S04 E02: How to Take Your IRL Community Digital with Istiana Bestari and Rachel Wong, Co-Founders of Monday Girl


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Why is it so difficult to meet other cool women? Rachel Wong and Istiana Bestari asked themselves this over and over again while attempting to make meaningful connections through boring networking events and male-dominated workplaces. Intent on finding a better way to build their careers, they cofounded Monday Girl, Canada’s first social club for professional women. With over 4,000 active members and more than 18 sold-out venues featuring industry icons, Monday Girl is now the fastest-growing community for ambitious, young, and like-minded professional women in Canada. Starting out as an event series, Monday Girl has expanded into a fully-fledged digital ecosystem that includes a newsletter, social media communities and, most recently, a podcast. In today’s episode, Rachel and Istiana share some stories from the early days of Monday Girl and explain how they hosted great events that people actually wanted to show up to. We also touch on why networking sucks when there is so much power in connection, building content streams like a great newsletter and a podcast, and why email is more relevant than ever (trust us, it is!), as well as why the nine-to-five working model is slowly but surely being rendered obsolete and Rachel and Istiana’s thoughts on a better approach to work. Tune in today to learn more!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Rachel shares how she met Istiana and how they work from different cities.
  • What Monday Girl is, who it was created for, and how it works for young, diverse women.
  • Their new membership platform, Social Club, and how the name, Monday Girl, originated.
  • Monday Club’s audience and why they decided to keep their focus local to Canada.
  • How Rachel and Istiana create content using community feedback.
  • Istiana reflects on the quantitative engagement and qualitative value of their content.
  • Advice for those intimidated by Reels: how to capture attention in the first three seconds.
  • Rachel explains why Monday Girl decided to build a more informal email newsletter.
  • Why email is more relevant than ever; engaging on a more personal level than social media.
  • Tips for launching a compelling newsletter, starting with making it a joy to open.
  • Hear the story of Monday Girl’s first event, which was so much more than just a brunch!
  • The value of inviting incredible speakers and how their events have evolved during COVID.
  • How Social Club works to make building a career far less boring (and less lonely).
  • Creating safe spaces for diverse women, connecting them with mentors that look like them, and making them aware of the opportunities available.
  • Learn about Monday Girl’s upcoming podcast, TGIM, which focuses on representation.
  • Why the nine-to-five lifestyle didn't work for Istiana and her advice for those who relate.
  • Who Rachel and Istiana believe are making waves, including Mindy Kaling.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Istiana Bestari on LinkedIn

Istiana Bestari on Instagram

Rachel Wong on LinkedIn

Rachel Wong on Twitter

Rachel Wong on Instagram

Monday Girl

Monday Girl Social Club

Monday Girl on Instagram

TGIM Podcast

VSP Consignment

Mindy Kaling

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