makes a whole lot of money. Now, if we don't if we don't give them that language, like with occultation. Hey, OctoNation is the largest octopus fan club. You know, that's something that I had to create because in the beginning, people were just like, what is that donation? And I was like, oh.
[00:26:54] And then I realized, oh, that's that's an issue. Like OctoNation doesn't mean anything. That's like a made up word. And so I added that title to it so that it would immediately, you know, every single time somebody was talking about it, that tag line would immediately follow. And so knowing that about like you or your or your business, it's really hard to recommend, you know, people to their friends and their family if they don't know. And I always tell my my friends that are that are going through this process. Just call three of your friends or call three people that know you really well and say, hey, if somebody needed my product or service or you came in, came into contact with somebody who you felt like needed me, like, what would you how would you describe what I do to them and just listen to them talk? And if they are so completely off base, having a really good job at controlling that conversation. And so people know about me like Warren Carlyle, he's the people who helped build fanatical online communities. So if you want to build a community around a given topic, Warren Carlyle is your guy. If and no topic is too strange, he has a community of octopus people. And that's the conversation that I feel like people can confidently have about me behind my back. And so as a result of that, I've gotten so much referrals from that. But it's like knowing what's that positioning statement?
[00:28:14] Yeah, it's the only thing trouble I think you'd ever have is if somebody wanted to build a community around choreography.
[00:28:24] Yeah, because Warren Carlyle, it's funny Tom when you mentioned to him, I actually know him. We're friends. So we met in New York because people kept getting us confused because he would go into places and they were like, oh, we sell your photos online. Octopussy yeah. He was like, no, that's that's not me. He goes, that's a Warren Carlyle that does modeling. And they're like, oh, we're going to say you look a lot different from refires.
[00:28:46] Yeah. You put on a little weight. So, yeah. So if people want to be a community leader, there's a lot of details to it. So you started that association. Tell us about that.
[00:29:00] Yeah. So me and Roberto, after years of of working very closely with Facebook and. To Graham and just a lot of these platforms, and when I say working with Facebook, I mean Facebook is like paid me to teach their page admins and their community leaders on how to grow communities online, because I've been in the mix and I've seen how they make decisions and who they're interested in helping and how they're interested in helping them. I just thought, you know, there's a lot of community leaders that want to learn how to build sustainable online businesses. And, you know, what I love about all these platforms is that they really teach you how to use their products. Right. So they Instagram will teach you how to put a sticker on a story. Facebook will teach you how to better manage your group and facilitate conversation. But they always will shy away from money. They will shy away from products, programs, services, bringing people off of the platform because no social media platform wants people off of the platform, like just do everything on our platform so that we can make our advertisers happy. Right. And so I was like, there's a huge opportunity to create an association for these community leaders to start teaching them, hey, you need to own your first party data. You need to own people's numbers, their addresses, their emails, because you don't own that when you're on a social media website.
[00:30:27] And so I like there's a huge opportunity to use community leaders to be sustainable, to teach them to the games they have to play to be seen by more people on different social media platforms. So, I mean, Roberto, we launched the Community Leaders Association actually just a month ago. And Roberto has frameworks that he uses to teach community leaders about monetization. I think he has a blueprint for, you know, for community leaders and developing revenue. And I really my whole thing with community leaders is teaching them how to get people to show up, so how to be deserving of people's attention. And so we started this association and people are loving it. I had a class actually just yesterday where I talked about community clarity and the whole entire class. We I talked about reaching down and I even had time at the end to workshop with the people that were there. I'm like, what's your name? Or like who who's your community for and what's it about? And we kept going through and came up with a lot of really great communities that these these people are excited about. Some of them already had communities and they were just strengthening the connection that they had by being more intentional.
[00:31:42] But other ones we really got specific with, how could they you mentioned, you know, not being able to hit big for know for whatever reason. And it typically comes back to that community clarity. Are we being very, very intentional and specific so that when we collaborate with other companies, like I can just go down the rabbit hole of veterans and with a disability is teaching them Internet marketing, what who is currently catering to that market? Are there organizations? Are there governmental programs that are in existence and then curating all of that information and one specific group and then getting media around it? And just like like I said, creating that group and then getting Facebook to feature you on on their page because you're so specific. Facebook has business goals as it relates to micro communities and maybe they want to tap into that veteran disabled community that that wants to learn how to be entrepreneurial and grow a business online. It's like being very hyper intentional and being the go to community so that everybody knows how to refer people into that community. And that's just it's serving a specific niche. And so the Community Leaders Association is going to be all about that is going to be all about people. And in servicing all of these these micro communities and being the best in business,
[00:33:03] How do they find it?
[00:33:06] They can go to a communityleadersassociation.com. That's the website that we have right there. We're still and honestly, we're still in the beta phase because we're getting a lot of and this is just community in general. If you don't build it in a vacuum. So you don't have to be the one that develops all of the content, all of the whatever a lot of it is, is talking to community leaders and being like, hey, what do you guys need? You know, what's your biggest struggle right now? And then starting there and developing a product around it, a program, a service. If it is, say, a lot of our community leaders don't have merchandising. Then the next month we're teaching about print on demand and how you create an online store so that you can immediately turn on revenue if you know if it's another thing and they want media, then we're teaching community leaders how to get a publicist or to become their own publicist and to pitch their group for specific days around the year that it makes sense for them to pitch their group. So it's going to the program is going to largely depend on what we're seeing like. Our community leaders saying they need, but then also developing that library that they can go back to to really pick and choose what they need.
[00:34:18] So you're bringing in other experts on topics or things like that or that you're sure and like to was speaking or Internet marketing. That's like somebody we would bring up for you to teach these communities. They say they have. I have some community leaders that have three million followers and they haven't generated a dollar online just because they're not the community leaders aren't necessarily business people and they don't get in to community leadership to make money. They get into it because they're so passionate about the topic and they don't they don't get that money part. And so what we're teaching them is you can create a sustainable business with three million people offering a product, a program or a service. And I don't think anybody is really doing that. They're not servicing community leaders in that way. And so that's why we felt like there was a huge need for that.
[00:35:09] Beautiful, beautiful. So that's CommunityLeadersAssociation.com folks. And the Civil War has been dropping some great, great tips for you about specific stuff. And I know, you know, I'm fortunate I was in it from the beginning, so I had opportunities that are harder to to tap now. But I went there like eighty seven different industries when I was first starting my speaking career. And I just had to fight it out for every job because nobody ever heard of me. And like you said, it wasn't easy to to talk about me. What what is he doing? He's in the Pennsylvania Dry-Cleaned Association. One day next I'm in Nebraska. Plumbing's associations. So the word didn't spread. So so niching down is is the way to go now.
[00:35:55] And and you can honestly Tom. It's like a lot of unlearning, too, because back back when you were doing speaking and going on different stages, you could captivate certain audiences. Whereas like online, you have to be very intentional. It's almost like, you know, physical locations like outside of my my apartment right here. I have a Whataburger that has a physical location that people can go to online. If you're this, like, big business, right. Doesn't have this physical location, that means you have to be even more nesh into something so that all signs point to you for that specific thing. And so that's why. And I just want to give you another quick example of yesterday there was this woman who is a Disney travel planner, and she wanted to help everybody that wanted to travel to Disney. And I said there's an issue with that. And I was like, because people want to have specific experiences at Disney. I was like, if you were a bartender and your life and you were also a Disney travel planner, then your Facebook group or your community online could be nothing but the different experiences you need to have drinking around Disney World.
[00:37:09] And like all the different cocktails they have at different places and all the different drinks you could get at different restaurants. And as a result of doing that, doing what you love, which is bar, you know, that whole being a bartender and being a Disney travel planner, you could create this epic community that's all about drinking at Disney World. Well, a lot of people you could you could do trips and you could be known for that person and you could get on the media and be like, this person knows where to get a good margarita at Disney World. And so you can just see how that story starts to come to life and you can almost see that community existing. Well, it doesn't exist yet. And and so even if, like, you had a daughter and you wanted to and it was like the perfect trip for the princess at Disney World, and you wanted to be a Disney travel planner that specifically catered to young girls who wanted to go to Disney World as a princess and go to the big city, Bobigny Boutique and have this princess meal at the castle.
[00:38:06] That's what I want to go. I remember that vividly, probably boutique.
[00:38:11] But do you see do you see what I mean? Like these very specific in these communities. You could be known as the travel planner who helps these young girls have it like be a princess at Disney World and you could become known for that. And so that's why I really want, like, people who are listening to what they think. They think they have a niche and they think it's they think it's clear enough, like make it even more like the who and the what. Make sure that those are very concise and clear so that, you know, there's almost no competition in this space because because of how your expertise paired with your topic, paired with that community, there's just nobody that could touch you in that space because of your unique experience, you know? And so I think with Tom, with all of the unique expertise and the fields that you have, if you pair like Internet marketing, mentorship or with veterans with whatever, nobody can touch you in that space. Right. Right. Yes, you know it like you know, like, you know, and yeah, and so that's just, you know, getting clear and being like, OK, that's that's what I'm going to do. And then just curating that experience for that community. It'll blow out. That's that's how communities get really, really big,
[00:39:25] Beautiful, beautiful tips, everybody. So I think in response to break when we come back, we'll ask Warren what a typical day looks like for him being a massive community leader. So so, folks, about well, 27 years ago, I started selling on the commercial Internet, which was when it started around 1994. But now I'm throwing it all the way and I'm just going to be a community leader. So there's our ad for today. So I guess I'm in a in a way, a community leader, but not to the not to the level that Warren's talking about. And it's very inspiring. So that's another thing, folks. And I've been there and done that. But the schoolhouse door is always open. That's sort of an old coal miner told me when I when I was in West Virginia. He says, yep, the schoolhouse door is always open. And I always saw my dad after he was retired, he sat down and read the World Book Encyclopedia, which most of you maybe not even having ever seen one, but it's like 26 volumes, plus all the the supplements. So I'm a continuous learner. That's why I have brilliant people like like Warren on. But a lot of people want to get into this. And as he and Roberto were doing years ago, they needed somebody to teach him some stuff that, you know, once you've sent out a billion emails and had shopping carts and websites and everything, you might learn a little bit so I can cut your learning curve down tremendously. And it's in the form of my mentor program, which is the longest running, most successful, most unique ever in this field of digital and Internet marketing. You have an immersion weekend that the great Internet marketing retreat center in Virginia Beach where we have a TV studio.
[00:41:13] So we shoot marketing videos for you. I also kind of turned the world on its head because guys at my level were charging 50 or 100 grand up front to teach you this stuff. And a lot of these people would be hiding out in some aquarium somewhere because they wouldn't teach if you did give them the money. So so I just charge an entry fee, which is like 10 times less than they were charging. And for me to get my 50 grand, you have to net 200 grand. Well, people like that. And seventeen hundred students later, it's still going strong. So and you get a scholarship to my school, which you can either use yourself or gift to somebody. And it would be one of the best legacy gifts you could ever give to a young person, because these four year traditional schools now are not what they were. When I was coming up through the system, you know, they teach you how to protest and then you get out with no skills and you compete for jobs at Starbucks. So so my school teacher is really in demand skills that you can be making money. I can't guarantee it, but a lot of people can do it, make money even before graduation. So check that out at greatInternetmarketingtraining.com and get in touch with me. I'm very accessible and happy to talk to you about your future online. All right. Let's get back to one of the most brilliant people that I personally know and a community leader par excellence. So, Warren, tell us what it's like running your association and doing all the things you're doing with consulting with people and all that.
[00:42:51] Yeah, so I would say that the first thing that I do Tom is he is an influencer in a community leader because I remember when we went up to his training camp and I mean, we've traveled up there a couple of times, but we saw his beautiful German shepherds. And I remember me and Roberto, just like we we had we were like, we're not gonna get a dog or whatever. But we just saw the connection that Tom had with these dogs. And we were just like, are we really going to get a German shepherd? And so not only did we get one, but we got to
[00:43:24] I was going to say part of your day is cleaning up dog puke or dog hair
[00:43:29] Or, you know, Walt wasn't bad, but he doesn't have a sensitive stomach, so we got lucky with him. But luckily, you never know with her. So so for me, I wake up and of course, I take the dogs out. I come back and I start looking at what's going on in the world. So like I get on Twitter and I look at the the trending topics like what's going on, because there's a lot of my community leaders that tap into what's happening today to kind of ride the wave. If you're if you're a community leader and you are and something's going on that match, it matches your nesh. If you jump onto it, you can quickly kind of news, Jack, that and
[00:44:16] Getting like Google alerts or anything.
[00:44:18] Yeah, I use I use Google Alerts. I have it for like octopus and and things like that. But for my community leaders, like I have one who's a pop culture legal commentator. She's the former district attorney in Los Angeles for 15 years. And she moved to Nashville and she created a YouTube channel. Her name is Emily Baker. If you want to check her out, she
[00:44:37] Needs to go back there later.
[00:44:39] Yeah, she was. And she was. Yes, she's so she's so great at what she does. But, you know, what was interesting when I first met her was she was she had a completely different business. It was like this. She was selling contracts to entrepreneurs that wanted to get legit. So they needed the terms and conditions on the bottom of their website. And I was as I was listening to her talk, I was just like, you're a talent. And she was like, what? And I was like, like, you can have your own YouTube show and just get paid to talk. And she was like, I don't even know what that looks like. I don't come from a generation where that that seems illegal. And so I was like, no. And I was like, you know, I got to talking with her and we put her on YouTube. But, you know, over six months she's gained over one hundred thousand subscribers that listen to her talk for hours. And she goes live and she speaks for hours about legal contracts, about the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or the Britney Spears conservatorship or these pop culture terms.
[00:45:36] But she breaks down the contracts on on live stream. And so I say all of that to say that I start looking at kind of like what's going on, what community leaders are in my space that I can that I can give them a tip and say, hey, you should really talk about this today. And I do that naturally for like the people in the Community Leaders Association once I know they're clearly defined who and they're what the topics used to make sense. I'm like, you should really start talking about this and facilitate a conversation within your community because you have a community that can that can really make headlines for this if you if you play your cards right. And so a lot of them start doing that. And so I do that. I will send out text to people. Just check in with me and Roberto, our very hands on people, very similar to you, Tom like with your mentees, like your in their inboxes, you are making sure that they're successful. And it's not just it's not just about money for you. It's about like you really being excited about them.
[00:46:41] So yeah. Yeah. It's on the earth for.
[00:46:45] Yeah. And and so I'll start reaching out to them and then I come back and I start working. I check in with my team for OctoNation. I have a science writer, I have a creative director, I have a blog manager and we kind of like we'll meet and talk about what's going out today. And then I start phone calls with different community leaders. And then some days I have a call with an executive leadership coach. I recommend even if you're at the highest level, that you you have a coach. That schoolhouse
[00:47:19] Door is always open, right?
[00:47:20] Yeah. Keeps you accountable or keeps you like my executive leadership coach. He's really taught me a lot about the nonprofit world because I got into that world and I was like, I don't know, like what I'm really doing or how do you even develop programs like and and he knew that space. And so he's really guided me through that. And it all calls with sometimes different platforms, like I've spoken to higher ups that talk about community. I've spoken to higher ups that Facebook. I'm probably on a call with Facebook corporate like two or three times a week now because of all the stuff that they're developing for community leaders. And so you see it's just a bunch of a bunch of stuff around community leaders and really this new wave of. Success that people can have online by developing these very specific niche communities
[00:48:16] Without wearing a bikini.
[00:48:18] Without wearing a bikini. Yeah, that's why it's really amazing. I mean, some of the topics of these groups of people that are there making tons and it's not even necessarily about money, but sometimes you see it just like if this person can do it, like there's really no excuse for anybody to not do it. I think it's just an idea of them really not knowing how to pair their exact expertise with a niche. And what I've heard from a lot of people is they're like, I don't want to I don't want to, like, cut or exclude anybody. I don't want to be exclusive. And I say what your community wants you to be like your community, like your community is love being exclusive. They love having people really understand, you know, German Shepherd owners, for example. We love, you know, other German Shepherd owners that think our dog is the best dog and there's no other dog on the planet that could even hold a candle to it. Like, we love that. And so it's the same thing when you start developing and excluding other people from communities, it's not a thing to be negative. It's just certain communities have different values. And and you have to just respect that. And so, well,
[00:49:29] It's not going to work to the level that you want if you try to be something to everybody.
[00:49:34] Yeah, for sure. And just like going back to the values, I think I don't know if we talked about it on your last podcast, but I have this seven years of building a fanatical community, this whole long, drawn out thing. But after clarity, which is what we talked about today, is core values and core values is like the identity of your community. And you have to really make sure that you're intentional about that because cantell culture is a thing. But if you build into the values of your community that you're not politically correct. And that's just a thing that people if you want to join this community and you want to be feeling like you're walking on eggshells, this is not the community for you. If you're up front about that and and that's built into the DNA of your community, you don't have to worry about your community members cancelling. You always been up front about this. And so with my community Optimation, we don't show, we don't aquaria shame. And so if there is a photo of a son and daughter or sorry if there's a photo of a father and daughter and he's holding her and aquarium and they're looking at an animal or something, we're not going to be like drain the tank like a..
[00:50:46] Blah, blah, blah. Like, no, you're not doing that indoctrination. We're pro science. We're pro accredited aquarium. Like, it's just not happening in here. And so once you have that value set in your community and you start building that community up, then things like that don't happen. So it's like being very clear with what the guidelines are in your community and what you will choose to accept and what's just not. OK, and that's another thing that we're going to touch in the Community Leaders Association, is just how do you develop that identity to where you don't have issues in the comments section, like people aren't canceling each other. People aren't constantly fighting because you can say, hey, that's not what we're about here. Like you, when you join this community, you agreed to this value set. If you want to argue, then bring it to another Facebook group. It's just not happening here, you know, unless it's a civil civil discourse. There's no name calling.
[00:51:38] That's good leadership right there. Right there. You have to set the tone. Yeah. So, boy, this is again, awesome, awesome, awesome. I think of it to try to have you back a month or so and talk about how you turn all this in the money, because that was one of the first questions I believe I ask you long time ago when you were building this, sought donations like where's the money? I don't see the money and you showed me. So we'll get into that on another the other time. But anyway, folks, you go to CommunityLeadersAssociation.com, you're ready to accept the new members, right? Yes. OK, good. And it's still in beta. So if there's a few glitches, you'll get over it. But but the it's certainly something that should give everybody hope that simply anybody can do this. You don't have to be some special supermodel model to do this, which is what I'm thrilled about.
[00:52:34] Yeah, there's a few glitches. You can just sound off in our Facebook group that we have for community leaders and say, hey, I wish this was a thing or I want this tool to have a resource. And because we're innovative, we can be like, guess what, we can create. That is.
[00:52:47] Yeah, beautiful. Beautiful. So so thanks so much for coming on of it for sure.
[00:52:52] Thank you so much, Tom.
[00:52:53] All right, folks, go out there and become community leaders and let's do a lot of good in the world. All right everybody, we'll catch you on the next episode. See ya later.
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