You know that you want to get more involved with your local community but maybe due to working online, being shy, having social anxiety or something else, you’ve never done it. As a result, you have few to no local connections even though you’re well-known online. But, there really is nothing to worry about if you are in this situation. If you want to get more involved with your local community but don’t really know anyone yet, it’s okay; you can get started in your comfort zone online using the strategy of Facebook: get involved with your local community.
While it may seem counterintuitive to use an internationally based social media platform online to build relationships in your own backyard this is actually the most effective way to get to know others in the city where you live.
Update Your Profile
Before you join any groups, go in and update your profile, especially with a recent photo. You want it to be open to the public. This might be scary because you’re used to using Facebook for personal means, but local people need to know you in every way that they can in order to better trust you. Open that page, perfect your profile, and ensure that you’re linking to your virtual real estate like your groups, website, and blog.
Join Many Groups
First, you will want to join a few groups. Start with five to ten groups with the idea that you’re not going to fully participate yet. You’re just trying to find out what’s out there. Do a search on Facebook for your city name and see what comes up. Even if you live in a city of fifty thousand or less there are bound to be groups of all kinds you may join. This is the first phase of your “Facebook: Get Involved with Your Community” strategy.
Take the time to introduce yourself to a new group according to the group guidelines. In some cases, they don’t want you sharing links; with others they do not mind. But your profile is now open to the public, so that means that other members can find you if your information is interesting enough to them.
Watch the Group
When you join a group you want to monitor the activity. See who the moderators and owners of the group are, and make note of whether you’re connected to people or not. Resist the urge to friend everyone right away. If people friend you, that’s fine, but avoid being pushy or forward by friending everyone on day one.
Read and Follow the Rules
Never skip reading the rules. Sometimes that’s a pinned post, but other times it’s in the files. Always look at all the files. Some groups let anyone add to the files, so that’s an important opportunity to note.
Don’t Start Selling Immediately
In fact, unless invited, never sell in a group that’s not yours. Instead, be a presence in discussions that show your expertise. If you show rather than tell others you’re an expert in something, people will come to you.
Be a Resource Before You’re a Vendor to the Other Members
When members ask something that you know the answer to, jump in and help them. The more kind and free help you can offer members, the better. Don’t get involved with anything free that is going to take you more than fifteen minutes, but when you can help solve a problem easily for someone else, you will become known.
Choose One Group to Hyper Focus On
Once you get to know the groups, you will likely notice that at least one group is standing out as preferable. Choose that one to get involved with more personally. At this point, you can even “unlike” some of the other groups as you determine they’re not relevant for you and your goals.
Go to Your First In-Person Event
Once you choose the one group you want to get more involved in, go to your first in-person event. When you go, talk to everyone; don’t just try to talk to one person the entire time. Work the room when appropriate, making a point to introduce yourself to the leaders. Wait until your third meeting to start offering to do things and volunteering so that no one gets worried you’re going to take over.
Start Your Own Group
A really great thing to do is start your own local networking group. As you join other groups and participate, people will be promoted to see your group via your profile and will join. But do not promote your group in other groups.
Once you’ve been accepted by the group, you will notice that people will start inviting you to lunch, asking your advice, and even asking if you’re willing to volunteer. Jump at the chance, because the leaders are the ones that are going to be among the most trusted people to the other members.
When you show your expertise freely by example, you’re going to be more likely to build good relationships with group members. People like to be around people who are kind and helpful and not takers. Show them how much you care about your audience by being a resource to them in a way that is not threatening. When they really want something, they will eventually come to you or even recommend you to others. Be ready with your sales page or buy link. The next step could be to start your own Facebook group that is specifically around what you want to achieve in your community. I hope this detailed explanation of the Facebook – Get Involved with Your Local Community strategy will be helpful and effective for you.
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you are new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my comprehensive training on how to set up Funnels That Click and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.