How to grow your creative business by joining Facebook groups

Facebook - do you see it as a place to grow your business or just connect with friends and family?


About a year ago, I was looking for new ways to connect with other creatives and learn how they were running their businesses. After joining a few groups, I quickly realised that these online communities each had their own purpose, from promoting new releases to finding work or trouble shooting an urgent problem.


It takes some testing but with a little bit of engagement from you, Facebook groups can quickly become a way for you to grow your creative business.


Let's have a look at how you can find the best groups for you and how to use Facebook groups to learn, build awareness and find your community.


OVERVIEW


  • Types of Facebook groups

  • Find new clients

  • Find collaborators

  • Outsource work

  • Promote your content

  • Learn new business skills

  • Trouble shooting

  • Pick the right group


Types of Facebook groups


Facebook is giant. With 620 million Facebook groups there are a few things to look out for to make sure you use your time wisely and join groups that are worth your time.


Tip: Resist the urge to join as many groups as you can, try and focus on 5-10 where you can post and interact consistently. This way you build up your brand and become a go-to person in each group.

The first thing to consider is the goal of the group. Almost all groups have guidelines that describe the proper conduct. Groups for businesses tend to fall in to one of three categories.


1. Purely help and community based with no promotional posts allowed

2. Mainly help based but have a weekly "promo-day

3. Purely promotion based where the key goal is to follow and help each other grow


As a general rule, the less promotion the group allows, the more people join to get actionable help or find collaborators. I tend to stay away from purely promotional groups since many of the members use quick growth techniques that eventually get punished by Google or social media sites (such as follow/unfollow strategies or black hat SEO techniques).


Need a place to start? Check out these groups


The Designer Collective

Creative Hold

Wordpress for non-techies


Find new clients


Many agency owners turn to Facebook communities to outsource work when they have too much on their plate. It is common to find posts that ask for a specific skill and those interested can leave a comment with their portfolio in the comment section. If you are looking for freelance work, this can be a great opportunity to bring in projects.


You can also look at the other comments to learn more about your competition. How are other creatives with the same skills presenting themselves and what do their websites look like?


Find collaborators


If you have a blog, podcast, youtube channel or project that you need collaborators for, Facebook groups are a great place to connect with new people. Some groups have dedicated posts for collaborations, exchanges or guest blogposts where people can ask and respond to collaboration requests.


Tip: Once you have found a collaborator, take the discussion to private messages or email. Comments are great for finding each other but after this you need a more personal way to talk.

Outsource work


We already spoke about finding new work so it make sense that you can also turn it around and find people to outsource work to.


It does not have to be other creatives - there are also groups to find a virtual assistant, bookkeeper and any other services you need.


Promote your content


If you have a blog, social media, passive income or email list, Facebook groups can be great for getting more eyes on your content. As we mentioned, many groups have a weekly "promo" day where you can link to your most recent release and tell people about it.


It can be a really good idea to join a group dedicated to the medium that you are using - such as a Youtube community if you have a Youtube channel - since you will get both views and feedback from the same community. However, also consider where your audience is. If you are creating content to sell to small businesses, a local business group might be more appropriate.


As long as you do it tastefully, you can also promote your content by linking to it as an answer to questions people post in the group.


Learn new business skills


Most Facebook groups have active admins that post free resources, classes and guides on a regular basis. Being part of a group with an active admin is a great opportunity to tune in for a Facebook live class and learn new business skills while you take a coffee break at work. Facebook groups also have a section on the left hand side where you can find shared files or units. This works like a bank of free content. For example, in the Creative Hold Facebook group, we free have templates for proposals, guides for marketing and growing your creative business.


Trouble shooting


One of my favorite ways to use Facebook groups is to trouble shoot when I need a quick answer to a new problem. You might be stuck on a glitch in Wordpress, wondering how to create a specific effect in Illustrator or trying to answer a question from a client - and a simple Google search did not help. You can be sure to find a group with thousands of people that are ready to help you out. The great side effect of groups being so international is that someone is always in your time zone, regardless if you are at work or pulling an all-nighter.


The easiest way to find a group is to search for the tool you use, like "Webflow" or something around your niche like "SEO" and you will find plenty of options.


Pick the right group


So how do you find the best groups to join? I suggest starting by searching for the following:


1. Business groups in your city

2. Groups dedicated to the tools you use

3. Groups dedicated to the type of work you do

4. Networking or support groups for creatives


Before you join a group you can see how many posts they had in the last 30 days. The bigger the group and the more posts, the harder it is to get noticed but you also have more eyes on your posts.


I like to join groups with a mix of different sizes and look for ones where their guidelines are aligned with my goals.



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