If you’ve been wondering how to start a Facebook Group from scratch, this post is for you.
*Spoiler alert* you don’t need an existing audience/email list to start and grow a successful Facebook Group.
You probably belong to at least one Facebook group already and have seen the power Facebook groups have.
They serve as a way to connect with your ideal clients, provide value, ask for feedback and engage in conversations that build trust and credibility.
Their purpose is often to provide a space for the host to build know, like and trust then turn group members into paying clients.
How to Start a Facebook Group from Scratch
If you already have an email list great, start there. Send an email to all of your subscribers introducing your new Facebook Group and ask them to join.
If you already have a following on your Facebook Business Page, post about your new group there. Ask your followers to join.
BUT, what if you don’t have any subscribers or existing audience?
You’re starting your Facebook Group from 0 (zero).
You could invite your mom or a few close friends but let’s be honest, those people probably aren’t your target audience.
There is no point in building a Facebook Group around people who don’t have the potential of converting to paying clients.
Here are 3 things you should do to set your brand new Facebook Group up for success, and start gaining your first followers from scratch.
TIP: When creating a brand new Facebook Group, you are required to add at least one person in order to get the group started. This would be the time to add your mom or a close friend who is supportive. You can remove them from the group once it’s up and running.
#1 Set the Stage
Before you start welcoming members into your Facebook Group you’ll want to set your group up for success.
Start with deciding what the purpose of your group is. You may not have full clarity on this yet and that’s ok. At this time all you’re doing is brainstorming ideas.
When I started the She Does Business Community, my goal was to create a supportive community where service-based/creative women entrepreneurs gather to get visible and build credibility. A place where members network, teach, learn and collaborate so they can be seen as a leader in their industry and grow their business with ease.
I had a big dream and no idea how I was going to make it happen. I had no idea how to start a Facebook Group from scratch but I knew I had start and take it one step at a time.
This is what holds most people back. They have their dream but don’t take any action, then become frustrated because nothing is happening. Don’t hold yourself back. One small action today and tomorrow and the next will turn into big progress down the road.
Get clear on who your group is for.
Make a list of the kind of people you want in your group. What is their desire? What is the type of vibe you want inside your group?
Write down “This group is for you if”. Then, list out all the things that come to mind when answering the questions above. Once you have your list created, narrow it down to the top three to five qualities that matter most to you.
For example: This group is for you if you:
- are a creative/service based woman entrepreneur
- want to surround yourself with like-minded women who support you, your business and your lifestyle
- believe in the power of community over competition
These three points describe the type of people I want in my group (women entrepreneurs with service-based or creative businesses). And it describes the vibe I want (kind, supportive and friendly – community over competition).
You’ll use the points you come up with to create your FB Group description.
Another point to consider when you start a Facebook Group from scratch is do you want to group to be closed (people must request to join and be approved), or public (open for anyone to join). If your group will be closed you can create a set of questions people must answer before joining. The answers to these questions will help you determine if they are a good fit and will also give you further insight into each member. You can change the questions at any time and use the answers to create content that speaks specifically to your members.
Who Is Your Group is NOT For?
Since you’re just starting out you may feel like you shouldn’t turn anyone away but that’s not the case. You want to build your group with people who fit your target audience. Remember, you want people to engage in your group and eventually become paying customers.
A successful Facebook group isn’t determined by the number of people in the group, it’s determined by the engagement and conversation rate.
If one of your goals is to keep the vibe upbeat and positive, indicate this in the description. Let people know that this group is not for complainers, or people who are looking to promote themselves without building relationships first.
Set the Ground Rules
Most groups have rules that they ask their members to abide by. This helps set and maintain the vibe of the group.
Will you allow promo posts all the time, provide a promo thread once per week or not allow promos at all?
Facebook provides you with four pre-written rules. You can use these rules as they are, edit them, remove them or add your own. The rules are up to you to create, and they are also up to you to enforce. Be sure to include what happens if someone does not abide by the rules, such as you reserve the right to remove them without warning.
#2 Create Three Pieces of Content
Having a few key pieces of content in place before welcoming any members into your group will ensure they have something to interact with immediately.
1) The first thing you’ll want to create is an attractive cover photo for your group. Keep this consistent with your business branding.
Use a picture of yourself and include either the group name or a one-liner that states the benefit of the group.
Remember, this image can be edited later. The goal right now isn’t to get it perfect, it’s to get started.
At the time of writing this post, the Facebook Group Cover Photo size is 1640 x 856 px. The size may change by the time you’re reading this article. If you’re using Canva to create your image note that the pre-made Canva template is for a regular Facebook Page, not a Group Page. The sizes are different.
2) Create one freebie that people can only access after joining the group. There are a variety of ways you can do this. You can upload it as a PDF in the documents area of your group. Create a post that describes the benefits of the freebie and ask people to leave a comment if they want it sent to them. Or, create the freebie as a post so they don’t have to download anything or provide their email address. You could even post a short video tutorial.
Don’t over complicate this. This freebie should take you less than 20 minutes to create.
Some ideas are:
10 point checklist
5 minute video tutorial
How to __________
5 Must Have ________
8 Steps to __________
3) Create a welcome post or video. If you’re comfortable with video this is one of the best ways to introduce yourself to you audience and describe what they can expect as part of the group.
If video isn’t your thing (raises hand) then a welcome post in the “Announcement” section will do.
Introduce yourself, explain the group rules and where they can be found, as well as what is expected of each member.
Include the best way for members to contact you – private message, tagged post, email etc. with questions or concerns.
#3 Get The Word Out
Awesome, you’ve made it this far. Now it’s time to start getting the word out and welcoming members into your new Facebook Group.
If you have an email list, send an email to your subscribers inviting them to your group. Be sure to tell them why they will benefit from joining the group.
Do the same if you have an existing social media following. Post about your new FB Group on your biz page, your personal page or your other social accounts like Instagram, include a link to the group.
But, as mentioned earlier, if you don’t have an existing audience here are 10 no-cost ways you can promote your new Facebook Group.
10 Ways to Promote Your New Facebook Group without an Existing Audience
- Add your Facebook Group to the bio on your personal FB page. By having a link to your FB Group in your personal bio, when you comment on someone’s post they can scroll over your profile image and see your bio.. They will then see your FB Group link, click on it and join your group.
- Join existing Facebook Groups who have a similar target audience and allows you to post links regularly or as part of a promo thread. Don’t just drop your link and run though. Include a short description of your group to make it easy for people to know if they want in. Comment on other people’s posts to get their attention.
- Write a blog post specifically about the benefits of your group. Include a link to the group then promote your post on Pinterest.
- Create a Pinterest graphic for your group, add it to Pinterest and link directly to the group.
- Write a guest post for a blog with a similar target audience and include a link to your FB Group in your author bio.
- Request to be a guest on a podcast. During your interview slip in the name of your new group and also ask for it to be included in your bio on the show notes page.
- Add a link to your Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn bio.
- Add a line at the bottom of each of your new and existing blog posts inviting readers to join your group.
- Include a link on your website homepage, about page, in the sidebar and in the menu.
- As people begin joining your group, ask them to invite a friend or accountability partner – use a giveaway to incentivize them.
No More Excuses. Start A Facebook Group From Scratch Today!
There are many benefits of growing a Facebook Group in support of your business. In the beginning, it may feel like an uphill battle but through perseverance and inspired action you’ll gain traction. Soon you’ll be moderating a highly engaged Facebook Group. From there you’ll be able to convert group members into paying clients/customers.
If you’re a woman entrepreneur with a service-based/creative business who wants to be seen, heard and supported join us inside the She Does Business Community.