FREE Automation Masterclass

Badass Is The New Black (Season 3) Episode #42 How to Grow Your Facebook Group Organically in 2022 with Jono Petrohilos

small business growth and marketing strategies Mar 14, 2022
BNB 42 | Organically Grow Facebook Group

Jono is the Founder and Director at The Course Creator Community, one of the largest and most engaged Facebook Groups in the Course Creator space. On top of this, Jono is also the co founder and director at Fitness Education Online - an online course based company which sells over $1,000,000 worth of courses a year. 

We are going to be diving into the topic of growing community and the strategies Jono used to bring people into a space together to learn from you and one another. 


Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Powered by Podetize 

How to Organically Grow Your Facebook Group in 2022 with Jono Petrohilos

Let's welcome Jono Petrohilos, the founder and director of the course creator community, one of the largest and most engaged Facebook groups in the course creator space and on top of that, he's also the co-founder and director of fitness education online. That's an online course based company which sells over a million dollars worth of courses every year. So I'm super excited Jono that you are here. Thank you so much for being with us today on the podcast.

No, thank you, Krissy. I'm obviously a fan of your work. You've been on my podcast, and my Facebook group loved having you on, so can't wait to do the same and give your listeners as much value as possible.

I love it. I'm excited to start picking your brain instead of the other way around when we did it the first time. I love this because we have similar paths, right? We both launched our business and I don't know all of the details of your story. So I'm excited for you to share a bit of that with us. We had this business that we generated and had a lot of success with. And then probably similarly to me, people started asking you, how are you doing that? Tell me how.

And you're like, okay, this is just the natural evolution of my next step to teach people how to do this course creation thing that I've mastered. But I want to hear more of your story. Because we do have a lot of people here listening that want to take their knowledge. They want to turn it into some type of digital product, whether it's a course or a membership or even private coaching and leveraging some of these assets to make their job easier. So I love hearing stories of others and how they kind of fell into oftentimes this space in place.

Yes. All right. Let me think of the best place to start.  I'll start when I first got started in the fitness space, so I used to run a fitness boot camp. One in Australia and New Zealand, a big franchise. There were like 75 locations all across the country, all across the continent, I should say, and were ranked on how good you were. One being the best, 75 being the worst.

Now, when I started off with, what do you think I was ranked Krissy, 1 out of 75?

We have heard a bit of this story. So I think I know the answer. I think you were like below 74, 75.

Yep. And I knew 74, 74 was not a good trainer, right? The fact that I was 75, wasn't great. And I had to go to this convention at the end of the year with all different 75 trainers.

And I didn't want to go because I was the worst one there. And not only did I think it, it wasn't like I thought I was the worst one there, it was statistically proven, like I'd log onto the dashboard and there was a pie graph telling me how bad I was. So not good for the confidence, but it's the best thing that I ever did because I went to this convention meeting with the franchise owners off the bat.

They're like, Jono, you know, you come in 75th, what's going on. And I just came up with every excuse in the book, you know, it's the competition, you know, it's not my fault. There's all these gyms opening up theirs 24 hours, yada, yada, yada, and also the marketing. You know, you guys are made to be doing marketing for me, the leads you're getting suck, and I'm here in Sydney. It rains in the winter. It's not the sunny gold coast in Queensland where it's good weather all year. Who's going to run a boot camp in the winter in Sydney. You know, every excuse in the book,

I think I made up a few as well, probably blaming the government, and the franchise owners were like Jono we got good news and we got bad news. The bad news is as a bootcamp instructor, you suck, you're coming 75th. You've seen the pie chart. The good news, however, is you can do something about it because at the moment you're sitting here blaming everybody else but yourself. Maybe it's not the competition's fault that you suck. Maybe it's your fault. You haven't done enough to be better than the competition. What courses have you done? What conventions have you been to? And I'm like, don't I just need to do the basic qualifications and that's it? They're like, yeah, not quite. And then like our marketing, is it our marketing that sucks? Or is it that you're not good at sales? And you just can't convert those leads. What sales books have you hired? What sales coaches have you hired? What business books have you read? And I was like, I gotta do this stuff as well? Can I just train people?

And also if our marketing is so bad why don't you just go and do some of your own marketing? And I'm like, why didn't I think of that? And then with the weather they're like Jono, you can hire out a school hall for like 20 bucks. But instead of doing that, you're too busy sitting here, feeling sorry for yourself and blaming everybody else, you can solve your biggest problem for 20 bucks. But instead you're doing the poor me and I was like, good point.

And then they're like, look, Jono, your job is safe. But what we want you to do for the next year is just stop blaming everybody else. Take some responsibility, admit that you're not where you want to be, but freaking do something about it. Honestly, they said it more motivating than that, I've got to be honest, but it  did motivate me. And I did that for the next 12 months. I was like, all right, let me do a course on how to be a better personal trainer. Let me do read a book on how to be better at sales. Let me do some marketing courses. In a nutshell, I did everything I could, but I took responsibility for it.

I went back to that same convention, 12 months later, Krissy. Now take a guess. What do you think I was ranked?

I know, I know the answer. I think you were number one.

Number one bang on right.

My numbers went from 20 clients to 120 clients and kept growing. My retention rate went from like 30% to a hundred percent and opened up a second location as well. And a few things were going on there. Firstly, my confidence was a lot higher, but also one of the things I realized is I had a system. I've got this system that got me from 75 to one. And then I just implemented that exact same system in another location and got the same result. I feel like I've got this box that I could just do anywhere and be successful. And that was my original plan. Okay. Let me just keep opening these things up.

But then other trainers started to ask me because they knew me from when I was 75.

And they're like, what the hell happened? How did you go from this, to this? What marketing are you doing? What sales are you doing? What workouts are you doing? And I would try tell them I did this course and I did this course. Then I read this book and then I did this.

They're like, well, is there an easy way because no one's going to do that, it's hard. Everyone's got their own journey. Long story short, I was able to put it into a course and be like, you know what? I feel like all this stuff that I've learned I can put together and make it better because I was always up-skilling all throughout that journey.

But every sort of course I did, I learned a little bit less. Right. Just cause I already knew more. So when you start off, it's like, man, I didn't know anything. I learned a hundred new things here, but by the hundreds, of course you might be like, well I need 99 of these, but I got one out of it.

So I was able to put my own course together there, the first one was, how to run a successful bootcamp and then we can get to that story later. But to fast-forward, it was slow at the start. But then, you know, got more successful, put out some more courses, grew my list fast forward to about, I think probably about the three or four year mark, it was generating about a million dollars a year. That business, I still run it today, more on autopilot because I've got systems, staff, whatever, and still generates about that amount of revenue there. So that's kind of that story there. And then it got to a point where the same sort of thing happened.

It was like a lot of people were like I don't really care about your fitness stuff, but how the hell are you making a million dollars a year selling online courses? That's what I want to know. So that's when I just recently, about 12 months ago started up the course creator community, which I think we're going to be chatting about today.

The Importance of Mindset

Yeah, definitely. I want to point out what you said. They said it maybe a little bit nicer and more motivating to you, but nonetheless, they got the message across to stop blaming everybody else and take a look at you, take a look inside. What are YOU doing?

And I think that a lot of people don't have that tough love person that's telling them that. So if you're listening and you're like, no one's ever told me to stop blaming everyone else and putting it on them and actually just look at myself. This is what Jono is telling you, okay. I'm telling you that right now.

I was just going to say that is, you know, one of the biggest things, biggest impacts that it can have on your success is realizing, wait, I'm the one in control here and now I can go learn more to do better to get the results that I want.

I think if you do nothing else in life, but you just take a hundred percent responsibility, accountability, you'll find a way to be successful. And the reason there's a couple things, going back to that, the original franchise owners, they sort of did this presentation. Have you seen the line Krissy when you play above the line, below the line, have you seen that?

Is it like a movie or something?

That's like a self-help Tony Robbins sort of thing.

You know, I actually don't know much of Tony Robbins.

Okay. It's it's pretty cool. Like if you jump on YouTube, people do little demonstrations on whatever, but in a nutshell, like these franchise owners, there was a whiteboard, right? And they just drew a line, a horizontal line across it. And they were like, right. This is the difference between success and failure. Every single person that plays above the line is successful. Every single person that plays below the line is unsuccessful. No matter what, at that point, they had me, just tell me what's on top of this line and I'll do it.

And tell me what to do on the bottom of the line and I won't do it. And on top of the line, it was three things. It was responsibility, accountability, can't remember the third one, but even those two are enough.  And down the bottom was blame and denial.  And as they were sort of giving examples, I'm like, that's me down every single thing they said. They gave specific examples. I'll use the fitness ones. Cause it's high in my head, but it can be applied to anything. I'll give you specific examples with clients, right. There was this one client that didn't come back to the next challenge because she had netball.

Do you have netball in America? Is that a popular sport or no?

Well maybe we call it something else. 

I never knew it was huge in Australia. And I thought it was all over the world.

Is there a racket? Is it like a football to soccer?

Almost like basketball, but you can't bounce the ball. Because I think in America, women's basketball is big. In Australia we don't like women's basketball. It isn't big. We've got a thing called netball. And we're the best in the world at it. And I just thought we were the best in the world but then I realized we're the only country in the world.

No one else in the world is playing it.

Yeah, exactly. So thanks for confirming that. I was hoping that we actually had other countries, but now it's just Australia that play. I'll use women's soccer as an example, right? One woman, she couldn't come back to my bootcamp because it was on the same day as soccer season. She couldn't make it. And I used to think, oh, nothing I could do.  It was soccer season. What could I do? It's not my fault. It's soccer's fault. But after hearing that, it's like, well, hold on. That actually is my fault. I didn't do enough to make my bootcamp a better experience than her netball training.

If I had done a better job of being a better trainer, better sessions, better community, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. She might've said, hey, sorry, soccer women, you know, as much as I love you, this guy in his bootcamp is better. Even though the original one wasn't wrong. She couldn't come to the training cause she had to play net ball or soccer or whatever the sport I used was. There's two different ways to look at it. And I finally looked at it one way and not saying I would win every time, but it's just a different way to look at it and I'll go the step further as well.

It got to the point where there's one woman in my bootcamp. She's like, hey Jono, I actually can't sign up for the next round because you know, I've got a new job interstate and I've got to move state and go to that job. If you don't take responsibility, well, there's nothing I could do. She's got to move state and do a job. I look at it differently. That's my fault. She can get another job and moving state anywhere. I've got the one boot camp in the world that is better than anything else. My mindset is I expect that person to turn down that job interstate for more money because she wants to stay at my boot camp because it's the best thing ever.

Now, a lot of people might be listening to that and be like, no, you're crazy. And maybe I am, but it's just a different mindset going into it. If I go into it with that mindset, I'm going to make this thing so good that people would cancel a job overseas or interstate to make more money just to do it. Whether they do it or not is kind of irrelevant, right. It's just like going in with that mindset, it's going to be a better experience.

Yeah. Love all of that. That is it. It's just thinking differently than the normal person would think. And I think that's something that successful people like you have learned that it doesn't have to be something that you're born with.

You weren't thinking that way when you were ranked 75, right. That was something that someone opened up your eyes and the light bulb went off like, oh wait a minute. If I just think about this differently and approach this differently, I could have a different outcome. I think that's super powerful.

We're here to talk today about building community. And specifically talking about your success in your course creators community Facebook group. Now you grew that group to 2,500 members in less than five months. And that is very impressive. Even in the last year here, how people are leaving social media it's harder to get your things seen.

Growth Through Community

So yeah. I want to dive into this strategy on how to organically grow. My listeners know that I love organic growth and I love paid growth. So I promote both of those things, but I love listening to others and teaching these organic strategies on how to build these communities. And we're going to talk specifically about Facebook. And I know some of my audience is wanting to get off of there, but I think there is definitely a time and a place to continue to use and leverage social media to get to know people a little bit, have them get to know you and then, you know, take them elsewhere if that's what it is.

So let's dive in and talk a little bit about your initial strategy. I'm assuming maybe some of the strategies came from what you learned in building your other businesses and you're bringing them into building this Facebook group.

So even back, I'm going to go back one more time to that franchise meeting because it's just such a powerful moment in my life. But one of the things, even when I was running my fitness bootcamp I was coming 75th. Every location had to also have a Facebook group attached. Now it was a little bit different. We'll get to that specifically  in a sec, but I just want to sort of set the scene.

So even though it was a face-to-face boot camp you had at your location, I had to also have an online Facebook group as well, just for the paying members. And I was like, you know, 20 something year old guy, I just want to train people. You know, I didn't want to hang around on Facebook.

And I remember having this argument with the franchise owners. They're like, hey Jono I think one of the reasons why you're coming 75th is because your Facebook group is just so bad. And I'm like my Facebook group? Out of all the problems I have with being a good trainer, the Facebook group has to be down the bottom.

They're like, no, I actually think it's pretty important. I'm like, I actually think it's not. And they're like, yeah, well Jono, you're coming 75th out of 75. We own 75 locations. Maybe we know something you don't. And I was like, yeah, you know, you're probably right. So I started to put a lot of effort into my Facebook group.

And that's where my retention numbers really started to go up because I realized that it's a bit different with COVID, but either way, like you can only get so close, just face to face these days, if you can get face-to-face and online too, the bond is even greater. So I realized the power of that. Then when I started running fitness education online, I saw the power of Facebook groups. I knew I needed some community. You know, I knew I couldn't just sell a course and that person's out on their own. I know I needed to sort of emulate that. So a lot of the lessons that I learned, even from my face-to-face stuff, I was able to bring over and learn with fitness education online.

Now some of them work the same. Some of them work different, but either way I was able to learn how to run a Facebook group. Now that Facebook group actually has 15,000 people and it's the largest in the world for fitness professionals. Now, when I wanted to transition to the course creator community, I knew the power of Facebook groups.

And we might even speak about that in a sec, but I actually doubted it. I was like, you know what? Maybe the only reason that fitness education online is so good is because I started it back in 2014 when no one had a Facebook group. Now everyone's got a Facebook group. There's a million different groups. I think it's too late.

And I wasn't going to start up a Facebook group for that reason there. I tried to sorta zag around and ask what are some other organic methods I can use? Let me leverage other Facebook groups. Let me see if I go in here and make some posts and you know, do some stuff.  I just realized that it's super hard to sell in someone else's Facebook group, you know, some won't even let you, which is fair enough. Right? But even the ones that do you've got no leverage. It's like, who am I in this person's Facebook group? They did it to hear about that person. So I was like, you know what, I'm just going to have to bite the bullet. And I'm going to have to, start my own Facebook group. And some of the reasons we'll get to the strategies and stuff, but even just some of the reasons why I quite like the Facebook group for this strategy is I think it's, well there's a couple of things. Firstly, I think Facebook groups are the best community platform for free community. You know? Like you can sign the Instagram channel, YouTube, TikTok, LinkedIn, whatever it is. It's great. But groups are the only one that's got that community. And everything else is kind of like me, me, me, me, me and I just like community. My whole goal of the Facebook group is actually to get the community engaging more than me. I want my groups to be known as you know, hey, I've got a question with course creators. I don't want to go on Google. I'm going to go post in Jono's group because then I'm going to get a heap of good answers from everything else. And then if it gets to the point and I don't know what I'm doing, I'm going to reach out essentially. So that's why I like that side of things and communities are the most powerful things in the world.

I'll adjust your question, Krissy. What's the biggest punishment we can get as a human being. You know, if you mess up in life, where do they send you? If you screw up in life.

I don't know.

They send you to the jail. You're hanging around with murderers and rapists and whatever. And you know what the biggest punishment is in jail? To put you in isolation. It's like you prefer to hang around with murderers and rapists than just being in isolation. That's how important community is. And even more in today's society, we don't have as much neighborhoods and church groups and all that sort of stuff. So it's super powerful.

And then also just from a marketing side of things, I think it's the best to get on Facebook anyway. It's almost the only organic way on Facebook. There's other little ways, but if I want to grow organically on Facebook what I want to have is a Facebook group with a good name. And we'll speak about that in a sec.

So like every single day I get 5-10 people request to join my Facebook group organically. Not for me doing outreach or posting on website or podcasts. I get those as well. That's not a bonus, but there's just 5-10 people every day. Because one of my questions is how did you hear about me? Just type course creator in Google, typed course creator in Facebook and your thing came up or, you know, I joined another group and a similar one popped up because there's certain features in Facebook where you join one group and then they show you another. And I'm lucky in that mine just linked. There's another group it's called the online course creator community or something. And I think whenever anyone joins that group, Facebook automatically shows them mine because I can see what other groups they're in, you know? So it's like they joined Jono's group and then it's like, they're also in this group as well. So there's that side of it there.

So yeah, organically, it's the best way to grow because every single day I've just got people joining my group without me doing anything. And not only any people, right. It's kind of like the hottest leads out there. They've gone on Facebook. They've typed in the course creator group. They've found my group, they've clicked join, they've answered a few personal questions. Maybe even giving me their email.

Like there's no hotter lead. So it's just like such a good lead generation thing as well. So there's those two sides of it there in terms of when I started, did you want to add on that?

Generating Leads 

I wanted to point out you casually mentioned grabbing an email and that's something that we talk about a ton is just that you don't own your Facebook group, right? Like it could get shut down. It could get deleted. And if you don't have that email address, how are you going to connect with them? How are you going to contact them? So I don't want to just casually go over that. Can we go into that a little bit more in terms of the strategy, to be able to leverage this Facebook group, to build community, bring in leads, but then what are you doing? And you mentioned grabbing an email list to keep them in your ecosystem and moving along in your funnel. I get emails from you now after joining your group and whatnot. So let's not casually go over that and maybe talk about that strategy a little bit.

How are you asking and collecting that email address? Are you doing that with every single person right away? How is that working?

I'll expand on that as well. I've been banned from Facebook, right? I've had both my Facebook ad account banned before, and I've had my personal account banned before as well. So it does happen. But that's another little lesson as well. If you have a Facebook group, make sure you're not the only admin. So back when I had fitness education online, I was the admin, but I also had my business partner, also had some assistants there as well. So even though I got banned from Facebook, I lost access to my group, my page, my account and everything. But because there were multiple people that were admin, everything stayed up there. And then I just created a new account and then I was there. So it happens.

In terms of email, I use many different strategies. I like to sell. So I use every different strategy to sell, but email is kind of my base because I've been banned from Facebook, I can't rely on it. So there's a few things.

Number one, my three questions to get in the group. Are you a course creator? Because if someone's not, I don't really want them in the group. That's another sort of key, right? You want to make sure that your group is super niched so that Facebook shows it to the right people.

And if I can get that sort of algorithm going, where they just show it to these types of people, it's easier for me. All right. The next one is, how did you hear about me? So I want to see if my marketing is working. And that's where I can see where they're coming from.

The last one, drop your email below if you'd like a free copy of [insert lead magnet]. The wording is very important there as well. I've tried different things. That's the wording that works just straightaway. Drop your email if you'd like a free copy of [insert thing]. And it also comes down to how hot that lead magnet is.

It should be around one in three. If it's a good lead magnet, you're getting the right people about one in three people will give you their email then and there. If you're not getting that, and it's the right people, change up that lead magnet. Use that exact wording that I use, but also change up that lead magnet. That's going to be the difference, you know? Cause I have this conversation with a lot of course creators, they're like, oh, but no one's entering their email. I'm like, all right, what's your thing there? Oh, it's to get my newsletter. Well, nobody wants your newsletter.

Mine at the moment is you know how to create your first course in 48 hours. In my fitness education online one, it's a free copy of our bootcamp games, mini course, you know, it's stuff that I know that audience really, really wants and will put their email in.

But that's just step one because I know only one of three people are doing it. That's not good enough for me. I don't want the only 30% of people on my email list. I want all of them in there, you know? And especially now you mentioned a lot of people aren't going to be on Facebook. You know, maybe someone stops using Facebook.

Maybe someone leaves my Facebook group. You know, if I've got that email then it doesn't matter where they go. I got it.

All right. The next follow up from there is every week my virtual assistant will make a post, like a welcome post and tag the new people.

Welcome to the group. You know, every new member gets a copy of this course here. Let's welcome our new members, tag 50 people down there. That's another opportunity. Maybe they didn't give me their email at the start because they don't know me yet. But now they've been in the group for a couple days, maybe a week. They've seen the posts, they get a tag, they see an image of it. Oh, that actually looks good. You know, I might click it in there.  So that's another opportunity to get it. But I also know people get tagged or I get tagged all the time in Facebook. I don't read the things I get tagged on and I'm not reading your welcome post.

So the third thing I use is actually a DM straight away. So every single person that joins my Facebook group gets a message, you know, hey Chrissy, welcome to the Facebook group, every newbie gets a free copy of this course, is it cool if I send it on here?

Use that wording as well, because I don't just want to send Krissy a link straight away. There's something spammy about that. You can't just send someone a link straight away. And also I've kind of tested this. I don't think Facebook likes it. I've tried that before. I didn't get banned, but I couldn't send messages or some I saw or I got a warning or something. We did too many copy/paste messages. I don't know, like 35 or 40 or something like that.

Straight away they'll shut you down. Can't do that. So they do try and prevent that spam. So I tweaked it a bit to basically be can I send it on here? I asked permission. And then if that person says yes you can. Great, here's the link.

And then I send them the opt-in link there. And then I'll also do a bit of a sell then. And there that's another little tip. A lot of people say, how do you monetize your Facebook group? I like to try and monetize it at all stages, but I really like to monetize it straight away as well.

So it's kind of like as soon as possible but don't be sleazy about it. But let's say Krissy was to join my group, you know, hey Krissy, here's my free thing. Do you want it? Oh, that would be great. Cool. Here it is, let me know what you think. Hey, by the way, how has your course creation stage going? I've got a bit of a flow. Here's an example of a course you might like. Oh yeah, I'm just sort of starting off, you know. I'll be like, do you want some tips? She'd be like, oh, that would be great Jono. Okay, cool. What's your phone number. I'll ask a few basic questions and then ideally get them on a phone call and then sell a thing there, if it's a fit.

So then that's another way, but I don't end it there. Ideally every week I'll also promote some sort of free thing as well. Like a different thing. Every week, I don't want to complicate it, but just to keep it simple, I'm on every single week. There's some sort of lead magnet going out there.

That's definitely something that I noticed that you do differently that I haven't seen anyone else do. What Jono does is he posts in there and he says, "hey, I've got this free training," or, "hey, I've got this free___" A lot of times it's trainings that you'll do, you know? And you'll say, "let me know below if you want it or if you want access to it."

So you don't just post the training in there. You don't just post the link to the free download in there. You make people comment underneath to say something simple, like, yes, I want it. And I can't remember, I feel like, I don't know if you do this all the time. Sometimes you do then just drop the link right underneath them.

You don't take it to a private area, right? You're nodding. Yes. Okay. So that's right. So then you just drop the link. So curious, I've always wanted to ask you about this strategy and why do you do it? Clearly it seems to be working because you're continuing to do it, but I found it interesting that you then just share the link underneath, because then if someone comes by later, they don't technically have to come in to get it. They can just grab it from someone else. So I want to hear like the strategy behind this.

Yes. Awesome. So I do use both actually, sometimes I do go into the DM. Sometimes I do comment below, but it more depends on just if I want to sell or not.

You know, it's kind of like if I want to make a sale, I'll try and transition it to the DM just because it's easier to sell. But I'll run through the whole theory with that. Give me one sec. So just start with, I'll never post a link straight up because I know that Facebook doesn't like links, it's kind of like if I just do a post and say, here's the training with the link, Facebook will show it to like half the amount of people. So I'll never put the link directly there. And then also it warms the algorithm up. It's like if I ask people to comment below, they're going to comment below and then more people are going to see it. They're going to see my next post, yada yada yada. Right. That's kind of the strategy there. So if anyone's listening and not familiar with the sort of Facebook algorithm, that's why I do that there. And if you're wondering, why doesn't he just put it? That's why, either depending on my sort of sales strategy, I'll either put it below or I'll go in the DM with the person there and then try and sell on the DM. The reason why I don't mind putting it in the thing there is, I just find people just comment anyway. Like I feel people are too lazy just to be like, oh, he's got the thing. Let me scroll up and let me get that link. I think most people are kind of too lazy for that. And they just sort of expected to type, but even if they do, I don't really care. Because I get the email anyway, you know, unless I want to directly sell on the DM, then it's an excuse for me to get into DM. It's kind of like, if I just want the email address, it doesn't matter too much. And I know that it works well enough, that way they're sure.

And so the link that you're sharing is to a landing page where you're collecting name and email. So It doesn't matter if they're clicking on Sally's response above because in order to actually access it, they're going to have to put in their name. So yeah. Always driving to build that email list.

Exactly. And I'll just spend a minute there as well. Some people don't like that, but I've still found it's the best. So sometimes, when I might be like, alright, Krissy, here's your free training, you know, go and get it. And that takes you to an opt-in page. Some people do reply oh, you want my email for that? And I'm like, yeah, that's kind of like the exchange, you know, it's like, what do you want? Just free info for nothing? Some people will say oh, I gotta put my email in, I actually don't want it. But I still find it's the best option because let's just say I'll send it to 10 people. I would prefer to get 8 people opt in and 2 people say, oh, I got to put my email, I'm not doing it, as opposed to just giving it to 10 people and not getting any emails. Let's be honest. I'm really doing it just to get the email address. 

I mean, if they don't want to trade their email, then they're probably not the right person for you. It's critical to get their email. They are the true free seeker. The other thing is obviously, if you realize that, kind of how we talked about before, if no one's putting in their email again, we'll look at that landing page. Is that copy, relevant to what they're really looking for. Is it compelling, really enticing them? Oh gosh, I'm going to get some really good stuff and really make it irresistible so that even the most stubborn person is like, dang, I'm going to put my email in and I'm going to go in and I'm going to unsubscribe right away.

That's so been me before. I'm like I don't want another, funnel going on it. But then, when I see it, I'm like, oh, this is good and I don't unsubscribe. And so that's your ultimate goal is to get that most stubborn person. But at the end of the day, if your numbers are pretty good, 8 out of 10, I think your copy is probably good. And you just have a couple of stubborn people that are not your person and that's okay. They can move on. It's not going to be for everyone. So I like that strategy again, continuously leveraging this Facebook group, this community to create that engagement because Facebook knows if people are engaging in there or not. But always be directing and leading to that email list.

That's awesome. We have a couple more minutes. Do you have any other like main major strategies that you're like people aren't doing this and you have to do this to build.

A hundred percent. So let's go. So basically in a nutshell, what you want is the Facebook algorithm to work for you. What I found is there's two types of Facebook groups. There's ones that just grows rapidly, like crazy. And there's ones that don't grow at all. There's kind of like no middle ground, you know? And the research that I've done in this has led me to believe that essentially you want the Facebook algorithm working for you. You want people to join. You do other things as well. You're on podcasts. You talk on LinkedIn, do all those as well, but you'll only get so far with those, right? You want that Facebook algorithm working for you.

You want Facebook just to show your group to multiple people you want when people type it in, it comes right up to the top, right? There's two things that you want to do to make sure that your algorithm is firing. Number one, getting new members in there. So you need to constantly be getting new members in there, I'll share a few strategies in a sec.

Have a Good Group Name

And then also getting engagement in the group. You need both of those things there. Right? Let's talk about getting new members in. The first thing you need is a really good name. So I've got the course creator community. So people typing course creator, my group's the first or second one that comes up depending. So I get a heap of people just from that.

A lot of people don't know that. I cannot believe that a year ago that was not taken. Well, no, you can have the same Facebook group name. There are more, I don't know if there's like different versions like the online course creator community of secrets, but even still you can have the same Facebook name.

I don't recommend it. But let's say for example, there's another Facebook group that's got five people in there and you want the name, take the name. You can have multiple names in there, you know? So yeah. And I'll just share a quick story.

So I've got a friend that's in the finance space, right? He's got a business Python Wealth, right? Like do you have pythons in America. You know what? They are snakes in South America. So Python wealth, right? He created a Facebook group and he called it the snake pit, you know, get it Python, snake, pit, you know, pretty cool. But no one's joining that. No finance people are finding that group there. You know, he's like the only people that are going to get in there are snake enthusiasts, you know, and we got them in Australia. They know the kind of people.

They're not usually finance people, snake enthusiasts. You know? So the first thing is the name there. If you have a good name, that's a good start. People are going to find it, but you also need the more new members coming in and engagement in the group to grow it.

The First 100 People

In a sec, I'll get to the engagement side of things. So it'll make more sense there. What I recommend, if possible, before starting a Facebook group, wait till you've gone about a hundred ideal people that you can invite. Because if you start a Facebook group with like 20 people, people aren't gonna want to join it. It's hard to get engagement, you know, but at least if you've got a hundred good people, you know, you can get from the start, the group starts off with a bang. There's a hundred people off the bat. People are going to be posting. You know, people are gonna be commenting. There's going to be a heap of stuff going on. And you ideally want to increase that as well.

I've got about eight different engagement strategies I use. No one would know if you joined my Facebook group, you'll just see a heap of engagement, but you don't know that I'm actually doing eight specific different engagement things behind the scenes to get it going. Even if we just start with the easiest one to start with. When I started that Facebook group I already knew the first one hundred people I invited, right? So as I invited them in there, I'd be like, hey, make sure you make a post, introduce yourself. There was like a hundred different people introducing themselves from the start. People networking, people commenting. And then when new people started to join, I didn't need to send that message and say, hey, introduce yourself, because they'd go in there and the first post they would see was just different people introducing themselves. So from the start, I had a hundred people, all interacting with each other, new people would come in. They'd see that there's a whole heap of attraction going on from the start on top of that, because those first hundred people that I invited, I kind of already knew because I've networked with them before they already knew me. So when I would go live and make a post, everyone will be commenting and liking because they kind of knew me and they just want to support me. But those new people that were coming in didn't have a clue who I was.

I mean, here's this Jono guy, all these people are liking and commenting. He must be a cool guy. Let me follow this. You know? So it was kind of that side of things as well. So yeah, and we can go deeper into engagement if you want, but I want to be sensitive of your time. And I want to give a few growth tips as well.

So in terms of growing it we've mentioned the name, but you also want some sort of like funnel as well, at least to get the ball rolling. Once you've got people, once you've got people coming in there, then it becomes a whole lot easier. I've got a whole heap of different growth strategies as well, but I'll just rattle off a couple of them really quick here.

And also the other advantage of waiting until you have a hundred people to join the group is now you've probably learned some lead gen strategies because it's not just like if you just had a hundred people on your friend list that you could invite, it's not as powerful. You ideally want to start with zero and you spend a couple of months networking. 

Now I know how to lead gen. Now the only difference is instead of sending people to my lead magnet, I'll go and send them to my Facebook group right now. The easiest ones that anyone can do starting off is leveraging off other groups, right? And they need to be respectful. You don't just go in there and post different clients. But if you go in 5 or 10 different Facebook groups, you'll find some of them suck. Some of them are good. The ones that are good will have certain rules. Some of them never allow you to promote, great, you know, promote, but you respect the rules, right? Some of them will always allow you to promote. I found those groups aren't great because they're just kind of like a pitch fest. The ones you want are the ones in the middle.

Which is kind of like you can promote, but every Tuesday or every Friday or whatever it may be. And then that's the easy start point to do. If ideally you find five different groups and one allows you to promote on Monday, one on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, one on Thursday, one on Friday and post your lead magnet in there, not your sales page because no one's buying from you in another group, but you may be able to lead gen from there. So that's just a really easy strategy. Anyone can do that on top of that as well. And even before you do that, that's easy to explain. But before you do that, you ideally want to be known in that Facebook group.

So if you just go in these Facebook groups and post, and that's it, you're probably not going to get any engagement or anything like that. So ideally you want to spend time in those Facebook groups and you want to interact. Do you want to answer questions? Do you want to friend people, do all that? So when you make your posts, it's not just Krissy trying to sell me. Oh, that's Krissy. She helped me out. You know, I'm going to opt in with that. And also just the algorithm, if I've liked and commented on a few of your posts, you're going to be more likely to see my thing, right? So it's not just going in those groups and posting, spend your time, warm up your algorithm, see what's going on. You'll see what the audience wants. You'll get a better response there.

The third thing on there is if you can make friends with the group admin as well, because then you can collaborate there. You know, whether it's a live, whether it's a podcast.

I could keep going, but I want to be sensitive of your time, Krissy, anything you want.

I think those are great. And, how I got in the group, I don't remember, I'm going to have to go back and look and see when I got access, but it was one of those situations where you reached out to me. 

And I don't remember how you found me whether it was in a Kajabi group or I don't remember where, but you've clearly found me somewhere, reached out and you know, invited me in there and said, I see you're doing some really great stuff. And you know, we'd love to have you come in here and just introduce yourself and tell people what you're up to and share your knowledge.

And it was almost like you were creating this opportunity for me almost to kind of pitch myself in there and not, you know, like I'm smart and I know what I'm doing. So I'm not going to be sleazy and whatnot in there, but you presented this opportunity for me to come share my knowledge. And as a coach, that's what we want to do. We want to help people. So it's almost like when you're getting started out, I thought this is a good strategy to bring people in that even might not be that, maybe they're not at the beginning stages where they really need your group, but they're going to be in there and they're going to want to contribute and share, you know, their own knowledge as well, which will just create more engagement. So I think that's a great strategy.

And if someone posts, I don't want to be leveraged, I don't want to be the only person that has to answer someone's posts. I want them to get 10 different things there, you know, and if you want anything and think oh, this Krissy woman's cool, I'm going to add her as a friend, and if they end up as a client from yours, great. It's a win for me, you're going to like me, you're going to be like, Ooh, I liked Jono's group. Let me keep posting in here. Let me do collaborations with Jono. You know?

So it, it can be a win to get, you know, people like that in as well.

I think it's just a testament to collaboration over competition. You know, you're helping people create courses and things like that and I help people create courses and memberships and things like that, but we just, have a different spin on it. We have different personalities, we attract different people, but we can collaborate together and serve each other in a particular way and in a really good way. And so it works. So I think we'll kind of end on that, that's a great strategy. If you're just getting started with a Facebook group, you rattled off some other, you know, methods to kind of start getting people in there.

But I think that's great to kind of go to people that maybe you look up to. Maybe they don't have a million followers. Because they're probably not even looking at their Facebook messages, but kind of just finding those people that you think would be good additions to what you're doing and would add value there and just invite them to, you know, come in and kind of shine in there and I was certainly like, yeah, sure. Like, I don't know how much I'll participate, but I find myself in there, you know, sometimes responding to people or, you know, taking a look at things and getting the notifications and whatnot. And I've been on your podcast, now you've been on mine. And so, you know, it certainly has grown just from that one message that you sent, inviting me in to come and share, you know, introduce myself and what I'm doing. So super cool. I think what you're doing is really, really awesome. Love it. All you guys get in the Facebook group, if you're not in there, of course, you know, it sounds like the one stipulation is you have to be, you know, pursuing being a course creator. So as long as you can answer that one question, it doesn't even sound like you have to give the email, although I think you should. And so many of you that are listening here, that is your MO, you're here to figure out how to turn your knowledge and your passion into something profitable, digital, you know, a course that you can do. So head over to the Facebook group, it is called Course Creator Community. Correct? 

It's like the alliteration of Kings there, CCC course creator community. Get yourself in that Facebook group. You'll see me in there. You'll see Jono a lot and you'll see a bunch of other really, really cool people. Anything else that you want to add? Give them social media handles or anything that you also want to share out there?

Well, I'm Mr. Simple. So if you just type course creater community or Jono Petrohilos in any platform you find me. I think I need to be like a Gary V you know how  if you've got those surnames that like no one knows how to spell. I've gotta change mine to Jono P. I think. Right.

It has a good ring to it.

I think it would work. Certainly would help me out as I'm like, okay, I don't know how to say your last name. You gotta help me out here. And you were almost going to let me botch it. You gave me a little bit, I'm sure I still botched it, but no, it was awesome. Thank you, Jono for being on here and serving us and serving my community very well. I know you're going to serve them, you know, even better in the Facebook group where you can share even more of these tips on all your trainings that you do. Thank you again, everyone, the links will also be in the show notes. So go ahead and feel free to hop over there.

It's easy, just click on the link, takes you right to the Facebook group. Thank you again. And we'll chat soon.

Awesome. Thank you. Krissy.

What a great episode. Now, the biggest thing that I wanted to hit on was grabbing that email address. If you are going to do anything on social media, grabbing an email address is an absolute must.

So if you're not requiring it to get in your Facebook group, you're doing what Jono does and you're putting up those lead magnets throughout there too, so that people can add their name and their email. Now, if you do not have a way to grab email addresses, you're like, okay, I'm doing the old fashioned way and I'm creating some spreadsheet and I'm putting it into my Gmail.

No, no, no, we don't work like that here. We can set up systems and processes and automation to do things for us. You need a website, a CRM system so that you can create these landing pages. You can have these lead magnets. You can capture these email addresses and send out these emails as funnels, as Jono was mentioning to be able to monetize that social media following or that group that you're creating and just really create this amazing community, even with email addresses. So if you don't have a website yet, you know nothing about CRM systems, you have no idea how to create a lead magnet, anything like that, I want to invite you to a free masterclass. It's called how to build a wildly profitable website without knowing a thing about tech. You can go ahead and jump on the list so that you can be the first to know when we launched that masterclass again. 

It was wildly popular the first time. So we're bringing it back. Just don't know the date yet. So go to, and it'll get you to the proper page so you can register. Thank you so much for tuning in. 

Important Links:

Browse More Topics!


Check out our most popular Masterclass,

"How to Automate Your Business and Increase Sales While You Sleep"


Get Instant Access!

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.