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HOT TOPIC How to use forums (and Facebook groups)

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Rules of the game:

1) You can't say you're an expert in it. You can only show it.

2) You can't PM people offering help, or ask them to PM you. They have to PM *you* because they liked what you've done and want to know more.

What would you do differently, and how differently would it play out?
Point 1 seems so apt recently.

“Show don’t tell.”
 

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How to use forums (and Facebook groups)

I'm going to braindump some of my learnings about using Forums and Facebook groups.

Spammers won't get it, but I'll direct them here and they may slow down long enough to learn something.



For those trying to "validate a need" (I kinda hate that phrase), then forums and Facebook groups are a fantastic resource. Not only do people nicely group themselves for you, but they'll chatter about problems and issues they have. They'll also ask questions and you can respond by answering them.

I've produced a ridiculous amount of evergreen content by chattering away in forums, noticing where I repeat myself, then creating threads to point to in future.

In case you didn't spot the parallel to building a business:
  1. I find and engage the market - where they are already.
  2. I respond to questions and problems people already have.
  3. I immediately help people instead of "building stuff".
  4. If I find myself answering the same question over and over again - I go create a solution that I can point people to all the time.
  5. Before I create the thread (solution) I already know it will help lots of people - because it's a need that many people have already had.
  6. The content (solution) was created out of solving real-world problems, rather than solving problems I think people have.
Added benefits:
  1. I immediately start getting known as "The XYZ Guy" - because I help people with XYZ.
  2. People already start reaching out to me about XYZ problem.
  3. People already start referring me to others who have XYZ problem.


Why create a blog and try and find out what content helps people and resonates with people when you can go help people immediately in a busy forum or Facebook group?

Why stare at a blank page struggling to create a new blog post when you can help people immediately in a forum or Facebook group?

Why try and get your blog ranked when a forum already has a much better SEO juice than you'll likely ever get.

Finally... if your goal is to help people and build relationships (hint: do this and get paid then you're in business), then why the feck don't you do that immediately instead of "building stuff"?

I’ll be implementing this immediately.

Good stuff Andy.
 
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Andy Black

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Ha. Look what I found again:

 
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An example of a post dropped into a Facebook group where a cleaning biz owner asked how to grow his business without advertising.

It’s probably taken me 30 minutes to write this (or more?).

Now I’ll reuse the heck out it and post to other Facebook groups of cleaning biz owners. Why? Because I don’t see this as self promotion but as doing them a disservice by not posting.

Growing your business without spending money on advertising
 

DavidIonesi

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How to use forums (and Facebook groups)

I'm going to braindump some of my learnings about using Forums and Facebook groups.

Spammers won't get it, but I'll direct them here and they may slow down long enough to learn something.



For those trying to "validate a need" (I kinda hate that phrase), then forums and Facebook groups are a fantastic resource. Not only do people nicely group themselves for you, but they'll chatter about problems and issues they have. They'll also ask questions and you can respond by answering them.

I've produced a ridiculous amount of evergreen content by chattering away in forums, noticing where I repeat myself, then creating threads to point to in future.

In case you didn't spot the parallel to building a business:
  1. I find and engage the market - where they are already.
  2. I respond to questions and problems people already have.
  3. I immediately help people instead of "building stuff".
  4. If I find myself answering the same question over and over again - I go create a solution that I can point people to all the time.
  5. Before I create the thread (solution) I already know it will help lots of people - because it's a need that many people have already had.
  6. The content (solution) was created out of solving real-world problems, rather than solving problems I think people have.
Added benefits:
  1. I immediately start getting known as "The XYZ Guy" - because I help people with XYZ.
  2. People already start reaching out to me about XYZ problem.
  3. People already start referring me to others who have XYZ problem.


Why create a blog and try and find out what content helps people and resonates with people when you can go help people immediately in a busy forum or Facebook group?

Why stare at a blank page struggling to create a new blog post when you can help people immediately in a forum or Facebook group?

Why try and get your blog ranked when a forum already has a much better SEO juice than you'll likely ever get.

Finally... if your goal is to help people and build relationships (hint: do this and get paid then you're in business), then why the feck don't you do that immediately instead of "building stuff"?

THANK YOU for posting. I believe that this aproach is also a blueprint for business in general. Businesess are built for people not for profit, at least they should be constructed this way. Profit is just an indicator of how much value you offered. Profit is a symptom.

It's paradoxical how in order to care for our needs we have to take care of the needs of others

Your post helped me directly as I recently started a personal blog and my main traffic source is FB (also considering blogs now). You helped at least one person here. Once again, thank you!
 
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Andy Black

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THANK YOU for posting. I believe that this aproach is also a blueprint for business in general. Businesess are built for people not for profit, at least they should be constructed this way. Profit is just an indicator of how much value you offered. Profit is a symptom.

It's paradoxical how in order to care for our needs we have to take care of the needs of others

Your post helped me directly as I recently started a personal blog and my main traffic source is FB (also considering blogs now). You helped at least one person here. Once again, thank you!
Thank *you* for reading and your thoughtful reply.

As @MJ DeMarco has said “Money is proof you helped your fellow man.”

One of my favourite quotes, along with Mother Theresa’s in my signature.



EDIT: “Profit is a symptom.” Powerful quote.


EDIT2: Mindset shift: don’t call it traffic.
 

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I think Facebook groups vs Forums is like radio vs podcasts. I forgot which book. But MJ talks about how he prefers podcasts because they are permanent.

I love this forum . Every single question I have has interesting answers. I always Google my question + fastlane forums these days.

So if u want a place to start, add value to this forum. I'm sure other pp search the same way I do. + U get the awesome feeling of pp calling u out on bs when u r not.:)
 
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Tom.V

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Bump for many good reasons.
  1. Great content shared by @Andy Black as always.
  2. Great discussion on how to use Facebook Groups.
Facebook groups are literally CHANGING THE GAME for my business.

Every single day I am in there looking for new ones that get closer and closer to my target market for my business.

Every single day I am in there posting valuable knowledge bombs to help people out with their questions.

Every single day more and more people reach out to ME to connect and learn more about me and my business.

Throughout this process I am constantly building a growing network of like minded individuals (akin to Fastlaners) with whom we all help one another out in one way or another. It's an incredibly powerful thing given the reach to incredibly targeted group of people. No longer does moving mountains take months, but rather seconds to days when you find the "zone".

Just from Facebook groups and Facebook prospecting, my business is on track to multiply monthly revenues 10x over the next few months. Just through this channel.

Word begins to spread like wildfire and that's a great thing when the word is good. Provide value to as many people as best you can, and the market will repay you in dividends. Facebook groups just make that really, really easy to do with the right approach and consistency.
 
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Sigh...
 
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Pat D. Rick

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This Thread is amazing. Thanks for the gold nuggets.

Of course I already am in some Facebook groups and already tried to help some of the people there. But here's where I struggle:

Maybe it's just that the german market is simply smaller, thus fewer people who post their problems, but somehow I can't find more than 3 relevant facebook groups about google ads, for example.
Finding Forums is even worse. I was looking for an online business forum in Austria. Eventually I found one, but it has only 5 (!) members.
I joined anyways because 5 is still bigger than 0. So I'm now their 6th member xD

How do you guys go about this? How do you find "enough" people that you can help with your expertise?
 
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Andy Black

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This Thread is amazing. Thanks for the gold nuggets.

Of course I already am in some Facebook groups and already tried to help some of the people there. But here's where I struggle:

Maybe it's just that the german market is simply smaller, thus fewer people who post their problems, but somehow I can't find more than 3 relevant facebook groups about google ads, for example.
Finding Forums is even worse. I was looking for an online business forum in Austria. Eventually I found one, but it has only 5 (!) members.
I joined anyways because 5 is still bigger than 0. So I'm now their 6th member xD

How do you guys go about this? How do you find "enough" people that you can help with your expertise?
As a Google Ads Guy, I cant stand being in Google Ads groups. The conversation is boring, argumentative, and too many people are pitching.

I much prefer being in business groups where the conversation is good and where I can take off my coat and stay a while.
 

Pat D. Rick

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As a Google Ads Guy, I cant stand being in Google Ads groups. The conversation is boring, argumentative, and too many people are pitching.

I much prefer being in business groups where the conversation is good and where I can take off my coat and stay a while.
Got it and I see that you can help people in various situations. But then again, how do they identify you as the Google Ads guy and come back to you with their problems?
 
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Got it and I see that you can help people in various situations. But then again, how do they identify you as the Google Ads guy and come back to you with their problems?
I’m not in any groups trying to be any type of guy. It’s just that over a period of time of helping folks they get to know what I’m good at. Find groups you want to be in, and join in the conversation. Become a valuable member, someone people want to engage with.
 

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I’m not in any groups trying to be any type of guy. It’s just that over a period of time of helping folks they get to know what I’m good at. Find groups you want to be in, and join in the conversation. Become a valuable member, someone people want to engage with.
I absolutely agree. Facebook and LinkedIn ads can be good, I'm not knocking them, but I've had a lot of great networking and responses on forums just because my strengths do lie in people skills. A lot of people crave that customer service aspect that tends to go missing in digital marketing. A key reason for the success of forums is that authenticity: people have to invest in one another and glean lessons from each other. If you put in the value, you will get it back. I love knowing there are actual people on the other side of the screen with lives, and they can tell me what matters to them or the real world practice of certain things.
 
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Sounds good. Let us know how you get on.

You may find this call interesting:

listening now, also made quora profile as well.

I spend so much time on the internet, i might as well answer a question here and there, it can't possibly hurt me
 

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well i've helped a few people on reddit with Unity questions, got some thank you's, i guess that feels decent.
got 1000+ views on my answers on quora, but i often give really quick off the cuff answers, usually 1 sentence long and witty or sarcastic. Sometimes i give a better answer with a link to a resource.
sometimes i see a quora question asking whats a good app to download or play, and i plug my quick math game lol.
I did get a spike in downloads over the past few days, is it related? maybe lol
 

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So I’m busy working away this morning and get a Facebook message telling me I’ve been tagged as “The XYZ Guy” in a reasonably big Facebook group of business owners.

Pretty cool to be tagged by other people as “The XYZ Guy” right?

Cooler still that I got tagged by the owner of that group.

Even cooler that it was the group owner who messaged me to make sure I’d spotted she’d tagged me.

Do you add value in such a way that group owners tag and message you to come back into the group to help their members?

Or are you doing that hit-and-run numbers game?
 
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Someone asked how to introduce yourself in a new group.

Here was my reply. Curious what you think:

What would you do if you went into a club house full of business owners working away on their laptop, on their phone, or chatting in small groups?

Would you announce from the doorway that you did web design, Google Ads, kitchen redesign, etc?

Or would you wander over to the bar and get a coffee. Then look around the room and see who’s having a chatter about something and go join them?
 
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Andy Black

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Ha. I forgot about this thread.

I've been a lot quieter in the forum over the last few months because I've been much more active on Facebook. I'm starting to really get the hang of it.

It's exactly the same as being in the forum, which is exactly the same as meeting people in real life. What works is to first off make friends, have fun, don't be a d*ck, and don't be spammy.

I finally got over myself and put a bit of business onto my Facebook profile. Not too much as I don't like it when profiles scream business on them. I then posted an "I'm thinking of doing XYZ. Who's interested?" type of post and got a load of people raising their hands. Two weeks later I've had 11 people sign up to a new paid membership I created and join a brand new Facebook group.

I didn't know I'd have so much fun on Facebook.

Posted in a paid Facebook group I'm a member of:

1606953567989.png

1606953668539.png


This was my post a few weeks ago (probably 2/3 of the comments are mine mind!):

1606954415424.png
 
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Should we focus on just one social network?

I've had a few conversations recently about whether it's better to stick to one platform/ watering hole, or spread yourself across many.

I don't consider myself a social media dude, and am literally making this up as I go along, but here's what I replied about my experience to date:

...

I've been in TFLF for 3.5 years and posted over 4,500 times. It was my "one place" online for all that time.

Now I've started posting in other places I've been surprised how many forum members have recognised me in those other places and commented. (Having my name as my avatar certainly helps with that!)

I've also had a lot of people PM me from those new places who've never come across me before but like my content.

To date I've not intentionally used the content to sell, but to just help people, and be a part of the community in TFLF.

Unintentionally, I stumbled across what many already know - that helping people with XYZ gets you known as "The XYZ Guy/Gal" and people then start referring you to other people.

And that posting un-related but helpful stuff just helps people to know you and your values better.

I also found I was repeating myself so created posts that I could link to repeatedly.

When I was in a few Facebook groups I linked out to threads in TFLF because I didn't want to repeat myself. I've since realised content should be native and added into each platform and tailored to the platform and new community (thanks @Fox).

I've recently started posting on LinkedIn, and have already started getting likes, comments, PMs, and enquiries.

If we stay on one platform then I think people on that platform would end up getting to know us better. And it would create more of a community if we owned that platform (forum, Facebook group, etc).

If I was to 10x my efforts then I could post 10x as much (or 10x the quality of the posts) in one place.

Or I could take the amount of content I create naturally and post it (selectively and more delicately than I have to date) in 10x locations.

Reddit? Quora? Twitter? Instagram? Why not? They're just more channels to the people that may or may not be helped by what I have to say. Each with their unique ways of working and etiquettes.

This reminds me of a podcast episode by Russell Brunson where he tells what he's learned from Gary V - that each social network and channel online is akin to the early TV channels. There's not that many (at the moment) and it's worth being on all of them.

Something else he learned is that LinkedIn people stay on LinkedIn. Email people like emails. Facebook people like Facebook. Russell was trying to get everyone from each platform onto his email list, but realised many people won't do that, and if they do, then they will not open the emails later on.

For me, I've produced content every single day for nearly 4 years. In TFLF, I've PMd over 1,500 people who've followed or rep' me. That just started with manners, and has lead to a lot of referrals and "good karma".

Writing for me gives me clarity. It's one of those things I can't NOT do it seems. Putting it on steroids for me could simply mean just posting it where it can help more people.

I see it as a bit of a disservice that I don't do that extra twist of posting wherever people happen to be - if what I post can untangle people and save them from losing money or time.

Maybe there's an 80/20 for content as well? 20% writing it, 80% publishing/distributing it?
Interesting re-reading this.

I heard something interesting last year:

"Instead of posting different things to the same people, post the same thing to different people."
 

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(Originally posted here.)


Here's a strategy I accidentally discovered: trawl the forum and help people there and then.

"Show don't tell" your expertise at XYZ.

Do it well enough so that other people start tagging you when someone gets stuck with XYZ problem.

Do it so you become known as "The XYZ Guy".


Rules of the game:

1) You can't say you're an expert in it. You can only show it.

2) You can't PM people offering help, or ask them to PM you. They have to PM *you* because they liked what you've done and want to know more.

What would you do differently, and how differently would it play out?
This one! This is the real deal!!
 

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