Spotlight On: Community Leader Kate Neschke

At Mightybell, we work closely with the Levo League to power a thriving community of 23 Local Levo Chapters in various cities around the world. Each Local Levo Chapter on Mightybell supports the core mission of the Levo League — to provide young professional women with the advice, support and tools they need to successfully elevate their careers.

Meet Kate from Local Levo Seattle

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The Seattle chapter of Local Levo is a bit different from what you’ll find in other cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C. or New York. For one, Seattle is a city of transplants. And as Kate learned early on, a community like this is exactly what a city of transplants needs.

Local Levo Seattle launched in the Fall of 2012, but it took a while for the momentum to grow. Members started connecting with each other around casual happy hours in the city, but they soon realized the value of using their Mightybell Circle for more than just event planning. When Kate actively encouraged her members to start posting about their own needs and career questions in the Circle, the community really took off.

"Identify members who are excited to post articles and share their own events, and empower them to post regularly. Once someone breaks the seal, amazing conversations will happen."

Local Levo Seattle is now 200+ members strong and growing. We asked Kate to share tips for organizing community and what she’s learned.

Do you have a favorite moment from leading the Local Levo Seattle Circle? 

My all-time favorite story happened when someone new to Seattle reached out to the Local Levo group looking for an apartment or a roommate. She posted in the Circle what she was looking for and everyone responded with so many amazing offers and advice. She ended up finding a great place to live through the community. As a leader, it felt awesome to sit back and watch everyone connect and help each other out! 

Any advice for planning Circle events?

Plan your events early! The first year we took a very organic approach with planning and engagement was a bit lower because it was hard to find a time when more than just a few people could show up. We sat down at the beginning of this year and calendared out 8 dates for the entire year, including our book club meetings every 3 months. This way everyone can plan ahead and you will always have a core group there.

Don’t forget to also be mindful of where people live, especially if you have members who live outside of the city like we do. Make it so they won’t be driving home too late. I also recommend mixing up events and locations — don’t just do happy hours or brunches. We kicked off the year with a Pure Barre class combined with a goal setting workshop and it was a huge hit.

Best thing about using Mightybell?

We love how beautiful and intuitive Mightybell is, and how easy it is to differentiate between posts and events. Because we’re part of the larger Local Levo community on Mightybell, being able to see community posts and events shared directly into our Circle has been invaluable. We rely a lot on being able to learn about Office Hours events or read new Levo League articles right in our Circle. 

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Want to know more?

To learn more about the Levo League, visit their website and find your Local Levo Chapter on Mightybell to meet other members in your city.

You can also sign up for our newsletter and we’ll occasionally send out stories from our members and a heads up about new features.

Have a Mightybell story to tell? Let us know. We would love to hear from you.



Say Hello to the New Feed + New Features

You may have noticed some big changes recently on Mightybell. A few weeks ago we introduced updated navigation along the left and a new look for Collections that makes it easier than ever to organize your Posts.

Today we’re excited to introduce a new (more familiar) way to see all the great stuff people are sharing and doing across your Mightybell Community. With the new feed you can see at a glance who recently joined, quickly share a new thought, or add a comment to an ongoing conversation.

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Here are a few of our favorite features:

Introduce Yourself

The new post box in the upper left corner lets you quickly introduce yourself with a new Post. This is the perfect opportunity to share a bit more about why you joined or what you hope to learn in the group.

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Welcome Someone New

Joining a new community and meeting new people can sometimes be a bit intimidating. Welcome someone new with a cheer or a message in the feed.

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Ask a Question or Share a Thought

You can also use the new post box to ask a question in your Circle or out to the Community. Want to simply share a thought? Add it to the feed from the post box so everyone can cheer or comment on what you shared.

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Always Access Your Posts

The new navigation along the left is designed to make it easy to always find what you need, whether it’s that indispensable resource or a video shared from the Community.

We’re thrilled to bring you these new updates, and as always we welcome your feedback. Want to know as soon as new features are announced? Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll occasionally share stories from our members and a heads up about what’s new.



With Skillcrush, it’s more than just a class. It’s community.

It’s no secret that we love Skillcrush. Their unique approach to tech and online education is unlike anything else out there. More than just teaching coding classes, they’re building a community around learning that continues long after each session is over.

Mightybell is incorporated into every Skillcrush session right from the beginning. When a student signs up, they’re invited to join a private Circle where they can access class materials, post questions and chat with other students. In classes that often include well over a hundred students who are spread across the globe, the Circle is key for keeping everyone connected.

Meet Randle

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After finishing up her graduate studies in English Literature, Randle Browning was looking for her next big project. Skillcrush 101 offered an easy way to get started in tech, and she loved the short sessions and one-on-one time with instructors. Now she’s tackling more advanced programming languages in Skillcrush 102 and using these new skills to manage her food blog and build portfolio websites (like her own!).

We asked her to share more about why Mightybell works:

It’s private, safe and supportive. Everyone in the Circle is there because they’re at the same experience level and part of the same class. This, plus the fact that every class is private and invite-only, means that students can feel safe about asking questions.

The community keeps you motivated. When you’re learning together with a group of like-minded people, it’s a lot easier to stay on track. Randle’s advice for anyone joining a Skillcrush class is simple: "Don’t quit, even when it seems hard!" She recommends checking in daily to see how far along the other students are and what they might be struggling with. Chances are someone has already encountered the same issues you have.

You’re automatically part of the larger Skillcrush community. After she finished her first 101 class, Randle knew she needed a way to stay in contact with the people she’d just met. Mightybell makes that easy — everyone continues to share ideas, network and chat about their upcoming projects in the Skillcrush Alumni Circle. 

"Being in the class with other people makes it easy to ask questions and stay on track. Without that one-on-one feedback, I probably would have quit."

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More from Mightybell & Skillcrush

Want to get our community building tips delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll occasionally share stories from our members and a heads up about new features.

Have a Mightybell story to tell? Let us know! We would love to hear from you.

You can also check out how the Skillcrush team use Mightybell on our blog. The next sessions for Skillcrush 101: How to Get Started in Tech and Skillcrush 102: Learn JavaScript start February 10.



5 Tips to Kick Off Community in 2014

As we gear up for the new year with new personal goals and professional goals, it’s also the perfect time to plan out your Circle’s goals (no matter how big or small they might be).

We recently caught up with Jessie Ott, one of our most inspiring Circle leaders on Mightybell, to get some tips on how to grow your community and keep the momentum going in 2014.

Meet Jessie

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Jessie started the North Dallas Lean In Circle with a small group of women and a kickoff event in May. Their Circle is part of the Lean In Community on Mightybell, a network of small peer groups that meet regularly to learn and share together.

Lean In Circles come in all shapes and sizes. While LeanIn.Org recommends groups of 8–12 members, some Circles have grown to be much larger. After her Circle grew to over 140 members in 2013, Jessie learned a few things about how to get everyone motivated and organize events large and small throughout the year. 

1. Monthly meetings are key. Plan ahead and schedule your monthly gatherings for the year well in advance so that everyone can get each date on the calendar. Don’t feel the need to have every detail or topic for the meetings set in stone already, it’s important simply to have everyone come together on a regular basis.

2. Post it, share it out and post it again. Jessie posts each event into the Circle, and then sends out 2 to 3 reminders each month. She also makes sure to share information about their events out to different email lists and groups as a way to bring in new members.

3. Invite people from all ages and backgrounds to speak at events and share their stories. In November, the North Dallas Lean In Circle hosted a panel event with several guest speakers. The panelists were a mix of men and women spanning five generations and various backgrounds and each shared their story. The event was so successful that every single guest speaker wants to come back for future events.

"Our group is about real world issues and real people out there who are finding success and want to give back and share their stories."

4. Cultivate your core group. Jessie has a smaller group of core members who attend every event, and these members are key to making big events and small get-togethers happen every month. With a large group, many members won’t be able to make it to everything, so use your Mightybell Circle to keep the conversations going.

5. Document your Circle’s stories. At one of their recent events, a friend brought along a camera and captured everyone’s stories. With a little editing help, they put together a video that can be shared with friends and other Circles in the Lean In Community.

"Mightybell is the home base for our Circle. With over 140 members, it’s important to have a place where members can connect and we can get the word out about the amazing speakers who come to our meetings and share their stories."

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Inspired by her story?

A huge thanks to Jessie and the awesome women in her Circle for sharing their tips. Want to get our community building tips delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll occasionally share stories from our members and a heads up about new features.

Have a Mightybell story to tell? Let us know! We would love to hear from you.



Secrets to Shop Small Success

Shop Small Neighborhood Circles are buzzing after a stellar day on November 30 celebrating Small Business Saturday. Small business owners across the country are sharing what they learned and how they plan to keep the momentum going into the busy holiday season.

We chatted with a Shop Small veteran about the secrets to her group’s success this year and how important it is to connect with — and learn from — the other small business owners in your community.

Meet Lisa from Sauk Valley Shop Small

As the owner of Distinctive Gardens in Dixon, Illinois and the co-coordinator of Sauk Valley Shop Small (connecting 36 local business owners year-round), Lisa has been an active part of the Shop Small movement over the last three years.

How did her shop manage to see their biggest day of the year this past Saturday? Lisa collaborates with the small business owners in her area to create a shopping experience that is more about community and less about one-day deals.

"Developing relationships with other small business owners and with our community members is the core of Sauk Valley Shop Small."

Here are Lisa’s tips for creating Shop Small success year-round:

  • Set up a place online for the small business owners in your community to connect. Everyone is short on time, so make it easy for people to collaborate, chat and share plans for cross-promotional events throughout the year. 
  • Learn from each other. Beyond just planning events, share best practices. For example, the Sauk Valley Shop Small group often shares resources for how to best utilize different social media channels to reach their customers. 
  • Organize meetups with other members, even if they only happen twice a year. In person meetups are the best way to get everyone motivated about participating in events like Shop Small Saturday. 
  • Reach out to as many people as you can across other communities and industries. Talk to other small business owners in the Shop Small Neighborhood Circles Community to find out what they are doing and try to replicate that success in your city. 
  • Survey the other small business owners in your group after a big event. Ask your members what marketing efforts worked and how much traffic they saw during the event. Following Shop Small Saturday this year, Lisa sent out a survey to all 36 members of Sauk Valley Shop Small. The numbers are still rolling in, but well over half saw a huge increase in sales and foot traffic over last year! 

Want to know more?

Shop Small Neighborhood Circles on Mightybell are bringing small business owners together to share ideas, get inspired and organize events that support shopping small in their local communities year-round.



Meet the Members of CEO BootCamp Philadelphia

Following the OPEN for Women: CEO BootCamp kickoff event and the launch of CEO BootCamp Circles on Mightybell, we’ve heard some incredible stories about how you continue to inspire one another and learn from each other.

Meet Colleen & Yolanda

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When Colleen Mook of Baby Be Hip & Yolanda Coleman of Team Tutor started their CEO Bootcamp Circle in Philadelphia they decided early on to create a collaborative environment focused around confidentiality and support. Their first meeting of eight members was a huge success and ended with everyone excited to plan the next event.

Here’s what they learned:

  • Have a structured meeting agenda, but allow flexibility for discussion topics to evolve. Their initial idea to talk about marketing tactics turned into members sharing obstacles related to their current marketing and sales efforts.
  • At the first meeting, make time for everyone to speak about their business and professional goals, but also encourage members to share something personal.
  • Bring an inspirational piece to each meeting that members can take home. Colleen brought a favorite article with 10 tips for success and members took turns reading them aloud.
  • Encourage everyone to have an accountability partner — whether that person is your husband, your best friend, or a family member — and check in regularly.
  • Let members share their feedback with a short questionnaire. This can be confidential, and it’s a great way to learn more about what’s working in the Circle and the topics members want to discuss.
  • Give everyone a small task for the next meeting. For their next event, Colleen & Yolanda asked members to bring one new tip or resource to share.

"Our inaugural CEO Bootcamp Philly meetup was a huge success! It was great collaborating with a great group of innovative business owners. Ideas and personal business experiences were flying around the table. I look forward to meeting more amazing woman CEOs in our community!"

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