This is a guest post from Russ Ruffino, creator of Clients on Demand, which helps coaches, experts, thought leaders, and service professionals attract the clients they're looking for.
In early June of last year, I launched a Facebook group, The Art of High-Ticket Selling, after my team convinced me to do so.
Frankly, I didn't have high expectations. We were already turning $15,000 of paid advertising into $200,000 in revenue every month. Why waste time and money on a Facebook group?
I invested around an hour a week managing the group. I spent $750 in ads to build the group out.
Six months later, just by doing these two things, my doubts have been proven wrong. This small group has become a vibrant community of 5,000+ members, and has led to nearly $100,000 in new business by members attending my free webinar and then becoming a customer. Pardon my French, but holy shit, guys.
So why is this important to you? Why should you set up a Facebook group for your business NOW?
Well, let me tell you something... great things don't last forever. What works on social media now might not work a year down the road. Remember Facebook pages? They used to be THE THING for business owners, because they were so effective. Facebook groups are what works NOW, and they bring in customers like clockwork. So what are you waiting for?!
The little-known power of Facebook groups.
There are a few qualities that make Facebook groups special.
They have enormous engagement.
7.15% of subscribers see your updates. versus Facebook Group
New posts send notifications to nearly every group member's news feed.
Group members create the engagement, not you.
When a community takes off, 99 percent of the work and value is created by the community. You don't have to slog 24/7 to try to get people to talk... because they already are doing that themselves!
They grow organically.
As your group grows, you'll have more and more people requesting to join. Some 30-40 people request to join our group every day. Members will invite their friends and colleagues because of how much they love it! Also, Facebook recommends groups based on the number of your friends already in it. With these two factors combined, you have a powerful growth tool on your hands.
Once your group takes off, here's what it means for your company:Tremendous social proof and authority. Potential clients see authority in your having a large 500+ people group. Thousands of fans. In any group, a few very engaged people will ask good questions and serve as a valuable resource for others. These people are like your brand ambassadors. Deeper relationships. If you make yourself active and available, your members will start tagging you in comments and asking you questions.
Here is the strategy I used to create and grow a Facebook group to 5,000-plus members with dozens of high-quality conversations daily.
Step 1: create a compelling group title.
The title of your group determines everything. It is the first thing that potential group members see when deciding whether or not to visit the group's page.
Without a convincing title, NO ONE is going to bother joining your group!
The ideal title should make the following crystal clear:Who it's for. What it's about.
Some Facebook group titles that I like are:Internet Marketing Super Friends (14,000-plus members) Cult of Copy (15,000-plus members) B.A.B.E.S. That Shine (Brazen And Badass Entrepreneurs) (6,000-plus members) Marketing Mega-Minds (3,900-plus members)
Resist the temptation to name your group after your company or after a general category. These are typically not descriptive enough to attract a qualified following.
Step 2: Set the stage with a welcome video.
You want to make sure--right from the start--that a person entering a group feels welcome and that the group will benefit them. If not, they leave fast.
I do this through a 17-minute welcome video, which I pinned at the top of the group. It introduces me, our company, and our approach to high-ticket selling.
I've found that a video is far more effective at delivering a warm, personal welcome than a long paragraph. Hearing a person's voice brings your relationship to a whole new level.
The video includes:How to make a high-ticket offer that solves a major life or business problem. How to structure the solution to the problem so people want to buy it. How to demand a premium price. A view of our sales funnel.
A good video should include lots of helpful information and serve as a springboard for questions and discussions. Put effort into making a high-quality piece of content. It will set the tone for the group.
Step 3: Have a thorough group description.
The description area of your Facebook group is essential because it helps members understand what to post and what not to post. It documents who the group is for, what your company is, what the purpose is, and what the rules are. We include:
1. Who the group is for and what it's about:
If you want to know what it REALLY takes to sell your products, workshops, programs and services for $3,000 - $10,000 or more...
...you're in the right place.
2. Who we are:
The admins of this group all work for a company called Clients on Demand, started by Russ Ruffino in 2014. We exist to help you make consistent, high-ticket sales, WHILE enjoying more freedom and feeling great about what you do.
3. The ground rules:
This group has just two rules:
1. No promotional posting whatsoever.
2. No bashing -- please be cool and keep discussions positive.
4. The group's purpose (we're upfront about the purpose of the group and that we will occasionally promote our program):
Being shy doesn't work when selling high-ticket, so understand that the purpose of this group is two-fold.
First, we're going to have a very valuable conversation about selling high-ticket. You will learn more just by hanging out in here than you have in the last $2,000 program you bought.
Second, we believe our programs are the best in the world. Especially Clients on Demand University.
Every once in a while, we will be sharing info about our programs. If this turns you off, you are definitely in the wrong place.
To learn more about our model, here's a video training series that will walk you through EXACTLY how we empower our clients to do six figures per month in high-ticket sales.
Step 4: Promote the group until you reach critical mass.
Here's the truth about Facebook groups: No matter how badass your group is, only a small percentage of people in your group are going to participate on a daily basis. Therefore, if your group is too small, here's what will happen:Your group won't have a lot of activity. When people do post, they won't get a response. They will then stop posting. The group will die.
Avoid this cycle at all costs!
Simply increase the size of the group past a critical threshold. This number will be different for every group, but in my experience, about 500 people is enough to get things going. With any less than that, it's difficult to create engagement without a lot of posts from you and the other administrators.
At about 500, members create their own conversations. The group becomes much more hands-off. In our own group, 20-plus rich conversations are being self-generated per day.
We grew the group through $750 in ads, promoting it to my 40,000-person email list, and promoting it through my social media channels.
Step 5: Keep the right people in the room.
As your group grows, so will the number of members who break your rules and post spam. You don't want this content to linger. Like I said in a previous Inc. article, one bad apple can screw up everything. The way to combat this problem is to:Vet new members. Remove people who break the rules.
1. Vetting new members:
Our group receives between 30-40 people requesting to join per day. We perform two simple tests when vetting people who request to join:Are they spammers? Look at the number of groups they are a part of, and the number of Facebook friends they have, and the amount of time they've been on Facebook. If they have few friends, are part of multiple groups and have only been on Facebook for a week, then you likely have a spammer on your hands. Reject! Are they part of our target market? For us, this means that we want our members to own a business. We also double check that their business is the kind of business that we want to work with (i.e. no MLM).
2. Removing people who break the rules:
We have a two-strike policy. We delete posts that break on first offense. We ban members on their second offense.
Our members also act as watchdogs on our behalf. They tell us when people break the rules.
Given our size, we ban people every day, mostly spammers. When we do, we sometimes publicly announce it on the group. This is reassuring for the other members, and discourages others from breaking the rules.
Step 6: Participate through new posts and comments.
Alright, so here's the thing: you are the owner of the group. People look up to you. So get in there, and show that you CARE! Don't do it half-assed and call it a day -- people can tell.
Put in an hour or so each day to share great content or answer people's questions.
Here are examples of posts I put out a few times a week:Conversation starters. I do this using the "slay the sacred cow" technique, which is where you ask a controversial question that people just can't resist answering. Links to my Inc. posts. These are long-form, heavily researched and educational articles that generate lots of great conversation. Highlights. Point out people in the group who are kicking ass and brag for them. This helps members see that there are amazing people in the group.
I'm a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk's concept of "marketing in the year that you're in."
I don't try to anticipate what will be hot next year. And, as soon as something stops working, I don't hesitate to kill it.
What I do well is experiment, react to what works, and invest in it until it doesn't work.
Right now, my friends, Facebook groups work!