Learn how Carie is building her community and learning how to serve fellow teachers.
Carie is a passionate educator and a mom who is developing innovative ways to help traditional teachers feel encouraged, grounded, and connected to a supportive community. She is also interested in helping entrepreneurs feel competent, capable, and encouraged as they develop teaching skills and design curriculum to educate their clients.
Location: Corvallis, OR
Business: Helping teachers
How we met: Carie and I met at Pioneer Nation, on the last night of the conference.
Unlike many of the business owners I have talked to, Carie is in the very first stages of her business. She knows what she loves and what she is good at, and she is still figuring out how to bring those skills to the marketplace.
Carie is grappling with some of the most common questions that face beginning business owners:
- Which target audience is right for me?
- How can I use my passions and skills to help them the most effectively?
- How can I get my message out to the world online and in person?
- How do I build my community?
I am impressed that Carie is already out there, attending conferences and joining the entrepreneurial community. I started working for myself 3 years ago, and it took me until now to go to a conference. I think that Carie’s confidence and willingness to put herself out there will help her business grow much more quickly.
When I asked her what types of resources she is looking for in this phase of her business, she said the most helpful thing is to talk to people who have advice about blogging or website development, and that she would benefit from any kind of experience that people would be willing to share about growing a community. She tends to build her community one on one, and she realizes that while this takes time, once she has made some real connections, she can broaden her community more quickly, because every person she connects with has other connections they can bring to the table.
When looking for resources, Carie tends to use those of people she has followed online and grown to trust.
She has followed a few people for many years, including Chris Guillebeau, Danielle LaPorte, and Kelly Rae Roberts. This makes me realize that building trust is a long process, and drives home the point that a blog takes time to build a community around it. In contrast, meeting someone in person can build trust in one sitting. A lot of people have been successful in building a community through blogging, but many more give up after a few months. I wonder if there is a way to blog more intimately, so that you can build the trust right away.
Carie has done some work to begin growing her community. Her next step is talking to her target audience, but she wants to have a better idea of what to ask them first.
I suggested that she just get out there and start talking to teachers – both traditional and entrepreneurial. One thing I have realized from these conversations is that there is no magic question, and once you start talking to people you learn what you need to learn from them. Talking to people in her target audience will help Carie clarify how she can help them and how to best communicate with them online. Also, talking to both types of teachers will help her figure out whom she wants to help the most.
- Many questions beginning business owners have can be answered by talking to their target audience.
- A community can be built by connecting with one person at a time.
Carrie wants to connect with:
- Teachers – both traditional and entrepreneurial
- Experienced bloggers, website developers, and community builders
1 step you can take to grow your network today:
Talk to a potential client about their deepest pains . Listen well and then offer them some insights.