Whether you are a writer working to establish relationships with readers, a blogger wanting to create a community around your blog, or a business-owner wanting to connect with customers on a deeper level, Facebook groups are the way to go. (Until Facebook makes groups go the way of the dinosaur, but as Katie mentions in the interview, that's why you have an email list!) I loved getting to talk with Katie this morning and I hope you can come away with a renewed sense of how Facebook groups can work for you, no matter WHAT your purposes.
As for Katie, you can find her at the Biz Women Rock site, listen to the Biz Women Rock podcast on iTunes, or jump right into her Biz Women Rock Facebook group to see her live out what she talked about in this episode. (I'm in that group and she practices what she teaches!!)
ALSO! This is time sensitive so I want to throw it out here right now at the beginning. Katie is doing a free webinar this Friday, September 25 at 2pm EST about how to start, grow, and monetize your Facebook group. She will give an awesome free training (I did it last month!!) and offer you the last chance to buy the Facebook Groups Rock course before she has her baby girl in a few weeks! Sign up for the free training HERE.
"Your group on Facebook, i.e. your tribe or your community, is only as good as the value you're providing them."
Katie started an in-person community in Tampa and applied some of the principles that worked for an IRL group in an URL group.
Biz Women Rock started as a podcast and she was following the typical model of getting sponsors and growing the podcast audience.
The Facebook group came out of her desire to want to wrap her arms around her listeners. (I LOVE this description!)
Out of this group, her brand became a trusted resource and the central focus became NOT the podcast, but the community and brand as a whole as a business resource with the podcast just being ONE of these things.
Facebook may very well change up how groups work and they may not work well forever. This platform isn't YOURS. Get email addresses!
To collect those email addresses, Katie utilizes webinars and has also used the Facebook group as the freebie or opt-in for people who sign up on her website for her email list.
Facebook Group Tips for Moderators
The group needs to be engaged for it to work. Figure out what works for each group, but asking questions you think people WANT to answer is a good way to get people talking. People love to share about themselves!
Utilize different kinds of media: video, photo, text. Videos especially can bring people into your world and helps make you relatable and approachable as the leader of the group.
You need to have this engagement and relationship before you sell to your group. It won't BE salesy if you're doing it well.
As the owner, YOU set the tone. Don't be afraid to moderate and do what works for you, not just what other groups do.
I love a good story. And I love a good SCARY story. You don't have to be a scary story fan yourself to enjoy this episode where I interview Aaron Mahnke from Lore Podcast. (But you DEFINITELY want to be a scary story fan if you listen to Lore.) Aaron is a writer of scary stories himself. (Find his books HERE.) I love the story of how he came to create Lore. You can read it in his words on his blog, but the short of it is that he had been trying to created a freebie for his email list. In his words:
I believe people innately hunger for story. We enjoy a well-told, well-written tale. It allows us to escape for a moment and live in someone else’s world, a world where problems have solutions (most of the time) and things make sense (again, mostly). Story is in our DNA and it’s our legacy.
So much YES. A giant thanks to Marianne Tolosa from The Lipstick Campaign for recommending this podcast to me! Find Aaron on Twitter (as Lore and as himself Aaron), Instagram, the Lore Podcast website, or his author page. Buy his books HERE or subscribe to Lore HERE.
My Favorite Quote:
"Sometimes folklore is paint on top of a just a messy human situation and we tell it through the lens of a fairy tale or scary story because humans really can't be the monsters."
Aaron has been doing the self-publishing routes and Lore came out of Aaron creating a freebie for his email list.
His journey in starting Lore, like so many stories I've heard, was sort of a happy accident, or an organic creation that sprung out of something his other work.
Each podcast episode takes about 30 hours to create, start to finish.
Reading out loud reveals how some words sound next to other words. <- This is great for editing the written word, not just spoken words!
Aaron uses Evernote to save ideas, links, and photographs as he researches and prepares topics.
The podcast has helped him to find the time to write because it has allowed him to be freed up from his other design work.
To get his most recent novel finished, he committed to writing 2000 words a day and then wrote those words. Every. Day.
Aaron is a plotter, not a pantser. Plotters tend to more comprehensively outline and plan things out while pantsers traditionally write by the seat of their pants. (Let me know in the comments which YOU are!)
Lore was NOT started as a way to market books, though it's a very natural connection that makes sense. I think the difference is in the quality of Lore.
In terms of podcast ads, he keeps to sponsors that make sense also with the podcast itself and with the audience. He also puts them at the end to be less obtrusive to the content itself.
Want to Start a Podcast?
We talked about starting podcasts and the technical bits to that. If you are thinking about starting a podcast, I'll be having a series here very soon, but here are some other links! (And I would HIGHLY recommend paying someone to edit. I've used Christopher Wright and he was affordable, fast, and did a GREAT job. It's worth the money. Trust me.)
We talked about the different kinds of production and planning for podcasts. Aaron writes out a script and then reads it in a way that is very natural and not forced. For my interviews (and in the intros and outtros) I tend to write a few outline-y notes and then go off-the-cuff so it sounds more natural.
Pat Flynn's Free Podcast Course
John Lee Dumas' Free Podcast Course
Aaron Mahnke on How to Get Your Podcast into the Top 20
How to Start a Podcast in Two Weeks
So You Want to Start a Podcast?
Home Work - Aaron Mahnke's other podcast about working from home
The Wake - graphic novel that's inspiring Aaron this week
What I Want to Know from YOU
Do you listen to Lore & love scary stories like I do? (We can still be friends if you don't.)