3 Brilliant Ways to Maximize Facebook Groups for Your Health Coaching Business
I received a question from a health coach recently who asked about the best way to interact with members of a Facebook group if the group admin doesn’t allow advertising of your services.
I thought this was such a good question that I realized it would make a great blog post in hopes that it will help others that are wondering how to best use Facebook groups for their business.
Participating in Facebook groups can be a great way to establish authority, make connections, and find new clients when done the right way. In these groups you get a chance to gain insights into the exact struggles your ideal clients are facing. This is where potential clients are likely to ask questions and seek advice, so it is a great opportunity for you to position yourself as the expert that can help them.
When you know what their struggles are, you’ll know how to create and position your solution much more effectively – this is priceless!
Today, we are going to look at how to find the best groups for your target market, and what to do once you’re in the groups so you can set yourself apart and attract clients. You will also find out what you must avoid doing (because it will sabotage your efforts).
Before I get into some of the strategies you can use, I want to point out that Facebook groups can be a lot like networking events. Once you approach it from that standpoint, it’s much easier to know what to do (and what not to do).
You are at an event, and someone walks up to you and says, “Hi, I’m Melissa, and I am a personal trainer – here’s my business card. I help women get in great shape, so be sure to contact me so we can get started next week.”
What would you think of that interaction? You probably wouldn’t be too impressed, right? A stranger walks up to you, hands you their business card, starts talking about what they do, and tells you to contact them. AND they know nothing about you. You shake your head, roll your eyes, and of course, never contact her.
While this may be a slightly exaggerated example, I can tell you that it’s not too far off from what happens in some Facebook groups.
If your main strategy is just to sell, sell, sell, it won’t work because it will repel people rather than draw them to you to find out more.
In the example I used above with the personal trainer, what if Melissa introduced herself, and found out about you first? Once she learned a little about you, she then let you know what she did (maybe even offered a free guide or a free class) but took the conversation back to learning more about you. How would you feel about her then? You would probably feel like you made a connection, and possibly even made a new friend. Later, when you see Melissa is offering a program or service, you are drawn to her to find out more.
Ok now that you’ve got some background on how to make the best connection, let’s look at where you can go to start having these kinds of conversations with potential clients.
Here are my top three ways to maximize Facebook groups for your business:
1. Find groups that are the best fit for you
This will take a little work on your part, and knowing who your target market is will be extremely beneficial. It’s pretty amazing what you can find once you start digging around in the Facebook search tab.
If one aspect of your target market is stay at home moms, you can enter the key words ‘stay at home moms’ in the Facebook search tab. This will populate groups and Facebook pages.
Once you see a few groups to choose from, take a look to see which ones might be a good fit. Some will be closed and some will be public. If you don’t want your comments to be visible to people outside of the group (your Facebook friends), stick with the closed groups. If you don’t mind your comments being visible to people outside of the group, go ahead and join any public groups.
If you are targeting menopausal women, enter the key word “menopause” and you’ll see a few options show up.
NOTE: Always read the group description (and rules) before you request to join. Many groups are for paid members only (as part of the support for a membership site or training program). If the group looks like a good fit, click “join group” to request to join. Once you’re in the group, take a look around to see if people (and the group admin) are active in the group.
If you join the group, and you like it, be sure to click on ‘add to favorites’ in the dropdown menu at the top right side of the group. Your ‘favorite’ groups will show up on the left side of your home Facebook home page. I also like to turn off notifications from groups because it can be too distracting.
2. Always seek to add value first
Make it a goal to be a giver. People appreciate when you take the time to share a tip, help answer a question or provide support and resources. This helps build the ‘know, like and trust’ factor.
This is also where the law of reciprocity kicks in. The Law of Reciprocity says that “when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return. As a matter of fact, you may even reciprocate with a gesture far more generous than their original good deed.”
When someone posts a question or a comment in the group, see if you can offer help. If allowed, post an occasional healthy recipe or a helpful resource you found that you thought people might like (not an affiliate link or link to your website).
The most important thing to remember is to participate in Facebook groups with the utmost of integrity, and come from a place of providing value. When you do this, people will appreciate it, and will seek to find out more about you. This is also a good way to become the go-to person about your area of specialty.
Building relationships and trust takes some time, so be patient, and be consistent. Do not be that person that only promotes their services without first giving value. Decide how much time you will spend in Facebook groups each week, and set a timer on your smartphone before you start posting. It’s too easy to get sidetracked and before you know it, an hour has gone by.
Note: Be sure that you go to your Facebook profile and set your ‘workplace’ to be your Facebook business page, so when people hover over your name, they see your Facebook page. If they want to learn more about you or reach out to you, they will be able to find you easily, and you are likely to gain more fans on your business page.
3. Start your own Facebook group
Setting up your own Facebook group can be a great way to establish yourself as a leader and an expert, as well as create your own online community. Added benefit: YOU get to make the rules.
I started my first Facebook group about three years ago, and since then I have created several other groups. I have found the groups to be very rewarding and beneficial. I have groups for my awesome customers for ongoing support, one group for health coaches to find done-for-you programs for their businesses, and one group for certified health and fitness professionals for a peer support group. Each group serves a different purpose, but they all definitely provide value first.
Setting up a Facebook group is beyond the scope of this post, but I want to mention it because sometimes if you can’t find what you’re looking for, the best thing to do is create it.
I would start out by joining 2-4 groups, and get an idea of what’s involved with running one. You can also get an idea of what you want to do and what you do not want to do if you decide to create your own group.
Of course, this shouldn’t be your only business strategy, but it can be a good way to make new connections and gain new clients. You have a lot to offer, and when you provide value on a regular basis, people will be drawn to learn more about you.
Make it a goal this week to explore a few Facebook groups to determine which ones might be where your target market is hanging out. Once you find a couple, jump in and start interacting with people. Remember the four-letter word “G-I-V-E.”
Speaking of giving, I have something for you! “30 Days to a New You” is a free, customizable eCoaching series that you can use to build your email list, stay in touch with subscribers, and offer immense value. Grab your free copy today.
I can’t wait to see what you do!