Let’s talk free Facebook groups. I’m not a social media expert, but I do help women with their marketing strategy and work out the best way for women in biz to get seen, heard and bought from. And free groups always come up in conversations.
Last week I closed my last free Facebook group. I won’t lie, it feels good. Over the years, I’ve run many groups in my businesses. Now I keep groups exclusively for paid areas of my business.
This may or may not be a popular blog, but I’m sharing my thoughts on free groups. Incase you’re on the fence.
What I’ve noticed, and it comes in waves, that all of a sudden, everyone feels compelled to start a new group that’s attached to their business. It feels like we’re going through a wave now (June 2020).
Don’t get me wrong, they can be brilliant. Game changing. But they can also be a time, money and energy hoover.
So perhaps you’re wondering whether to start one up “I better start a group…even though I’m not entirely sure who I want to attract, what it’s going to be about and if my ideal client really needs it”.
So I’m writing this blog to share my own experiences and offer thoughts on making sure it fits into your marketing strategy. To empower you and to follow your instincts on whether a group is right for you.
You see, I have a strong belief in business and our personal lives too. You may have it too. We value something more when we pay for it. Whether that’s biz training, support, a gym membership (ok, not all the time!), Netflix, erm…you know…. stuff you pay for.
And I believe this in business. I am all about women taking action. I pride myself on it. And I’ve realised, over the years in my free groups, I’ve loved the time I spent in them, met long lasting contact and clients. But I realised the bigger the groups got, the more I noticed members who kept asking the same questions, asking for same advice and not taking action. I’m not a meany, but it was really obvious. And I see it in other groups too. I realise we all need free groups when we’re all starting out. And I realise not everyone’s yet at that point to invest.
Knowing your ideal clients is one of the most powerful things you can do in business and I know not everyone is my ideal client. And that’s ok with me.
So it jarred with me. I wanted women to take action, but I kept putting stuff out for free. Attracting women who liked free stuff. But didn’t take action. Can you see how I was in this vicious circle. I realised it needed to stop.
So I did. And I opened up a Membership instead. Not a paid for free group. But a proper membership. With networking, training, guest experts and loads of access to me. Training from me.
I’ve dabbled with groups since then, but I know in general my ideal client has a belief that quality is worth paying for and they’re way more likely to take action when they do.
Before you hit that create group button or if you’re considering archiving a group, ask yourself the following questions.
1.Is your ideal client on Facebook? If yes…keep it as an option. If no, don’t go near a Facebook group. See, that was easy!
2. Does your ideal client have a problem, or needs a community that can be harnessed in a group? Because it is a community after all. If you’re got a niche business, don’t be put off by this. But do make sure you’ve got something in your business that you can create a community around. Do they need a community or are you creating a group just to sell in?
3. Are you willing to nurture your group? I mean REALLY nurture. It’s tough out there…so many demands on people’s time. How will you make sure you offer time to keep the group engaged?
4. Why do you want to create a Facebook group? Simple but powerful question.
5. What do you want to gain from your group? How does it fit in with your marketing strategy? Begin with the end in mind.
6. Do you want a big community of a small one? Be comfortable with quality over quantity.
7. Are you capable of totally involving yourself in your group? Or have you got form on immersing yourself in ‘bright shiny objects’ and moving on to the next one quickly?
8. Could your time be spent better elsewhere? How else can you nurture your audience? The answer isn’t always in groups.
Don’t fall into the trap of setting up a group for the sake of it or because ‘everyone says’ you have to have one. Make sure you know what you want from the group and how it fits into your marketing and communications strategy and how it’s going to help you and your business.
I have many clients whom I do suggest groups fit brilliantly. Make sure you capture email data from members (you don’t want Mr Z closing down your group / introducing a pay to play format and you have no way of contacting your members). Do make sure you can answer the questions above and do make sure that if it isn’t working for you, be confident in changing your marketing plans.
I truly hope that helps anyone who’s on the fence in starting a group, or who currently runs a group.
On that note, how has this blog helped you? Perhaps you’ve been considering one or you have one already? Drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m Sam Dixon, founder of Thrive With Sam Dixon, a Marketing Consultant to ambitious businesswomen who want to launch, grow and scale their business with flexible marketing support.
For a free 30 minute discovery call get in touch by email email@example.com or come join Thrive Collective, my monthly membership community. JOIN HERE.