happy Monday! I hope you’re doing okay and that you’re also feeling a bit of a return of energy and creativity with spring. I’m really glad to bring you this interview with Eli Trier (who was also a guest in episode 21!) – speaking to her made me feel more optimistic and hopeful and I hope you’ll feel the same after listening. If you’re interested in community building then Eli really is your person! Here is what we talked about:
- How our lives have changed and how we’re working with anxiety in business
- Connecting with people online in kind, transparent and authentic ways
- What it means to build a people focussed business
- Running online community projects and why love is greater than numbers
Eli Trier lives in the wonderful city of Copenhagen, Denmark and is a community builder for Quiet Revolutionaries. She helps introverts with big dreams to get connected and build thriving, engaged communities around their businesses, so that they can make a massive impact, find their dream clients, and make their corner of the world a better place. A long-time business owner, Eli knows first-hand the power of human connection to build a business, and her unique approach got her featured in The FT Guide to Business Networking. She specialises in creating powerful, strategic online community projects and loves every minute of her work (even the boring bits). When she’s not working you can find her curled up with a book, painting, or hanging out with her husband Lars.
Here is the free workshop coming up on Wednesday that I mentioned: httpss://pinkwellstudio.com/free-workshops/
And here are my web design packages: httpss://pinkwellstudio.com/webdesign/
As always thank you so much for listening!
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⋒ Hi, my name is Yarrow.
My Embodied Business podcast explores what it means to build a livelihood with integrity, joy and anti capitalist values. I offer practical guidance on tech, strategy, ethical marketing, creativity and money and interview other small business owners who do things their own way.
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Hey, everyone, my name is Yarrow, and you’re listening to the embodied business podcast. Thank you for joining me for another episode. And this one, I’m really, really excited to speak to a literary again, she is running beautiful community projects, and has so much to share about how we can work with anxiety at this time and keep marketing out businesses in a way that’s kind and transparent. And that builds community that really acknowledges that love is graded in numbers. That’s one of the things that she always says, and I love it so much. So we talked about a lot. And it’s our second interview, like I mentioned. So if you want to go back and listen to the first one, that’s number 21. And I highly recommend that too. But yeah, this has been a beautiful conversation. And I remember I recorded it about a month ago. But what even is time right now. But anyway, where they where they hung up on zoom, I felt so much lighter and kind of really motivated and a little bit more hopeful, I guess. Yeah. Because I think Ellie really kind of reminded me that our work is important, and that they’re still really beautiful ways of making connections and, and creating things together with people that we really care about. So I’m happy to share that with you today. And I hope you’ll feel as inspired as I did. I also want to say that I’m running another workshop, that three on Wednesday, it’s all about work building your business in a more sustainable way and moving it online, if that’s what you want to do right now. So that is this coming Wednesday, May 13. And if you are listening to this in the future, you’ve missed that that’s okay. Still check the link in the show notes are because I’m always running workshops, and there might be another one coming up that you’re interested in. But this Wednesday, I’ll share tools and strategies around moving things online or describe things like offering donation based on a sliding scale on the workshops, we’ll talk about building a Patreon and starting to offer online courses. So really many ways in which you can diversify your income streams right now, and get through this time with as much resilience and creativity as you can. So please join us for that. And then also when I say that I had two cancellations for late May, and June. totally understandable and for good reasons. But I’m a bit sad because I was really looking forward to those web design projects. And so if you need a website right now, I want to offer those on a pay what you can basis because I would like to feel that time I’m keen, I’m kind of ready to really get back into work, giving myself a lot of time off and space to integrate over the last two months and feeling this surge of energy right now. And also could definitely, you know, use the income want to be honest about that. So I’ll link to my web design page where you can find the usual prices and what they include. And if you’re interested, and you’re kind of almost ready to get started to have someone work on your website, then reach out and make me an offer. And if your project sounds fun, and we five, then we can make that happen. So I thought that might be a fun, interesting thing to do to see how it plays out. So yeah, and again, thank you so much for listening, I really hope you enjoy this episode. And I would love to hear from you if you have any feedback to speak toiletry again today. As you know, this year has been my intention to have second interviews with people because I feel like the first one is always such a sweet getting to know someone getting an overview of their work. But then there’s always so much more than I want to ask. And I also want to respect people’s time and attention span. And not let these episodes get too long. So excited to have one of my first second interviews with Ellie today. And we’ll just dive a little bit deeper into communities and how they are part of a business. And I think, especially in this times, I actually hate this expression. To be honest, it’s so overused, right? And I’m just like, saying it myself makes me cringe, I’m like, but just to say we are recording this on the eighth of April, everything is changing who knows what’s going on. So that is definitely a part of where we’re at in our businesses right now. And I think we’re connecting with each other in different ways. And that, that plays a big part in community building. So Elliot, thank you so much for making time. In amongst the chaos of all of this. I’m really glad to talk to you again. And I would love to just begin this conversation by asking you where you are in the world right now what lockdown is like?
Yeah, well, first of all, thank you so much for having me back. I had such a lovely time talking to you last time and I was delighted when you invited me back on. So thank you for that. I’m in Copenhagen at the moment and I have to say like we are incredibly full Net here. And we have a really sensible government who did exactly what they were supposed to do. Long before it became like a panic necessity, it was just a precaution. Um, so, you know, is doing all the things that it’s supposed to do with flattening the curve, like, where they’re starting to lift some of our restrictions in a couple of weeks. So, we are hugely, hugely fortunate in that. And for me personally, like, my, I live my life pretty much on lockdown, like I’m, I’m a total recluse, I stay at home, like 95% of the time, all of my friends live abroad. So my relationships are conducted via virtual calls and zoom and things like that. My business is all online. So my day to day life actually doesn’t look very different. Um, but I’m definitely feeling you know, being an empath like soaking up some of the collective Oh, just all the feelings, you know, that as we were, we were just talking before we started recording, like, it’s, it’s up and down, like, first, the first couple of weeks and everything kicked off, I was very wobbly and very panicky and and very anxious. And then gradually, those periods of anxiety have got further and further apart. And they don’t last as long and they’re not quite so intense. So I feel like I’m finding my feet with it all and just kind of coming back to a more neutral space.
Yeah, well done. That’s great. That’s just such an achievement in itself. I think.
I’m hugely fortunate, you know, I don’t I this is my life anyway, I don’t have kids. I don’t have you know, my husband and I live separately. So I don’t have to deal with somebody else being in my space all the time, all of a sudden. So yeah, huge privilege.
Yeah, thank you for sharing that. Um, so I would love to recap a little bit what your work is all about for people who haven’t listened to the last episode. And for those that want to, I highly recommend that training one. So you can go back into the archive. But for those who are just listening now, what are you up to? What are you doing with your time? Well, my
work, ironically, given the time we live in is all about connecting and gathering people together on the internet. Which is something that more and more people are realising is actually a valid thing to do, which is great me. Um, but yeah, I, primarily, everything I do comes under the umbrella of people focus business, basically, a way of running your business, which focuses on community and respect and trust and bringing people together and having genuine relationships with them and genuine conversations with them. And at the moment, I do that in two ways. So my specialty is online community projects, which are in their most kind of boring, prosaic way of explaining it. They’re like online events, where a bunch of people get together and talk about a particular topic or theme over the course of about a month. But really, what they’re like is like the best party you’ve ever been to in your life, which is full of the wittiest most interesting, most insightful, most exciting people all talking about something that really genuinely matters to them from the comfort of your own home. So if it all gets too much, you can just like turn the computer off and walk
Which is right interrupt friendly. Um, and I also, just at the beginning of March, I launched a new product called Love is great than numbers, which is based on a group programme that I ran a few times last year. And that is all about building your business based on developing genuine relationships with people rather than trying to build a massive audience and focusing on follower counts and things like that. It’s about basically building an ecosystem around your business where you’re in this environment of helping the people around you and understanding that they’ll help you and everybody kind of fits together and helps each other out. And, you know, some people become clients, some people become, you know, collaborators. And yeah, it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s the way I run my business. It’s where I market my business. And the kind of the way I describe it is that marketing can feel as nourishing as just hanging out with your mates.
Yeah, you are articulating that so beautifully. That really resonated me. I ran a workshop last year called Ways to market much with more transparency and honesty, and invited everyone to identify the core values and business. And then as they create their marketing plan, just kind of take any idea that comes up against those core values, which I think is a really, like easy tool to simplify this micromanagement and constant flow of decision making that can so easily if you’re really overwhelming. And I think you break this down so beautifully, like, yeah, this can actually be really easy. And I think when we’re in the space, of generosity, and openness and honesty about what we do what we have to offer we can and cannot do, including boundaries, then it can actually feel playful sometimes to just bring people together and say, you know, like, I’m offering this free thing. And I think that last year for me, sometimes there was a bit of fatigue around freestyles, because it can feel overwhelming to be so bombarded with free opportunities, because they can almost create this sense that, you know, like, I should just any day of the week, I could be working through someone’s free workshop or whatever, you know, and it just goes up to allow overwhelm. But I think actually what many of us really want and how we learn best is in relationship with other people and bringing some intimacy back in. And so yeah, I think you do that really beautifully. Just to reflect that back to you. And the next question, like hidden to be really big. So I just want to as I’m asking this give you permission to change your mind tomorrow or next week. That’s definitely what’s happening for me right now. But I would love to talk a little bit more about how this crisis has changed your work, and maybe how it’s changed how your marketing and if it hasn’t changed, that’s cool as well. It’s just a question that I get all the time that the moment where people have planned a launch and they’re feeling nervous now and then that kind of unsure about how to respond to Yeah, the space that we’re all in?
That is a big question. But I’m very, very glad you asked it. I think I’m not that much has changed for me,
because my marketing is very much about being in relationship with people. That That hasn’t changed, you know, I am kind of cognizant of the fact that people aren’t perhaps spending quite so much money right at this moment. They might not be booking stuff so far in advance that which means that that my one to one services part of my business, I’m not actively kind of pushing that in the same way that I would normally i’m, i’m i’m still talking about it, but I’m doing it in a very gentle way. And what I’m concentrating on more is getting into conversation with the people who may well become clients, people who I would like to work with or like, collaborate with in some way in the future and just kind of planting those seeds. Now. I’m in a fortunate position where I’m okay financially for a few months. So that’s nice. But what I have been doing is leaning very, very much into promoting the love is greater than numbers workbook, because I feel that it is so valuable for people at the moment, like learning how to develop proper genuine relationships on the internet is a skill that a lot of people just don’t have, they don’t understand that that’s a thing that can happen, you know. But I know from my experience, and I’m sure you do as well that the people you meet online, those relationships are just as genuine, if not more so than the people you meet in real life. And it’s just about approaching it as a human being. Um, so yeah, and also love is great, the numbers, it’s a quick win for people like it’s, it’s on the, you know, it’s not very expensive, it’s easy to kind of sit down and work through, it’s gonna give people kind of instant results, and it’s going to help them right now with with business stuff they’re doing. And also a lot of the marketing around that is super helpful for people as well. So it kind of satisfies that urge to help the masses, you know, I need to be doing something to help people because we’re all in crisis, you know, that that kind of urge that comes up when you’re just a genuine, caring, nurturing person. But the marketing for that is very much kind of helping people understand why it’s important. giving them some quick wins that they can have selling them how they can be reconnecting with people or reaching out to new people for new relationships. Um, so yeah, so that’s Feels like a really good thing to be marketing at the moment, because the marketing in itself is helpful. And then the product at the end of it is super helpful as well. Um, and the rest of it is just Yeah, like I said, planting seeds for stuff that’s going to happen in the future, like, we don’t know how long this is going to last. Um, and you know, my business is my sole source of income. That’s how I put food on the table and keep a roof over my head. And I can’t afford to just stop marketing, and selling. And I didn’t come this far to kind of just give up and just throw my hands up and go, Well, no one’s buying anything I’m not going to sell everything I’m doing is kind of setting me in good stead. For the future. I’m, I’m also looking into upping my content marketing more and coming up with a more robust system for doing that and making the most of the content I produce on a regular basis. Again, knowing that it’s valuable knowing that it’s helpful to people, particularly in these unprecedented times. I’ve read that sentence. In the last three weeks, it’s just crazy. Um, they say leaning into that and kind of going, Okay, well, how can I continue to market my business in that market more, but also, in a way, which is helpful, sensitive is going to be valuable to people at this current time as well as in the future? It was a very long answer.
No, it was great. It was great. And there’s two things that I would love to circle back on. The first one was that you were you said, forming genuine, genuine relationships on the internet isn’t actually something that many people do or know how to do. And I just want to confirm the like, yeah, that’s really true. And it sounds like this is something totally common sense that we should all be born with. But I think we have to remember that in many ways, the internet is still in its infancy, the way we’re using it now hasn’t been around for long. And we’re still finding out like what it does to us and how we can use it in the most empowering and an honest way, I think. And also, I really feel like your work. And this is not to diss anyone as I don’t even want to name who I have in mind. But I think there’s been a different stream of marketing that’s also been popular, where there’s been books written about it and stuff. That’s that that kind of advocates more, this idea that we should position ourselves as experts and create distance between us and our audience to really make sure we have a super big ratio between our following and the people that we follow. And to kind of, yeah, then utilise this expert status as a way to sell people a solution to problems that didn’t know they had that kind of thing. And I feel like that’s this, you know, moving towards this beautiful way of connecting with people that you offer, is often also about self reflection and learning rather than taking new information. And because we do already know a lot about the work that we want to do, the messages that we have, and so forth. So I love that the way that you share this work is just inviting people into feeling what would actually feel good. And to many of us, the answer will be like, I don’t actually need to be better than anyone else. I don’t actually need to say I’m the only one who knows how to do this, like this really fun to say, we can collaborate and I’m sharing something that I know, maybe just a little bit more than you and that’s cool. Yeah. And the other thing that I wanted to circle back on was, oh, gosh, dammit, I think forgotten that, which is also said to have our times my attention span is so short. All the time, maybe it’ll come to me again. But my next question in any case would be kind of, you know, you’re involved in a lot of really cool community projects. At the moment. I’m wondering what you’re seeing that people find hard or exciting or challenging or, or anything, like, just tell me a little bit more about you observing. I’m interested in that. Yeah, I’ve
had a very interesting month with my, with my clients with the projects that that we had set up. Originally, I was due to have three projects running in April with clients. Um, two of those were pushed back to mid April and one of them has been pushed back until May. And the the what was coming up for people was the A they didn’t feel like they had the bandwidth to hold space. For a lot of people at the moment. They wanted to say, you know, they’ve obviously they’ve hired me, they’ve given me a lot of money. We’ve worked really hard to create something and they’re like, I can’t do this justice right now because my head is in bed. And also, the The other thing that was coming up was like, obviously, these projects are based on collaboration. So you’re relying on lots of other people to provide content and all sorts of stuff. And because everybody was kind of freaking out for the first couple of weeks, they were finding it really hard to kind of it was even more like herding cats than it was normally and they were, you know, finding it really difficult to kind of push people and, like, lay down the line, because, of course, like, everything is crazy, and we’re all freaking out. Um, and I think like, generally, in my audience, I’m seeing, I have been saying that people are struggling with the self isolation. But they’re also struggling with, like, the extra communication that’s needed, like my audience are all very introverted and highly sensitive. And we were at a really kind of good level with, like, the communication that we had, and everything was going really nicely. And then all of a sudden, you’re getting emails and messages and texts and things from all sorts of people asking if you’re okay, or telling you, you know, the flood of emails from businesses that you signed up to like a million years ago telling you how they’re dealing COVID-19. So there has been a lot of overwhelm going on over the last few weeks. But what I’m seeing now and I’m seeing reflected in my own experience, as well is that we are beginning to normalise this situation and everything is starting to like simmer down. It’s still there, it’s still going on but we’re better at dealing at it it dealing with it. Human beings are just phenomenally, phenomenally adaptable. And we were just brilliant at you know, whatever’s happening. It takes a week or two or a few days. And then we’re like, Okay, this is just normal. Now let’s get on with stuff. And I’m really beginning to see that kind of shift now. So, I have two client projects starting on the 13th. One of which is Sophie Dale’s book first, which you and I are both involved with. Which is super, super exciting. And yeah, and I think the what I’ve heard from people, you know, is the now they’re ready. Now they are really ready to be in community with other people again, but it is different, like the projects that I ran have always been really rich, really deep, really juicy, or you make friends in those projects that you are your friends for life. And that now more than ever, I use play like COVID-19 bingo or something every time one of these censuses comes up. But now more than ever, that is what people want. Like they really need that extra layer of depth when it comes to their online communities because they’re not getting it in their normal day to day lives. So it has to come from somewhere. So anybody who is running a, an online community at the moment, isn’t taking that into consideration is gonna lose out. We haven’t got time for the fluff and the superficial. And I’m just gathering you together because you’re my audience and I’m the guru kind of thing. Like we don’t have time for that shit. We want to actually be with people who give a shit about us.
Yes, yes to all of this. I was nodding along which no one could see. And I remembered also what I wanted to circle back to briefly, which is exciting. So I really love what you said about, you know what, I just can’t afford it. Not my family, my business. And I’m not having come this far to give up. Now. I think that’s a really important message for people to hear. Because people who are, you know, having 95 offers jobs and work from home now would never feel guilty for carrying on working. And I think it’s totally right. We have to be sensitive and our marketing and just acknowledge what’s happening and meet people where they’re at. But I think I would just be heartbroken for every small business I’ve loved along the way to now kind of say, Well, I’m just gonna give up. I think we all deserve support as many people out there who really want to support small businesses right now. And also who have capacity to engage with the things that we’re offering and are quite happy to do that. So thank you so much for naming that was really great. Other than that, I wonder if there’s anything that brings you comfort and joy right now.
I am leaning hard into trashy romance novels for summer And really bad reality TV, like nothing that requires any brain power whatsoever. Um, it’s not the usual thing that I go for at all, but it’s just like pure escapism. And it’s making me very happy at the moment. The other thing I’m loving is just,
I think what this has done for me, it’s given me like an extra layer of permission to follow my inclinations, whatever that might be. So I work when I feel like work, I stop and rest when I feel inclined to rest. And I mean, I was already doing that, but it’s just kind of stripped out a whole load of, of resist residual guilt, or, you know, any of the shoulds that were still lingering around. It was just, um, yeah, it feels like what I was saying about the marketing, you know, I don’t have time, I don’t have time for the bullshit anymore. And that includes the bullshit in my own head. So it’s just kind of it’s crystallised things for me. And it’s made things much clearer and more. Yeah, it’s helped me kind of sort out my priorities, I think, in a lot of ways. And that has been a source of great joy. Just realising. Okay. Yeah, this is all in me already. And now, I can bring it out.
Yeah, I really hear that. And I think, also similar about the permission giving piece, really giving more time and space to rest when I need to work when I feel like it. I’ve really scared a lot of things back. And I think, yeah, it’s been refreshing to see that that’s not a catastrophe in itself, you know, it’s just a really natural response to be like, I just need to sleep a lot more than I needed to. And I need to have periods of time where I’m just switching off and watching. Rather to TV, I have not kind of explored the world of romance novels yet. But that’s such a brilliant idea. I’m gonna get on that night,
the brilliant, they require literally no concentration, you know, everything’s gonna be all right. You know, it’s just, you don’t, there’s no anxiety in them whatsoever is glorious.
Yeah, that’s really beautiful. And I also feel like when I’m often finding myself in this dance between wanting to imagine better ways of being imagining what’s coming beyond this, I really feel like those that even the smallest thoughts that come out of places of exhaustion and overwhelm, and never constructive and never feel sustainable in any way. And as much as I think it would be beautiful for all of us to come together right now and be like, Hey, this is the new thing that we’re creating, I think we’re really just not quite there yet. And that feels bypassing to, to the uncertainty and the fear and the pain that people are experiencing right now to pretend that we don’t actually need time to rest and process right now. I think we really do a song that makes no sense to me, thank you. I’m wondering if you’re thinking about the rest of the year, what comes to mind for you, like what makes you feel I don’t want to even use the word planning but like, what feels good right now, as you’re kind of thinking about the near future of your business. I
I’m just looking for more more ways to connect in whatever way I can. So I’ve had a plan to start a podcast for a while, which has come very much to the forefront now. And I’m going to try and get that done over the next couple of months. Which I think it’s gonna be really exciting and give me an opportunity to connect with people in a different way. I’m also doing I’m leaning into this content marketing thing and and developing a system for that. So I think that’s gonna stand me in really good stead. I’ve got another workbook on the cards, which I’m really excited about, which is about customer experience. So how you can surprise and delight your people from every stage of the kind of the buyer journey or the audience journey, you know, so from the minute they first become aware of you all the way through to becoming a client and every stage in between, like all the things you can be doing to Bring that kind of human, genuine relational stuff into your business. So I’m really excited about that. And I think that’s going to be another really useful thing. Because all this stuff that I’ve been saying for the last two years about needing to put relationships at the forefront of your business, and the need to be a human being and the need to treat other people with respect and all of that stuff, I think it’s only going to get more and more important as we move through this thing, and come out of the other side, as well. And so, I’m, I’m feeling quite hopeful for the future of my business. And I think that the A lot of it, a lot of the stuff that I’m planning for is just to kind of double down on on what’s been working and just do more of the same and spread that message as far and wide as possible. Um, yeah, I
have here so calming, I know, it’s not my business. But you know, like, there’s resonance I feel between our businesses and it feels just so common to hear you say that. So thank you so much. I’m going to tell us a little bit more about your first workbook and how it works. And before we go, that would be great to know.
Yeah, so love is greater than numbers, is, like I said, it’s based on a group programme. And I ran it a few times and had to come to terms with the fact that my poor, introverted reclusive hermit, you can’t deal with holding space for that many people at one time, that long, I just, I really wanted to, but I just found it so exhausting. Um, and what I’m brilliant at is working with people one to one, and writing putting everything down on paper. So the the idea for the workbook was born of that, right? So it gives you everything I know about marketing your business in this way, based on relationships. So it goes through their six chapters, and it goes through why this is a really good thing to be doing, and why it matters, what can come out of it. Who you should actually be connecting with? Where to actually find them? how to go about like, like, what do you actually say? And how do you deal with this in this situation, the whole books got it’s full of worksheets to help you, it’s got scripts that you can use. Then we look at energy management. So obviously, you know, my introverted sensitive people, when they’re out there connecting with people, it can get exhausting. So we look at all the different ways you can set boundaries and manage your energy and deal with all of that. And then the final piece is about selling. And this is where a lot of people fall down, they have they managed to get all the relational stuff in place. And then when it comes to selling, it’s like, they feel like they have to switch gears somehow. So that takes you through, like how to, to just notice when a relationship is going in that direction, and be able to kind of reach out a hand and guide a person to the next step without it being like spambot you know, turning into a used car salesman all of a sudden? Um, yeah, so it’s, I mean, it’s 160 odd pages packed full of action stuff. So it’s not just like, oh, read it. And then oh, yeah, that sounds nice, actually gets you out of your head and into action. Um, everything is laid out a step by step. It’s my exact methodology that I use in my business that I’ve talked to people. It’s brilliant. It’s peaceful, it’s powerful, and it works.
Great, that sounds beautiful. We’ll link to that in the show notes as well. Anyway, thank you so much. As always, it’s been really, really beautiful to hear from you and see what’s going on in your world right now. I feel a lot more peaceful than I did before the recording. It’s always nice. And I would love to let people know where they can find you. And we’ll link to that in the show notes also, so nothing needs to be remembered at this time.
best place to find me is that my website, which is elettaria communities.com. And while you’re there, sign up for my Sunday letters. It’s I never miss a Sunday. And occasionally I have Guest Additions from people as well. You did one for me fairly recently here. But yeah, that’s where I share everything that’s going on in the elettaria community as well. And you can also come and find me on Instagram, where I hang out less frequently. And I’m elytra communities there as well.
Can only secondary recommendations for the newsletter. It’s really fun. I always read it. And I don’t say that about a lot of newsletters, but it’s such an honour to be a guest and I love receiving it and seeing all the other people that are bringing in as well. So yeah, thank you so much for today. It’s really, really great. Thank you. Oh, thank you. It’s been such a treat.