Hey boss, it’s Sunny Lenarduzzi and welcome to the Sunny Show for the bright side of branding, business, and being your own boss. Speaking of being your own boss, if you’re not a member yet, I have an amazing free mastermind group on Facebook that’s filled with over 10,000 entrepreneurs from all over the world supporting each other in growing our businesses and brands on our terms. It’s called the Be Your Own Boss Mastermind. I started this group less than a year ago, and it’s grown super fast. I’m so proud of how engaged the community is and how supportive the community is for peoples’ businesses all over the world. I’d actually say it’s probably my biggest accomplishment in my career thus far. I truly believe Facebook groups are one of the best assets that you can have for your business.
Why is a Facebook group so vital to your business? Well it’s a place where you can continue to build close relationships with your community and with your tribe online. You can share your value, share your knowledge and expertise, and position yourself as a leader in your space. Also another way to think about it, is an another email list. When you have new products and services to offer, you have a built in audience and customer database ready who will give you their feedback and be the first to buy your new products and services. There’s so many benefits to having a highly engaged Facebook group, but that’s the real question. How do you start a Facebook group that’s actually engaged and active? Since I’ve been able to do that with the Be Your Own Boss Mastermind group, I wanted to share that knowledge and expertise that I’ve learned through trial and error over the last year in my top five tips for growing an engaged Facebook group.
Tip number one, and I’m sure you’re not going to be surprised, but it all starts with good branding. It important to make sure that your group is aligned with your brand colors and your brand aesthetic across all your platforms online so that people know it’s actually you who’s hosting this private group on Facebook. Another little secret tip is for the first week that you open your group, and this is something that I did for my group, is I kept it public so that people could figure out what it was about and they’d be more excited to join, and then I turned it to private and now people have to request access. On the branding tip, make sure that your banner on your Facebook group reflects who’s hosting the group, so that should be a picture of yourself and it should say hosted by you, so that people know that you’re the founder of it and you’re the main point of contact. The branding should be aligned with your aesthetic and your colors, so ours is black, white and gold, as is the rest of our platforms and my website. Make sure that you have a call to action in the banner of some way, shape, or form, telling people to comment or to engage and also giving them a website where they can find out more information about you or your business.
Finally you want to make sure that you have a hashtag. This is a little bonus tip, but we started the #byoBOSS hashtag when we created this group, and it’s a great thing to do for your business because that hashtag can be used everywhere online. We have people talking about the Be Your Own Boss Mastermind group on all social platforms using that hashtag. If you can think of a really smart branded hashtag, it’s a great way to gain more exposure for your group. Make sure to include that hashtag on your banner as well, so your group members know to use it.
Tip number two is you have to lay the ground rules so people know what to expect in the group and what is allowed, and what will get them booted real quick out of the group. One of the best tricks, and you again will not be surprised by this, but I suggest creating a welcome video and pinning it to the top of your group. That just welcomes people into your group. You host it, you tell them what the purpose of the group is so they’re very clear on what it’s for, and you can also direct them to read the rules. We keep our rules in our group under the file section, so people can go and check out what they are. I just give an overarching rule that we only accept support and positive feedback, and any trolling or negativity or abuse will absolutely will not be tolerated, and no spam as well. It’s very clear for people, and if they break the rules, they were warned and it’s easy for us to monitor it and get them out of there, so we keep the integrity of the group intact.
The other thing you want to include in your welcome video, ideally, is letting people know immediately what your involvement level is. At the beginning of a Facebook group, you want to be sure that you’re super super super involved, and you’re answering everybody’s questions. When a group grows to over 10,000 people, however, it’s kind of hard to answer every single question in there. Through following all of these tips I’m going to share with you today, you’re going to attract a highly targeted audience in there and a highly niche community. The beauty of that is that it becomes a self-sustaining ecosystem where everyone is interested in the same things, and everyone can help solve everyone else’s problems, so there’s not so much for reliance on you having to be in there and involved every single day. You’re more so facilitating sort of a support group, if you will. That’s what the Be Your Own Boss Mastermind group has turned into.
Something that I would suggest including in your welcome video, is to say that you’re sort of there to be a “fly on the wall” and only to interject when you need to and when you can, because if you’re in your Facebook group all day, you won’t be getting anything else done. Trust your members. On that note, encourage them to introduce themselves in the comments section of your welcome video, so that everyone can get to know each other, and say hello and welcome to their fellow members, and in our case, their fellow bosses.
Finally, because groups are prone to spammers and trolls and all that kind of stuff, you want to keep an eye on that, and that’s why it’s really important to keep your group private so that people do have to request access and you can approve them as they come in. Another thing that we’ve done is we have a designated spam police woman, and she actually volunteered herself to help us out in tracking the spammers to get them out of there as quickly as possible because with over 10,000 people in there, it can get a little overwhelming. Something that you could do is designate a active and responsible member to be your spam police.
Tip number three is content tiers. In order for your community to actually want to engage, you have to create content. Yes, it is different than creating content for a page or for Twitter, or for any other platform on social media because you want to encourage conversation and communication, and engagement, and support with your fellow members. Three things that we do in our group that work really well is we do motivation Mondays, so we actually have people write out their goals for the week on that post that we do every single Monday, and people have come to expect it. It’s a really active conversation that happens.
Then we also do Way to Go Wednesday. This is an opportunity for people to promote themselves. You want to have this in one specific place, because otherwise your group will turn into a lot of self promotion and that’s not something that we actually allow in our group because it’s a place to support each other, it’s not a place to talk about your own stuff and brag about what’s going on for your business. We have a very specific place for people to do that. It’s on the Way to Go Wednesday post. We tell people to promote the crap out of themselves, their newest blog posts, their newest video, whatever they have going on that they’re really proud of, that’s the place to share it.
On Fridays, we talk about wins. We do Friday Wins and people share their biggest wins of the week, their biggest accomplishments with each other, and it creates a really positive and engaged thread in the group and again, continues to engage conversation and encourage conversation in the group to keep things active.
Tip number four is cross promote. In order for people to actually know about your group, you need to tell them about your group. The first thing is cross promote your group on all of your social channels. I have regularly scheduled tweets driving people to the group to request access that follow me on Twitter. I talk about it often at the end of my YouTube videos to drive my viewers and you guys into the group. Then I also will do free trainings only in the group, and I’ll talk about it in the emails that I send out to my community. I’ll post it and promo it on all of my social platforms, like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and all of the things so it’s driving people to want to see that free training and knowing that they can only see it within the group. That drives a lot of new members consistently into the group.
Finally tip number five. Again, no surprise, I’m telling you to use video. You want to go live in your group. This is the best way to continue the conversation with your audience and to keep them engaged and active within your group because let’s face it, there are a lot of groups on Facebook. There are a lot of places where people need to be, and need to be engaged. You want to keep bringing them back to your home, your home space, your head quarters for your business, which will be your Facebook group. There’s really three ways to do a live video within your group. The three of the best ways that I found to engage your community is do exclusive free live trainings as I mentioned in tip number four, and drive people from all your social channels and from your email list into your Facebook group to attend those live trainings. Another thing that I do is Q&A’s. I’m the leader of the group and the facilitator of the group, I want to be there for the people in my group and answer any questions or get rid of any road blocks they might have. I like to do a fairly regular Q&A within the Be Your Own Boss Mastermind group, where people can just chat with me and just spontaneously go live to answer any questions they might have.
Then finally I love to do sort of an after show using live video in my Facebook group. If you’re posting regular content, for me it’s YouTube videos, say you have a blog that you write for, or you’re posting different pieces of content all over the online space, then you can go into your Facebook group and do a live video or training after show talking about that piece of content, promoting it so more people go and check it out, but also answering any questions that people might have about the piece of content or about the training that you provided in your pre-produced piece of content. Those are the three ways that I use live video in my Facebook group to encourage conversation and encourage and engage community.
All right now following my own advice, you’re probably able to guess where I’m going to tell you to go right now. Make sure you head to the Be Your Own Boss Mastermind group on Facebook. Join over 10,000 bosses supporting each other and growing our business, and our brands, and our lives, really, on our own terms. It’s such a wonderful, positive place to be and truly my biggest accomplishment in my business and my career so far. I look forward to seeing you in there. Make sure to introduce yourself when you do get access to the group. Go and grab your BYOBoss swag in the BYOBOSS.store, the link is below this video. You can also follow BYOBoss on Instagram as well. I will see you in all of those different places.
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