How Not to Build Your Tribe

Often, knowing what not to do can be as valuable as knowing what to do. Here’s a real-life scenario on what not to do, for privacy I’ve changed the names. 

Paula is a newly qualified wellness coach looking for new clients. She joins a Facebook group called love your body.  The group page is owned by Laura a nutritionist and yoga expert. The group has 12,000 members, all raving fans of Laura, who has helped them achieve optimum health. Paula the wellness coach thinks this group will be full of the type of clients she’s after to build her new coaching business and she’s right, in theory.

Laura has worked hard over time to build up the numbers in her, love your body group. From the beginning, she’s posted a free 2-minute yoga and nutrition video tutorial in the group every day, for three months. After building up trust and confidence among her fans and after they began seeing results from her videos, Laura began offering her paid services to those who wanted more from her which included, yoga retreats and online yoga classes. While all of this was going on, Laura continued to post her free videos every day so that new members could see her work and existing members could continue to learn from her.

In the meantime, on joining the group, Paula is invited on day one, as per the group rules, to introduce herself and connect with other group members. As a matter of courtesy her introduction should have gone something like this:

Hi, Laura, thanks for adding me to your group, I’m Paula, a newly qualified wellness coach. I’m looking forward to connecting with others and finding out more about yoga. Even if that wasn’t her plan, that’s what she should or could have said to get her foot in the door.

Instead, this is what she said:

Hi, everybody, I’m Paula the wellness coach.  I deal with issues about your overall health and general well-being. If you want to be healthier, and you’re committed to making some major lifestyle changes to get there, then you should work with me. We can do this in person or on the phone. I’d like to offer all group members my 3 months wellness coaching programme for 197 dollars per month. Here’s a link to my website for more details or you can PM me to discuss. I accept all major credit cards and Pay Pal. PS If you book today you’ll get a 50-dollar early bird discount!

Here are some of the responses to Paula’s post.

Did she just say that?

Bloody cheek!

Paula, Paula who?

Is this still Laura’s group?

WTF don’t mess about Paula #justsaying

I’m already making lifestyle changes thanks very much, with Laura, you know, our yoga teacher!!!!

As you can see and unsurprisingly, Paula’s post did not go down well within the group and I get that it can be very tempting, once you land in a successful group, to offer your own solution as an alternative to the one that’s already being offered however, if you do this, three things will happen.  Firstly, the followers or fans will call you out publicly and probably very harshly for daring to come in as unknown and immediately offer your product or service.

Secondly, they will defend their leader to the hilt. They’re called super fans for a reason. Disrespect their leader with self-promotion and they’ll run you out of social town quicker than you can say buy my product.

And for number three, if they don’t chase you away with your tail between your legs, then you can expect the group host or the admin to block or remove you for contravening the rules, either way, you’ll be locked out and left feeling pretty bad.

As a general rule of thumb, Facebook groups make it pretty clear as to what is and isn’t allowed, so you have to take the time to read the rules and find this out before you do anything else. Ultimately this will save you a lot of time because once you’ve discovered that a particular group won’t allow or encourage you to sell your own wares, which is often the case and who can blame them, you’ll probably decide you don’t want to join that group anyway because there’s nothing in it for you. Although there is another way? Find out how in my next post.

Please share your FB experiences good, bad or indifferent in the comments box below and thank you for taking the time today.


Dee Coxon
Dee Coxon
DEE Coxon is a bestselling author of Polish The Diamond In Your Heart and Business Start-up Coach who inspires women to go beyond their known capabilities and get their business online in less time. A former hairdresser and beauty therapist she learned everything she knows about women within the four walls of her own salon where she admits to getting more satisfaction helping clients with their personal struggles, than she did doing their hair and makeup! Self-employed since she was 18, she eventually left her vocational path, swapped her scissors for a lap top and entered the world of academia. In the year she turned 50 Dee gained a Master’s degree, a teaching certificate, became a grandmother and lost her mother to cancer after a 2 year battle, during which she nursed her. A quote by Rufus wainwright: You’re born twice, once at your birth and again when your mother dies” had a profound effect and changed the way she sees and does things now. As the creator of The Fast Class: A bespoke, 1 to 1, accelerated learning experience, designed for beginners and delivered in one day. Dee blends expertise with life experience to make sure her clients get past those self-imposed barriers that keep them from launching a business they love. Dovetailing these two elements is fundamental to the Fast Class and reflected in Dee’s coaching style. Why? Because she believes, no matter where you are in your business journey something is happening within the context of your life, the two are inextricably linked.

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