Thursday 22 June 2017

Stop crowdsourcing in Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are amazing. They have truly worked their way into our every day, and can connect people together in ways that we may never have expected even ten short years ago.

One of the best things about Facebook groups is when they're created around one specific topic or niche. This gives you the opportunity to learn so much from other people, whether the group is related to a paid course your doing, and the discussion supports that course, or it's a generalist group about lunch box contents.

But this can create some problems too.

The number one thing that I see again and again is people crowdsourcing for support.

I'll explain what I mean.

Business A posts "I'm thinking of using these colours for my products, what do you think?" or "which logo makes you think earth mother who does xyz?" *
Blogger B posts "I'm trying to choose between this blue or this pink colour palette" or "which logo makes you think earth mother who does xyz?" * (Logos come up a lot in these two niches!)

(If I was in other niche groups, I'm sure I'd see it play out in them, too.)

But we [the group members] are not your ideal audience.

Sure, we buy things, and like to support other businesses. But shopping is such a personal thing, just because we tell you we like it doesn't mean we'll actually buy it.

Related - How to be useful in Facebook Groups

What happens when your raving fans (AKA buyers) don't like the pattern you chose based on that business group advice? Or no one reads the post you wrote based on blog group advice?

If you're a self-doubter like me, you take that on as your failure, rather than realise that you made a bad decision at the start of the process by not asking your audience for feedback.

So what's a better way to get advice related to your specific issue?

Getting help from the people who buy your product or service will always work better for you than crowdsourcing in Facebook groups. Sure, it's possible to get great advice and support from groups, if you ask precise and direct questions. But as a general rule, don't make crowdsourcing part of your strategy. Try these four things instead.

Send a newsletter

If you're not collecting emails from readers or buyers yet, why not? Asking for feedback from your list is the perfect way to connect with them, without being salesy. If you're using ConvertKit, you can make it super-simple by setting up a link trigger  (if you haven't figured that out yet, here's a simple tutorial from Shell at The Funnelry) which is an easy one-click from your readers.

Ask your social media 

Whether it's a VIP group, or a Facebook page, or even an active Instagram tribe, asking the people that buy from you what they want to see is much better than asking in a business-related group.

Talk to your mentor 

Most business people have mentors, even if they don't realise that's the relationship. A friend you always talk to, someone you met in a group, someone you click with [not often a relative or spouse, they never seem to understand], a mastermind group. They are the perfect person to chat to about whatever weird and wonderful idea is running around your head.

Follow your gut instinct 

You started your business for a reason. Sure, it was probably because you had a passion for your product, but ultimately, your gut guided you to it. Follow that instinct, and trust your first thought. Would you buy your product?

Facebook has brought many great things to our worlds, but it's taken away a lot of our autonomy. Trust that you know what you're doing with your business, or know where to find the answers you need.

* no specific business or blog name comes to mind, it's just a random question I've seen more than once.


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