Before I start, I want to say a GIANT thank you to Jasmine Commerce for her song “October Sky” that she has let me use for the podcast. I LOVE her music and find myself singing hours after editing the podcast episodes. Agree? Find her music here.
Interview with Katie Krimitsos on Leveraging Facebook Groups
With Facebook pages going the way of the dinosaur (if the dinosaur were in a petting zoo where you had to pay extra to SEE the dinosaur even though you already LIKED the dinosaur), Facebook groups are rapidly gaining attention. A few months ago at Podcast Movement I heard Katie Krimitsos from Biz Women Rock share about her experience with the power of Facebook groups. Katie is one of those larger-than-life personalities who draws you in with her personality and the way she couples it with a keen business savvy. She’s brilliant and I knew I had to have her on the show.
Whether you are a writer working to establish relationships with readers, a blogger wanting to create a community around your blog, or a business-owner wanting to connect with customers on a deeper level, Facebook groups are the way to go. (Until Facebook makes groups go the way of the dinosaur, but as Katie mentions in the interview, that’s why you have an email list!) I loved getting to talk with Katie this morning and I hope you can come away with a renewed sense of how Facebook groups can work for you, no matter WHAT your purposes.
As for Katie, you can find her at the Biz Women Rock site, listen to the Biz Women Rock podcast on iTunes, or jump right into her Biz Women Rock Facebook group to see her live out what she talked about in this episode. (I’m in that group and she practices what she teaches!!)
ALSO! This is time sensitive so I want to throw it out here right now at the beginning. Katie is doing a free webinar this Friday, September 25 at 2pm EST about how to start, grow, and monetize your Facebook group. She will give an awesome free training (I did it last month!!) and offer you the last chance to buy the Facebook Groups Rock course before she has her baby girl in a few weeks! Sign up for the free training HERE.
Listen to Create If Writing – Episode 016
“Your group on Facebook, i.e. your tribe or your community, is only as good as the value you’re providing them.”
- Katie started an in-person community in Tampa and applied some of the principles that worked for an IRL group in an URL group.
- Biz Women Rock started as a podcast and she was following the typical model of getting sponsors and growing the podcast audience.
- The Facebook group came out of her desire to want to wrap her arms around her listeners. (I LOVE this description!)
- Out of this group, her brand became a trusted resource and the central focus became NOT the podcast, but the community and brand as a whole as a business resource with the podcast just being ONE of these things.
- Facebook may very well change up how groups work and they may not work well forever. This platform isn’t YOURS. Get email addresses!
- To collect those email addresses, Katie utilizes webinars and has also used the Facebook group as the freebie or opt-in for people who sign up on her website for her email list.
Facebook Group Tips for Moderators
- The group needs to be engaged for it to work. Figure out what works for each group, but asking questions you think people WANT to answer is a good way to get people talking. People love to share about themselves!
- Utilize different kinds of media: video, photo, text. Videos especially can bring people into your world and helps make you relatable and approachable as the leader of the group.
- You need to have this engagement and relationship before you sell to your group. It won’t BE salesy if you’re doing it well.
- As the owner, YOU set the tone. Don’t be afraid to moderate and do what works for you, not just what other groups do.
- Establish guidelines that will help maintain and define the culture of the group. Remind people of them.
- The natural tendency is for people to want to promote their things. You want to give a space for this, but especially as your group grows, this gets spammy FAST. Consider having one share thread a week.
- Spend some time seeing what people like and what people respond to.
- The ultimate goal isn’t to talk at people, but to foster community. You know your group is healthy when people interact WITHOUT you.
How to Sell to Your Facebook Group without Being Smarmy
- Establish yourself and your brand as valuable to the group.
- Pay attention to the needs of the community. Then find ways to meet those needs and provide value.
- Ask people what they want and need!
- People as consumers get that if you have their best interests in mind so when people love and trust your brand, you can easily show them that you’re providing value FOR them. Even if it’s also a sale for you.
This was such a great conversation with valuable insights that really do apply to ANY field that you are in, whether that’s selling handmade products, writing books, or direct sales. Create an engaged community, provide lots of FREE value, and then offered products that meet people’s needs. If this is something you want to know more about, don’t miss Katie’s webinar! If you can’t watch at that time, you can still sign up and catch the replay.
What I Want to Know from YOU
Are you using Facebook groups? If so, how is that working for you? Let me know in the comments!
Your Email List Is Not Your Community <- as an email nerd, I loved reading this! Katie is right on.
5 Ways to Leverage Facebook Groups for Your Business
Make Money with Facebook Groups <- I heard the author, Abbie Unger, speak this weekend at the Blog Elevated Conference and she is right there with Katie in this community-building with Facebook groups!
Jeff Cope says
I understand the definite advantage of a Facebook Group over a Page, especially with group communication. I wasn’t able to attend Abbie’s presentation at Blog Elevated because I was in another seminar at the time, but I heard that you need a Page plus a Group. What I’m struggling with is if I create the Group and let’s say I have a new post from the website, do I announce it at both places? How do I keep the content different between the Page and Group? Others must have done this and have had success. Thanks!
I just realized I never responded to your comment! SO SORRY! I would announce most things both places, unless you’re using your page for one thing and your group for another. I have my page mostly sharing from my lifestyle blog about parenting things. My group is focused on writing and blogging and all the things here from this blog. If you do both similarly, then I would just sort of stagger the content unless it’s time sensitive! But it’s totally okay to do both. Most of the people who like your page won’t see the content anyway. 🙂