Transcript: The Better Buzz Strategy to Boost Engagement in Your Facebook Group with Dana Malstaff

October 10, 2019


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AMY PORTERFIELD: Well, hey, there. Welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield. Now, today we are talking about a buzz strategy to boost engagement in your community, most common of all communities, a Facebook group. Now, whether you have an official Facebook group or not, I want you to pay close attention because I have a feeling once you see just how powerful a Facebook group can be for your business and how it can provide a central hub where you can nurture and wow your community, you're going to be thinking about adding a Facebook group to the mix sooner than later.

Now, if you have a Facebook business page, which I hope you do, you likely know that there’s not much activity and engagement happening there. So why do I hope you have one? Well, in order to properly run Facebook ads, you definitely want a business Facebook page. But that's not where the action is anymore. Years ago, I would have said that is where you want to build engagement. Nope. Not anymore. Now it's inside of Facebook groups. And when you have a really engaged Facebook group, Facebook pays attention. They like this, and they'll start organically showing you in your posts to more people on Facebook, and they're really good at targeting, so they’re going to show your stuff to the right people, which will bring more of your ideal audience into your world.

So, my guest today is Dana Malstaff, the CEO and founder of Boss Mom. She’s a mother, author, speaker, business strategist, and fellow podcaster. She's also organically grown a Facebook group of over forty thousand women. She helps women all over the world raise their businesses and their babies at the same time. Dana’s going to share her six buzz-worthy posts that will actually help you not only get the conversation started but get amazing intel from your community. And you can bet we're going to give you a bunch of examples to help you bring each of those posts to life.

Before we get there, a quick listener shout out. This shout out is from PhilsWin08. Some of those names are so funny to me. So this is what Phil said:

“Amy is a marketing genius and a real person.”

I mean, how could I not read this one, right?

“Her encouragement and actionable advice make you realize that you are capable of taking the next step in your entrepreneurial journey. She’s like your smart friend who is always available to steer you in the right direction when you are having doubts or feel like you have no idea what you are doing.”

When I read this, I just thought, “I wish everyone thought of me like that.” Like, that kind of just warmed my heart, but also, Phil, thanks so much for listening. It means the world to me, and I truly appreciate it.

Okay, one final thing before we jump into my interview with Dana. I wanted to let you know that this episode is sponsored by my free list-building masterclass. So if you go to, you can grab a spot in my free masterclass where I will teach you how to get started with your list-building foundation. Once you set your foundation, everything—and I mean everything—gets easier in your business because you will finally have an email list. When you promote, people will buy. When you put something new out there, people will pay attention and give you their feedback. You will always have an audience that is eager to hear from you. That doesn't always happen on social, but you can create that inside of your email-marketing strategies. You've got to have an email list if you're growing an online business. Do not wait to start growing it. Remember, I always say this on the podcast: my number-one regret is waiting too long to build my email list. So go check out my free masterclass,

All right. I won't make you wait any longer. Let's jump to it.

Dana, welcome to the show. Thanks so much for coming on here.

DANA MALSTAFF: Oh, thank you for having me. I’m super pumped.

AMY: I am, too, because I want you to share a little bit about yourself and how you got where you are today. But first, I'm excited about this episode because we first talked about it when you and I went to happy hour in Carlsbad. We both live near each other, and we were getting some wine together, and you were telling me about what was really working in your business. And you talked about this buzz strategy in your Facebook group, and my ears perked up. I was like, “Wait a second. This is a really great idea,” because I knew it was a perfect fit for what I do. I wanted to learn more about it, selfishly. And I knew it was a good fit for my audience, especially because so many of my students are course creators, and there's a big community aspect when it comes to digital courses.

So I have various private Facebook groups and so do my students, and I can't tell you how important it is that not only do these groups foster success in their business and foster that support, but those relationships are just so key. And so people are making lifelong friendships, pairing up for accountability partners, and masterminds and support. So the community is where it's at, especially with courses. And so because of that, I want my listeners to have a strategy behind that, and you come to the table with a strategy. So thank you so much for that. But before we get into all the goodness, tell my audience a little bit about Boss Mom and the movement you've created and what you're up to.

DANA: Yeah. So I joke that I became a mom and an entrepreneur on the same night, because the night I quit my job, everybody took me out and got me drunk, and now I have children. It’s funny you talked about the buzz plan and things like that because we look at people online that have a hundred thousand followers but they don't really have a business, and it looks like they're so nonchalant about it, and we wonder how it happened. It’s because they were having fun. They were enjoying themselves. And that happens with family and business and everything that magic starts to happen when you're just enjoying yourself. Like, you just calm down for a minute and stop being so logistical about things and allowing the natural flow of conversation to happen. So we'll definitely talk about that.

But from a baby perspective, I got pregnant, which we had been trying to do, but I'd been fourteen-hour days in corporate and that kind of thing. So all of a sudden I'm going to be a mom for the first time. Like, the throwing up on the side over here and then trying to design my logo in the off hours. And something really scary happened, which was basically just that I came to this very real realization that I did not want to be a stay-at-home mom. I was excited about being a mother—I loved it—but the idea of being with my child and being the person responsible for teaching them all the things and not having any adults to have real conversation with freaked me out. Freaked me out, and I cried a lot, and it was very hard. And when my son was born, it confirmed that that's not what I wanted. And then I felt really horrible that I loved my child as much as anybody could possibly love somebody, but I didn't want to spend twenty-four hours a day with him. And in fact, if I didn't have adults around me to have really deep conversations and discussions, I was not a very good wife, either, and I was not a very happy person or a good friend or a good daughter.

And so I started sending my son to daycare, and all of a sudden I felt like I was allowed to be an adult again and have dynamic conversations and start to figure out what my business was. And it felt very scary and isolating. I felt very much like I can't tell anybody how I feel because I must be the only one on earth who has ever felt this way, which is a ridiculous notion but that's how I felt at the time.

I was living in Columbus, Ohio, so nobody there was doing what I was doing. None of my friends had kids. So I wasn't surrounded by anybody that made sense. And one day I'm sitting in a café, which I say café but it was a Panera, ____(08:16—so nothing exciting. Didn't get a Panera). And I see a mom and her daughter and then the granddaughter, and the grandma’s holding the baby, and they're having a conversation. I just burst into tears.

My son’s two months old, sitting next to me, and I call up Ryan, my husband at the time, and I was just like, “Can we move to San Diego?” That’s where my parents are, like, native northern San Diegans. And it’s negative eleven in Columbus, and he’s like, “I will quit my job tomorrow. When would you like to go to San Diego?” And within two months, we'd sold our house, he'd moved his job over here, and we had moved to San Diego. And all of a sudden, I was in this space where moms had businesses all over the place, and there were tons of moms that were like, “I cannot spend twenty-four hours a day with my child. I would go insane.” There were even stay-at-home moms that are like, “I love having my kids around, but if I don't have this outlet to use my brain, I get fidgety and I'm frustrated as a mom.”

So I just looked around, and I didn't see any place that was the exact community I wanted. There were totally mompreneur communities. But for us creators, especially all your listeners and the content creators, it wasn't my place. It was somebody else's place, and I wanted it to be my community. I needed the specifics of what I wanted.

And so I started thinking about what that would look like, and I started reaching out and connecting, and I ended up, because I was a journalism major, I wanted to write a book. And my friend Azul Terronez, who helped Pat write his book, we were hanging out in a mastermind, and I just said I want to write a book. And what came out of it was Boss Mom. And I had the community helped me name it, I had them help me do the tagline, I had advanced readers, and all of a sudden, it just came out and did really well. And so we Boss Mom’d the heck out of everything after that. That was four years ago, and we haven’t stopped.

AMY: I know. It’s an empire now. I mean, it’s just so amazing. I got to see you onstage at your own event, where we showed up wearing the exact same outfit. So I'll be sure to use that picture for this podcast episode. Guys, this is not even a joke. I got the privilege to speak onstage with Dana at her event, and I show up, and I have—and I never wear this color—I had a bright pink tank top on and black pants or skirt—I can’t remember—and I look onstage, while she’s onstage speaking, with the exact same outfit on.

DANA: It’s the exact same pink, to the T. It was insane.

AMY: I was cracking up. I’m like, “Oh, well, I wore the same thing as the main person at the event. This is great.” So we have really fun pictures of it because we had to, of course.

But anyway, just what you talk about in the Boss Mom community and the women that you attract, it's just so exciting to see these women come alive and build these businesses while they're kicking ass at home as well. And so your movement is needed and so important, and I just love to see that you are spearheading it and you're moving it forward like you are.

So with that, the topic today blends so well into what you've created inside Boss Mom for moms, dads, and people without kids as well. So this is for everybody who has a Facebook community or any kind of community and you want to see more engagement, because I know firsthand that's our number-one stressor. If we don't get people talking in these groups, if they're not responding, if they're not asking good questions, that group can go stale so quickly, and to revive a stale group is very difficult. I mean, you can do it, for sure, but why not just not ever get there? But sometimes you have to revive it. And I'm going to guess, probably these strategies are going to help you do just that as well?

DANA: Yes. Yeah. And you could do it on your page, you can do it on anywhere. I do find that in groups, because it's a little bit more of a safe space or considered a safe space—and we can talk about why safety is so important to create engagement within a group—but these buzz tactics will work anywhere.

AMY: Oh, good! Okay, that’s a great distinction.

DANA: Yeah. And they can do—we like to set up a plan that leads up to a launch because you’re not just creating engagement; you’re actually priming the Facebook algorithm to think you’re super popular, which means you’ll get better organic reach, which everybody talks about is really hard to do. And I’m the one person where everybody is saying, “Oh, Facebook.” I mean, I love Facebook. All the things that they do work in my favor because I do it the community way. So if you can understand how you’re creating engagement from a community perspective, whether you’re on your page or in a group, you can do this six weeks ahead of when you’re launching, and more people will see it for free. But you can also just do this ongoing anytime. You want to just incorporate this into your content strategy because it really will make all the difference between people, a couple of comments. And on average in our Facebook group, so we've got forty thousand people, about 70 percent, give or take a couple of percentage points, every single month are actively engaged in the group, which is insane.

On top of that, when we look, the top post that we have running right now has 877 comments on it.

AMY: Okay. That's insane.

DANA: Yeah. On the low end, it's about thirty to sixty comments. There's obviously a small percentage of ones that don't get any comments, and those die fast. But we have cultivated a culture where people understand how to engage in the group, and people naturally now engage that way. And yeah, it is insane. You can go in and within an hour have over a hundred comments. And they're good comments. We do not let negativity into this group. So there is no rants, there's no negativity, we police to make sure of that. And now, because we've conditioned it so well, it's easier to run, actually. It's like disciplining a child. We've shown everybody the parameters of how something should work, and now we get insane engagement. So the tactics we use there to teach everybody how to engage is what we'll talk about for your buzz plan.

AMY: Okay, perfect. This is exactly what I want to get into, all the specifics you just mentioned.

Okay, so with that, will you define what engagement actually looks like, what it means in a group?

DANA: Yeah, so, we try to own a lot, right? And I see a lot of Facebook groups get shut down. They shut them down because they're exhausted, and part of that is because we try to own the conversation, we try to own what's happening, we try to be all of the roles, right? So when we're thinking about engagement, whether it's in a group or anywhere else, even if you're amongst friends, there are roles that people play.

So engagement can be the level that somebody is lurking in your group, which is not a bad thing, by the way. And they're just reacting to things. But reactions are a form of engagement, even though it’s a passive form of engagement.

Then you have people that are commenting. And that’s a more active form of engagement. And they’re just commenting on things, but they’re not posting.

Then there are the people that are actually posting and asking questions, and that’s a third level of active engagement. And then you have the next-level engagers, those super engagers, and they’re the ones that become the policers. They’re the people that flag things for you and tell you somebody’s broken the rules. And those people have a very important function because it’s hard for me to find all those people, and even though my team looks, they may not catch something because we’re not there at all hours. So those policers.

And you have those people, then, that say, “You know what? I want to be the cry on my shoulder. I’m the one that’s always there giving support, telling somebody it’s going to be okay.” And those people become known.

And then there’s the people that are sort of trainers that go out and say, “Ooh, yes. I’m going to answer this comment because I know exactly how you could do this,” for very specific kinds of areas of business.

And then you have our connectors. And the connectors are saying, “Hey, oh, I know who that is. You need so-and-so, and you need so-and-so.”

So all the way from passive engagement to super engagement, those are all important. We don't want all super engagers, because then everybody would just be policing everybody, and that wouldn't work, and they wouldn't feel special. But we also need those, the people that are just hanging out, that are in your group for an hour a day, just scrolling through reacting, because what they're doing is when somebody reacts to a post, it pushes it back up to the top. And so now all of a sudden, more people start to see that. So the more people that are just in there reacting but not completely active, it actually helps. You know what I mean?

So the idea of engagement is a scale of engagement, and we need all levels of engagement just like when people tell me, “Dana, I've got some people that are in there, and they're just in there for hours and hours but those aren't necessarily the people that are buying from me right now, because they're just in learning, get-all-the-free-stuff mode.” And I go, “Yeah, but if all you had in your group were the people that didn't have time to engage in your group because they were so busy, then you wouldn't have an engaged group, and there wouldn't be the people nurturing each other to end up buying things from you, or end up saying, ‘I had success because of you.’” So you need the people that spend two hours a day in Facebook, trying to soak up everything possible and need to be around people just to say they can do it, just as much as you need those people that are your top 10 percent success stories. All of it's an input. It's an ecosystem of engagement.

AMY: I’ve never looked at it like that. And sometimes those that are the police kind of annoy me. Like, “Oh, gosh. They're always pointing out what people can and cannot do.” But I love this perspective. Like, no, you need them. You’re right. I’m not going to see all that stuff. My ambassadors and community managers can’t see all that stuff.

And then I love the certain types of people that you mention because it's celebrating everybody's different type of personality and engagement style. So first of all, you just give me a gift that I can appreciate—different types of people in my community and not think I'm doing something wrong because these people do this, but those people do that.

DANA: Yeah. And there’s one other thing that I think you just made me think of that’s super important that everybody has to recognize that they are going to hang out on Facebook and in groups, is that every single day, we come online with our baggage. This is a clutch, because if you don't recognize this, then you're just going to feel bad when people call things out. You know what I mean?

So what you have to recognize is that if I see a comment that somebody put, and then somebody under there says something negative, or somebody direct messages someone in a way they didn't like and they come out and say it, or something happens that someone didn't like and something negative is in that space, I have to initially look at it with a concept that's called positive intent, which is I don't think that person is a bad person, I don’t think that person’s a mean person, and I don’t think they maliciously want to hurt other people. I think that their kids didn’t let them sleep all night, or they had an argument with their husband, or they just lost a client, or they just wrote a whole blog and then forgot to save it and lost it, or they realized they didn’t go grocery shopping and there’s nothing to eat for the kids. I mean, there’s such a plethora of things. They stubbed their toe. They don’t like their hair this morning.

Whatever the baggage—from small to they just got a call that a family member is sick, or their best friend had a miscarriage, or they just found out they’re pregnant and they weren’t really planning on it—whatever it is, we come to every single day with our baggage. There is no way around it, right? They talked about studies of human behavior in universities and in negotiation and hostage negotiation—one of my favorite books is Never Split the Difference. It’s written by an FBI agent who does hostage negotiation, and he talks about how you negotiate. You can’t negotiate in a bubble, because everybody comes with their emotional baggage. Same thing in a group.

So when we’re talking about engagement and a buzz plan and everything, if somebody says something negative or in a way that pains you, like “What, are you saying I’m not good at my job?” or “What are you saying? There’s something wrong?” I tell everybody I get those, too, and you have to look at it and go, “Positive intent. Ten bucks says that person had something else happen in their life, and they’re bringing it out on us.”

Because we think that way, then we can reach out to them and say, “Hey, I’m sure you didn’t mean to do it, but this happened negatively. We deleted it. Just want to let you know you can do it differently next time.” And if that person comes back and is negative a second time, then we say, “You know what? Maybe you are just not a happy person, so we’re just not going to let you back in.” But that really helps understand. Otherwise, you won’t be able to sleep at night because people just are mean sometimes. But it’s not that we mean to be.

AMY: It’s so true.

DANA: It’s that sometimes we don’t know where else to let it out at because it’s way easier to yell at us online than it is to actually tell your husband how you feel about something.

AMY: Amen. It’s so, so true. And we have our values inside of our business, and one of the values is around compassion. And with that, we say that everybody is fighting their own battle that we know nothing about. And I have a brand-new community coordinator that is starting very soon, and I can't wait for her to listen to this episode so that when people are negative, when they are difficult inside of our community, to remember to lead with compassion and at least give them an opportunity to be who they need to be that day. Now, if it continues, bad behavior, of course, we're going to do something about it. But in the moment, I love that you said we've got to be compassionate and accept people for who they are and what they're going through.

DANA: Yeah. And you bring to the next level, before we can actually just give out what the six creating-buzz types are, is safety. I did a whole talk on this at Social Media Marketing World about how we actually create sustainable loyal communities, and you have to do two things in order to get the engagement that we want, and then I can actually tell you the tactics of how to implement it. You have to make people feel valued, like their voice matters, and you have to make them feel safe. And those two things are really important. So the valued is going to make it easier when we talk about the buzz tactics, but the safe part means that wherever you are—and this is especially true for groups—you have to have good rules, and you have to stick to those rules.

So just like parenting, you have to discipline. If you want your kids to listen to you and take you seriously, you have to make sure that whatever routine or whatever thing you put in place, you are true to it. You stick to it. So it is not a bad thing to kick people out. We have probably kicked out upwards of twenty thousand people in our group that we either say they're a robot and they're not a real person, or they're malicious, or we don't like the way they're acting or whatever that is. We say no to just as many people as we say yes to to come in because we have specific criteria that ensures that they're—

Like, I have a V.A. who, every day lets people in and kicks people out, and we have a hundred people a day asking to get into our group organically. She goes she goes in and she says, look, if they don't have a picture of themselves on their personal profile, we don't let them in, because we want people that are going to be open and vulnerable. That's one of our first things. If the only thing they have in their feed are shares of other people's posts and we don't have any idea of who they are or what they care about, we don't let them in. And I feel perfectly okay with saying that. Even though some of those people that we don’t let in may be perfectly good human beings, I don’t know, and I have to keep my space safe. And if something happens that feels wrong, that somebody is truly attacking somebody or something, they are out so fast—and my team is so good, and the people that are the natural policers are so good—because if I cannot keep my space safe, then nobody’s going to trust the space, and engagement is about being open and trusting that whatever they say is going to be okay and accepted. So it’s so important.

And there are ebbs and flows, so there are certainly times where I will go in and reset it and reset and say—now we have units within the group to let people know kind of what the rules are and what resources we are. And I also do resets for everybody who has a group for your course or that you're trying to get people in a community to then sell into a course. I have to do resets sometimes where I can feel the slip where I'm not seen as the authority in my space because so many people have joined and everybody else is having discussion and maybe I was on vacation. And I will go in and then I'll do a challenge or I'll do a live for a week or whatever those are to just reset my authority in the space, reset the dynamics in the space.

AMY: So good.

DANA: Yeah. It's not just about engaging the group; it's also about making sure you're guiding the conversation, too, because everybody in there, when we talk about the logistics of the buzz plan, you have to decide what conversation you want. If the conversation is, “Hey, everybody needs to be making a course,” well, then you're seeding that conversation in that group with questions and different things that we'll talk about the different ways to do that so that when your thing comes out or when whatever you want to happen happens and you're launching something that everybody goes, oh, my gosh. How did you know that getting my kids to sleep, or creating my workbooks, or whatever it is, or doing dieting was the exact thing that was on my mind and that I need? And you're like, I know that because we’ve been making sure everybody's been talking about it for the last two months.

AMY: Exactly. It's like we've had those conversations. I love this idea of resetting. I've never thought about it like that in my group. And I also haven't put much thought to the idea of safety. Because I teach marketing and it's not a super-sensitive topic and we don't get into really deep conversations that are personal, I don't think of safety that way. However, I should, because everybody needs to be feeling safe to share their vulnerabilities and their fears. and there's enough fears about getting in front of people and doing live video and not feeling enough, like they still have the fears although the topic might be different than a super-sensitive topic. My point being, safety is something we all should look at no matter what the topic is. And so I love that idea of resetting, making sure, wait, do I have the right tone of the group? Are the conversations going in the right way? Am I seen as the go-to person in this group? And if not, there's things you can do. So this resetting is brilliant, and I think it's just taking an assessment of what's going on in the group, what are the conversations people are having, and what do we need to recalibrate? So thank you for that.

DANA: And there is a little hack, too, for everybody who’s going, “Dana, this sounds like a lot of effort and time.” There’s a little hack. So I have a virtual assistant who lets people in and kicks people out every day, and she also does a templated—we have a couple versions of it—but a templated welcome that she sends out every day. That clicks, it says all the new people in the group, send them a welcome. So those two things happen.

She also searches for some keywords for me. So she searches for things like “hate” or “politics” or certain things that we don't allow in the group. So if there are certain keywords that are, like, angry, volatile words, because someone, even in a group like yours, someone could say, “Wow, I really love Kajabi.” And then if someone's like, “I hate Kajabi,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? Or “I really love this.” “Oh, I hate that.” We look for those words, and then we actually delete those comments. We’ll message that person and say, “That's really harsh language. And even though you may have said it in a light tone, the person that read it, read it in all caps.” And so she searches for those, to make sure that we get out any just blatant things that could be hurtful even if the person didn't intend to do it, because people will use some harsh language. We'll reach out to them. They’ll be like, “Oh. Oh, I didn't mean that way at all.” We’re like, “I know you didn't, but the five comments after that were people's feelings getting hurt because you said it in a way that was harsh.” So that.

Then, she also—this is key, too, for everybody who’s trying to actually run a business—she searches for keywords for me, so “business strategy,” “content strategy,” “community building,” those kinds of things that we know are keywords for us that we have resources for. And she puts in a spreadsheet every night just the key top ten posts that are relevant to things I can lend my authority and expertise to. And then when I wake up in the morning, I basically have, within my free group and my paid group, I've got a list of fifteen or twenty little posts, I click the link, it takes me right to the post, I answer and comment and get out. And I am literally on Facebook twenty minutes a day, and we have a forty-thousand-person group and multiple paid groups outside of that. But because I have somebody who's ten dollars an hour who spends an hour a night doing these things for me, I don't get lost in social media; I’m leveraging social media.

AMY: Ah, so good. “I don't get lost in social media; I’m leveraging social media.” Amen to that.

Okay, so, I feel like we could end this conversation, and people will walk away with so many gems that they could apply to their communities. But, guys, it doesn't end there, because we actually have the six different types of posts that will allow you to create buzz in your communities. And that is what we're going to drill down into next. And so help me understand these different types of posts and how you use them and how they actually work into a plan. So we've got a lot to cover so let's just get to it.

AMY: Okay, so, one of the very first things that we want to do, one of the first of the six, is that you need help making decisions in your business, right? So we like to be in a silo, or even if we say, join a mastermind or something like that, but we like to put blinders on and say, well, I just have to think up the answer for this thing—the name of my book, the name of the course, the name of the podcast, what something looks like, what the theme is. You have to decide what the design looks like and what people are thinking, who the ideal client is, what's important about what's in it, how you're going to talk about the frustrations and the transformations, and all of those things. And so we think of it in a silo, and then we come out with something. And then we’re like, “Why didn't anybody care or click on it?”

Part of your buzz plan is, number one, what we call decision posts. So decision posts are where you answer a simple question that helps you make a decision. Now, the most way to make this effective in your business or in your groups or anywhere, but for your business as well, is to give them three options. I'm going to tell you guys never use a poll in Facebook again. They're pretty much useless, and people don't comment. They answer the poll, and then you get no engagement, and it dies a sad, depressing death. So what you do instead is you either type out or you can have a little image, depending on what makes the most sense. One, two, three. Here are your three options.

So, “Hey, what's the name of my course going to be? Here's three options. Which one speaks the most to you? In the comments, say one, two, three.” Or I will say—we have one that’s coming up—and say “Hey, when it comes to course creation, how do you feel?” And there's a picture of somebody that's hiding behind a tree, someone that's deep in work, and then someone that's in a bed of money. “Which one is you right now when it comes to courses?” And so what you do is now in the comments, you get people—because all you're asking is for them to put one character, one number, one letter, whichever, if you're a number or letter person, one character. It's easy for them to engage. “Oh, I like number one.” “I like number two.”

So now you all of a sudden have engagement, and in your group or on your page, it keeps coming up to the top. It keeps trending. Now, in the algorithm, the more people that answer and the more people that are the right fit for you—they're the target audience for you—the more the Facebook algorithm goes, I’m going to show more people that are like these people this post. So the people in your group that fit the same kind of profile criteria as those people start to see that post organically. Now all of a sudden, they wake up in the morning—and I’ve kept a post alive for a week, trending for a week, where we get comments every single day, and they're coming in, and they're answering, and then more people see it and more people see it, because Facebook goes, wow, this is engaging. I'm going to show it to more of these people that are alike. So you can leverage the algorithm for that.

So then you go in and you start to see your super engager. That's the person that says, “I like number three, and let me give you a paragraph why.” Those people, if you really want to make sales in your business or get clients or whatever it is you're trying to do, or maybe you're just expanding your authority, you personally reach out to that person, and you say, “Hey,”—especially if you're starting out in your business. This is how we grew my coaching business—is you'd reach out to that person and you say, “Hey, that was so incredibly helpful and insightful. Do you mind hopping on a fifteen-minute chat with me real quick so I can understand what you're doing and what you're looking, and see if there's any way I could be helpful to you? Just as a chat. No sales, no anything like that.” They hop on, and you literally have people that are focus grouping for you. They're giving you all of your sales-page content, all of the marketing content, exactly the phrasing they use and the words they use and what they care about and where they're at in their life. It is invaluable, and your sales will happen so much better.

And then, that person goes and posts back in the group and is like, “I just had the most amazing call with Dana. She was so incredibly helpful on this particular topic, and now—“ I've had this happen before. Fifteen-minute calls, I've built my business on them, where somebody now goes in, and anytime they hear somebody asking a question, they are the ones that tag me and say, “Oh, you need Dana for that.” And they never have bought anything from me. Fifteen minutes of my time, and that kind of—

So, decision posts are huge, and you should be doing at least one a week—for a buzz plan, each of these things you want to do—a couple a week, so that you’re posting every day. But from a decision post, you should be doing one a week. You should be asking people to help you make decisions, even to the point where I'm trying to come out with something that I'm launching or figuring out how I'm promoting something, and I say, “Hey, everybody. When do your kids go back to school?” Three-hundred-plus comments and a whole discussion about when kids go back to school, which, of course, then launch into a “I hope my kids go back to school soon because, holy moly, why can't summer be over?” sort of conversation. But I now got the exact perfect launch date for me, that's going to work for my audience, and 300 comments, and now Facebook thinks I'm the most-engaging person ever.

AMY: So good.

DANA: Right? Yeah. So number two, then, is a flip to that which is people's actual opinions. Now, they sound murky, the opinions and the decisions, but the decisions are where you actually need that information to make a decision about something, so the title of something, how something works, something like that. An opinion post is where you're asking somebody what their opinion is. So it could be, “Hey, guys, I'm about to launch a podcast,” —so we're seeding that I'm going to launch something. I'm working on this course— “Quick question. I’m going to try to go on a tour and get on a podcast. What are your top five favorite podcasts, or what's your favorite podcast that you listen to? When it comes to parenting or when it comes to cooking or whatever, where’s the number-one blog that you go to?” People love to share that kind of stuff. “Hey, guys, I'm trying to potty train my son. What's the number-one potty-train tactic that you've used that you've worked?”

Now, we, in our group, in our space, we only allow these things to be positive. So if somebody says, “What's the worst experience you ever have?” we don't let them do that. We delete it. It never ends well. So we try and keep our opinion posts as positive as possible.

But whatever your industry or niche is, there are tons of opinions that people have. And the ones I like the most are ones that give you information on who to collaborate with, where to market, who the target audience is. So, if somebody is making courses, it's like, “Hey, what's your opinions about courses? Is it short, medium, or long? What's your favorite one?”

AMY: Mm, that's a good one. Yep.

DANA: So then, all of a sudden, people are like oh—and here's another one. Here's a good one. “Opinion: when it comes to courses, are you the person that prints everything out, checks everything out, does everything? Or are you the person that just buys the course for the coaching calls?”

AMY: Oh, so good. I’d love to know that kind of stuff.

DANA: Yeah. And so what it is is it’s actually helping you gain knowledge and insight. It’s not necessarily making a decision for you on something. But you’re getting to understand it. Like I said, the more we use Facebook as a focus group, that people love to tell you their thoughts, the more you’ll—and those are insane. I was in a group with someone I’m doing a collaboration with, and we asked a question about if you had two extra hours in your week—because we’re seeding the fact that you’re going to get that back if you take the thing that we’re launching soon—what would you do with it? And I joked that in his group, everybody was snarky. They were snarky, they were funny about what they’d do with that two hours, in very hilarious ways. In my group, it would have been very sentimental. Well, that tells me something about how I'm going to post in his group later to get more engagement. So opinion posts can be amazing to create engagement but also give us insight into how we need to connect with our audience and places for us to go of where we know our audience is hanging out, because the best thing you can do from a buzz perspective is for someone to say, “I keep seeing you everywhere.”

AMY: Mm, that’s my favorite.

DANA: Right. “I’m in your group, and then all of a sudden, I’m hearing you on all the podcasts.” “Well, that’s because you guys all told me the podcasts you listen to, and I went and got on them.”

AMY: So good.

DANA: Okay, so, those are the two. Now we have a third one, which is, really—I used to call it a call-to-arms post, but now we've morphed more into, I think it's easier to say, permission post. And this is one where you see a lot of these on Instagram, you see a lot of these in a place where we're telling a little story, you see a lot of these in Facebook ads, because the hero's journey is really partially a permission post, which says, “I was here. You're probably here, too, but I got out of it. You're not alone. You're not crazy. There's nothing wrong with you.” So a permission post is something where it creates a sense of community and belonging to say, look—like, two of my favorite ones is, you're a hot mess. I think you should—when you cry in the bathroom in the middle of the day, and then you come back out and you have to get on a client call, you cannot cry out your intelligence, ladies. You have permission to cry. In fact, I think that's a perfectly normal human thing. That's why we were given tear ducts, right? It creates a different kind of engagement where people are like, “Amen, holy moly. You're absolutely right. I've felt this way forever. Thank you for saying this.” So you get a lot of gratitude, which is good because I think business people need an appreciation loop.

AMY: Yeah, oh, okay. Wait, wait. Tell me more about that.

DANA: Well, so, I have a belief of what the boss mom—we call the Boss Mom method, which is just certain ways that you should grow your business as a mom so that you don't want to tear your hair out. And one of them is that the people that love us most are not always good about consistently making us feel loved. And it's not because they mean to do that, but it's because we've known each other for a really long time, and life gets in the way, and even though our kids love us unconditionally and our spouses love us unconditionally, so do our friends, baggage comes with everything and things happen.

So we create an appreciation loop, where at least once a week, if you do this kind of buzz playing consistently and you incorporate these same concepts and ideas until—we call it the ninety-day email nurture system, and the permission emails—you can turn these kinds of posts into permission emails. And if you include those—we call them permission sandwiches, which is in between your training and your clout and your asking and your recommending, you sandwich it between two permission posts. And that way at least once a week, either within Facebook or in your email, somebody is emailing you and saying this exact phrase, “This is exactly what I needed today.”

And if you get that once a week, I promise you, you will have all the motivation you need to keep going. If somebody, once a week, just tells you, “You are so necessary in the world, and you are exactly what I needed today to get me through…” whatever it was, then, it’s going to motivate you to keep going when business gets hard. And those permission posts create belonging and community, and they also give you that appreciation loop back.

And the one caveat I tell people is that a permission post is not about who they want to become; it’s permission about who they already are. So it’s not saying, “Hey, I give you permission to work harder and be successful.” Permission posts is to say, “I give you permission to stay up after everybody went to sleep during this time of hustle, because you're working for something big. You're working for the future.” Like it's okay that you yelled at your kids today, because we're going to learn from that, and we're going to all get better, and sometimes we just can't help it. Sometimes we yell at our kids. So it's not permission to be who they want to be; it's permission to be who they already are but are scared to admit it or scared that they’re the only one who is or feels that way.

AMY: Ah, so good. I love it.

DANA: Okay, so, now we've got the decision posts, the opinion posts, you've got the call-to-arms posts, now one of the next ones is your can’t-help-themselves posts. This one’s my favorite one. I talk to a lot of teachers, and the teacher says, “That's funny, Dana. I just learned this from you.” There's a girl at a workshop that did this. She's like, “In the summer when I don't have students, this is naturally what I post,” because if we all didn't have businesses to run, and we were just having fun, like I was saying at the very beginning of the episode, where if we all are just enjoying ourselves, these are the things we would post.

So, a can’t-help-themselves post are the posts where we say, “Okay, guys. I just landed my first client,” or “I just sold my first course. Drop me a GIF as a celebration.” GIFs are a great way to get people engaged in a just can't help themselves. This is a can't-help-themselves, one of my favorite ones that we use an example of is somebody said, “Which are you?” And it showed a picture with the inbox of your email, and it said zero or ten thousand. Are you a zero inbox, or you a ten thousand? And they can't help themselves. Are you a cat or a dog person? Like, “Hey, I'm thinking of my entry music for this talk I'm going to do” —which helps seed authority, by the way. I get a content strategy. I'm telling people I speak on stage. So those are good things to do so—“Hey, I'm doing this,” or “I'm figuring out the dance song for when I hit my goals for the course I'm about to put out, and I'm just wondering, what do I do: JT or JZ?”

And people have very specific—they have fun, and they can't help themselves. They have to post the picture, the thing. And it really works well for things like, “Hey, I was on this podcast, and I want you to listen,” because those get some engagement, but unless it's somebody that knows you and already loves you, they're not going to go, and we want to keep those posts trending.

When I was on the Social Media Examiner, or when this episode comes out, I'm going to be like, “I was on Amy Porterfield’s podcast. This is amazing. Who wants to celebrate with me? Drop a GIF, a celebration GIF.” And then it's going to keep that post alive and trending in my group and on my space so much longer because I've asked for people to celebrate with me or just can't help identifying who they are. Those are amazing.

AMY: Okay, when you wrote this one down, because I saw the list in advance and it said “can't help themselves,” I'm like I have no understanding of what you're even going to talk about there. I was so confused by that. And now as you're talking about it, I literally can't help myself when I see on an IG Story when those types of questions are asked. It's like, Amy, control yourself. But I'm like, no, I got to choose the outfit that I think is the best. I have to participate in this, or whatever it might be. And I love that because it's just it's fun. And you had started this conversation like we got to have a good time here, and when you're having fun, you want to keep showing up. So yes, this one might be my favorite. I agree with you.

DANA: So this is the funny thing, because I get people saying, “But, Dana. Look. I’m trying to launch a course. Why am I going to ask some random question?” But here’s the brilliant part about it is if you're doing these—so if you're doing, say, one of each of these a day, so it's basically like a full week of daily content that you're putting out into social media, into your group, or onto your page, for the six weeks leading up to a launch of something, then every single time you do that, the can't help themselves, even if has nothing to do with your business, the Facebook algorithm thinks you’re super engaging so you’re expanding your organic reach. So it’s super, super important that you are actually going—and if people aren’t sure what to post in their group, a social share post can always do the job.

So Saturday and Sunday, we very strategically, in my Facebook group, Saturday and Sunday, a post comes from me. And we've actually gotten so big that we've broken them up into categories. We have a share Saturday, and a different kind of share Sunday. So it's share your opt in, share your resource, share your thing, right? Okay, over here we've got share everybody Instagram, everybody Facebook. So we don't allow people to do those on their own. We create a thread. Well, that means on Monday, when I come in to do more work things, more authority-building things, which we'll talk about the last two are authority building and ask as far as posts go, now Facebook thinks I am literally the most-popular person that ever was because everybody was just asked to share their stuff. So now Monday, I get to share my stuff, and everybody’s watching. Everybody gets that notification.

So those are really, really great. So any time you guys are leading up to something, like, one of the things we’ll do is, “Hey, guys. Who here has a podcast? Share your podcast.” “Hey, who here has a book that they’ve written? Share your book.” “Hey, who here has a Facebook group that is for a very specific niche of maybe content we don’t allow here? Who here has a religious group? a political group? a something group? where we  maybe don’t allow that in our group, but we want you to go to those groups, because we’re not saying don’t have conversation; we’re just saying don’t have the conversation here.” So we do that.

And sometimes we do it just because it's time and we want to, and sometimes we do it very strategically to prime the algorithm because we know a day later we're going to ask them to look at something and buy something or click something or join something. So we'll do a whole lead up to, “Hey, we're going to do a pop up Facebook group.” The whole week before, I'm in there doing all of these buzz building things so that as many people in my group as humanly possible, or on my page as humanly possible, see the posts where I tell them that we're doing the pop up or the opt in or the training or the whatever it is.

AMY: Yes. So good, so good.

DANA: Yeah. So then the last two are ask an authority. So ask is we have to actually consistently tell people what we do. I see this all the time. This is the one that seems like it should be so obvious and yet people don't do it. You have to tell people what it is you sell and what would you want to be known for. So some of these can be your story. You can tell a little bit about your story. You can tell about a past client. You could do those things. But the main idea is that you are telling them, did you know I sell this thing? Did you know about this opt in that existed? Did you know that this thing is here? because what people think—and I'm sure you deal with this all the time—is they go, “Well, if I put it out there, it's on my website. People will find it.” And no, because your competitor is not just the person that does what you do; your competitor is taking kids to swim class, and needing to buy groceries and that dress that they want that they keep getting ads on Facebook for because they went to that website accidentally once, and now they’re being targeted, and literally the only thing they can think about is whether or not they should buy that dress and what their husband’s going to think and should they spend the money.

So you’re not competing with just the people that do what you do. In fact, that’s the least thing you have to worry about. You’re competing with everything else that divides somebody’s attention.

So you have to tell them seven to ten to a billion times what you do and what you sell so that there is no question and so that you are familiar—this is one of the most important things about content strategy—people have to feel like they already know you. They have to feel so comfortable. When they hear you say whatever your course is, when someone says “Digital Course Academy®️,” someone doesn’t go, “Ooh, what’s that?” They go, “Oh my gosh, that’s been on my bucket list. I’ve been thinking about it. I know the name of it, I know who did it, I know what’s in it. It’s been on my mind. I feel so familiar with it.”

Your course or your content has to feel like home to them for them to trust you to buy it, and then getting to your sales page closes so much better because they knew about it. So you have to consistently say it. If they don’t know the name of what you sell, the packages and what you’re known for, off the top of their head when your name comes up, then you’re not doing your job with telling them enough of what you do.

AMY: Amen. You are just dropping it, girl. This is good.

DANA: And the last one is authority, which I will tell you, the easiest way to do authority posts is to, for the love of all that’s holy, go get featured on podcasts. You should be pitching yourself five times a week to podcasts so that—I remember when I first started my business, the first hire I had was somebody for two hours a week to pitch me on podcasts. I was consistently on two podcasts for a week for the entire first year of my business, and it is one of the main reasons my business grew so fast.

Authority—you can't buy authority. You can't Facebook ad your way to authority. You get featured in places. And then when you get featured, you take that feature, and you do a couple of things with it. And this is a little bit outside of the buzz, but I think it helps. One, if it makes sense, you immediately add it to your “as seen on” part of your website, and make sure that you're “as seen on” is on your course sales page and on your checkout page and on all your pages. So the moment you're on somewhere valuable to people, make sure people know that you were there because it builds instant authority and clout.

Second thing is put that feature in there, the cover art, on your media page or even on an “as seen on” page, and link back, because now Google likes your link back. They think your website's more popular, and so now when people see something on your, you know, a buzz thing and they go and they Google you, all of a sudden you look special because you come up more. So you want the SEO of those click backs are good. So you put it on it then, you go to your Facebook group, and you just do a flat out, “I was on this one. This is great.”

Then, we use Trello, you put it in Trello, with all the information, and a couple weeks later, then you come back and maybe do a live or do a post that says, “Hey, someone just brought up this episode of this podcast that I was on, and here's just one thing that really stood out to me as important that we talked about,” and you do a permission post or you do a training post. You do something like that, and now you get the conversation going again. So the really important ones, we can keep alive, and when we're leading up to a launch, I will go to the most popular places I've been, and I will say, “Hey, guys, I was on Smart Passive Income, and we talked about time management and just wanted to have you go have a listen,” because if I can get even a dozen people to go listen to that episode and fall madly in love with me, when my launch comes, they are already primed to trust and want to buy what I have.

AMY: Okay, so that one is powerful. That one’s great for all of my listeners because I'm encouraging them to get seen and heard on other people's podcasts and get the word out. So I think they're going to take that one and run with it, for sure.

DANA: Yes. And I’m telling you, go hire a virtual assistant. The amount of entrepreneurs that I know that are like, “Oh, pitching myself should be easy,” but you never do it because it's the bottom of your list, because it's the important-but-not-urgent thing in your quadrant, and you're constantly fire putting outing. I'm telling you, just don't even try. And it sounds better to have a team member pitching you anyway. Just go get somebody else to pitch you.

AMY: It’s very true, yes. That's a perfect position or perfect role for a V.A., 100 percent. Once you get some systems in place, it becomes really easy for them to manage. But the back and forth, you do not need to be spending your time doing that. 100 percent agree.

Okay, so, hold on. Give me a recap, do a quick summary of all six of them. And, again, remember that Dana started out by saying that you can use these in your Facebook group, and you guys will start to see these in my Facebook group. I actually have a new community director, somewhat-new community director, and a very-new community coordinator, and we have ambassadors that are coming into our Digital Course Academy®️ program. And so we're going to get clear on all six of these, and you'll see them popping up. So if you're part of my community, you'll start to recognize them because we practice what we learn, definitely. We put into action. So, Dana, I'm going to make you proud, for sure. But give us all six of these, knowing that we can use them in so many different areas of building our tribe.

DANA: Okay, cool. And I don’t have any notes in front of me for this whole interview, so let me see if I can do it.

AMY: Okay, I’ll say it, and you do a quick summary.

DANA: No, wait. I want to see if I can do it.

AMY: Oh, this is a quiz.

DANA: This is a quiz. Okay, so, first one, decision posts, so helping you make decisions in your business. Second one is opinion posts, so finding out their opinions on certain topics, especially ones that relate to one circle out from the things that you're going to be launching. The next one is permission posts, which were the call-to-arms posts, those ones that give them permission for being who they already are but are scared to tell everybody. The next one is can't-help-themselves posts, the things that are saying is it JT or JZ, are you a zero inbox or ten thousand inbox, give me a GIF to celebrate sort of thing. The next ones are your ask, where you're actually telling them what on earth it is that you sell or what is coming up. Tell them, I have a course, it's called this, it does this, and it’s coming out in a month and keep your eye open. And then the last one is authority posts, which help you build authority, and the best way to do that is to go get featured.

AMY: Yes and yes. This is so good. Okay, so, first of all, thank you so much for coming on today and sharing all your tips, secrets, and ideas so that my listeners can create amazing communities that are engaged and safe and really a place where their community wants to keep coming back for more. So how can people find out more about you?

DANA: Yeah, so, if you go to—super easy—you can get to the Facebook group, you can get to our Boss Mom podcast. We also have a Boss Dad podcast that’s relatively new. We’ve had some amazing guests on there.

AMY: Really?

DANA: Yeah. Michael Stelzner and Jay Baer’s about to come out. Mark Schaeffer, Pat Flynn. Yeah, I just wanted to make sure—and here’s the funny part: Boss Mom has had 400 episodes, right about. I’ve maybe had one woman cry. We’ve only had thirty or so episodes of the Boss Dad podcast; seven men have cried on my podcast. I’m not even kidding. Men just aren’t asked the question about family and how family impacts how they run their business and all those kind of things. So, those two things. Facebook group gives you our free resources, all that kind of fun stuff, so that's a great place to start.

AMY: Okay, well, thank you so very, very much, and I cannot wait to put these into action, so we’ll see what happens.

DANA: Well, thanks for having me.

AMY: All right. Take care. Bye for now.

So, there you have it. I hope you loved this chat with Dana as much as I have. She has so much great value to share.

Now, when we got off of the interview, I called her back, and I said, “One thing I was thinking about after we had that awesome chat was how do you put this into a plan? What does that look like? When are you supposed to be doing these posts? Let's say, it's for a specific Facebook group.” And she says, “What I typically do is I look at my month and maybe I look at the next thirty days or sixty days. And I ask myself, what are we focused on? What is the goal of the next thirty days? What are our goals for the next sixty days? And with that, I look at how we're going to build awareness and what we are going to be promoting, whether it be something like a digital course or something like a new lead magnet.” So she's looking at the goals for each month, she's looking at how to build awareness, what they will be promoting, and then from there, she has an entire process that she teaches as a bonus or inside some of her courses, but she has this process where she then decides which types of posts she's going to plug in throughout the month.

So as an easy way for you to get started, you can do just this: look at your next thirty days. Ask yourself, what's the goal for the next thirty days? What are we going to promote? What lead magnet do we want to really focus on and shine a light on? What do we need to put awareness around? And then from there, you can open up a calendar and decide which post you were going to do on a daily basis. You can keep it as simple as that. There's seven days in a week. There's six different types of buzz-worthy posts that you can do. So let's say you only post five out of the seven days. Choose five, maybe double up on one day, but decide when you're going to do the post, and if you want to get really strategic, sit down, and for two hours just go ahead and map out all those posts, maybe even write a few of the captions, choose a few images, and get strategic and plan ahead. But you can plug these different posts, and just do one a day inside of your group. The more you plan, the more often you will actually do it, and you'll be more consistent.

So I just wanted to give you just a simple way of thinking, how could I just kick-start this, and what might it look like in my business? But you can start as simple as once a day. And when I asked Dana about this, she said, “The most important thing is that you're having those conversations and that you're engaging with the insight feedback and conversation that these buzz-worthy posts are actually igniting. So it's the conversations that is the most important; it's not necessarily the post itself.” So just remember that.

Okay, two more things before I let you go. Next week is a really special episode for me because I'm going to give you some details about my upcoming membership experience that I haven't yet talked about on the podcast. In fact, I'm going to share with you some lessons I've learned with creating my very first membership experience, and I'm also going to unveil the name of our membership experience and talk to you about who it's for. You might be surprised when you hear about it. So that episode is 285, coming up next week.

And also, don't forget that this episode is sponsored by my free list-building masterclass. If you've been struggling to grow your email list, if it's something that you keep putting on the backburner, let me help you set the foundation so that list building becomes a whole lot easier inside of your business. So go check that out. It's absolutely free.

Okay, guys. I’ll see you here, same time, same place next week. Bye for now.


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