In 2010, Jill Salzman started The Founding Moms. The company is the first and only of its kind: a community of business women who come together to exchange, connect and learn from one another. In 2013, Founding Moms was named one of Forbes’ Top 10 Websites for Women Entrepreneurs and in 2015, it was named a Top 100 Website for Entrepreneurs.
With its global reach, The Founding Moms is a space where women with diverse backgrounds and experiences share their stories and tips for surviving in today's competitive world. With a subscription these women are able to learn from renowned experts and develop strong personal and professional connections in order to develop lasting businesses of their own.
How did Jill grow The Founding Moms from an idea to one of the world's premier destinations for female entrepreneurs? She produces incredible videos, articles, and other online resources. And her offline meetups are amazing. But the #1 thing that has allowed The Founding Moms to grow... according to Jill... is webinars.
“I love webinars! They've been the number one thing that has grown my business."
Jill Salzman, Founder, The Founding Moms
Today, the company consists of 12,000+ mom entrepreneur subscribers who rely on the community to provide a network to learn, share knowledge, pollenate and provide opportunities.
The Founding Moms' brand identity is Jill Salzman. She is the face to the name that creates the community's appeal. Jill's personality--which jumps off the page-- is no doubt the reason for the company's success. But it's a double-edged sword, as an inability to scale Jill could be the company's biggest impediment to growth.
If the company wanted to scale beyond a local meetup group in a single location, or several meetup groups in cities that Jill is able to travel to, then scaling Jill would be crucial. With a few thousand members, the company did aspire to scale globally, so it had to create a new playbook. We tend to agree with Jill that the best way to reach an audience is face-to-face, but in many cases, face-to-face doesn't scale.
It simply becomes too time-consuming and cost-prohibitive to host meetups every day, every week, around the world. And even if Jill were traveling 365 days of the year, she can't be in two places at once. So webinars for Jill ended up being the next best thing. Webinars gave Jill a way to be many places at once, while replicating some of the benefits of live connection that face time provides. For The Founding Moms, BigMarker's webinar software helped it scale the things it does really well in local meetups: build trust, deliver value to members, and foster a sense of community.
For Jill and The Founding Moms, interactivity is a necessity, so using webinar software that only shows a host speaking at an audience, or allowing attendees to anonymously submit questions isn’t enough. Part of The Founding Moms' recipe for successful webinars is encouraging and empowering members the ability to engage, enhancing learning, and making the experience more enjoyable for everyone. There's a substantial business benefit to this approach as well: the membership becomes more valuable, and more subscribers who attend webinars become loyal fans.
“The interactivity of BigMarker is my favorite. It’s really awkward to be talking at a screen for an hour and not hear any feedback, so it’s fantastic to have this chat room. It's one of my favorite features."
For Jill and The Founding Moms, interactivity is a necessity, so using webinar software that only shows a host speaking at an audience wasn't going to cut it. Participation from members creates engagement, enhances learning, and makes the experience more enjoyable for everyone, so making the membership worth it, and turning subscribers into loyal fans.
Hosting a live webinar can be awkward, so thoughtful features like the chat room makes a world of a difference. In Jill's webinars, community members are consistently chiming in, encouraging her, adding their two cents, and moving the discussion forward. Jill's events are less like a seminar, and more like a variety show. She even spices things up with costumes and props, and as you'd suspect, people love it.
“There are hundreds of people on each of my webinars now, which is amazing, and it's a testament to BigMarker because everything is so automated and easy! A lot of people email me now and say, "I missed the webinar; I'd love to watch the replay." And all I have to say to them is go check your email!”
Since The Founding Moms began working with BigMarker, their webinars have grown from tens to hundreds of people attending each live session, with many thousands more tuning in to replays later on-demand. Subscribers describe The Founding Moms' webinars as memorable and highly beneficial for their own personal businesses.
“Between the great customer support and my attendees saying that they love it, they had an easy time, or, "Jill, this was a fun webinar!" -- it’s been fantastic! I love it!”
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