Facebook Groups – 10 Steps To Make Your Facebook Group Go Viral

Are You A Lion Or A Sheep?
A Facebook group needs strong leadership and clear direction if you want it to succeed. If you act like a sheep, the herd might follow you for a moment  and then lose interest or move in a different  direction.

Launching a successful Facebook group is a definite art. If you are thinking of starting a new group or already have an existing group, here are a few essential pointers to get you going viral and  effortlessly  attract new members.

1) Choose a Killer Title For Your Group Name

Without a memorable name that is both colorful and sticky your group will fail right from the beginning. It has to be compelling and dynamic and press peoples emotional hot buttons. For Ideas look at the groups that have grown to over 1000 members and compare the names  to those that that are still stuck  at around 150 members.  If your name is boring  most people automatically assume your group will be too.

2) Pick  A Graphic That Captures The Essence Of  Your Group
A picture speaks a thousand words, does the image you choose convey the essence of your group. Get a striking image and then use photo shop to add some text on top of the picture. Make sure it can still be read when it is reduced in size. Many groups make their Logo much  longer than its wide it then becomes a full banner advertisement and   takes up more space when its listed on the group page giving it more prominence.

3) Leverage Your Friends
You can’t grow a group huge without the help of other people. Groups go viral because people invite their friends to join. If your initial network hasn’t reach 500 people you will have a hard time getting enough momentum for your group to take off. In that case find another friend and launch together. Make them a group admin too. Its much more fun launching a group with several people than having to do all the work on your own.

4) Target Your Initial Members
Having  powerful  and influential friends as core members of the group is vital. Hand select the people who you want to be there and send them personal invitations. Make them feel special.  You need to choose people who are dynamic on Facebook or Twitter, people who are famous, people who have huge followings,  people who have large networks and people who are already experts and leaders  within your niche.  Having these people as initial members instantly gives your group credibility.   Honor those who first join by making them officers and ask  them what  title they would like under their name.

5) Create A Whisper Campaign
Tell your friends about the group in an indirect way long before you are going to launch, hint about it in blog posts, in teleseminars and in  wall posts and in all your communications with your potential core members. Get them excited and they will start to talk about your new group even before you open the doors. Get your favorite bloggers to write an article about your group. Start a discussion using Facebook Notes  and make your group the logical solution to a problem that people might face. Create  the content for your group before you launch and tell people what you are doing.

6) Turn Your Group Launch Into An Event
By  turning your group launch into an event you automatically stand out and get noticed. Plan it the same way you would a big party,  You want all your guests to arrive at the same time so that the dance floor is packed. People won’t join if they turn up to your group page and find a cold empty room with no music and no  refreshments.

Use Facebook Events and hold a teleseminar to publicize it and/or write  Facebook notes and tag all your initial members, get them interacting with each other and keep sending them back to the group page to post on the wall and participate  in the discussions.

Groups are not just confined to  a single location, they spill out all over the place. Like a crowded house party that ends up  with  lots of people milling about on the front lawn. Anyone who drives down the street will always know which house to go to.

7) Include An Irresistible Offer
Offer an incentive for people to join,  give away a free ebook, mp3 recording or video straight away.

Promise to supply more exclusive content in the future for those who join the group early and become active participants. Identify those special  members by signing them  up to your optin list or joining your Fan page.

Focus on adding value and encourage your group members to share their own talents.   Your group will become  a valuable resource instead of  a derelict notice board for spammers

8)Aim For Viral Visibility
The more activity you generate the bigger your viral foot print will be in Facebook’s newsfeed.

You want to get your group to 500 members as quickly as possible so that it maintains its growth  velocity.  After this point it will hit critical mass and continue to grow on its own.

Stimulate activity on the group wall and discussion board, ask questions and continue to  supply fresh content on a regular basis. You want you members to keep returning and posting within the group.

9)Advertise Your Group
If you are holding a party you need to put up some posters and give out flyers. Use your status updates wisely; be creative, use humor,  and learn about  link baiting.   Attract members  from a whole range of social media  platforms, like Twitter, YouTube, Ustream, Friend Feed, Ning. Advertise in other similar groups and online forums. Get your group members to help you and  reward those who put in the most effort by helping them to promote themselves using your group as a platform. Self promotion before contributing value should be discouraged.

10) Launch Strategically  And In Several Stages
Have a clearly defined and mapped out strategy.  Create a revolving door  Pre launch, launch, post launch,  relaunch. Sequence.  After initial  activity your group may need restimulating. By holding regular events you keep your group in the public eye and your members will continue to feel connected. Get your active members to participate in your relaunch process, and make it  a win win situation for all involved


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Membership Websites – 10 Questions You Should Ask Before You Join

This is the second article in my series about membership websites, to view the first article click here

Membership Websites – Who Do You Spend Your Time With?

Which  Membership Site Is Right For You?

Determining which membership site to join can be a difficult decision. There are so many to choose from and there is no point in joining so many that you never have time to digest the content, interact with other members and  gain any real benefits  from  the community. This blog post will explore the 10 questions you need to ask before you join a membership website or group coaching program to help you make a more informed choice.


1) What Will You Get In Return For Your Investment?

When you look at the price you need to calculate just what you are going to get in return. If your membership site has a high initial cost and a recurring monthly fee  calculate how much it will cost you in total over the following year and assess whether you are going to see a return on your investment. You need to assess the quality and quantity of content on your membership site and the tools and resources that are available to members. Can you get the same thing elsewhere and what are other similar sites offering and what subscription fees are they charging.

Those that charge an exorbitant initial  entry fee might be the type that will close down in six months and not be looking for the long term customers on a continuity payment scheme.

If its new, look at the people behind it. Do they have a track record you can trust. Spend time looking at their websites and  doing some research before you part with your money.


2) What Are The Other Members Like And Will You Fit In?

Look at who else is a member and talk to them about their experiences. Ask yourself   what types of people you want to associate with and how much is it worth to you and your business to rub shoulders and interact closely with these people

Will  you feel comfortable in this membership site or are you going to have to pretend to be something that you are not. You need to choose a membership site that allows you to be  yourself and not feel like you are constantly putting on an act. The memebrship cultures differs greatly from site to site. This is why having a free trial period is so important. Any site that doesn’t include  some type of risk reversal  should be avoided or questioned further.


3) Is The Membership Site Aimed At Short Term Profits Or Long Term Growth?

Is your membership site aimed at making the site owners  the maximum amount of money upfront with a high non returnable joining fee or do they have a long term continuity program where you pay in monthly instalments.  You may well find that they have both. A high joining fee acts as an entry barrier and a low or non existent joining fee can make it a no-brainer, especially for the first month. It totally depends on if the site wants to attract quality or quantity and at what stage they are in their own internal growth cycle.

With so many fly by night membership sites and the relative ease of setting them  up using automated software scripts,  many  site owners primary  concern is to get as much money from their customers up front while their product or service is hot and has a high perceived value.

Respectable sites  quite rightly charge a high initial fee because of  the energy they expended creating the content and  getting  the members to join.  They know that many  people will quit after a couple of months and the prospect of a long term recurring commission will be lost.   Their content is also at risk from plagiarism as there is nothing to stop any existing members stealing their content and selling it somewhere else.

Some sites often have a limited number of places available and then close their doors. There are  several reasons for this. From a marketing perspective it engineers scarcity and a higher price can be justified and on the practical level  there is an optimum size for any community and too many members makes itimpersonal.


4) Is The content On The Membership Site Time Sensitive And Is It Updated Regularly?

One of the reasons to join membership sites is to have access to cutting edge information and resources. The problem with this especially in a social media environment is that things go out of date very quickly. If you are paying to have access to home study materials make sure you know that the content is still relevant and regularly updated.  Some membership sites offer free access to outdated content as a way to attract more customers. If the quality is good you will want to have access to the latest more up to date  material and be willing to pay for it.


5) Does This Site Have An Existing Track Record And Can You Trust Who Is Running This Site To Fulfil Their Promises

A membership site that has been running for over a year can probably be expected to continue to run for another year as they now have a solid track record and a core of committed members.

Joining a new membership site with no track record is risky, especially if they are asking for a high up front fee. Proper research into the backgrounds of the site owners should be done.  You are investing  your hard earned money into something that should bring you a significant return on your  investment.

Do your research carefully, Google the names of the owners of the site along with words like “Scam”  and talk to some of the existing members about their experiences.  It is your own personal responsibility to make these checks. Treat the membership site the same way you would a potential employee, or person renting your house, you are entering into a long term relationship,  its not a one night stand.


6) Can You Contact The Site Owners On The Telephone

Site owners who are not approachable or difficult to contact should be treated with  suspicion.   If you can’t ring their office and speak with a real person how do you think you are going to get a refund should you decide to change your mind at a later date.

Many unscrupulous site owners even advise their telephone support staff to ignore refund  requests as Sylvie Fortin revealed in her Internet marketing sins letter. This is common practice even amongst many of the top Gurus so always check your credit card details to make sure your billing is correct even after you think you have cancelled.


7)  Can You  Believe The Testimonials From  Existing Members?

Why is it when there are a  multitude of places  to eat there will always be one or two restaurants that are packed and all the rest are relatively empty.  Word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertising.  Make sure your restaurant isn’t full of dummies to make it appear to be busy.

When I visit  India each year I have a simple way to choose where I am going to eat. I find a restaurant that has a healthy mix of Indian locals and seasoned western travellers.  Social proof shows me exactly where I can find quality food and get the best value for my money.

A well marketed site will use the testimonials of its  existing members in order to  get people to join. Success stories are compelling to listen to but are they all actually  believable.

There are three questions you need to ask yourself when listening to these testimonials.

a) Has the person been bribed in some way to make this statement.  Many site owners will offer freebies or upgrades in exchange for testimonials . If the person who makes the testimonial is not in your circle of acquaintances and you can’t ask them personally  you can only rely on intuition to protect you.  What they say and the way they say it is vitally important. If your hear the warning bells and have any reservations keep your credit card firmly in your wallet or purse, No matter how attractive it may seem on the surface

b) Are they affiliates and  are  they going to benefit in some way if you join. Testimonials from  affiliates always need to be taken with a pinch of salt. They want to recruit you because they want to get a portion of the recurring commissions themselves. Sites that are transparent and clearly explain their affiliate program can be trusted more than those who keep it secret.  For pyramid and MLM type schemes this is the basic business model with several tiers of affiliates  all  chasing to get members underneath them. These types of schemes tend to focus on the money you can earn rather than the benefits and training you will receive by joining  the site and play on peoples greed to hook them in.

A good membership site will sell itself  by word of mouth,  If you are going to join  sign up under the existing member  who you would most  like to benefit from your  commissions. Top Affiliates will often be the most active members of any membership website because they have the most to gain from its continued success.

c) Does this person have a track record for honesty and  for promoting quality products and services.  Some  people will promote products or services, claiming they have used them just because they want  the commissions.  Others are more ethical and will only recommend a product or service to their network  if they have personally used and tested it themselves. This is where knowing who to follow is important.  As an existing  member promoting  your own membership site  you are putting your reputation on the line,  so make sure whatever  you stand behind can deliver the goods.


8)  Will I Be Constantly Pressured To Upgrade To  The Premium  Membership Levels

Many  paid membership sites have tiered  levels of involvement, they have an entry level membership which is either free or  under $50 per month  which gives you access to most of the sites resources and then there are higher level memberships that will offer more interaction such as group coaching  or one on one mentorship  programmes.  Read the small print carefully,  you might only be receiving full access for the first month and then have to upgrade to continue to benefit. Many sites give you a free 30 day trial this can be a good way to see if you are actually getting value for money.

The Real Money Is On The Backend

Most membership programmes make their real money on the backend.   A membership site that costs $40 per month  to join will cost you $480 per year. If their top Membership  level  costs  $800 per month that is  going to cost you  $9600 per year

So for the site owners  there is a huge incentive to get you to upgrade because they stand to make 20 times what they will earn from your regular membership.  So in any tiered system expect some form of promotion and leveraged sales process

Take Away Tactics

They will always frame it in ways that will make it enticing by creating hypothetical situations showing what you might earn as a member which would easily cover your membership fees and then apply a take away  i.e.  Showing  what you will lose by not joining, the potential profits that  you won’t make. Don’t be swayed by these type of tactics. And don’t ever lose sight of where you are actually at in your business.


9)  What Is The Real Cost To My Business

Always remember that in most  businesses your gross  profit margin is between 10%-%20  (It  may be higher if you are in the information product business as you have less overhead expenses)  This means that if you spend $100 you need to create between $500 and $1000 of sales to replace that capital in your business. Add that up over the coming y ear and calculate  if  you expect to see that kind of return on your investment.  For an $800 coaching programme at a %20 profit margin the real cost to your business is   $48,000 in sales

What Stage Is Your Business At And Are You Actually Ready To Expand?

I am not knocking any of the high end membership sites, I am sure they provide great value to their customers and have the success stories to prove it I just want people to be more aware of the real costs and be sure their business is at the right stage to reap the benefits that are promised.  I believe the high drop out rate of many of the membership sites is that people want to run before they can even walk. They get seduced by the flashy videos and mesmerising sales copy and think that by joining, their business is suddenly going to explode with little or no work on their part. What they usually  find is that they are either overloaded with information and don’t have enough time to integrate it or they commit one of the cardinal  sins and that is trying to serve two or three masters at the same time, joining several membership sites and  never really committing to any of them.


10)  Are The Other Members Facing The Same Type Of Challenges  That You Are?

Sometimes joining a membership site is exactly what you need because you don’t have the contacts, knowledge or resources to take your business to the next level. This is where a good membership site is so powerful because you will be mixing with people who have gone though the exact same problems that you are facing and can share their experience. You can also meet people who have the talents and resources that you need in order to grow. I have heard from many of the top business experts that most entrepreneurs find this stage the most challenging because they are forced to let go of total  control of every aspect of  their business and start hiring,  delegating and outsourcing.

Are You  Paddling In Shallow Water Or Are You Swimming Out Of Your Depth?

If you are already experienced in Business you wouldn’t necessarily want to join a  membership site that is full of excited enthusiastic newbies.  As Bill Bartman said in The Opus Movie,

if I go into a group of 5 people I want to be the dumbest one there so there is  something I can learn from everyone

Coming from the worlds 25th richest man these are real words of wisdom.  It pays to be a little out of your depth and mixing with people who know more than you.  It’s important to find the right balance. This is where tiered memberships are very useful. People who make a similar level of financial commitment are usually at similar stages in their business development.


Are You Still Interested?

If you have made it all the way to the end of this article  then you might want to check out a site I reccomend, it’s called the Master Business Builders Club . Please be aware that  this it is my affiliate link so I stand to benefit should you decide to Join.

Are There Any Other  Questions?

I hope you enjoyed this post and received  some benefit from my observations, please feel free to add your comments and include  any important questions that you think I might have missed.

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Membership Websites – Who Do You Spend Your Time With?

Why Should I Bother Joining  A Paid Membership Site?

This was my first thought when I first became interested in using the internet for developing my business. I couldn’t understand why I would need to pay someone to have access to a community , especially since there was a free community that I can access all the time on sites like Facebook. After joining several paid membership sites I soon realised there were very good reasons for being part of an exclusive club.

Who Do You Spend  Your Time With?

Who you spend your time with can greatly determine your level of success .  You are influenced by other peoples beliefs and ideas. If you have no money and you spend  everyday in the company of millionaires it won’t be long before their financial success start to rub off on you. Equally if you spend most of  you time with happy positive people you will tend to develop the same positive outlook on life.

Putting People In Boxes

While I generally don’t like to put people into boxes, from my observations  I have noticed distinct categories of people emerging .  I have been forced to generalise and exaggerate in order to define these categories more clearly. In reality the boundaries are quite permeable and  you might identify with several at the same time or observe your own transitions through a number of  phases.

Different People Join Different Types Of Membership Sites

Different people   tend to join different types of membership sites and I wanted to examine the reasons behind this and understand the key factors to consider before joining a membership website. Who owns and runs the membership site is equally as important as who  the other members are and it pays to do a bit of research before parting with your money.

1. The Well Established

These people are already successful and have an established online presence.

They tend to own multiple  websites, usually in targeted niches and have a solid sales funnel in place that attracts people to become their customers . They have back end products and services to offer and  they tend to be quite visible and promote themselves and their business in an active way. These are the types of people who set up membership sites, coaching programs and other types of continuity programs.  They are highly networked and work together with other successful people leveraging each others talents to grow  each others  businesses. They look at their customers and clients from a lifetime perspective and therefore place a high value on their reputation.

2. Just Arrived And Learning Fast

These people are successful offline and want to  realise their full potential on the Internet

They want to learn how to expand their business and leverage their time more effectively. They don’t have much time to learn the best strategies through trial and error so they pay experts  to help them achieve their intended results much faster. They have a lot of existing commitments to their offline business and feel that there is a lot  they need to learn. Because they already have many of the necessary business skills and available capital to invest in their online business they will rise quickly to join those already established. These people will join paid membership sites because they want to mix with other serious people who are moving in the same direction. They have valuable talents and experience to offer and an established network of offline contacts, the  benefits travel in both directions. These people always have a competitive advantage because of the people they have access to. Their reputations give them instant credibility and they would survive and flourish whatever environment you throw them into.

3. In Transition

These people are facing major changes in their lives, its like they are riding two horses at the same time and haven’t decided which one the prefer

You often find people who want to change careers or who are  retired in this group,  they want to create a supplemental income. These people tend to  view their business as a hobby, they like to dabble and experiment,  to get their toes wet and feel the temperature of the water.  They  place  their own security as  a high priority and are cautious about investing their hard earned money in training and coaching and  although they feel this would benefit them they tend to be procrastinators and conservative by nature.

The lucky ones will  be attracted to join the right membership sites that will nurture and develop their talents, by associating with people who are successful they are pulled up to the same level, a good membership site will push them out of their comfort zone and challenge their limited thinking with new Ideas and potential opportunities

The unlucky ones will join membership  sites that often start out well and then fade into nothing. Because these people tend not to be leaders themselves they often join membership sites that are run by a sole charismatic individual , they want someone to tell them what to do  but they don’t always follow the advice. These types of membership sites often fizzle out because they are fuelled by the members enthusiasm which soon fades after the initial excitement.

4. Strugglers

Strugglers are people who have already  taken the plunge, they have put their lives on the line and often take serious financial  risks. Many have lost money, investing in products that don’t work or in teachers who don’t come up with the goods. Their online business is doing poorly, they tend to be unorganised and suffer from self doubt and limiting beliefs. They aspire to be rich and live the Internet life but seem to be putting hours into their business and  never getting anywhere.  They spend more time working in their business than on their business. They tend to join the wrong types of membership  programs, They are either out of their depth or their  poor working habits are  unconsciously sabotaging  themselves. 70% of internet marketers fall into this category and unfortunately many unscrupulous  “Guru’s”   prey on these types as they have money and  are willing to spend. These types of people will fall prey to the scarcity tactics and high pressure selling. They want to belong to the elite but deep down don’t feel they are not worthy and don’t deserve to be rich. They are often jaded and  negatively  criticise others who are more successful. These types of people often have debt problems from poorly managing their finances. They can seem  like a desperate person drowing,  because they will grab onto you and might pull you under if you let them.

Expect Unreliability

If you are serious about growing your business these can be  the worst types to associate  with. They  will suggest  JV partnerships and expect  you to do all the work or they will promise to do something and then let you down and  will waste your time and energy because they want you to solve their problems. Unless you are a life coach and your actual  job is too help these people I would suggest avoiding  them  for businesses purposes.

Don’t Let Them Drag You Down

Its  O.K.  to be this way and I am sure many of us can recognise it as a phase we might have gone through at some point in our lives . We either sink or we learn to swim. I am  not making any judgements here only to suggest that associating with people like this can bring you down especially if you are not firmly established in either of the first two categories.

5. Hopefuls

These people are total newbie’s and who have  never run a business before, they are bright eyed and exited about all the possibilities available to them, They don’t have the experience to tell the real from the fake and often become targets for unscrupulous marketers who promise to fulfil all their dreams and then don’t deliver the goods.

They will tend to join all the free membership sites and won’t understand the true value of a paid service.  This is good for you if you are a member of a paid membership site you know that everyone there is probably past this stage in their development. One of the reasons a paid club is so useful is that it creates an entry barrier. The higher the price  ypu pay the more serious you can expect the members to be.

Can You Spot A Rising Star?

Many membership sites have tiered entry levels so the newbie is not excluded. They might  have  bronze, silver, gold and platinum membership levels. It acts as a filtering process, not all hopefuls and newbie’s are  a problem, many of them will become the next generation of leaders and its good to have a way to spot who these people are.  If you help a rising star you can be sure that they will repay that loyalty in the future.

6. Pyramid People

MLM type people focus on recruiting  people into their down lines  or promote viral traffic schemes and get rich quick offers. The ones that succeed and do well are energetic, charismatic and brag about the lifestyle and success  that they have achieved. They neglect to tell you about the people under them who spent money on training and buying leads only to discover  that they don’t have the right personality for network marketing and have burned out all their friends and contacts. This industry uses the 99-1 principle. For every 1 person who succeed there are 99 who fail.

Religious Fanatics?

They act in the same way religious fanatics do, they want to convert everyone  to join their church.  They will often have paid membership schemes that look identical on the outside to other membership sites. How can you tell the difference, you might not even  suspect that your membership site might be a front for an unscrupulous pyramid scheme.

Do Your Research

One thing I always do is  Google the company name and  the directors names  along with the word scam, you can be sure if they have a history there will be others who have voiced their complaints and concerns. If they have a solid reputation you can expect to find evidence to back this up. Not all MLM businesses  are out to scam you but its your own personal responsibiliy  to discover if you are dealing with a legitimate organisation.

7. Bottom Feeders

Those are people who jump from one opportunity to another,  wanting to succeed but never implementing any of the strategies and consuming internet products like McDonalds Hamburgers – they tend to be  habitual failures and spend all their money on products  and courses that they never even finish.

If You Dig A Well You Should  Keep Digging In The Same Place

Like a person digging a well they keep starting one hole and then moving to begin another, never digging deep enough in one place to reach water. They tend to be more desperate and often console themselves with excuses and poor me stories. Much like the third category these people often don’t have a business . They might have registered a few domains and have a free blog account somewhere, but their online presence is a  trail of disaster, They will be trying to sell you products from  2004 on websites that they were duped into buying and   they have the master resale right to 100 other outdated products.  They are running their internet empire form under their duvet,   never waking up and getting out of bed   or  taking the step away from their couch to put any of their ideas into practice. They want a business that they can set and forget, they want to press a button and get paid.

Internet Parasites?

These types of people spend too much time in online forums,  you will  find them in all the free membership websites pontificating and hiding behind false names and profiles, they are often likened to parasites that sweep from one fad to the next. Following 6 months or more  behind the cutting edge, coming to feed after all the low hanging fruit is taken, always hungry. They will be the ones who are desperately spamming  your inbox begging for crumbs of  your attention. They are the sort of people who you  definitely don’t want to partner up with.

Freebie Hunters

You won’t normally find them in the Paid membership sites because the know where they can get everything for free. They view paid sites as a waste of money because they don’t understand the value of forming  real relationships and creating business partnerships. They tend to be  selfish and self centred and that is why they stay stuck where they are. Sites like Facebook protect you from the worst offenders in this category but some still slip through the net.

Read Part Two – How To Choose The Membership Site That Is Right For You

If you have enjoyed this article be sure to read part two where I examine the questions you need to ask to  find the membership site that suits you best. Check out my blog http://www.iandavidchapman.com or watch your news feed on Facebook.

Be Informed

Those of you who know me won’t be surprised by what comes next. There is a reason behind me writing this article, I want you to be as informed as possible and also to point you towards a  membership website that is different in many ways.

Master Buisiness Builders Club

It’s a membership website that has cutting edge Web3.0 Video  tools and has an impressive team of experts filling it with valuable content each and every month. It was created by Travis Greenlee and Mitch Meyerson,   and its called  the Master Business Builders Club.

Click this link if you want a quick guided tour, its my affiliate link so I get a commission  if you decide to join. The first month is totally free so it’s a no brainer really.  You will  have  access to tons of training material to help you grow your business  and can partcipate  weekly teleseminars and mastermind groups, check out the notice board  for who is coming up this week.