I love the simplicity of Podia’s Community feature.
Sure, other platforms may have more “bells and whistles” but personally I find bells and whistles a bit, well, noisy.
Give me simple and intuitive any day of the week.
That said, I do enjoy finding creative ways to make simple features do clever things.
So here the five Podia Community “hacks” I’d struggle to live without…
1. Read-only Topics for Product Onboarding
If someone buys a course, I want to make sure they find their feet as quickly as possible.
The secret is providing good onboarding information, but the big question is, where do you put it?
You could put it in a welcome email. But emails quickly get shunted down your inbox by newer messages, and if important details change you can’t update something you already sent!
You could put it in the first module of your course but that makes it difficult to offer different tiers of the same course with more or less support depending on the plan. (Or create onboarding for a bundle of products.)
So here’s what I do…
I create a read-only topic in my course community (called “Instructions” or “Read This First!”) that has a post for each of the main onboarding areas:
- accessing the course
- navigating the community topics
- joining the weekly calls
Then I create a simple welcome email campaign sent after purchase that links to my onboarding topic.
It’s simple, elegant and easy to update if things change!
2. Private Topics for 1:1 Coaching
When I work with mentoring clients one-to-one, the “heartbeat” of that arrangement is a weekly Zoom call. But I also offer ad-hoc support between calls to answer questions or provide feedback.
Previously, I’d handle that type of support over email, but honestly, it was kind of a pain.
Email just isn’t a great channel for back-and-forth conversations. It’s not easy for clients to embed content such as course videos for me to review either.
So what I do now is create a private community topic for each client.
(Most of them are already in Podia already because that’s where they access my training content, so creating a new topic and giving them access is easy peasy.)
Once inside, we can chat with all the benefits of multiple posts, threaded replies and email notifications when either of us creates new content.
If my client has something for me to review, they can easily upload or embed it in the topic. And each week, after our call, I can post the recording in the same private channel.
Bonus tip: Using a naming convention for each client, like “VIP - Ted Lasso”, makes the topics stand out in your dashboard and ensures all the private channels are grouped together under All Topics.
3. Scheduled Posts for Call Reminders
If you run a regular office hours call for your community (e.g., on Zoom) the more people you can get onto those calls the better, right?
It creates a “buzzier” atmosphere, more members get the help they need, and attendees are reminded of you and the value you’re providing in your program.
But sometimes, despite the best of intentions, people simply forget to attend. Or they misplace the link and don’t show up because they’re embarrassed to show up late.
(I find this happens even if the call is at the same time on the same day every week and always uses the same link!)
That’s why I use Podia’s scheduled post feature in to create a perfectly-timed reminder including the Zoom link which magically appears one hour before every call.
I find that members really appreciate the reminder and if you have members in different countries it guards against timezone confusion — “the call starts in one hour” means the same wherever you are!
Using the scheduled post feature you could set up reminders weeks in advance if you wanted to!
4. Embedded Videos for Pep Talks and Tips
Video’s great for engagement but it’s not the quickest type of content to create.
Even if you’re a one-take Tony (or Toni) you usually have to record, export and then upload to your community, which all takes time.
However, Podia’s native embedding feature makes it easy to post quick videos created using cloud-based recorders such as Loom and Zight.
You can fire up one of these tools, record a 2-minute webcam video, then embed the link in a new Podia topic — all in less than 5 minutes.
Sharing a few words of encouragement or posting a quick tip is great for member engagement and reminds people why they’re paying to be an insider.
Additionally, so those same tools support screen recording too so it’s a great way to showcase some new content or a kick-ass discussion happening elsewhere in the community.
5. Member Tagging for Boosting Engagement
Full disclosure: this isn’t so much a hack as a brand new feature.
Podia communities now let you mention other members by tagging them. 🎉
You’ll recognise this feature from social media but here’s how it works in Podia…
If you type an @ symbol followed by the first few characters of someone’s name, you’ll get a drop-down list of everyone matching that query who has access to that topic.
Pick the person you want to mention and their name plus thumbnail photo will appear in your post. Easy!
The arrival of member tagging in Podia means you can do cool things like this:
- Create a weekly welcome post and tag your newest members
- Post a handy tip and tag the specific members you just know will be most interested
- Tag a team member if something crops up in a conversation that needs their attention
- Give end-of-the-week shout-outs to your hardest working students by tagging them
They say you don’t miss something until it’s gone. But with member tagging, you won’t realise how much you needed something until it appears!
Which Hack Will You Try First?
Podia communities may be simple, but that doesn’t mean they’re basic.
With a few of the right hacks you’ll be surprised just how powerful they are.
So, which one will you try first?
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