This week on Soak,
Danny Oak here. How have you all been doing?
I hope you’ve been working towards your goals because that’s exactly what I’ve been doing!
It's been several months since SOAK last dropped in your inbox, but here we are, so let’s get soaked!
🧽 What I’m Soaking In
Last month, I took Write of Passage (WOP) for the second time. The first time around, it changed my perspective on life, by showing me how easy it is to connect with like-minded people globally. This time, it might have completely transformed my life.
WOP is like a sea of opportunities disguised as an online writing course. I’ve met the best people in the world in this community.
One of those people is Vicky Zhao. Vicky is an ex-management consultant, has a thriving YouTube channel with more than 100k subscribers, and comes second to none when the subject is frameworks and tools for clear thinking and communication.
She recently launched a course called 15 Frameworks in 15 Days and I eagerly offered my assistance. Graciously, she accepted, and now I have the privilege of helping with all things related to the course community and enhancing the user experience.
Working alongside the team, fine-tuning various aspects of the course, witnessing its evolution in the right direction, and knowing that my opinions and visions are valued... these experiences are making the journey absolutely incredible.
I've been absorbing a wealth of knowledge about course design and gaining invaluable experience in my role. Above all, I feel immensely confident in my abilities as a community builder/manager.
I'm not gonna lie, I'm bursting with excitement! It's as if I'm witnessing my personal monopoly bloom right before my eyes!
While I've always known my love for online communities and connecting with like-minded individuals, it wasn't until now that I truly realized the extent of my contribution to building and developing such communities.
I firmly believe I've found the intersection of my passion, skills, and what the world needs. From this point forward, it will be my unwavering focus.
🏗️ Building Communities for Cohort-Based Courses
This work I'm doing with Vicky and the rest of the team has helped me clarify some essential aspects for the success of any community surrounding an online course.
Here are the top 5:
Get their feedback ASAP. What you assume about your community and what they actually want is likely to be far from the truth.
Interact personally with as many students as possible, showing them that their opinions matter. They will become your ambassadors rather than just alumni. This is especially crucial in your first cohort.
Encourage students' participation by facilitating peer-to-peer interaction (both synchronously and asynchronously) and lead by example. Create spaces for conversation (Discord, Circle) and incorporate breakout rooms during Zoom sessions with prompts to kickstart discussions. Make sure to actively contribute and engage with others, as students sometimes need a little push to open up.
Whenever possible, encourage peer-on-peer work reviews. Showcasing students' work and providing mutual feedback fosters bonds within the community and motivates students to practice and apply what they've learned.
Recognize and involve the most active students in the organic growth of the course by granting them badges, shout-outs, or special roles within the community.
Remember, no matter how great the curriculum, dazzling the presentations, or trendy the field of study, an engaged and interested community is essential. Focus on providing maximum value to the community, and your course will flourish.
I'm really excited about the new direction my personal monopoly is taking. So, if you have any questions or need help with anything related to online communities, just let me know!
The Writing Cooperative is a Medium publication that I absolutely adore, and I've been longing to publish with them for quite some time. Well, it finally happened! I recently had the opportunity to contribute a story about a lesser-known technique that helps writers excel in their work.
The blue screen of death is something that every digital creator dreads, because it can mean the end of his computer and everything it stores, but there’s another screen that writers fear even more: The White Screen of Non-Living.
This event usually occurs when writers sit at their desks and turn on their…
I’m not crying, you’re crying!
The Lion, The Legend, one of the greatest and most charismatic athletes of all time, has just retired.
Even if you know nothing about football, it's impossible to remain indifferent to the spectacle of a packed stadium chanting and shedding tears to bid farewell to one player.
Watching this video and looking back at Zlatan’s career makes me think:
It takes quality to succeed, however, it's not just about the quality of your work. How you present yourself and perform is equally, if not more, crucial. To truly stand out, it takes more than exceptional skills; it demands an attitude and personality that make a real difference. Your audience can discern authenticity and passion, they can tell if you pour your heart and soul into your craft or if you're merely competent.
Being unique goes beyond mastering your art. It's about infusing your work with your true essence. It's the spark in your eyes, the passion in your voice, and the fire in your heart.
When you give yourself wholly to your art, your audience will recognize the genuine connection you share. It's this authenticity that forges a deep bond, fostering loyalty and admiration.
You are good when you deliver quality work to your audience.
You are great when you deliver quality work that brings outstanding results to your audience.
You are a Legend when you’ve bonded with your audience so deeply that has turned them into unconditional admirers that don’t even care about results anymore.
You will not be liked by everyone, but if you give everything you have in every work that you’re passionate about, you will be admired by those who are your audience. They might not fill up a football stadium, but they will fill up the space you need to thrive in your art.
That’s it, I hope you can take something from this.
Comment, ask me whatever you want, don’t be a stranger.
Thank you for doing this with me, I hope to see you next week!