What is the best way to start and grow a paid FB group?

What’s the idea?

  • Create an Ad Creatives group.
  • Add 10-20 creatives per day.
  • Charge $4.99 for membership.

4 Important qualities of the Facebook group

1. It solves 1 very specific problem

It helps media buyers and creative directors come up with new concepts for their Facebook ads. It does this by showing them ads from other similar companies. It’s a giant swipe file.

2. It focuses on 1 very specific type of person

The best-fit client of this product is direct to consumer companies. Think Shopify store owners who don’t rely on Amazon or wholesale for distribution. They do all the heavy lifting themselves. Thus, they run their own ads and have in-house marketing teams.

3. It keeps the deliverable simple and predictable

Every day there are 10-20 new ads posted. Nothing else. No FB lives. No other types of posts. SUPER simple. And predictable. You know exactly what you are going to get every day. Easy to consume and easy to produce.

4. It’s a no-brainer impulsive purchase that’s silly to cancel

I’m generally not a fan of cheap products. But this one is amazing. It’s $4.99. It’s a no brainer. And cancelling seems inconsequential since the price is so low. Seeing 300 curated ad ideas every month has an easy 10x return on investment.

The first 2 approaches that came to mind are:

  1. Build an email list around the broader topic associated with the paid FB group you want to start. Use the list to launch and feed the FB group. We have many strategies to help you with this. 🙂
  2. Start the FB group for free. Get members in the door. Make the experience awesome. Do everything you can to drive high-quality engagement. Then either spin-off a paid version or just switch the whole thing to paid so you can dedicate more time to making it even better.

Thanks to one of our coaching clients, we learned that the Facebook Ad Creatives Only group went with approach #2.

It started out free, they built up the member base and then switched to paid.

But obviously you can’t just start a FB group and expect people to join because it’s free. There are millions of them!

You still need a plan to attract attention and build engagement.

Today, I’m giving you that plan.

If I were going to use approach #2, here is how I would do it.

Phase #1: Get your first 300 members

Time: ~7 days

  • Draft up your first 10 posts for the FB group idea you have.
  • Use the process of creating those 10 posts as a litmus test to make sure you feel good about the concept.
  • Invite everyone you know to join with a 1:1 message.
  • DON’T use the default mass invite method Facebook offers to make it easier. Pull up your friends list and send a unique DM to all of them.
  • Don’t skip people you think might not be interested in your topic. Even if they’re not interested, they might have a friend they know would love it. Or they might be interested in joining just to follow your journey. You can even use that line when you reach out (see below).
  • Here’s a simple script you can tweak for each person you invite: “Hey FIRSTNAME, I’m starting a Facebook group where I talk about TOPIC. Thought you might enjoy following along on my journey. Want in?”
  • Look beyond Facebook. It won’t cover your entire network. Go through the contacts on your phone, in your email, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. and continue with the 1:1 invite method using whatever channel makes the most sense for each person.
  • Send everyone who says “yes” the link to join the group.
  • Start posting.
  • Encourage members to invite their friends to join.

This is your path to a minimum viable audience for the group. These will be the members who can help you spread word of mouth to kickstart interest.

Phase 2: Scale to 1,000 members

Time: 3-6 months

  • Find 10 active watering holes where your target audience hangs out (blogs, FB groups, communities, forums, etc.).
  • For example, one of the replies I showed you earlier had the idea to make her group about meal plans and macros. Where are people interested in that stuff already hanging out? Who do they follow? Where are they subscribed?
  • Interact in every watering hole you find daily. Contribute to the conversation.
  • Find the owner’s email address.
  • Reach out. Tell them about your FB group. Befriend them. Don’t act like a weirdo.
  • Partner with them on content for their audience: guest post, FB live, AMA, etc.
  • Tie your FB group into the content. Invite everyone who sees/reads/listens to it to join. Tell them you just shared a bundle of resources they’ll be interested in with the group.
  • Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
  • Over time, you’ll notice which watering holes give you the best response. Focus your energy on them.
  • Meanwhile, keep up your posting in your own FB group. Activity and engagement need to be high. Keep encouraging members to share the content and the group.

Phase 3: Scale to 5,000 members

Time: 12-18 months

  • Keep up posting and interaction in the group. Don’t let off the gas.
  • Pursue deeper partnerships with top groups from Phase #2 (ongoing series, monthly workshops, etc.).
  • Run a giveaway for your members 4x per year. Incentivize sharing and promoting the group.
  • Look for organic opportunities to feature influencers in your niche in the group. Send traffic their way. Reach out and show them how your community is responding. Develop relationships.
  • Listen to your audience and find out what they like and what they want more of. Double down on those kinds of posts when you decide to go premium.
  • When you’re ready to go paid, communicate what this will allow you to accomplish to your members.
  • Show them how you’re going to make the community even more awesome and valuable by charging.

This process is super similar to growing an email list, but you get the added benefit of Facebook’s network effects. It’s easier for members to get their friends to join.