Are You Talking To Us?

As we’ve mentioned, we really started our first Facebook group with a view to protecting our online audience from outside influences that were out to exploit our business.

The strangest thing happened though… well it was strange to us!

Remember where we were at the time, we were struggling to get any kind of traction at all back then. We didn’t know how to put offers out well and we really didn’t consider ourselves as any kind of influencers. We were just a couple trying to get some bills paid and get out of a horrible situation where we couldn’t afford ANYTHING other than the essentials… if that!

But that Facebook group was the thing that changed everything because we were starting to get more and more members coming into the group and loving being a part of the community.

It gave people an outlet where they could escape the mundane and surround themselves with other people who ‘got them.’

Working online can be a lonely space because people in our everyday world often don’t share the vision that we have and they’re usually not backwards in letting us know that, so when people find a community where they’re around kindred spirits it can seem like their home online and people LOVE that.

So because we’d set this group up where people were loving the connections and the content, they made one huge assumption automatically.

They assumed we were experts. They’d refer to us as experts and we’d be like… ‘are you talking to us?’

We certainly didn’t FEEL like experts! We were just prepared to put ourselves out there and put this group together.

But there was no denying it, to the rest of the market, we were developing a large audience, which meant that we had a certain amount of influence. If we recommended a product and gave it the thumbs up, people tended to buy it.

Before long we were getting contacted by magazines asking to feature our products and use them in photoshoots. We had TV shows using our products… they even wound their way into some major Hollywood movies such as a Batman movie and Prince of Persia after we were approached by Pinewood studios.

There’s one really important distinction we want to raise at this point. Having a Facebook group has allowed us to do things completely differently to most other online marketers in as much as we’ve never found ourselves having to chase people or send spammy messages out begging people to look at what we have to offer.

People and companies in our market have approached us because of our Facebook groups and the effect of showing up the way we do because of the group. This means we never have to feel that crushing, horrible rejection that seems to go hand in hand with so many sales methods. It’s a totally different dynamic and it makes running an online business so much more enjoyable.

On the subject of being approached, we were also approached by other leaders in our niche to ask if we could collaborate on some projects. 

To say we were a little intimidated would be an understatement, especially when probably the most well known producer of paint for our niche invited us to her house to discuss a joint project.

This lady is considered shabby chic royalty… if there is such a thing! 😆

Our Facebook group was growing and had really opened doors for us. 

Doors that would have otherwise stayed firmly stuck shut, but we still had no idea what this would all lead to.

Sam with Annie Sloan. The 'Queen of shabby chic'

We think it’s time to bust another myth… actually we want to bust two because we know we’ve given you a lot to read and we appreciate you sticking with it, so here goes. 

Myth #3 - You Need To Pay To Get Traffic For Your Business

At the time of writing this, the fact is we’ve never run a Facebook ad… or any type of paid marketing at all really.

The first niche that we were in, the shabby chic niche grew to an audience for us of around 50k members spread over one main group and a couple of smaller groups where we allowed people to buy and sell a bit. Our main group was a strictly ‘no selling zone’ even for us (Doh!)

The group we’re running now (Tribes For Home Business) is currently sitting at just under 8.5k members as we write this and this has all been grown organically with a few techniques that anyone can master. You just need to decide to do it.

Let us ask you this, if you had a few thousand people thinking you were the go-to person for whatever it is that you do… do you think you could charge a few of them to help them to get what they want?

Do you think they’ll pay?

Let us answer that for you… They WILL! 😉

And they’ll thank you for your help too.

In fact you don’t need a few thousand, you just need a few hundred of the right people who are ready to take action to provide you with an awesome customer base that has the power to change your life.

Myth #4 - You Need To Be Technical To Earn Money Online

We know the belief that you have to be some kind of technical mastermind is one of the things that prevents people from taking the plunge and getting stuck into starting an online business.

The fact is that with our first business we built our audience entirely using the free and ‘zero tech necessary tools’ given to us by Facebook.

Yes we had a website but more often than not our customers would just call us and pay over the phone with a credit card because they’d seen us on Facebook. The downside to this is it’s not very scaleable, but here’s the point.

Step 1, Use the basics to start making money. You can do it. 
You don’t need all the frills to start making a decent income using Facebook groups. Facebook have given us the tools to build an engaged audience and if you asked us what we’d rather have to start making money, a flashy website OR an engaged audience that saw us as the go-to people to help them… well we think you already know the answer to that.

Step 2, Once the money is starting to come in, hire someone else to take care of all the techie stuff. Your job is coming up with ways to market your business and this puts you into a much higher pay grade than people who are just all about the tech.

If you want to hire someone to do the tech, you can find people on who are amazing at it and will work for a modest hourly rate.

If you want to hire someone to show you how to make money by marketing your business effectively and actually getting results, you’ll need to dig deep because these guys can charge into four figures per hour and above.

Focus on being the latter.

That Was Then, But This Is Now

So that was us back in the day and the story of how we got started with Facebook groups in the first place. But you’re probably asking yourself if it still makes sense to have a Facebook group today? After all the competition online is intense right?

Does the concept of this still make sense and should you build a Facebook group yourself?

Well allow us to bring you up to date in the final part of this little sequence.