Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are often the go-to places to build a community in. But they are not created equal and can be too much to navigate all at once. What if you can take the best they have to offer and combine them into one? In this episode, Julie Lokun, the Founder of The Mediacasters, dives into how Mighty Networks provides help in establishing a community that thrives. Mighty Networks is a hybrid between all your beloved social media platforms, making it flexible for users to be creative and build their community fairly easily. Juliet and Julie also dive into Meetup and ChatGPT, and the value those platforms bring to help build your community and your brand. Tune in to this insightful talk as you learn where best to build those connections that thrive.
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Mighty Networks, Meet Up, GPTchat And A Fraud Warning
In this episode, if you want to see the actual video, I encourage you to watch this on YouTube instead of reading this in a blog form. You can listen, and then if it applies, go on over to YouTube and check it out. Our YouTube channel is Superbrand Publishing over there. Hopefully, you are subscribed, and if you are not, go subscribe.
Here’s what we are covering now. We have guest Julie Lokun. She is an attorney, which you will know at the end because she tells me actually how to word this so I don’t get myself in trouble. We cover Mighty Networks. Julie has a very robust following over there. It’s not only a community, but they have a paid community so it could be an idea for a lot of you to build a paid community over there. I know a lot of people are complaining about Facebook these days, so Mighty Networks might be a great way to go.
Julie also shares a little bit about Meetup, and Meetup has become a more robust online place to have meetings since COVID. I used to be you had to have the meetings in person, then they went hybrid and now they have a new format. It might be worth checking out again if you used to be on it before. We jump into a little bit about ChatGPT.
I didn’t do any screen sharing on that topic, but we are all testing it. Here’s the thing. It’s free right now. I have shared on there. I have been paying $100 a month for Jasper, and I just canceled Jasper because ChatGPT is doing what Jasper used to do for me. In the end, we have a little fraud alert. We had something happen with one of our clients and we want to share it, especially if you have self-published a book before because I think that’s where they are getting their leads. Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned.
I’m super excited. This one’s guest is Julie Lokun. We are going to talk a little bit if we have time about ChatGPT, but she’s going to talk to us about Mighty Networks. Julie has a robust system that she uses to build community. I’m pretty excited about this because I think people are fed up with Facebook communities. They are not effective. You can’t get people to pay, and what you are doing is fantastic because you have a paid portal that you do this with. I will let you take it. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m so happy to just talk about something I’m very passionate about which is building community. As Juliet said, Facebook is not always the best place to build a community, especially if you want to monetize, own content, and be in charge. I have had friends who have lost their Facebook and Instagram accounts, and they are like, “What do I do now?” That’s why I started thinking about this. What can you do to build a community outside of social media? I did a lot of research and found Mighty Networks.
Mighty Networks is a great platform to build a community. It is a hybrid between Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, a blog, a place to have your events, a place to monetize, and a place to brand your book. If you are an expert in something, people want to hear it. I’m going to take a little bit of a dive into Mighty Networks.
If you guys want to ask questions because I know sometimes, I can go on tangents. I want to say also that Mighty Networks is a great place to establish a community that does thrive. Also, Meetup. Meetup is the forgotten little hero of building groups, communities, and little events that you can monetize as well. Between my Meetup and my Mighty Networks, I have about over 1,000 members. You have the ability to share your voice and do what you want to do with a captive audience.Mighty Networks is a great place to establish a community that does thrive. Click To Tweet
Let’s just take a little dive into the Mighty Networks. This is what my welcome page looks like. It’s nothing fancy. You have to fill out a template, but you can see the introduction. You can choose a plan. We didn’t charge people for quite some time, but then I’m like, “You can’t do everything for free your whole life as an entrepreneur, author, or creative.” This is what it looks like. I can embed a little video. You can spell out why people need you and learn from you. I have a little freebie on here winning at the SEO game. It’s just a freebie to see a little taste of what you can get if you join a video of one of my interviews.
I have a question. You are opt-in. Does that go into a list on Mighty Networks, or does that go into your email list?
This does not. The package that I have is the community plan for The Mediacasters. It’s like the budget plan, so it doesn’t have to be very expensive. I’m going to say it’s about $30 a month to do this. That’s where they get you that you are not going to get the email list. However, that’s why I use Meetups, but I have gotten many of their emails. You can ask them when they come in, “What’s your email? I want to send you something.”
You can bounce it off to your website if you have opt-ins on your website, and put in little stuff to get people’s interest. I have made four packages, so the PR package. If you want to join, it’s $9.99 a month. That is the paywall right there. The gold package is a coaching light package so you are going to feel like you have a coach, and a support system, as well as be part of our community. This is what it looks like.
Those pay packages that you have on there, are they hosted there? Are they hosted on another platform?
It’s a package. What I offer is mostly coaching and if you need a press release or help with your branding. We include two press releases, public relations, and a strategic plan. We could do that outside of the actual community. You can buy and pay here. It’s a good value for people. Think about the value that you are giving to potential clients, customers, and the community. You can have different tiers as well that are different price points.
For $9.99, you get into The Mediacasters, and I will show you what it looks like once you come in here. We have 404 members right now in our community. This is the one thing that they don’t give you at the community level, but I have found ways to get their emails. I’m not doing this for nothing. It looks like Facebook. I write articles and blogs because I want to provide value to the community. I can put videos. We have office hours every week on Thursdays. We have an events tab in which you can schedule events.
This is a paid event. It’s a pitch-perfect media workshop where you can pitch podcasters. You can pitch some media. You are going to learn how to make a media or press kit. I’m on the lower level. It can take you exactly to my website where you can sign up. It just bounces to my website, and then I have the opt-in there and I will get their emails and those sorts of things.
It can work in tandem with your website so you can have events. You can do lives. I could do a live video now if I wanted to. You can add polls, pictures, gifts, and blogs. There are teams here of people with different interests. Are you interested in writing and getting sponsors? Are you interested in learning more about marketing? Do you want to be a guest or find a guest? There is one for the newbies. I have links here. I have a link to our book and my website so you can interplay everything that you have. This is just a nice way to build your authority in whatever you do. There’s a discovery page. You can see the top members, all the featured articles, the different spaces we have, and events. It’s a nice hybrid.
I’m sure you will have more because, in the end, I want to have people get ahold of you if they want to know more. You have Mediacasters freebies and the Audiocasters book. Does that link take you to Amazon? Does it take you to your website? You can put links that will lead people off the site into things that you want to purchase or other things.
Yes, and people love free things. I try to give as much free advice and free knowledge because they will always come to you. You have written a book so you are establishing yourself as an authority and whatever you have written about, but this takes up one step further. The beauty is when these people start becoming communicative supporters and champions behind the scenes, you don’t have to do anything. That is the best part. It’s been just so lovely to meet all these people doing office hours every week. Generally, I put it under events and then just connect your Zoom link, and it will go directly to your Zoom link. The biggest success is the office hours that I hold and being consistent with them.
Can I ask you about this? What I love about this is that I know a lot of people want to do membership sites. Membership sites can be a little bit complicated to build when they are on your website. This makes it super easy.
It took a while to build it, brand it, and make it look the way it does because you want to have a certain brand. You are Superbrand, so you know the power of branding yourself and the colors. They give you options. It’s a very easy payment. There are insights. You can get analytics, general settings, and features. There are a lot of different things you can do. I will show you my plan. It’s $33 a month, so it’s a big jump to $99 a month. I have figured out how to get around it if you want those integrations with MailChimp, Zapier, and those sorts of things, and if you want to do live classes here. You can figure your way around it because it is a big price difference.
We are just talking links. That’s all you did use links to lead them off. Chances are for the online courses, they are saying to build them here for $99 a month. You can do the lowest plan on Teachable for much less if you didn’t have a place to house them. That might be a consideration for that.
You can just do a link. That’s super easy. If you don’t want to pocket out $99 a month, the $33 is perfectly fine. My partner was always like, “Let’s upgrade.” I’m like, “I think we can do it pretty much the same at the $33 mark.”
Even with Teachable, I didn’t want to do their reserve where they take more money and hold it and all that. When I had them over there, I built over there, and then I used a discount code so that my people could pay through my accounting system using my discount code and pay a buck for my course and get them signed up. There are ways around all of these systems.
To be honest, the onus was because I was on Kajabi. Kajabi is amazing if you know how to use it. I spent 3 to 6 months trying to do all these evergreen courses, and it never launched. I spent a lot of money. It was like $200 a month for Kajabi or something. I just never could harness it. This is why I love Mighty Networks because it is flexible. You can be creative. You can build your community fairly easily. I have had no complaints about it, to be honest.
We have authored traffic school now. Our evergreen courses, most of the time, we use them for one-on-one. We don’t even log people in. We just take the materials from it and incorporated them into our one-on-one coaching.
I love that. In Meetup, I have 683 members. Meetup is amazing, and people forget about Meetup. I use Meetup as a funnel into The Mediacasters, which is great. I have this integrated with MailChimp, so I get everybody’s emails and have these events. You probably can see everyone’s emails on here, for the most part. I have the pro. You have to pay money to make money. Let’s be honest. I love the algorithms here. Every day, I’m getting new people joining my groups.
I have Secrets Of Podcasting where there are 34 people signed up, and the fun part is I don’t know any of these people. I have a whole new bunch of people that are eager to learn what I can teach. If they like you, that’s great. You are building trust, and it’s been very amazing. I have a writing one, a podcasting one, and business leadership, so I have three Mighty Networks. If you don’t have a Meetup, you need to get Meetup because it’s crazy with the algorithms.
We used to have Meetup when I first moved to Utah. I had one here and in Arizona. I used to drive down to Arizona to Phoenix once a month and do that there and meet people. It was fun. I did that until it snowed here, and then I was like, “I’m not driving to Arizona in the snow or even downtown.”
You can do them online. The way Meetup brings people to you is crazy. 600 or almost 700 people, I have done nothing except post events and brand them because branding is so important.
When I first started with Meetup, we couldn’t do them online. They switched around 2017 or 2018 that it was like 50/50, and probably during COVID it all went that way. Let’s jump to something that you and I were talking about before, ChatGPT, because I’m a new fan.
It’s making my life a lot easier. For the stuff I don’t want to do, ChatGPT is the smart assistant that I haven’t paid a dollar to either yet. I would upgrade. I just don’t know what the differences are yet.
Guys, I’m going to direct you to someplace else if you want to play with it. If you go over to YouTube to Scott Carson’s We Close Notes, he did a whole episode with an expert on it. You were just talking about it for free. Before we jumped on, I talked a little bit about Jasper. I was using Jasper.ai. I’m using it for titles and copy. I wasn’t using it very much, and it was $100 a month.
ChatGPT does all of the same things for free. I was showing one of my clients about it. We put his name in, and I said, “Tell me about Kevin W. Jones.” It came back, and it wrote this. Kevin was sitting there, and he was like, “This is so impressive. This is what this AI is writing about me?” There are so many uses. One of them is you can write a book using it.
I don’t know if I’d recommend that but you can, like an eBook, which is something you are going to give for free. I have tested it out with my blogs. I have written one solely by ChatGPT and then by myself. There’s not a lot of competition. I love the art of writing. However, some little things like maybe some blogs or social media. You can get hashtags. I wrote a partnership contract on ChatGPT. I wrote the blog. My background is in law too. It looked pretty decent to me. I’m not a practicing lawyer now, but it looked pretty good to me.
Let’s go back to social media posts because the one thing that impressed the heck out of me is I was showing Kevin about it, and we did a social media post. He’s not reading this now, but he’s got something going on. It was very interesting because it went and grabbed the hashtags for me. All I said is to create a social media post. I dropped a piece in from a previous blog I had. It went through, and it did this nice blog social media post, and it added hashtags. I was like, “Whoa,” because I always forget the hashtags. I’m bad about it. Which one are you using? Are you using Pro.ai?
I went to ChatGPT. It’s Open AI and it’s free. I haven’t upgraded because I’m like, “This is fine for me right now.” I also have a friend who was uploading his book to KDP. We had to make a new cover for it, and I said, “Let me just try to do the back cover.” He was blown away. It was spot-on perfect. We didn’t have to change one thing. It brought him up. He’s like a celebrity, so he is well-known, but he was just blown away. I’m like, “This is crazy.”
You designed a cover on there, or that was the back cover copy?
It’s the back cover copy, but I did it the on the cover launcher on KDP. There are some shady publishers out there.
Full disclosure, we are not one of them.
No, we are not. I could tell he had a shady publisher because just looking at the manuscript and cover, the ISBN number didn’t even look real. The copyright date was wrong. I’m just like, “Who does this? They missed the acknowledgments.” I’m like, “Kris, let me just help you with this. Let’s upload it to KDP.” She wasn’t going to even upload it to KDP. That’s when I’m like, “I’m going to help out,” so we had to make a new cover. I’m like, “Let’s just try it. Let’s use your same picture.” It looked beautiful. We put all the copies on the back cover. We used ChatGPT. We did the description in KDP using ChatGPT, so it comes in handy. I’m like, “You got to get this, Kris.”
While we are on it, I know we are going all over the place here and Julie has to go. I want to bring up something about shady publishers.
There are so many. It drives me crazy.
We have a situation about this, and I want to put everybody on notice who has self-published a book. We got a request from Dr. Nan Nelson, and she forwarded it to me. It was a company that said, “Macmillan had a $120,000 advance waiting for her.” I spoke to the people from Macmillan and sent everything over to them. It’s a scam. It’s a literary guy or agent. I’m not going to say his name because I don’t want to get sued, but it was a company out of California.
Everything’s in your opinion. It’s just my opinion.
There you go. I got the attorney on the line with this, in my opinion. I picked up the phone and talked to this guy who was masquerading as a literary agent. He wanted a query letter. You had to have a website, and he wanted a video trailer. Most of my clients have all those things except for the query letter.
For this particular book, Kris has been working on editing Nan’s perinatal book into two different books. One for the layman and one for the other. I was talking to this guy on the phone, and I said, “We can’t get it together in 2 to 3 weeks,” so the first clue was the offer expired. The second clue was I asked him, “When Macmillan told you that they wanted this book? Did they want it in his current format or did they want it restructured?”
Right away, he said, “Current format,” which Kris and I knew right away. Nobody’s going to want this book in this current format. No offense to Nan. She’s a beautiful writer, but it did need to be split up. I want to make you guys aware of that. They said they worked with four different publishers. We got in touch with Macmillan, and Macmillan took up all of our stuff from us.
They took it because they think that they can probably make a case because we kept everything and the phone calls. I want to make you aware because my sense or opinion is, since we have the lawyer on the line, that they are just literally going through self-publishing companies like Ex Libris, AuthorHouse, and all of those and pulling books and reaching out to the authors. Don’t get caught up in the scam. It is a scam, and it’s very unfortunate that it’s happening. Don’t pay the money.
You will fall for it. Do you know why? It’s so easy to be a shady publisher because when you are writing a book, especially if you are an entrepreneur writing your first book and you have no idea how to write a book, you are easy to take advantage of.Entrepreneurs writing their first book are easy to take advantage of. Click To Tweet
I have to jump in on that one because when I develop books, I get people who come from other developers. The book is terrible, and that another developer, all they have done is tell them what they want to hear rather than what’s real that’s going to make the book good enough to be marketable, do the work, set them up as the expert, etc. I look like I’m the bad guy because I’m like, “I think we need to re-look at it.” The scams are out there.
This particular one, I could see if you didn’t have a successful book, that this would stroke your ego. That’s what that whole offer is designed for. It’s an ego booster. In the end, we went back and said to this guy, “This is legit. How about you take that $6,000 out of the $120,000 that Macmillan has promised us?” He just disappeared.
They are everywhere.
They are. Julie, I know you have to go. Thank you so much now for sharing Mighty Networks. Do you help people with this, or can you help people with this? Where can they find you?
You can google me, Julie Lokun. You can email me at Julie@TheMediacasters.com. I’m on all social media. You can find me on the Mighty Networks, but you can just look up The Mediacasters and it’s pretty easy to find me.
I see Kris looks so bare. Kris is moving to Texas.
Our condo is in escrow, and I’m packing. What you can see are all the boxes on there.
It looks so beautiful if you are packing. My hair would be standing straight up and bags under my eyes.
“Hair on fire. What do I do? I have so much to do.” Luckily, Kris doesn’t have kids. You have a whole pack of boys, don’t you?
Yes. 4 boys, 2 dogs, and 1 husband.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Julie.
Thank you so much. I appreciate you.
Quickly before we go, the next episode is a do not miss. We have Tom Hazzard from Podetize on here.
I love Tom.
I know. Who doesn’t love Tom? Here’s the cool part. They have designed a new product called ShowCastR, and he’s going to talk about that. If you are someone who is an author, coach, or speaker who is frequently on podcasts but don’t want to have your podcast, this is a great tool for your media kit because if spiders go out and they create this beautiful place on your media kit page where it brings in the podcast you have been on, it’s all branded, and people can click if someone’s looking to see if you are a legit guest that they would have on your show.
All they have to do is click on every podcast and choose and hear you talking about a particular podcast or topic on another podcast. It is a fantastic product. We are in the process of putting it on our site as well. It’s going to be on April 7th, 2023, same time. He’s going to have a lot to say about it. Thanks.
- Superbrand Publishing – YouTube
- Julie Lokun
- Mighty Networks
- The Mediacasters
- Secrets Of Podcasting
- We Close Notes – YouTube
- Julie Lokun – LinkedIn
About Julie Lokun
Julie Lokun, JD, is the founder of The Mediacasters, a mission-based company that elevates the visibility of entrepreneurs and creatives through podcasting, publishing, and public speaking. Julie is the author of 4 best-selling entrepreneurial books and hosts three podcasts. Julie writes for Entrepreneur Magazine and is a contributor to MindValley.com
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