Gaining the Technology Leadership Edge, Episode #53

This Tech Leader’s Life in Hawaii Unlocks the Future of Community Building

Show Notes

About the Guest(s):

Bri Leever is a seasoned community strategist and the founder of Ember Consulting, a firm dedicated to helping business and community entrepreneurs harness the power of community building to enhance their operations and customer engagement. With a rich history of creating multimillion-dollar ambassador communities for fashion brands and lending her expertise to customer communities like Heartbeat, Bri has carved a niche for herself in the area of all-in-one community platforms. Leveraging her life experiences, including her transformative move to Big Island, Hawaii, Brie instills the values of connection and a balanced lifestyle in her approach to community building.

Episode Summary:

In this enthralling episode of “Gaining the Technology Leadership Edge,” host Mike welcomes Bri Leever, a community strategist with an impressive track record. Brie shares invaluable insights on building communities that not only support business goals but also enrich the lives of their members. Drawing from her own life experiences and professional journey, she offers a unique perspective on why communities should be seen as more than just a marketing tool, advocating for a charged membership model that aligns with the intrinsic value of participation.

Bri Leever details her significant contributions to the growth of community-centric brands, highlighting her successful projects, including her pivotal role in revamping Heartbeat’s customer community. She delves into the nuanced relationship between community building and business strategies, offering a fresh take on leveraging communities as products that can power businesses.

Key Takeaways:

  • Community as Product: Emphasize viewing communities as products that serve the business and its members, rather than solely as marketing channels.

  • Sustainable Rhythms: Bri advocates for creating sustainable work rhythms for entrepreneurs, drawing parallels from her life in Hawaii.

  • All-in-One Platforms: Bri focuses on the benefits and future trends of all-in-one community platforms, highlighting the shift towards these comprehensive tools.

  • AI in Community Building: Discusses the potential of AI to elevate community management by improving communication and facilitating connections.

  • Personal Experience Influence: Bri shares how her personal life in Hawaii has shaped her approach to community building, fostering a culture of connection and well-being.

Notable Quotes:

  • “Good marketing goes to where people are, and good community builds where people know they can feel safe.”

  • “Community probably works really well alongside your learning product and as a product itself.”

  • “I feel like I had to go through that in order to come now, the beginning of this year, I feel so much more clarified.”

  • “I always advise and really push my clients to shift their thinking, to charge their members to be a part of the space.”

  • “We lack the rhythms and the commitment just to the sim

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Episode Details

The art of community building is evolving rapidly, with new platforms, methodologies, and strategies emerging at an astonishing rate. It’s an arduous trek akin to scaling the summit of a mountain – it requires persistence, clear vision, and a deep understanding of the landscape. In a recent transparent dialogue, Bri, a seasoned community strategist who draws parallels from her island life to her professional endeavors, shared her insights on the fine aspects of crafting thriving communities.

Through her conversation with Mike, host of the podcast “Gaining the Technology Leadership Edge,” she untangles the complexities of community strategy, emphasizing the significance of connections outside the internet noise, effective communication, and smart use of technologies like AI. This conversation is brimming with profound lessons and analogies that set the compass for anyone at the helm of a community or looking to create one.

Key Takeaways

  • Balance in Community Strategy: The importance of creating a business model where the community serves the creators and members equally, without leading to burnout.
  • AI as a Community Shaper: How artificial intelligence can improve interactions within communities, promoting better communication and connection.
  • The Allure of Simplicity: The effectiveness of community building doesn’t lie in complexity but rather in the commitment to straightforward actions and interactions.

Prioritizing for a Balanced Strategy

Community builders face the constant threat of the ‘burnout beast,’ sneaking up as they invest their energy and creativity into nurturing their digital tribes. This is where Bri’s life in Hawaii becomes more than just a personal choice – it’s reflective of the rhythms and practices she employs and advocates in her work.

SEO-Optimized Heading: Building Business Communities That Nourish Rather Than Drain

Living on the Big Island, Bri has embodied the local ethos of emphasizing purpose beyond work – a formula she passionately infuses into her consulting. “It’s really easy…to burn out if you’re not careful about prioritizing things that are going to fill you up too,” she remarks. These are not just words but embodied philosophies that play a pivotal role in community entrepreneurs thriving without being shackled by their ventures.

SEO-Optimized Heading: The Integration of Personal and Professional Growth

Bri’s insight transcends basic entrepreneurial guidance, advocating for a beautiful symbiosis between personal well-being and professional mission. It’s an approach that stresses the need for seamless integration where “rhythms help their business serve them and don’t put them in bondage to their business.” This understanding is not just beneficial but necessary for sustainability and success in the community-building sphere.

AI’s Role in Fostering Healthier Communities

Artificial Intelligence is on the cusp of revolutionizing how communities are built and managed, serving as both a facilitator and guardian of constructive conversation. Bri’s anticipation of AI paints a picture of a future where technology empowers community managers to enhance engagement and maintain decorum within digital spaces.

SEO-Optimized Heading: Artificial Intelligence as the Next Community Manager

Bri believes AI can elevate the work of community managers, making it easier to foster meaningful connections and ensuring members interact in ways that enrich the community. “I see it elevating the work of the community manager and making our lives a little easier,” she observes, alluding to AI’s potential to teach people how to communicate effectively with each other.

SEO-Optimized Heading: AI-Powered Communication for Better Engagement

The prospect of AI assisting in the crafting of messages within community spaces is striking. Bri elucidates this with the notion that AI could prompt members to enrich their contributions beyond a simple ‘cool, period.’ Such nudges could tremendously amplify the quality of discussions, ensuring that the community remains vibrant and that every voice contributes to a cacophony of progress.

The Simplicity of Effective Community Engagement

In community building, as in life, simplicity can frequently be the key to success. Bri likens the act of building a community to climbing a Hawaii mountain—a seemingly modest act of placing one foot in front of the other can eventually lead to significant achievements.

SEO-Optimized Heading: Mastering the Art of Simple Steps in Community Engagement

Community building isn’t about big, dramatic leaps but rather consistent and small steps that collectively define the journey to success. Mike and Bri both concur that overly complex strategies often miss the mark due to their disconnection from the genuine needs and desires of the community members.

SEO-Optimized Heading: The Power of Persistence in Nurturing Communities

Reflecting on the broader implications of this approach, it becomes evident that persistence and a commitment to clarity and straightforwardness are what eventually endow a community with its strength and substance. This methodology not only instills a sense of ownership among members but also ensures that the community’s trajectory aligns with its envisioned purpose.

As we step back to survey the trodden path, it’s clear that the philosophy of community building is rooted in the cultivation of authentic relationships, the judicious use of technology, and the adoption of simplicity. Bri’s narrative, merged with her lifestyle and professional insights, provides a compass for navigating the often rough terrain of community strategy. Drawing from the dialogues and bread crumbs of wisdom left along the tracks, the quest for building and nurturing online communities promises an adventure of its own – one that requires heart, resilience, and above all, the determination to take that next step forward.

Contact Information for Bri Leever


Timestamp Summary
0:00:00 Bri shares her experience of living on an island and how it parallels with community building.
0:00:58 Bri discusses the pivotal moment of creating a multimillion-dollar ambassador community for a fashion brand.
0:02:19 Bri talks about partnering with the Heartbeat team to launch and manage their customer community.
0:05:15 Bri explains how she tailors her strategies to meet the unique needs of community entrepreneurs.
0:07:20 Bri shares her approach to staying ahead of the curve in identifying trends in community strategy.
0:09:26 Bri advises community builders to view their community as a product that can power their business.
0:11:46 Bri discusses the importance of boundaries and project management to stay focused.
0:12:54 Bri reflects on a chaotic year of testing and experimentation and the clarity she gained for her business.
0:13:28 Mike shares his experience with using Magic Mind for increased productivity.
0:14:37 Mike asks Bri about how her personal interests and lifestyle influence her approach to community building.
0:15:48 Bri talks about the influence of living in Hawaii on her work and community building.
0:17:29 Mike discusses how the slower pace of life in Las Vegas has improved his focus.
0:18:18 Mike asks Bri about being a camper van host and what it entails.
0:19:58 Bri explains her camper van rental business and the intention behind it.
0:20:53 Mike asks Bri to compare community building to an adventure in the Hawaiian wilderness.
0:22:20 Bri draws parallels between climbing a mountain and community building, emphasizing the importance of simplicity and commitment.
0:23:35 Mike shares his experience with community building and how overcomplicating can lead to failure.
0:25:28 Bri discusses the potential impact of AI on community building, including facilitating connections and improving communication.
0:27:29 Mike discusses the challenges of sarcasm in written communication.
0:27:58 Mike believes social media leads to miscommunication and talking past each other.
0:28:30 Mike highlights the importance of effective and friendly communication.
0:29:12 Bri suggests AI bots to encourage curiosity and engagement in online communities.
0:29:40 Mike shares his experience with AI moderation on Instagram comments.
0:30:15 Mike mentions clients using all-in-one platforms for employee interaction.
0:31:08 Bri invites listeners to connect with her on LinkedIn and check out her blog.
0:31:21 Mike concludes the conversation and thanks Bri for being a guest.