From Twitter to LinkedIn, and now Reddit.
When I joined Ubisoft’s HQ team as their Global HR Community Coordinator in 2018, I had no idea I was teeing up my success as a solopreneur four years later. But looking back, it was the first time I worked in a place where the C-suite habitually reminded me “we are all creators.”
My role was to animate an HR community spanning sixty-seven countries and thirteen functions ranging from HR Business Partners and Payroll to Talent Acquisition, International Mobility, and more. A big part of that was learning-centric.
The goal was to highlight best practices applied locally and convert them into guidelines that could be applied globally in an effort to make operations smoother and balance the scales of employee engagement. Another aim was to innovate on HR topics based on the collective knowledge of the community. In other words, we were mining the community for gold and I was leading the excavation.
I learned a lot about facilitating global learning communities during that time. But there are two high-level takeaways I keep in mind as I build and scale new ones.
1. Give Your Learning Community a Zen Home
One of the coolest aspects of my job with Ubisoft was organizing an annual conference. As if getting everyone together in one place wasn’t exciting enough, our venues were ultra lavish.
Here’s the fortress-like entrance to the chateau we whisked a hundred attendees off to in May 2019:
This was the first time the event was held outside of Paris. And our intent was to create space for attendees to connect away from the noise of the city. Our assumption was that by reducing distractions, attendees would be more present and connect deeper with peers.
We were bang on. Being strictly amongst nature and colleagues over our three days together helped everyone relax and reconnect.
Shifting From Audience to Community
More and more I’ve been thinking about the value of having dedicated spaces to house the online learning communities I want to facilitate. There seems to be a gap in the “build an audience, then monetize it with a product” fad.
The challenge with Twitter and LinkedIn is you can post great content but the lifecycle is dismal—and the background noise is loud. Even if your target audience sees your posts, your content mostly goes into the abyss within forty-eight hours.
For the past few months, I couldn’t pinpoint why I struggled so much to batch content for Twitter and LinkedIn and tend to post when inspiration strikes instead. It’s not because I can’t batch. I have tons of content, especially from my course, that I could easily repackage and share. But I realize there’s some underlying gut feeling stopping me. This is where my second point comes in.
2. Complement Learning with Knowledge Management
In addition to planning the annual conference for a hundred HR Directors worldwide, another cool aspect of my job was planning bi-annual offsites for my team of thirty-five. The chateaus we stayed at for those were even nicer since they were smaller and thus more quaint. But here’s the drama.
The way our company was structured, our Director of Learning was also the Director of Knowledge Management. So the two teams sat together and felt like one in that they participated in activities together, ate lunch together, and so on. But Knowledge Management wasn’t considered one of the thirteen HR functions in the company. So they were excluded from our offsites despite efforts from the Director to the contrary.
I think about this dynamic a lot. Learning and Knowledge Management are inextricably linked, especially when you’re managing a Community of Practice.
Applying These Two Takeaways
Repositioning my Offering
I realize I made a big mistake in marketing my new offering over the winter. I introduced it as an “asynchronous course with live elements.” The problem with that is most courses are now distinguished as “asynchronous” or “cohort-based.” So understandably, prospective buyers were confused.
Fortunately, I’ve still had thirty-five people join what I consider my “beta” group and two of them have launched their first cohorts this week (which is remarkable since I had anticipated the earliest launches to be by mid-April). I’m calling them my “star students” and feel like a soccer mom cheering them on from the sidelines—but more on this in the form of case studies in due course.
Now, back to the positioning issue. I realized I should think of marketing in the same way I think about teaching. Meaning when I introduce a concept, I need to “activate people’s prior knowledge” to make the concept relatable to them. In the case of my offering, I realized the concept I need to relay is a “Community of Practice.” Because ultimately, what I’m doing is facilitating an ongoing learning community that includes four resources:
🧠 An asynchronous course on how to market, build, and run your first cohort in 12 weeks or less (even if you have a small audience).
💻 Weekly drop-in hours to ask questions, test content and build confidence in your course material.
💬 A Discord community to ask questions and get feedback asynchronously.
💡 Priority booking for one-to-one coaching sessions with me (purchased for an additional fee).
The lesson here is to use concepts and terminology that resonate with prospective customers. Otherwise, what seems obvious to you doesn’t necessarily translate to others.
With that in mind, I’ve revamped my landing page for my Community of Practice. Check it out here and let me know what you think. I’d be grateful for your feedback on how I can improve it.
My New Reddit Community
As a precursor to joining my Community of Practice, I’ve launched a Reddit community (r/CourseCreatorFuel) to connect with more course creators. Here’s my thinking. Given Twitter and LinkedIn are great for timely exchanges but then conversations tend to disappear, I’m thinking Reddit will be a great “home” for forum-like discussions (that are easy to refer back to).
The beauty of this format is I can facilitate learning and knowledge management in one place. My hypothesis is by doing this I can create value for course creators who may then wish to join my Community of Practice. Because while Reddit is great for asking questions and sharing advice, most course creators aren’t likely to share their course content in a public forum—it’s too personal.
My hope is that upgrading to my Community of Practice will provide them with a psychologically safe space to do that, plus join office hours to connect with myself and other members of the community, test their course exercises, and more.
Perks For You
If you join my Reddit community in the next thirty days, you’ll get a “Founding Member” tag which you’ll maintain long-term. All you have to do is comment on this post with your username.
My one rule is to be respectful. The goal is to foster a community in which we build each other up through the exchange of questions, ideas, and advice.
Here’s a glimpse of my first post—I would love for you to hop in and share your perspective. I also encourage you to initiate any questions or discussion points you have top of mind.
My hope is by sharing lessons from your course creator journey, you’ll gain exposure that could lead to more people looking into your work—and potentially taking your course. But this is largely an experiment so I can’t promise anything.
Secondly, by asking questions and sharing your experience in response to others, you’ll become more knowledgeable as a course creator and connect with fellow course creators in the process.
Join my Reddit community here and don’t forget to share your username in the comments to be tagged as a Founding Member.
Thanks for reading this week’s newsletter and have a wonder-full week,
⏩ If you want to help me promote my newsletter, share this one with friends.
💻 If you want to build a cohort-based course, join my Community of Practice/Course.
☕ If you want to grab coffee in Montreal, hit reply to let me know when you’re in town.