AMY PORTERFIELD: Welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, and today is Part 2 of a two-part series I put together around Facebook Groups.
Full disclosure, I totally messed up. Episode #146 was Part 1 of our Facebook group series. This episode was supposed to follow right after but things got a little messed up behind the scenes.
It was totally my fault so we had to put this episode on hold. But it has definitely been worth the wait. I can’t wait to dive in with our special guest, Jill Stanton.
Before I get there, let me set the stage. Episode #146 was all about creating a Facebook group to support our students inside of your online training program.
I think Facebook groups are essential if you have an online training program so that you can invite members only into the group. You can support them. You can learn more about what they need, where they are struggling. You can add more value.
It really enhances your experience and relationship with your paid students. It’s an awesome bonus to add to the mix to say, “Come on into my Facebook group. I’ll be there to support you. We’ve got this community of other people going through the program with you.”
I love the entire concept around a Facebook group with paid programs and I get into what works and what doesn’t work and how to ease the stress as the leader of the group in Episode #146.
If you missed it, definitely listen to it after you dive into this episode here today, which is about Facebook groups but it is more of an open community.
You’ve seen them over and over again. They are becoming even more popular with Facebook groups popping up around specific topics.
I want you to consider creating a Facebook group around a specific topic where you are the expert so that you can learn more about your audience. You can attract the right audience. You can really build a true relationship with the audience. You can use it for list building, for sales.
There are so many amazing benefits that we are going to get into in this episode with Jill.
Jill and Josh Stanton have a business called Screw The Nine To Five. They have a Facebook community where they talk about building your business online.
They really cater to people that want to leave their nine-to-five job behind and start their own thing online. So they built this community over two years ago.
In Episode #97 they came on the show to talk about their initial experience with growing the group. I think they were about a year into it at the time and they shared what works, what doesn’t work, and what they were doing in order to grow the group.
Fast forward to today and that group has grown so quickly it’s insane. The engagement is fantastic. The people are loyal to Jill and Josh. They love to hear about their freebies and their promotions and what they’ve got cooking on the other side of their business beyond their community. This is a really loyal group.
I want you to explore something like this for your own business. It changes the game.
If you listened to Episode #149 you know I talked about a 90-day pre-launch strategy. I think it is probably going to become my most popular episode.
I have gotten so many text messages and Facebook messages around this episode. It really resonated with people. It was all about getting your platform ready for a launch and spending some time on consistent content creation.
In this 90-day pre-launch blueprint that I outline in Episode #149 I talk about including a Facebook community much like the one we’re going to talk about in this episode.
If you listened to #149 and were interested in creating this type of Facebook community, here’s how you can apply it. You can get it going and we’re going to share some tips and strategies to get that engagement up.
I definitely want you to listen to all the ways Jill…It’s only Jill this time, we’ve left her husband at home. It’s just the girls. Just Jill and I are going to be talking about what she does in this group to really make sure it is a true community around a central topic.
We’re going to get into all those details when I bring Jill on. The last thing I’ll say is to stay until the very end because we have an extra freebie surprise that I’ve never done before and it’s really fun and I want to share it with you.
I’m going to make you wait until the very end just so I can surprise you with something cool so stay with me. You’re going to love this interview. Let’s go ahead and bring Jill on.
Amy: Well hello there Jill, going solo today.
Jill: I don’t even know what to do with myself right now. I just feel like a free woman and everyone had better watch out.
Amy: Better watch out because with Josh not here you’re just taking over. This is big time.
Jill: I get you all to myself, which is very rare, so I’m going to eat it all up.
Amy: I absolutely love it. I think this is a great opportunity for you and I to talk about everything we want to talk about and then later Josh will say, “That was rude and you guys left me out,” so we’re going to have to find a way to include him some other way.
Jill: No, forget that guy. He’s out.
Amy: He’s out. Okay, so it’s a girl’s party today. We’re diving in to everything that is working in your business with your free Facebook group community.
As I said in the intro, things are going pretty dang well for you, for sure. Clarify, at the time of this recording, how many people do you have in your group?
Jill: I think it’s 38,500…I’m going to it right now, it’s 38,440.
Amy: Come on! Last time you were on the podcast do you remember where you were?
Jill: Oh my gosh, I think it was less than 7,000.
Amy: I think so too.
Jill: Guys, I’ve learned a few things.
Amy: A few things a long the way. That’s exactly what we’re going to get into. So before we actually dive in I want to revisit some of the specifics of the group. I’m going to encourage all of my listeners to listen to that first episode.
I think it’s going to be fun to hear the first episode when things were just starting out and then hear things now. But let’s just kind of set the stage.
First of all, how do people learn about your free Facebook group?
Jill: I have a few ways I do this. It is pretty much summed up by telling people I pimp it everywhere. One example is that we have a dedicated tab on our main navigation bar that says, “Free FB Group.” That’s a big one.
We have sidebars on every piece of content, unless it’s inside a sales funnel, that directs to the Facebook group. I link to it in all of my emails, on our thank-you pages. I have all of my social bios pointing towards it. I have my cover photo on my Facebook page pointing towards it.
In my indoctrination email if someone signs up through a sales funnel, I’m sure we’ll get into that later, one of the first things I tell them to do is to come join the Facebook group.
I know at some point toward the end of this episode you’re going to ask where people can learn more about me. I’m going to say to join my free Facebook group.
It’s just a process of hitting as many platforms as I possibly can, as many pieces of real estate as I have available to me and directing people into the group from there.
Amy: So I love that we’re starting with this because anybody who is thinking about creating a Facebook group to build the community around a specific topic in general has to learn from Jill in a sense that it is everywhere.
Jill, would you say your Facebook community drives your business at this point? Is it a core piece of your foundation?
Jill: It’s definitely one of the arms of it, for sure. 100%.
Amy: Great. That’s an important thing to look at. When you’re thinking about creating a Facebook group it’s not just all about it being one little thing you do in your business.
If you give it that placement as one of the core pieces of your business or the foundation of your business, that is a game changer. As you can see Jill is pimping it out everywhere an I absolutely love that.
Jill: I love hearing you say “pimp it.”
Amy: I know, she always gets me to be a little bit more naughty – Everything I do around Jill. I kind of like it. It’s kind of extra fun. It’s my alter ego.
With that I have a little tiny techy thing about the group. It’s considered a closed group. Is that right?
Jill: Yes, it’s a closed group.
Amy: That is different from secret and different from public, right?
Jill: Yes. With public anyone can join. As I am sure you can all guess that would invite all of the spammers so we don’t want to roll with public.
With secret you have to invite people in and if you’re looking for volume you ain’t got no time to do that. So just roll with a simple closed group and you can build it from there.
Amy: You do have to grant access to people with a closed group though, right?
Amy: Great. They say they want to join your group. They click a button that says they want access to the group and then your support inside the group will give them access.
Amy: Yes. We do our due diligence to make sure it’s not a bunch of random bots or spammers. You’re going to start seeing a lot of people where it says they joined Facebook January 2, 2017 and I’m like…delete.
Amy: Interesting. You actually pay attention to that stuff. It is a really clean group. You can tell these people are in it to win it. They are serious.
Jill: Quality over quantity. That’s going to be a main thing we talk about today.
Amy: Okay, cool. One more thing about getting people into your Facebook group. One thing I found very interesting is you do not run Facebook ads to find people to invite people into your Facebook group.
You run Facebook ads but not to invite them into your group. Why is that?
Jill: I can’t track who’s coming in strictly from ads. In all honesty, this is not meant to boast or be that girl, but we get 200 to 300 requests a day. How am I supposed to measure how many of those come from ads?
Jill: I’m not trying to spend money one something I can’t track. No, that’s a hard and fast rule we’ve always rolled with. No running Facebook ads directly to the group.
I will say, and we can dive into this, I do run paid traffic, like you said, but it’s all for different purposes.
I always make sure I tell people once they have come in off an ad to join the group but that is done through email or thank-you pages.
Amy: Cool. Okay, great. I just thought that was really interesting. Because she can’t technically track who is coming into the group via Facebook ads she won’t know if they are incredibly profitable or not.
So, Jill would rather keep her money on the ads she can track to know when they are profitable and if they are converting. I think that’s really smart and we’ll talk more about Facebook ads when we get going.
We’re going to start at the top. I’ve talked to you a lot about this Facebook community. I’m always incredibly curious about what’s working and what’s not working.
Because it’s evolved so much and you’ve learned so much, I want to get into some of the things you’ve learned over…How long as this group been going on?
Jill: Since the end of March 2015.
Amy: Okay, we’re into two years now?
Amy: I can’t believe we’re in March, it’s so crazy.
Jill: That went fast.
Amy: Because you’ve learned so much over the last two years I want to ask you about those different strategies and what you do differently now and what’s working.
The first thing is that I know you’ve cracked the code in discovering what your group members truly want. There’s no guessing around this. You know what they want and what they need.
Talk to me about some of the strategies you’ve been using to get that intel.
Jill: I live and die by polls. There’s a reason why. A bunch of people ask me. I have a big group so I am always going to attract the kind of questions like, “How did you do this?”
People ask why I do certain things. One thing I always get is, “Why do you run so many polls?”
When we were first starting this group in April 2013 Josh and I were like, “Oh my God, we’ve got this, guys!” We were going to smash it. We didn’t think we had to do much work. It was online!
Jill: Internet money. Guys, no! The exact opposite happened. We tried to launch a product and it sold nothing.
The minute that happened, and I truly mean no one clicked the buy button during the cart open period, we realized maybe we should stop assuming what people know and actually ask them.
Since then it has been burned into my mind to never assume you know what people want. For example, this is going back to the polls, Josh and I are big believers in running polls before creating any paid content, sales funnels, or whatever that looks like.
I created a poll saying that we were gearing up to create our next batch of free content and asked which topics people would like to learn about.
I went into it with the assumption it was going to be membership sites. My topics were sales funnels, visibility, blogging, launching, and memberships.
Josh and I were certain membership would crush it.
Amy: For sure. That’s what I would say.
Jill: It was the last option!
Jill: It was the least favorite one.
Amy: No way.
Jill: I was just like, “Get out of town!” Again, this is the beauty of going directly to the source and asking. If I had just rolled with that hunch our sales funnel would have flat lined and our paid content would have flat lined because we assumed and didn’t do the actual work.
Polls are huge. People love them. It’s the easiest thing to participate in. You choose an option and click it then you’re done.
I always pin it to the top of the group and then if you’re not feeling a poll and you want to do different options you can just ask them to answer in the comments A, B, or C.
Either way, I always use the group to find out what people want.
Amy: Two questions off that. One, when you say “polls” you’re talking about having the opportunity in a Facebook group to create a poll.
Jill: Yes, inside of your Facebook group.
Amy: You type in your information.
Jill: They have a polling function. We’re not talking Survey Monkey or anything like that. No type forms. They have their own native polling feature and I use that.
Amy: I think it’s so smart that you use it because people are right there. They are used to seeing these polls. It’s so easy.
Jill: It lives in Facebook.
Amy: It lives in Facebook, I love that. I recently did a poll in a pop-up group I did and didn’t even think of these polls. I did a Survey Monkey and I realized it was a waste of time. It could have been so easy.
I think, and I haven’t done this in so long, do people see the results as they are coming in?
Amy: I love that because then they get a sense of what’s going on. That leads me to my second question. If they didn’t choose membership sites, what was their first choice?
Jill: Sales funnels.
Amy: Sales funnels, okay.
Jill: That was super fun because we got to get a meta and create a sale funnel around sales funnels.
Amy: Which you know I love with my Webinars on Webinars, my Course on Courses. I’m a meta kind of girl.
We’ve got these polls. You are constantly asking your audience what they want more of. Is there something beyond that? Give me another poll question you might ask.
Jill: I just ran one last week where I asked what time people preferred to watch Facebook Lives.
Amy: Good one. Tell me what they said. I’m going to guess, wait, don’t tell me.
Jill: Wouldn’t you love to know!
Amy: Yes, wouldn’t I love to know. Don’t tell me. I’m going to guess. Give me the times you gave them.
Jill: I gave 11 a.m. EST, 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 8 p.m.
Amy: All EST, right?
Jill: All EST, yes.
Amy: I’m going to guess 8 p.m.
Jill: Okay. Fun fact, that’s what time our Facebook Live show is. We felt it was good but feel the show up could be better. Hence, the poll. Why don’t I just ask them? It was 12 p.m.
Amy: Really? Which is 9 a.m. Pacific.
Jill: Yeah. I really shot myself in the foot there.
Amy: You really, really did. I can’t believe it. I feel when I do one around 6 p.m. I have more people on live. However, you also have to consider the group.
On my Facebook page I feel they are more active at 6 p.m. But in a group I have seen some good activity around noon. I don’t know. That’s so great. And you asked.
Jill: Think about it. Our brand is Screw The Nine To Five. I have to assume a large portion of those people are at a nine to five. What time is their lunch? 12.
Amy: Noon, yep. Perfect.
Jill: So it makes sense for that kind of crowd. Your audience…
Amy: It hard to say.
Jill: I’ve never seen an audience who is so engaged with a brand in my life other than yours so I feel people will show up anytime.
Amy: Stop it. This is why I keep Jill around at all times.
Jill: Oh really? Is that it?
Amy: She strokes my ego.
Jill: I know how it is Porterfield. You’re after my husband’s accent.
Amy: That’s right. One thing they didn’t hear me say is that I’m obsessed with Josh, Jill’s husband, because he’s got this sexy Australian accent. I could just listen to him all day long. So yes.
Jill: Reel it in over there. Damn.
Amy: Moving on.
We talked about polls, which I think are underrated. You just don’t think about them very often like I didn’t. I think we should be asking questions all the time.
One mistake I made in my 30-day pop-up group is that I didn’t ask, right away from the get go when people started joining the group, any questions about them.
I just assumed and I felt that would have been such a great time, right when they got into the group, to have a poll. I would get to learn about them from the get go.
There are so many different times and ways you could use polls. I love it.
Jill: I know this is totally off topic but not really because we’re talking about getting to know people and getting to know your members, there is a new function in Facebook groups rolling out in your account settings.
Jill: You can have a three-question survey that someone has to fill out before they are granted access to your group.
Amy: Okay, I absolutely love that. Is it live yet or just rolling out?
Jill: Rolling out to certain groups. I think I have it. I know a few others but then I’ve heard people in my group say they don’t have it yet so I’m sure it will drip out consistently.
Amy: I’m totally going to look into that. Those of my students who are listening that have Facebook groups for paid programs, even a survey for them when getting them into the group is a great idea.
Jill: Oh yeah.
Amy: I’m going to look into that and see if we have it and I’m going to implement that right away. You learn something new everyday from Jill, guys. Just stick with her. She is always in the know.
Jill: I was going to say, “Stick with me kids.”
Amy: Stick with me. Question 2 is a loaded question. Are you ready for this one? How do you build your email list and promote your membership site via your Facebook group?
Before you answer the question, to back up, I mentioned in the intro that you have a membership site called Screw University. Is that right?
Amy: I wanted to say Screw You University but that’s not what it is.
Jill: No. We just call it ScrewU versus Screw University. I feel Screw University sounds like something totally different.
Amy: ScrewU is perfect although that doesn’t sound like something different. I don’t know what you’re talking about. But let’s just roll with it.
You’ve got a membership site where people pay to be a part of it. I’m going to actually combine two questions. Jill and I got very organized for this interview so we would stay on track.
Question 1 was “How do you use the Facebook group to build your email list and promote your membership site?”
Question 3, which now doesn’t make sense, was “Do you promote your membership site in your group?” We’re just going to combine those because I know you do promote your membership site.
I want to talk about how you do it because it doesn’t feel like you’re always promoting in there and pushing something on us. I want to talk about email building and membership site promotion.
Jill: Sweet. And then remind me to come back around and touch on the whole subject of selling in your group because I know a lot of people get freaked out by it because it’s a hot button topic for a lot of people.
Amy: Okay, we’ll talk about it.
Jill: How I build my list. Our entire business is powered off of automated sales funnels. Like we were saying, when I did that poll and found out what topic people wanted to learn about I then took that and created an entire sales funnel around that.
We have four or five that currently power the Screw and we’re constantly driving traffic to it. Here’s how that plays out inside my group: I run the poll. I figure out what people want and then I’m going to use a specific example.
They voted sales funnels. I created a sales funnel around sales funnels and it starts with what Josh coined a read magnet. This is just a free piece of content. It could be a blog post. It could be a Facebook Live. It could be a video. It could be a podcast. Whatever you want.
It’s just the entry point. It’s a free non-gated piece of content. I did this by putting it in my group. I wrote it. It’s a beast. It’s like 4,000 words or something.
I put it in the group and said, “Hey Screwpies, remember a couple of weeks back when I asked you guys what you wanted to learn about? You all voted sales. Here it is. I created this beast of a post called ‘How to create a dangerously effective automated sales funnel’ and it’s going to take you through the entire process we use in our business with sales funnels. Check it out here.”
That is the entry point to that sales funnel. I pin it to my group. I post it. I bump it up the feed and all of that kind of stuff.
What happens is they’ll go to my site from the group. Obviously that page is pixeled, hello! On the sidebar and littered throughout the content is a next step relevant lead magnet.
The key with this, if you’re going to do this, is the read magnet and the lead magnet have to be congruent. Actually, the entire process has to be congruent and fluid.
As you are reading that post I’m going to litter through that piece of content a few times and on the sidebar, “Click here to steal the emails I use in our funnels.”
I’m giving them a chance to opt in to grab some of the emails or the entire email sequence I use inside of our other funnel called The Foundation.
I chose that because I kept hearing people say, again, this is going back to using your group to listen to what people want, they kept saying they didn’t know what to say inside an automated sales funnel to move people towards a sale.
I thought, I do! Here are my emails. Sign up to steal them. That’s growing my list. That’s incredibly effective right there. Plus, we have that page pixeled so if they don’t get the lead magnet it immediately triggers an automation tweak.
We use Plus This and it triggers a sequence inside Facebook with ads that will say, “We notice you checked out our post on sales funnels but you didn’t sign up to grab my emails. No sweat, here’s the link.”
Jill: I am making sure they are getting on my list because they just expressed interest in learning about sales funnels and didn’t grab the lead magnet so I’m going to give them another chance.
We all know people get busy or get distracted and they don’t pick it up immediately. So I show up inside their Facebook and I stalk them until they opt in.
Amy: I love that we’re keeping it real.
Jill: That’s all I’m here to do, Amy. You know how I roll. That’s how we grow the list with the group using sales funnels. Then, of course, we do other things. We can touch on it. We’re going to talk about Facebook Lives down the track but that’s also another way that I use the group to build our list, through Facebook Live.
Amy: A few quick questions. Just to be really clear. Let’s say you write an epic blog post and drive your community to check out the blog post on your website. Then you offer a content upgrade.
I think the first time I heard the word “content upgrade” was from you. Did you coin it or hear it from someone else?
Jill: I think it was Tim Page.
Amy: I like it. You have a content upgrade inside your blog post and people can get the freebie. This is something I don’t do, you also have sidebar ads on your website saying, “Hey, did you grab the freebie?”
Jill: My sidebar is literally just following you down the page. It’s a sticky widget so it just follows you down and is constantly prompting you to steal my emails.
Amy: Perfect. So you are encouraging them to get the freebie as they are reading the blog post. Do you do what I do where you have a button inside the blog post that says, “Click here to get it” or do you only use the sticky sidebar?
Jill: I use the sticky sidebar. Then I litter the lead magnet link at least four or five times throughout the post, especially in longer ones. Then I have one at the bottom where it has a button.
Amy: That’s important. I’m glad you brought that up. Never, ever do you want to mention a freebie that you’ve created that’s aligned with a blog post just once with a link at the end.
Jill: Oh God.
Amy: I do exactly what you do where I mention it a few times. I think that’s so important. Another thing that Jill said, and I’m just kind of wrapping up what she said because all of that was so important, make sure the epic blog post is also aligned with the freebie. It’s very important.
Then, of course, down the road whatever they are going to promote/sell that’s aligned with the blog post and the freebie. There is full alignment there.
Jill: To give you a snapshot of what happens once someone opts in to grab the lead magnet, the next page is another piece of free content. We call it a value-driven one- time offer.
It builds upon what the blog post was about and then at the top of the page I am saying, “Your email templates are on the way. While you wait read this.” It is another strategy that’s in line with sales funnels or whatever the topic was.
At the bottom of that I then go for the kill where I offer them to get our course called Perfect Sales Funnel off the back of the entire sequence.
Amy: This is equally important. Let’s talk about this. On your thank-you page you are giving more value and then you are telling them if they want more of this and want to dive in deeper they can buy the program, The Perfect Sales Funnel.
Here’s my question then, how does your membership site fit into all of this if they’re buying a program?
Jill: Whether they go through and purchase or not they’ve already joined my list. If they don’t purchase they will get what we call our lead magnet series. We deliver the freebie and then we do a bunch of value add emails to keep them warmed up and get them used to our brand and other content that we have around sales funnels.
I’m always prompting them to register for our upcoming webinar. Right now we do a webinar every two weeks. In April it’s going to every week; and, then you’re going to kill me for saying this because I know you will be like, “WHAT?” In May it’s going to be twice a week.
Amy: These are all live?
Jill: All live.
Amy: Awesome. Good for you.
Jill: We’re constantly, as people come into the sequence, whether they have purchased or not, we’re constantly moving them toward the webinar and then that is where we pitch ScrewU.
Amy: If they buy The Perfect Sales Funnel program that doesn’t automatically put them into ScrewU, your membership site?
Jill: But Perfect Sales Funnel lives inside of ScrewU but we fracture out our courses and sell them as one offs inside these funnels. I just wanted to clarify that.
Amy: I’m glad you did because a lot of my listeners are thinking about creating a membership site. They are curious about how the funnels would look and how they
would get people into it. So it’s always interesting to see how somebody is doing it, especially someone that’s having great success with it.
I appreciate you sharing all of these little pieces with us because they are so important to consider.
One thing I have a question for you about and this might be a hard question to answer, how often do you do these? I know it’s kind of meta that we’re talking about a sales funnel about sales funnels so give me another topic you’ve done it on.
Jill: Facebook groups.
Amy: Perfect. What do you call this whole blog post freebie to webinar and all that? Are you calling that a sales funnel?
Amy: So you created a sales funnel around Facebook groups, how to create a Facebook group. How long does something like this take you; the blog post, the freebie, the landing pages, the ads, the product you actually create, and then of course, moving them into the funnel to get on your membership site?
Jill: It definitely doesn’t have to be as intricate as we go. It’s typically around a month with myself and Josh and our team working on it.
Amy: Cool. I’m glad you said that. A lot of time what I am noticing from my students is that they feel things are taking them too long or they are way too much work or they are overwhelmed. I want them to hear from somebody who’s having great success that is saying they don’t just whip these things up over the weekend and hope they work.
I am sure you have a strategy for these and they are a thing. Do you do one a month or do you have a schedule like that?
Jill: Yes. In November we did one called Idea Inspiration and in December we did the Foundation. In January we updated Engage and in February we launched PSF.
I’m pumping the brakes on them because I was burned out.
Amy: It’s a lot.
Jill: I was dead. I don’t want to get too off track but do not get me started on how much people think these things happen overnight. I can assure you, trust me from the bottom of my heart, we work our butts off on this kind of stuff.
It’s not just like, “Look at me, I’m writing a blog post.” It’s all hands on deck. Our ad strategist is in on this. Our graphic designer, operations manager, Josh, myself, are in on it and it truly is a mission.
Like I said, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. We just have a certain system we roll with. If you don’t need all of these different pathways you don’t have to do it like that.
You certainly don’t need multiple sales funnels if your business doesn’t necessitate that. I’m going to shut up about this now because I’ll get way too off track and go into sales funnels. But I just want everyone to know it certainly isn’t a “look at me. I woke up looking cute and banged out a sales funnel in 24 hours.”
Amy: Right, definitely. And, I want my listeners today to question how they could do just one and where it would fit into their business and where it would lead them. Then I want them to figure how they could use that over and over again.
Jill has a very specific business model that most of us do not have. I say to just consider one. I don’t have a huge Facebook group of 38,000 people and pumping funnels through it and having all this crazy engagement.
I have a different business but I love the idea of these different sales funnels that you’re talking about and using them inside of a Facebook group.
Let’s bring it back to Facebook groups. That’s one thing I love about these Facebook groups. Now you have an engaged community that can’t wait until you post an epic blog post that leads to a freebie.
They know the drill and they know it’s going to be so fricking good. Don’t you think you have a huge advantage now that you have this group instead of just emailing or just sending ads to a cold audience?
Jill: Oh yeah. That’s the entire reason I started; not to be able to market our stuff to them, but to get to know them and to build that true relationship with them because that was my main reason.
Back in early 2015, and especially in 2014, everything felt like an uphill battle for us. You and I met back in 2014 and we were just like, “I think we’re going to launch a product This will be cool.”
It felt like I was talking at people. I’m a connector and a nurturer and I wanted a chance to talk to people. That was my entire underlying motivation for setting up a free group.
I certainly didn’t expect it to be this. I didn’t go into it saying I wanted to see if I could hit 40,000 people. I would have been like, “I’m going to have an aneurysm if I have to manage 40,000 people.”
I just rolled with it and I just kept bringing people in that could help and tried to keep facilitating a space that people loved being in.
Amy: Let’s talk about managing this group. I think that’s a really important topic as well. I remember in the beginning when you launched this Facebook group. You were in there all the time and incredibly active but answering questions and welcoming people.
You shared with me that you can burn out really quickly as your group gets to thousands and thousands of people. So what does the support look like now?
Jill: I’m so glad we’re touching on this because when you said to listen to the earlier episode I almost wanted to stop you and say “No, no.”
Amy: Maybe they shouldn’t.
Jill: Listen to this one because on that episode I explicitly remember saying to you that I check all of my notifications and answer every single notification.
Amy: Oh my gosh I don’t even remember that.
Jill: It’s like devoting hours and hours like some martyr is the only way to do it. I look back at it now and wonder what the heck, Jill?
Amy: For someone that’s just starting a group and it’s just going to be a few hundred, probably, for a long time, what do you suggest to them?
Jill: Perfect. I absolutely do think…I wanted to make a distinction in that I don’t think you need to kill yourself over this. But I do think in the beginning 100% you should be showing up there as much as possible.
Here’s the thing. I don’t think you should start a free Facebook group unless you want to build a community. Communities take time. They take effort. They take presence. They take you listening. They take you showing up in general.
While I’m saying not to answer all of your notifications, in the beginning you absolutely do have to operate like that because people need the guidance. They need you to be the leader. They need you to foster the community.
In the beginning I would say you’re going to have to put in at least an hour every single day to get to know your members, engage them, get the conversations flowing.
I say this because as that community starts to grow and your numbers pick up your role becomes that of a connector.
Amy: That kind of leads me to this next question. Don’t look at our notes because I’m getting a little off topic and I don’t like to do that…not off topic but out of order. Warning everyone! They can’t even see our notes and I am warning them I am getting out of order on the questions.
Jill: Warning. Porterfield’s going on the fritz.
Amy: I wanted to talk to you about engagement in the group. One of the things I thought of when you were first getting going was how you would balance free content with your actual paid stuff inside of your membership site.
I thought you were creating new content every day for this group and you actually set me straight and said that’s not really how you run the group. Is it safe to say the bulk of the content the group gets exposed to are the sales funnels you’re creating?
Jill: That and our live shows.
Amy: And your live shows. We have to get to that. It has to be my next question. We’re going to talk about Facebook Live and the content that is included in those and how it contributes to the group. But I guess one of my questions is, “How do you get engagement in the group if we’re not talking about your sales funnels and we’re not talking about Facebook live?”
I think you do different themes and you ask different questions.
Jill: I have 30 days of theme posts. I am actually going to be building it out to 90. Last time I was on your show we talked about having seven theme posts each week. They just cycle over and over and over.
As the group picked up I realized the more people see that every week they are tuning out to it. They are like, “There’s Tuesday Tools Day again.”
Amy: So original. I’ve done that one too.
Jill: Have you?
Jill: It sounds like it rhymes and I love alliteration. Anyway, now I do 30 days of theme posts. Like I said, I get 200 to 300 requests a day. That means a lot of people aren’t seeing what happened on Day 3 until Day 3 the next month because they will have just joined.
It’s constantly refreshing. Then, of course, I drip in little things like certain FB Lives that I’ll just do off the cuff or little well-meaning rants to crack the whip a little if my group’s getting out of hand or just insights we’ve gleaned over running something in our business or coming back from an event.
I’m not always relying just on sales funnels and I’m not always just relying on the show or polls or theme posts. I try to mix it up and do as much as I can in that group.
I also want to make a key distinction. In those sales funnels, I’m never going directly for a sale. I’m just saying, “Here’s a free blog post.” So that never feels like I’m selling.
With that being said, I do sell in the group when I have something to sell because I don’t shy away from it. I know we said we would touch on this.
Amy: Oh yeah, talk about that.
Jill: I think a lot of people get nervous because they think if they don’t allow other people to sell that it’s not fair for them. I’m like, “Yes.”
You are the one pouring the resources and time and energy into managing and creating the group. I feel as though if you’ve done this for your business then you have every damn right to sell in there if you have something of value that you know your members want.
If people don’t like it they can leave. It’s a free group.
Amy: That’s the thing that I love. You really do just show up as yourself. You speak your mind. You support everybody and love on them in your unique way and show your personality. So if they don’t like it you’re totally okay with telling them to not be in your group.
That’s got to be a very freeing experience. Just as a business owner.
Jill: I say it all the time. 100%. I refuse to play some meek, shy, bashful person. That’s not who I am in real life and I sure as hell ain’t going to try and let someone try to smack talk me in a group I pour a lot into.
If someone calls me out on it I say, “Yeah, and…” And if you don’t like it you are free to leave. It’s a free group. Or, you could just ignore it. I’m not saying you have to buy it.
If you have something that benefits the group members, if you’ve done a poll or listened to what they want and have created something and it solves a need or problem they have, it’s on you to sell it.
If you have something that could help someone you are doing them a disservice if you don’t put it in front of them.
Amy: I totally agree.
Jill: That’s always what I try to keep in mind.
Amy: I love that you bring up the fact that you do promote in your group and when it’s appropriate you do talk to them about different ways they can get involved with
your membership site or maybe you are an affiliate marketer for something else and you will bring that up. I love that you don’t shy away from that.
I’m totally going to do a switcheroo and talk about a totally different topic but it is around the idea of engagement in the group and how you manage your group. You have started a Facebook Live show. The crazy thing is it’s not inside your Facebook community.
Jill: This is like a record scratch moment.
Amy: Right. It’s like WHAT?? Jill and Josh, her sexy Australian husband…
Jill: Calm it down.
Amy: They are doing a Facebook Live show. What’s the show called?
Jill: It’s super creative. Screw The Nine To Five Live.
Amy: Screw The Nine to Five Live. It rhymes. I love it. They are doing it on their Facebook page every single week. Talk to me about why it’s not inside the group, what you’re talking about on the Facebook Live, and the strategy around it.
Jill: The reason it’s on the page is super simple. We like things that have multi purposes. We like to be as strategic as possible with what we do. We know if you shoot a Facebook live on your business page (not your personal page) if someone views that page for longer than three seconds they go into your retargeting audience.
You can follow those viewers around on Facebook. Since you can’t currently, I know it’s rolling out, target your own group members, that is the only way for us, other than sales funnels, to be able to start pixelling that group so we can actually get our free content in front of them.
We shoot it on our page but then our team shares it into the group so that people can watch it in there. Then I take the replay and all of the links associated with that episode and create a replay post and then pin it to the top of the group so that everyone can watch it, grab the freebies, all of that kind of stuff.
Amy: I love this whole idea of using Facebook Live to retarget if people are watching the video for even three seconds. It really does allow you to build a targeting group
outside of your Facebook community and also just outside your own Facebook fans. I think it’s amazing.
We know that once the live show is over it gets pushed out into the newsfeed more often. You’re finding a bigger audience. People that haven’t engaged with you for a while will see it in their newsfeed. I love everything about that.
Jill: Let me expand on that. There are two points. One, all of these Facebook Lives are always leading somewhere. That’s another thing. There is always a relevant content upgrade. Most of the time it goes into a funnel.
In February we did a four-part series on sales funnels. That all led toward PFS, Perfect Sales Funnel. This month we are kicking off a four-part series on Facebook groups and how to really grow them, engage them, sell them, and then I have an AMA coming up. That’s all going towards our course, Engage.
Amy: Am I supposed to know what AMA means?
Jill: Sorry. Ask Me Anything.
Amy: Oh my gosh, you’ve got to love Jill. She does this all the time to me where she will throw out these letters. I’m super not cool with letters. Someone said some letters to me recently and said, “Duh, how could you not know that?”
I think I’m a little slow but you guys, did you know AMA? I would have had no idea, for the record.
Jill: You know what’s the funniest? You are one of the most savvy chicks I know and you just said, “I’m not good with letters.”
Amy: I’m not good with letters. I know that sounds ridiculous but I’m not.
Jill: The words.
Amy: The words, the words, they’re so confusing. What do you mean you have an AMA coming up? You have an Ask Me Anything, what does that mean?
Jill: I asked in my Facebook group if anyone would want me to do a quick live Ask Me Anything where you could ask me anything about how I’ve built, grown, engaged, and used the group to sell our stuff. That is the fourth part of the four-part series.
All of those shows will have relevant content upgrades. We’ll retarget them because, like we said, once someone watches that video for three seconds whether it’s on my page or in my group, it triggers a sequence where we say, “We noticed you didn’t grab the freebie. Make sure to grab it here.”
We’re constantly hitting it. Then on top of that it’s all leading somewhere. March is all about Facebook groups and that leads towards our program, Engage, and a follow-up series I’ve called Beyond 30,000.
Again, all of this is leading somewhere. In April I’m doing a promotion for James Wedmore. All of those episodes will lead towards that.
I’m trying to make everything intentional and purposeful in every piece of content we create so that it powers the business and it’s not always just, “Hmm, what should we talk about today?”
That’s one thing I encourage. Another to do is to get clear on what those clear interest areas are, or at least the pain points or problems your audience has. Then use your content to answer those and move them toward an ultimate solution.
That makes creating content so much easier and so much more effective in your business than just rambling on an FB Live that no one really cares to watch.
Amy: This is actually huge. I’m glad you brought this up. This is going to take us right into a wrap up that’s so perfect. I feel everything we talked about today, of course, our focus is on creating a free Facebook community and the way you’ve done it and how you’ve grown it. However, one thing I’m really clear about and which I love is that you are very purposeful about every piece of content you create.
You just said it so I don’t need to repeat it all but I just want to point out that it never feels like you’re wasting time. It never makes me wonder why I’m doing this. It always ties back to a very specific promo or product you’ve created or some kind of affiliate thing you’re doing that you know could make a huge impact in people’s lives.
You know what you’re creating and selling is worth it. Now everything starts to fall into place. Jill, most people don’t do that. They don’t get that organized in front of four weeks of Facebook Live leading into a promotion.
I love that you do that and you should be really proud of yourself for being able to see ahead that much. I think it’s so powerful.
Jill: Again, let me keep it real. That happened because we never did that before.
Amy: It usually works that way, right?
Jill: In 2014 and 2015 Josh and I were podcasting like maniacs. It just felt like it was never going anywhere. I hated it. Yeah, I had fun on the show and stuff but it felt like such a chore.
The minute we cut it we really made a decision that if we were ever going to do weekly content again it had to lead somewhere. That way we’re not sitting there five minutes before an episode saying, “Holy crap, what should we talk about this week?”
Jill: That not only wastes your time but it really creates lackluster content. Let’s keep it real, it’s super noisy online right now. That means there’s tons of people competing for a certain amount of attention so competition is fierce right now.
You need to set yourself apart and in order to do that I like to take care of our bandwidth and do what moves the needle versus “oh, this would be fun.”
Jill: Because it never is in the end.
Amy: In the end it never is. That’s so very true. Jill, I can’t even thank you enough. I am so glad we got to talk about this topic and drill into the details. We have an extra, extra special little segment we’re calling the After Show, which Josh got to be a part of.
We need to let Josh know you all can hear his sexy Australian accent.
Jill: I was just going to say.
Amy: He does get to be a part of the After Show. I’ll tell you guys how to get that in just a moment. But, before I do, Jill, thank you so much for your time. I absolutely loved this interview.
Jill: Thanks for having me, Amy. It was such a blast.
Amy: Oh, I forgot to say…So, if people want to learn more about you I’m obviously going to link to your group in the show notes. But tell everybody here how they can get there as well.
Jill: It feels so meta because we just talked about this 40 minutes ago.
Amy: Everything we do is.
Jill: Just head on over to ScrewCommunity. com and that will redirect directly to the Facebook group and you can join from there.
Amy: Awesome. Thanks again Jill. I’m so glad to have you.
Jill: Thanks Amy.
Amy: There you have it. I absolutely love talking about Facebook groups and I’m so glad that Jill came on the show to dive into what’s working right now in order to not only make her community more engaged but also incredibly profitable as you saw with her list-building strategies and the funnels that she talked about.
I’m so glad she came on the show to share all of that with us. But the fun does not stop here. We actually did an after party with her husband, Josh, with the Australian accent and that is your freebie for this episode.
We are going to take things a little further and talk about the common mistakes that most people make when growing a community on Facebook. We get into some really great topics, actually a little off topic, but in a really cool way.
I love the conversation we had in the After Party. So in order to get your hands on that special audio selection all you need to do is go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/151 download. It is definitely worth the listen and it was a lot of fun.
Thank you so very much for tuning in. I cannot wait to connect with you again next week. Bye for now.