Case Study: Helen Rebello on how her community project clarified her message and launched her podcast

I feel like this project is the gift that keeps giving, because it’s now a real podcast. And I get messages all the time from people who talk about how it’s impacted them or touched something in them. There are people in my circle who say that listening to the stories literally changed their life.
— Helen Rebello

I had the huge pleasure of interviewing Helen about her experience of running her community project, and you can watch the video of our conversation below. However, if you prefer to read, or you’re short on time, scroll down to find a shorter, written version.

Helen Rebello has been described as The Queen of Mellow, and with good reason! Her superpower is helping people find calm from chaos, by helping them get out of their heads back into their hearts and connect to who they are and what they're here for.

She runs The Magical Life Membership programme, and is the author of The Magical Unfolding: 8 Magical Processes for Peace, Potential and Purpose. Her community project The Turning Point took shape as a pop-up podcast in April 2019.

I have known Helen online for years, and I was thrilled to bits when she signed up for one of my Blueprint Sessions.

Why a community project?

The desire to reach more people with her business was a strong motivator for Helen to run a community project, but she also wanted to find a way to communicate the value of her work.

Helen says: “I knew I had a desire to reach more people, I knew that I was planning to create my first online Circle so it was really important to me to find a way to attract the people that the Circle would serve into my world. I was looking for a way to expand my reach and find those people.

“The Circle was really building upon my book that I had released earlier. I wanted to find a way to make that work more tangible, which I knew there was a need for, but I didn't know how to communicate the value of that need. It can be quite intangible to communicate how valuable it is for us all to press pause and stop and be introspective.

“So I took all of that jumble and spoke to you. And I think I'd already had an idea to do a pop-up podcast, but you helped me hone what it would be about, and actually combined my two different aims. You helped me bring together my desire to reach more people for the Circle, and then the nature of the podcast project became an incredible tool for communicating the value of this work.

“I love how it all kind of joined up together.”

Before we began

Like many of my clients, Helen describes herself as a ‘multi-passionate creator’, with ideas popping into her head at a million miles an hour, so understandably she was concerned about the amount of structure and follow-through needed to pull off a project like this.

She says: “I am really, really good at getting ideas, at following breadcrumb trails, or listening to my intuition. I'm good at just following my curiosity, following what lights me up, but I am not so good at structuring things and following through with things. If they stop lighting me up along the way, I'll get bored and move on.

“I don't know how you do it, but because you're incredibly structured and organized, and you’ve created a framework that really, really works, it was all there for me. You also have a really amazing and quite unique ability to tap into the essence of what matters to people, and what's unique about them, and what what they're here to share. You have a way of drawing that out, that's really gentle and lovely and kind of magical.

“You're really good at holding space, but you're also good at boundaries and offering accountability and it's quite a phenomenal combination of skills!”

“I don’t want to be ‘shouty’”

Helen was also concerned about being perceived as ‘shouty’ or ‘in people’s faces’ too much. She (like many of us sensitive, introverted types) is completely turned off by sleazy online marketing tactics, so she was hyper-aware of coming across in this way.

She put it like this: ”The thought of putting myself out there and being perceived in any way to be shouty is something that would always concern me. So I definitely would have held back from doing anything like that on my own, because I wouldn't know how to go about it without feeling icky or squirmy about it all, like I was in people's faces.”

When I asked her if she actually felt like that when she was talking about the project, she responded: “Of course, I didn’t! Not at all. Because you are a genius, and you helped me hone in on the right language, on why it mattered to me and what I really felt about it.

“I am all heart, everything I do comes from the heart. So once I felt the value in that, and really connected with why it was important to me to talk about the stuff we were talking about on the podcast, then it became easy because it was just coming from a genuine desire to express something in my heart and share it with people. And that took all of the ickiness away. But I wouldn't have tapped into that if you hadn't helped me.”

And the results?

Helen was thrilled with the impact her project has had on her business and her community, and I can see why. I’ll let her tell you in her own words:

“I'm not overly attached to numbers and all that jazz. It’s far more important for me to have genuine connections. But for those who are into numbers, I added a good 250 people to my email list in the space of a month, and it’s continued to grow. In terms of Instagram (which is my introvert happy place) I have significantly increased my people on there as well.

“But what’s really happened is a big shift in the behind-the-scenes stuff. So I’m having lots of DM conversations, lots of virtual coffee dates, and that sort of thing. I turned the project into a real podcast, because I wanted to keep it going, and now I get (and this blows my mind) messages from people pitching to me to be on the podcast! Amazing. I can't believe that.

“I actually feel it's helped people to understand where I'm coming from more, with my work, and it's definitely given me more confidence. It's helped me to take ownership of what I'm here to say and share. And that’s huge.

“What also has staggered me with it is that, I have a book, like I said, and I didn't overtly refer to it during the project, because it wasn't about that. But I got the sales report from the publisher, and there was a huge spike while the project was running. And the month after as well. That's something I really didn't think would happen, but I don't think I could have found a better way to show up as me and get people familiar with me.”

Who would you recommend running a community project to?

I was curious to find out what sort of business Helen thought would benefit from running a community project, and here’s what she said:

“Any online business that is interested in people connecting with people, inspiring people, creating a community in any capacity, or provoking thought and curiosity by deep-diving into subjects.

“Anybody with a with an online element to their business, where they have a community that they want to engage more, or they want to build their community in a really genuine, nourishing way that gives back to that community as much as it gives to the person running the project.

“It’s an amazing relationship builder. Because every community project involves lots and lots of different people being willing to contribute something, so it creates and cultivates deeper connections. It fosters and creates this amazing sense of collaboration and conversation. And that’s priceless.”

Final thoughts

Finally, I asked Helen what her advice would be to anyone who was thinking about hiring me to help them with a community project.

Helen says: “I think you know what I'd say. Just do it! Just do it, because you will not regret it. Ever. You will be so glad that you did. And you don't just get to run a community project with a great deal of support and help and collaboration. You also get to spend time with an amazing woman, who will help you bring out bits of yourself you didn't even know were there. It will enhance you personally as well as professionally, and you'll have a great time while you're doing it.”

Wow! What an accolade. Helen was an absolute delight to work with, and I highly recommend you go and check out her work. You can find her website here, and listen to the podcast birthed from The Turning Point project here.

Thank you so much, Helen, for sharing your experience with us, and I can’t wait to see what happens for you in the future.

And if Helen’s experience has got you thinking about a community project for your own business, then why not head over here to see how I can help.