How To Create, Grow and
Monetize a Facebook Group
00:26 How to create, grow, and monetize a Facebook group. That's what we're going to be talking about today, but before we jump in, I want to make sure you grab the handy checklist I've created for you to accompany this episode. Simply text FBGROUPCHECKLIST, all one word, so that's FBGROUPCHECKLIST to 44222 and we'll send it over right away. One of the best things I ever did for my business was starting a Facebook group, the front row at the time. I had no audience, no email list, and this group allowed me to build a community where I could walk the talk. You know, we could tell people all day long how much we can help them, but telling them and showing them are two completely different things. When you create a Facebook group, it's like you rented out a conference room at a hotel, built it up with a bunch of people and took the stage.
01:24 Only the difference is this is a hundred percent free and the people who are there are there because you invited them. They've been pre-screened and vetted and identified as people who want to hear what you have to say and they are exactly the people who are going to help you develop your products and then they're going to be the first people who step up to buy these products. So here's what we're going to talk about today, how to create and grow a Facebook group, how to keep members engaged, and finally how to monetize your group so people use groups for different purposes. For example, many people will offer a group to accompany a particular course they're selling. I do this. Anyone who signs up for social media, summer camp with me or my twitter course or any course. Really, they also get access to a group that is focused specifically on that topic.
02:25 For some courses, there's a beginning and an ending date, which when people have access or it might be a group that is just open to align with a particular event or a challenge, but the group I want to talk about today is your bread and butter group. It's the group. It's your main source of new leads and customers were the daily hum of activity of your business takes place and it's where all the buzz about your business is created. Four years ago I decided to host a webinar about twitter and like I said, I had no email list to speak of, but I didn't know how to run Facebook ads. So I was promoting the Webinar on Facebook with Facebook ads and it was going OK. People were signing up, but at that time I was also part of a large Facebook group for Marie Forleo's B-school.
03:18 And someone in that group needed help with twitter. So offered her help and we had a skype meeting as I recall. And we hit it off pretty well. And she was very appreciative of my help. So I had mentioned my upcoming Webinar to her. And to my delight, she went back into the large group, the Marie Forleo b-school group, which I think I know today, there's like 20,000 people in there. So there were thousands and thousands at that time as well. And she sang my praises and mentioned my Webinar. Well all of a sudden I noticed people were signing up for this webinar are like crazy. So I thought, hmm, I really need to capitalize on all of this traffic. And I had been toying with the idea of having a Facebook group of my own. So I figured now would be the right time to do it while the iron was hot, so to speak.
04:06 So I created this Facebook group called the front row and after people signed up for the Webinar, they landed on a thank you page. This thank you page, invited them into the group. This is a really, really important point and I want to pause here and discuss this particular strategy. If you run an ad to an event like a Webinar or a challenge or anything, I always use a thank you page to get a twofer, meaning a two for one. Your Facebook ad was set out for one reason, right? Like you tell Facebook when you launch an ad, OK, Facebook, I want you to get leads with this particular ad and that's what Facebook is charging you for, but you're going to get two things out of this ad. You're going to get a lead and a new member of your group, no extra cost to you, so after they opt into your Webinar or for your pdf or whatever it is you're offering, make sure that the thank you page invites them to your group and because you're getting lots of members to join it.
05:11 Once there's energy and momentum in your group from the get go, making it much easier for you to continue to grow the group and keep people engaged. So that's my first tip and really one of the most strategic moves I've got for growing a group quickly. If you're going to start a Facebook group, tie it in with another event that you're already running ads to, and if you're really serious about growing this group and making it a real cornerstone in your business, I recommend promoting the link to your group everywhere. There should be a link in your Instagram bio, your twitter bio, LinkedIn, everywhere. All roads should lead your group. There should be a button on the top of your website that invites them to your group. Put a link on your business cards when you're interviewed on a podcast and the interview asks you where people can find you.
06:03 Tell them about your group. OK, so back to my group, the front row, because of the timing of it, because all these people were signing up, they were streaming in. How was I going to keep these people engaged? I had to get busy and come up with something to say and I remember feeling a bit paralyzed by the responsibility like, oh my goodness, what have I done? All these people are going to expect me to say smart stuff all the time, but that panicked didn't last long as I quickly got to know these wonderful people and we started to have conversations mostly about the Webinar and twitter at first and then other questions will pop up about Facebook marketing or Instagram or whatever and I was able to help more and I could create videos with answers based on their questions and shared in the group.
06:48 So soon I had a nice little library of free trainings in there and word started to spread and steadily the group grew. Getting a group engaged and keeping them engaged starts with understanding what the members of your group are looking for, what's going to make your group different than the others. Will it be free trainings you give? Maybe, but if you think of a group as a kind of cocktail party in your living room or a dinner party or whatever, when you picture yourself as a host, what are you doing? Are you introducing these guests to each other? Do you have music playing flowers in a vase, a candle burning? Have you cooked delicious food? Now you could totally have a party without all of that. You can let everybody walk through the door and find their own way to the bullet Doritos that you tossed in that Janky bowl on the clutter coffee table, but what's the point of that?
07:42 You went to all the trouble of hosting. You might as well make it good, so as Facebook groups, the most successful ones provide experiences for their members in addition to the great content, so maybe you surprise them with a fun challenge or a contest or alive meet up. Another thing that most successful Facebook rope group owners do is to make it a point to know their members. They make it a point to recognize their achievements or birthdays and obviously you can't do this all the time and with all the members, but small gestures like this mean so much and they go a long way. Usually people join a group because they want to be a part of something larger. Even the workers are there because they want to hear what others are saying about this topic that they're interested in and making it a point to create an atmosphere that facilitates networking goes a long way also.
08:39 So how do we do this? Most group owners do this with prompts and usually they're automated and in the form of a graphic. So for example in the front row, Mondays are mind mapping. Monday, there's this graphic that says mind-mapping Monday and it posts automatically every Monday morning and the Facebook group at I think 7:00 AM, six or 7:00 AM and members are encouraged to post three things that they want to get accomplished for the week underneath that graphic. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't work or it works for awhile and then it gets stale. You have to just keep trying different things and the way that they're automated is with a third party software. Well, I use a third party software. I use meet Edgar. There's other ones like recur post hoot suite buffer. There's lots of them, but you can also do this directly inside the Facebook group.
09:33 It's a new new ish sort of feature with Facebook groups where you can go in and you post your meme or your graphic and then instead of published, there's a little button under there that lets you schedule it and you can schedule really, I probably an unlimited number of these, well in advanced. It just takes a little more work than sticking it into something like meet Edgar just one time, but with these automated prompts. The saddest thing is when you go into a group and that's all you see are these means like no engagement. If that's happening, the best thing you can do is live stream. Just pop right in there and get the conversation going and honestly, live streaming inside the group is the single most powerful thing you can do to foster engagement. Think about it, it's you, your voice, your face, your knowledge, your gifts and talents that you were sharing with them.
10:25 You can allow them to live stream on certain days to. I did this for a long time on Sundays we had streaming Sundays. This really fosters a sense of community because people get to know each other in like a very real way or when you're live streaming, you can now invite them into your live stream while you're streaming. If they pop in and they have a question or something they want to share, so the biggest hurdle for most Facebook group owners in that regard is really just fear. It's just it's the fear of being that vulnerable to go live, but that's. That's another podcast episode that I'll link to down below where we talked about live streaming. That's episode number two, so you can go and check that out and as marvelous as you may be, no matter how talented and smart and charming you are, a community that stands the test of time is one in which the members are connected to each other, not just you.
11:23 So for example, someone may post that they are an American living in Paris because you have taken the time to know your members. You could comment and tag the three other members you know who are also Americans currently living in Paris and introduced them to each other. The next thing you know, these people are having coffee in a Parisian café talking about your group and how grateful they are to have been connected by it. That's completely based on a true story. By the way I've done that I think has really helped to keep my members engaged, is to send out an email to them each week that summarizes everything that's happened in the group that week. Obviously offering this to them, puts them on my email list, but also they get tremendous value on Tuesdays, also known as Taco Tuesday, which is an acronym that stands for technology and apps.
12:17 Creating opportunities. Totally crowdsource that name from the group itself, but on Tuesdays we share our favorite tools and apps and plugins and stuff, and on Wednesday we ask for feedback on whatever we're working. On Thursday we share our favorite books and on Friday we share our wins from the week and everyone is given permission to promote whatever they want to promote. So not only are they able to do business in the group, their promotion will also be added to my newsletter, which will be sent to my email list. So I'm offering them exposure to a whole new audience not long ago, fast company listed my group, the front row as one of the top 12 Facebook groups to join before quitting your day job, and then we had another big growth spurt. But here's the thing, not everyone gets in. This is really key to grow in a good group.
13:13 And by good I mean a group that is sustainable and strong, constantly growing with members who are your exact ideal customers. Facebook now allows you. This is pretty new. Also, Facebook now allows you to screen members with three questions before letting them in and you can be really strategic with your questions. Currently at the time of this recording, I asked, why do you want to join this group? Tell me about your business and how did you hear about this group? I screenshot every person's answers who admit into the group and this becomes incredibly valuable to me later as I begin to learn more and more about who my audience is. Yesterday I went to join a group. It was that podcast movement community. Uh, I went to join their group. And the only question they asked and they're screening was this, it says, we like to send all new group members a welcome message along with occasional information from podcast movement.
14:15 What email address should we use for you? This is a bold move, but it really looks like it's working for them. Soon after I gave them my email address, I received an email telling me about their upcoming event with a 20 percent coupon. So now no doubt I have entered their funnel and they're going to send me content and maybe I'll end up at their event or I'll be a customer in some way or I'll end up referring someone else to them. So following their lead, I think this week I am going to be tweaking my questions just a little bit. I'm going to ask and I've seen this done elsewhere. Well, I'm going to ask for one of the questions. Have you downloaded my free guide yet? And then I'm going to link to an opt-in page and see how that works. Obviously the people who don't take the time to answer at all, don't get admitted.
15:05 If they can't take a moment to answer three simple questions, they will likely really not participate or add value to your group, so this is one step in the direction of monetizing your Facebook group, getting an email so you can take the conversation off of Facebook. Know once you get your group up and running, there are many great ways to leverage it to make money, but before we talk about monetizing your Facebook group, but let me remind you that this episode of the Front Row Entrepreneur podcast has been brought to you by the front row vip, a private membership community where members enjoy all of the latest, greatest, and most practical tips and strategies for building an online business. This membership includes live coaching calls, a library of fresh step by step trainings and support community. Unlike any you will find anywhere you could go to frontrowvip.com to learn more.
16:03 So one of the ways of leveraging your Facebook group is as a way to collaborate with other Facebook group owners who have similar audiences like you do a live stream for their audience and they do one for yours. Another way to leverage your group is if you have a paid membership site, and this is something I've just recently implemented, but to offer them the paid members the opportunity to present in your free Facebook group. Now that's if it makes sense, if your. If your audience is their target audience as well. So in my case I said to my paid members of my membership site, hey you guys, would you like to present a topic of your choice via Webinar to the 5,000 members of my Facebook group? Their response was like a resounding yes. So right now I've got this epic lineup of incredible webinars that will be presented by experts in my Facebook group.
17:03 The members of the Facebook group, the audience are going to love it because they're getting free training and being exposed to experts they may have never heard of before. The presenters when, because they're reaching a whole new audience of potential customers and they get an opportunity to practice their webinar skills and I when of course, because they win, but also because in order to see these webinars, anyone who was not in the group must join the group and see what I did there. Also, when they register for the series, they submit their email address another when. OK. Another great way to leverage your group is for sponsorship and affiliate opportunities. If you have an active engaged Facebook group, and let's say your group is all about a photography there, everybody in there are photographers. Don't you think that a photo editing software company or a photo editing APP might be interested in paying you to promote their gear?
18:03 Now my group isn't sponsored by any brand or company, but it is something that might be worth looking into for you depending on what your group is all about, but really the biggest benefit of having a group and really the most important, important point of it all is that you're able to really get to know people and they get a chance to really get to know you from that alone. Only good things can happen when you care for your group the way you would care for a garden or for your business itself. It will yield amazing results. Thanks for joining me today. You know what? Since we're talking about groups, please make sure to join my free Facebook group, the front row, just go to frontrowclassroom.com and it'll take you right there and don't forget to grab your free Facebook group checklists by texting FBGROUPCHECKLIST, all one word to 44222. See you next week.