Mor Cohen is one of our Facebook community moderators, as well as a web designer with over 20 years of experience. In our podcast, she talks about the challenges of running a successful community and provides useful insights.
Mor Cohen is the owner and lead designer of FlixFrame.com, a successful branding and web design agency. She has also created an online course, where she teaches web professionals how to create a style guide and how to use it as a roadmap for building beautifully branded websites.
In addition to all this, Mor is one of the administrators of our Facebook community. She has over 20 years of experience as a branding, graphics, and web designer. She started out as a graphic designer when it was still called ‘Desktop Publisher’.
Listen to the full interview, and read about the major takeaways.
Interactions Between Community Members Are an Essential Part of the Product Ecosystem
Mor’s introduction to the world of online communities happened a little before she joined Elementor’s community. However, the communities she was part of were not as welcoming or as friendly to beginners. She encountered an atmosphere of “We have been doing this for a long time, so we know better”. It was uncomfortable to ask questions or to express opinions because people are made to feel inadequate.
But when Mor found Elementor and GeneratePress and joined the groups, right away everything felt differently to her, very welcoming. People were nice, no one was an expert and no one was considered better than anyone else. She feels that the interactions between the community members are such an important part of the tool itself.
How Managing a Community Contributes to You
Mor became a moderator fairly early on thanks to her online activity and the support she provided to members of the community. But what motivated her to join as an admin?
As she says, helping someone from the community feels very fulfilling: “I think if people look at it as how lucky we are that we have the phone-a-friend function every day, all day, all year, where if we have a problem, we can just post. And there will always be someone there to help us. Or the other way around, if we see someone is stuck and we can help them, then how rewarding is that?”
People will never be successful if they don’t help others first. That’s a fact. I think Seth Godin said that if we have the opportunity to stick to people who are good, who are giving, who are open, honest, sharing, and willing to help, why would we go with people who are not? … People will not work with takers. They will work with givers.”
We’re are all a community and there is enough work for everyone. Trust me. And we don’t need to fight over clients. We don’t need to fight over information. If we share with each other, if we help each other, we all grow individually. I think it sounds like a lofty idea, but I think in reality it works, and I can tell you for myself it works. I don’t participate in groups thinking what am I going to get out of it, but that’s a byproduct that people know me and trust me. And I’m so grateful for this opportunity.
3 Types of Community Members
Mor divides Elementor’s community members into 2 basic types:
“We have the people who are completely new to web design, that don’t even know what WordPress is … They start from zero and it can be overwhelming and it can be terrifying because they don’t even know the basic stuff, which is okay because we all started somewhere. I’m yet to meet a person that was born a web designer. We all start somewhere. So we have that group of people who either use the free version or they get the paid version and they are just starting out. I really appreciate when they come in and they ask questions because it can be really intimidating. And I think these are the people that I like to help the most because I think that every little bit will make such a big difference to how they work and how they progress and learn.
The second group includes people who are more experienced, who maybe come from using a different tool. And their challenges are different because they want to know how to integrate ACF or PODS or other things, or how to connect their email marketing tools. And that’s a different level.
And then we have people who are seasoned Elementor users and I’m so happy when I see people who are really experienced and knowledgeable at helping other people. I think that really is the key to the success of the tool and the community.”
Zero Tolerance for Bullies
Aside from being a moderator in the Elementor group, Mor is a moderator of another Elementor group, and she also has her own group.
Mor’s important message is that we need to be inclusive of everyone:
“We need to make sure that people feel welcome, that no one is judging them. No one is bullying them. No one is making fun of their questions. I think that when we do that when we create an atmosphere of cooperation, I think this is just the surest way of success for individual people and for the group in general.
There is no justification for someone being a bully, being disrespectful or using foul language. I can’t imagine if we were sitting face to face and not behind a computer screen that people would even consider using foul language for no apparent reason. So why would it be different when we are online? So I’m very strict with that. You know that. I will not tolerate anyone using foul language, being disrespectful, bullying or belittling anyone. I have zero tolerance for that.”
Advice for Young Web Designers
As a designer with extensive experience, Mor thinks the most important thing is to stop working for people and instead start working WITH people:
“It means that we need to be like a team. We need to examine their audience. We need to look at what challenges they have and how that influences the design. It’s all about who is going to be the target audience of that website. And I think for people who are starting out, they’re so focused on just learning how to build sites, and that’s not the first thing they need to do. They need to learn to listen and they need to talk to their clients. And I know it’s easier said than done because when you’re starting out, you just want to get as many projects in as you can, but it’s not always for the best, because not every client is right for you and not every website is a good fit for you.
I think that we as business owners, owe it to ourselves and to our clients to be extremely honest, open, and transparent with what we do. So everybody’s on the same page and not have anything creep up in the middle of the project, because this is the surest way of having things go wrong.
So I think if you’re starting out, even though your automatic inclination is to have as many projects as you can for any budget and for anything, don’t do that. In the long run, it will not serve you well. Just be careful with whom you work, how much you charge because this is really important and please don’t work for free.”