Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:

#524: How To Monetize Your Instagram (Without Changing Your Content Strategy) With Natasha Willis

Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:#524: How To Monetize Your Instagram (Without Changing Your Content Strategy) With Natasha Willis

AMY PORTERFIELD: Welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. My name is Amy Porterfield, your host, and I am absolutely thrilled that you are here. Today is extra special because I have two guests, not just one. I have Josh and Jill Stanton of ScrewTheNineToFive.com. You’ve just got to love the name of their website, right? 

This episode is extra special because we’re going to be talking about how to create a closed Facebook group where you cultivate a community of people that are genuinely interested in what you’re teaching inside your business. It’s a free group and it’s pretty amazing if you do it right. 

You’re going to build community, build trust, and build affinity. You’re going to become that go-to source and you’re going to build your email list and sell more programs, products, and services. It’s an entire strategy and we’re going to break it down in the show. I love how detailed Josh and Jill get about it so it think you will find a lot of value here. 

I actually rerecorded the intro and I wanted to record this after I did the interview because something really interesting came out of that interview. The conversation turned a bit and we started to talk about what happens when you build a business that you don’t necessarily love. Is it okay to totally change your business model? What might that look like? 

I know in my first two years of business I created a business I absolutely hated. I hate to admit that but it’s really true. I was doing social media consulting for big brands and small brands and I wasn’t enjoying the work I was doing. I knew I wanted to do something else and it took a lot of courage and a lot of faith, really, to jump into a new business model. 

That’s exactly what I did and exactly what Josh and Jill have done over the last year in their business. It’s interesting to see what they were doing before and why they hated it and now what their business looks like and why they love it. We’re going to get into all of that in this episode. 

John and Jill have a really unique reason for doing what they are doing. They believe that you can take what you know from your nine-to-five job and transform it into an online business you feel proud of, you love, and you are eager to jump into. Their entire website, all of their programs, all of their free content is all around taking what you already know and making a business out of it. 

Josh and Jill are actually returning guests on my show. They were in Episode 49, How to Know if Your Idea is Profitable. That was a really cool, action-packed episode. You can get a little bit of their back story there. But in this episode we just dive right into the strategy. But I want to make sure you understand a little bit about what Jill and Josh teach in their own business. 

They believe you can take the skill sets from your nine-to-five job and transform them into an online business that you’re proud of and that you actually really enjoy. That’s what their free content, programs, products, and their free Facebook group is all about. They get into a lot of the online marketing strategies that you need to know to build your business. 

I just wanted to set the stage so you kind of understood their business. Now let’s go ahead and jump in the interview with Josh and Jill. Enjoy. 

Before we dive in, a quick word about our sponsor. I want to thank our sponsor today, 99Designs. I am such a huge fan of this company because they can take care of all of your graphic needs. We are talking logos, social media cover images, website graphics, and so much more. So visit  www.99Designs.com/amy  and  get  a  $99  upgrade  for free. 

Amy: Josh and Jill, thank you so very much for being with me. I’m so excited to have you back. 

Jill: I’m so pumped. It is almost a year since we’ve done this. 

Josh: Is it really? 

Amy: How does time go by so fast? 

Jill: Interviewersary! 

Josh: That’s pretty smart. 

Amy: I bet she totally practiced that, Josh. She was ready to say that! Say it one more time. 

Josh: Do it. 

Jill: Interviewersary. 

Amy: I love it. That’s exactly what this is about. You guys are so much fun to interview because we laugh through the whole thing and that is kind of my favorite type of interview. But we’ve got a serious topic today. We are talking all about how to use a Facebook group strategically and you are the couple to go to. You have had some amazing success in this area. 

Jill: Yeah. I’m so pumped to dive into this. Like I said to you before, I don’t really think anyone’s talking about how to use groups strategically. They’re just saying, “Oh yeah, start group and see what happens.” That’s not what we’re about here. 

Amy: No. And you’re using groups to list build, to create community, of course, and relationships, to sell more, and to learn about what your audience actually wants you to create for them. Right? 

Jill: We use it for all the things. 

Josh: It’s like the whole package, basically. 

Amy: Crazy town. This is good. Let’s start at the top. First of all, you have created a Facebook Page for your business, right? You have a Facebook Page. 

Jill: Yes, we have a Facebook Page. And I know I’m saying this to the queen bee of FB but Pages are kind of dead to me right now. 

Amy: Whoa. 

Jill: I know. 

Amy: I wasn’t expecting that but tell me more. 

Jill: That is a big statement right off the bat. Here’s the thing, I know we will dive more into groups, but with Pages you can’t really have that sense of community. It’s kind of like you’re talking at them. They can comment back and forth but there’s not really any community interaction there. 

Comments from fans are relegated to the sidebar and it’s kind of just a one-way discussion whereas groups are so much more of a family atmosphere. We can talk more about that but that’s kind of why Pages are dead to me right now. 

Amy: Okay, since Pages are now dead…I didn’t say that everybody, just for the record, but Jill is feeling that. So you’ve created a Facebook group. Talk to me a little bit about the semantics around it. Is it a private group, a closed group? I need to know that kind of detail. 

Jill: Okay, cool. It’s a free group and it’s a closed group. I want people to be able to find it in a search but I don’t want them to just be able to join all willy nilly. I want to be able to vet people so I have it set to a closed group. 

Amy: Which means that if they are searching for anything related to what you’re talking about there they will find you but they have to request access into the group. 

Jill: Yep. 

Amy: Gotcha. I have heard the strategy before where some people have you opt in to their email list and from there you will get a special link where you can get into their private Facebook group, but you’re not doing it that way, right? 

Jill: No. I know a lot of people do that. That’s not really my jam. I don’t want to create a barrier between someone trying to join a community and surrounding themselves with people who get them. I’d rather just kind of have a low barrier to entry and then I know for a fact once I get them in my group if they are aligned with what we’re trying to do I can easily get them on my list. 

I don’t want to make them work for it. I just want them to come in, join, get value out of it, and then I can transition them into subscribers. 

Josh: I also think with that strategy, it clearly works well and people are growing their email list, but I am wondering the quality of those leads. If people are just signing up to get inside the group are they really a solid lead as far as you sending emails out to them? Do they actually want to receive those emails or do they just want to get into the Facebook group? 

Amy: I see that once they get inside this Facebook group, if they like the group and are thinking it is for them and then they join your email list, then you know it’s a really warm lead. 

Jill: Then they actually want to hear from us. 

Amy: I like that, definitely. I talked about this a little bit in the intro but tell me a little bit about the name of your group and what it is all about. 

Jill: The name of our group is super creative, Screw The Nine To Five Community. I’m really flexing my creativity muscles there. But it’s just a place where people can come to surround themselves with people who get them. Here’s the thing, when you’re trying to start a business or are really trying to take yours to the next level and you’re kind of surrounded by other 9-to-5ers, they’re not always going to get what you’re doing. 

One thing I have found and heard a lot is they subtly undermine all of these people and what they are trying to do and the changes they are trying to make in their lives and people feel really alone. They feel kind of chastised for it. I made the group as a way to kind of surround yourself with people who get it and who are going through the same thing and who are chasing a similar dream and who are in that mentality and are only going to cheer you on versus making little digs. 

Josh: Also, we were finding it kind of challenging to communicate with our audience. Starting a Facebook group kind of made sense because it gave us an avenue to be able to talk to people and find out exactly what they wanted. That was a bit of a challenge we had for a while, really understanding what our audience wanted from us. We can talk about some of the strategies we use for market research in a second. But that was probably the main reason we started it. 

Jill: We felt like, with our emails, we were just talking at people. There was no real back and forth. 

Amy: We definitely need to talk about how you’re getting that interaction. But before we get there, how are you building this group? Where are you finding people to actually join your Facebook group? I hope you’re not going to say just your email list because there are some people listening that don’t have an email list yet. 

Jill: We’re actually quite crafty with it. 

Josh: We do a number of different things. The first thing is we place a link to our Facebook group everywhere. We literally put it on our website, we put it on our blog posts, on our podcast show notes pages. That’s the first thing we do. The second thing we do is have a custom domain name called ScrewCommunity.com. If you were to go to that right now it would redirect you through to the Facebook Page. We will get on podcasts, like today, I just mentioned ScrewCommunity.com and didn’t even think about it. 

Amy: So smart. 

Josh: That’s just a real quick way of being able to get people into your community and into your Facebook group. What are some other strategies we use? 

Jill: Allow me to break it down {laughter}. Like Josh said, we have a bar on our top nav bar on our main website that directs straight to the group. We have it in our podcast show notes, we have it in our welcome email for anytime anyone ever subscribes to our list. It is the second thing we tell them to do. We have it in our sidebar. We have it on all of our thank-you pages. We essentially pimp it everywhere. Any features we do, I direct it back to the Facebook group. Any guest posts I write, I direct them to the Facebook group. All of my social media bios point to the Facebook group. Everything we do drives people into that group. 

Amy:  One of the strategies I love, I was kind of doing some investigative work before we jumped on here, you had an interview you did about a certain topic. I loved the topic and clicked on it. I listened and you had a freebie for that. I opted in to the freebie related to the blog post. When I did I got a thank-you page and on that thank- you page you invited me to the Facebook group. 

Jill: Have you joined? 

Amy: Of course. I’m the most active person in the group. 

Jill: Obviously, hello! 

Amy: I love that. I thought that was so smart. You’re right. You’re getting in front of them everywhere. 

Jill: Yeah. You know how Pat is like Be Everywhere? I’m like Pimp It Everywhere. 

Amy: You really should copyright that. Smart stuff. I love that you say Pat like everyone knows who you are talking about. She’s talking about Pat Flynn, just for the record. He has a philosophy that you should be everywhere, which is really cool. I love when he talks about that because it’s so very strategic. That’s literally what you’re doing with this. 

Jill: Yeah, for the group, definitely. 

Amy: My first thought is that now that you have this group and you’re growing it, how many people are in the group right now as of the time of this recording? 

Jill: 5,800. 

Amy: That’s a lot of people. A lot of people. 

Jill: That’s in less than a year. 

Amy:  Wow. So you have 5,800 people in the group. My first thought is, “Oh my gosh, I’m so stressed because I have to answer questions all day in this group to make sure this group feels supported.” It makes my heart beat a little bit fast. 

Jill: Fair enough. I think in the beginning, when I first started in April 2015, I was in there all the time. I wanted that community to build up and wanted it to have a real sense of family and belonging to it so I was in there answering questions all day every day. 

Now it has really gained some steam and I’ve made it a point to connect a lot of members. If someone asks a specific question I am that weirdo that knows everything about everyone so I tell them they should talk to “Amanda” about this or “Dustin” or they should chat with “Jacqueline” because she does Instagram and all these kind of things. 

I kind of connect people together and then the conversation flows from there. I’m not having to sit there and spill the beans on every strategy we use or answer every question. I also let the community chime in and I hate the word empower but I kind of empower them to help each other out and flex their credibility  and  authority muscles. 

Amy: This is really valuable. I do believe, especially when you’re starting out a Facebook group, you should want to get in there really regularly and you are building the group with engagement so you are going to be that central person that’s bringing it all together. I would say that as the group starts to grow it will take some of your time in the beginning every single day to nurture that group. 

I think that’s how it should be. Then, just like you said, now it’s kind of taken on a life of its own where people are helping other people and you are connecting. But you are still that person that kind of knows what’s going on in that group all the time. I bet you know your avatar really well now. 

Jill: Yeah, it’s been huge for that. I would say if there is a benefit apart from people joining our membership community, it would be the insight we have on people now. 

Amy: You hear the language they use, the stories they tell, what they are worried about, where they are struggling. You know it all so your marketing messages are now 100% on point. 

Jill: I actually take note of the exact phrases they use and I use that in either my emails or my webinars for my pitches or even in my sales copy. I just echo it back to them so they immediately think it is like I am in their head. 

Josh: Amy, you said something really interesting before. You said when you are first getting started with a Facebook group you need to spend a lot of time in there. I think it’s just a general thing when you are getting started in business anyway. All you really have is your time. You don’t have a lot of money behind you. You don’t have staff behind you and you don’t have a lot of resources. 

All you have is your time and this is a great way of using that time to get to know your avatar and also to prep some people to eventually become your customers as well. 

Amy: Yeah, I definitely think that’s a great point. My fear of “Oh my gosh, all these people need supported,” comes from someone that has been building a business for over six years and I’ve got all of these other priorities I am trying to get to. But if I was just starting out…I wish I had done this when I was just starting out. 

Jill: Me too. 

Amy: You do have the time to really learn about what your audience wants. I just can’t imagine how golden that would be right from the get go. Tell me this, one of the fears I know my students would have if they were going to do this kind of strategy, is that they get in the group, they have a few people that are joining now, and there are crickets. They are the only person that is actually doing the talking. How do you get around that? 

Jill: That’s actually the biggest fear I hear when people are questioning whether they should start a group or not. There are a few things I do, especially in the beginning. It was kind of the same way for me. I had a list and I had my Page as well, obviously, so I had an initial up kick with members. But not everyone wanted to chime in straight away. 

I would ask specific questions. I tried to get to know them and would always kick it off myself. I never waited for them to do the talking. I kind of put myself out there and then it kind of encouraged others to chime in. It would be so awkward if I was just sitting there talking to myself the whole time. They decide, “Oh God, let me help this poor girl out.” 

I also shared little behind-the-scenes snippets of what was going on with Josh and I or I would share weird little facts about myself. I just essentially did ice breakers. I really just tried to lower the barrier so it wasn’t like, “Oh my God, I don’t want to be the first one to talk.” I was like, “I’ll talk your ear off as long as you let me.” 

Josh: I think you also stuck to one really important rule and that was that you didn’t promote. There was no promotion. Even today we rarely promote our products that we have directly. We essentially provide our free content. I think at the start you were generally interested in talking to everyone and asking what’s going on with their businesses and maybe how you could help as well. That was one thing I definitely noticed. 

Amy: That’s a great point. Oh thanks Josh, sweet little thing. 

Jill: Isn’t he the sweetest? 

Amy: He is. 

Josh: Cha-ching. Brownie point. 

Amy: Brownie point for the husband. That reminds me, you do not promote heavily in this group. However, this group is very profitable for you. Let’s talk about that. First I want to talk about the polls you do and how you learn what your audience wants and what to create for them in terms of freebies. What does that look like inside the group? 

Josh: The thing is when you have a Facebook group you get to look and sort of hear what people are saying. So what we would do is take a look at all of the main things people were talking about. People were talking about running webinars or running Facebook ads or… 

Jill: Sales funnels. 

Josh: Sales funnels. 

Jill: Copywriting. 

Josh: Or copywriting or anything like that. We basically created a list of all of those different interest areas, basically, and then we would take maybe three or four and run a poll on those and the poll would be really simple. It would be, “What are you most interested in learning about because we want to create some free content around this?” 

We would put in four interest areas and people would vote on them. After that, that would be the beginning of our marketing plan from that point on. We would take the most voted for interest area and we would basically go from there. 

Amy:  How do you get people to join your list? What specifically does that look like inside the group? 

Jill: Once we run our poll we take that interest and start to create what Josh calls “read magnets” but they are essentially just ridonculously in-depth blog posts. The read magnet is used to attract people onto the site from the group or list or wherever. We run ads to it as well. We start to get them ingesting our content and then use really hyper-specific lead magnets. 

For example, one of the first polls we ran, the clear winner was sales funnels. People wanted to learn how to create a sales funnel so I wrote a post called How To Create a Dangerously Effective Automated Sales Funnel. Then I posted in the group saying, “Remember when you said you wanted to learn about sales funnels? Here you go, have at it.” 

The lead magnet, off the back of that, was to steal the emails I use in our sales funnels. A lot of people want to know what to say so I told them to opt in and get my emails and then tweak it and apply it to your own business. That is building our list and this is hyper specific to people who are super interested in learning about sales funnels. 

Then, off the back of that, once they opt in they are presented with another page and it goes through “three things you didn’t know about whatever.” It is relegated to sales funnels again. At the bottom of that we pitch a one-time offer for our mini course called The Perfect Sales Funnel. That actually sits inside our monthly membership community Screw U. We fracture out our courses and create sales funnels around that based on the interest areas from inside the group. Does that kind of make sense? 

Amy: It does. I need to add a link. I want to add a link to one of what I call the “epic blog posts,” your read magnets. I’m going to add a link in the show notes to that article because I want people to go through this funnel and kind of see. I was really impressed. That’s kind of how I started with the article. You got me right away. 

I forgot to mention that I saw the $19 offer. I will make sure to include that in the show notes but what were you going to say, Josh? I was going to ask another question and I forgot what it was. 

Josh: I was just kind of continuing on with what Jill was saying. Basically we are warming people up inside the Facebook group and are then giving them an opportunity to read some free content, again building more value. If they decide they want to upgrade, they will take up the lead magnet and the next step is basically to transition them into a customer. That’s the process that we take. It’s a gradual warming up process as opposed to a hard sell. 

We’re not going to push our products directly into our group. 

Amy: Your email list must be really, really hot. You have qualified these people multiple times. They are in a private Facebook group. Then you don’t just get them right on your list, you send them to that epic blog post where they get to learn more. And then you invite them, “Hey, if you want to dive deeper, here you go.” 

Jill: It’s been pretty good.

Amy: That’s kind of awesome.

Jill: They are very responsive. 

Amy: I bet it’s extremely responsive. The other question I had, now that I remember what it was, if I were to buy that $19 mini product about sales funnels, am I joining your membership site? 

Jill: No. That sits on a stand-alone membership site where they can only access that course. However, if they do take up that product they will eventually get pitched to join Screw U and get access to all of the courses and all the training and the support and the coaching calls and all that. 

Amy: I know this is a little bit off topic but you’ve built your business model around membership sites. Can we talk about that for a moment? 

Jill: Yeah. 

Amy: Your membership site is called what? 

Jill: Screw U. 

Amy: It’s really creative. 

Josh: Screw U. 

Jill: As in university and not like screw you, Amy. 

Josh: It’s not like screw you, Amy. 

Amy: I was a little bit afraid there. 

Josh: We love you. 

Amy: Okay. So Screw U as in university. And tell me about this membership site because you haven’t always had it. What I love is the story of why you wanted to create it. Can we kind of get into that because it’s really interesting? 

Jill: Of course. 

Josh: Screw U is a monthly membership. You pay a monthly fee to be a part of it. You get access to a forum. But it’s a lot more than a forum. It’s basically like a stand-alone version of Facebook plus a whole bunch of other stuff. You get access to training. We are constantly updating new courses inside of there. 

Right now we are running two monthly calls. The first one is a Q&A call where you get to get on with us for an hour and a half and we just jam out. If you have any questions we’ll answer them live on air. The second monthly call is hot seats. We pick four people from the membership and bring them on for 15 minutes and really jam out one on one with their business. That’s really valuable for a lot of people listening in on the call too. 

Screw U actually used to be a stand-alone course. It was a program. We realized it wasn’t really our strength to sell a stand-alone product month to month. We were finding it a little bit stressful starting at zero every single month and having to sell from that point on so we came across the membership site  model  through  Stu McLaren, who is an awesome guy, by the way. 

He suggested it to us and gave us some ideas on what technology to use. As soon as we started it we got a great response from our audience and we realized it was perfect for our personalities because we love to grow audiences. We love to grow communities. That’s the main reason the Facebook group is so powerful for us as well. 

Jill: It also took away the stress of always starting at square one every month. That was the major factor in us moving from one-off digital products to continuity. We hated saying, “Sweet, we made xxx this month. Oh, it’s February 1 and we’ve made nothing now.” The stress of that was just killing us. 

Josh only highlighted some parts of Screw U but I think we really try and make an emphasis on the community so that’s a huge part of it. I know I’ve shown you through Screw U. We have this element called U Crews which are local-based mastermind and discussion groups. That’s kind of another feature of it, which really helps to surround our members with people who are doing the same kind of thing and are close to them geographically so they actually feel like they have an in-person community. 

Amy: That’s really cool. I know a lot of people are looking for masterminds and want to get in person with somebody because sometimes this online marketing world is so isolated. Now you are kind of bringing them together in their local communities. What I find interesting about your membership group that is a lot different than some other groups is that a lot of other groups are constantly churning out new content and new trainings. 

That is a great thing. And you have trainings inside your program. But I feel there is a huge focus on the community and the interaction and  getting  your  questions answered and just the conversations. It is a constant mastermind group that you’ve got going on. 

Jill: Definitely. We don’t say we have a new training released every month. That is way too much pressure on us and that’s not the community we want to run. Ours is very high touch. You have a lot of access to Josh and I and the rest of the community. We’re just there to help you in any way we can. 

Like you said, we do have the training element to it but that isn’t the central focus. The central focus is more the discussion, the conversations, and the community. 

Amy: When you create a funnel for your own business, like that mini training about sales funnels, does that find its way inside your membership site? 

Jill: Yeah. Everything we do, we call it the octopus analogy. We learned it from James Schramko. His whole thing is that you have your core offer. For us that would be Screw U. That is the head of your octopus. Then you have all of these “tentacles” which act as your sales funnels in different ways into the membership. 

For us, we just fracture out our courses from inside Screw U that we’re creating anyway for our members based on the feedback we got from the Facebook group. Then we sell them as stand-alone products to give people a taste of what they could get if they join Screw U as a whole. 

Amy: That’s awesome. I feel like you have a really solid strategy. Just because I know you two personally, I have seen such a huge shift in how much you enjoy your business now. I can hear it in your voice. I know when you launched this it was like a huge weight was lifted off your shoulders. What I want to say to that is I have a business dramatically different than yours so I do my launches and I have my automated programs that are through webinars and all that good stuff. That’s a whole different type of model and it works for me. But it didn’t work for you and you knew it. 

I feel like so much of what we do we have to remember it’s not just here’s how I’m going to make money but are you going to enjoy it and can you keep it up? I feel it took a lot of confidence for you to say you could make money the way I am but you don’t want to. 

Jill: I think that was probably our biggest revelation of 2015. We realized we were just kind of following other people’s business models because, look at Amy, she has seven- figure launches or, oh look at John, he makes whatever every month. That’s John Lee Dumas, by the way. 

Amy: I was going to say, you know it’s not just me and you on this call, right? 

Jill: I’m sorry. 

Amy: How’s Sally doing, have you talked to her lately? 

Jill: You know what, she’s….{laughter} One thing we had to realize is that what might work so well for these people doesn’t light us up the same way. We don’t want our business to feel like a chore so we really had to kind of figure out our strengths. I think the insight from that really came from the Facebook group and realizing, damn, we’re really good at building communities. 

Josh: Yeah. I also think money is a good indicator as well. If you’re not making the kind of money you feel like you should be making and it doesn’t feel right at the same time then maybe you need to shift gears a little bit and focus on a different type of model. The thing is, I don’t think a lot of people know about different types of models. 

Amy: Yes. 

Josh: Like the membership model is based off the continuity model, which is like every single month you’re charging a subscription basically. A lot of people aren’t aware that’s actually a possibility. In many different industries there are a lot of people inside Screw U now who are just starting to understand that maybe they can create a membership site in many different types of niches. For example… 

Jill: Teaching. 

Josh: Jess is into crocheting. It’s crocheting, right? 

Jill: Yeah. He calls it croquet and I’m like, “It’s crochet!” 

Josh: Crocheting, not hitting the ball through the things, whatever it is. She’s in the crochet industry and has just started a membership site in that because she understands now that a lot of people in her industry want to be a part of a community. They want to be a part of like-minded crocheters. 

Amy: Are you part of that group, Josh? 

Josh: I actually am. 

Amy: I knew it. What were you going to say, Jill? 

Jill: I was just going to say there are so many other examples as well. We have teachers inside the membership that are now starting their own membership community selling lesson plans on a monthly basis or giving support to other teachers. There’s a guitar player in there who is doing the same kind of thing. There are artists and the options are endless for this kind of model. 

Amy: You don’t just teach this model in your group, right? 

Jill: No. 

Amy: Okay, you have other models as well. I was going to say, I have heard many success stories come out of your membership site of people doing so many different things and models for their own business. I think that’s the biggest lesson here. I know we came on here to talk about Facebook groups and I do have a few more questions before we wrap up, but I love that you’ve pointed out there is not just one way to do this. You can get creative. There’s a lot of different ways to create consistent revenue and continuity. I feel like you guys have just landed on what works for you so a big kudos to you. That’s not always easy to do, especially when what you were doing was working, it just wasn’t working the way you wanted it to. 

Jill: Yeah, it just didn’t…. 

Amy: It didn’t jive with you. 

Jill: Yeah, it just didn’t light us up. 

Amy: Let’s jump back briefly to this Facebook group. I want to talk about a few of the do’s and don’ts with Facebook groups. What do you see really working well and what should I steer away from? I really like this idea but I know there are some mistakes that I could easily make and having a Facebook group won’t be so much fun anymore if I do. 

Jill: As a moderator, you mean as the owner or as someone participating? 

Amy: As an owner. 

Jill: As the owner, I feel like people don’t show up. I feel they are not consistent in it and I feel like that, in itself, is one of THE biggest aspects of this. If you’re going to have a community you have to be present in it. You have to be consistent with it. You have to show up and give your time to people. That is what community is all about, the connection. I also think you should be yourself. 

I definitely get things wrong in my group or I am not afraid to put my failures out there or talk about something that’s working really well or share a really embarrassing photo of myself or anything like that. I just try to keep it real as much as I possibly can and I feel that is where that connection really builds, when people feel you are being genuine and honest and sincere. That connection they have with you is real. 

Josh: Do you think also Jill that maybe one big mistake a lot of group owners make is that they try to automate all of their posts by using something like MeetEdgar, for example, to automate everything. They literally schedule three posts a day on their Facebook group but they’re not actually showing up and posting it themselves. I think that is having a pretty negative effect on those groups, actually. 

Jill: Here’s the thing, I use MeetEdgar in my group but I only have one post a day that goes out. I have Monday Mantra, Tuesday Toolsday, Wednesday Winsday. 

Amy: Wait, what’s Wednesday? 

Jill: Winsday. 

Amy: Oh, I thought you said Wednesday, Wednesday like, “did you just skip that one?” 

Jill: La-la-lah! It’s just hump day. 

Amy: Winsday. I like it. Themes are good. That’s another thing, here’s something my students are going to start thinking about, “I want a Facebook group, I want to be active in it, but are you telling me I have to think of content every single day?” 

Jill: No. Definitely not. I also think having these theme days and really diving into what your perfect audience would want to talk about, I know that for us a lot of people have mindset as a big thing. Mondays we kick it off with a mantra. I know that the tech and software side of things is huge because we’re running online businesses so I know they need tool recommendations or software recommendations. 

I know I desperately want to celebrate other people and give them a platform so that’s why I put the wins in there on Wednesday so that people can share what they are doing. It’s so important to celebrate the small and big wins to see how far you’ve come. Thursday I know people are itching to have questions answered so I facilitate that. Friday, again, I give people a platform to kind of pimp their stuff out. Saturday is Weekend Warriors so it’s just showing your office setup of the day because a lot of people are still in their 9-to-5 so they use the weekend to really buckle down on their business. 

Amy: That’s fun. 

Jill: Then Sunday is my favorite, it’s Screwpie Sunday. Our audience calls themselves Screwpies. I facilitate a discussion where people shout each other out and say why they are grateful for another member. That just really helps to lock in that sense of family. 

Amy: One thing that keeps coming to mind is that you do a lot in this group. I know it’s you and Josh so he probably does a lot of the backend stuff when you’re the face of the group. 

Jill: He does not come into the group whatsoever. He’s like the wind in there. It’s not his… 

Amy: It’s not his thing. That’s something that I think you guys need to talk about more and more about knowing what you want to do and what you don’t want to do. Because you’re so active in the group, Jill, I know it’s got to take a good chunk of your time. I also think in the beginning this is especially for people that have never done this, you’re going to feel like it’s taking too much of your time because you’re probably not going to see an instant return on your efforts and time. But you stuck with it and now I would say the time you spend in this group is totally justified because the backend, the fact that you’re growing your list and you’re selling a lot of membership sites because of it, it totally makes sense then. 

Jill: Well yeah. Honestly, it’s one of the biggest drivers of turning free members into paid members. Here’s the thing, I also have all of my paid members in there who come in and share their wins. They are like, “If it wasn’t for Screw U….” and they talk about the membership site. So they do the marketing for us, essentially. I never really have to push Screw U in there because they do it for me and that word of mouth is such shear power. 

Amy: Okay, so here’s a question I have for you, how are the closed free Facebook group conversations different than what you need to create in your forum in the paid membership site? 

Jill: For me at least, people answer each other’s questions all the time. But for us, we really don’t go super in depth or give crazy detailed feedback in the free group. We save that for paid members. 

Josh: It’s more like support, right Jill? You’re there to offer support. 

Jill: I’m more like a cheerleader. 

Amy: In the free group. 

Josh: In the free group. 

Jill: Without the pom poms. 

Amy: Get some pom poms. 

Jill: I know girl. 

Amy: That would be super fun. So you are more of a support. But kind of give me an example. I feel like I could get a little confused in that area. 

Jill: For example, one of the posts today someone was asking if I could help give feedback on their eBook cover. There are loads of comments from other people so I don’t really need to chime in on that so I am going to save my opinion for people who are actually in the paid group and are asking for detailed feedback. 

For example, there’s a girl named Jess Fisher in there and she has a subscription box service called Foxy Boxes (how fun is that) and now she has a program that she has launched which is How to Create a Subscription Box Service. She was  asking  for feedback on her sales page. 

I went through her entire sales page, ripped it apart, rebuilt it, and gave her detailed feedback. I would never do that in my free group. 

Amy: That’s a perfect example. I totally get it. 

Jill: That’s how I differentiate. They call me Mama Jill. Literally, I’m just so, “I’m so proud of you.” 

Amy: You get to know these people so intimately in both situations, the free private group and also your membership site. You are truly a great example, both of you, of knowing your audience so intimately. I bet when you go to events now you meet so many people that are part of those communities. 

Jill: Well, we live in Mexico so not too many. 

Amy: That’s right. You guys are a little bit hard to reach sometimes. 

Jill: But hopefully soon, yes. 

Amy: Will you be going to Social Media Marketing World? 

Jill: I’m not this time around. 

Amy: For a final question, there are some people listening that are saying, “This is a great idea but I am not ready to start a group, but I really want to stand out in a group and I like Facebook groups.” How can you really stand out in a group if it’s not your own? 

Jill: I think this is so huge. I actually don’t think everyone should start a community. I only think you should do that if that falls into your wheelhouse and you have an active interest in putting in the time and effort for it. If you really want to use Facebook groups to build your business but you don’t want to start one I think there are a few things you can do to really stand out and get noticed. 

We have a few stars inside our free group. One of them is Amanda Bond. She is a Screw U member but when she participates in the group she shares non-stop mad knowledge. She is a Facebook ads strategist and runs our ads and a few other brands. She comes in and shares detailed steps of how to optimize your conversions for blah, blah, blah. I don’t know. 

I don’t know what she talks about, I just tell her to do it for us. She will share detailed step by steps with pictures and examples. She goes so in depth and gives so much of her knowledge away for free and then everyone in our group just loves her. She stands out because she is never taking. She is only giving. 

She has now become this go to in that community for everything FB ad strategy. Plus, her roster of clients is filled up like that because of her presence and being tagged all the time. People tag her in other groups. She has really built up a brand for her self just by really giving 110% in a Facebook group. She gives more than she takes. 

Another strategy that I think is super important is your introduction post. Most people talk about themselves. They go into the long-winded novel-length post. 

Amy: Let’s just say right away that’s a don’t in any Facebook group, when you have 20 paragraphs in a post no one is going to read it. 

Jill: So true. I can’t handle when it’s not spaced. 

Amy: I need spaces. 

Jill: Format! One woman who joined my group in 201 5 introduced herself  in two paragraphs and she played a game. She said, “This is one of my favorite games, it’s three truths and a lie.” She listed four different things and asked us to guess which one was a lie. It was something like, “I got charged for abduction, I make two meals a day…” It was so crazy. 

The thread blew up. People said she was so funny, it was the best game and they wanted to know which one it was. I was like, “Tell me which one it was!” 

Amy: Everyone needs to steal that. Next time you introduce yourself in a private Facebook group or any community do the three truths and one lie. I love that idea. 

Jill: It was so smart. She instantly stood out and has become the go-to for all things persuasion and psychology in that kind of sense. My third would be to interact in other people’s posts. Really chime in and help them get something out of it and they are instantly going to be attracted to you. You will stick out in their mind. It’s all about relationships and not making it about yourself. 

I see so many people come in and blast the group with photos that have their URL on it or their frigging Twitter profile or whatever it is and you’re like, “You are talking at them, not to them.” That is such a key distinction. When you are in a community it’s much more give, give, give than it is take. I feel if you can really focus on that then you’ll have so much more success with trying to stand out in these Facebook communities and you won’t have to manage your own, you can just be a star in two to three groups. 

Amy: You’re so right about that. I wanted to go back to the one about giving more than you take. There are some subtleties that I have noticed. I have my own private Facebook groups but they are for my paid programs. Once in a while there will be someone that pretends they are giving but it’s so very obvious they are taking. 

One example of that is that Sally will ask a question about XYZ and in the comments this person will tell you they can help you with “that” and they will private message. 

Jill: I hate that. I knew you were going to say that. I almost wanted to cut you off and be like, “Don’t tell me she said to PM her.” 

Amy: As an owner of the group, I’m offended by that because 1) You’re holding back your information and 2) You’re obviously trying to get a client. 

Jill: Totally. I’m like, “Yo, I get that you’re here to build your business. I want you to build your business. I just want you to benefit the rest of the community.” We get it. We see what you’re doing. You ain’t that slick. 

Amy: Just be really careful with that. And some of you might have done it before and didn’t really have that intention like Jill and I feel like that’s what it looks like. Just be careful to make sure you are constantly sharing your best stuff for free. Don’t keep it behind the PM because that feels very weird and a little bit slimy. Just make sure you are in there for the right reasons and it always, always comes to the forefront for us. I know the names of the people in my group that are the leaders. I always think of them. 

Here’s an example, there was one gal in one of my groups. Her name is Leslie. In my Facebook 101 Jumpstart program she just kind of made herself the leader of that program. She is just helping everyone in the private Facebook group. I’m not in that group daily so I love that she is so helpful and I told my assistant, Trivinia, that I need to know more about this girl, she’s so helpful. I hired her to do some work in my own business and am thinking about hiring her for something else. 

I referred her to somebody else so now she did some work for a friend of mine. We definitely see those people, right? 

Jill: Totally. Like for example, exactly what you’re saying. Amanda Bond, a real star of ScrewTheNineToFive community, we appreciate her so much. She knows her stuff. She gets us such good results so we’re like, “Let’s do a course together.” 

Now we have a course on FB ads called Addicted coming out with her that the group is already like, “Oh my God, I can’t wait because it’s Bond’s course,” and they love her. That trust is already cemented in. It benefits our business, it benefits her business, and it benefits the community. 

Amy: There are so many great things that can come out of private Facebook groups when you really are there for the right reason. 

Jill: That’s so true. 

Amy:  Guys, thanks so much for this. This was full of great knowledge. I think my favorite part was about you guys changing your business model and I think people are going to find immense value in your whole funnel that you’ve created because when you go through it it’s like you are doing a training for other people because we see exactly what you’ve put together that’s working for you. I have tons of links from your own content that I’ll be putting in the show notes. I hope that’s okay with you. 

Jill: Thank you so much. Yes! 

Amy: Tell everybody one more time where they can go to join your free Facebook group. 

Jill: Of course, it’s easy. Head on over to ScrewCommunity.com. 

Amy: Awesome. Thanks again, both Jill and Josh. I so appreciate having you here and I love you guys tons. 

Jill: Thanks so much Amy. 

Josh: Thanks Amy. 

Amy: So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I have. I always think that Josh and Jill are so much fun to talk to. I wanted to also let you know, before we wrap things up, that I just launched a brand new program. It’s called List Builder’s Lab and I’m incredibly excited about it because I really do believe that so many of my students struggle with building the foundation around list building. 

I always say the energy of your business is directly tied to the quality of your email list. So if you want to check out a free master class that I created all around list building you can go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/listbuilding to check it out. I also wanted to let you know that all of the links we talked about here in the show are on my show notes. You can get to that by going to http://www.amyporterfield.com/97. 

Finally, I want to thank our sponsor, 99Designs. You know when you market online it is really difficult to stand out from all of that online noise clutter. How do you do it? I think you do it through impeccable branding. That includes your logo, your social media cover images, your website, and everything in between. At 99Designs you can get anything designed in just a week for a startup-friendly price. 

To give you a little something extra, when you go to www.99designs.com/amy you will get a $99 upgrade for free. That upgrade makes your design contest stand out from all of the others and bumps you to the top of the list so more designers can see your contest. So make sure to check out www.99designs.com/amy. 

Thank you so very much for tuning in. I can’t wait to connect with you again next week. Bye for now.