Freelance coach and Facebook group hipster, Emma Cossey (she/her), shares her thoughts and tips for Facebook groups whether you're growing your own or getting involved in other people's. We talk about the shift from community to sales, common Facebook group problems and how to be a good group member.
Emma Cossey is a coach for freelancers, with over a decade of freelancing experience under her belt. Previous clients have included The Discovery Channel, Macleans, Shell, Dorothy Perkins, ParentDish UK, Tempero, Camelot (National Lottery), Groupon and The Times online. She lives in Bracknell with her husband Pete and their son Oscar.
- [Hawke] Hello and welcome to "Social Media for Humans," the podcast that empowers you to do social differently. Your host, Alexis Bushnell, and her guests, discuss their experience of social media as business owners, users, and ultimately humans, with insights and advice to help you find an effective and ethical strategy that works for you. Grab yourself a drink and join the conversation. - Hello, I'm here with the lovely Emma. Emma and I met actually through social media. Hooray. So Emma, do you want to introduce yourself? - Yeah, sure. So I'm Emma Cossey, I run the Freelance Lifestyle which is, well, it started out as a blog for freelancers, to give kind of clear straightforward advice for how to get started, and how to run a freelance business. I've been freelancing since 2009, I think, now. And that kind of evolved into a blog, a podcast. I then created some courses, and then five years ago I trained as a coach, so now I offer a wide variety of services to freelancers to help them get started. And my background is social media. So I started a Facebook group years ago, I reckon eight or nine years ago for freelancers, which is the Freelance Lifestylers. Yeah, I love and hate social media. (both laughing) - So you kind of started a Facebook group then before Facebook groups were cool, before they were the thing that everybody was talking about. - I was a Facebook group hipster, yep, absolutely. (laughing) Yeah. Actually the very first group I started was a local group for when I moved, I lived in Bracknell and I moved here, and a friend of mine was in Wokingham, which is the neighbouring village, and she started a group for women in the local area to exchange tips and advice and all sorts of things like that. So I chatted to her, she's actually a very good a friend of mine now. I ended up adapting that same model for Bracknell. So that was the first group we did, the Bracknell Gossip Girls. And then I ended up starting the one for freelancers, which is the Freelance Lifestylers. And now I run, I think, four or five groups at the moment for clients, I run some for them to look after their distributors and their employees and all sorts of things. So there's a wide variety I deal with. Yes, I definitely am a hipster of Facebook groups, I guess, yeah. - I would love to know like how have you seen them change? Because now they are sort of the main things, especially like Facebook experts are talking about. It's like you need a Facebook group. Everybody needs their own Facebook group. So yeah, way back when, they weren't seen as a marketing tool, they weren't really seen as a big important part of any sort of given whatever. So there has been a lot of change in how Facebook groups are used and the conversations that happen in them. So how have you seen that evolve? - Yeah, I think the biggest change is that that shift. I think initially they were communities, they were community driven. And I think there is now a kind of a push for everyone to have their Facebook group. And Facebook groups take a lot of admin, a lot of time. But it's very much pushed as a marketing tool. But for me, the best part has always been community, that core, the starting point for Facebook groups. That's what it's about, connecting with other people, building those relationships. And in a similar way that Twitter used to be about, just connecting with lots of other people and having a nice place to share interests and thoughts and things like that. And my favourite groups are the ones that still have that community focus. And I think when it becomes basically a place for one person to broadcast their thoughts, then it's just basically a page, (chuckling) a page without the algorithm issues or some of the algorithm issues. But yeah, I would say that's the biggest change. And I definitely know when I went first into groups, I went in a bit naive, didn't have any rules. Yep, definitely need rules now. I think actually one thing Facebook groups have allowed people to do is talk without a filter, which isn't always a good thing, which is why we need the rules. And yeah, I've noticed there are in a lot of groups, the larger a group gets, the more that there's gonna be trolls that just join for the sake of it. But generally community, the Facebook groups are a fantastic community, but I think it's how you lead the group is how the group reacts basically. And I think when you get admins who are aggressive or rude, you see that reflected back in the group. Whereas if you lead with kindness, that tends to be how the group goes. But yeah, definitely I think one of the key things I learned early on is that the essential element of having rules and guidelines just for everybody to know what's going on in the group. - Yeah, yeah. And I think as well those rules also feed into who ends up sticking around in the group and how the conversation goes in the group. Because if it is sort of a free-for-all and there's no guidance- - [Emma] Yeah. - Everybody thinks that they're right, and the way they wanna do it is the right way. So it really is a recipe for disaster, yeah. - Yeah, and I think it's interesting, I don't have to do a lot of admin for my group, the Freelance Lifestylers one because everyone's just really nice to each other. There's a few, what I would call super members, who they will report things if they see anything. Because I can't see all of the posts anymore. They'll report anything if they see anything untoward or anything like that. Generally everyone's very kind to each other. The local ones, there's a lot more sloppiness, I would say, in our group. A lack of using general manners, (chuckling) please, (audio distorting). That is, I guess, one of the differences between business groups and local community groups. The business group tend to be slightly more professional because they have something to lose if they don't. - Yeah, yeah. I think as well actually, some of it, what I see anyway, I think especially like the local groups that are based on a specific geographical area, the only thing that connects them is that physical location. - [Emma] Yes. - If you join a group for the topic that it's about, you have something in common and it tends to mean you have other things in common even if that's just sort of a general outlook on life. So I think that causes a lot of issues in the local groups, is because everybody is very very different in those groups. And that is the one thing that unites them. So it does, yeah, you really need I think, in the local groups especially a really firm sort of like these are the interaction rules. This is what's okay, this is what's not okay. If you break the rules, that's it. - Yeah. - Yeah. - And I like that Facebook recently has been- They've added a few different things which have helped with admin and that kind of thing. So obviously you can, in your groups, you can allow people to just post whenever, which is what I do with the freelance one. But our community one, I think, has approval on. But you can also decline a post now and give them a reason why you're declining it, which is really useful. And also I love the fact that you can now delete a post or comment and tag the rule that they've broken but it's anonymous as well. So you don't end up going in a back and forth conversation on Messenger about why you deleted that post. So there are certain things that Facebook is doing which really really help with that side of things. - Yeah, yeah. Yeah, they are working really hard I have to say on the groups and there's still a lot of issues. (chuckling) Oh so many issues with Facebook groups, but yeah, they are definitely trying and they do seem to be listening to the people who are running the groups in that way, which is nice. Something I want to speak to you about actually is, you said you run a lot of different Facebook groups. So I want to know how you manage those, because they are a lot of admin. - Yeah. So in terms of regular posts, I use Reoccur Post now. I think it's RecurPost actually. I want to say we reoccur but, so they have the same sorts of posts going out each week that people expect and it gives people a structure. So I find that helps a lot. Once you get to a certain size, the groups tend to run themselves a little bit, which helps. I really do miss having the Facebook groups app, that was so useful, and just to keep things separate and not get dragged into things. And also once you get to a certain size, growing an admin team, that really, really helps. But yeah, it's just a lot of notifications, really. (laughing) So one of the things that I have set up with my group, which is the biggest time suck for me, is when I have new members join, one of the questions is, do you want to join the mailing list and get this? I've got five ways to find your next client/training. And I have to manually put that into ConvertKit. On the flip side, that's quite good 'cause it means I do that two or three times a week rather than constantly feeling like I have to check through the members. So yeah, obviously if they haven't left their email, I can just add them straight in. I wish Facebook would do a way where you could link it, that would be amazing. - Yeah, if you could integrate it to a CRM or something like that, even if it was just that specific group that you could integrate it with it, God that would be incredible. Facebook, please make it happen. I get the feeling that is not gonna be high on their to-do list. (laughing) - No, no. - Yeah, it wouldn't. - And I would say there are certain things that take a lot of time in the groups. So, if you got post approval on, a lot of the time is people who haven't searched for a post. That's one of my biggest bugbears, that they don't even search first or even look at the last few posts. So I tend to go in and tag them in a similar post. It doesn't happen as much in the freelance one, but it does happen quite a lot in a couple of client ones I have. And I got around that by creating a Frequently Asked Questions post at the top. And then one of the rules is, I have removed this post because it's already answered in the Frequently Asked Questions post, and then I can just decline posts and send that. So that saves a lot of time. But yeah, duplication of posts is a big time suck. Keeping an eye on posts that you feel are going to spiral. You can just tell. Yeah. (Alexis laughing) - As soon as it goes up, no doubt, you'd think, oh I need to watch this one. (laughing) - And those are the most frustrating because you end up just checking it all the time. Not even notifications, you're just refreshing it. So yeah, those are kind of big time sucks. And keeping track as well. 'Cause I tend to have two or three strikes, and they're out. Unless they're just abusive than it's straight out. Sometimes tracking that can be really difficult as well. But another thing Facebook did was allow you to search admin activity by member, so you can see how many of their posts you deleted. But yeah, I would say the duplication of posts, and people just not reading, not reading the rules, or not reading what other people have said, and miscommunication because of that, those are the biggest time sucks. - Yeah, I think actually that a lot of that sort of the not reading has become a bigger issue now because groups are being talked about as this promotional tool. So most people now are seeing, especially business owners, are seeing groups as somewhere you go, you promote yourself, you ask a question that allows you to promote yourself. - Oh, those ones are the worse. - Yeah, the vaguely hidden sort of, this is not promotional, but also if you would like to buy from me. (laughing) - Ugh, a long essay that's either been copied and pasted from their Instagram or their newsletter, and it's a full paste. And then at the end, it's like, if you want to know more about this, you know, contact me or book in here. I'm just like, that's still a promotion. It might be offering value, but it's still a promotion. And then the people that invest in groups, are the people that offer help and advice without that kind of- So they're there in the threads, they're helping people, they're giving you sort of advice and value without saying buy my this, buy my that. People then will recommend them, they become known in that group as an expert, like you are in a couple of mine really now. You know, you're the Instagram go-to now and the social media go-to, because you spent the time, investing time in chatting to people, sharing useful resources. Just make yourself valuable to other people without that. - It's so difficult to explain, because this is- One of the big questions that I get a lot from, when it comes to Facebook is like, well, how do I promote in groups when so many groups have a no promotion rule now? And I'm like, but you don't need to. It's not about promoting yourself. It's about being a member of the community, and showing through that, that you know things about these things. Saying, hey, I sell this thing, I offer this service, doesn't prove that you know what you're doing. Whereas if somebody asks a question about that thing, and you drop in the comments your good advice about that, that shows that you know what you're doing. There's this big fear that if you give anything away for free, well, why would someone come and buy from you? Because you've answered their question. Especially in Facebook groups, people tend to ask really specific questions. They've got this one Instagram problem, how do I do this, how do I post these stories, how do I do this thing? That's not giving them an entire Instagram masterclass or whatever. So if I comment on those things, I'm like, hey, this is how you do it. Generally people think like, oh, she knows what she's talking about when it comes to Instagram, that's handy. And a lot of the time they then find me on Facebook or my Instagram and follow me. So then they are seeing future tips that I post. And when they do get to a point where they think, yeah, I really want an actual help with Instagram, it's me that they come to because I was there. - It's relationship building. - Exactly. - Without being forced and icky, it's just helping people. - Yeah. The other thing I have people say a lot, the people who are worried about the promotion, there seem to be like two groups of people. There's people who are like, I only want to promote. That's the only valuable thing I can do on social media. And there are people who have gone totally the other way who are like, I shouldn't promote at all. And therefore even leaving my advice on a Facebook group comment or something is, that's too promotional, that is in itself icky, because clearly I'm only doing that because I want business. And it's like, yes, but no. There is a line, and it might be a blurry line, depending on, you know, what- You can cross that line, absolutely. And it's not clear cut but it's about being human. You know like, you've just got to connect with other people. And even if you are talking about something you're an expert in, it doesn't mean you are inherently like, sell, sell, sell, promo, promo, sketchy, ooh, you know. And it's really really difficult to shift people's mindsets around that. - Yeah. - It really is. And it's something that, I ran a free Facebook challenge, but (chuckling) in January, was it in January? Maybe it was in February, who knows, who knows? And there were a lot of questions about groups, and those were sort of the two camps. It was like, hey, how do I promote in groups where there's a no promo rule, and how do I promote without promoting at all and not seem like I'm trying to manipulate the situation to get a sale. And a lot of it is mindset basically, isn't it? It's well, (chuckling) just be yourself. - It's really hard and I still find that line really hard. I feel uncomfortable sometimes promoting my own group because I have a no promotion rule. But, I think sometimes it's switching the mindset from serving to helping. So yesterday I posted about a pricing masterclass that I did with them because I saw a lot of posts coming up about pricing. So it was relevant, it was helpful. It is a paid product, but I'm mentioning it because there's a lot of people who are having pricing problems. And I do have free resources as well, but that seemed like an opportunity to do it in a non-icky way, but it is a hard line. It's a really, really hard line to tread. But in switching that mindset to, this will be helpful for someone, is easier than, I need to sell these courses or anything like that. I need to help five people, is much easier to think about. - Yeah, yeah, and I think that that's a good way to do it though. Especially if, when it's in your group, and you've got a no promo rule, it is difficult because it's still your group and you need to essentially get something out of it. And when it gets to sort of the size of (audio distorting) it's essentially run by and for everybody else. So it's difficult. You are getting sort of less and less value out of it yourself, even though you are putting in all of the time and effort to build it and maintain it. So that is a really good way around it, is to see like, well, there's been a lot of questions about this. I have a resource for this. And it is, like you say, it is helpful. And the other thing is like, that's not like a hugely high price offer. It was an affordable offer that those people who are asking those questions can hugely benefit from. And if they want some free resources, then that conversation can happen underneath that post. You know, like I'm not really ready to invest in this yet, but you know, what else have you got? What else is available? I think that's another thing that people need to remember as well. Is that if you are, as like the owner of the group, promoting something, that it's okay for that to be a conversation of free resources underneath that. It doesn't have to be either they buy your thing or nothing. The sharing of resources is helpful for people. And it also means that like, if somebody is then speaking to their friend or whatever and they're like, oh God, I'm really struggling with pricing, that your thing will be sent in a list of other things as a resource, which is helpful. - And just as an offshoot of this, 'cause I think it is a tricky thing for a lot of group bonus, about allowing other people who do the same thing you do to promote in the group. I know it's a really tricky one. I personally made the decision that if somebody is offering- I basically in my rules I'm saying, because I've taken a lot of time to work on this group and grow, basically run it for you guys, I would ask them, please don't ply anything that is freelance coaching, or resources for freelancers getting started, because that is what I do. And generally I've had two people I think I've had to remove from the group who have consistently broken that rule. But generally everybody is really nice about that and understanding because of how much time a group takes. But I do think it's sometimes that something- Like with your group, if you had someone that joined who was an Instagram expert or whatever, and started promoting what they do, it's like walking into someone else's cafe and go, oh I've seen a better cafe down the road and they sell nicer cakes there. Or, you know, different cakes or whatever. It's just a bit icky, isn't it, rude! (chuckling) It feels weird to have that rule in place but I feel like it's kind of, as I run the group, and I put all that time into it, I kind of have the right to say it. But it is an individual decision, I think. - Yeah, yeah. And I think that the thing I find with sort of similar people doing similar things is I enjoy being in groups with people who are doing similar things as sort of peer groups to share resources and what's going on and complain about Instagram updates and whatever. But yeah, they are not best suited in like my Facebook group, because, I mean, primarily my Facebook group is for people who don't really get social media. So (laughing) it's not a place for you. And I think there can be a sort of a misunderstanding, I think, between people who are in similar industries, where especially if they don't run their own groups, I think. People who run their own groups, there is some sort of understanding of like, there's a lot of time investment into it. You put a lot into it, like it's your baby, isn't it? You've grown this community, you're growing this thing. And it's important to you, but it also, it has to serve you in some capacity as well. And people who don't have their own groups I tend to find are less understanding of that. And they're sort of like, well, it should be open to everybody. You shouldn't be afraid of the competition if you're good at your job. And it's like, well no, but I have built this community around what I do. And now you want to walk in and advertise to that community that I have built? That's not really okay. If you want to come to me and be like, hey, do you want to collaborate on something? Great, yeah, we can talk about that. But that's a very different thing. - My biggest bugbear is when people say freedom of speech or, you know, they'll come in and they'll say something, and this isn't just this situation, this is just general on social media, "I have freedom of speech." You do, you don't have freedom from consequences of what you've just said. If you've just said something like horrendous or hateful or anything like that, then the consequence is me removing that post or removing you from the group. And people don't seem to understand that. You can say what you want, absolutely. But you have to deal with what happens as the fallout. You don't just get to come in, be awful, and nobody can say anything 'cause you can say, "Oh freedom of speech!" Yeah, a big bugbear for me. (chuckling) - No, it really bugs me as well. The other thing that people seem to forget is that freedom of speech applies to the government. Like the government cannot silence you for saying stuff. But like, you are not the government. (laughing) Social media companies are not the government, they're private industries. It's not the same, you know. The government cannot arrest you for saying, well depending on what you're saying and where you are, but yeah. (chuckling) But yeah, it's very different. It's very different. And it is sort of thrown about now. It's like, well, I can say whatever I want and you just have to listen, and it's like, well no, you have freedom of speech to say that, and I have freedom of speech to tell you to shut up. And also (chuckling) I have the freedom to kick you out because it's my community or it's my space or whatever. - I think the freedom of speech thing is said by people who have for years been able to say what they want and get away with it. And now they're having people come back on them on it and they don't like it. So they've always had that freedom of speech, it's just that (audio distorting) debated on it. - Yeah, yeah, it is. It is endlessly frustrating to me, those attitudes of, I can say what I want. And some of it, me especially, like, as a queer person, because I think, so you wanna say that you have the freedom to say that I shouldn't be able to get married or walk down the street hand-in-hand with the person I love or whatever, but I am not allowed the freedom to do those things. (laughing) - Yeah. That's a problem because it's got to go both ways. If you want the freedom of speech to say those things, then I have to have the freedom to be who I am, and to do the things that I want to do, as long as I'm not hurting anybody. I do wonder how they managed to disconnect those things. Because to me, they are so connected. Like, if you want the freedom to be anti something, you have to acknowledge that other people have those same freedoms. They should have the freedom to do and say whatever they want. So the functioning of those brains, to keep those things separate and be like, no, I'm allowed to say and do whatever I want but other people are not allowed to disagree with me or live differently from me, just, wow! - It's almost like it's not a rational point of view. (audio distorting) It's not rational to be like, I want freedom of speech, but just for me, people like me. Not you, not you, 'cause you might do something that makes me feel uncomfortable, and then I don't want that. Whereas I can say anything I want that makes you feel uncomfortable. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. It is mind boggling, it really is. And it's something that, sort of coming back to Facebook groups, the sort of freedom of speech thing around Facebook groups is becoming, especially in certain groups, a really big issue. And not even specifically this sort of far right, or far left extremist sort of groups, but in just general groups, where like you alluded to before, a certain topic comes up or is mentioned in a post, and you just know that stuff is gonna happen in the comments because of it. And a lot of it does come down to sort of freedom of speech. Somebody has posted this thing that I just like, "Somebody is wrong on the internet!" (chuckling) And you just know that the comments are just gonna be a disaster. - And the thing that I find very annoying is someone is out there teaching people that you have to be divisive to get a following on social media. And then some of what they say, you need to have something where people are really passionate or they're not. But this idea that you come in and you post a divisive post, just to get loads of traffic, it just, ugh, it gives me the ick because it's so manipulative. And I just don't like it. And I saw someone in my group do it repeatedly and did it in quite a subtle way. But then he did one that was not subtle, and he was out straight away. I hate any of these manipulative techniques and the bait and switch where, like you said earlier about asking a question and then people who comment and who answer, they'll get like direct message, that's a big- I don't like people who are invading other people's messenger because they've said something in the group. (chuckling) I get attacked by a few MLM businesses who do that occasionally, they'll just pop up, that sort of thing. But yeah, anything where they post a question just so they can follow up with people in direct message without any permission... Just don't be a, I'm not gonna swear on your podcast, (laughing) (Alexis laughing) don't be a wally! - Yes, don't be a wally. (laughing) Yeah. Yeah, it frustrates me that there are so many people promoting that as the done thing. Like on Instagram especially, the amount of Instagram experts who are teaching people to just slide into the DMs and just cold sell to people, or they ask one question and then boom! You get the sales speech. And I was just like, no, no, no, don't do it. Please don't do it. And the thing is, it's especially frustrating because it works purely because of the amount. They send those messages to so many people, that even if you've got like a 0.01% conversion, you are still converting quite a lot of people. And it's just, it's unethical. It should be banned by social media platforms, my personal opinion. And Instagram are trying to avoid those things. But, ugh, the fact that people are teaching it, and the fact that people are charging people to teach them this bad advice, really frustrates me. And it's one of those things as well that people asked me about because they see these people putting this out there and, a, they think I must be teaching it as well because I teach about Instagram. So that must be the done thing. And it's like, no, no, I will never ever tell you to do- If I tell you to do that, no, (laughing) leave, unfollow me, walk out the door. But also it's this fear that, if I don't do that, I cannot sell on Instagram. I can't be successful on Instagram. I say, no, that's not the case. There isn't a you must do this or you must do that. You can do whatever you want, you know, you can be successful in so many different ways on social media, you don't have to do those things. So yeah, it really, really bugs me. - And it's such a miserable way to do it when you could be creating content that makes people's day or having conversations when you're genuinely interested and interesting as a result of it. That's such a nicer way to doing it. Like, just getting involved, interacting with people, and put value out there rather than just spamming people. Like, ugh. I know it requires a little bit more thought, but I'd rather sit on the sofa and interact in Instagram comments with posts that I love than be spamming people. And immediately for me, if I follow someone and I automatically get a spam message, immediate unfollow. - Yeah, yeah, I have to say, I am that person who I will report you as spam. If I get an automated message like that, I will report it as spam. If you slide into my DMs just with sales, I am gonna report you as spam, 'cause like, I, no, no, no. (laughing) - And we all see through as well those ones where they go, "Hi babe, you've got amazing content. I love that post you just done." Really vague. And you're just like, how many people fall for that? Like it's so obviously a copy and paste or automated. (sighing heavily) - You wouldn't believe the amount of people I get offering to manage my Instagram. "Hey, I love your Instagram. You know, you could really do so much better. I offer this service." And I'm like, do you now? (laughing) That doesn't involve reading, does it? (laughing) - I do get a few through the blog quite a few times. And I got one this week and they were like, "Hi, we love your blog and we know just the kind of content for you. We've got this brilliant thing about diet pills and also about the best fitness"- What's that funny workout? That HIIT Workouts. - Oh yeah. - And I was like, you have not read my blog at all. I mean, I'm not a HIIT workout person. I hate the idea of diet pills. Anything like that one where you're just like, just do your research. - It is because they go in just off this volume idea, which is it really- And I do think people are waking up to it, if you like. I think more and more people are recognising that, a, it is possible to automate messages like that, because so many people who don't use social media for any kind of business or work, so many of them do not realise that actually you can automate those things. If you follow someone and you get a DM straight away, that's automated, they're not hanging on their Instagram like, oOh yeah, there's a new follower, hooray I'm so excited! Like, that's not what's happening. And a lot of it, I think, is that people are now starting to realise that these services are out there. These automations are available and, not everything is what it may seem on social media. Which is nice because I do think that it's gonna force people to go a different direction. But unfortunately, I think it's gonna force them into it, just a different sketchy unethical direction. Because that tends to be what happens. Like on Instagram, the big thing at the minute is, these fake accounts which, with endless numbers and letters after the name, who slide into the DMs and say, "Oh, I love your content. And I really love this other person's content." - [Emma] Yes! - Ugh, I- - Yes! Or, "I think you would love so-and-so's account." Yeah, I've noticed a lot of those recently. Definitely more. They all add to the spam count actually. - Yeah, it's so- (chuckling) And some of the accounts doing it I just think, wow, now I know that you are not growing your social media ethically. Now I know that a lot of those followers are not real. Which is reassuring. (laughing) - I do think it is always, if you see someone who claims to be an expert, and you go through their followers, and if they do have a lot of spammy accounts, that's when you need to step- Especially if you look at their content and their content is not that engaging, I think that's when you need to look at it and go, hm, is everything. I think constantly questioning I think is wise on social media. To constantly question what's real. Not in a, oh they can't really be happy way, but in a, this person talks about six figures but they've only got 50 followers, or they've got 10,000 followers but fairly boring content. It doesn't hurt, I think, to reflect a second on that. - Yeah. I think a lot of it come down to so many people feeling sort of imposter syndrome like, you know, they don't really know how to do it properly. And so they see somebody with like 10K followers, and they think they must have got them doing it properly, doing it ethically, doing it whatever, because that comparison factor just makes you feel inferior. - Yeah. - And honestly, a lot of those people, especially as these new DM things are coming out, a lot of those people have not- They have bought those followers. Like a good way I like to check is to be like, right, how many followers have they got? How many comments have they got on the latest posts? Because often you will see they've got all these followers and maybe three comments. Those people, those followers, even if they are real, they are not important. They're not interested in what you're putting out there. So why does it matter how many of them you got? Because yeah, like, (laughing) just know you don't need to compare yourself to those accounts, even though it is really difficult. Even for me, like, I look at people. especially like Instagram people who are like, have hundreds of thousands of followers, and I'm like, oh wow, they're doing amazingly, oh no, what am I doing wrong? And it's like, well no, they're at a different point in their career. They're offering a different service, they're doing different things. They're working with different people. Like it's different. You can't compare like that. - No. I'm doing some coaching training update at the moment, and one of the conversations we had last night was the fact that everybody appeals to different people. So you could have a near-identical product to someone else but it's about the person behind it, delivering it. It's about how you help them but also how you do it as well. So I could be offering, you know, there are other courses out there that do what I do, which is helping people go freelance, but I try and aim, or I'm helping more people who need that gentle but firm approach. Whereas someone else might be there to give a more kind of intensive kick up the arse, or there might be someone else that works more on a mindset side of things. So everybody appeals to different things and different needs, so there is no point comparing because- And it's so easy, it's so, so easy on a daily or weekly basis to go through your feed and go, oh, that did amazing. Like, especially with Reels. I keep thinking, I must do more Reels on Instagram, and I keep look at other people doing amazing ones I'll go, ugh, I don't think I could do it. But that isn't necessarily who my audience is, or maybe I could do it in a way that isn't like this, but there's no point comparing 'cause you're not targeting the same people, you're not helping them in the same way. - Yeah, yeah, definitely, definitely. It's interesting you say that about Reels, because I am not here for Reels really. (laughing) But like a lot of the Reels I see are really not that creative, and that kind of bothers me. Because for me, I would much rather spend some time and think about like a concept for a Reel, and be like, oh what do I want to get across? What's a creative way to do that? How am I gonna make that happen? And put out one every three months, as it is at the minute. (laughing) But have it be something that I'm like, yeah, I'm proud of that. That's a really cool concept, it worked really well. Look at me go! But a lot of the sort of Reels for the sake of Reels, and just any content for the sake of content, is something that I'm not a big fan of. - No, it's gotta worth it for you. Although have you seen that Instagram are now, if you share a TikTok to Instagram stories, if it's bad quality or I think if even it has TikTok in the name, it might not show it to many people. So nah, that kills my plan with multi-purposing it. (laughing) - You could, multi-purpose in reverse, though. - Yeah, Reels to TikToks, yeah, but (audio distorting) as tough as that. - Yeah, yeah, I see. Reels-wise, what I do with my, I tend to I like to film them on my own camera. Then I cut them together in InShot. So then I have a non-branded one that I can just put anywhere, and then add whatever filters on whichever platform. - This conversation has actually give me a lot of ideas of things I could do a Reel with. - [Alexis] Good! - I might eat my words on that front. (laughing) - But I think it's important to do it when you are actually inspired and you have something to say and in a way that you're like, oh yes, this is a way I can say that. And not just for the sake of it. Poor quality content, I am not here for. (laughing) - [Emma] I hear ya. I think that's a very good point to end. - Yes. Thank you very much for having me on, 'cause it's been a very inspiring chat. Yeah, I've got a hundred ideas in my head first from the chatting about the (audio distorting). - You're gonna disappear and be like, you'll be in Notion, putting them all down. (laughing) - Oh, another whole episode could be happening on Notion, (laughing) yeah. - Well thank you for being here. Do let everybody know about your group and what you're offering in a minute and what's going on and where they can find you and all that good stuff. - Thank you so, my website is FreelanceLifestyle.co.uk. The Facebook group is FreelanceLifestyle, it's free to join, feel free to come join. I also run a Freelance Business Lounge which is a really affordable monthly membership with all the resources I have, which, you know, includes the 30-days Freelance course, all of the trainings I do, the two summits I've run, all of the recordings from that. There's email templates, all sorts of bits in there which Alexis is in that membership as well. And so that's only 25 pounds a month. Plus, oh the most important part of that is the group calls for it and we have group calls twice a week for half an hour, just to check in and check out what we're doing. I think that's it. I'm pretty much Emma Cossey on all social networks apart from Facebook. (Alexis laughing) - Very good. Well thank you very much for joining me. It has been a really interesting chat and I think it's gonna be very useful as well, especially for people who are looking to run their own Facebook group or maybe struggling with their Facebook group growth or stuff happening in them. - [Hawke] If you want more regular reminders to find your own way to use social media, follow Alexis on your social platform of choice. All the links will be in the show notes. Until next time, be a human.