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Yesterday I was added to a new group on Facebook. The purpose of the group is to share information about coupons and where to get really great deals. The reason I got added to the group was because of a post I put on my Facebook wall a month or so ago. One of my Facebook friends thought I might enjoy being a part of the group.

As soon as my name was added I immediately got a welcome from the administrator of the group. She invited me to read the welcome letter which would give me some guidance on what they were all about. I didn’t know what to expect, being that I don’t use coupons and have to drag myself to the grocery store. I’m working on being more domesticated. However, being single with no kids makes it easy not to be.

This is not the first Facebook group I’ve been a part of that welcomed me with open arms. However it is the first group that’s completely unrelated to business that have really taken the time to build a community.

Here are three strategies I learned from the coupon group:

  1. Provide a welcome letter.

    Ever been added to a group and you didn’t understand what it was for? Maybe you felt like they just wanted to sell you something and added you to the group. I’ve been there too.

    A welcome letter puts new members at ease and shows the purpose of your group. In addition to the letter, you want to personally welcome them and let them know where to find the welcome letter.

    Imagine you have a club offline. What would you include in the welcome packet? Include that same information in your welcome letter or provide additional documents that can be referenced in the welcome letter.

  2. Prove it.

    If a new member has joined your group and you say here’s how I can help. Show it. This can be through testimonials, demonstrations, or images depending on what you provide.

    The coupon group provides pictures of groceries, receipts, and rebate forms where they have paid significantly less for items.

    Have you seen the show ‘Extreme Couponing’ on TLC? I watched a lady get almost $2000 in groceries for $19.82. Show proof that it works.

  3. Provide valuable content.

    This morning I took a quick peak in the group and saw that the founder had posted several valuable websites with information about what coupons were available. She was encouraging us to visit these websites to get coupons on household items, diapers, food, etc.

    In addition, there are documents that list acronyms that we may see in the group as well as store policies on couponing. I learned some stores are pulling back on BOGO (Buy One Get One) sales by either not offering them or not allowing you to use coupons in conjunction with BOGO.

What does this look like for your website or anything else you do virtually online?

Keep in mind you’ll have new visitors come to your website. They may not know anything about you or what you do. If you use a blog as your homepage include your bio in each post. Display archived articles or categories in the sidebar so visitors can easily explore past posts. Make it convenient and easy for anyone who’s looking to learn more about who you are and what you can do for them.

If you’re hosting a teleclass, be sure and tell your story each and every time. It may get old for you, just remember there will be people joining you that may have just find out about you minutes before the call.

Content that is valuable is content that is relevant to what people want.

There are tons of websites, blogs, Facebook groups, etc. However, you choose which ones provide the information you are most interested in. You’ll know your content is valuable when people start responding to what you’re saying, when they tell their friends, and when they make a point to let you know they’re listening and want more.

Provide testimonials on your website. Share what people are saying about you in newsletters and on your promotion pages. If you’re using social media, encourage readers to post on your Facebook wall or comment on your blog posts. Favorite tweets that are testimonials from clients or someone patting you on the back for a job well done.

The biggest hurdle to overcome is to actually start. If you aren’t participating in social media, including a blog that offers valuable content you are behind.

In order to utilize the strategies listed above you must create the environment and then get ready for the time of your life as you create a community, group, tribe that is eager to learn from you.

Now it’s your turn, what strategies have you learned by either your own Facebook group or by participating in one?