AMY PORTERFIELD: Well hey there, welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield. Today we are talking all things Facebook groups.
That Facebook algorithm can get a little tricky at times. Now that Facebook has let us all know that they are going to focus on meaningful social interactions in our newsfeeds things feel even trickier, to be quite honest, maybe even confusing.
For me, I started to think about Facebook groups in a whole different way. I believe Facebook groups are the key to building the kind of communities that will not only allow us to connect with our audience, students, and clients even more, but also, Facebook is rewarding those connections inside of groups.
They have actually come out to say that they will be showing posts from groups more often in the newsfeeds than posts from our Facebook pages for our businesses. Groups are where it’s at.
That is exactly why I wanted to bring on Facebook groups expert Caitlin Bacher. Caitlin has grown her own free closed Facebook group, Social Boss with Caitlin Bacher, to more than 30,000 members in just three years.
She also has a best-selling course called The Fab Facebook Group System. I thought she would be the perfect person to answer the question I get asked all the time from my students, “How do I boost engagement in my free Facebook group or even my student-only course Facebook group when I’m starting from zero, when there’s hardly anybody in my Facebook group to actually get engagement from?”
If you’ve ever wondered this you, my friend, are listening to the perfect episode. I’ll cover all of this in my conversation with Caitlin.
Before we get there I wanted to let you know this episode is sponsored by Courses That Convert®️, my online training program that teaches you how to create an online course from start to finish.
This is one of my best-selling courses where I get into all the details, the nuts and bolts. I don’t leave anything out so you know exactly what it takes to create your own online training course and launch it.
If you want to learn more about creating your own course I have a free masterclass called How to Confidently Create Your First Online Course in 60 Days. To check out my free class go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/courses.
I won’t make you wait any longer, let’s go ahead and dive into my conversation with Caitlin Bacher.
Caitlin, thank you so very much for being on the show. I’m excited to have you here.
CAITLIN: Thank you, I’m so happy to be here.
AMY: We’ve got so much great stuff to cover. But, before we get there, for those of my listeners who don’t yet know you, tell me a little bit about yourself and what you’re all about.
CAITLIN: My name is Caitlin Bacher and I’ve been doing social media marketing for over three years now. I started out actually freelancing as a social media manager when my daughter was about two years old.
Right now she is six years old and in kindergarten. I live here in San Francisco with my daughter and my husband.
AMY: What do you do in your business now, because you’re not doing social media consulting.
CAITLIN: That’s right. Right now I’m selling online courses. I also just started a group coaching program.
AMY: You primarily focus on Facebook groups so I want to ask you, before we really get into all the questions around Facebook group engagement and how to make them work, why Facebook groups and why did you decide only Facebook groups? You’ve kind of got an interesting story around that.
CAITLIN: It’s funny because the short answer is that my Facebook group was the number one reason why my business grew so quickly. When I first started out it was selling courses about Instagram and other platforms like Pinterest but the social media platform that was bringing me the most revenue was my Facebook group.
I think that’s because I really used my group as a tool to understand exactly what my market wanted, how they wanted it, and why they wanted it.
There is really a level of intimacy that’s developed in groups that really can’t be replicated on any other platform I’ve ever seen. As a new business owner it was incredibly important that I build my own community and connect with them in a meaningful way.
AMY: I have a question for you. In the intro I talked about this but we’re going to talk about Facebook groups that are tied to your paid courses and free Facebook communities that are tied to your bigger messaging and brand.
In the beginning when you talked about this being your number one social platform that worked for you that was a free Facebook community, correct?
CAITLIN: Yes, that’s exactly right. At the time I was also spending time in other people’s Facebook groups getting known that way. Ultimately I wanted to get to know people in other Facebook groups and bring them into my own community where I could start to foster relationships there.
AMY: Yes, for sure. Keep going.
CAITLIN: One of the things that I see a lot of entrepreneurs kind of miss the mark on is that they spend time developing products and services for other people’s communities. You’ve probably seen this too.
If you’re in someone else’s Facebook group when someone comes in and asks what you are struggling with when it comes to “this” or “that” or whatever the problem is that your intentions are correct in that you definitely want to ask those kinds of questions but you’re not asking them to your own community, you’re asking them to someone else’s community.
The truth is there is no shortcut. If you want to make it in online business you need your own community. It’s really important to create products and programs that are going to benefit them. You don’t want to create stuff that is going to benefit someone else’s community. That doesn’t make any sense.
AMY: For sure. Definitely. You found that in creating your own community you started to learn about what people wanted from you and you had more of a personal connection. You could ask the right questions and really get in there.
You also have a unique business and this is one reason I wanted you to come on the show. I know we’re going to talk about Facebook groups but you have built a million- dollar business and am I right to say that you have just one course?
CAITLIN: Yes, that is correct.
AMY: So we need to talk about that.
CAITLIN: Okay, let’s talk about this and the reason I’m excited to talk about this, Amy, is because it actually has a lot to do with you.
CAITLIN: …And something you mentioned on one of your older podcasts. AMY: Okay.
CAITLIN: I don’t know if you remember, I don’t remember the title of the podcast, but there was a podcast where you were talking about how to know if you are ready to start a new course. Your advice was to give it a year, at least. I think you might have even said 18 months.
I think you said give it 12 to 18 months. At the time that was mind blowing for me because I felt the only way I could create more revenue in my online course business was to continue to create more courses.
While that makes sense on the surface, what happens is you end up with all of these different funnels to manage, all of these different communities to manage, and when you’re just getting started you don’t have the team to do that.
Obviously, right now I have a new program coming out. As your business matures I think it’s great to add additional courses and streams of revenue and stuff. Absolutely. But you need to get really good at selling one thing first.
Once you totally nail that the rest is going to be easy. You really have to hone your selling skills. That’s something a lot of people don’t do. They just hop from project to project.
AMY: It’s so true. You hit it on the head. If you could just wait and perfect your selling process with one course, you validate it, you get some feedback in the beginning. You can see, “Okay, this is going to sell.”
It might not go out of the gate with millions but in the beginning you are like, “There’s something here.”
Then you perfect our marketing and messaging. You perfect the training course. All of the ingredients are perfected and you continue to launch it and you’re right, that literally sets the stage with how you launch and you don’t have to flip from one course to another.
That changes everything when you do that.
CAITLIN: There is a popular misconception out there that a sign that you’ve made it and that your course has legs is if you knock it out of the park your very first launch. I don’t know about you but I have not found this to be true at all.
AMY: I agree.
CAITLIN: I can tell you honestly, it’s been 18 months since my first launch of this particular program. When I first launched it I made about $20,000. That may sound good to some people but for me and the level of business I’m in that was breaking even.
The very first time I launched I made $20,000 and I was completely devastated, to be honest. I thought my email list was big. I had a big community. I was convinced this was going to be my first six-figure launch. My team was rooting for it and we made $20,000.
For an entire day I just cried in my bed. I just needed to go all in and have a day to completely melt.
AMY: I hear you.
CAITLIN: I ate ice cream in bed and felt bad about it. Then the next day I was going to turn this around. I remember going in to Slack and I gave my team the news. They were disappointed but I said, “Look, this is just the beginning. We’re going to relaunch this thing in two months.”
Here we go. My main focus at that time was to really dig into the students I had and just give my all to them to ensure they were able to feel supported and get great results. A big part of that was the course Facebook group I had going.
By doing that we were able to launch two months later. This time it was without Facebook ads because, let’s be honest, I didn’t have money to spend on ads at the time. We were able to go from a $20,000 launch with ads to a $60,000 launch just two months later without any ads.
Then, a few months after that I had a launch where it was about $167,000. A few months after that I turned it into an evergreen funnel that generates six figures each month.
AMY: I need to stop you. That’s exactly what she said guys. When I heard this is was like, “What?” Six figures every single month. This girl is legit. I’m in a mastermind with her and I know these things.
When I first heard that a couple of months ago I needed her to repeat it to me. It’s incredible. Most people don’t get there that quickly but this is what’s so huge. I know we’re off topic of Facebook groups and we’re going to get there in a moment. However, I think most people, because I’ve seen it happen with student after student, they do that first launch and they feel it wasn’t so great.
They have their cry in bed with their ice cream. We’ve all been there. But then they don’t get up the next morning and say, “We are going to launch this again.” What typically happens is, “I need a different kind of course. I need to sell it differently, I need to put it into a different platform,” or whatever.
No, you decided to launch the course again and make it better. Then you went on for bigger and bigger and now evergreen. Kudos to you for sticking it out because that’s exactly what I did with Profit Lab and it’s a game changer.
CAITLIN: It’s funny because I remember at the time when I was starting to do this, going all in with one product, there was a little bit of fear and resistance to that. Even some of my friends said it sounded kind of crazy and didn’t think it was such a good idea.
I am pretty sure I gave you as an example because I said, “Guys, don’t you remember when Amy Porterfield first started she was known for Facebook ads. That was her thing. That’s what she was known for.”
You had that one thing and now look, you have other different offers. That’s fine, but I needed to get known for one thing.
AMY: And girl, you have been known for that. Facebook groups, when I think of Facebook groups I instantly think of you. That’s why I wanted you to come on the show. You really know your stuff.
What I love is that you don’t just know your stuff, you’ve proven it with your own groups and your own community.
That’s a good way to bring us back because lately Facebook came out with some big news, although we all expected it and were already feeling it, about the change in algorithms and the push to more personal conversations and getting those posts out to friends and family more than businesses.
This was a really big buzz inside my own private Facebook group. Now that we know what Facebook is moving toward, why do you think Facebook groups are more important than ever?
CAITLIN: Well, Mark Zuckerberg himself has said that people will begin to see more content in their newsfeeds from friends, family, and groups. Basically, your ticket to showing up in your ideal customer’s newsfeed is to get a Facebook group. That’s the way you’re going to stay top of mind for your audience.
AMY: So true. If you are a business owner struggling to get seen on Facebook you’re saying to definitely check out Facebook groups?
CAITLIN: Absolutely. It’s not really a question of whether you should do a Facebook group, it might be fun. If you have a Facebook page there is no reason why you cannot have a Facebook group.
A lot of people think about Facebook groups in a backwards way. They have a belief that in order to start a Facebook group they need to first build their email list, build a huge community, get famous, be well known, and then start a Facebook group.
In reality, your Facebook group can be used as a tool to build your email list. It’s not a replacement for your email list. Email lists? Of course, we all need an email list. But I’m suggesting that there are techniques you can use inside of your Facebook groups to actually get new, fresh people that have no idea who you are inside of your community.
They will then be a lot more likely to opt in to something once they are in the Facebook group. The best way I can describe it is that a Facebook group is like a microwave.
CAITLIN: It takes leads from cold to hot really fast.
CAITLIN: Your Facebook page is like boiling water the old fashioned way. When you’re trying to take spaghetti and it takes ten minutes to get the water to boil and you end up cooking the noodles less than that. In any case, this is really going to help get your leads warmed up quickly.
AMY: Here’s a question for you. If we’re just talking about Facebook communities right now, I want to know how you treat your Facebook page differently than your group? I get this question all the time. What are you doing on your Facebook page if the action and good stuff is happening in your free community?
CAITLIN: I like to think of my Facebook page as a billboard. That’s where I’m pushing out content and pushing my YouTube videos. I’m pushing my blog post to my page and I’m also pushing invitations to join my Facebook group.
The conversation is going to happen inside of your Facebook group. You want to make an intentional effort to pull people from your page into your group.
AMY: Got ya. Fantastic. I love that. It’s a really simple way to look at it. I’m going to break this up into two sections. Section One is going to be all about closed, free groups. This is the free community that Caitlin and I have been talking about from the get go. In Part Two of this we are going to talk about Facebook groups for courses.
It’s a different opportunity there and I want to make sure we have two different conversations about that because I think there are nuances in both.
For Part One we’re talking about closed, free groups, those free communities, and the first question I have for you about those is that there is a great feature where you can ask questions before people are allowed into your group.
A closed group means they have to request access to be in the group. When they request access you get to ask them questions. What kind of questions are you asking them?
CAITLIN: Here’s what everyone needs to know right now. When you are creating questions for your new members to ask you need to use this as an opportunity to get your members to take action.
AMY: I love the train in the background. It’s very dramatic.
CAITLIN: I know, do you want me to pause for a minute? AMY: No just keep going. It’s so good.
CAITLIN: Okay, sorry. Anyway, the very first question I ask is, “Have you downloaded your free copy of the Facebook Group Host Roadmap from my website, CaitlinBacher.com?”
I don’t care whether they have downloaded it or not. It makes no difference to me. But the most popular reply is, “Not yet, but I’m heading over there now.”
The purpose of the question is to remind those who have signed up for the roadmap to read it and to let new people that are joining my group know that it exists.
AMY: Awesome. That’s so good. The very first question you ask them is something around taking an action.
CAITLIN: Exactly. And that’s something everyone can do. The second question I ask is, “Do you currently have a Facebook group?”
Again, whether they say “yes” or “no” makes no difference to me. I know that 50% of my students in my Facebook group program have a group and the other 50% do not have a group yet.
The purpose of this question is to remind them of the group topic. I don’t want people coming into this group and starting to ask questions about blogging or Instagram. The focus is Facebook groups. I want them to know that from the get go so it kind of frames their experience coming into the group.
CAITLIN: The third question is, “How did you find this group?” Some people screen shot answers and then save them somewhere and file them away. I don’t do any of that.
AMY: Just for the record, I learned this too. I just opened a new group and you ask these questions. The minute you accept them their responses go away. Facebook needs to change that. Come on.
CAITLIN: I totally agree. I feel a change to that would be coming in the future. I feel that’s worth a change. In any case, I want to know where my group is being promoted.
Sometimes my group will get mentioned in someone else’s Facebook group or on someone’s blog post. I have no way of knowing unless I ask. On your website if someone mentions your blog you get traffic referrals from Google so you can see where they are coming from.
With your Facebook group you don’t know where they’re coming from. There is no way to track that. I like to know that because it helps me know where my market is hanging out.
AMY: You definitely want to take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions before people are given access into your group. We call it a closed group because, will you explain a closed group so that everyone understands what that is?
CAITLIN: Sure. The difference between a closed group and a public group is that in a public group everyone’s posts and comments inside of the group are visible. In order to create a more intimate environment you need to create a closed group so there is kind of a gateway.
People have to request to join and then they get access to all of the information.
AMY: Great. Just that exclusivity in and of itself makes your group more attractive so I highly recommend a closed group. Moving on, I want you to talk about the biggest mistake you see group creators make.
CAITLIN: I love this. Whenever I talk about this, especially with other content creators, they all make the same mistake. The problem is that they are trying to elicit engagement from their Facebook group but all they’re doing is sharing tips and tricks.
If you think about it logically, if you’re in a Facebook group and if someone publishes this big, juicy top ten ways to make a vegan casserole or whatever, something like that, that’s not really going to spark engagement other than a “thank you” or “great post”.
What are people going to write? It’s not a conversation. It’s definitely okay to post something like that every now and again. But if that is all you’re posting it’s basically recreating. You’re doing the same thing in your group that you are already doing on your page.
A group is a way to really invite people into a conversation. I call it a conversational living room vibe where you are all just hanging out on your big comfy couches and talking about whatever topic your Facebook group is about as opposed to “look at me speaking on the stage as I present this information to you.”
AMY: That’s a great point. It’s so much easier to put articles out there and links to great things and your latest podcast. I think it’s more work to think of those really engaging questions.
Give me some examples of stuff you post in your group that gets you really good engagement.
CAITLIN: One of my favorite questions I like to share inside my Facebook group is personal content. This is something all of us really need to get into the habit of sharing inside of our Facebook groups.
This is great content that can also be repurposed into an email or blog post or video or whatever. Basically, it’s a personal story about yourself or a question that you pose to the audience.
You want your audience to feel like you’re really drawing them in. I can give you an example. One of the most popular stories I’ve shared inside of my group is called “What I learned from a box of mac and cheese today.”
I share this story of how my daughter went to a fancy private school where all of the moms have these backyard gardens growing organic Heirloom tomatoes and we don’t do that here at Chez Bacher, that’s for sure.
I was talking about how she went to the fancy preschool and there was a potluck. My husband signed up for macaroni and cheese and came home with an actual box of Kraft macaroni and cheese.
When I saw it I burst out laughing. I said, “Oh my gosh, you’ve got to be joking. We are not bringing that.”
He asked why and I said that everyone would laugh. I would be so embarrassed. All of the moms would think I am horrible. He said, “But this is her favorite.”
He was totally right. In that moment I realized I’m creating a dish for my daughter. That’s who matters the most. It doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say. As you create, this is what I said to my group, of course, as you create and market offers for your audience you need to keep this in mind.
Don’t worry about what others are doing. Don’t worry about what anyone else will say about it. You’ve got to remain focused on your ideal customers. Give them exactly what they want and you’ll win every time.
AMY: This is so good.
CAITLIN: You want to share a personal story and then kind of bridge it back over to a relevant topic. But there are so many universal pain points that we all experience like embarrassment, feeling left out, and all of these different things.
We all have stories to share. Stuff like this, this kind of thing, really boosts engagement because first of all a lot of people have a story similar to that with their own kids in school or feeling weird around other moms or anything like that.
AMY: So true. Here’s the thing. I kind of had an ah-ha moment. When you tell a personal story and you relate it back to some type of lesson you learned an you wanted to share with your audience that organically sparks engagement.
There is a lot of “me too” or “oh my gosh, that happened to me but it was like this,” or whatever. It’s almost like you don’t have to ask a question. Stories ignite that engagement back and forth because they are so conversational.
I love that you do that. Also, one other thing is that whenever I share a picture of my dog, Scout, the engagement goes through the roof. You are right. Even the simple little things behind the scenes.
Sometimes I think my husband, Hobie, is more popular than I am with my audience. I post about him and he gets all of these likes. I’m thinking the guy doesn’t even really have a social media account, not on Instagram at least.
I do love this idea of letting them in, sharing the personal stuff, and going the extra mile by telling the story. The more you do it the better story teller you become. It’s just something you have to do a few times and you will start to feel more comfortable with it. But yes, I love that.
You guys have to follow Caitlin. I’ll link to all of her stuff in the show notes because she does these stories regularly. They are beautiful. I love watching her tell the stories on Instagram and on Facebook.
Even if you’re not in her group you’re going to get a taste of that if you follow her on social.
There’s another type of content you encourage people to do in their free communities. That is helpful content. Talk to me about that one.
CAITLIN: The important thing to remember about this is that it needs to be bite-size information. People have content overwhelm. You don’t have to create a 1,000-word post for your Facebook group.
You can take content you’ve already created in your webinars, your blog, on your podcast, and in your emails and repurpose it into a little post inside of your Facebook group. It’s really easy to even schedule this stuff.
There’s all kinds of scheduling tools. You can pop this out in no time.
AMY: It’s so good. I like that. When I saw this one about helpful content I thought we weren’t supposed to be sharing the tips and tricks. But this kind of has a twist to it.
CAITLIN: The thing is if you want people to engage inside of your Facebook group you need people to show up to your Facebook group. Let’s be honest. The number one reason people want to show up is because they want to learn something.
That’s initially why they’re going there. So you need to meet them where they are at. You need to share content like this so that it’s going to keep them coming back. But then you’re also going to throw in stuff like personal stories where they see that you are more than someone who just teaches how to make vegan casseroles. You are a real person they can relate to.
AMY: Yes. Good. I love that. My favorite one is your third type of content. Let’s wrap it up with our content ideas for free Facebook communities with this third one. Talk to me about that one.
CAITLIN: This is the type of content I guarantee is missing from the groups of most of your listeners. This is something a lot of people forget to post inside of their Facebook groups. This is the number one thing that will drive sales in your community.
I call this type of content “Content that stirs desire.” It’s really important that the content you create inside of your group builds your authority just like you did with the helpful content. It gets people to like you just like you did with the personal stories.
It is also important that you are creating content that drives sales. The big question is how in the world do you create content that sells without being salesy? We’ve all been in those Facebook groups where it’s promotion after promotion after promotion. Nobody likes that.
CAITLIN: The answer is that you stir their desire. That means you grab people’s attention and you make them curious to learn more. This is sort of the opposite of the helpful content. The helpful content is a bite-sized actionable step that someone can act on and get an immediate result.
This kind of content leaves people having even more questions. It makes them curious. An easy way for you to do this inside of your own group is to talk about some myths.
You can go in and create a post called Top Three Myths About ______ and put it inside your group. When your members are reading these myths their curiosity is going to be peaked.
Within those myths you’re not teaching someone how to do anything. All you’re doing is getting their attention, peaking their curiosity, and making them want to learn more about what it is you’re selling.
AMY: You have a really good example of this. Tell them about that example.
CAITLIN: I have a blog post called Stop Believing These Lies About Hosting a Facebook Group. Inside that post are three false beliefs people have that keep them from starting their own group.
For example, one of the beliefs people have is that you have to be really well known in your niche and have thousands of people on your email list before you start a Facebook group. I know that is complete garbage.
This connects with my community because many of them have that belief. When I explain that you do not need to grow a huge email list in order to start a Facebook group, you don’t need to do that because your group is going to grow your list for you, that peaks their interest.
Then, I proceed to give an example from one of my students that grew her email list by 1,000 people in 30 days as a direct result of following the program and taking specific action inside of the group.
If you’re listening right now, after hearing that, how do you feel? You’re probably kind of curious and you’re probably a little confused. You want to learn more. That’s a good think.
AMY: So good.
CAITLIN: That’s how you want people to be.
AMY: Yes, stir the desire. These are such great examples. I’m often asked about content examples and the fact that you just gave three really solid ones that you can use inside of a free community is fantastic.
I’m going to review them really fast. The one we just went over, Content That Stirs Desire; the other is Helpful Content, but I feel Caitlin put a twist on that (bite size); and maybe my favorite is the personal content where you use stories to actually talk about whatever it is that’s going on and touch on some of those feelings, emotions, and challenges your audience is facing using stories to get the point across in different ways.
That is really, really important. It takes a little extra time but goes so much further.
We are going to pivot now and talk about Facebook groups that you create for your paid courses. I wanted Caitlin to talk about this because so many students inside my programs will say, “Amy, I want to create a course to sell and I want to have a Facebook group as a bonus for when people buy the course. My fear is that I’ve never sold the course. What if only ten people buy (that could be a very real thing that happens) and then how do I get this community to engage with me if only ten people are in the group?”
People then have the fear that if only ten people buy they will look like a loser because it will be obvious not many people bought if they are in a really small group.
I feel we need to totally change the mindset around this and get into action. A small group is not necessarily a bad thing. I feel that if you wow these ten people they will be customers for life and will continue to buy from you.
Are you cool if we dive in there and kind of talk about this?
AMY: Go for it.
CAITLIN: Again, the reason this is so important to really get your students engaged inside of your group, it’s because that’s how your customers are going to get results. You are able to get them to follow through so they can get the promised results.
One of the best ways to keep your students accountable is to embed an action step inside of the program.
AMY: That’s so smart.
CAITLIN: Let me give you a little story about that. My husband has become really into meditation. He has an app on his phone called Headspace. In that app they have a built-in feature that prompts you to share your success on social media after you’ve reached a specific benchmark.
It says, “You’ve done 30 days of consecutive meditation. Share this on Facebook.” My husband is always too embarrassed to share it but he tells me about it.
You can do the same kind of thing within your course. When I first launched my Facebook group course I needed a way to get people talking. I also needed a way to check for understanding and make sure people were interpreting my lessons correctly.
At the end of each lesson I invited them to take an action step inside of my group. For example, if there was an example on branding your group with a cover image then they would have to go inside of the Facebook group and share their cover image.
Nobody had to guess what to do. I told them exactly what to do. A lot of times your customers want to engage inside of your course group but they don’t know how. They don’t know what to do or what to say.
If you tell them and you give them something concrete to do they will do it.
AMY: That’s so true. I love this. Bake these opportunities into your course. This is something you want to think about as you’re creating your course. Fantastic.
Your next course-group strategy has to do with writing a series of emails to boost engagement. Tell me about that one.
CAITLIN: This next step is really important because it’s going to insure that your students get better results from your program. The tip is to create a nurture sequence. A new customer nurture sequence is basically a series of automated emails that deliver motivation and encouragement to your students.
When I first started selling courses I felt these emails had to be content heavy. I imagined that in order for my students to get really great results they needed more content. This was not true.
Again, it’s going back to the thing as content creators. This is our love language. This is how we help naturally. It’s like giving content and giving and sharing information. But in this case what people really needed was emotional support.
After they make a big investment they need reassurance they have made the right decision and they need to know you really do care about their success. My own customer nurture sequence really focuses on improving their mindset.
I do this in the very first email they get by calling out some of the emotions they may be experiencing. For example, the opening line is basically, “Whenever we start something new we have a preconceived set of beliefs or ideas about the right way to do something. When someone questions those beliefs it can feel uneasy or even downright scary.”
What I’m doing is setting the stage that in order to get results for this program you’re going to have to try some new things. It might feel a little uncomfortable and that’s okay and that’s normal.
A lot of times when people come to you they want to learn something new but they’re very stuck in their ways. They’ve been doing something one way for a very long time and it’s not producing the results they want, which is why they purchased your course, but it’s still scary to make changes.
They might be a little unsure of whether it will really work for them. They need to get encouragement that this program does work. This is also an opportunity where you can share case studies from other students who have had results too.
They are like, “Okay, this really does work. Okay, that’s great.”
AMY: This is awesome. This nurture sequence you’re talking about is also a huge help for refunds. Would you agree?
CAITLIN: Totally. Think about it. When do refund requests typically come in? AMY: A few months in, right?
CAITLIN: Well, for me a lot of times they come in right after they buy. They will buy it and then they are scared.
AMY: Buyer’s remorse. Wait a second. I don’t know if I should have done this. We see that too.
CAITLIN: Exactly. They buy it and they haven’t even opened the course. They have not even opened the course, right? It’s so funny because when my customer service associate says, “We don’t really offer refunds in this situation but here’s what I can do to help,” they are so thankful.
They are so grateful because they are able to feel supported. They are requesting refunds because they don’t believe it will work for them so they don’t even bother trying. I don’t know about you but I feel that is incredibly sad.
AMY: So sad.
CAITLIN: They have a proven step-by-step plan in front of them that solves the precise pain point they have been struggling with forever and they don’t even start. This has nothing to do with your product but it has everything to do with your customer’s mindset.
They are feeling overwhelmed. They are doubting their ability to get results. The antidote for the overwhelm is connection. The best way you can do that is with a nurture sequence that provides support and that also gets them into your group ASAP.
AMY: That’s another thing. Get them into the group ASAP. We do a nurture sequence. I teach how to do a nurture sequence inside of my Courses That Convert®️ program.
That’s how important I think it is. I took an entire training video about it because getting people in action right away after they purchase is so important. That very first email where we say, “Welcome to the program. Log in to the program and get started.” We also say, “and introduce yourself immediately into the private Facebook group, here’s access.”
CAITLIN: Exactly. I love that you give them a clear step. It’s easy. It’s just like, “Introduce yourself.” That’s something anyone can do.
AMY: Right. It’s super easy. You’re exactly right. I remember inside my Webinars That Convert®️ program, one thing we did in the very beginning (I’m not sure if we still do it now) I always say you need to have a “game on song” before you start your webinar.
You have to have your earbuds in and mine is Don’t Stop Believing from Journey. I listen to it before every live webinar.
I said the first thing to do is to jump in and tell us your game-on song. That was fun because people started sharing their songs and we kind of made things even more interesting.
CAITLIN: I love that.
AMY: There are a lot of different things you can do. So your last tip for a paid Facebook group is maybe the most important one. At least this is one I subscribe to very consistently. It is all about embracing video in your group. Can you talk to me about that?
CAITLIN: Yes. After someone buys your course it’s important that you stay present inside of your group and one of the best ways I found to do it is with video. There’s something so reassuring about seeing the course-creator’s face right there inside of your Facebook group.
I like to do a monthly Q&A call the last Friday of each month inside of my course group. I like to keep it the same each month because then everyone can remember it. It’s super simple. People submit their questions in advance and I choose three or four questions that I think will benefit the whole group.
This part is really important. If someone asks a random question that has nothing to do with the course it’s best to skip it. You don’t want to go there. But when you’re giving the Q&A call and going really deep into these three or four questions as you’re reading the comments during the videos it just feels good.
You have a live connection with the people that are actually going through your course. I feel reading those comments also helps you improve the quality of your course. You can go back and make changes to your course based on feedback you get.
If everyone is asking the exact same question about Lesson Two then you can go back into Lesson Two and add something that says, “Right now you may be wondering blah, blah, blah. Well, here’s the answer.”
CAITLIN: It makes it more helpful. Your course is a work in progress. People need to understand that. It doesn’t have to be a perfect, complete thing from the beginning. That would be great if it was and you obviously want to give it your best shot and put your best into it.
Over time you are going to be able to make so many improvements to it that it will really benefit your students.
AMY: A million percent. I also had a unique situation where a student of mine reached out to me and said she didn’t have enough people in her group to get enough questions.
There might be two or three questions and she wanted to do a weekly Facebook Live in her group. I told her to do a hot seat. I told her to take one person in the group and wow them with drilling down into whatever it is the topic is of the group so that she could offer feedback and insight.
It could be valuable for everybody. You just have to focus on one person because it’s a small group. If you’re not ready for Q&A like Caitlin and I do then you can definitely choose one person and drill down with a hot seat and that can be just as valuable.
CAITLIN: I love that hot seat idea. I think it’s great too because once you do that hot set people that are watching are probably going to have follow-up questions about it. Those can be the questions for your next Q&A call.
AMY: So true. Then you are starting to spark more engagement and that’s what this episode is all about. Before I let you go, because we’re going to wrap up Part Two all about the paid Facebook groups, I’ve got one last question for you that I know so many of my students are curious about.
How much time do you spend in your Facebook group? Is it different for a free community versus a paid course Facebook group?
CAITLIN: One-hundred percent, please do not spend all day long in your free Facebook group.
CAITLIN: Please do not do that. A free Facebook group is not a place where you need
to be coaching or teaching people for free all day long. We’ve been kind of covering
some alternative content ideas that go beyond just helping people but I would like for you to reframe your mindset that the best way you can help someone is to get them inside your paid products and programs.
That’s the best way. So when someone comes in asking for a Band-Aid when, in reality, they have a gaping wound it’s not doing them any favors to just give them a Band-Aid.
This is something a lot of people encounter with their free groups. They want to know what they do when they have someone that comes in and start asking questions. It’s content that is covered in their course but they don’t want to just tell them to “just go buy this,” because that sounds a little weird.
What I like to encourage them to do is to ask questions in return. Start asking questions that help the member get to the root of what the problem is so that they can understand they have a much bigger problem than they believe they do.
AMY: That’s great. In the free Facebook community when they are asking questions they are going to get to the point it is not just a Band-Aid kind of situation. They will know they need a bigger solution and then, of course, they will start to know about the bigger solution as they are in your Facebook group and you start telling people about your programs.
I think one time I saw you say to spend 20 minutes a day. Am I just making that up?
CAITLIN: That’s totally right.
AMY: Twenty minutes a day. But what about a paid course? Is it the same thing for you?
CAITLIN: I think it’s the same thing. Here’s the deal. When you have a paid course it’s also a community. When you’re first starting out and you just have a few members inside of your course Facebook group you will be able to pretty much answer everyone’s questions within 20 minutes.
What is going to happen as you get more and more students in there your other students are going to help you out. They are going to answer a lot of the questions for you because they’ve already been in your course and they already know how to help people.
For me, I would say, “Yeah,” 20 minutes a day is plenty inside of a Facebook group.
AMY: I totally agree. I think it’s enough. Really, I think you want to manage your time but you don’t want to make it about the time. Get a system together and know how you want to support and the different ways you want to engage.
Once it starts to feel like there is some flow there it becomes less overwhelming for the group creator.
AMY: So get a system down. Okay, Caitlin, thank you so very much for being on the show. We have covered so much ground. I’m so excited to release this to my listeners because this is a question that has come up over and over again.
My final question is where can listeners learn more about you?
CAITLIN: Definitely head over to my website http://www.caitlinbacher.com. There are
lots of goodies over there that will teach you even more about Facebook groups.
AMY: Awesome. I can’t wait for them to check you out. Thank you so very much for being here.
CAITLIN: Thank you Amy.
AMY: There you have it. I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Caitlin as much as I have. When it comes to Facebook groups Caitlin is your girl. I’m going to post a link to her website in my show notes if you want to check her out even more.
It’s funny that we’re talking about Facebook groups because I have a really cool announcement for you. I’m recording the closing of this podcast weeks after I recorded with Caitlin.
The reason for that is I lost my voice right around the time I did the interview with Caitlin so I had to go back and record intros and exits separately. Since interviewing Caitlin I have launched a brand new Facebook group called The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast Community.
It’s a Facebook group for the listeners of this podcast. We have been having so much fun. If you never want to miss an episode or if you enjoy the behind-the-scenes making of the episodes (because I’ve started to share some of those) or if you just want to be with a community of go getters, people that are building their businesses online, adding insights and smart questions, and starting great conversations in the group it really is a valuable place to be.
If you want to join us go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/podcastcommunity. When you go there you just have to request access into our Facebook group. Within 24 hours we will let you in and you can jump in on the conversation.
I can’t wait to see you over there. We’re having a blast and I’d love for you to join us.
There you have it. I cannot wait to connect with you next week. Until then make it a great week. Bye for now.