There are so many online groups these days. There’s pretty much a group for everything, whether it be on Facebook or LinkedIn and other platforms. There are groups pretty much for everyone.
As a business owner, it’s an awesome opportunity to grow your business, to build your tribe and connect with like-minded people.
The thing is when you go into those groups, what are you there for?
What purpose do you have in being a part of the group?
Specifically on being in business groups. Is it attached to your mission and your desire to help, or is it to connect and make money?
For a lot of women in business, it is about their passion, their desire to help others and monetising that passion. Which is great!
The interesting thing that I notice is that at times people completely forget about what the groups are for – connection, education and a place to hang out with people who like what you do.
Let me give you an example of what not to do.
I’m in a particular group of over 100,000 people, the purpose is to connect women in business and to provide help and support.
Questions are often asked about basic entrepreneurial questions…and rather than answering the question, many people go straight in to post about their networking opportunity or their business, without one second of a thought to answering the question of what the person is really asking.
Even more, when people do answer with an appropriate answer, it is ignored for the more polarising comments around entrepreneurship vs network marketing, and even that men sell differently to women.
What I see missing is my favourite question…
How Can I Help?
In business, the most important thing is how can you help? How can you help that person?
What are they asking, how do they feel, what is the problem they are facing right now?
As I mentioned, I noticed a post recently where a person posted about how women sell differently to men, which is quite an interesting question…one which caused quite a stir.
Posts went ‘on and on’ that women connect and build relationships and hang out together online, but you don’t see a lot of men doing that.
Now that’s a big assumption and I would suggest it’s not true.
It got better…
Another woman chimed in and said well she just wanted to do what the men do, which is just get the sale done. Is that really where the focus should be?
And again, what’s in it for your customer? It really doesn’t matter whether you’re a woman or a man in the way that you sell or the way you position yourself.
What’s far more important is knowing who you are, knowing who your ideal client is… knowing what they want, what are their challenges, and what do they wish they could have or do?
Before any sale can be made, the first question you ask is to find out what they want. The focus should be 100% on them and not you.
You find out what they want. You find out what their challenges are. You find out what their desires are and if it’s in alignment with you, and if it’s in alignment with your solution…that’s where you become the most obvious solution.
Guess what…you’ll have a sale.
Get Better Results From Your Groups
My goal is to separate the hype from the helpful in connecting in groups, so you can figure out if your business should dive in and utilise this powerful tool.
The secret to success is to stop marketing your products and services.
You are also in the business of knowledge. You need to market your specialised knowledge to demonstrate to prospects and customers that you are the expert in your field.
Articles, blogs, webinars, FB live, white papers, e-books, podcasts to name a few.
Like anything, it takes time and more importantly consistency, even when you think no one is watching.
The way to get the most out of being in a group for growing your business organically is to go in as you.
But before that, you need to know you are and who it is you want to work with, who it is what you stand for and being clear on that when you go into the group.
You can’t help everyone…well, not all at once.
You can’t market to everyone with the same message. As a mother of five boys, I have very different needs and wants compared to someone who does not have children.
Join groups where your ideal clients hang out, not your competitors.
Now, with a group strategy, it can take at least three to four months to get a return on investment for your time and energy.
Stick to being seen as an expert and answering the one and only question which is ‘how can I help?’
Go in with zero expectation of a return.
A purely open-hearted, ‘how can I help’ attitude with zero expectation of something in return.
And that means you can build trust, you build the know you, like you, trust ‘you’ relationship, and if that person is looking for what you offer, and the relationship has been nurtured, there will be an automatic connection.
Be consistent, which means consistently every week. In another business group, I see people who do post in the group on the same day every week…It could be the Tuesday and they go put a Tuesday tip in…it’s much more than that.
The thing is if you don’t go in on any other day, how’s that helpful? How are you providing value?
If somebody comments or posts or likes something you post in a group, please reply, comment, and say thanks.
Tip: Best not to copy and paste the same post into different groups, even if you change the image. For example, in the small business space, there are many who are in the same groups as you.
It takes discipline to consistently post.
The biggest thing I’ve found on social media is that people are inconsistent, and they wonder why they don’t get a return for their effort.
If you consistently post, choose your days, and choose your groups well.
As I mentioned, it takes time, at least three to four months to get a return on investment for your time.
By result, I am referring to a name, email, phone number, what is called a ‘lead’ in the marketing world.
But what it really is, is a connection where you can then further build a relationship and collaborate.
Take it off social media, start a conversation either in Messenger or via email or via Zoom.
The first question to ask is what do you do?
Remember: it is all about them and not about you.
Get that person to share about themselves – if they want to. Find out a little bit more about who they are, and who it is that they want to target or work with.
And if appropriate, you can then suggest that you have a solution that they might be open to hearing more about.
Recap – Online Groups:
This particular strategy works for any kind of business, whether you’re an entrepreneur, in network marketing, bricks and mortar or online.
It works the same. Be consistent with social media, because there is simply no silver bullet.
I wish there was…but the truth of it, there isn’t. Damn it!
It takes time and consistency and without those, you will get a mixed result.
With social media… what you put in is exactly what you get out.
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Let me know how you go.