Facebook groups

(352) How to sell in a Facebook group (without annoying your members)

Would you like to make more sales in your Facebook group but are worried about annoying your members?

If this sounds like you, you’ll love this podcast episode on how to sell in your Facebook group - without appearing pushy or ‘selly’.

Whether you’re just starting your Facebook group (or are thinking about it) or have been running one for a while, there’s tons of tactics you can start using today to make more sales in your Facebook group.

I also share how I generated around £8k of sales from a tiny group - in less than 90 days.

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}

In December 2018, I closed my free Facebook group, which had 13.5k members, because it was no longer generating enough leads and sales for my business.

Looking back, I realise I made the mistake of giving away tons of free content in my group, but not selling nearly enough. This created what the sales expert Jessica Lorimer refers to as ‘baby bird syndrome’ i.e. I had a core group of members who were hooked on my free content, but did not want to invest in my paid products/services. In fact, some members became quite indignant when I ‘dared’ to sell in my own group.

In March 2019, I decided to open a small Facebook group ahead of the launch of my new online membership programme: Build Your Audience.

This group, which has around 200 members, was intended to be a focus group for my new membership programme. I offered free content/training in exchange for feedback and discussion about my new programme.

To avoid ‘baby bird’ syndrome, I decided to ‘train’ my members to be sold to. This meant making offers for my paid products and services right from the off.

In fact, I made the first paid offer just three days after the group opened and generated around 8k in sales in less than 90 days.

With that in mind, here are six tips for selling in your Facebook group - without feeling sleazy.

1. Give your Facebook group a clear focus/niche

If you want to generate leads and sales in your Facebook group, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to sell to members. This doesn’t mean trying to flog them your products/services the minute they join the group, but you should have a clear idea of the journey you want to take them on - which is much easier if you have a clear niche.

For example, if you are a pilates instructor, you might think it is a good idea to start a general Facebook group for people who are interested in pilates. But staying ‘general’ not only makes it difficult to generate content ideas (if you try to appeal to everyone, you usually end up appealing to no one).  It also makes it difficult to lead people towards a specific paid offer/service.

Choosing a tight niche that brings people together with shared backgrounds, interests and experiences e.g. pilates for runners, pilates for busy mums, pilates for women over 40 is likely to be much more successful.

For example, one of my clients pilates instructor Louise Humphrey recently opened a Facebook group specifically for runners who are interested in pilates. Not only is she finding it easier to create content, she is also starting to make sales.

Remember that leads and sales from your Facebook group won’t always be direct - Louise was recently asked to do a series of ‘pilates for runners’ by a running club president - he’d been referred to her group by a friend, was impressed by the content and reached out to Louise without prompting.

Learn more about how to find the right niche for your business. 

2. Qualify your members

Having a large Facebook group may sound impressive, but it’s much better to have a small group, filled with your ideal clients than large numbers of people who don’t. So do be picky about who you let into your group.

Facebook groups currently allow you to pose up to three questions to people who want to join your group. Use these to ‘qualify’ members before they join and don’t be afraid to turn people away who don’t feel like a good fit.

For example, the three questions we ask people who want to join my Build Your Audience Facebook group are:

1. Does your business currently generate enough income for you to live on?

2. Are you more interested in (a) building an audience for an online course/membership (b) attracting more of your ideal clients online (c) both

3. What is your email address? If you decide to share this, please be aware we may send you relevant news/offers. We will not share your email address with anyone else.

This helps me identify people who are at the right stage in their business and might be a good fit for my signature programme, Build Your Audience, further down the line.

If you’re worried about people getting offended about you selling, here’s a great tip for you. One of my clients. Redhound for Dogs founder Debbie Humphreys uses one of her three questions to tell prospective members that there will be paid offers in her group and ask if they are ok with that? No one has ever said ‘no’ to that question, she tells me.

If you make people aware you will be making paid offers in your group, right from the off,  people are far less likely to get upset with you. And if they do, you can remind them that they were told about it when they joined the group. If they’re still not happy, they don’t have to stay in the group.

3. Establish clear rules and boundaries (and don’t be afraid to enforce them)

Having clear rules and boundaries about what is acceptable in your Facebook group (and, crucially, what is not) should help prevent problems further down the line. We have four rules in my Build Your Audience Facebook group:

 

Introducing a ‘no lurkers’ policy was a little controversial at first. But if you're building a Facebook community, the last thing you want is members who absorb all the tips and advice in the group but never give anything in return. And asking people to take a few minutes to introduce themselves is not a big ask. In fact, it can give shyer members the encouragement they need to participate in the group. If they can get over the first barrier - introducing themselves -  everything else will feel much less daunting.

4. Create engaging content

You can’t just set up a group and expect engagement to happen. As the group founder, you need to make it happen. That means showing up in your group every day (in fact, multiple times a day) and providing valuable content. This is something Gordon Burcham talks about in How To Build An Audience Through A Facebook Group. 

Having regular posts - for example, inviting people to set goals on a Monday and/or celebrate their wins on a Friday - will help you stay consistent. It will also help you build a sense of community. If people know you host a Facebook Live on a Friday or a group Q & A on a Tuesday afternoon,  it won’t take long before this becomes part of their routine. And this is what will encourage them to keep showing up, week in and week out.

One of the best ways to find out what kind of content to post in your group is to ask your members what they are struggling with. That question alone can provide you with months worth of content ideas.

Remember also that people love conversation and debate. So if you’re starting great conversations in your group, every single day, people will keep coming back for more. Asking questions and using polls can be a great way to keep the conversation going.

If you are hoping to sell in your group, it can be helpful to divide your content into three ‘types’: awareness, consideration and purchase content so you can gently lead your members through a buying journey - without going straight for the big sell.

Awareness content: this content relates to your area of expertise and general information about the type of products you sell. So as part of the marketing for my Social Media Engagement Playbook, I recorded this podcast episode on how to create social media posts that sell (which I shared in my Facebook group).

Awareness content can also include specific questions that raise awareness of a product/service you are going to sell in the future. For example, prior to launching my Social Media Engagement Playbook, I invited people to vote on which cover they preferred for the publication.

 

Consideration content This is where you get more specific about your product or service in order to help people decide whether to buy. For example, I created this video showing people the inside of my LinkedIn Content Strategy Playbook prior to it going on sale.

Purchase content: this is the straight up selling part, where you might write a social media post, host a Facebook Live or post a video with a clear call-to-action to buy your product/service.

Most people are great at creating awareness content but fall down when it comes to the other two categories – often because they believe that it’ll come across as too ‘salesy’. So if you’re worried about selling too much, chances are, you’re probably not actually selling enough.

5. Sell early (and train your audience to be sold to)

If you don’t make offers for your paid products/services right from the outset, your members will get used to only receiving free content from you. So when you do put out a paid offer, you may find they are resistant to being sold to. In my new Build Your Audience Facebook group I made a paid offer within three days of opening the group - a masterclass on launching an online course.

At just £42 + VAT, it is a relatively small investment - perfect for someone who is just getting to know me and my products/services. I then sold my Social Media Engagement Playbook, another masterclass on how to write social posts that sell before offering my new online membership programme Build Your Audience (the reason for setting the group up in the first place). Further offers included my Social Media Video Playbook and how to launch a planner for your industry masterclass plus meet ups in London and Reading.

To give you an idea of the conversion rate, 48 group members (of around 180 at the time) purchased my Social Media Engagement Playbook and 16 joined my Build Your Audience programme. While the conversion rate began to tail off a little once the novelty of the group wore off, I still made consistent sales.

6. Get your members involved in conversations about your products/services (before you put them on sale)

If you’re worried about appearing pushy or ‘selly’ the best thing you can do is start conversations about your products/services way before you even put them on sale. So for example, as in the example of my Social Media Engagement Playbook, you can ask people to give you feedback on your product/service.

Question posts are brilliant for this. I explain more about how they work in this post on how to write social media posts that sell but this is basically when you ask a question on social media that is so easy for your audience to answer, they can’t help but get involved.

For example, in the run-up to the launch of my playbooks (a series of online guides on a specific aspect of building your audience) I could ask:

  • Which of these topics would be most of interest to you for upcoming playbooks?
  • Which cover do you prefer for my new playbook?
  • Which name do you prefer for my new playbook?
  • Would you be interested in a playbook and masterclass bundle?
  • Which sales page do you prefer for my new playbook - A or B  

Turning these questions into social media content not only allows you to talk about your products/services (without being pushy or ‘selly’), it also gives you genuinely helpful feedback. So it’s actually like a form of therapy for business owners.

Having regular posts - for example, inviting people to set goals on a Monday and/or celebrate their wins on a Friday - will help you stay consistent. It will also help you build a sense of community. If people know you host a Facebook Live on a Friday or a group Q & A on a Tuesday afternoon,  it won’t take long before this becomes part of their routine. And this is what will encourage them to keep showing up, week in and week out.

One of the best ways to find out what kind of content to post in your group is to ask your members what they are struggling with. That question alone can provide you with months worth of content ideas.

Remember also that people love conversation and debate. So if you’re starting great conversations in your group, every single day, people will keep coming back for more. Asking questions and using polls can be a great way to keep the conversation going.

If you are hoping to sell in your group, it can be helpful to divide your content into three ‘types’: awareness, consideration and purchase content so you can gently lead your members through a buying journey - without going straight for the big sell.

Awareness content: this content relates to your area of expertise and general information about the type of products you sell. So as part of the marketing for my Social Media Engagement Playbook, I recorded this podcast episode on how to create social media posts that sell (which I shared in my Facebook group).

Awareness content can also include specific questions that raise awareness of a product/service you are going to sell in the future. For example, prior to launching my Social Media Engagement Playbook, I invited people to vote on which cover they preferred for the publication.

 

Resources

Build Your Audience Facebook Group 

Build Your Audience Programme 

Redhound for Dogs

Pilates For Runners Facebook Group 

[344] How To Build An Audience Through A Facebook Group (podcast) 

How to write social media posts that sell (online masterclass) 

Rev.com*

Kapwing

Social Media Engagement Playbook

LinkedIn Content Strategy Playbook

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

[344] How to build your audience through a Facebook group

Is your Facebook group taking up all your time but not making you any sales in your business?

In this episode, I talk to Gordon Burcham, Martial Arts School Owner and Multi World Kickboxing Champion about how he is generating a six figure income from a Facebook group. He also shares the remarkable story of how he bounced back - and turned around his business - after losing his home, 12 years ago.


{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}.

 

The importance of perseverance in business

Today, as well as a hugely successful Facebook group, Gordon runs a 400 plus member martial arts school, but he and his family have overcome significant hurdles to achieve this success. Twelve years ago he lost his house while trying to build his business: “I was an instructor but I didn't understand business. I was just throwing money at advertising and didn't really know what I was doing,” he recalls.

Despite struggling to feed his family on £25 a week, he borrowed money and sold his possessions to invest £3,000 a month in a business coach. In less than 90 days, he was generating £10k a month in his business.

Turning his business around meant weeks of 16 hour days, when he and his wife walked the streets, pushing leaflets through peoples’ doors.

But Gordon believes many business owners aren’t prepared to put in this kind of  perseverance. “Most people don't want to do the hard work,” he says. “They’re lazy marketers and they're lazy in their business. They're not willing to do what it takes. I'll just do more than the other people are willing to do.”

How changing his marketing strategy helped Gordon turn his business around

When Gordon looked at why his business was failing he realised that by trying to market his martial arts classes to everyone, he wasn’t appealing to anyone. So he started to niche down the programmes he offered.

He began to target specific demographics - starting a ‘ladies only programme, for example and creating leaflets and landing pages specifically designed to appeal to women.”

And instead of relying on one or two marketing strategies to generate sales, he introduced a marketing mix. And when he started to use a combination of online and offline marketing activities e.g. leaflets, emails, networking and referral marketing, his business really started to take off.

The power of mentors/coaches

Gordon believes that investing in business coaching has helped him accelerate his business success by around 10 years. But many business owners aren’t prepared to invest in themselves, he says.

Too many people tell themselves they don’t need a coach because they’ve read all the books and done all the courses. But knowing and implementing are two completely different things. And many business owners need to hear the same information, over and over, in different ways, before it really sinks in.

“Repetition is so important,” he says. “You need to hear the same information from your coach and you need to hear it in different ways. And you have to repeat it enough for it to sink from your conscious to your subconscious mind.”

(Listen to episode 257: Do you need to pay to play for more information on why investing in yourself is vital for your business.)

How to harness the power of live video

Live video is now a huge part of Gordon’s marketing strategy. “It is so powerful because it creates a deeper connection between you and your audience,” he says.

He repurposes his Facebook Live videos by downloading them and getting transcriptions from Rev.com  (Affiliate Link) and turning them into blog posts. This content now forms the basis of a membership site,  for which he charges £47 + VAT per month - meaning he is truly leveraging the time spent recording those Facebook Live videos.

Gordon understands that many people are nervous about going live on Facebook and admits it’s taken him a long time to do it with confidence. “When people see me on stage, I'm very out there, very dramatic and I've got a lot of energy. But I've taught myself to do that. It's not natural,” he says.

How Gordon has built a profitable Facebook group

The Martial Arts Mastery is an extremely successful Facebook group turning over a quarter of a million pounds despite having only 1,400 members.

Gordon explains that the key to his Facebook group’s success is that it’s very niche (only martial arts school owners from the UK are allowed to join).

There are several things that Gordon does to encourage engagement in the group. These include:

  • Welcoming new members as soon as they join the group
  • Posting daily content in the group
  • Going live inside the group at least once a day
  • Asking for likes and comments on his Facebook Live broadcasts
  • Running regular competitions inside the group
  • Asking members to share their opinions on martial arts related topics (and not being afraid of being controversial)
  • Checking your stats and only posting within the optimum time slot

(Listen to episode 265 for tips on how to get more engagement in your Facebook group.)

He is not afraid to make paid offers to the group because he is providing free valuable content on a daily basis. If you’re adding value, you’ve “earned the right to sell.” he says.  And in the early days he offered free coaching in exchange for testimonials. In fact he still does this now - all he asks is that members share their successes in the Facebook group.

 

Podcast show notes:

  • Gordon’s business story (4:55)
  • Why you need to niche down who you’re targeting (13:05)
  • Why persistence pays off and you need to work through the fear (16:04)
  • How to grow your Facebook group and keep your audience engaged (26:25)
  • How to structure your time to create content for your Facebook group (33:38)
  • Why you need to invest in training - and then put it into practice! (39:35)
  • How to sell in your Facebook group (44:10)

Resources

Gordon’s website

Gordon on Facebook and LinkedIn

Rev.com (Affiliate Link)

Episode 327: Why I’m closing my 13.5k Facebook group

Janet Murray’s Prospecting Kit

Purchase the ‘How to create coaching packages’ masterclass here

Join the waitlist for the Build Your Audience Programme here

Janet Murray’s Audience Calculator

Join the priority wait list for Build Your Audience Live Event here

Apply for a place on the LinkedIn Content Strategy Masterclass here

Get your hands on the ‘How to write awesome sales copy’ course now

Register your interest in the Build Your Audience programme

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

 

14 podcast episodes to help with social media engagement

If you're struggling to get likes, comments and shares on your social media updates, it's easy to blame algorithm changes.

Although you probably don't want to hear this, the truth is it's far more likely to be about the quality of your posts and what you're doing (or not doing as the case may be) to encourage people to engage with your content.

The good news if you're prepared to put in the work, it is possible to get great engagement on social media - regardless of any algorithm changes.

With that in mind, here's 14 podcasts to help with you get more comments, likes and shares on your content.

Social media strategy 

How to decide which social media platforms to focus on (episode 112) 

The one thing you can do to get more social media followers (episode 136) 

How to plan a social media campaign for a launch (episode 178) 

How to create a social media strategy for your business with Warren Knight (episode 199) 

Twitter 

How to get more engagement on Twitter (episode 214) 

How to grow your following on Twitter with Mike Kawala (episode 133) 

Linkedin

How to get more engagement on Linkedin (episode 198) 

How to use Linkedin to grow your business with Mark Williams  (episode 185) 

Facebook

How to get more engagement in your Facebook group (episode 194) 

How to get more engagement on your Facebook page (episode 192) 

How to build a large Facebook community (episode 128) 

Instagram

How to get more engagement on Instagram (episode 196) 

How to use Instagram to promote your business with Sara Tasker (episode 093) 

Instagram strategies that work with Sarah Tasker (episode 213) 

Be patient

If you're feeling frustrated with your social media engagement, remember that it takes time - and patience - to build an online audience. Read this to find out how to build a large and loyal online following. But if you're consistent, persistent and willing to put in the work you will get there.

Want to learn how to promote your business more effectively? Join my Soulful PR Studio here (enrolments open until 7.01.18)

 

 

 

[128] How to build a large Facebook community

A Facebook group can be a great way to build relationships with prospective clients and build a community around your content. But how do you attract new members - and ensure they stay in your group?

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Why you need to make sure you are signposting your Facebook group - across your social media channels - so people can find it
  • How to use conversation starters to keep people engaged in your group
  • Making use of Facebook Live to add value to your group

Key resources

Soulful Marketing one-day masterclass

2017 media diary to plan your year ahead

My book and media diary special offer

Podcast Should you use a Facebook group to promote your business? (episode 126)

Podcast How to use Facebook groups to promote your business with Jill Stanton (episode 33)

Podcast Three non-spammy ways to promote your business in Facebook groups (episode 68)

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My Soulful PR group coaching programme (next intake starts in March 2017)

The Soulful PR Studio

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to  leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.

 

[126] Should you use a Facebook group to promote your business?

If you’re considering setting up a Facebook group to promote your business - or if you already have one but your members aren’t very engaged - then this podcast episode is for you.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • The different ways Facebook groups can help you build trust with current and potential customers
  • How a Facebook group can help you collect testimonials from happy customers - without you even having to ask
  • Why your Facebook group can be a great resource for market research

Key resources

Soulful Marketing one-day masterclass

2017 media diary to plan your year ahead

My book and media diary special offer

Podcast How to use Facebook groups to promote your business with Jill Stanton (episode 33)

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My Soulful PR group coaching  programme (next intake starts in March 2017)

The Soulful PR Studio

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to  leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.

 

[112] How to decide which social media platforms to focus on

When it comes to social media, it’s tempting to think you need to be active on every platform. But trying to be everywhere is not only exhausting; it can also make you ineffective.

In this episode, I look at how to select the right social media platforms for your business, whether you’re an experienced social media user or a complete newbie.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Why Twitter is essential if you’re looking for media coverage
  • How to play to your strengths when prioritising your social media platforms
  • Tools that will help so you don’t have to be online all the time

Key resources

2017 media diary to plan your PR year ahead

Twitter hashtag #journorequest

Podcast episode How to build a memorable personal brand with Phil Pallen (episode 105)

Podcast episode How to use Instagram to promote your business with Sara Tasker (episode 93)

Podcast episode How to find out if social media is actually working for you with Jennifer Begg (episode 83)

Podcast epsiode How to grow your engagement on Instagram (episode 108)

Soulful Writing - a one-day masterclass on writing for the media with Kelly Rose Bradford, Sarah Phillips and Victoria Young.

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My Soulful PR group coaching  programme (next intake starts in March 2017)

The Soulful PR Business Club

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to  leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.