Episode 52: How Facebook Groups Can Build Your Biz and Help You Gain Clients

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Stephanie Liu: What's up you guys it's Stephanie Liu and welcome to another episode of Lights, Camera, Live. We've got something really amazing and awesome for you today. Today we're going to be talking about Facebook groups and how you can use Facebook groups to build your biz and grow your audience so if you know someone that would totally be interested in this episode go ahead and tag them now go ahead and share this in your groups your timelines all that great stuff and if you're tuned in watching live let me know where you're watching from because I'm here in beautiful sunny San Diego. So having said that, you guys let me go ahead and introduce you to the Bella Vasta - hold up let's get this party started... Bella I'm going to throw you up on the screen real quick say hey hey.

Bella Vasta: What's going on everybody in facebook land nice to be here thank you for having me.

Stephanie Liu: Awesome awesome okay cool so let me go ahead and introduce you to Bella for you guys real quick for if you guys have never met her before listen Bella vasta is the dynamic personality behind the one-woman coaching company jump consulting since 2002 Bella has been a trailblazer in the Pet Sitting industry consulting with multi-million dollar companies all the way to hundreds of small businesses she's an author podcast host blogger and has been featured on NBC, CBS, FOX, NPR, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post.

Stephanie Liu: Listen you guys - after the birth of her micro preemie daughter Bella sold her pet sitting business and she now lives out her passion to inspire motivate and challenge business owners through her speaking coaching and consulting. She's also gonna be speaking at the very first time at Social Media Marketing World - hey hey!

Stephanie Liu: Alright you guys go ahead and give it up for the Bella Vista! Go ahead and give her some hearts. Alright you guys, so let's go ahead and get on with the show. Bella super super amazing to have you here. How are you feeling today?

Bella Vasta: I am amazing, thank you so much for being having me like I love this topic so I'm like like behind a gate like ready to go.

Stephanie Liu: Yes yeah you guys I completely did my homework on Bella. You just recently did a Social Media Marketing Society presentation and I was listening to your podcast and I was like you guys she is the real freaking deal, like she knows what's up right? Yes alright cool. So big shout out to Ai because she's just joining us live and she's like I just spoke with Bella yesterday so...Bella you are everywhere!

Bella Vasta: Huh?

Stephanie Liu: You are everywhere.

Bella Vasta: I'm incredibly lucky and every time I'm somewhere I just build these more relationships with people and I that's the one thing I really love I love just you know you and I have known each other socially but this actually offers us the chance to interact like real time almost in real life also real life I know I guess cuz…

Stephanie Liu: Where are you at right now?

Bella Vasta: I'm in Arizona okay not that far away but we are far away.

Stephanie Liu: Alright you guys, so we're just getting started we're gonna be talking about Facebook groups and how you could leverage groups to grow your business and your bottom line. So Bella, you know when we talked about Facebook groups a lot of people are just like why a Facebook group if I already have a business page why should people invest in a Facebook group?

Bella Vasta: Right so Stephanie I have this really cool analogy that I want to tell all of our listeners right now and it's kind of like everyone knows that front yard in the backyard right so how do you think about your front yard Stephanie would you ever find yourself in your front yard you know in a sandbox with your child or laying by the pool and have your pool in your front yard mmm now like what happens in the front yard it's like well manicured you've got like your nice new like Halloween um wreath out or maybe you're starting you know more fall stuff or Christmas stuff if you're really like excited about Christmas coming that's what happens in our front yard and that's what our business pages are like right our pages are there to kind of like nice well manicured just like here's my latest blog and here's this there's not really that much interaction there right hmm now in your back yard that's where all the cool kids are like if you invite people to your back yard you're not gonna go in your house to go take a nap you're gonna be back there you're gonna be engaging with them you're gonna be hosting them you might offer them a drink there's music playing they might be in the pool you might be uh cooking them something on the barbecue so our our pages our Facebook pages our the front yard and I say that our groups are actually the backyard does that make sense absolutely I mean my friend yard hmm I mean my front yard at home but like for sure sure much more fun being on our pages because people think it's hard for people to make the distinction like well if I posted on my page I posted in my group or you know why do I get so many more people talking in my group than on my page because there are two totally separate things likewise you also don't have solicitors coming and knocking on your backdoor right you want hello do you want some solar panels on your house they're coming to your front door they're not coming through backdoor it's a little bit more personal and in but like you have to be invited to come into my backyard so who can use their Facebook group because you are like the go-to expert in the pet-sitting industry and is that something that's only specifically for that industry or can anyone do it are there any limitations it's such a good question and anybody can do it I mean you guys are kicking butt in your 360 group anybody can do it really I mean if you're human doing business with a human who wants to feel safe they want to belong they have a common interest or a bond then you're an ideal candidate for a group so yes everybody but just like everything online not everyone is cut out to do it so what I mean by that Stephanie is that you have to have a plan you have to have a goal in mind and you have to plan your content you have to know what's happening it can't be like a fly by the seat of your pants especially if you're a brand because again the solicitor's stay in the front yard and the party is in the back yard so we want to make people want to stay at the party and invite more people to the party and engage with the party and even if it's a really great party they're not all sitting there looking at you but they're actually engaging with each other having conversations amongst themselves so anybody can have a face group but you also that's with a caveat that you have to have a plan or a goal in mind.

Stephanie Liu: Okay so let's take a step back. Let's say I'm ready to launch a Facebook group about Pet Sitting right... how do I even get people to find out the fact that I have a party going on in my back yard? You know like, do I get to a sign twirl around on the front of my street?

Bella Vasta: Kind of in a way there are a lot of ways digitally that we can invite people in so the very first and most obvious one I think is our email signature so if you really do have something that and it depends on what kind of group it is right so we're gonna go with the assumption that this is if you're gonna use a pet sitter or some sort of a local service based business let's say that this is actually pet lovers of Scottsdale or Scottsdale pet parents or something that's just like very general right and you're grabbing them into the way you can do that is first through your email signature every one that you enter you know interact with you can do that from your home page maybe like right where it says the Facebook icon instead of bringing them to your page if you're really really wanting to build that group why not let that link to your actual group instead of your page.

Stephanie Liu: Okay you guys she just dropped like that's a good ninja and you you're just like no no Rob I Mike I know you guys are watching right now but did you just catch what she said? She said on your website, in your navigation where you have your social media icons instead of pointing people to your front yard point them to your Facebook group because that's where you want them to be.

Bella Vasta: You know they're in your group, they're most likely going to like your page right? But we really truly want to be building that relationship. We're not gonna say go hang out in the front yard we're saying essentially that you're cool enough to be invited to my party okay so you can do it that way also the most obvious one also is on your page in the bottom right you can change that call to action and it can say visit group or visit community which one it is that that's an obvious way and then if you really want to turbo boost that you can have a either a a video or a cover image that really directs you to you know join the group right there

Stephanie Liu: Are you paying attention to this? Bella is dropping knowledge bombs left and right like Mike Allton is already taking notes right now because I'm taking this give her some hearts because she's just she's not even holding back I'm digging this alright cool

Bella: so cute oh I love you how do you like the call-to-action email icon the social media icons go for it now if you have facebook groups that are acting like a funnel right you're gonna want to ask your facebook group to join the next Facebook group too so I know you or Gen gens trends she has it kind of like a funnel she's got a big free one and then for $5 only you guys can join this amazing 360 and and be a part of that group so it's just a little bit of an ask and you're in there right so you basically just want to you want to use it as a value based kind of thing you could send out an email once a month or once a quarter to your email list and invite them to join in the party and teas like here's some of the cool things we've got going on not to keep like you know going back to you guys do a great job of that by doing your like little gifts and I wish I just had that already you know um but you guys like

Stephanie Liu: okay I love this because so much of like what we're doing in terms of promotion we're like yeah I got a Facebook group but we don't think about how we can highlight like the most frequently asked question or the question that's getting the most engagement you bring up a really good point because they know that the social media marketing Society does this like they'll send out an email recap that says someone asks this question about X Y & Z and if you want to know the answer click here and it drives people back to the group to get them to engage again cool see this is this is why I love bringing on guests like you because you drop these knowledge bombs and in the middle of like trying to interview my crap post-it know I got to write this down and

Bella Vasta: I'm shocked because to me this stuff is just so like second me sure I've been doing this and and groups have been a big part of how I built my businesses since 2012 and only recently if I actually consciously understood that I've been doing this stuff and it's been like a big deal you know so that's why I've just kind of taken this platform of just exciting people about it because I don't think people understand how easy it could be with just a tiny bit of planning you know yeah for sure and you know you guys

Stephanie Liu: it's really funny right now because I just realized so Bella and I were talking about our cameras and what we were using and I just realized Bella I forgot to put the adapter in my camera so it might clock out and I'm just gonna go straight into my built-in cam but that's cool because the show is still gonna go on all right guys so if you're just dreaming we talked about why you want to develop why you want to create a Facebook group right who can create a Facebook group as well as how to get people to know about the party so once you get people into the Facebook group Bella how do you keep them engaged? What are some of your tips?

Bella Vasta: There's so many different things you can do okay so just like different backyard parties might do different things right maybe you have a blow-up bouncy for the kids maybe you have a pool maybe you don't maybe you have a smoker maybe you have a barbecue maybe you have dancing maybe you don't right just like you have a lot of different backyard parties you also are gonna have a lot of different kind of Facebook groups so some of this might apply to you some of this might not apply to you so here we go so you can have challenges I think challenges are a really really cool way to get engagement and excitement because it's like a friendly challenge where people can get points and maybe you as the Facebook group administrator could send out a an e-card like you know an Amazon card or a Starbucks card or something once a month to the winner okay it takes very little effort but it really gets people going another way you could do that is instead of just posting something and getting people to type in answers you can require that in order to answer you have to do a video comment oh no all right I'm like super excited do you know that in my master mind I actually got someone um great stuff that Claudia Claudia I'm so glad you like it do you know that in my mastermind I had a gal Pam who was terrified of going live on camera and so she did she she participated in this challenge in January and by June she had her own regular weekly Facebook live show that her community was asking her to broadcast at their community events this was a dog walker okay so she went from I'm terrified to oh my god this is amazing now I can do in the group is um you there's a lot of different tools that Facebook actually gives us so if you have a social learning group and you can use units that's also a really cool way to post challenges or keep topics alive. One big thing that we have on Facebook is that the minute it's posted things start dying right? In order to not make it not die, you can put them into the units and that helps a better experience for your partygoers because they know where they can go back and find the food.

Stephanie Liu: This is why everyone in 360 makes fun of me because I have this thing called the #foodfunnel where you bring people in towards food. Every single one of my guests are always talking about like food and buffets and parties like and this is why because food brings people together and I love that you brought up units because I just did this and um in the Social Media Strategist group and you have the option to have people land on the like the units or the Discussion. What would you recommend?

Bella Vasta: Oh well I think it depends on your group right so if you are very heavy and you're really teaching it's like maybe a consulting group like you're a consultant and you're teaching something then it does make sense to do that and make a mandatory you can also make a mandatory or optional right and then you can get the metrics on that as well but if it's just kind of something that's like a resource that you're trying to allow people to have the opportunity to go back and see so like for example in my mastermind a topic might come up today and someone has a question about live video and I might go to unit section and go to February we have a video in there called XYZ that you'll really like now that one's been extremely hard to find if we had to search through the group or use that search feature right um so it can be used a multitude of different ways another feature that's really interesting that came out recently if I can segue a little bit yeah go for it well there's a bunch of them but um and I actually want to put this back on you how do you feel about this a page joining a group how do you feel about that

Stephanie Liu: okay um so I actually okay the way I have Stephanie Lu is I have it connected to the social media strategist group and here's like a ninja hack that I notice is that if I post as my Facebook page and people engage with it I can then invite those people to become a fan of my page so I was like oh that was interesting you know cuz they can know me as my personal profile and yeah I thought that was just like brilliant brilliant on that alright but how do I feel about it um I like it I think most people in the strategist group right now are just all their personal profiles but I like that I could switch between the two what are your thoughts yeah and I love this conversation and that's such a good point that you bring up that it's the Stephanie loo page so I've been joining a group as a page that is representing a person I have my Bella vasta page - he's cool and it makes sense for the user and it's not really that big of a deal for the members right mm-hmm but I think for me to come in and say jump consulting and like as a logo I feel like that's bringing the solar cellar person at my front door into my backyard and I'm like minun no go stay over there but I think there are certain situations where it kind of does work but personally in my groups I don't even though it's um business-to-business essentially you know there's a lot of people that represent their own businesses that are in mine like them pages to join because people are talking about problems and stuff and we want to interact with each other right yeah it's hard so I think the caveat is like in your situation in my situation if we want to interact as our personal brand in there because it's that it's kind of cool you know yeah yeah you want to talk about chat yes please I have it okay there's think about

Stephanie Liu: I mean there's a couple of thousand people in the strategist group and I'm just like man if everyone tried to chat I don't know how that's gonna work out so if you've tried it by all means spill the beans where are the dudes what are the don'ts so I have to be honest I haven't tried it yet just because um my I've been in a dating my groups with a lot of stuff right now but I want to but I see this you guys if you don't know that Facebook a while ago you used to be able to do these like group chat kind of things and I want you to picture the AOL days so when you'd be in a chat room and everyone would be talking and it's kind of cool because it's not gonna bog down the actual posting or you know how you you might have like 200 comments but then you get all these sub comments then you get a notification and it drops you there and you're like Bella vastra just joined the room Mike Alton so I think this chat group is gonna be really cool just as another element to bring your group together so I'm thinking something like either a brainstorm or you all get together about a certain topic or or maybe you could just do a fun happy hour you know hey what what's everyone got in their hand or what's everyone wearing like on the bottom because we're all wearing like the business mullet outfit which is like business on top and then sweats on the bottom don't even trip we do it all the time you go to my ig right now you can see what I'm wearing but yeah so I think what I see and the reason why it makes me so excited and I know you as well is that Facebook really has put an incredible emphasis on a lot of different things lately one of them which is building community and I feel like they put their money where their mouth is in terms of giving and we've only just talked about a couple of the features yeah but they've really really come out the past I'd say six months or so with a lot of really cool tools to help us make our backyard party that much more cool right they gave us food to use we're going to Stephanie I love it okay and you guys like if we've gone through so many of the features right now but let's also talk about how to engage them like what type of posts should I be putting in there and if you want me to throw up the blog post behind you I could totally do that you let me know oh that's really cool there you go I got you I've got your blog post up so we want to be um and I can't see it I don't know but I wrote it so that's fine so we we want to I kind of started saying a lot of it earlier and I think I kind of went off on a tangent there right so the very first and most basic thing and we talked a lot about this on Madeline's Twitter chat I did yesterday it's the safety it's the no bullying so I mean we always have to stand up for our group members and make sure everyone feels safe because if people feel safe they're gonna show up and they're gonna participate a big part of that also is that um people feel like they belong someplace so by engaging on like what are common interests or what are common problems misery loves company right people can really come together and and that engagement does start happening and oh my gosh I struggle with this - I'm not alone and when we're living this digital age where we've got this screen here I'm technically the only heartbeat in my room right now but I'm talking to all of you it's just nice to know that there's a witness to my celebration or my struggle right and so belonging to a whole bunch of people a good example of this is um is a the the 90-day group from Todd Herman and or ah yeah or life a dad they've got like 20 different groups and it's like dads special need kids dads with daughters dads with only sons dads with pick your your your topic it's me it's incredible you know so we think that leads to a lot of awesome participation in the group but I think the number one thing for engagement is pre-planning and being a leader of the group you you just show up you need to be there consistently your group needs to know what to expect from you it can't just be like a oh I should post because I haven't posted for a week and then that's like me like why isn't anyone talking it's like let's rewind do it again got you on the screen get mama okay thank you yeah so all of that stuff will really get them engaged I love the whole video comment thing I love doing challenges I love we also in one of my groups we do files so everybody has their own file oh actually gearing up to be a really cool thing because next month they don't know this yet so if you guys are listening I'm spilling the beans here we're gonna be talking about like reflecting itself care and reflecting on the whole entire year and so it's cool because we post 90-day goals in our mastermind and we track them and we have accountability partners that look ahead well but you know December is gonna come and we could look back to the problems that we thought we had in January and really just celebrate the fact that we've come so far and I think being able to have that in front of your face is so unique and valuable because we don't none of us really have that you know we don't have this thing that we're tracking unless were really detail-oriented and and and and just on it like that you know so I'm really excited for the kind of participation and excitement and celebration that's gonna happen in December in our mastermind group because we've been able to use the Facebook tool tools to track it and will all ultimately create a ton of engagement and excitement between people love it love it okay so we talked a little bit about how to drive engagement and the first one was really set the ground rules like what what should people expect by being a part of your community that way you could have a thriving community we also wanted to talk about safety and knowing that it's a safe space you know it's okay to fail you'll get feedback all that good stuff what else would you add about how to how to drive engagement in the group oh and PS by the way I totally love the video comment that was brilliant no yes there's the video comments there's what else do we do I'm running out of ideas right now hey you know if you guys have any ideas like by all means jump in because you know poor Bella okay Bella has been talking like a my limit it's a girl go ahead and take like a glass of water I'll put the camera on me welcome Chris rep to the show Chris by the way it was the one that put Bella and I together we love you Chris tribe but giving you some Earhart's good and if you guys are loving the tips right now by all means you know you show us some love it tag someone that you know that has a group that they're struggling with you know that they're probably like oh my god I built this group and I don't know what type of content to create like in fact do you do themes and your group rates like money motivation tech Tuesday like how do you go by we do themes by the month um in my in my paid groups in my general groups we don't and I think it's personal preference I've always tried to stay away from you know tech Tuesdays or wacky Wednesday's or whatever because I feel like people glaze over after a while the one that we have been pretty consistent on is um self-care or selfie Saturday which isn't take a selfie it's like self-care Saturday night like what can we do as business owners to put down the technology or go out and run in the Sun you know what I mean or like what are you doing and we share pictures that way but we do actually every month have a different theme of things that we deep dive on now that doesn't mean that we can't talk about other stuff but it means that the once a month we we bring in an expert and we have a hot seat and that expert comes in and we all get on a zoom call so it creates that community and that discussion we also have a roundup where we all get together and we talk about our wins of the week and we track our goals like you know where we add on our goals and what are we struggling with and it just becomes like this nice group chat that takes that just typing online - I can see your face and now I really know what you look like aside from you just your profile you know yeah I love it I love it oh my gosh you guys this is so good hey Bella like how many groups have you had how did you learn about all this was this all just like through trial and error like what's up okay you just usually came out of the womb you're like girl I know everything about Facebook it was honestly trial and error and you know I made a lot of mistakes Stephanie I at one point deleted people from my group if they didn't participate oh I also deleted posts if they posted on Sundays because I thought that we should shut down the group on Sundays I've gone through like these phases like in earlier days and this is also when it wasn't as popular - so it wasn't as big per se but it was um it was just trying to figure it out but what groups have done for me is it's enabled me to create safe places where people could really talk about their their severe challenges that you have in business right with an industry of everyone that all has that same problem so you can relate and then a lot of them thankfully have actually started their own town groups and I've worked with a lot of just other businesses outside of the pet-sitting industry as well but there's different um there's so many different ways to do I'm Stephanie and they're so different parts of the funnel right yeah the big three groups just that catch everybody because people will talk to you in a group but not on your page and then there's like the smaller ones that are more pointed at a certain topic or maybe it's a dollar amount or maybe you get it because you bought a certain product or an experience you know or you know there's just so many different ways that you can use I love how excited you're getting okay okay well let's let's get to a couple of questions I would put Mary's question on here but it's super long so I'll just read it to you okay so says I'm looking to build my private Facebook group in 2019 but I'm also looking at ways to monetize it or another you know creating a new Facebook group and making it a membership site what are your thoughts on that like how would you monetize a Facebook group yeah so you could I'm a fan reoccuring you know so if you can get the membership going I think that's amazing that's another thing that Facebook started testing out haven't heard much about it recently but they were testing out hey um in other countries and up to like $30 a month or so so I think that you know monetizing that group I would have to ask you a lot more questions to get like the thought process going there with like what are you selling or who are you attracting what are their problems or what kind of support are they looking for but I think you very easily could develop something under that and definitely I feel really good about that kind of thing I think that you definitely you know we are in the the world of memberships and subscriptions I mean if you looked at your credit card this month and how many subscriptions you have starting with Netflix probably razors to food why not Facebook razors to food oh my god I'm dying right now I have an insta card that's like that the membership I will never let you know I'm like I wake up in the morning like oh my gosh do I still have coffee no I don't okay deliver in an hour isn't that not it's like it it's brilliant it's brilliant okay well I got another question for you and this is from Charlene oh and Charlene is super cool cuz she has this thing called hip shake Fitness right where she teaches her members on how to stay fit and so apparently she has a Facebook group and so they have this accountability things a weekly accountability thread and then mugshot Mondays they post a sweaty selfie every Monday after their workout that's brilliant love it and then there's green drags so they post meals with lots of veggies and she just needs more ideas to make sure that her engagement is up so hips shake Fitness how do you what are some Fitness engagement posts I guess did you say that she does um like meals like show us picture of a meal did she said oh is it was called Green brags so show us like your meal that has the most green stuff to it yeah I'm trying to think cuz I used to be an a group something similar to that last year I was doing those sweaty selfies every day so I loved those groups I think maybe a motivational one where everyone has to go out and find something that's motivating maybe um one where you do actually have to go on camera and show 15 seconds of your workout or your hip whatever so instead of just a sweaty selfie maybe something of you actually doing it mm-hmm and that you could do that really easy if you just do an Instagram story and do the hands-free 15 seconds I imagine it's this I don't know I'm thinking like Charlene you should probably do like a plank for at least a minute and maybe do it on Facebook live where like everyone can feel the burn with you and you'll just like motivate them just like girl you've got this you've got this I think that was at the level it was - it was like you know how many squats can you do in one hour I'm sorry one hour home man and you videoed it and then you know to keep everyone truthful and then whoever was able to do the most amount in a minute on camera on that thread one something so it's like a challenge you know so yeah there's so many fun things you could do that is that's like brilliant you guys all right you guys if you have any other questions about Facebook groups honestly Bella is like this wealth of knowledge and like she's busy right she's on tweet chat she's got it she's an author podcast host home girl I was like thinking about her next keynote thing that she has to do you literally have one-on-one access to Bella right now to ask her how you can turn your your Facebook group from boring to badass so please by all means type your questions in there let's also talk about the types of groups right so there's private there's clothes there's public is that right yeah yeah yeah so personally I don't really understand why you would have a public group because it just doesn't like I mean it's like giving her way all for free like why you know I'm a big fan of the clothes the closed groups which means you have you can see the group but you have to you know request access inside so you can actually see inside and then you've got the the secret groups which I think are great like um the seven Queenie's retreat that we did you know our cover profile had you know where we were staying in all this stuff but we didn't want all of the internet to see it so we locked it down and it was secret and if you were a member you could only see it so I think the most popular one are the closed groups and generally that's where a lot of people just fall in - got it got it and what are your thoughts about asking pending members questions gee are you for it are you against it if you are for it okay so you know one of the question I'm so glad you asked that because I've said so many times today that you have to have a Content plan and so the next logical question Stephanie is how what do I put I don't have any more ideas your people will tell you so what I do is I have usually three questions one is to qualify them if they're in the industry somehow another one is their email address so I can email them every Friday and I tell them that off the bat and then the other one is what's the biggest challenge you have in your business right now you know and and then Oh Stephanie's you know about group funnels oh okay that's that's the automated thing right oh my god can you please okay you guys I have to give you a link for this yes all right listen listen you guys need to stop what you're doing because she's gonna tell you something really badass right now trust me you're gonna love this all right Bella if I was not gonna like you know to show everyone's privacy you know I would actually put a loom video up to show it but there's this really great great software that if you're like me and you have a really popular group you're either paying a BA or you're taking the time to take something from those those three questions that they're answering and you're documenting it in a Google sheet or someplace right and this isn't something that zapier is a P or however you pronounce it are you okay this is something you have to manually do or pay someone to do it well what if I told you that with one click of a button all that information would go into a magical spreadsheet and you didn't have to do anything but told me about this and it changed my life like I just admitted ten people in three seconds today and I've got all the information and it's this really cool software I can and who's filling for show you a link or put it in the comments when we're done here but um highly recommend it it's just like a one-time fee of like two hundred ninety seven dollars but I mean how fast would it take you to reach 297 dollars of your own time or someone else's time using something like that so does Groot funnels cuz it goes into like let's say a Google spreadsheet then you could have a zapier sappy or whatever connect it to your email and then yes yes yes yeah that's like the 2.0 part of it yeah then you can get zapped you're involved into it mm-hmm you guys telling you this is amazing this will for sure be a blog post recap let me tell you like I will go to Rev commie Blake gave me my transcript because this blog post okay all right so David Brandt is one of reviewers Bela and he has this really really amazing art studio is one of those um like wine and painting you know what were you bring the girls oh yeah so he's done amazing in terms of building and growing his Facebook page and he has helped pass like 30,000 Facebook fans right you dig yeah he's been yeah yeah I feel like he's been crushing it in terms of like using live streams using video like time lapses and all that stuff and so he's wondering how can he leverage a Facebook group like what would you recommend and I'm putting you this on the spot so if you're like I love this creativity it's it's a little challenging sometimes because I can't ask them direct questions so I just have to go on an assumption road here but um I think maybe since you've got those 30,000 people I imagine they've all at some point drank the wine and done the picture so mop top of my head you could you know on Fridays everyone posts their picture how they came out and everyone votes for which one they like the best one the smarts wins you could go live talking at a winery or about a certain kind of wine or why this Red Bull this Pinot is different than this Pinot and what it pairs well with and what that means when apparently I mean there's just so much wine edge that you can do on that kind of thing yeah um you could talk about different types of paint acrylic paint water-based paints all that stuff you could talk about different types of brushes I mean it kind of sounds funny but these are all things that are like Oh up con Ernie like it's like that distracting video or piece of information when I'm gonna say it I'm gonna go here when you're sitting on the toilet and you're scrolling through Facebook at that moment I wish I had taken myself off of the screen if I was just like OOP make some like yeah Sibella say making some Scrolls stopping content for the toilet or did pretty much we know what you guys do don't lie okay all right cool thank you so much David for that question hopefully that gives you a million ideas and if you know if you're still like oh my gosh what do i do like Mary famed Brandt's like oh my god I need to reach out to Bella you guys Bella vasta calm let me show you her amazing amazing website okay one second okay so I already showed you basically the blog post but you guys look how look how it I love this I'm clicking on it boom it's gonna load its Misha her beautiful head shot which PS by the way I was totally having fun with on Twitter which all right you guys this is where you want to find her Bella vast calm how can she help you again you guys she's been on like what NPR entrepreneur magazine Huffington Post she is the real deal and she's a speaker too so if you're looking for someone who can totally crush the stage hello hello Bella are you wearing the same shirt in this photo I probably I haven't worn this shirt in public for a very long time and I thought I would be styling for you yes all right okay so what are some do's and don'ts and we've talked about like for sure promoting your group inviting people to the party having a plan ahead of time and your your the type for your group where you actually do monthly themes versus like Wacky Wednesday Thirsty Thursday and all of that stuff and I love that idea because then maybe you can even set it up as units that way right yeah without a doubt without a doubt something else that works like and this time it ties back into was it Sharleen or stars question about subscriptions affiliates you could get affiliates to grab more people into your your group you know like give them a knock down on their subscription if you have an affiliate program that works really well too because people love to receive and give you know so make it make it good for both of them um they're just you know if you can think it do it test it yes like I mean there's no right or wrong way to build a sandcastle use the tools use the people use the conversations ask them what do you love about this fruit what do you want to see more about it more in this fruit you don't have to come up with all of this by yourself you can ask the your community you know like that's what good leadership is they take the general consensus and and listen to those around them so I implore you to use that amazing goldmine that you have and ask people well you know what I used to do is um so we wouldn't have like these pop-up Facebook groups for whenever we were launching a course right we're a couple like for a couple of weeks you'll go ahead and have access to me exclusively and whatnot and there was just a bunch of questions that would always pop up and I had an intern just go in there copy the questions put it into a Google Doc and that became the FA cues for the course yeah and it was just super helpful you guys you could tap into so much about your community what they're struggling with explaining it in their own words when they're gonna love you for it they're gonna love you for you are definitely sitting on a whole goldmine of content alright that's a great thing to pop up groups those are something that I've done as well actually just had one that ended but that's something that you can do it works really well for consultants or for people in the fitness industry like that shakin the hip takes it yeah you could do that pop-up group where you know if there's a sense of urgency because it starts in it and it stops and and you know you can schedule your posts on Facebook which is really cool too so you can schedule them all in the group so you've got your base covered and then whatever comes up that day you can post on top of that stuff but pop-up groups are a great thing to do as well I love it okay okay can we go back to the group funnels piece because I just saw our viewership just spiked right now yeah I know I was like okay welcome say hi in the comments so this group funnels things you said that there's an annual price is it just for one group or does it work for multiple groups because if you're having pop-up girls for your launches and whatnot like how does how does that play into it it's something that you actually install on your computer so like I have a license and I've installed it on my laptop and I'm pretty sure I can install it here on my desktop I've just been lazy and haven't done it yet but if I usually just get people in on my laptop but you guys I will say that my experience setting it up and the service with the company at the time maybe I got him on a bad day wasn't the greatest and I was a little frustrated but I'm sure glad that I got through it and got it installed because once it's installed it is easy peasy and I highly recommend using it because it just makes life so much easier I mean it sounds like it's it's a no-brainer at that point especially when you have three questions you're capturing their emails you want to find out like what are some topics that you want to learn more about you know you could then create your content schedule and plan it around that so I think that's brilliant I think that's a really great idea yeah I was I was I was actually being interviewed and someone approached me and said hey there's this this there's a software for groups that you might like what I'm like might like sign me up and I like that it's a one-time fee it's not something that that's a subscription oh yeah or you know like I like to just pay for things outright and be done with them that's how I feel about you cams cuz like ECAM is my live streaming software and I'm just like yo one-time fee good to go and I wanna help no you think about your bottom lines we talked about things that we subscribe to and you know the whole what do we talk about instacart Amazon razors there's everything love it and you know what shout out to Kelly Noble who did hop in for a second she said that she Walker Sam Bell avasta so we've got some bebe fans up in here do you call like the the Bella hive or anything like that do you got a nickname for your for your group so yeah so because my company is jump consulting their jumpers we call them they're all the jumpers yeah and then my podcast people have a hashtag that started totally it wasn't even me it was been John Bella so I thought that was pretty cool yeah that's amazing and you know what bellos we actually just got a comment from from Marissa stone who's a really good friend she knows all about like business systems and processes and whatnot and she said that in the Facebook group chat there's like this new security potential issue have you heard anything about that I haven't heard anything about that yet no brushing up on my info before I came on here with you - I haven't seen anything I would love it if she would post more information so I should learn yeah Marissa stone you've got like the breaking news right now you got the comment section go ahead and let us know what's up are you guys Oh Curtis Brooks is now asking and what's the name of that software for the group stuff girl group funnel group funnel and she will be putting her link in here because we will all be getting it yeah all right Bella is there anything else that you want to add I mean we've talked about everything no I think I mean just know that like you you can do anything like it sounds so cliche but you really can and this day and age you know Facebook is really really really going all-in on creating good community and and and and showing the things that people want to see and that they're engaged with I mean I know this doesn't really pertain Marc said that you know the mark like my friend mark you say all right what's up Zack Mark said look the you know the the videos are going to become more popular and and the stories but also that they're gonna be showing engaging material and so that's where people engage not engaging on your page and that doesn't mean to like leave it and let it like grow weeds right we still want to keep it well manicured because it's like it's it's the it's just the front of your house but understand that you have all of this property in the back of your house that you really can nurture and grow and post some really cool parties that creates a really cool not only engagement but memories like feelings of I'm so excited I'm at this house and this house or brand is providing me this experience and these relationships with people I would not otherwise know so that I always used to say that a relationship lasts longer than a business card when people would go out and network I'd be like put the cards away only if someone asks you for them but it's true because these relationships are what bonds us when I see you at social media marketing world I will hug you even though I've never seen you before but we've built a relationship and allow your groups to build relationships for you love it alright you guys so Bella has this really amazing video and I downloaded it and I have it uploaded to ECAM so it's gonna play for about a good two minutes a 25 seconds while it's playing if you have questions about groups type them in the comments because home girl and I need a little sip of water and I think two minutes is a good time for us okay so ready set here's your video boom my name is Bella vasta oh really my company is jump the unnie of the started I'm a mom I'm a wife hello business coach yeah you've got good links genu marketing for pet sitters or for other companies I have downloadable classes I have Facebook group I have a podcast called Bella in your business got 25,000 downloads it did it all start like that though I had a job but I needed to make it a business needed to scale it so that I could step outside of it do you want to eventually make your hobby into a six-figure business you're going to be told no the entire time but if you don't believe in yourself no one else will is there a story that you've been through that you can inspire motivate challenge people that you can show people that they're not alone out there every one of you has something we all have our own story and our story is a big part of our brand and how we connect with people so we want to create a brand that represents your voice and your voice it's gonna be different than her voice is gonna be different than her voice and different than her voice don't be afraid to open people that's gonna be how you can be able to build more relationships build better network learn from other people all of your heart if you're out with pasta I get to pour into people every single day you have no idea what you can do when you push yourselves up politically you all are so fairly powerful don't be afraid of it that looks brilliant you're so cute I love you all right you guys bella has been absolutely amazing and Letta letting us like jump into her brain right and be a jumper for like a good hour so and ask her everything about Facebook groups and you know one of the questions that I asked Bella was what's the best way for people to stay in touch with you and Bella would you say and picking up right where we just left off I love building relationships with everyone so this might be kind of untraditional but friend me on Facebook just friend me and let me know that we virtually met kind of here on Stephanie's live and I'd love to get to know you I mean honestly just find me on Facebook or follow me on IG and it's just Bella vasta everywhere Bella Vista everywhere that should be like a hashtag everywhere all right you guys well Bella thank you so much again you've been absolutely amazing Mike Alton we'll have a blog post recap for us on all this all right you guys well thank you so much Bella and I are gonna go ahead and close this thank you so much for joining us we really appreciate you and we'll go from there so bye everyone

If you use Facebook there is a good chance you’re a member of at least one Facebook group – heck, you might be a member of several! Social Media Strategist ring a bell? 😉

Facebook groups are great for getting advice from other people that have walked in your shoes, finding others to collaborate with, AND gain new clients.

Plus, did I mention that groups tend to get more engagement than a Facebook Business Page?

If you've thought about starting a Facebook Group or have one currently that you're trying to bring back to life then you're going to love this episode with Bella Vasta!

📷 Benefits of Launching a Facebook Group
📷 How to Grow Your Facebook Groups
📷 Tips and Tricks to Manage Members


Bella Vasta is the dynamic personality behind the one-woman coaching company, Jump Consulting. Since 2002, Bella has been a trailblazer in the pet sitting industry consulting with multi-million dollar companies all the way to hundreds of small businesses. She is an author, podcast host, blogger, and been featured on NBC, CBS, FOX, NPR, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post. After the birth of her micro-preemie daughter, Bella sold her pet sitting business and now lives out her passion to inspire, motivate, and challenge business owners through her speaking, coaching, and consulting.

She is the industry expert on Facebook Groups and will be sharing her experience in growing her business with groups at next year’s Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego.

Below are key takeaways from Bella’s interview on Lights, Camera, Live.

Do brands need a Facebook Group when they already have a Facebook Page?

If brands and entrepreneurs already have a Facebook Business Page, do they really need to create a Facebook Group?

Bella explained that Facebook Business Pages are like the front yard of your house. The lawn is well manicured and you might even have a few decorations out front like a wreath on the front door but no one really hangs outside your front door.

Facebook Groups on the other hand, well…that’s where all the cool kids are.

“If you invite people to your backyard, that’s where you’ll be engaging with them. You might offer them a drink, have music playing in the background, grilling up food to spark conversations,” said Bella.

She went on to explain that customers want to do business with a person, not a logo. That’s why Bella encourages all brands and entrepreneurs to invest time in building a Facebook Group because that’s where you can really build a relationship with your audience.

Facebook Groups are like the backyard... that’s where all the cool kids hang out and that’s where you’ll get the most engagement.
— Bella Vasta

How can you add more members to your Facebook Group?

So let’s say you decide to create a Facebook Group - what happens next? How do you get people interested in joining your group?

I asked Bella, what the digital version of a sign twirler would be and she offered a few tips on how you can promote your group:

  1. Add a link to your Facebook Group in your email signature.

  2. Update the Facebook social media icon on your website to point to your Facebook Group versus your Business Page.

  3. Enable the call-to-action button on your Facebook Business Page and have it set to “Visit Group.”

  4. Get creative with the cover photo/video on your Business Page and have it point to your new call-to-action button promoting your group.

  5. If you have a free Facebook Group and are trying to funnel members into a paid Group, you can link to that group under your Settings.

  • To update the call-to-action button on your Facebook Business Page, click the pencil icon on the button.

How to Promote Facebook Group.png
  • Click on “Join your community” and select “Visit Group” then save your changes.

How do you keep members engaged in a Facebook Group?


Bella suggests sending an email to your subscribers to highlight what’s happening in the group.

“You could send out an email once a month or once a quarter and invite your list to join the party in the group. You can even tease what’s happening inside the group,” she recommended.

For example, the Social Media Marketing Society Facebook Group hosted by Social Media Examiner does a great job sending out an email summary highlighting what happened in the group.

This email tactic does a great job re-engaging your email list subscribers and inviting folks back to the party.

In the 360 Marketing Squad, we know how to party too. In fact, we try to tap into the FOMO effect by creating short video clips summarizing what happened in the group like this one:



Challenges are a really cool way to get engagement and get members excited. Imagine a challenge where people can get points for participation.


“Maybe you as the Facebook group administrator could send out an e-card like Amazon or Starbucks gift card once a month,” Bella suggested.

When I first launched the Social Media Strategist group, I added a surprise email in my sequence offering members a free cup of Starbucks. A few members even posted a picture of their order and shared it in the group!

How to Keep Facebook Members Engaged.png


Bella shared a story on how one of her mastermind members got over her fear of live streaming thanks to video reply comments.

I had a gal, Pam, who was terrified of going live on camera. She participated in this challenge in January and by June she had her own regular weekly Facebook live show that her community was asking her to broadcast. She went from I’m terrified to
‘Oh my god this is amazing!’
— Bella Vasta

What kind of features do Facebook Groups offer?

Facebook Groups offer a ton of features but these are the ones that Bella recommends:

  1. Create a Closed Group and use the “Ask Questions” features to weed out spammers. For the Social Media Strategist group, we offer new members my Facebook Live Workbook. All users have to do is enter their email address, and they’ll receive a copy as soon as their membership is approved.

    1. If you have a ton of new membership request, use a tool called Group Funnels to save their answers and quickly add them to your group without losing that precious data.

  2. Choose ‘Study Group’ as your group type to take advantage of Units. This will help you organize your content and members can gradually ease into your material and your content never gets buried in the Group feed.

  3. Admins and Moderators can also host a Group Chat so members can participate and chime in on a topic or recent lesson. As a precaution, you should edit your Group Settings so that only Admins and Moderators can launch this feature.

Any tips for what type of content Admins should create?

“Create monthly themes in your Facebook Group so members know what topics you’ll be covering,” suggested Bella.

She prefers monthly themes over daily ones because most members will gloss over that type of content and scroll past it in the News Feed.

Can you monetize a Facebook Group?

“Yes you can,” she answered. “You can host your group as a membership site and have members opt into a monthly subscription.”

She also mentioned that if you are part of an affiliate program, you might be able to offer members a group discount for just being a part of your tribe.

Any other creative ways that brands and entrepreneurs can use Facebook Groups?

One idea that we both brought up were pop-up groups.

Pop-up groups are great course creators and fitness gurus. Imagine creating a pop-up group where members can have exclusive access to you for a limited time and when the cart finally closes on your offer, they have the option to upgrade into your paid group.

Want more tips on how to launch a thriving Facebook Group?

Check out Bella’s 5 Elements You Must Have to Build Facebook Groups

▸ Add Facebook Members faster with Group Funnels
▸ Stephanie's Live Streaming Gear: https://bit.ly/2J523hL
▸ Join the Social Media Strategist Group: https://facebook.com/groups/smstrategist

▸ Social Media Marketing World 2019: https://bit.ly/2MRY8Ko

▸ No Worries featuring Dyalla by Joakim Karud


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