Aug. 1, 2022

62 - Lindsay Pinchuk And Building A Community

62 - Lindsay Pinchuk And Building A Community

In this episode, Lindsay Pinchuk shares:
That when she was pregnant she created a community for expectant mothers because that is what she needed. She estimates that she works about 20 hours a week for clients and the rest is towards building her brand. ...


In this episode, Lindsay Pinchuk shares:

That when she was pregnant she created a community for expectant mothers because that is what she needed.   She estimates that she works about 20 hours a week for clients and the rest is towards building her brand.   Her Dad was an entrepreneur and that she considers herself an extrovert.   How a change in management at her previous job spurred her to go all in on Baby Bump Club.   The model for Baby Bump Club to make money from.   Who some of her first corporate customers were.   That she surveyed everything and got amazing feedback from looking at the responses.   Who her target customer is and how she can help them.   Some of the ways that you can engage with your target audience.   How her first hire morphed over time from an intern into her Events Coordinator.

Be sure to hit Subscribe in your podcast app so that you don't miss it or any other episodes.

Transcript

Greg Mills: Our guest today is an award-winning entrepreneur consultant, community builder, expert marketer, social media, Maven, small business champion. And most importantly, mom. With $500 in her pocket and a baby in her belly, she left a high powered job as a magazine publishing executive and founded her first company bump club and beyond a community of resources, support, and educational tools for millions of parents and parents to be across the country.

Greg Mills: She turned to profit in year one, growing her company to seven figures in revenue each year and her community to over 3 million users. Less than a decade later, she led her company through its acquisition to a large agency holding company. She has led her expertise to 200 plus TV segments given interviews on 40 plus podcast and has been featured or contributed to stories and time magazine, the wall street journal, parents.com, baby center.com and many more as both a parenting lifestyle expert.

Greg Mills: And as an entrepreneur, small business expert. Today. She offers both consulting and coaching services for individuals and brands to build, grow, and monetize their communities. You can find her behind the mic interviewing some of the most incredible female founders. She knows during her twice weekly podcast.

Greg Mills: Dear found her without further ado. Lindsay Pench.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Hi, Greg. It's nice to meet you. Nice

Greg Mills: to meet here. Nice to meet. Nice to meet you as well. Now, Lindsay, can you take a few moments and fill in the gaps from that intro and bring us up to speed with what's going on in your world today.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Yeah, of course. So, I started my career, like you said, in advertising sales, I worked at the Hearst corporation for 10 years.

Lindsay Pinchuk: I loved my job there. I really, I loved what I did. And when I got pregnant, I decided that I needed community and I needed support. And I started hosting events here in Chicago. We hosted a prenatal workout. We hosted a shopping event. Under the name bunk club, Chicago. That's what it was called at first.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And it really snowballed and grew from there. There was an apparent need for, in person, community, amongst expectant parents, specifically expectant moms. And and I was in it and I needed it on my own. So I started hosting events and it really snowballed from there. You know, my background is in ad sales and marketing, so it's not.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Out of my wheelhouse to, you know, really kind of take it and run with it. But I did, I took it and ran with it. We started hosting events in other cities, across the country. We got the attention of almost every major baby brand who we worked with. And then we started working with Nordstrom, with target, with the honest company, creating custom activations, not only for their brand, but for their brands that we would then bring.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Community too. And that was the whole, the whole hook, right. They really wanted our community. So I grew that business which later became bump club and beyond to reach about 3 million people per month. And it generated seven figures year over year for the last five years that I owned it. And in 2019, I sold it to a large agency holding company.

Lindsay Pinchuk: I was their first B2C company that they purchased. I worked for them for two and a half years. And and then honestly, like I just, there were a lot of reasons why it was time to move on. Was not in that life stage anymore. And I had built a brand off of being a mom and being really authentic about my journey as a, an expectant and then a new mom and then a mom of two.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And then, you know, here I am, I have an eight and 11 year old now. And so, you know, a couple last summer, they were 10 and seven. I'm not pushing them in strollers. It felt really weird talking about that. And you know, being in that. Life stage when I wasn't in the life stage anymore. And I also had a lot of brands that were reaching out to me.

Lindsay Pinchuk: They were asking me for project based consulting to help them grow their own communities. And I just couldn't, I didn't have the time to do it because I was working so many hours for this new company who had bought me. But it was a really big eye opener. And I wanted to take on these. And so last, where I left, I started my own consulting company.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And I, I really haven't looked back. I mean, I sent out an email. I said, I'm taking clients, bump club became my first client. I wrapped up my, my time with them with the project. And since then I have had well over a dozen clients, it's been less than a year. And and then I started coaching this spring and I also started teaching a class.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And honestly, I just want people to learn from my mistakes and. Learn from what worked for me and to help them because I'm seeing it work for them too. And that's really just been an amazing part of this whole journey,

Greg Mills: kind of an impromptu question, but how many hours a week are you putting into your business

Lindsay Pinchuk: right now?

Lindsay Pinchuk: Mm-hmm , you know, it, it's really hard for me to say, like from a client based standpoint, like my client based work is a fraction of the work that I did at bump club. I would probably say. 10 to TW no, maybe like 20 hours a week. Let's I would say about 20, 20 hours a week for my clients. And then anything else that I'm doing is really building my brand.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And you know, to me doing the social media, doing the podcast that comes really naturally. That's what I did for bump club for. A dozen years. And so it's not a hard thing for me to sit on the couch and just scroll through social media and make a couple posts or know what I wanna post it's really second nature.

Lindsay Pinchuk: So, I also, I have a lot of systems in place that I used when I was managing the social media and the content for bump club and beyond that have really led to me being efficient. And a lot of people are like, Is it only you? And I'm like, yeah, it is only me, but I, I have a system that works that allows me to, you know, repurpose a lot of what I do and get myself out there in a big way.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And you know, and I have some contractors helping me here and there, which is also of course, very helpful.

Greg Mills: Okay. Now, did you come from an entrepreneurial background at all? Was anybody in your family, an entrepreneur or have their own

Lindsay Pinchuk: business? So my dad is an entrepreneur. He had his own business for as long as I can remember, he was a manufacturer's representative, which actually is.

Lindsay Pinchuk: It's kind of an obsolete job now. But he was the middleman between a lot of brands and the big retailers. So he worked a lot in the beauty space and also in like school supplies health and beauty school supplies, a lot of like home goods and he would get the products on the shelves at Meyer, at Kmart at target etetera.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And he had his own company out of my house that that he did. That's what he did. Growing up. And so, but you know, the interesting thing is, is I knew what my dad did and I was always around and I knew he had his own business, but we didn't talk about it very much, if that makes sense.

Greg Mills: Has he been around to see your success now?

Lindsay Pinchuk: Yes, he has. And it's, and it's wonderful to talk about with him now and you know, and obviously like, you know, I, I'm so proud of myself and I'm also so proud that he's able to see. Yeah,

Greg Mills: That's a blessing truly. Now you had some pretty cool gigs early on in sports illustrated for kids. And also as an account rep for Vicom representing MTV and Nickelodeon, how'd you get your entrepreneurial start so to speak.

Lindsay Pinchuk: So when I was working at the Hearst corporation, I was working at good housekeeping and I. You know, even before I got pregnant, I actually had some friends who were pregnant that didn't know each other. And they were kind of putting me in the middle. I mean, they were saying, Hey, like, what does so and so say, what does so and so say, and I'm like, you guys have to talk to each other because like, I'm not quite there yet.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And I said to my husband, there has to be some kind of business in this. Like, why is there no, like why is there nowhere for why is there nowhere for people to, to, sorry. Why is there nowhere for people to meet other expectant parents? And, you know, I, I tried to introduce them and I actually set up my business before I got pregnant.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Because I knew we were gonna start a family. And when I did get pregnant, we ended up hosting this event and it was very successful and really, truly. I didn't have a plan. I, I, I didn't have a business plan. I wasn't like, oh, I'm gonna make this as big as it was. I really naturally showed up for the people who were at these events.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And then also put myself in this, in the shoe of the customer. I was the customer, you know, and, and I'm, I'm never one to really half ass things. So it, wasn't hard for me to get this snowballing pretty fast. Okay. Does that answer your

Greg Mills: question? Yeah, I think so. When you left and started it now kind of walk us through the first,

Lindsay Pinchuk: Few months.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Yeah, of course. So that was a very big decision. It was a very big decision for many reasons. One, I loved my job and so, you know, it was. It was hard to, to say, okay, I'm gonna leave and give this a go. And it was very scary. And I had a really nice paycheck and I had a great expense account. I was able to do whatever I wanted with my clients.

Lindsay Pinchuk: You know, but I had a baby at home and I wanted to be with her and I wanted to be flexible and I didn't wanna be traveling on someone else's timeframe. And quite honestly, you know, I I, the litmus test that I used then is really what I use now in every decision I make. And that question to myself was what's the worst that can happen.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And so I asked myself, what is the worst that can happen if I leave my job? Well, the worst that I, the worst that could happen was. It didn't succeed and that the company didn't work. And then what I would go back and find a new job and can I live with that? And I could. And so that was really the catalyst for the decision.

Lindsay Pinchuk: The other thing was I had a boss that came on right before I had my baby. I, I had originally had a male boss who had five children. He was incredibly supportive. He always left me alone. He let me do my job. And he ended up leaving right before I had my daughter. And he was just a very understanding manager.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Obviously he was a father of five and he was replaced with a female who. Was not married and did not have children. And she made it very clear to me that she did not like my side hustle and that if I used my time, her time for my business, it was gonna be serious repercu cautions. So that was really the catalyst for me saying what's the worst that happens because I wasn't in a good situation to begin with.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And I knew she was gonna make it a nightmare for me. And so that was really what pushed me to make that decision. When I left. The goal was, you know, we made some, we made some changes in our house. We did not have a full-time nanny or full-time childcare. I got a, we did a nanny share for my daughter and I only had a certain number of hours per week.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And we made some changes because all of a sudden, you know, we didn't have our, I didn't have, we didn't have my income and I really did a lot, a lot of work during. Time of day, you know, that I had my childcare and I think it was like, I don't know, 15 hours a week or something. And that went on until I was able to cover more time.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And as we were a, as I was started making money, I ended up creating, you know, more time with my childcare and growing my business. And that's really how it got off the ground.

Greg Mills: Now, how were you making money in your business to

Lindsay Pinchuk: begin with? Of course. So that's a great question, cuz that's what everyone wants to know.

Lindsay Pinchuk: So my business was set up very much. Like a media model. I mean, I came from a media background and so the circulation was the ticket sales. There were sales to come to my events and the sponsorships were the advertising and. In the beginning, I made money on the ticket sales. I made money on the sponsorships of the events, and then we ended up having a membership program that ran for about seven years and that generated.

Lindsay Pinchuk: A nice amount of income. It was not my number one source of income, for sure. And then from there, you know, we ended up growing and as we grew, we were creating custom activation. So yes, they were sponsorships, but they weren't just like. A brand sponsoring a dinner. It was like a brand would pay us to create an activation for expectant parents or parents.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And then we would advertise it to our community. So we sort of became like an agency and and that's, that's how we generated money and really, and truly, I built a business monetizing my community.

Greg Mills: Now what is an, a custom activation or an activation? Yeah. Cause I, I, I literally have no idea.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Yeah, of course.

Lindsay Pinchuk: So for, I'll give you two, how about, I'll give you two examples. Okay. Okay. So we I'll give you kind of like two, three examples. So both Nordstrom and target separately approached us because they really wanted to build up community amongst moms based on some internal KPIs on reaching expected moms.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And they came to us and asked us to come up with some custom programming. And so we basically created two in store programs that like the Nordstrom one was two years. It, it, we did it across 24 cities and we did these big custom events in their stores where we would put on the events and we would advertise them to our community and the community, our community would come.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Very similar to target. We did it. That was a, that was a, that was a relationship that actually started as a test in Chicago. It grew to be national, and they're still doing activations with target now online because during the pandemic, we turned that activation into an online educational activation that target sponsored and.

Lindsay Pinchuk: But when, before the acquisition, we were hosting events in their store, they were educational events. We would bring in brands, the brands would sample. So there was a lot of opportunity there for the brands to get involved. And, you know, there were experiential events essentially for these brands to reach expectant parents.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Another example of an activation is the honest company. So the honest company is a huge brand. It was founded. By three amazing founders, one of whom is Jessica Alba. She's kind of like the face of the brand. And one of the other ones one of the other founders is Christopher Gagan.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Christopher's no longer at the company, but Christopher is the scientist. He was the scientist behind a lot of the the products at the honest company. And they wanted to get Christopher out in front of moms to talk about the importance of how their products are formulated and made. So they tapped into us.

Lindsay Pinchuk: We created these mom night out events for the honest company. I think we did about a dozen of them across the country, where they were like, come to a bar, we had drinks, we had appetizers. It was like a really fun night. They all got samples and Christopher was there and he was like schmoozing talking with the moms and he did a little presentation.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And for the honest company, it was a, a really awesome opportunity to present themself in a different way that wasn't just tied to having a celebrity. If that makes sense. So those are kind of two activat two, three of the bigger activations that bump club was paid up upwards of six figures for,

Greg Mills: You're currently doing community building for others in Lindsay, Pench marketing and consulting, but how did you learn how to do it? You know, for the baby bump club. I

Lindsay Pinchuk: honestly, I, I just did it. You know what I'm saying? Like, you know, it's very, it, the interesting thing about bump club is I don't think I realized what I was doing when I was doing it in the beginning.

Lindsay Pinchuk: I mean, I would say the first few years I just did it. Like I was an expectant mom. I knew what I needed. I surveyed. Everyone always. So like after every event we would send a survey, everything from the content we were putting out to the brands we were working with to the food that was put on the table during the dinner.

Lindsay Pinchuk: I mean, we literally had one woman one time tell us. Please don't serve chicken at these events because I have an aversion to chicken, which many pregnant people do. I didn't. So it wasn't something I really thought of. And when we did that, we found a new venue for our dinners that offered like stations of food for people to choose what they wanted.

Lindsay Pinchuk: So. It was a really amazing customer experience that we created. And a lot of it was me putting myself in the shoes of my customer. Now, once I realized, and we, we, I realized we had a business and I, I had this business and I had employees working for me, you know, It was a lot easier to take a good internal look about what was working and what wasn't and, you know, make strategic plays based on that.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And once we started generating revenue, we had a marketing budget you know, and it became definitely more of a business. Then it was like in the beginning, it was kind of just a fly by the seat of our pants. And now in hindsight, when I look at what I did. There are a lot of things, you know, that stick out to me that worked, that didn't work very much like the surveys, for example, like that was a really key part of my business and learning about my customer and learning to listen to them, which a lot of brands don't know how to a lot of brands do not listen to their customers.

Lindsay Pinchuk: They'll talk at them, but they don't really listen. And that taught me a lot. The importance of serving your customer and showing up for your customer and being authentic. And now when I'm doing this again, it makes it a lot easier because I know how to do it. And, and also it's kind of just becoming innately me, you know?

Lindsay Pinchuk: I mean, like I'm just someone that shows up unapologetically very naturally, very authentically as myself. And either you like me or you don't and that's okay. And I'm okay with it. If I'm not for everyone and that's okay. And I've always said that always.

Greg Mills: Would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?

Greg Mills: I'm an extrovert. Okay. I gotta figure that , some people have surprised me on this show too, with, with their answers. So, now what are some of the tools that you were using when you were both, when you were now and when you were building your

Lindsay Pinchuk: company? So when I first started building my company, I just wanna take everyone back a minute.

Lindsay Pinchuk: It's a really good question. A lot of people forget that when I started my company, it was 2010 mm-hmm and there was no social media. I mean, there was like Facebook, but no Facebook business pages and like LinkedIn and like Twitter a little bit. So when I first started my company, I very much had to naturally think about where is my customer and how do I meet her there.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And a lot of entrepreneurs nowadays first go into the social media. Pool feet first. And don't think about that. And you really have to think about where is your customer? So 12 years ago, I said, where is she? Well, she was buying maternity jeans at eight, at 13 weeks pregnant. So where did I go? I went to maternity stores.

Lindsay Pinchuk: She was buying, looking at car seats and looking at strollers. I went to independent baby gear stores in Chicago, and I formed partnerships with a lot of these people. What information was she looking for? Breastfeeding labor and deliver. So I partnered with experts in that field. So I was really using the tool of partnerships to find her and to reach her.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And from there that grew into a lot of social media content and. You know, a lot of growth on social media. Once those platforms were available and we really grew alongside social media and as more platforms became available, I learned how to use them. And that's something too. It's so important as an entrepreneur to, to never say no, or I can't learn, or you always have to be learning because there's always new opportunities.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Now, today it's very different because one, I started my new. I don't wanna say during the height of COVID, but definitely like, you know, it was in 2021. So people were not really doing things in person. And I think had I started this prior to COVID, I probably would've started with meetups for entrepreneurs, but instead I started by putting out content online.

Lindsay Pinchuk: On my Instagram on my website on LinkedIn I started a podcast for thought leadership and I really started utilizing content and showing up and serving the people who I knew and know want this information. And when you do that naturally and authentically. People start engaging with you. They start following you and ultimately those people become your customers.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And that's what, why you like as a brand, you really need to look at your audience, not as an audience, who's only consuming your information, but as a community and someone who you're engaging with,

Greg Mills: Switching bases, going to Lindsay Pench marketing and consulting. What's your target market.

Greg Mills: Who's your ideal

Lindsay Pinchuk: customer? So I have two customers really based on my services, one, you know, based on my coaching services. And then my, you know, my classes, it's early stage female founders or small business owners who really can't afford like a full-time marketing person, but need a little bit of extra help and guidance.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And I give that to them. I mean, I, when I coach them, I give them checklists. We move the process along. It's not just like theoretical coaching. It's like, okay, here's what you need to do to move the needle. And then my other, my other audience is. Mostly female founders. I have had a couple of male founders engage me and that's totally fine too.

Lindsay Pinchuk: But you know, small business owners or even, I mean, I am, I'm working with a nine figure brand right now who just really needed help with their community building online. And we're seeing a huge impact from the work that I'm doing with them. And so they've brought me on as a consultant and I'm working with their team on their social strategy and their content strategy to really build community.

Greg Mills: So what are some of the common problems that people are having that business are having with both online marketing and community?

Lindsay Pinchuk: You know, I think the biggest problem for entrepreneurs, and I think it's not just with the community building, like it kind of is overarching. And then it trickles down into the community building is that entrepreneurs feel like they have to do everything and you wear so many hats and you're being pulled in many different directions.

Lindsay Pinchuk: It doesn't matter how big or small your business is. There's always something else you wanna do. If you're an entrepreneur, that's how you're wired. So, you know, I think when it comes to community building specifically. A lot of entrepreneurs, I'm finding have a really hard time finding the time to build the right content, to generate engagement with their community.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And, you know, a really a, a big, a big sticking point for me is that they just don't have like a system in place. And they'll like throw content out on the internet or on their social platforms, just because they think they have to post. And really, and truly as an entrepreneur, you need to take a step back.

Lindsay Pinchuk: You need to figure out what it is you're gonna post, why are you posting it? Why are you sharing it? What is the purpose of it? And how can it help the end user? And you really need to talk to that end user about how you can help solve this problem. And then also give them some ways to that you can solve it, like it's okay to show up and share your information.

Lindsay Pinchuk: You don't have to be so secretive, always on online and. You know, so I think that that is really the, the first thing. And then the second thing is a lot of entrepreneurs. Don't take a look at the content that they're putting out and say, okay, how else can I use that? So like, for example, I'll give you for example.

Lindsay Pinchuk: So like I'm doing this interview with you, every podcast that I'm an interview that I do. I know you'll probably give me some links and assets and stuff like that. Every podcast that I interview on, I go and make my own assets. I listen to the podcast. I take an hour, I listen to the podcast. I pull some quotes, I pull some sound bites.

Lindsay Pinchuk: I probably take 90 minutes. I have a process in doing it. And then I end up having like 10 pieces of content that I can use. Supporting what it is that I do and my social media and that's my process, you know? And that's like, instead of me drumming up my own content on my own, and, and then I'll tag you and then I'm sure you'll share it.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And that's kind of how it works. And I think a lot of entrepreneurs just get really pigeonholed into not knowing what to do and not knowing that there are simplified ways of doing it.

Greg Mills: So, can you give us two or three tips about, you know, about building a community that most people would find surprising?

Lindsay Pinchuk: Yes. Stop talking about yourself is my number one.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Sorry. I mean, but it's true. Like, I mean, and, and now that I'm saying this, you and everyone who is listening. You'll take notice of this on the people you follow on social media. And I have a friend who is a mentor.

Lindsay Pinchuk: She mentor me and I mentor her. She has her own business as well. And we mentor each other on different things. And she once told me, like she said, replace all the eyes that you're saying, like, I know this, and I know this with you. And when you do that, you start seeing. Just a natural engagement and she was right.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And when I started doing that, I started seeing my engagement go up, my followers, go up you know, focus on your end user, focus on your customer. That is my first tip for building community. My second tip for building community is partnerships. Think about who else is reaching your target audience and how you can partner with them.

Lindsay Pinchuk: They don't have to be competitors. I mean, you're not gonna wanna like put your competitor's business out there, but there are other people who reach. Target. You need to figure out ways to work with them. How does, how, what do I mean, you could do Instagram takeovers on each other's accounts to draw each other to each other's, you know, communities, you can interview each other on Instagram, on LinkedIn, on Facebook, you can do a simple zoom video and you can share it.

Lindsay Pinchuk: You don't have to have a podcast. You can create a video on zoom or, you know, on one of the other platforms, interview each other. And share it and tag each other and then share it to both of your platforms. Those are really great ways of borrowing each other's audiences. Do an email swap with someone. If you have a list and if they have a list, figure out ways to send your messages together and introduce each other to each other's communities, those are just really natural ways that you can get yourself out there.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And also. Like if you're using the product or if you are a fan of whatever, whoever this potential partner could be, it makes it so easy to forge a partnership with them and to talk about it. So that would be the second thing. So I talked about, I talked about talking about you your audience, I talked about Building a partnership.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And I think my third thing would be show up as yourself and engage. You have to engage bottom line, too many people like put out their posts on social media or put out their blog posts and never do anything with them. You need to show up, you need to ask questions. You need to ask your community things that are important to them.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And guess what? They're not gonna necessarily respond right away on the first post, but you have to get them into the rhythm of knowing that you're gonna ask them something because when you do that, they start answering. And when you show up and engage, and when you, when someone follows you, if they're public, shoot them a DM, whether it's on LinkedIn, whether it's.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Instagram, whether it's on Facebook, shoot them at DM and say, thanks so much for the follow. If there's ever anything I could do to help you, or I'd like to connect or whatever it is, you know, you have to just think about your business for a minute and really engage with people in a natural unforced way.

Greg Mills: Regarding engaging online. Have you experimented with like having a zoom session with, with people or anything like

Lindsay Pinchuk: that? Yeah, so I teach a class I teach. Well, I've taught two different types of classes. I've had a, I teach a free class that I do live. It's actually recorded on my website right now because I'm taking a break for the summer, but I usually do it live.

Lindsay Pinchuk: It's a seven day thing. It's like 45 minutes each day for seven days on how to social media for small business. That's what it's called. And so that sometimes I I've done it two ways. I've done it once in a Facebook group and I've done it once on zoom. I really like it on. To be honest. You get the recording a lot easier.

Lindsay Pinchuk: You can interact with people. I can see people's faces, which I think is really important. And then from there I actually offered a, a paid, a paid class. It was a six week paid class. We met once a week and I taught it on zoom. And that to me was amazing because you have these interactions and you're. Like you would in a live environment.

Lindsay Pinchuk: I didn't teach it as a webinar. I taught it in a meeting room and I was able to look at everyone's faces and see what their reactions were and answer questions from them. And that is important for engagement. Right. And then, and then I was able to follow up with them on social media or through email, and I knew who I was talking to.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And that is so important. So yes, I have to answer the question.

Greg Mills: That's something I look to experiment with in the future. So good to know. All right. What are some common mistakes that you see people making and you, you listed not engaging. So I could, I could see that being one,

Lindsay Pinchuk: I would say not engaging, I would say talking only about yourself, which is like, it kind of goes along with what I was saying before, but one of the biggest mistakes I see with my big clients is I'll go into their social media or their content plan.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And. They only are talking about their own products and you can't do that. You have to talk about the things that are important to your community. And if you don't know what's important to them, then you need to ask them. And we have tools that you can ask them on social media and your stories and, you know, you can, you can get involved.

Lindsay Pinchuk: So that's a big thing is that I think a lot of people are just, they just push their product out and you can't always do that. A lot of people do not. And I think that planning is a very big thing when it comes to building a community and community engagement is you have to know what you're gonna push out content wise.

Lindsay Pinchuk: I have an overarching plan. I have six buckets that I talk about on a regular basis. At the moment, there's a lot going on in the world. And so my social media isn't ne necessarily reflective of what I normally talk about because I need to be respectful of certain things that are going on in the world and in my community, I live outside of Highland park, Illinois.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And and so it's, it's. You know, there's been a pause, but on a normal basis, there are six themes that I talk about on a regular basis. And I plan for that. And when, and every week I sit down on Sunday night and I say, okay, like, what am I gonna talk about on each of these categories this week? And I schedule out my posts and then I schedule out, how else am I gonna use these posts on other platforms outside of Instagram?

Lindsay Pinchuk: I write a blog. Am I gonna put it on LinkedIn and I really, and truly schedule things so that I know what I'm talking about. And then I go into my stories and I go on live and I talk about those themes all week long. It's very methodical. So I think like not planning and not having a sense of what you're gonna share is also a really big mistake that I see.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Because then you're just kind of posting a post, like I said,

Greg Mills: In 2022 and beyond what online platforms do you see as being the best for small business owners to engage in, to build a community?

Lindsay Pinchuk: I think it really depends on your demographic. And that is, that is a really important thing to be looking at.

Lindsay Pinchuk: For example, I, I have someone that I have helped guide who is looking to reach empty nesters. Well, empty nesters. Aren't on TikTok. You know, and really, and truly, if you were gonna say I I'm looking to reach empty nesters, I would say, well, you should probably be on Facebook because they're still there.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And they're on Instagram. But if you're looking to reach people who are millennials or younger, I would say check out TikTok. I myself, am trying to learn TikTok at the moment. And that's been, you know, that's been a pain point for me. It's been a learning experience. It's been a pain point. I haven't seen, seen the results that I want to see.

Lindsay Pinchuk: I don't always think that my direct audience or community or target customer is there. And that's okay. But I'm gonna keep trying, because I do think that TikTok is gonna grow and I think there's a lot of opportunity there. How many followers do you have currently? Oh, like ONAC like a couple hundred.

Lindsay Pinchuk: The crazy thing is like, not a lot. I mean, on Instagram I have 12,000, but the crazy thing is my daughter who's away at summer camp right now, but she's 11 mm-hmm and she was like trying to help me before she left. She has like mastered the art of the algorithm and has like 5,000 followers. And. I like, I, when I say I yell at her, I, I jokingly yell at her and I'm like, how do you have like thousands of views on videos of like shampoo bottles?

Lindsay Pinchuk: And she knows how to deal with the algorithm of TikTok, but she doesn't know how to use TikTok for business. And that's the difference because you can have as many followers as you have, but if they're not converting to customers and you're a business owner, it means nothing. Same thing with, I.

Greg Mills: What used to work well for, you know, building a community that doesn't work anymore. Are there any, or, and maybe we're at this point, we might just be talking tools as, as opposed to strategies.

Lindsay Pinchuk: I think, well, you know, when I think about how I built bump club, I built bump club first as an in person community.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And, you know, I had a vet, I mean, I had a events and then people would follow me on social. Now you. Build a social following and then offer events to the, to that following. I also think events are still slowly making their way back into our, you know, cultural vernacular because of everything that happened with COVID.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And also depending on who you're looking to reach, people might not be so apt to come to events even still. And so, you know, I think there's a lot of a lot of arenas of building a community in person that maybe. Are not the best way right now as they used to be. I mean, it used to be really natural to build a community first in person and host meetups and meetings.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And like, that's just not something I think that that very much happens right now. You know, this might be a bad example, but for example, I like when I was starting bump club, Twitter was really big for moms and. Twitter's still very big, but I don't find it big in certain demographics. And it's actually much more male focused.

Lindsay Pinchuk: It's much more news focused. So if you're building like a lifestyle community, I don't know that I would look to like Twitter to do that. I mean, I think there are certain topics and certain communities that do really well on Twitter. But like moms kind of moved away from that. When Instagram came about because people were looking to share pictures of their kids.

Lindsay Pinchuk: So, you know, it's kind of different. That's kind of, I guess, how I would, what I would say, but I think fundamentally. Building a community really happens based on a few things. And that is like being natural, being authentic, never compromising yourself or never compromising the trust you build with your community.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Those are all such important factors because the minute you compromise your trust or you take money from someone who. It's a shortsighted like, oh, I'm gonna take money from an advertiser. And it doesn't really align with my community. You can't get that trust back. And all of those factors are still the same, no matter what.

Lindsay Pinchuk: You know, and I, and I, so I think there's a lot of like community building techniques that are, are very important today just as they were 10 years ago. And I think now even more. It's important, not only to just focus on social media, but it is very important to focus on social media, your website, presence, your email, live events, and engagements like this one, even partnerships, you know, these are all the things that factor into building a community that make it work at the end of the day.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And when you're not doing all of them, you're you're in one piece is missing or two pieces are missing. You're not gonna see the success that you wanna see.

Greg Mills: Okay. Now you're a force of one. What are some of, what are some of the tools that you use, to kind of propel yourself forward?

Lindsay Pinchuk: So some of the like online tools that I love and I cannot do my business without first and foremost is Canva.

Lindsay Pinchuk: So Canva is like a, like having a graphic designer in your pocket. It's a drag and drop system I've been using it for years. Probably since it started and it is my best friend. It is how I create so many assets for my podcast. And for my, you know, my personal like Lindsay Pinchuk account. Amazing. I have templates there that I literally just changed the copy and I push 'em out and that's it.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Later is another one later is a, a scheduler for social media. And basically like I have all of my platforms plugged in. My TikTok is not plugged in, but my Twitter, my Facebook, my Instagram, my LinkedIn, and then my second Instagram are all plugged into later. And so when I go to schedule the social media, as I was sharing with you before.

Lindsay Pinchuk: I sit down and I'm, it really helps me to be able to repurpose the content and schedule it right then and there so that I don't have to worry about it on all of my platforms. I would, I would die without later and CAMBA, I love both of those tools. And then I would say QuickBooks, and this is really important.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And I'm, and I'm admittedly not a QuickBook expert by any stretch of the imagination. And I have a bookkeeper. I found a bookkeeper for small business that fits within my budget. And it's the best money I spend every month. It's like a few hundred dollars a month and it is the best money that I spend because I am not good at this stuff.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And I, and I know that. And when you recognize what you're not good at, and you're able to outsource that, that is really big. And so I would really, as an entrepreneur, look to the places where you can outsource, and that is a tool. It is a tool to help you move forward. But but QuickBooks is a big one.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And I think a lot of there are a lot of like entrepreneurs, especially in the content creation space right now that don't believe or think that they need like software like that. And you do, please don't keep your expenses in a Google spreadsheet because that's not a, that's not a good use of anyone's time or money or bandwidth.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And if you have questions, there are bookkeepers out there that will fit your budget. I guarantee you.

Greg Mills: Okay. What's been the most difficult part of owning your own business.

Lindsay Pinchuk: This one or the last one?

Greg Mills: We'll stay with this one.

Lindsay Pinchuk: You know, the most difficult thing for me right now is.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Getting used to being on my own again because I was on my own with bump club and about a year in, I hired my first employee. And by the time I sold, I had I think, eight or nine full-time employees. And then I had a handful of contractors that were working for me in various capacities. And we had a bunch of part-time moms that were helping.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And so, you know, I really had an amazing team to lean on. And then I went to a corporation with my company and was able to. You know, lean on their resources and lean on the team I had there. And now I am back to being a, so entrepreneur, which is fine because I actually do not wanna be managing anyone, but it's, you know, understanding my own limits and capacity so that I'm not overextending myself because I, I have a tendency to do that.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And to really Focus on what it is I need to do to move the needle forward every day and to recognize where I can and ask when, where, where I can and should ask for help and actually asking for the help. But it's, it's, it's hard after 10 years of having a team to not have a team anymore. And so that's kind of been the biggest thing for me.

Greg Mills: What was your first hire the position at bump club and why?

Lindsay Pinchuk: So my first hire. I don't even remember what we called her, to be very honest with you. But I, she came to me she was a recent graduate student and we had a connection and she called me and she said, you know, I'm so, and so I'm friends with, so, and so I, I, I heard you could use some help.

Lindsay Pinchuk: I heard you're doing some really great things for expectant moms at the time. I, I think, I don't think I had had my daughter yet, or maybe I had just, I think maybe I had just had her and she said, She said to me, I have no work experience because I went to summer camp my entire life, and I need to get some experience.

Lindsay Pinchuk: I will do anything for you. And I said, okay, said, let me hire you hourly. And I hired her to. Literally slept for me. I mean, she was like my, she would take food and drinks to the events. She would like set things up for me so that I could just show up at the event and not have to be there early. Cause I had a kid at home and within a very short amount of time, it became apparent that we totally clicked.

Lindsay Pinchuk: We worked really well together. and she, I knew was looking for a full-time job and she said, I know I'm looking for a full-time job, but I really just wanna work for you. And so I busted my butt to get a big corporate sponsorship and I did, and then I hired her and she ended up being like my event coordinator.

Lindsay Pinchuk: So that's kind of what she started as, and she moved into being my event director. Eventually she worked for me for six years.

Greg Mills: That was a very successful first hire. Yes. Okay, let's get ready to wrap this up. Are there any final words of wisdom that you'd like to share about community building?

Lindsay Pinchuk: You know, I would just really, I cannot emphasize enough just be yourself and be true to your ideals and don't try to be, I know it kind of sounds hokey and cliche, but I think it's really hard today to. To look at social media, no matter where you're looking, whether it's LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, whatever, and not feel a little bit of imposter syndrome or inadequacy, or like, oh, well, I should be doing that.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Cuz she's doing that. Tune out the noise and focus on yourself and just be yourself. I am a part of of something that happened in the last week. And, and I, if you want, I'll share this story because it was, it's really been amazing to watch this community grow. So, and I don't know when this is gonna air.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Do you know when it's gonna air

Greg Mills: this will air first week of August.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Okay, so it will still be relevant. So mm-hmm so LA I, I li, like I said earlier, I live outside of Highland park, Illinois, and and we had an unimaginable tragedy occur in my town on the 4th of July. And I'm sure you saw on the news.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And many people I know were affected and impacted. Many of my friends were there and there was a mom who lives in a town over from where I live. And she said last Wednesday, I've had it I've had enough. And she, she got on social media and she said, let's go to DC. And she showed up unapologetically as herself on social media.

Lindsay Pinchuk: I think she had less than a thousand followers and she said, let's go to DC. Who's with me. Well, Everyone was like me. And five days later I'm on her planning committee and five days later, we are, we spent the whole day today. I was not in DC, but I'm behind the scenes meeting with people on the hill.

Lindsay Pinchuk: We're we have a rally tomorrow of over 500 people who are going from Chicago to DC and this community has come out. Of a very unfortunate tragedy, but because someone was willing to take a stance and stand up and say F this, like, we need to make a change. And she was just herself. And it's funny because she said to me a couple times, like, am I doing okay?

Lindsay Pinchuk: You know, I don't wanna offend anyone. I'm still learning. And my, my advice back to her is no, like, keep doing what you're doing because you showed up as you. And you have thousands of people following you now. And I'm not gonna say that that's gonna always happen, but what I've seen in the last five days stems from literally someone showing up being themself.

Lindsay Pinchuk: And that's how I built my first business.

Greg Mills: Something like that resonates with people because she's not doing it for followers, she's doing it for altruistic reasons.

Lindsay Pinchuk: But when I first started my business, I wasn't doing it for followers. Oh, there was no. Yeah. But so, but right. But what I'm saying is don't do it for followers.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Show up authentically show up as yourself when you don't worry about those things. The followers come, people want to connect with people. Yeah. That's what they.

Greg Mills: What's the number one piece of advice that you can give for our listeners.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Just do it, honestly, just do it. It's never the right time. It's never gonna be perfect.

Lindsay Pinchuk: You're always gonna have an excuse, but just do it and go for it. Because if you don't, you will regret it and ask yourself, what's the worst that happens. Right. And you can live with it, then you need to move forward.

Greg Mills: What's the best way for people to check you out and get in touch with you, Lindsay.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Follow me on Instagram at Lindsay pin.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Chuck it's me. It's not a virtual assistant. I answer every single DM that comes in. You can also visit me at Lindsay pin, chuck.com. I'm on LinkedIn as well. But and all of my contact information and email stuff is on both my website and my Instagram.

Greg Mills: We'll have that in the show notes as well.

Greg Mills: All right, well, that's a wrap. Thank you Lindsay, for being my guest on entrepreneurs over.

Lindsay Pinchuk: Thank you so much, Greg. It's so nice meeting you and thank you for the awesome conversation. Thank you.

Lindsay S Pinchuk Profile Photo

Lindsay S Pinchuk

Founder + CEO

Lindsay Pinchuk is an award-winning entrepreneur, consultant, community builder, connector, storyteller, expert marketer, social media maven, spokesperson, on-air expert, small business champion, and Mom.

With $500 in her pocket and a baby in her belly, she left a high-powered job as a magazine publishing executive and founded her first company, Bump Club and Beyond --- a community of resources, support, and educational tools for millions of parents and parents-to-be across the country. She turned a profit in year one, growing her company to 7-figures in revenue each year and her community to over 3MM users. Less than a decade later she led her company through its acquisition to a large agency holding company.
Lindsay’s lent her expertise to 200+ television segments, given interviews on 40+ podcasts and has been featured or contributed to stories in Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Parents.com, Babycenter.com, “The Doctors,” “Access Live,” The Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Magazine and many more as both as a parenting/lifestyle expert, AND as an entrepreneur/small business expert.
Today, Lindsay offers both consulting and coaching services for individuals and brands, to build, grow and monetize their communities, and igniting their success both on and offline through content, social media, partnerships and email marketing strategies.
You can also find her behind the mic interviewing some of the most incredible female founders she knows during her twice weekly podcast, Dear FoundHer…