Once again I find myself ruefully shaking my head at the antics and atrocities perpetuated by many a member of numerous Facebook groups to which I currently belong.
It’s bad enough that many a member fails to understand that self-promotion is generally a no-no, or scheduled for specific days of the week/month. But when members begin to believe that the group is their free online university and business resource refuge, it’s really time for admins to step up and shout out STOP IT!
Brain Pickers Best Back Off!
Facebook groups aren’t a “gimme” zone. They weren’t designed as a means for you to get your grubby hands on extreme expertise and carefully crafted documents we’ve put hours of energy and sweat equity into.
What does that mean? Don’t ask group members to provide their carefully crafted contracts and client on-boarding documents to you as a “template.” More than likely we’ve spent time and money to create documents strategically suited to our brand and prospect base. Why would you think we’d provide that to you for free?
Investing in your business and brand involves a hell of a lot more than you asking others to give you the goods as a gimme!
When I see this happening in Facebook groups I’m reminded of the coffee or lunch date, which is a thinly veiled disguise for brain picking. You want my expertise? Pony up and pay for it!
Sort Out Your Own Settings
As a creative entrepreneur, I’m in many a group populated with a plethora of photographers, brand strategists, stylists (more on that sad term in a future publish), graphic artists and more. Many of these folks use some pretty sophisticated software and equipment in order to create their awesome products and services.
It’s absolutely okay to ask group members what software and tools they recommend. It’s stepping over the line when you ask group member to share the specific settings they have developed over time and trial and error. Those aren’t yours for the asking, they’re yours for the testing.
Paid for that fancy new camera and lens because you want to be a wedding photographer? I suggest you head out to a venue on an off day with some stand-ins and sort out your settings yourself. That’s expertise. You shouldn’t expect expertise to be handed to you on a platter.
The same goes for code, site scripts, graphic design settings, etc. Someone put a lot of time and effort into the creation of that custom work. Why would you think they’d just give it away?
Advice Is A-OK, But Group Audits? You’re Pushing It?
As a web designer and developer, I often weigh in when the WordPress vs. Squarespace discussions comes up. And it comes up ALL THE TIME, LOL. I’m happy to talk up WordPress and why I think it makes the web wonderful.
What I’m not willing to do? Engage in endless site design and redesign audits as a favor. Why not? Because that’s an expert service that I provide, for a fee. It’s not a freebie I give away in Facebook group grab bag fashion.
I’m not a member of Facebook groups because I like to do individuals I barely know a favor. I’m there to engage in expert discussion, and sometimes to offer a bit of support when I can do so without giving away the store, so to speak.
If you want to eventually collaborate with others, you need to bring your own expertise to the table, not continually ask for the expertise to be given to you as a freebie.
[clickToTweet tweet=”There are no free rides when it comes to running your own business.” quote=”There are no free rides when it comes to running your own business.”]
You get what you put into it, what you invest in it, what you work to build, bolster, create and brand!
Facebook Groups Are NOT A Freebie Zone!
I don’t take part in Facebook groups in order to give away my hard earned knowledge and expertise. I’m happy to occasionally share my .02 cents on a learning topic, but I’m not your teacher, your coach, your mentor. That’s a relationship that stretches the boundaries of the online group experience.
If you’re there hoping to gain knowledge and expertise without having to invest dollars, time and sweat equity you just might find yourself disappointed.
Consider this. The group members willing to give it all away for free are generally group members just starting out and hoping to get the good for free, too. It’s not the in-the-trenches entrepreneurs who’ve put in the hard time, tested the tools, tweaked the algorithms and sorted out the best settings.
[clickToTweet tweet=”You get what you pay for. Free advice and group audits will only take you so far.” quote=”You get what you pay for, party peeps. Free advice, fast advice and group audits will only take you so far.”]
Those in the know, those who are truly experts only give away the smallest helping of their smarts and savvy. If you want the whole shebang, you’ll have to loosen the purse strings and shell out a little dough.
Ever Feel Like You’re Giving It All Away In A Facebook Group?
Why are you doing so? What are you expecting to get in return? When you’re giving it away for free, there’s little chance you’re going to land a paying client, is there?