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Episode 182: Should Your Company Launch an Online Community or Group? – with April Beach

SweetLife Entrepreneur Podcast April Beach

This episode is for those in Phase 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur Roadmap™ Not sure what Phase your business is in?

 

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Who This Episode is Great For:

Established businesses who want to know if you should create an online community. 

Summary:

Groups are all the rage. Facebook groups, LinkedIn Groups, Slack Channels and more. And you might be wondering if you should create a “group” for your followers, fans and clients. In this episode, we’re talking about the three most common types of groups, what companies these groups are ideal for as well as steps to get started with launching a community group for your company.

At the end of this episode you will:

  1. Know if your company should launch an online community
  2. Learn the 3 currently popular community types 
  3. Have the 5 steps to get your group started

Resources Mentioned:


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Full Show Transcript:

You’re listening to the Sweetlife entrepreneur podcast, simplified strategies to grow your service business and launch a life you love faster with business, mental and entrepreneur activator, a probate, everybody. And welcome back to episode number 182 of the Sweetlife entrepreneur and business podcast. Today, we’re talking about whether or not your company should be launching an online community or an online group of some kind.
And so we’re going to dig into this here just in a minute, but I wanted to say, thanks so much for being here and tuning into this show. All of our episodes here are about helping you build a profitable business so that you can live life on your terms for some of you guys and might just be spending more time with your kids or working remotely or traveling everybody’s dream is different,
but the business strategies that we deliver here on this show give you step by step actions every single week for the last three and a half years to make that happen. And so I love that you’re here. My name’s April beach. If we have not met each other before now, all the show notes from today’s episode in everything that we’re going to talk about can be found by going to a quick link over at our podcast website.
That is Sweetlife podcast.com forward slash one eight two. This is episode number 182. And again, we are talking about, should your company launch an online community or group? And this particular show is for those of you guys who are in phases three, four or five of my lifestyle, business roadmap. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m the creator of the lifestyle business roadmap.
There are actually five phases to design, launch, and scale a business to deliver that life that you want. And so you can cruise over to Sweetlife co.com forward slash quiz, and just answer a couple of really quick questions and you’re going to get the whole entire roadmap. It’s actually a map that you’ll receive plus exactly what you should be working on right now in your business and a checklist to get your business to the next growth stage.
Again, you can find that quiz over@sweetlifecode.com forward slash quiz. And this show is geared towards those of you guys who are in stages three, four or five. Okay? So on this show, again, we’re diving into those of you who want to know if you should be creating an online community. And here’s the deal we’re talking about this because communities and groups are all the rage,
Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, Slack channels, and more, and you might be wondering, you know, should we be creating a group for our people, for our followers? Do our fans need a group? Do our clients need a place to connect? Why on earth would we do that? So in this episode, we’re talking about the three most common types of groups,
what companies these groups are ideal for as well as I’m giving you the steps to launch a group community so that you can get going right away. If after listening, you realize this is a good move for you. The reality is a lot of companies launch groups, just because everybody else is doing it. And that’s stupid, right? That’s a waste of time and money.
If it doesn’t strategically fit into what you were doing as a company. So at the end of this episode, you’re going to know the three most common types of groups. These are free groups that businesses launch what types of business each group is good for. And you’re going to have the five steps to get started launching your group community. Okay. All the show notes can be found@sweetlifecode.com
forward slash one 82. Let’s go<inaudible>. Okay. So digging in here immediately, let’s talk about the common types of free groups that are being launched and really what we’re seeing with digital marketing and online relationship building right now. So the first type of group that you may want to consider launching as a free group for your fans or your followers, this is really good for those of you who have a podcast or you’re another media outlet,
or you yourself are a personal brand or a public figure. So it could be a fan group. It could be a place for people to connect and talk about some of the content that you are releasing. And it’s a free group for people just to connect basically because they really like you. And that’s maybe a good opportunity for you as a company, if you haven’t started a group yet.
So that first group is that fan group or that follower group. And that could potentially be a great fit for you. The second most common type of group is a free group for your clients. So this is actually for paying clients, clients that are paying you, but it would be creating a group for people who are paying you to connect. It’s an added value or an added bonus,
along with your services or your product that you sell to them. So it could be creating a free group for somebody to talk about your nutrition product, or somebody to talk about your vacation resort or whatever it may be. It’s a free group for those people who are already consuming your product or your services. And it gives them a great way to connect with one another share stories and maybe even help each other navigate through some of the resources that your company provides.
And then the third type of free group is a group to generate new leads. Now, this is an ideal group, but only for certain businesses. Okay? So what this group is it, the purpose of it is to create a group, to bring new people in that might not be using your service. They might not be using your product. They might have actually even heard of you before.
So this type of group it’s free for them, but it’s certainly going to cost you money in order to grow this type of a community, you’re going to want to run ads to it. And you’re going to want to put money behind it. Maybe even bring in some sort of affiliate partners and have other people filter new leads into your group. The purpose of this is to then have an opportunity to talk with them,
connect with them one on one in turn them from what we call a cold audience that has no idea who you are, but they may be interested in what you do into a warm audience who is then interested in what you do and they know who you are, and they’re starting to trust you. So that’s the third type of a group. And really the recommendation behind it is you need to have some money to put behind it because we are trying to convert a cold audience into a warm group of people that know like,
and trust you. And that does take money to do it in an expedited fashion. So the three types of groups we talked about are number one, this free group, for those of you guys who are again, a, uh, social media, public figure podcast, or any of media outlets, that’s going to be a fan group that could be a great fit for you.
Second type of group is for those of you guys, you could be a private business or a private, even service company of some sort. And you’re connecting people who are already your clients with each other in order so that they can build relationships and get really excited about what you do and what you sell. And then that third type of group is a cold lead generation group that you need to have money behind it in order to generate new leads into your business.
So hopefully that gives you kind of a clear understanding of that. The different types of groups that are available in the reality is, is that there are tons of paid groups. We’re not talking about this on this podcast. We’re talking about free community groups and really helping you get clarity as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, perhaps you’re even leading a division within your corporation.
And you’re listening here and you’re wondering, wow, you know, should we have a group? Hopefully this gives you a little bit more clarity on that. Now let’s talk about the five different steps to get started. If you’ve decided, Hey, yeah, maybe we should dive into this. Here you go. I’m going to make it really simple for you.
This is super high level, but these are rarely important things to make sure that your time and your assets are used wisely. So step number one is you have to start with why we all love Simon Sinek. We all know that the start with why theory almost all entrepreneurs do, and it is so important. And so I’m not just saying this because everybody else says it.
I want you to dive into these four specifics. Number one, you need to have a clear purpose and objective for your group. Okay? So what is the purpose behind what you’re doing? Why on earth are you actually launching this community or this group? Number two? What can people expect from your group? When somebody joins your group? What’s the experience that you’re going to give them or the content that you are going to give them when they jump in there and they take their precious time,
which in my opinion is more valuable than money, then what’s going to happen. What can they expect from being part of your group or your community? The third thing you need to be able to answer is why should people join your community? What is in it for them? Why is your community different than other communities? Why should they go ahead and click the button to spend some time with you or to connect with your other customers or leads or fans over being somewhere else.
And then the last question, these are four questions underneath bullet point. Number one, which is start with why this last question is, what does success look like for your company? You know, when you’re hosting a group, what do you want out of this? Are you looking for sales conversions? If so, how many people in your free group do you expect to convert into paying clients?
What is that conversion that you expect for spending your time and your resources on creating and managing this community? Or are you looking to actually hit certain sales benchmarks? So from this community, are you expecting to increase your sales by $10,000 every couple of weeks or months because of the people that are in this community, or are you very simply just looking to grow your list of leads?
Having a live interactive leads list is a very powerful asset for a company. Even if you aren’t going to sell to them right now, even if maybe you aren’t even ready to convert them into paying clients, having an interactive leads list with the names and the email addresses and contact information is a huge asset to a business, especially those of you who want to build companies to sell.
So number one is, start with why what’s the purpose behind this community? What can people expect? Why on earth should they be joining your community over other communities? And what does success look like to your company for hosting this group? That is number one, please answer those four questions. And as you go through, you’re going to have even more questions for yourself,
which is a great part of business development. Okay. Step number two is what content are you delivering? What are you sharing with them? What is the value they are getting? Or what doors perhaps are you opening for them within your community or within your online group? What discounts, what sneak peaks or new releases or bonuses, what does that look like?
What do you want to give people in your group so that they know that they’re special and that they know that they’re appreciated for being part of that community? Number three is how frequently are you going to share this content or these assets with your group? How frequently are you going to be in there? Or is somebody going to be in there actually talking with them or delivering live videos or recorded videos?
How frequently are you dropping content into your community? Number four is who’s going to manage your community. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, you’re doing all the things right now, but you have to be able to build systems. You can delegate, you can grow your company. If you are a small business. And, you know, you have anywhere from five to 15 employees,
who’s in charge of building the relationships and nurturing the relationships within your community. Do you need to hire somebody for that? Should you hire a virtual assistant or do you have somebody on your team that you can delegate this to, or do you have to be present yourself as the CEO or as the COO or whatever your title is? Is that a necessary part?
And if so, how often do you want a need to be present within your community? And then the fifth question you’re going to want to answer your for yourself is what platform are you going to use? Again, I could record a podcast on each one of these platforms and we’ll dive in a little bit with some more details here after I summarize what we’ve just talked about on the show,
but really high level, the most common platforms that you can choose from are mighty networks, which all go on a little mighty network tangent here in just a sec. So mighty networks, LinkedIn groups, disciple media, or a Facebook group. Those are the most common group platforms I also could add into their Slack channel. Slack channels are getting really popular.
So let’s go ahead and throw Slack channels in there as well. I know many of you use them just to communicate with colleagues and I mean, there’s so many other platforms, but these are really that the highest level, most common platforms that are currently being used to host online communities and groups. So let’s go ahead and let me do a summary and recap for you.
If based on the types of free groups we talked about in the beginning of this show, you’re like, yes, I want to do this. Here are your five steps. Number one, start with why, why are you creating this community? Number two, what content are you going to deliver? Number three, how frequently are you going to deliver that content?
Number four, who’s going to manage your group. And number five, what platform are you going to create and launch your group in? Okay. I hope you guys found that incredibly helpful. I want to save you time and figuring this stuff out on your own and the purpose of this. And actually all of our podcast episodes is to save you time so that you can intentionally and strategically grow your business and make more money faster.
If you want to dive in more, all of the show notes that I talked about again, can be found in the show notes section of our business, which is found@sweetlifepodcast.com. And the episode that we’re on is number 182. So it’s Sweetlife podcast.com forward slash one eight two. Okay. Now let me give you this little post discussion about platforms, those of you guys who listened to last week show,
no that I’ve hosted Facebook communities for years. I can’t even count how many years. It’s at least six years. I think it’s seven. It’s been a long time. And because of Facebook security issues, our account was hacked. Anyway, we lost all access to our communities. And this has just happened so many times. And as a company, I was just becoming concerned about continuing to have my groups in a platform that has been difficult to say the least.
And I want you to know this. However, it doesn’t mean, I don’t think that you should. I just have this gift of killing Facebook. Somehow you guys just keep are really real with you. Facebook and April beach do not get along. And we’ve had multiple issues over the years. So I’m not saying it’s not a great platform for anybody else.
I’m just saying it didn’t work for us. So we did tons of research. I also hosted LinkedIn groups in the past, and I am so excited to announce that we have created our own custom community app and group in a network called mighty hosts. It’s absolutely amazing. And we have hundreds of businesses just in the last 24 hours who have joined us over there.
It’s super cool. You guys, I’m going to geek out and I’ll be really honest with you, you know, mighty networks and mighty house. They aren’t, I’m not an affiliate of theirs. They aren’t paying me to tell you about this platform. It’s just been really amazing. Is it perfect? No, but it is definitely something I want to share with you as a business owner,
that we’re very happy transitioning to this platform. And I know that so many people in our new community have asked me to talk about this within the last 24 hours of joining. And so this little blurb here is for those of you guys in my business community, because I promised you I would talk about mighty networks. And so if you would like to over and join us in mighty networks,
this is a place where you can network with other business owners. So you get to create your own profile, your own business links, your own social media links, and even write a blurb about your company. It’s a very cool platform to grow your relationships with other businesses and potential leads. Number one, number two, we are releasing high level business masterclasses to our community.
We love this platform and we’re doing it here and it’s all totally free for a limited time. It’s going to be free forever, but you have to join us during this opening time as we transition over to mighty networks. So as long as you join in the month of July, you are going to get into our business community totally free and be able to play around with it and download the app.
And so this is my official invitation to you. If you would like to join the Sweetlife entrepreneur and small business hub in our custom app, you can totally do it, no strings attached and connect with us for free, just cruise over to sweet life, community.com. And you’ll be sent the link to register and to create your business profile and to get in there and just devour all of this crazy good free business information that is worth thousands.
And so I would love to meet with you and connect with you over there. The other cool thing we’re doing about this, and this is my last little tangent is all of the bonuses that come with our podcast episode. We are putting there in the podcast topic of our app. So no more opting in, no more having to fill out a stupid opt in form,
you know, especially when you’re already on our email list in order to download workshops and tools and templates and blueprints and worksheets, I’m just giving them to you so you can download directly to your computer and our community network. Isn’t that cool. Basically, I create what I want for myself. And so that’s what we’ve created for you. So again, you can join us by visiting Sweetlife community.com
right now. Thank you guys so much for listening to the show. I always appreciate your time. I know how valuable it is and all of the show notes. One last time, including a link to join us in our new app can be found@sweetlifepodcast.com slash one 82 Awesome week. Bye for now.