How I Grew A Highly Engaged Facebook Group From 0-500 Members In 3 Months (And Use It To Get Clients)

Your own Facebook group gives you the opportunity to build a tribe of your ideal clients. You get the chance to lead that group, share your expertise and build that all important know-like-trust factor so when they’re ready to buy, they’ll likely consider you |  www.gemmagilbert.com

I get asked a lot how I built a highly engaged Facebook group in a short space of time.

Within one month, I had 200 members. Another month, this had risen to 350, then 500. These aren’t insane numbers, but the engagement in the group and quality of the members is incredibly high.

I know I can continue to grow my group at this same pace because I provide awesome value for my audience. And free value spreads.

Better yet - I LOVE engaging with my group. It’s one of my favourite parts of my business and it’s my best client generating stream.

Your own Facebook group gives you the opportunity to build a tribe of your ideal clients. You get the chance to lead that group, share your expertise and build that all important know-like-trust factor so when they’re ready to buy, they’ll likely consider you.

When you set up your group, it can go one of two ways:

  1. You create a group of insane value with an engaged group of potential clients who interact daily and love your space.

  2. You waste your time creating a group that is valuable enough for people to voluntarily give up their time and no one responds to your posts.

Let’s just assume we’re all aiming for number 1.

Stick with me and I’ll tell you exactly how I organically grew my group from 0-500 members in under 2 months (and my email list at the same time).

But first…

Is a facebook group right for you?

When a coach first suggested I begin a FB group, I resisted. I was worried about how much time it would take, whether I was ‘ready’, whether people would join and whether people would be spammy.

All of these fears were unfounded.

  • Yes, you have to commit some time - the benefits will come back tenfold.

  • In term of being ‘ready’ - push that comfort zone, always. It will be worth it.

  • Create a high value group and attracting members is easy.

  • You set the rules and the culture - if you don’t want spam, set clear expectations.

Here’s how I knew a FB group was right for me:

I’d grown the majority of my business so far on Facebook. Sure, I’d got some referrals and networked in person, leading to clients. But most of my clients had come from networking in FB groups.

I’m a big fan of look at what’s working and double down in this area. Facebook was working for me. I live in the UK but most of my clients are based in the US and Australia. Facebook had given me an international business from the get-go.

How do you know if a FB group will work for you?

  • Your ideal clients hang out on FB

  • You use FB as one of your main client generating tools (or have a feeling it could be a good one if you got it right)

  • You’re willing to commit the time to provide value in your group and interact with your members on a personal level

It’s really as simple as that. If your clients are on Facebook, it’s all about having a group.

why a facebook group will help you get clients

  • You become an instant authority

In another leader’s FB group, you are one of many. You can be helpful, you can subtly promote yourself, and you can definitely get traction (it’s where my first 5 clients came from so I know it works). But you are a ‘member’.

In your own group, you are the leader. You set the culture, the rules and the expectations of the group, so your words naturally carry more weight. You have centre stage, and in the online world, this is worth its weight in gold.

  • You stay front of mind

The online space is crowded and noisy. FB Business Pages have dreadful reach. Email open rate is poor. Instagram followers are flakey as hell. How many people are actually seeing your message? Way fewer than you think.

A FB Group allows you to stay at the front of your potential clients’ minds. Like someone said to me at my last local networking event, “OMG you’re everywhere online!”.

It made me chuckle. I’d just started my group and people were engaged and commenting, so the FB algorithm was promoting my posts far and wide to my members. 3 weeks ago before it was quite a different story.

  • You create a watering hole full of your ideal clients

“Watering hole” is a term used by my first coach, Greg Faxon. It’s essentially anywhere your ideal clients gather. If you need clients, head to where they hang out. Sound logic right?

Other people’s FB groups will always have some of your ideal clients in them, and plenty of non-ideal clients. Your own FB Group allows you to create a space just for your ideal clients. You decide the entry criteria. You set the bar.

  • People aren’t ready to buy yet

We like to know, like and trust a business before we part with our cash. To build a sustainable business with consistent clients, we need a solid process for building that trust with our audience. What better way than a group which allows your audience to see your face on a regular basis, establishing authority and providing genuine value until they’re ready to buy?

How to set up and grow a facebook group, fast

1. Decide on your group messaging

Approach this from the position of ‘how can I provide free value to my ideal clients?’ rather than ‘how can I sell them my services?. For example, I help mums find consistent clients by improving their messaging, marketing and sales skills. This is what I promise to do for free in my group.

2. Create a buzz for your group before you begin

Post in other groups asking if there is interest, and reach out for tips from others on launching your group. You’ll get some great advice and you’ll also generate interest in what you’re doing.

This post generated interest in my FB group before I’d even begun and resulted in over 30 new members. After I’d created the group, I posted the link on the thread, and sent a direct message to all those who had asked to join.

 
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3. Choose a clear name for your group

Aim for clarity rather than trying to be clever. What key words represent what the group is about? What might people be searching for? Focus on the result you provide.

As my group is for mums in business, I wanted to include some version of this in my name. However, ‘mums in business’ is already heavily used, as is ‘entrepreneur’ and similar variations. I also wanted to get the key word ‘clients’ in, as this is the result I offer.

I was in a group mastermind at the time, and we did a 5 minute group brainstorm of ideas. This was incredibly valuable to throw new ideas into the mix… and thus ‘Mummy’s Got Clients’ was born (thanks Greg).

4. Be specific about who your group is for

If you want high quality people in your group, you need to be crystal clear who it’s for. Outline this in the description, and whenever you mention your group online, be specific about who should join.

 
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5. Require members to answer 3 questions in order to join

In ‘Group Settings’ you can set 3 questions to ask people when they request to join your group.

Use these questions to confirm they meet your group criteria and find out more about your ideal clients. Use one question to get people onto your email list by offering your freebie in exchange for their email address (this has been my biggest list builder to date).

Here’s mine:

  • What service do you provide your clients?

  • What is your number one challenge in building a successful business?

  • To receive my free guide on 18 ways to find potential clients (exclusive to this group) and join my weekly email list write your email address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you’re in the UK, make sure you screenshot and save their answers as proof of consent to join your list. You’ll then have to manually add each person to your list - slightly cumbersome but worth it.

6. Create clear group rules

We’re all part of spammy FB groups - they’re no fun and don’t inspire confidence in the host. Set out your rules in the description of your group (I also have mine when you click on the banner at the top).

Marshall your group tightly, particularly at the beginning, so people understand the culture.

7. Promote your group in other FB groups which allow promotion

Make a list of all the groups you’re going to promote in and create a tracker so you know when the promo days are. I’ve found business building groups the most fruitful - no matter what your niche, there will be other business owners who fall into it.

When you promote your group, be specific about who it’s for, and what they will gain from joining. Play around with your description to find something that works for you.

 
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10 ways to keep your group members engaged

1. Use themed daily prompts

Choose themed days which support your group message.

For example, I help my clients find consistent clients and and grow their business. Every themed day encourages them to show up in all the ways they need to be successful. Mondays are about promoting your business, Wednesdays are for going live to encourage members to get visible etc.

2. Ask short, thought-provoking questions

 
 
 

3. Respond to every comment

You set the tone for your group. In the beginning, make sure you like or respond to every comment. Build relationships with those who join in the early days - they’ll become your most loyal supporters. After all, they were there from the beginning.

I found right at the start, there was a real buzz about being part of something ‘new’. Many of those early members are now regular contributors to my group.

4. Welcome everyone who joins your group, individually

Facebook allows you to easily create a welcome post for new members. Ask everyone to introduce themselves, and then individually respond to their comments, welcoming them.

Remember they’re new - they don’t know how awesome your group is yet, so give them a taste of just how personal it will be, particularly in the early days.

5. Do FB lives in your group

Stay visible in your group and let your members get to know you. There’s nothing worse than an absent host.

6. Provide awesome value

I do a fortnightly training session in my group, and then have a fortnightly guest training. This gives me a bit of a break, but also allows others to provide value to the group.

If you set the category of your FB group as a ‘Social Learning’ group, you can then organise videos into learning units, which your members can easily find.

 
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7. Don’t over-promote yourself

Yes it’s your group, but if you over-promote yourself, you’ll deter potential clients. Put out clear offers, but ensure your group is grounded by value.


8. Look at what’s working in other groups

Keep things fresh. Look at what’s working in other groups and try it in yours. Collaborate with other group leaders for ideas.

9. Ask for feedback

Ask your group members what they’re enjoying and what they’d like to see more of.

10. Be consistent

Don’t miss your daily prompts (schedule them in advance). Don’t disappear for days on end. Remember, you set the culture. If you can’t engage consistently, why should your members?

And a bonus one…

Have fun, be creative and try new things.

The above is simply what worked for me. Keep experimenting and innovating. Most importantly, have fun!


Anyway, enough from me. Here’s what some of my members say:

 
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Want to come see for yourself?

 
 
 
Your own Facebook group gives you the opportunity to build a tribe of your ideal clients. You get the chance to lead that group, share your expertise and build that all important know-like-trust factor so when they’re ready to buy, they’ll likely consider you | www.gemmagilbert.com