Today I am happy to answer Normel Smith question regarding How to grow a Community/ Facebook group for your small business.
Normel, thank you for reaching out to me and for being a part of Educated Entrepreneurs community. I will share with you a few actionable steps starting from my own experience.
As a starting point, I want to tell you that I would like 1000 x MORE for EE and that I feel there are 1000 other things I could learn in order to better manage and empower the community. But considering that I’d like to offer you a more complex answer and that I searched myself for tips and tricks on this topic and I couldn’t find that many resources, I think that, together, we can also help other entrepreneurs grow their communities.
So, let’s see:
1. The leader
- Does your community knows why did you start it?
- What do you all stand for?
- Do they know the direction you all are going for?
- Do they know your story?
- Do you post personal stories that are relevant for your community?
- Do you communicate through telling stories?
- Do they know your expertise and how you can help them?
- Do they know how you look? (photos)
- Did they heard you? (audios)
- Did they seen you? (videos)
- Can you create something they connect you with (a website, a podcast, youtube videos, a product, etc)
- Are you a giver? Do you make that visible?
- Do you continuously provoke dialogue, ask for feedback and create polls in order to serve them better?
2. Why you do what you do
What’s your cause/ your belief? Is it powerful and clear enough for you and your members?
3. Group identity
- Is your group name clear enough?
- Do you have a group description that explains why do you exist, what are the benefits members should expect, what they should gain for it and how do you differentiate?
- Did you established your group type? (see group settings)
- Did you established the tags of your group? (see group settings)
- Do you have a relevant and cool cover photos for your group? (see high quality stock images)
- Could you explain your purpose in a sentence? In 3 words?
4. Goals, Objectives and Action Steps
5. Communicate inside the community
- Do you provide relevant information?
- Do you teach them how to do something?
- Do you start conversations?
- Do you inspire?
- Do you entertain?
- Do you ask questions?
- Do you ask for feedback/ ideas/ suggestions?
- Are you doing challenges?
- Are you proposing games?
- Are you organizing giveaways?
- Do you introduce people?
- Do you offer them great opportunities?
- Do you encourage certain members to post specific things about them/ their expertise?
- Do you encourage members to communicate with each other?
- Do you tell them what do you want for the community and how they could help you get there?
- Do you highlight your members?
- Did you invited your friends that might find your community relevant?
- Did you asked your friends to invite their friends?
- Do you encourage your members to invite other people in?
- Do you talk about your struggles?
- Do you talk about your victories?
- Do you encourage celebration?
6. Communicate outside the community
- Are you active in other communities that are related to what your community does?
- Do you offer free awesome value there/ helping people in your best way, without expecting something in return?
- Do you take time to observe other communities vibes/ needs/ strategies?
- Do you approach valuable people in private to invite them in your community, focusing the message on what would be their benefits and why is it important for you?
- Do you constantly share valuable and relevant content along with your group in open groups that allow/ encourage promotion?
- Do you use every occasion in order to genuinely invite people that could really benefit from it?
7. Try, Measure, Improve
- Do you consistently try millions of things, being aware that lots of them won’t work?
- Do you evaluate what kind of posts usually have a bigger impact and repeat those types of posts from time to time?
- Do you have a priority from constantly improving everything you do as a leader?
- Do you have a priority from constantly improve your members experience?
8. The most valuable lessons I learned
- Be relevant
- Be a leader
- Be a giver
- Be open, talk about your struggles and victories, people connect with people
- Ask questions and see what people really want/ need from your community.
- Your community already has all the answers you are looking for. Just ask
- Be aware of the fact that not everything you post will seem as cool for your community as it seems for you
- Constantly improve and change what it’s not working
- Keep the things that do work.
- Learn from those that are already doing what you want to do.
- Do things in your way, dare to act as unique, because you are unique.
- If you want people to do certain things, say tell them. Let them know what your intentions/ wishes/ needs are.
- Talk to them, not at them.
- Know each of them personally, so you can talk to each of them personally, find out what their problems and wishes are, so you can serve them.
- From time to time be silent and just let them be. Its their playground.
- Welcome all new members. They all are important, you really want to build engagement with them and this works.
- Produce constant free and paid content for the community
- What successful stories of your members you contributed to and can talk about?
Awesome book to read: Tribes by Seth Godin
10. Do you grow a community yourself? Let's learn from each other!
What strategies do you use? Write some in a comment bellow.
If they are totally awesome we can integrate them in a separate article.