If you’re new to the Build Your Audience membership programme or haven’t made it along to our weekly Office Hour for a while you may be wondering how you can get involved.
With that in mind, here’s a guide to getting the most out of our weekly Office Hour.
How it works
Our weekly Office Hour takes place on Mondays at 11am (GMT/BST). If you want to check the time for your specific time zone, you can do that here. It takes place online (we use the video conferencing software Zoom) and is a chance for members to ask questions about any aspect of their marketing and get feedback from myself and the rest of the group. At the start if the call, I also update the group about membership news e.g. upcoming events and/or challenges. Occasionally the time of the Office Hour might change - for example if I am speaking/travelling. If this is the case we will let you know via email and/or our member bot. We will attempt to give you plenty of notice, but please be aware this may not always be possible.
Attending the weekly Office Hour call is not only a chance for you to ask questions, it’s also an opportunity for you to get to know other members, build your support network, create opportunities for collaboration and even attract customers (it’s my ambition that every member covers the costs of their membership via sales to other members but if people don’t know who you are, they’re definitely not going to buy from you).
How to prepare
You don’t need to prepare anything for the call - apart from making a note of any questions you would like to raise.
However, when you join the call, you will be asked to introduce yourself to the rest of the group in ten words or less (on video), so it’s a good idea to craft your ‘ten word top line’ before you get on the call e.g. ‘I sell gift boxes for new mums’ or ‘I’m a business coach, specialising in working with introverts’.
Due to time constraints this really does need to be a ten word top line...and the more specific you can be the better. If people are confused about what you do, they’re far less likely to remember you/your business.
If you are unable to make the call live, you may post a question (use the reminder thread in the Facebook group).
A replay of the call, along with summary notes (which are time stamped so you know when particular questions have been asked) will be available in the membership area for at least four weeks. This should be uploaded within 24 hours - often much sooner - but you may need to bear with us at busy times.
How to join the call
We use Zoom video conferencing so you'll need download the software on your phone or computer before you join. If you've got an iPhone, you'll need to download the free app first: Zoom Cloud Meetings. It's fairly intuitive, so you will only need to click the join link you are given for the meeting to join the call, or input the nine digit meeting code.
Please be aware that you will be on video. There is an option to switch to audio only (bottom left on a PC/Mac and if you are using a mobile device can disable the video before joining a meeting by toggling the "turn off my video" option after clicking "Join a Meeting") but it’s much nicer to see your face if we can.
The only ‘rule’ we have is to keep yourself muted unless you are invited to do otherwise, as background noise can be really distracting for other participants (bottom right on a PC/Mac and on a mobile you should be automatically muted but will have the option to swipe to the next screen and tap to speak as below).
There is chat box on the bottom right (PC/Mac) but this may not be visible on a mobile device - please use this to pose questions and/or chat with other members during the call.
During the call
Here is an idea of the timings (N.B. this is a rough estimate).
0 -10 mins: Member introductions
10-15 mins: Member updates (upcoming events, masterclasses, challenges, new content etc)
15 -30 mins: Practical teaching segment: during this part of the call I’ll teach/share something that relates to the theme of the call and reference resources we have in the membership. This could be anything from a technique/strategy I think you might find useful to new apps/tools/resources.
30-60 mins: Open Q & A with feedback from myself and other members.
If you’d like to ask a question live on the call, you can do so in the chat box (bottom right on a PC/Mac). I will try to get through as many questions as I can, but if you post your question right before the end of the call, please be aware we may not get to it (in which case I may ask you to post in the Facebook group). Sometimes I may ask you to unmute yourself and explain your question in more detail.
While I know many of you join the call looking for my advice and guidance, we do have a wealth of experience in the group, so do feel free to add your thoughts/comments/advice in the question box. I may also sometimes ask members I know have specific experience of an issue to ‘unmute’ themselves and give feedback. Occasionally I may also ‘spotlight’ a member and help them solve a specific challenge (particularly if it's a topic I know many of you are struggling with).
If you are not able to attend the call
If you are not able to attend the call live, you may submit a question under the dedicated thread in our Facebook group(posted every Monday morning). We do prioritise questions posed live on the call, but if we don’t get to yours, I will respond to it in the Facebook group.
After the call
A replay of the call, along with summary notes (which are time stamped so you know when particular questions have been asked) is posted in both our Facebook group and our members' site. This should be uploaded within 24 hours - often much sooner - but you may need to bear with us at busy times. We do prioritise questions posed live on the call, but if we don’t get to yours, I will respond to it in the Facebook group.
Other things to bear in mind
You do not need to stay for the whole call: seriously no one will judge you if you pop in for ten minutes and leave again (although you will get the most value if you stay for the whole time). However I would ask you to be ‘present’ during the time you are on the call. Babies, children and pets are all very welcome (as long as you are muted) but no conference calls/phone calls please. If you need to take a phone call - please leave the call and return when you can give us your full attention.
If you arrive late to the call and it’s particularly busy, I may not be able to introduce you to the rest of the group. In this case, please introduce yourself in the chat box.
Replays can be found in the Office Hour area of the membership and in our Facebook group (in the 'units' area).
The Build Your Audience programme is a membership community which means it’s a one-to-many model. So while there is an opportunity to get some personalised advice/guidance on our weekly Office Hour, most of your learning will be self-directed. If you find yourself craving more personalised support do let us know; it may be that you are a better fit for my coaching programme and it may be possible for you to upgrade your membership. Drop us a line on [email protected] to find out more.
Be prepared to be flexible. While we aim to run the Office Hours call at least 48 weeks a year (taking a break over Christmas and for holidays) there may be times when I may need to postpone and/or even cancel the call due to travel, holidays and illness (although this is rare - we ran 48 last year). If this is the case we will post an update in our Facebook group and inform you via email and the Facebook messenger bot. We will try to give you plenty of notice via our weekly email update - which generally goes out on a Wednesday, ahead of the Office Hour - but please be aware that this may not always be possible. Please also remember I am just one person serving a growing community of 350+ members (albeit with the support of a small team) so you may need to be a little flexible at times.
Interested in joining my membership programme? Here’s some more information about the Build Your Audience programme