Building a Community in a Learning Business with Mighty Networks: Interview with Jen Polk

I got to interview the fabulous Jen Polk of Beyond the Professoriate and Self-Employed PhD about how she’s building community in those two brands. What I found really interesting about what she’s doing is that she is using different platforms for each of those brands.

Want to Build a Community? Here are some key takeaways:

  • You may want to check out Mighty Networks if you want something pretty, user friendly, and ready to go right out of the box. If you don’t need a lot of customization this option is even better.
  • If you need customization, you may want to see what a plugin or customized development can do for you.
  • In any case, engagement is key—play around with different formats and ideas to get people to engage with one another and with the content you post.
  • Get feedback from members about structure and content.

Check out what Jen’s doing:

Self-Employed PhD 

Beyond the Professoriate (along with her business partner, L. Maren Wood)


Watch the Whole Interview


As a follow up to this interview, I’ll be on Facebook Live again on Monday, June 18 at 4 pm to test out Mighty Networks in real time. To watch just head to the Learning in Bloom Facebook page at that time.

Some of the things I’ll be looking at are:

  • How to post topics and threads
  • Types of polls/interactive elements
  • Courses (they just launched this feature)
  • Searchability
  • How quickly and easy it is to set up
  • The live event feature—this is one of the things that I’m most excited about since the ability to interact with people live is something that is crucial in community building
  • How to organize members
  • Payment options (subscriptions, coupons, etc.)
  • What kind of content can be added (can I embed forms from Jotform, or courses from Rise?)
  • And a whole bunch of other questions that I am sure will come up…

Have suggestions for other Facebook Live events? Send me your ideas! 

Building a community in a learning business with Jen Polk