In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about scaling your business strategy beyond Facebook groups.
If you’re someone who has relied on being in other people’s Facebook groups in order to attract and convert clients – you’ve used that as an early strategy to get proof of concept, build your audience and build your business – but you’re starting to feel like it’s not as scalable as you would like, then this is going to be particularly helpful for you.
Here for the links referenced in the show notes?
Fast-Track Your Start-Up free training: tashcorbin.com/fasttrack
Join the Heart-Centred community: tashcorbin.com/group
We don’t ever want to put you in a situation where you have to continue working just as long and just as hard to get the same amount of clients. Moreso, we don’t ever want to put you in a position where you have to work twice as hard if you want to double your client base. We want to create scalable strategies! Being in other people’s Facebook communities isn’t necessarily scalable.
If that’s something that’s piquing your attention, this is going to be super helpful for you.
Let’s dive in!
Before we talk about going beyond Facebook groups, I do want to say that Facebook groups are amazing. Facebook groups are responsible for my early successes in my business.
The first $50,000 to $60,000 that I made in my business came through my presence in Facebook communities.
I know how powerful Facebook groups are as a strategy to get early proof of concept of your business, get those early clients in the door, start growing your own audience, and build your mailing list.
Facebook groups are brilliant.
The Heart-Centred community (our Facebook community) is brilliant.
There are over 35,000 people in that group. We love buying from each other, we love learning about each other, we love supporting each other, and we’re on most of each other’s mailing lists.
We are a beautiful network Facebook community where people have launched businesses.
It is a brilliant community. Facebook communities are amazing.
But for most people, they are not your forever business growth plan.
We can get a little caught up in the safety of being in those same communities and promoting to those same communities over and over again. It feels so connected and so lovely, and it’s so safe.
Especially if you’ve had early success by promoting into Facebook groups, you can start to convince yourself that that’s the way that you’re going to keep running your business forever. But it’s not necessarily scalable.
As I said at the start of the episode, if you’re in three Facebook groups and you’re getting 10 clients a month but you want to get 20 clients a month, do you go in six Facebook groups? Or do you go into three Facebook groups and post twice a day?
There’s no direct line of sight between how you can change your strategy in a way that increases your results.
In most cases, posting in other people’s Facebook groups is not a forever plan.
It can tend to have a bit of risk if that’s your only way of making income. What if that person shuts down their Facebook group?
I don’t have any plans to shut down the Heart-Centred group, but I know a lot of people in that community whose businesses and bottom lines would be very impacted by the closure of the Heart-Centred group. They rely on it for a lot of their business.
As I said, I’m not closing it. Don’t panic, it’s fine. But as a mentor, I don’t feel comfortable being responsible for the bottom line of so many businesses by keeping that group open.
It does make me a little anxious when people say that all their clients come from the Heart-Centred community.
That’s great, but let’s look at how we can get your strategy clear beyond Facebook groups.
Yes, Facebook groups are great. I still make sales in Facebook groups to this day. I mostly hang out in them for funsies these days, but I still make a lot of connections in Facebook communities and quite a few of those people turn into paying clients.
It’s still (sort of) part of my strategy, but it’s not the core of my strategy anymore.
Here are four things that I want you to consider to ensure you can scale beyond Facebook groups.
1. Focus on your own scalable social platform
Whilst you’re building your business in Facebook groups, are you also building your own scalable social platform?
When I say scalable, that means not your own Facebook group.
A lot of people think that their business beyond being in other people’s Facebook groups is to create their own Facebook group. But actually, Facebook groups are not scalable. I hate saying this because Facebook groups are so amazing and I love them. I’m so grateful for what happened with my own Facebook community.
But if I was starting my business from scratch today, I don’t think I would build the Heart-Centred community again.
Facebook groups don’t grow organically the way that they used to, and reach within your own Facebook group is declining at a rapid rate.
Here are some number examples: I have around 8,500 followers on my Facebook page at this point in time. If I post on my Facebook page, most of them average around 800-1000 reach.
Out of the 8,500 people who follow me, about 800-1000 of them see the posts I do on socials. Some posts get 3,000-4,000 views, and some get 100-200.
Some of them don’t do particularly well but the more I pay attention to which ones do well and do more stuff like that, the better my reach gets.
About 10-15% of people who follow my page would see a post when I put a post up.
We have 35,000 members in the Heart-Centred community. Despite the fact that I’m in there every day, I comment 20-30 times a day, and I post most days, if I do a post in the Heart-Centred community, I would be lucky to get more than 300 reach. 300!
Under 1% of the people in that group see my posts.
There are tools and things that in the short term can get you better reach in smaller groups.
We don’t have the @everyone tag in the Heart-Centred community because the group’s too big. I don’t know at what size that @everyone tag disappears. I’ve got conflicting information from different people.
Some people said when they got over 5,000 members, they lost the @everyone tag. But then I also know people who have 5,000+ members who still have the @everyone tag. So who knows!
But if I want to reach everyone inside the Heart-Centred community, the only tool that I have access to is to pin it as an announcement.
That’s it. That’s the only way that I can try and get it in front of everyone.
Even if I pin something as an announcement, it still won’t reach as many people as a post on my Facebook page will – which has significantly fewer followers and significantly fewer people there… but it’s scalable.
If I was to do a post on my Facebook page and it didn’t get great reach but I really wanted everyone to see it, I could pay $50 for a reach ad and get 70% of my page followers to see it. Because it’s scalable! I don’t have to put in lots and lots of time to get the same amount of reach, I can just chuck some money at it.
My first tip when we’re thinking about building your strategy beyond Facebook communities is to create, build and recruit people to your own scalable social media platform.
The two that I generally recommend are either having a Facebook page or an Instagram profile.
Don’t use a Facebook personal profile, it is also not scalable.
Yes, it may get more organic reach in the short term. But again, if you have a post on your personal profile that’s doing really well and you want to make sure everyone sees it, you can’t put ads behind it. There are no ads on a personal profile.
It’s also against Facebook’s terms and conditions, and I know a lot of people who’ve had their entire Facebook presence completely deleted because they were talking about their business too much on their personal profile. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.
Create your own scalable social platform and start to make sure that you recruit people to that and that you’re nurturing the audience there.
It should never be the case that people feel like they get more access to you in the Heart-Centred community than they do by following your page.
We want to make your online home on social media somewhere.
You want to reward people for following your Facebook page or following you on Instagram, by being really present with them there, by giving value there, and by making it a rewarding experience for being there.
That will drive engagement and reach.
That’s my first tip for scaling your business strategy – focus on your own scalable social platform.
2. Have a scalable way of growing your audience
One of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to pay for ads.
Sure, you can spend hours and hours a week working out the best viral organic strategies and creating ten posts a day. But ultimately, is that what you started a business to do? Is that part of your vision of what your business will look like forever?
If not, it’s time to start moving towards paid advertising, gradually but strategically.
You might start by having an ongoing list growth ad for $5 a day. $150 a month is a very reasonable and healthy starting point for an ad strategy.
That creates ongoing business growth that will serve you for years and years to come.
That is where long-term income growth comes from – growing your mailing list and your audience with scalable strategies.
Ads are one of the easiest, most effective ways to do that.
3. Systemise organic strategies
Yes, ads are far easier, but it costs more money. When it comes to organic growth, the better your organic reach is, the cheaper your ads are. The better your organic strategies work, the cheaper your investment into paid advertising.
Whatever you’re doing for your organic strategies, get that streamlined and systemised so that it works almost on autopilot.
Your system could be to have your team schedule posts to your social media channel, to have a 15-minute-a-day booking with yourself to go and respond to comments and DMs, etc..
Just create a little system for yourself so that you can keep boundaries around your social media time. And know that the time you are investing into organic social media is the most effective.
Seems fairly straightforward, but so many people resist systemising and creating structure when that’s the exact ticket to the life of freedom that they crave.
Find ways to systemise your organic strategies as much as possible. That’s my third juicy tip for scaling your business strategy beyond Facebook groups.
4. Ensure that you have a structured and balanced client attraction process
In Facebook communities, most of your sales and results come from being able to reach an audience that’s not yours (in the Heart-Centred community, you can reach my audience), so it comes from reach and conversion.
It’s fairly direct and straightforward.
Yes, you can nurture relationships and generate leads inside Facebook communities. But the client attraction process that works inside Facebook groups is shorter and more straightforward than the client attraction process that works at scale.
The client attraction process that works at scale requires a balance between reach, nurture, lead generation and conversion.
One of the things to be mindful of when you’re scaling your business strategy beyond Facebook groups, is that what works inside a closed community that you get ready access to, doesn’t necessarily work at scale with an open community that you need to pay to get in front of.
We want to ensure that your client attraction process is structured and balanced.
Don’t spend 90% of your time on reach and then the rest of your time scattered between nurture, lead generation and conversion.
Actually, the part of your client attraction process that results directly in sales is lead generation.
You want to have a structured client attraction process that gives you plenty of time for lead generation activities and nurture activities so that you’re not just fixated on reaching more people and then pitching to them straight away.
We need to build relationships and get that lead generation happening.
They are my four tips for scaling beyond Facebook groups. But I do have one last thing that I want to say…
Bonus tip: Social media is not a short-term growth strategy
Being in other people’s Facebook groups can sometimes trick us into thinking that social media is a very short-term growth strategy.
When you jump into a group like the Heart-Centred community (especially for people who jump into the Take Off program and get extra privileges inside the community, or people that get very active in the community very quickly and have amazing messaging), you can make a few thousand dollars in sales within a month.
You can make a lot of money quickly because the audience is already there and there’s an implied sense of trust because we’re connected.
Sometimes that means that when we try to use other scaled strategies on our own social platforms, we can feel like it doesn’t work because we didn’t get the results as quickly as we did in Facebook groups.
But we need to have a more long-term approach when it comes to scaling on your own social platform.
For example, with the Heart-Centred community, there are 35,000 people in there that I’m telling you to promote to. Whereas when you have your own social media platform, you don’t have 35,000 followers yet (I assume). You don’t have that many people in your audience yet, so you don’t have ready-made access.
You have to build the audience.
In Facebook groups, you’re borrowing an audience. On your own social platform, you have to build it.
The strategies that we use outside of Facebook communities need to be seen as longer-term strategies. They may not necessarily generate fast short-term income the way that being in someone else’s community does. But that doesn’t mean they’re any less valid or any less important for your business.
Those long-term strategies create this amazing snowball.
The Heart-Centred Soul-Driven Entrepreneurs community has been at 35,000 members for three years now. In three years that community has not grown. We’ve had new people come in, we’ve had people drop out. Over and over again, we’ve been hovering around 35,000 members.
That may be in part because I’m not promoting the Heart-Centred community much and I’m really focused on my own Facebook page and building my list. But it’s also in part because Facebook communities aren’t as preferenced by Facebook algorithms as they used to be.
When you used to scroll down the Facebook newsfeed on your phone, suggested groups would come up every now and then. It would promote groups that had good engagement and lots of members.
The Heart-Centred community grew organically on its own to 30,000 members within six years, and then it slowly crawled to 35,000.
That was a different time on social media.
These days, that group does not grow the way that it used to. I’m not focused on growing that group, because I don’t get most of my leads and sales out of the Heart-Centred community.
The Heart-Centred community is more of a reward for my paying clients because they get extra privileges in that group.
It’s a space where I see it as a peer support network for me. That’s why I started the group! I wanted to hang out with more business people. That group is 35,000 of my closest friends these days.
I’m not focused on growing that group, so if you were relying on the Heart-Centred community as your only way of growing your business and your only way of getting sales, then your growth is capped because I’m not growing that community. I’m not growing the audience for you anymore.
It is still one of the most highly engaged Facebook communities around (especially free ones). It’s still a hotbed marketplace, we still buy from each other so much in that group and it always makes me so happy to see people buying from each other and giving each other shoutouts…
But if you were relying on me to grow that audience for you, I haven’t been doing that.
That’s why I highly recommend focusing on the longer-term goal of growing your own platform and growing your own social media strategy. Definitely keep supplementing that with being in Facebook groups and making sales in Facebook groups. But we want to create something that will snowball for you and that will grow for you. Something that’s yours.
You have control over that audience size. You have a direct impact on how many people are in your audience – through the organic strategies you use, through the paid strategies that you use, and through the investment that you make in team members, ads, etc., to grow that audience.
That audience is yours. And it’s yours for the longer term.
I just wanted to talk about that because sometimes people have had such great results inside the Heart-Centred community, that when they don’t get the same results as quickly on their own social platforms, they’re measuring it against what happened in the Heart-Centred community. But the Heart-Centred community was a ready-made audience of 35,000 people.
Social media is not that. Yes, it’s technically a ready-made audience of millions of people, but you can’t get in front of them all. You don’t have ready-made access to all of them unless you pay big bucks to get in front of all of them.
It’s more of a longer-term strategy. It takes a little longer for you to see those results and see that snowball, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less valuable or important to your long-term business growth.
Please prioritise growing your own platform as well.
The last little thing I will say about this is that your own platform (ie. your Facebook page or Instagram profile) is still not necessarily yours.
As algorithms change, your access to that audience does shrink a little organically. You have to pay to get in front of people more. That’s reasonable – Facebook and Instagram are running a business.
But we also do want to ensure that you aren’t just focused on a social media audience.
When I talk about creating and building your own audience, I’m talking about your social platform and your mailing list.
They are your two audience assets.
Your social media audience is easier and cheaper to get, but it’s the flimsiest. It’s more difficult to get people onto a mailing list and retain them on a mailing list, but it’s a much sturdier asset.
The combination of the two maximises your growth.
You build the audience on your social platform – it’s cheaper, faster and you’ve got readymade access to them – but because it’s flimsy, you also want to ensure you’re securing the longevity and building your mailing list because that’s truly yours.
If you move from MailerLite to ConvertKit as your email platform, you get to take every single member of your mailing list with you.
If you move from having a Facebook Page to having an Instagram profile, there is no way for you to export those people and force them to follow you on Instagram. There’s no way for you to just move them over to being Instagram followers.
It’s important that we have both of those audiences growing consistently at scale so that we are looking after the long-term viability of your business.
That growth is a bit more secure than social media. Social platforms are an audience that you don’t technically own. Therefore, it’s not as strong of an asset.
That’s not to say it’s not important. It absolutely is. It’s part of the process. But we want both of them growing concurrently so that you’ve got that added security and accessibility through building a mailing list.
If all of this sounds very exciting to you and you’re ready to start scaling your business strategy beyond Facebook groups, I have a great free training for you.
It’s called Fast-Track Your Business.
In that training, I talk about how to get to the point where you have good profitability so that you’ve got the capacity to invest in growing your audience and growing your business through investments – ie. investing in ads, investing in team members, etc.
The first thing we need to do is make sure you’re getting lots and lots of sales coming in consistently at a good profit! The best way to learn how to do that is to come and check out my free Fast-Track Your Business training: tashcorbin.com/fasttrack
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the Heart-Centred Business Podcast.
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.