Champions programs and community insights are all the rage as of late, but how do you make sure they don’t just serve your community, or your product teams but rather build a long-lasting flywheel of success for everyone involved?
In this session, learn how to:
Identify Beta or Champions in Orbit
Create a saved view
Create a report or dashboard
Erin Staples (00:00): You folks, happy day too.
Speaker 2 (01:00): Apparently there are two kinds of people in the world.
Erin Staples (03:34): All right. We're going to wind things down here for a second, and it's good to see where everybody's at. If you can take a peek, we've got a lot of rocket ships, a lot of coffee here, just so good to hear. I'm just going to close all these windows. Welcome, if you're new to an Orbit event and you've never been here before. Welcome, I'm glad to have you aboard. I'm just curious to know if we had, any of these folks. If you came here, did you attend Nexus yesterday for the talks or are you hanging out here today just for the workshops? That's no problem if you just came for the workshops, everything will be online, recorded and available via YouTube in just a few days. If you're new to an Orbit event and you've never before ever been on Butter before, one thing, on the left hand side of your screen, you will always see your controls for your mic, your video. If you have any reaction or sharing the screen, that'll all be there on the left hand side of your screen.
Erin Staples (04:33): On the right hand side of the screen, you'll see your chat options. So feel free, if you have any problems, comments, questions, concerns. We will be using the chat a lot today, so feel free to jump in, give me your thoughts and all of that fun stuff. So I'm really excited. It looks like most people here have been attending. I see Aisha here, thank you so much for joining yesterday. She had a wonderful session and so stoked for that one to be on YouTube, it's well worth replaying. But yeah, I'm stoked to get it going and that's really exciting. And this is being recorded, so if you are here, just as a quick heads up, this will be recorded and distributed out afterwards.
Erin Staples (05:13): But without further ado, we're going to kind of take things off. So before we get rocking and rolling, it looks like most people here have attended Nexus, so I'm going to go ahead and stop this poll. We've got most of you all here attending Nexus yesterday, which is really great. And again, if you missed it for whatever reason, that's okay, all those talks will be on YouTube. So I'm going to go ahead and close that down. We're going to open up our next fun little item here. So for those of you familiar with Miro, we do a lot of our workshops here at Orbit and Miro and take a pretty highly interactive approach. Because of today, we've got a large group with us. I'm going to have you bring some... Follow y'all to my screen. If you do want to see what we're working on or what we're doing, I will share that Miro board with you as well, so you can see what's going on and even bookmark this for later references. So here's your Miro board in the chat, feel free to use that as needed.
Erin Staples (06:17): Kind of quick heads up. This is today's mission. So today we're going to be exploring all about champions programs, all about beta groups, and this will really help you take your community and the organizations that you work with really to the next level. I take the belief that everybody here has something we can learn from. So whether you've been building communities for your entire life and ecosystem, or you've just walked in and you're new, this is the first community building thing you've ever attended, I believe that everybody here has something they can add to the conversation and continue to build on. So feel free to raise a hand, add a comment, drop an insight and so on and so forth.
Erin Staples (06:53): Before we begin just a couple of quick Miro basics if you're new to the tool. Additionally, these are really collaborative sessions. So as I went through, these tools are held in Butter, which is a highly interactive, super fun sound effects included platform. And if you are at any point overwhelmed with this, I find the most overwhelming part, the cursor tool in Miro. So if you go to the top inside of your screen, you'll see that ability to turn off other folks' cursor, which is kind of a pro tip.
Erin Staples (07:26): If you ever want to add a comment during any point during this session, you can add it using the post-it note feature, or just directly dropping it in the chat on Butter. So before we kind of begin, couple things before we prepare to fully take off into the world of champions programs. First off, I want to know from everybody in the room, what's your name? What pronouns do you use? Where can we find you online? And a few things you're interested in. Drop it in the chat in Butter and let me know and reply to others if you see someone else that you're chatting something you're interested in. So we'll get a few moments to get this going. I'm going to set a timer on the clock. I think we can do this in three minutes. Let's have some fun.
Erin Staples (09:05): I'm seeing some good stuff come in. I'm also seeing a lot of... AC, I'm seeing that history fanatics. I'm big fan love a lot of these. We see a lot of no coders. Woo hoo. Optimist Prime set, Warren. My husband would be jealous. We've got a few Lego fanatics in the house. We've got the F1 cars on our wall.
Speaker 2 (09:24): Ah, Butter was nailing all of the stuff. And then it has an auto focus on the chat so... roll up.
Erin Staples (09:50): Aw man, you should be able to scroll. I'm able to scroll up on the Butter chat. See?
Speaker 3 (09:56): Something new. It changes where you are.
Erin Staples (09:58): Ah, Butter. I will actually send them that feedback.
Speaker 2 (10:03): Yeah, I did find a work around. As long as you have the scroll bar held with your mouse, it will not do it.
Erin Staples (10:14): Ooh. Some fellow Lego fanatics here.
Erin Staples (10:19): Few more moments. If you haven't dropped it in what you're interested in, where folks can find you online, the pronouns you use. We got Lego fanatics, board game folks, and dev advocates. This is super fun. I'm excited. Books, culture and nature. Heck yeah. You guys, this is the community people are my kind of people. A few moments for last little dance moves. Collage and textiles, fun.
Erin Staples (11:01): All right. So I hope you got to meet some new friends here today. If you did not, hopefully you'll make a new friend by the end of today's session. Before we begin, I want to kind of pull our existing knowledge. So before we dive into the world of beta groups and champions programs, let's take a quick second. We probably won't go for the full three minutes, just for the sake of time. We've got a lot to go over today, but what is a beta group or a champions program that you love or what makes a great beta group or a champions program?
Erin Staples (11:33): I've opened up a poll on the site, feel free to add many, you can go pretty quick or you can put it in. And if you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, feel free to just say that. The answers are anonymous, so you'll be able to kind of just keep it going. Let's put a quick little two minutes on. I appreciate the honesty. Sometimes I've filled out these polls and people are don't want to put, "I don't know. I'm here to learn," and that's totally acceptable. I love that.
Erin Staples (12:36): Hub fans, I've heard that. I've heard a lot of good stuff about Microsoft or even the Twilio Champions Programs, that's been a common one I've heard of a lot. Ooh, "I'm not sure if I know of what I love." I love this answer because there's a lot of pushback I have on beta programs and community building. To go on a quick segue, I actually fell into the world of community through beta programs. I was a product manager actually doing user research and had a bunch of beta people. And they said next up, "You're actually a community person, Erin." And I didn't realize that until say yes and figure it out later, and now I've been here for a few years. I love this. Love to have something that's not elitist us or making this a super group, love that. A few more seconds. I'm curious, and you can let know by the chat if you've participated in a beta program or if you've participated in an ambassador program, I know we've got potentially few here. I got the Sonos beta, rad.
Erin Staples (13:53): I get to hang out in the Notion beta every so often for a few features and that's been really fun as a super user there.
Speaker 2 (13:59): I am very jealous of that fact.
Erin Staples (14:01): So I'm going to stop that pull. You'll be able to see a lot of these answers. Loving a lot of these answers. Take a moment, feel free to scroll through... "I love seeing Taylor leading a beta program," that's really awesome. Definitely beta programs can be a crash court in beta and community building because sometimes you're dealing with a beta product and a beta community and it's trial by fire on both worlds. But kind of diving in, I'm going to bring you all back to the Miro screen here and we follow around. Let's do a quick little 101 of that. Just as a quick reminder, beta programs or champions programs, for the definition we will be using today. These are programs that hone in on some of your most loyal and most active users.
Erin Staples (14:48): In the case of beta groups, these programs are better to understand what to build next and how it's working. In the case of champions programs, you're seeking to reward your most loyal product champions. And I love this question, Ash, about getting that list. We'll make sure to send the poll results out with the recording as well, so you can see more. We usually do try to send out a lot of the resources because, y'all, this is a fun collaborative y'all are really smart. I want to learn more about it. But all of these fun things. Why do you have these programs?" Well, when we're building a beta program or a community, these programs exist to create or increase loyalty among the existing users, you are also, if we're on the product side of things, are you able to build with your user feedback in mind?
Erin Staples (15:35): We also want to take a moment and reward those who are making your product, what it is today, for those of you who are in or currently managing a beta product or a beta community. How many times do you build a feature? And then it never sees the light of day. And sometimes you're like, "Thank you for the people who helped make sure that didn't see the light of day because that was a bad idea." I've been there. I've done that. It's kind of a fun experimental phase, but you also get to reward the people who were there throughout every bit of the journey, who helped you and gave the right feedback, who helps give you that feedback that you need to make it successful.
Erin Staples (16:09): Also, next step you'll drive adoption of product or services. So how do we make sure that you're continuing to build adoption? How do you make sure that you are continuing to lean into how products are being used or what they're being used? And lastly, create that ongoing flywheel of success. So community one person isn't scalable myself, can't respond to everybody or can't build the deepest relationship, especially as a community grows, but building beta and advocate programs can really make sure that you are able to scale your community efforts. "What the heck does this have to do with the world of community?" Well, we have to make sure that when we're approaching these programs, a lot of the times when I've seen it fail, is because these programs can come across as really transactional. And I'm going to break down what I mean by that.
Erin Staples (17:02): When someone asks you to give product feedback and they don't thank you. They don't know how you're using the product or they don't really know what you're up to, that's gross. That's not cool. Or, "Hey, can you please share this on Twitter?" I've gotten that one a lot from folks of, "Hey, can you please share this on your Twitter?" I don't know you, I don't know what you're building. I don't..." Rather, when it is taken approach by a community perspective, you lean into your most loyal people. Sometimes you don't even ever have to ask. This requires an in-depth knowledge of the community and the relationships within it. Who's very motivated by these programs? Who likes to test new products? Who doesn't? Who is curious about what's next to come? And next step, these often tend to fall under the scope of work of the community team. So again, those deep relationships, oftentimes we see beta programs or even champions programs falling under the scope of work of a community team.
Erin Staples (17:59): So next step and trip. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that does the sound effect, even though there's sound effects this platform, I just can't do it. Can't stop it, it's natural reaction. So today what we're going to walk through is, "How are we going to accomplish this?" How do you build that successful beta program? What's next to come? We'll identify what you're trying to achieve? Who are the right people in the community to help you? How to identify these folks within your community? Yes, we'll use Orbit for this one. What are your next steps to engage with them? How do you kind of convert that active community builder to advocate member? How do you surface those insights to key stakeholders that matter? And then building processes and workflows for that ongoing success? So it's not just a set it and forget it for the future. Any questions? Anything we missed covering today that you want to know more about? All right.
Speaker 4 (18:55): Can I throw one in there?
Erin Staples (18:56): Throw one in.
Speaker 4 (18:57): Yeah, so kind of related to my comment in the chat. Sometimes... I think it's really cool. It sounds like you've been in environments where people have community teams that are running these things. I'm personally extremely curious also to... And when you're in an environment where there is no community team or it's being run by say the product team or potentially even engineering, what's a good way... Just thoughts on how to establish like effective collaboration to make sure that the community aspect doesn't get lost in all of it?
Erin Staples (19:28): Ooh, I love this question and I'm going to quote what... Oh my goodness, I'm in a totally even blank. If someone was there from Nexus on who said this yesterday. I believe it was Jono Bacon, but I'm not 100% sure, so don't quote me on that. I know I tweeted it. But the quote overall was, "Community is an every team problem. If you're running an organization that has a community team, it can't just be the community team." And I know that's a spicy take and some developers or some people who are really busy and have those busy schedules might be kind of wanting to throw some wrenches at me right now. But it's important that everybody in your organization, if you're choosing to invest in community, that you're building those cross-functional relationships. So we're definitely going to get into that at the end. So I love that question. Thank you for raising that fact as well, because we definitely got to figure that one out.
Erin Staples (20:22): All right. Cue the sound effects. What we're going to walk through now, bringing it here, is I want us to take a moment, "what are we trying to achieve and with whom?" And this is where I think we've got to do that groundwork in order to be successful in any beta program that we run. So collaboration time. I'm going to pause everybody here. We're going to pull this up on the screen. I want you to take in the chat, describe the best candidate in the world for one of these programs? I'm ready to know what is the best candidate in the world for one of these programs? I'm going to throw a two minutes in the clock. And you can use one word sentences, you can use emojis. Feel free to react if you see other people that you are like, "Heck yeah, I want someone curious to tinker." Oh, and candidate for a beta or a champions program. I'm going to throw in a couple things. Remember this person will often represent your organization. Ooh, connector's a really good one. Constructive, a lot of feedback given.
Speaker 2 (22:30): Are we able to put the notes in the Miro board as well?
Erin Staples (22:48): Sticky note or a comment?
Speaker 2 (22:51): Oh. We're dead.
Erin Staples (22:55): And we'll compile all these. Don't worry about... Awesome. Love that. Love a lot of your feedback. Constructive feedback. Connected. This is really great. I'm going to put one on before you can hit constructive feedback. Before you can get hit. Before you can hit people who like to. You have to. Let's try this audio thing.
Erin Staples (23:39): All right. Let's try that now. Are we good on that? So weird. I have no idea. I just turned audio on and off again. So I like Brian's pro tip, don't go swimming on giving a workshop. So apparently Butter thought I was underwater. TLDR, trust is a two way street. And in order to have that constructive feedback, in order to have that constructive, trusted feedback, in order to have anything, you have to have trust. And that means, as an organization or as a community, you need to be providing trust to your members so they can open up to you. You need to create that space that if someone doesn't like something, they can tell you without fear of, "Well, you're wrong. You're bad. You don't have that." You need to create trust.
Erin Staples (24:29): I don't know if any of you have ever watched Silicon Valley, don't be a Gilfoyle. Gilfoyle kind of blows up a lot of stuff in the show if you've ever seen it. TLDR, doesn't want to let go. Doesn't want to trust new people. He doesn't trust anybody and he says it's, "Not part of his belief system." Don't be a Gilfoyle if you're trying to build a program or a beta program or a Champion's community, do not channel your Gilfoyle. And I see the comment from Brian of he's been visually compared to guilt foil. I can confirm he is not personality compared to Gilfoyle. So, you pass the vibe check if that helps.
Erin Staples (25:08): Now, in order to have this trust, you have to have clarity. Now in order to have clarity, many times people run into these programs and they're super excited, they're going to build that champions program, they're going to build that beta program, because someone on the internet told them to, in some think piece, or some 37 tweet thread. That is probably not a good way to build a beta program. It's probably not a good way to build a champions program. In order to have trust within your community, you've got to have clarity.
Erin Staples (25:41): Before starting any new program initiative project, understand why you're trying to achieve this program, or why are you starting to initiate this program? Are you seeking product feedback? Are you trying to empower those people who are in your product day in and day out? Are you trying to offer opportunities? Maybe you're looking for new freelance writers and you have a budget to pay them within your community. It's a great way to kind of find them. Maybe you're trying to establish new partners. Maybe you've got a new feature you're about to launch in six months. Maybe you're running a user conference for the first time in your organization and you need to find out who your most loyal people are and if they can help you out along the way. So I think a lot of new ways that we can get started and we can kind of reduce that friction is by creating clarity in what you want to get out of that.
Erin Staples (26:36): All right. Clarity will tell you how to invite and who to invite to foster those connections. When we have clarity, we can have better answers. So if I'm looking for someone who is going to be able to give great feedback, I'm probably not going to look for someone who feels uncomfortable sharing feedback, or has never been a part of the community. If I'm looking for someone who might be interested in coming aboard, and I can share their YouTube content, I'm probably not going to look for someone who has never been on a YouTube video ever in their life. Or if I am, I know that I need to provide resources, materials, and things that this program is a success. Clarity will tell you who to invite and how to foster that connections.
Erin Staples (27:25): So diving in here, we're going to do another collaboration station. What activities would you look for in someone who is a great beta tester for a new developer focused feature? And I see we got some good back and forth in the chat here on age of developer programs and beta programs. Definitely, let's dive into that later at the end, if we've got some more time, because I definitely want to unpack that some more, it could be really fun. But let's put a few moments on the clock here.
Erin Staples (27:52): What activity focus are you, would you look for in someone who is a great beta tester for a new developer focused feature? Going to throw in just a few little bits on the clock. "Someone who has done a PR," good. They're a developer, you probably want them to know how to write code or at least be familiar with Git. You're not going to take a no coder and just throw them in the wind. "We all have different work flows," I love that. I love this comment about writing blogs or doing talks, but I want to acknowledge that this doesn't always have to be the case. Sometimes you can find really great testers that aren't doing docs. Oh, if you can find a beta tester experience in QA, you've got a gem there, pay them, pay them. "Active and passionate about testing things." Yeah, you want those people who are okay with a few bugs.
Erin Staples (29:22): Thanks for joining us. "Not afraid to break things." You're right. We need to keep those people who are comfortable breaking. And yeah, I love that you call out, it's very much like a thing, because you kind of have the chat slowing down here for a second, just slowing that up. But beta testers, they're comfortable with a few bugs. You're not going to get some, "If it's breaking, it's broken," they're not going to blow up your support request. You probably don't want that. It's a little scary, little icky, little gross, and that's going to create more work for everybody. You want them to flag the support request, but you also don't want to be so inundated with support request that you cannot continue building and iterating and making that product better. On this, if it's a developer focused feature, you probably want them to have some understanding, nuance, of Git, understanding of learning new things, or experiencing of a workflow of a developer.
Erin Staples (30:28): If you're not a developer, that's okay, but you're probably just not a great beta tester for this one. There are other ways that you can be involved in the organization as well. And dropped. No worries. We've got these all recorded. Love a lot of these. "Edge cases and emphasis on not being afraid to fail."
Erin Staples (30:46): So I'm going to do a different one. We're going to do... This is no longer a beta program, but rather a champions program. So think champions are already a super user and this is a no code tool, so this person is not a developer. And I want to call out the fact that I did not say non-technical. I do believe that non-developers are technical in their own way, shape, form. As someone who jumped from a no code to a developer, myself, these people are just not familiar in how to develop and that's okay. And I want to triple underline, bold, highlights. If you've ever been a part of our advance with Brian and I, we have a lot of rants on how development and code are not the same thing or development and technicality are the same thing. But what do you want to see in a champions program for a no coder
Erin Staples (31:38): "Fab use case of the product." Goal, yes. "Delights in helping others and seeing their growth." Love it. Ooh, Affiliate link, this is a great one. I've actually got to play this role in a no code platform. And I'm currently in a champions program for a no code community and the affiliate link is so, so, so important. They're probably already talking about the software, even without you asking, they're mentioning your brand on Twitter, that's an activity you're going to look for. And they're probably already making that content without you asking. Got a lot of content creators. I've noticed many folks in this are very excited to just be there. Excited to talk to you one on one. Yeah. We're in a world of Zoom overload. "Y'all, you could not get me on a Zoom call if I don't actually have some interest in you as a person." How many Zoom happy hours does anybody declined in the last month, because I have, unless I... If I'm there present on video, that means I really like you or I really like what you're about to.
Speaker 2 (33:09): One of my favorite quotes is, "You don't find volunteers for your church community at the pulpit."
Erin Staples (33:20): Truly. I love that. I love that. I'm glad I'm not the only one.I'm seeing some enthusiastic nodding from Warren, so I'm getting some good vibes. I'm not the only one that's ditching those happy hours if I'm not interested, but I love all these answers. I love how we've now been able to distinguish, what is the difference between a champion and what is the difference between a beta? These people aren't going to be... Great, love that you're using the product, but you're not necessarily, we're not looking for that question asking ability. We are not looking for someone... These people probably are a little more sensitive to bugs because you don't want them to be publishing that blog bug in a blog. We probably aren't going to have the same interests that others do. And that's okay.
Erin Staples (34:05): But now that we've kind of identified all of these fun little things, let's walk through how you can actually... We've identified them in a chat, but how do you actually find them in your community? That's a whole other next level of skills that we're going to jump through today. And I'm glad that y'all have more faith in my TikTok abilities than I do. My TikTok is extremely just embarrassment. But now we're going to step into this next phase of filtering, building, and automating your ops, because this is the part that I think people get hung up on, or we get blindsided by Twitter. And I'm going to say that I've been there, I've been guilty. We get excited by something we see online and then we're like, "No, that actually didn't help me at all." That's great that you wrote 1000 tweets on it, but it didn't help the overall organization.
Erin Staples (34:56): So let's find out how we can identify these users. So I've brought you all to my screen. And one thing we're going to do, in Orbit, we reference anything that anybody does within a community space as an activity. So that means if they are sending a tweet and they mention the brand that is logged in Orbit, if they are active in a discord, if they are present at an event. So all of y'all are completing an activity right now. If you are attended a user conference that we held yesterday, that's an activity. We need to find out what activities are important to you. Product use is an activity. Using certain features you can set activity tags in and hook them up to. Using Orbit, we'll be able to find who has completed activities in order to find out who may be able to best fit those needs. We track and I see a lot of typing.
Erin Staples (35:52): I'm appreciative of all y'all scripting my talks for me. Going to have to make appearance of that. Woo hoo meeting's canceled. And so this is a peak within Orbit. I just quickly pulled this. Under Orbit, you'll see on that right hand side of the screen, you'll have those different activity types. So we call. We had the 100 days of community challenge in the winter. We had advocacy and initiatives that we do. We have other things like attending events. You can scroll on and on and see all the different activities that we have in Orbit. And many of these are already automated, so you're not having to think twice about all it in. So all of these are automated. We do have a few we put in manually, but again, no one really wants to do that manually because no, no. Especially as your community grows, as you see, we have 30,000 people in the overarching Orbit workspace, is not cool.
Erin Staples (36:49): So whether these are automated through a native Orbit integration, which is, we have a bunch of native Orbit integrations on this site. I don't have that tab open right now, but I will send that out. You can also automate them through anything with a web hook. So if you've got our Zapier, our Dockers, our n8n, Make, formerly known as Integromat, those all can be imported into Orbit.
Erin Staples (38:00): From there, we're going to build a custom view. So in Orbit, looking directly in this workspace, you can add... So I just quickly ran through and put, "This is our advocacy initiatives and you've been on a one-on-one phone call with someone in Orbit." So that one-on-one phone call was an automation built through Canly and I'll show you how we do that in just a quick second. And then I check to see if you're doing an advocacy initiative, and an advocacy initiative is what Brian and I define as, anytime that you're almost giving product feedback, you are active in our discord, you've attended an event at Orbit, or you've invited either Brian and myself to an event, you've invited someone at Orbit to speak at an event, or we've met you at another event.
Erin Staples (38:44): So that means many times that those activities, I don't get invited to speak every single day, so that's worth me doing a manual activity for, but I do want to acknowledge the work that has gone into that. And I want to see, are these people kind of that top percentage of folks that are interested in building an Orbit? I then create a custom filter, so I'll navigate here if you can see. I'll click save as new and I'll create a nice little filter. Here's a pre-made filter I've already kind of went through and ran. And so this is one based on our... If we go to the reportings feature in Orbit, we can even track how this audience is doing from that filter. So this is one that is our study group attendees. So I just quickly polled, "How many people have continuously attended study groups?"
Erin Staples (39:33): And we've built out a chart. We can see how they're attending, what type of event they're attending, how often they're doing it, and how frequent they're doing it. So these are people who are attending more of our high stakes events. And office hours, which is a synchronous event. Our study groups, if they've attended one live, or our change log Fridays, which is the last Friday of every month, we do a change log and we go through the change log, live on discord with our product managers. These are the type of people I want to see in a champions program or a beta group, because they're not only using the product, but they're showing up synchronously on their own time to give me feedback. I want to make sure that I'm keeping track of them and acknowledging them. So I'll use a reporting feature in Orbit to make sure that I'm finding the right people, adding them up, putting them together and getting going.
Erin Staples (40:21): And I want to pause here for a second. I've got these great reporting tools, but our beta programs at Orbit and our champions programs at Orbit are in their very early nascent stage. And I want to break down why we're doing that. In order to have a truly successful program, we need to have the time energy effort and resources to truly make sure that we're not dropping the ball to those individuals. We're a two person community team. We've got to make sure that we can do our community initiatives and build them. So we're starting to, and we're starting in a minimum viable community or an NVC type manner, meaning we're having early conversations, we're sending swag, we're still documenting and we're still tagging people who we might one day want to be in a beta program, or we might one day want to be in a champions program. But the programming, the individual efficiency going out, we want to make sure that if we put a program out and start really driving it forward, that we're able to support that with all of its efforts.
Erin Staples (41:24): I've been a part of beta programs in the past that I've had that pressure from those product teams that have really pushed me to do something that we didn't support. And let me tell you, they fail. It doesn't work out, they get bad reps. I've also been a part of a program that, and I got to run programs where we got really great feedback, but we were sending them swag gifts. We were thanking them for their time. We offered opportunities. We were doing a regular cadence of events like mixers and cocktail hours and fun events, all of that stuff within. And Vinia, I love that. Definitely, if we have time for it at the end, I would definitely walk through that. We've got a quick little brief tutorial on that, but we also have some information on our website on that. So I will send that over in the chat here shortly.
Erin Staples (42:10): One thing. So when we have these one-on-one calls or one-on-one meetings, this is a little bit, Vinia will go over a little bit of how we approach that here. But when we have a one-on-one meeting with someone, this is the biggest thing that gets hard to track in Orbit. And this is how we do that, so if you're ever having a one-on-one product feedback call if you're doing a beta program, if you're ever meeting with someone to potentially be in a champions program, highlight that, understand why, understand what you're doing externally within your community. And we're going to start to figure out and here's how you log it so all of your information from your meeting notes are showing up within Orbit, so you can get a better understanding of, "Is this person actually giving us product feedback?" Because how many people say, "Oh yeah, I'll give you feedback on that," and then you never hear from them again? A lot.
Erin Staples (42:56): Everybody loves to give feedback until they actually have to give feedback. So at Orbit, we have an Accord Notion, it looks like my gift isn't showing up right now. And within this Notion, it has a database that has different tags and filters. And we just have a simply, it's a Notion for every meeting ever held at Orbit, internally or externally, and it's just a giant massive database. Within Notion, we've got those tags, filters, and relationships within. This creates a universal source of truth for everything. So I've quickly... Let's see if my gift will work here. Where is that source of truth happening? What we're going to do? And at Orbit, we use Orbit to make it all come together. From that, we will create a Zap or a Make Instance to automatically import that as an activity into Orbit. So I use Notion, we can set that trigger on new database item into Orbit.
Erin Staples (43:55): Oh, I will bring you right in, Scott. No worries at all. Kind of the magic of teleportation, so let me know if that works there. And so this is just a Zapier of how you would do that. If anybody wants to nerd out about Notion workflows and anything else, I am always down to geek out about that kind of things. And at any point, we'll just take a quick break here for clarification. If you've ever run a class or get lost in any Miro board, and you're following a Miro presentation, you can just go ahead and click on the ES and the part of the screen where it says board owner and it'll always teleport you to where I'm looking at on the screen. So I will drop in and capture that quick area so you can see it. We love clean shot. There you go. And if you just drop in and click on that icon on Miro, it'll pop you to wherever I'm at.
Erin Staples (44:49): So that's how we automate all those calls. And I will definitely... I love all these requests. We can definitely get into a whole, no code, low code workflow. We've got other presentations on that, but for the sake of today, and we're starting to come up on time here, let's explore how this will become part of the champions program or beta program flywheel. And if we've got time at the end, I'm happy to geek out on workflows.
Erin Staples (45:13): So building that flywheel, bringing everybody to me. I'm curious, now that we've identified these people, now we've started an outreach to them. We've asked them, "Oh my goodness, I love your content. Would you be willing to be part of a program? Would you be interested in trying this new feature and then adding that tag manually with an Orbit?" How do you make sure that they actually show up? How do you make sure that they actually want to be a champion of your program? What happens if they go, "Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Great. Sure." And then you never hear from them again. Let me know by dropping it in the chat. I'll throw some quick time on the timer.
Erin Staples (45:52): This is a hard one. This is a hard one. This is something I've had to brainstorm through, because I don't even have all the answers here. I'll throw just two minutes on the clock here. "Swag," swag's a big one. "Build a relationship," that's what I like to see. "Regular call of the product". "Celebrate their wins," and celebrate their wins outside of what they're doing at your organization. That person got a promotion, you better tell them. "Take the...," I love that one. "Growth means blowing them up too." Yes, I love this, "Difference between an advocate and a promoter." Advocates speak for you in rooms you're not in and advocate for you. Loving all these. Somo, I have mixed feels on this one. I get it. I've seen it used. I just think it can be abuse as well. I don't want to give too many, "Well it's who you know," to get in. But I get it, it works.
Erin Staples (47:39): "Take it easy as an acceptable after down time." Yeah, people need breaks. I need a break. "Help them help others," yeah. Wrap it up here. Definitely love that. And I love, Dan, your comment ow you're approaching Fomo. I have the clubhouse thing and that inclusive, makes me feel a little icky about Fomo, so I'm always very cautious about it. And I love this term of graduating when someone leaves. Make it easy for that open door policy to come back, let them know it's, "Dude, it's chill. If you need to take time a break, step away from things. You're good. You're golden." So love it. Here is a basic flywheel, and I say basic, because it's only got four steps. So A, we've identified active members and the problem that we want to solve. We go... Let's pretend. Someone want to just go off mic and tell me a cool feature we should build for say, let's build a new feature in Orbit or Butter. Let's build a new feature in Butter since we're all using it today, we're all familiar. Does anybody have a cool feature we can build in Butter?
Erin Staples (49:09): "Button to turn off that snap back." So yeah. So if we don't want to people to snap back to where you're going and you're wanting to lurk on another part of the screen, let's build that button. All right, we're going to beta test this feature. I've got 16 new things for it. What do I need to have in these people? They probably should A, no Butter. Probably use it. Anything else we should look for them? Any cool beta users that we'd want? They probably have attended an event in Butter. They probably are super annoyed by how to run an event.
Erin Staples (49:47): "People who've seen the need for an issue." So maybe someone who has both attended or presented, if they've given feedback to Butter before. All right. So we're going in, we're finding these people where we found them maybe they're tweeting at Butter all the time on Twitter. "5% problem, 95% solution people." I love this breakdown. I'm going to steal that. That's a great one. Yeah, it's a little problem, but it's not the end of the world, but if I could fix it, it just make a little bit better. All right. We're going to invite them to participate. So now we've got our people, "Hey, we've built this feature. It's fixed. We're got this. If you are running an event on Butter, just let us know and we'll turn this on in your account." So we're going to invite them to participate.
Erin Staples (50:29): Let's say we put it out in the world, this feature is a success. Awesome. "Let's celebrate and showcase our participation." So anybody have any ideas of how we can celebrate and showcase that? What can we do so we can get their feedback. So like, "Hey, we heard you. We actually... You're right, this button shouldn't be neon green and take up half the screen. That's really ugly. That's not actually a good button if it takes up half the screen and it's this neon green ugly color, how can we celebrate? I heard you and we changed the button to a nice one. "Track those who actually used it. Number of times, people who try to build beta features, they don't actually use as said feature." I am guilty of this myself. I will always love things turned on and then never look at it again because I forgot about it, so that's a nice little email reminder follow up.
Erin Staples (51:17): "Hey, since turning that on, did you see this?" Love those things, "Person bubble in a new feature, tutorial on login," love that. One thing that we like to do here is see like, "Hey, did someone new show up for the first time ever?" And I go, "If I've seen you for the first time, I love seeing it." It's like, "Thank you." Showcase, "If they love this feature so much and they tweet about it. Holler, tell them, shout it from the rooftops, retweet it from the company account. Tell marketing, we're writing a case study on this person. They are the coolest." And then guess what? Because you've done such a great job. There's probably some new people who want to join, they're like, "Whoa, I have FOMO." You've created FOMO and not a gross exclusive way, they want to participate. They're like, "Me too, I want to join too." Send them that email when that feature goes live, "Yo, this happened because you," I love that, Vinia.
Erin Staples (52:11): Tell them, Katie, tell them that impact of that feedback, so good. Got to let them know. "This feature went live. It's because of you. You made a difference by the way, what's your sweatshirt size. I'm going to send you a free hoodie." Like, "By the way, can I send you some stickers?" By the way, Hey, can we make a donation on an organization that you love, support, and represent for. By the way, is there a project you need our help with? Hey, we noticed you're speaking at this conference. Do you want us to come on as a sponsor?" Depending on what these folks have done, you can start to really lean into that. So what does this look like internally as well? And oh my goodness, five minutes. See if we can get through it. So I've kind of built the yellow parts of the flywheel or where does this start to look in internally. Invite them to participate. If you're running a conference, invite people to speak, "You've given us feedback, let me help grow you."
Erin Staples (53:04): And actually that idea of, "Can we donate?" That actually was a... I can't even take credit Gabriel Leith, she's actually a Orbit user, did that at an event that we did. And I was like, so amazed, I'm like, "We're going to do this too," because I helped her out with some stuff and she cut a check and I was like, "This is cool. That is super cool." So actually community helping community, like I said, I don't have all the answers. Other people I'm learning from just as much. So this is kind of my internal one. At that new members... I want to call out a couple key steps because this is when we talked about it and touched on it very briefly earlier, when other teams start to get involved. So yes, that purple is like that internal part of that strategy, yellow is how you actually, right into those tactics. So under showcase participation, I put gather and share insights. That means as a community person, make sure your product team actually is hearing these insights.
Erin Staples (54:01): I cannot say how many times I've been on a team that they did not surface those to a product team or they did not surface them in a way that was actually helpful. Sending them 500 documents of 500 users would really love the new feature is cool. But did you tell them why they want a new feature? You got to tell them why, why are they having pain points? Why do they want to know more about it? Why do they care? Tell them why they're having this. I could run to our product team and go, "You know what? Actually, the space thing is terrible. Some user on the internet, Twitter user 321579 said, 'Orbit logo, ugliest logo ever.'" They'll be like, "what?" And I'll be like, "Great. We should change everything." And they'll be like, "Cool. Did you actually evaluate that?"
Erin Staples (54:47): So what I like to do is I'll compile a document. And when I was contracting, I did this a lot more. So I'd compile a document at the top. I'd be like, "Here's my recommendations, by the way, here's 100 things that I think about it." And for beta, yes, that means your working hand in hand with products. So at Orbit, what happens is we have a list of features that are about to go live and we just go from there. We are reaching out to people, we're chatting with them. That Orbit model on orbit model.com that was released yesterday, that had community buy-in. We asked about people, what did they think before they did it? And they gave us feedback. Sometimes they said in the draft process, they told me what sucked. Sometimes they told me, "Yo, this is terrible."
Erin Staples (55:27): On that new members and what they want to participate, I want to also acknowledge two things. I put higher them and advocate internally for resources. If your program is growing, that means the funds, the internal resources that go to this program, the cross organizational buy-in, needs to be increased as well. Otherwise, you will not have the same impact. I can't go one day sending sweatshirts to everybody. And then all of a sudden going, "Here's an emoji reaction." They'll be like, "Okay, cool, thanks. I just copy edited your entire Orbit model. Get lost, Erin." They would not be cool with that. Make sure that you're actually increasing those internal resources as well and this is something I feel very strongly about. If people are taking time and you are not paying them, find some way to acknowledge them. And if they are doing so much work, that they should be paid, hire them, hire them as a contractor, hire them as a beta tester, hire them. People can be hired QA engineers. You can do that as a contractor.
Erin Staples (56:27): I have personally been a contractor doing user research for organizations and just compiling this and I love it. And on that product team I think unsolvable problems. Not have no matter how many community member managers or members are really mad about the color purple, I probably can't do so much about changing that, but I can think insolvable problems. And Katie, I consider that a point of a win, if you've lost so many advocates to contracting gigs, I consider that a win.
Erin Staples (56:58): And so I have a quick thing here, but I'm going to open up just because we are right at the hour. So just as a heads up, on a mission, I just want to open it up. What... We're going to... This is what happens when Miro freaks out on me a second. But one of the things that we see a lot in these organizations, I want to know A, what else could we add on to this flywheel? And feel free to go off mute. And B, what else would you want to know about champions programs or what didn't we cover today? And I'll make sure that if we can get this sent out to you. And maybe if you guys are all really wanting to nerd out about workflows, I am more than happy to nerd out with workflows with y'all.
Speaker 2 (57:47): I did kind of see the question on Miro before you flipped to it and I just have one big thing that I really, really want to add. I had two in the comments, but there's one that I really want to add is, if you're using a tag and flag system to identify these users, make sure that tag and flag system degrades so that you don't have veteran members who always end up with a larger voice permanently at all times. And that makes it much more difficult for new members and new users to actually enter into this closed space. Or you could end up with people who are burned out, not being able to tell you that it can burn out. And also you could end up with an immense amount of privilege that is just offered by virtue of time and the amount of effort that they put in months ago. So make sure it degrades, make sure it's possible for people to fall out or slip out of the system.
Erin Staples (58:47): I love that so much and I hate to like run this one short, but unfortunately I do have to jump in and help kickstart that next workshop. But if you are around, go to lu.ma/orbit, and Vinia I 100% agree on that. We can do a whole thing on degrading systems, but thank you all for joining and very stoked for the next one. So I'll see you the next workshop.