It’s rare we base our business model around the concept that community can build your business. Yet, that’s exactly what Krista Lockwood from Simplified Motherhood did. With success, may I add.
Ask any mama what her biggest frustration is.
You’re bound to get one of two answers:
- The lack of sleep.
- The mess. The ENDLESS mess.
If you’re a new mum, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
Heck, I’ve done some miles as a mum and I vividly remember the struggle.
But it’s one thing to sympathise. It’s another to do something about it.
Krista Lockwood from Motherhood Simplified lived the frustration, made some changes to her life, found out they really made a difference, and built a business out of it.
But it’s how she did it that’s the real eye-opener.
Who knew you can build a business by building a community?
I guess that’s going to need some explaining.
Simplify Your Life
3 kids in Krista Lockwood and her husband, by necessity, decided to pack up and relocate from Alaska to Florida. They each had one suitcase in tow. Just the one.
Life was simple. (No surprise!) But despite having to put up with a teaching job she didn’t particularly like, Krista had more time, more energy. She felt more relaxed.
However, it was her fourth pregnancy that proved the game-changer.
Krista started a Due Date Facebook group and enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow mums going through similar experiences. The group got along so well, they started frequenting each other’s house.
Low and behold, during one of those visits, the other mums were dumbfounded by the lack of laundry piles and toy war zone at Krista’s place. After all, she was a mum of four, including a newborn. At their request, Krista started teaching the other mums her simple life decluttering line of attack.
From there, the ball started rolling.
Krista put a halt to the Due Date group and channelled all her energy into the new Simplified Motherhood community. She was dead-serious about the idea of helping her community AND at the same time monetize her teachings.
Hello to the Community Based Business Model!
Building A Business Around Your Community
Using an awesome engaged community to build a business isn’t the obvious choice.
Sure, people use community to PROMOTE their business, but to BASE your business on a community is an entirely different approach. But it worked for Krista.
In the span of just four years, her community of 50 members grew to a whopping 40,000 decluttering-eager mums.
But as Krista found out, mums are wired differently than corporate clients.
Budget constraints and the differences in how mums consume content meant the usual business rules didn’t apply to Krista’s community building business model.
Just honing in on the how and what became a journey of trial and error. As you no-doubt guessed, Krista figured it out.
For now, Krista offers several courses at different price points.
She promotes her paid courses by offering small fee decluttering challenges that only take one week. It’s a small financial commitment and people get a taste of the difference it can make. From there, she promotes one of her courses, usually at a slightly discounted price.
It’s a win for both parties!
Making Community Your Competitive Advantage
A big part of Krista’s success lies in the fact that she has a firm finger on the pulse as to what areas the mums require her help. The source of that insight is her community… of course!
It all goes back to 3 different things Krista keeps at the centre of her strategy:
- Care: Everything starts from a place of genuine care for the mums. This reflects in what Krista calls ‘Permission emails’, amongst other things. Every month Krista sends emails that give her mums permission to feel a certain way. (‘It’s ok to feel overwhelmed by all the toys. Here’s what you can do about it.’ )
- Consultation: Things change. Sometimes they change fast and in a big way. Only a few years ago, mums didn’t work a job from home while caring for the kids. Sometimes even home-schooling them.
But no matter the current challenge, her group of mums are always at the absolute centre of her community-based business.
At regular intervals, Krista consults her community about where they would like her help. Direct questions and observation are her go-to indicators for the pain points of the moment.
- Content: THEN, she creates the content to meet de need. This could be new course content, podcasts, blogs, emails.
But what does it take to ‘build a business by building a community’? What resources do you need? And how many people need to be on the team?
It may come as a surprise to learn that Krista still runs her business on her own. It’s not how it will be in the long-term, and it’s not how it has been in the past. As a matter of fact, Krista previously contracted a VA, a copywriter, and a podcast editor.
And while the experience in itself was a success, it also clarified that Krista had been naïve in the idea that you can’t just hire people and be certain the job will be done. So it’s back to the drawing board for a short while to create clarity around her vision and goals and re-evaluate the systems.
So, that’s the plan!
There’s plenty more wisdom from Krista on the podcast. What’s the biggest eye-opener for you? For me, the main take-away is (AGAIN!) that there are so many ways in which you can run a business your way. Nobody can tell you what should and shouldn’t work for you. So, plug in the earphones! It’s time to be inspired!
Have you ever considered the option of a community-based business model? Let me know your thoughts and ideas!
Grab the Krista’s ingenious FREEBIES about ‘Clearing The Clutter’ and ‘Toy Decluttering’. No tears involved! It’s a promise. (https://motherhoodsimplified.com/freebie)
And of course, you should join the Motherhood Simplified Facebook group!