081: Creating a membership community using No-Code tools – with Najva Sol

Najva Sol is the Head of Product & Marketing at Earnest Capital, where she runs an invite-only community called Founder Summit. In this episode, she joins Ward to discuss how No-Code tools helped her build Founder Summit and why you should automate your processes.

✍️ Show Notes

📄 Show Transcript

This transcript is computer generated, please excuse any errors 🙂

Ward Sandler: Welcome, everybody! Today I’m talking with Najva Sol; she has over 12 years of experience and community building, brand storytelling and digital strategy. She’s currently a mentor for Built by Girls and Head of Product and Marketing at Earnest capital, where she runs an invite-only remote community of founders, building calm, profitable, sustainable companies.

Najva, thank you for joining us on the podcast. We’re thrilled to have you here to talk all things community,

Najva Sol: Thank you so much for having me. It’s a real pleasure, and I’m excited to chat a bit today.

Ward Sandler: Okay. Awesome. You’re not a developer, but you’ve built several online communities using no-code tools like MemberSpace. What have you learned from that? And what advice do you have for our audience?

Najva Sol: Oh, yeah. Shout out MemberSpace. Thank you guys so much for making so many things easier. I think what’s really fun about this No-Code tool trend, I want to say is that they’re not new, no code tools have been around for quite a while, but they’ve been given an incredible rebrand, and they’ve been given an identity that actually pulls them together. So you can look across a bunch of different tools and say, Oh, these are all no code tools from anything from, Like a live journal with a no-code tool to whatever now, but we didn’t call it that. Right? So it’s this really nice, but it is tools that you can use across the internet that don’t require you to be a coder.

And there’s more and more and more of those now that the complexity of what you can do with that code on the internet is phenomenal compared to what it was a few years ago, and I think that, some of it can be a little intimidating. I know that like I personally was super intimidated by Zapier for reasons that I don’t understand, but it just like API keys and stuff, it felt overwhelming. But not only is there MakerPad that can help you find the right ones for you, but also your friend, Google, but Zapier, Air table, they help you automate processes. They help you keep track of things outside of a Google sheet. Learning a little bit about those things could completely change the way that you do your community work, Notion or some kind of like similar tool like Tetra or Coda help you build those internal docs and processes, what ultimately it allows you to do is like scale yourself. One of the biggest things that happens in community is that there’s so much to do. There’s the infrastructure and the container that you’re trying to build digitally, but then there’s also the thing that’s most important. Like most community builders, the reason that they’re doing this work is because they love people and they love connecting to people and everything that no code tools can do is to take work off your plate so that you can continue to do the things that you are most specifically good at, which is connect with people. You cannot automate authentic connection, but you can automate everything or like try to at least, at least make it like 30% easier on yourself.

So for example, we used to have to transcribe things or do insights and takeaways. We have now descript as an amazing tool. You literally delete the word from a transcript, it deletes from the audio and it deletes from the video. Wow! You just saved so much time. You don’t have to learn how to video edit to be a community builder.That’s amazing! Streamable is like the fastest video upload tool I’ve ever seen. You don’t have to waste time on that. Amazing! It’s like a one-click upload. Donut will introduce your members to each other. It might not be right for every community, but in Slack it can be a game changer. Great! Now you can focus on actually being in the Donut and the half an hour that you might’ve spent that week matching people and like, be like, you guys should meet, you can actually sit down and have a conversation with someone, you know, we have a zap for when people come in or apply and then once I say, like I’ve approved an air table. It’s where like all their forms directly fill into your table. Once they’ve been approved, there’s a zap that goes on or like that I’ve sent. That automates, an email, inviting them to the community and inviting the finished payment, as soon as I changed their status. And then I can go look at that sheet and at any moment, see who actually finished their thing. So I can see here’s the percentage of people who applied. Here’s the percentage of the people that I accepted. Here’s the percentage of people who actually signed up. And then we even have like, here’s the percentage of people actually signed up for Slack. And, you know, we have tools that allow me to see all of that mixed panel segment, and you don’t need it to be super complex, but finding, find those like three or four things that you do over and over and over that are taking up the most of your time and not delivering ultimately like value to your community, and see if you can sort of virtually scale yourself by finding an automated process that probably exists. There’s so many more resources now than there were and take the front load the time most of those take a little bit more time to set up. So give yourself time to learn it and set it up properly and it’s going to pay dividends in the future, so that’s my spiel on no code for your community.

Ward Sandler: Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. We really appreciate it, Najva. Would you like to share any resources or recommendations for folks that are trying to learn more about Founder Summit?

Najva Sol: Yeah, I mean, you can just go to our site. It is in the process of being updated, so FounderSummit.co

Feel free to check out our Mastermind Sprint. We’re aiming to run those a few times a year, so there’s a nice tab. That’ll give you the full rundown, but they’re sort of mentor-led peer groups for bootstrappers or sort of column companies. And you can also follow us on Twitter, @FounderSummit.

Ward Sandler: Thank you, Najva.