Should you have separate FB groups for customers and prospects?

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Reader Maarten Nieuwkamp asks,

“Do you guys use a separate FB group for your clients and for your ‘free’ followers?”

Thanks for the great question Maarten! I have a strong opinion that counters many people’s actions that I’d like to share.

You should not have a separate group for paying members.

On one hand, as Patrick Umphrey astutely pointed out, there are often topics of conversation that members may be less confident bringing up in large groups. On the other hand, this is not a good enough reason to form an entirely new group and a good support system deals with this issue better than a FB group does.

I’ve carefully weighed the pros and cons from all perspectives: group members, customers, and your own. Here are the main points:

  • Paid groups don’t add value. For the most part, they are a place where people procrastinate, second guess, and compare themselves to others.
  • From a marketing standpoint, you’re cutting yourself off at the hip. If you’re helping people transform, they’ll want to share it. Syphon your customers into a paid group, and they’ll share their success with others customers. Have both prospects and customers in a free group and this sharing of successes is better marketing than you could ever buy. Do it right, and you’ll get new inquires every time somebody posts.
  • Keep your focus in one place. You’ve got enough to do already. Don’t scatter your efforts further unless absolutely necessary.

When to have more than one group

If you have two distinct demographics that you serve, you should have a group for each. One group should lead to one main product / service. If you have two different products or services, create a group for each not about the thing you sell, but as a community group that supports the people who are the ideal prospect for what you sell.

This is why I have two groups:

Fit Pros Unite – For in-person trainers and gym owners. Sells my books and Fitness Marketing Monthly.

Online Trainers Unite – For online trainers. Sells the Online Trainer Academy and Fitness Marketing Monthly.

What it comes down to is this:

As long as you’ve got a solid, smart, and strategic support system, a Facebook group for paying members isn’t needed. Not only will you be offering better support, you’ll be able to manage your time better, and build a strong marketing asset with a single, free, public group.

Wondering how to offer amazing support to remote clientele?

You’re in luck. Lesson #1 in our free course teaches how to build great support systems for remote training. Click the link below and opt-in to begin that free course today:

–> Click here to begin the free course 

-Coach Jon

P.S. Dennis Smyth asked a good question in response to this:

If you have already created the groups (private and public) how would you maybe approach them after they have been apart of the small group to go back to a large public group?

I see what you are saying but I feel like now that I have created the private group I would be taking away value from the clients I have in there.

–Dennis, if you honestly feel like there’s value being added, keep it the way that it is. My guess is that there isn’t, which makes it a pretty easy decision.

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