Gini Dietrich

Join Sarah Robinson for a Special Livefyre Q&A Today

By: Gini Dietrich | September 18, 2012 | 

I have a fun little surprise for you today.

One Ms. Sarah Robinson has written a book and she’s going to be hanging out on Spin Sucks today.

It worked so well with Margie Clayman that we’re going to make this a regular thing. Which means you can ask the author anything.

And today’s author is Sarah.

A Little Background

I met Sarah on Twitter in early 2008. At the time, she hosted an hour-long party once a week (I want to say it was Tuesdays, but now I don’t remember if that’s correct). Someone would bring the virtual snacks. Someone would play DJ. Sarah would host questions, topics, and themes. And we would all have some fun.

One week, she needed a substitute DJ and I volunteered. It was my first foray into publicly using Twitter without lurking. And it was a blast!

She was part of a small group of friends who quickly became my posse. We became such good friends on Twitter that we decided to have an in-person meeting one weekend in Chicago. About 20 people flew in from all over the country, including Sarah and the Young Turk. And friendships were cemented for life.

I use this example when I speak because it goes to show Twitter isn’t just about what someone had for lunch. You can build real relationships with real people who add something to your life. Maybe they buy from you. Maybe they become very good friends. Maybe they become a referral networks. Whatever it is, it’s not just about donuts, cupcakes, and potty breaks.

About Fierce Loyalty: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful Communities

And now Sarah has written a book. A book only a few can write. She’s written it based on her own experience of building a community of people who have helped her business grow, increased her speaking engagements, become brand ambassadors, and more.

The book, as you can see, is called, “Fierce Loyalty: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful Communities.”

I received a copy of the book in its early stages so I could write a praise quote for it. As I read it, I kept thinking, “There is no one better to write this book” and Sarah did not disappoint.

Taking real-life experience and detailing it in a book is not something you see often and Sarah has done it extremely well.

Today’s Chat

At noon ET (that’s 11:00 CT, 10:00 MT, and 9:00 PT for those of you who can’t do time zones), Sarah is going to be hanging out in the comments so you can ask her anything and everything about the book, how she created a fiercely loyal community, how you can do the same, and what that means for your business, career, or organization.

You can ask her how to build offline communities – as well as online ones. You can ask her if there is an ROI to having a fiercely loyal community. You can ask her how the heck one starts to build a group of brand ambassadors. You can ask her how to determine the DNA of your existing community. You can ask her how to accelerate the growth of your community. Or you can ask her how she tied her blog – Escaping Mediocrity – into the development of this book.

In order to participate, all you have to do is:

  • Make sure you have a Livefyre account or be ready to sign in with one of your social networks.
  • Set a reminder for noon ET today.
  • Create a list of questions to ask Sarah about community building, brand ambassadors, and the Young Turks (plural now!).
  • Come back here, scroll to the bottom, and write a comment in the form of a question. As soon as you hit “post comment,” Sarah will see it and reply to you. You can even join the conversation around questions others are asking, if you like.

We’ll be here for an hour so you can join us the entire time or step in and out between noon and 1:00. It’s entirely up to you; just make sure you’re here before 12:59

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

233 responses to “Join Sarah Robinson for a Special Livefyre Q&A Today”

  1. KenMueller says:

    I think I need to read this book.

  2. I’m posting a review of the book on my blog tomorrow. sarahrobinson  was my guest on @Rowpodcast last week and she rocked it. 🙂 

  3. SarahRobinson says:

    @ginidietrich it’s gonna be SO fun!!! Hoping we get in just a few words about the book. 🙂

  4. REALLY looking forward to the convo here today!!!

  5. SarahRobinson says:

    @identitypr Thank you Andrea – looking forward to it!!

  6. DooneyPug says:

    @lisarobbinyoung 🙂

  7. ryancox says:

    I get to ask random questions, be forewarned @SarahRobinson . @ginidietrich set that precedence last month.

  8. DooneyPug says:

    I love these live chats, and I know from personal experience the ones with sarahrobinson are always a hoot. #FierceLoyalty

  9. allenmireles says:

    I am so pleased. I just bought @SarahRobinson ‘s #FierceLoyalty this morning and am really looking forward to the read. 🙂

  10. AnneReuss says:

    It’s all on Livefyre!? That’s really great @ginidietrich it makes the convo totally accessible. Thrilled this will be a regular thing. Thank you! @SarahRobinson have a blast! The boys smell but they’re funny! 

  11. ginidietrich says:

    OK! Are we ready? Let’s get ready to rumble!
    The first question: There is lots of talk about the ROI of your mom and not being able to measure online efforts. But you and I both have grown our businesses because of strong communities.  What ROI do you discuss in the book and how can others apply that same thing?

  12. DooneyPug says:

    Rumbling?  We’re going to rumble too?  Bonus.

  13. ryancox says:

    Questions 1) Why didn’t I get a shout out in the book?

  14. ryancox says:

    Question 2) If you can have someone have ONLY ONE takeaway from reading the book, what is that takeaway?

  15. ryancox says:

    Question 3) How pivotal was the dorm experience on your ‘gaining’ expertise in building communities?

  16. ryancox says:

    Question 4) If you had to give a % to the values: it’s got to come from the community || you have to do it … when building a community, what are those percentages? 70-30, 80-20, 50-50?

  17. ryancox says:

    Question 5) If you left one thing out of your book you wish you didn’t — what would that be?

  18. meghankrane says:

    What was your process for figuring out how to structure the content of the book?

    •  @meghankrane I had a TON of help with that and it took awhile. I wrote the ROIs before i wrote anything else and it made sense to put them in the front of the book so people would know why they should care. Then I broke down the model. And of course people always say “Yeah the model is great but how can I make it happen FASTER?” So I wrote the accelerators. 🙂

      • DooneyPug says:

        I think that was a good idea.  Offer the ROI for buying the book because that is probably the reason lots of people buy it in the first place, right?
        I love the Venn Diagrams by the way.

  19. DooneyPug says:

    How did you know that your calling was to be a Community Builder?  Or is your calling still evolving?

    •  @DooneyPug I just realized it over the past year. It’s such a natural thing to me that I didn’t realize that it was anything different or worth teaching.

      • DooneyPug says:

         @SarahRobinson Then you walk the walk. You found your calling, and the calling was missing in the market and now you have offered it to those in need.
        That’s pretty darn cool. Times infinity.

  20. meghan_krane says:

    @ginidietrich I’m there! Sorry the train was running late.

  21. yvettepistorio says:

    I know this is Gini’s question, but i’m dying of curiosity…how do you build a group of brand ambassadors? I’ve seen companies pay for them, but if you have a loyal community, what it is that turns them into an ambassador?

    • ginidietrich says:

       @yvettepistorio Just because I put it in the blog post doesn’t mean you can’t use it here. That way it’ll get answered!

    •  @yvettepistorio I think paying for them is a huge waste of money. Loyalty – real, deep loyalty, isn’t for sale at any price. To get it, you have to invest time and energy into building the relationship. The three things that turn them into ambassadors are feelings of Pride Trust and Passion. Cultivate those qualities in you community and you’ll have a rabid crown of loud ambassadors.

  22. belllindsay says:

    I feel like I deeply know people on Twitter – well, the one’s I’ve formed friendships with anyhow, and I mean *deeply* know, like I would rescue them if they were tied up on a train track – do you think those connections are rare……did I just get lucky… I an evolutionary freak? Or that people ultimately can’t really, deeply connect until there has been real-life hugs, etc.? 

  23. Carmelo says:

    It seems like some people can very easily connect online (virtually) and others tend to hold back. In building a community, do you feel there needs to be any “live” or in person connection? Such as live events? Lindsay doesn’t need them but some do! (and Gini is always “live” anyway)

  24. C_Pappas says:

    We all have communities in one way or another whether we know it or not – right? So how do we find out who is in our community and how to get them to participate publicly?

    • AnneReuss says:

       @C_Pappas Love this question – we all have some number of silent readers! 

    •  @C_Pappas There will always be those who are going to lurk. There are people who’ve lurked at Escaping Mediocrity for YEARS without participating and that’s ok. You’ve got to open a two way channel of communication. Ask questions, ask for feedback, ask for people to contribute content. And be interested in their responses. People join communities for many reasons – one of the biggest is they just want to be seen and heard. See them and hear them. 🙂

  25. I can’t stay long (an afternoon of meetings awaits) – and we’ve already discussed the story behind the book previously during the podcast, but here’s one I thought about, @SarahRobinson 
    So much of helping cultivate a community of brand ambassadors and a referral network centers on the concept of “good” content (i.e. relevant to a target audience). How does an organization or individual (particularly a startup) map relevancy for a community that it doesn’t yet realize? 

    •  @jasonkonopinski Write what you want to say and pay attention to what resonates with other people. When you start your brand or blog or community, you have to have some idea of who you are writing for and what problem you are solving for them. Start there.

      • Carmelo says:

         @SarahRobinson  @jasonkonopinski Would you say your target market/community is (in the beginning) going to continually shift as they sort of figure out what you’re all about? Despite the fact that you listen to what they need and want, you’ll still have to be absolutely true to yourself. Right?

        • belllindsay says:

           @Carmelo  @SarahRobinson  @jasonkonopinski Good point. 

        •  @Carmelo  @jasonkonopinski Well….I always try to balance that with keeping you in business. 🙂 You do have to be true to yourself but you have to have other people who are interested in your point of view.

        • ginidietrich says:

           @Carmelo  We’ve found our community constantly shifts…we have at least one new member each day and then we have the crazies (like Howie HouseMusic who insists he’s my “and wait there’s more” content) who are here every day.

        •  @ginidietrich  @Carmelo  Howie HouseMusic I’ve certainly noticed the same phenom on my site (though in considerably smaller scale). It’s fascinating to see what brings people in, and making the most of that. Not everything scales tidily. 

        • HowieG says:

           @ginidietrich  @Carmelo  but I missed this day! =P Lucky for @SarahRobinson because I had all the hardball questions to ask like do free donuts or cupcakes work better to cultivate loyal supporters? @shellykramer gives away cupcakes but with gross blue icing. Do Bears fans get put in a second tier of status…kind of like Jr. members? What about Canadians like @belllindsay ? Do they count?

  26. ryanleecox says:

    @C_Pappas @ginidietrich @SarahRobinson @SpinSucks Gini is just #hating on me today like WHOA

  27. ryancox says:

    Question 6) Why did you write this book? I don’t want the PR answer.

  28. ryancox says:

    Question 7) Is there a weak point of the book, and what is it? What do you not cover that is hypercritical to building a community?

  29. meghankrane says:

    Speaking of the book, any idea when it will be back in stock on Amazon? Are there other places to buy it?

  30. ryancox says:

    Question 8) What is one thing that people do wrong when building a community?

  31. ryancox says:

    Question 9) Explain this: 
    Encourage self-governance and group ac- countability as much as is practical. 
    How much is too much self-governance? 

  32. belllindsay says:

    I think @ryancox is doing his PHD on this subject. 😉 

  33. belllindsay says:

    Oooooh, just saw the “time zone” dig above, @ginidietrich ! Well done!! 🙂 

  34. Im trying to keep up with everyone’s questions – well except for @ryancox ‘s. Forgive me if I’ve somehow missed yours and aske me again!!

  35. Lisa Gerber says:

    Hi @SarahRobinson ! I’d like to follow up on some of the Brand Ambassador questions. We’re working with a client in particular where we will soon be creating some type of formalized ambassador program, but I still struggle with “what’s in it for them?”
    We wouldn’t compensate, and we know there are ambassadors out there because their product has saved lives. Do they become ambassadors just for the pride? Do we need to give them something more?  

  36. DooneyPug says:

    I’ve got to run and am wondering if we can see the whole convo somewhere.  Is that a possibility @ginidietrich ?

  37. DooneyPug says:

    Thank you for a great chat @ginidietrich  And thank you @SarahRobinson for writing such a fantabulous book. 

  38. KevinVandever says:

    @SarahRobinson I have begun to build some fierce loyalty around the wine I’m making and attempting to market in the New Orleans area. My partner and I have a great story and have donated and shared the wine openly (weddings, fund raisers, a certain someone who will read this post, etc.). The community is so good that I had to slow the posting on our FB and Twitter accounts until we were completely ready to sell. Now that we are close (and might even have our first sale at a prominent hotel in New Orleans), we want to keep the momentum going, but things seem to change when ROI and actual commerce is involved. Brand loyalty and champions who love to taste and talk about the wine turn into “How can I help you sell…and make some money for me in the process?” I echo @LisaGerber’s question about “what’s in it for them?” My partner and I have an idea about how to keep the buzz going about the wine without turning everyone who’s excited about it into a paid Ambassador (sales person). What are your thoughts on this long winded question?

    • belllindsay says:

       @KevinVandever  @SarahRobinson Great question. 

    • ginidietrich says:

       @KevinVandever  First, I love your wine and will happily promote it (and drink it) and buy it without compensation. Unless, of course, you’re dying to give me more to test. 🙂 But we found this when Marketing in the Round came out. We gave and gave and gave to our communities and it was VERY interesting when we finally asked people to buy, how few actually did. The thing I learned from that is I *think* you have to provide things for people to buy consistently. 

      • Tinu says:

         @ginidietrich  @KevinVandever There’s a tipping point to giving, I think. Even though I get free copies of books from friends to review, I still go out and buy another copy after having learned the lesson that sometimes you can give to the point of de-valuing, or give the wrong things in the wrong amount, with the wrong timing. And as Gini said, consistency is a big deal. I noticed with myself that if the people I support give give give give then ask me to buy, then give again, I’m more likely to buy each time than if they give for several months and then ask me to buy just once. 

        • KevinVandever says:

          @Tinu @ginidietrich Thanks to both of you. I think we are going to try something along those lines. We are creating a wine that we share, donate, give for “testing”, etc. and do a better job at providing a consistent product to purchase.

    •  @KevinVandever  @SarahRobinson If the question is coming down to $$ compensation then I would say the community isn’t as strong and robust as it could be. People become Fiercely Loyal to a brand and it’s community because it has become an essential part of who they are and how they define themselves. I’m thinking both of big brands like Harley Davidson and little mom n’ pops like the independent coffee shop around the corner. Giving up those brands would mean giving up the community that is essential to them – and that’s not likely to happen.

      • KevinVandever says:

        @SarahRobinson I don’t think we’re at that point yet; with folks asking for $$ compensation before they will show us any love. But it has come up from a few. Point is well taken, though, about our community not being strong as robust as it could be. We will continue to work in that area. Thanks for the insnsight and good luck with the book.

  39. Scurrying off to a meeting. Thanks for a delightful chat, gang, and especially to @SarahRobinson  for writing this book. 

  40. Tinu says:

     @SarahRobinson , just stopping by to let you know how great you are. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how Fierce Loyalty plays a part in successful crowd-funding ventures, if there’s time.

    •  @Tinu you are not the first person to ask me about this and I must confess that I don’t know enough about crowd-funding to speak about it intelligently. Yet. 🙂 Adding that to things I need to research. 🙂

  41. belllindsay says:

    Sarah, I’m not sure how I wasn’t following you before. G’uh. I have now followed, and will continue to stalk you until I can get your book up here in Canada! 🙂 Great chat, fab ideas, and HUGE congrats on the book! 

  42. ginidietrich says:

    Alright, kids. Fastest hour in history! If you didn’t make it here for the live Q&A, don’t be afraid to leave your question. @SarahRobinson will stop by when there is a comment and respond when she has time during her crazy book launch week!

  43. Just want to say hi, Sarah. Can’t wait to read Jason’s review and your book!

  44. HiMac says:

    Sarah, I’m beginning to find more gray area in distinguishing between the terms community, network, and platform. As a founder in a preformative startup,  a clearer distinction would be helpful. Some examples, as comparisons, would be nice. Thanks

    •  @HiMac Off the top of my head I would distinguish them this way:
      A community is a group of people that you interact with all the time. You are invested in them and they are invested in you. They are also connected to each other.
      A network is simply a list of all the people you know and keep in touch with fairly regularly. They aren’t necessarily connected to each other in any way.
      A Platform is a combination of people and message on which you and your brand stand. It can involve both a community and a network.
      I’ll try to think of concrete examples to illustrate. 🙂

  45. Thank you so much everyone!! this was FUN!!! and thank you for having me @ginidietrich . You already know that I’m Fiercely Loyal to you. 🙂

  46. SarahRobinson says:

    @ginidietrich The Livefyre chat was SO fun!!! Thank for having me. 🙂

  47. SarahRobinson says:

    @C_Pappas and dabble you did!!!

  48. ScottMonty says:

    @belllindsay Well thank you so much for that! And congratulations on the new role with @ginidietrich

  49. ScottMonty says:

    @jasonkonopinski Many thanks! What a great live chat.

  50. meghankrane says:

    Thank you @ginidietrich and @SarahRobinson for a great LiveChat today! Looking forward to the next one 🙂

  51. Uhh, Gini, how do I set a reminder for 3 hours ago if I’m just now reading this?? Sorry I missed you, Sarah, but it looks like you rocked the house without me 🙂

  52. AmyVernon says:

    GAHHHHHHHHH. I missed this. I’m such a loser. Sorry @SarahRobinson &@ginidietrich 🙁

  53. rajmalikdc says:

    @Tinu How are you? Its been way too long. You gonna be in DC anytime soon? Love to catch up.

  54. DooneyPug says:

    @SarahRobinson Oh this tweet just made my life easier. Thank you.

  55. SarahRobinson says:

    @DooneyPug and they can read your very funny smartass answers. 🙂

  56. […] them, they might work even harder for you, especially if they know you’ve noticed them. Create fierce loyalty within your […]

  57. […] you want to learn more about creating a loyal community, head on over to Spin Sucks and check out the Livefyre chat with Sarah Robinson. The author of “Fierce Loyalty: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful […]

  58. HowieG says:

    I totally missed this because @ginidietrich told me on Facebook and not twitter or email…BAHHH!! Goes to bed weeping in disarray.

  59. leon dubash says:

    Great thread, it was a brilliant read.

  60. […] For former guests, check out Margie Clayman and Sarah Robinson. […]

  61. […] former guests, check out Margie Clayman, Sarah Robinson, Mark Story, and Beth […]

  62. […] former guests, check out Margie Clayman, Sarah Robinson, Mark Story, Beth Hayden, and Sarah […]

  63. Tv Odds says:

    Thanks on your marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it you might be a great author. I will make certain to bookmark your blog and may come back very soon

  64. […] former guests, check out Margie Clayman, Sarah Robinson, Mark Story, Beth Hayden, Sarah Evans, Stanford Smith, Chris Brogan, C.C. Chapman, Mitch […]

  65. […] former guests, check out Margie Clayman, Sarah Robinson, Mark Story, Beth Hayden, Sarah Evans, Stanford Smith, Chris Brogan, C.C. Chapman, Mitch […]

  66. […] former guests, check out Margie Clayman, Sarah Robinson, Mark Story, Beth Hayden, Sarah Evans, Stanford Smith, Chris Brogan, C.C. Chapman, Mitch […]

  67. […] former guests, check out Margie Clayman, Sarah Robinson, Mark Story, Beth Hayden, Sarah Evans, Stanford Smith, Chris Brogan, C.C. Chapman, Mitch […]

  68. […] former guests, check out Margie Clayman, Sarah Robinson, Mark Story, Beth Hayden, Sarah Evans, Stanford Smith, Chris Brogan, C.C. Chapman, Mitch […]

  69. […] former guests, check out Margie Clayman, Sarah Robinson, Mark Story, Beth Hayden, Sarah Evans, Stanford Smith, Chris Brogan, C.C. Chapman, Mitch […]

  70. […] former guests, check out Margie Clayman, Sarah Robinson, Mark Story, Beth Hayden, Sarah Evans, Stanford Smith, Chris Brogan, C.C. Chapman, Mitch […]

  71. […] former guests, check out Margie Clayman, Sarah Robinson, Mark Story, Beth Hayden, Sarah Evans, Stanford Smith, Chris Brogan, C.C. Chapman, Mitch […]

  72. I’m sorry I missed this chat!  I do love Sarah’s blog.  She offers lots of great insight.

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