Marketing, Scaling Your Business

Create a Highly Engaged Facebook Group with Josh Stanton of Screw the Nine to Five​​​​​​​

Episode 221: Show Notes

Today on the show we welcome Josh Stanton. Josh is the co-founder of Screw The Nine To Five, which is his and his wife, Jill’s, slice of the internet where they help entrepreneurs bring  more attention to their brands, make more money in their business and get more out of their life through simple strategies, how to’s and behind-the-scenes glimpses into the realities of building a business online. In this episode, we tackle the topic of how to create a highly engaged Facebook group. We’re here today to let you in on a little secret and that Facebook member numbers is kind of a load of BS if you don’t have engagement! But how do you cultivate engagement, and better yet sustain it, from the get-go?

Today on the show we welcome Josh Stanton. Josh is the co-founder of Screw The Nine To Five, which is his and his wife, Jill’s, slice of the internet where they help entrepreneurs bring  more attention to their brands, make more money in their business and get more out of their life through simple strategies, how to’s and behind-the-scenes glimpses into the realities of building a business online. In this episode, we tackle the topic of how to create a highly engaged Facebook group.  |  The Strategy Hour Podcast  |  Think Creative Collective

Josh lets us in on their tips, tricks and processes that have helped him and Jill create a successful, highly engaged and empowered Facebook group that actually drives members to sales. All done in as little as thirty minutes a week! We discuss how to show up for your people personally, how to drive them to your products or services, how to set group rules and expectations and how to keep your page alive and buzzing with content, questions and resources that impact the community you are serving. If you are looking to step up your Facebook game and create a thriving community – then this is the episode to fill up your notepad up with!

Find Out How Josh and Jill Started Screw The Nine To Five

What many people might not realize is that Screw The Nine To Five was not initially started as a business. Josh and Jill first started a skincare blog together because they wanted to create a business that could travel with them wherever they went. They looked at the various models that would enable them to do this and came across affiliate marketing. This was the perfect business model for their lifestyle. They did further research into the products that they were selling online and came across skincare. Josh and Jill knew nothing about skincare and it took six months before they had a full-scale business and when it was up and running, they moved to Thailand. It was here that they decided to start a blog about the lifestyle they were living and Screw The Nine To Five came about. This was the birth of the first version of Screw The Nine To Five and since then it has had many iterations and evolvements. There were a lot of mistakes that have led them to where they are today and as Josh puts so well, “We are not overnight successes, we are products of our own mistakes.”

Getting Started With Your Facebook Group: How To Spark Engagement

Josh and Jill were running into a problem where they didn’t know who their audience was. So they launched their first digital product based off of what they thought their audience wanted and it was a complete flop! It was here that they made a conscious decision to get to know their people and wondered what the best way to do that was. The first thing they did is they sent an email out and in the subject line they wrote, “Can we call you?” They got a ton of positive responses and this was the first through road to understanding their audiences’ wants and needs. Facebook groups became really apparent at that point and they decided to jump on board with this and try it out in 2014. Initially, they had abut 20 people in that group and began posting questions and responses in the group. The group grew and grew and grew to eventually over 45,000 people! Josh encourages us not to feel bad if you are posting something in a Facebook group and no one is responding. This is completely normal. But it is the first step to initiating engagement in your group.

Driving Traffic To Your Facebook Group & 3 Steps To Sustaining Engagement

Josh does not advise running ads for people to join your Facebook group in the beginning. Josh only runs ads when he knows what the ROI is before they spend money. That is their first rule of thumb for an online business. What Josh and Jill did to first get people in their group, was send an email out on their email list and place the “Join” button in a few navigation areas on their website. They also included a sidebar banner on their site and placed a “Join” button on their “Thank you” email received after anyone signed up for the mailing list. Growing your group can’t be rushed. For us at TCC, our group was really quiet for the first year! But as long as your group is made easily accessible from your other communication channels, then it’s gravy. Josh learnt from another very successful online business owner named Shannon Hernandez, to do monthly audits of everyone in your Facebook group. Although her FB group was tiny, every month, Shannon would remove anyone who was not engaging in the group to ensure that the engagement in the group was always really high. Josh then asked Shannon how she gets people to buy her products.

Her process was to 1.) Always welcome people as they enter the group. Always. And 2.) Post a content piece once a week, such as a Facebook Live, based on some aspect of her product. Anyone that commented or participated on that post, she would private message them and ask if she could help them out with their specific need. 3.) She would then recommend that they join her $100 masterclass. After that workshop, she would them lead them toward more products and services. This is a simple process that only takes a little bit of time each week. You just need to own the fact that small can be mighty! There is so much BS when it comes to numbers. The only metrics that Josh really cares about is 1.) Money – How much is the business making? And 2.) Impact. Usually, both go hand in hand. If you are impacting more people, then you are making more money.

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We are not overnight successes, we are products of our own mistakes.
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Turning Your Facebook Group Into A Selling Tool For Your Business

Josh and Jill are always trying to do things that allow for scale. They wanted to grow a large Facebook group but they also wanted to create procedures to help them run it and make sure that it’s actually providing a lot of value to people first. Their process is as follows: Someone comes in and the first question they ask this member is whether they agree to the group rules and the second is a market research question. Such as, “What are you struggling with the most right now?” And the third piece is sending them down a route toward a particular product to help them with their problem. They also use the Facebook welcome post function to welcome in members who have just joined, using three welcoming variations. They then ask members to introduce themselves to the rest of the group. The two things they care about most is to get engagement and from there, to move people down their pipelines. What they also do is create a 30-day content calendar for posts in the group, where they plan out all of their content in advance. But the really important thing to take note of is tracking links. How many people are actually clicking the links in your Facebook group? You need to know how many leads you’re getting from Facebook.

Personal Engagement and Showing Up For Your People

Josh and Jill definitely don’t sit there and answer people’s questions all day, that’s for their paid community members. Their free group is kind of a platform for members to talk to one another. Josh spends about 30 minutes a week in the free Facebook group where he will comment, like and engage a bit personally, but that’s about it. It can become a bit of a problem when your free Facebook members are expecting you to be the ones to answer ALL of the questions but if there are thousands of people in the group – other people can jump in and answer too! Sometimes you just need to empower the other members to answer by referring to podcasts or previous resources that answer their questions and set those expectations for them. If it gets out of hand with the rules and regulations of the group, you can also shoot a quick video outlining these and re-post it to the group to re-set those expectations.

The Facebook Group Shutdown Saga of 2017 and Starting Fresh

The Facebook group phenomenon got to a point where there was a culture of getting things for free on these groups. Josh and Jill decided to shut their group of over 45,000 people down because everybody just wanted free stuff and weren’t necessarily customers or even supporters of the products or business. This made it almost impossible to gage how effective their group was even being. So they decided to restart their group and set expectations from the beginning. And they decided that all they were going to use Facebook for was a marketing channel for their business. What they discovered was if they give people something for free, they do not take action on it. But if they spend money, and the more money they do spend, the more accountable they are and the more transformation they can get from them. So that was the problem that start happening with Facebook groups and why a lot of people moved away from groups at that time, because they felt like they weren’t able to work with people anymore. In the original group, Josh and Jill were answering way too many questions and now they only answer questions for paying members mostly. They also post useful links in the group now surrounding existing group conversations, which they never used to before.

Highlights

  • Find Out How Josh and Jill Started Screw The Nine To Five. [0:03:00.1]
  • Getting Started With Your Facebook Group: How To Spark Engagement. [0:07:11.1]
  • Driving Traffic To Your Facebook Group & 3 Steps To Sustaining Engagement. [0:11:40.1]
  • Turning Your Facebook Group Into A Selling Tool For Your Business. [0:17:10.1]
  • Personal Engagement and Showing Up For Your People. [0:24:42.1]
  • The Facebook Group Shutdown Saga of 2017 and Starting Fresh. [0:30:00.1]
  • #TalkStrategyToMe [0:37:00.6]

  1.     Boost engagement with short conversation starters.
  2.     Use a “versus” type post for engagement.
  3.     Use an “imagined scenario” post for engagement.

Today’sGuest

Josh Stanton | Screw the Nine to Five | The Strategy Hour Podcast

Josh Stanton

Screw the Nine to Five

Website | Instagram | Facebook

Josh Stanton is the co-founder of Screw The Nine To Five – him and his wife, Jill’s, slice of the internet where they help entrepreneurs build more attention to their brands, make more money in their business and get more out of their life through simple strategies, how to’s and behind-the-scenes glimpses into the realities of building a business online. He’s got a serious love for travel, an unhealthy obsession with pugs and has been known to indulge in a rugby binge-watching session or two.

KeyTopics

  • Online business.

  • Facebook engagement.

  • Facebook community.

  • Facebook group management.

  • Boost sales.

  • Entrepreneurs.

  • Build an online business.

  • Affiliate marketing.

  • Travel and work.

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