Five ways to monetize your community of professionals
“A few years ago, I opened a small group for web designers. I wanted a place where I could safely share ideas and consult with fellow designers and colleagues.
Today more than 7,000 of the best designers from my city are in this group, and I’m investing over two hours a day just moderating it and keeping things under control.”
There are tens of thousands of professional groups on Facebook, and they bring immense value to the community members as well as recruiters and businesses who target them.
These groups have become an online marketplace of knowledge, opportunities, careers and skills, which is made of a valuable, focused target audience.
Though they are valuable for everyone, there is always one person (maybe more) conducting, moderating and aggregating the whole operation, and usually investing more than they get in return . These are the community managers.
Community managers invest a huge effort in keeping their group successful, and, in my opinion, there’s no reason for them not to make a return on their investment.
Many community leader come to the point where they ask themselves the question “how to monetize my Facebook group”
So, how can they turn a community of professionals into a business? How can they monetize a professional Facebook group?
Offer businesses an opportunity to publish specific products to your community
If you manage a community of entrepreneurs, your community is an extremely relevant target market for a company like WeWork, SaaS product companies or even accountants.
If you lead a community of make-up artists, Revlon or Lancôme are definitely relevant to your members (but WeWork — not so much)
You, as the community manager, should get paid for reaching out to your audience with offers, because you are the one who made it all happen.
I always advise community leaders to ask these companies, in addition to their payment to you, to add a special offer for group members, so that the fact that you “commercialized” the group will give the community members an added value.
Sell online and offline courses
If you are a professional with an expertise, you can sell online and offline courses, workshops and lectures
Being a community manager has its benefits: your audience sees you as a leader because you manage their professional ecosystem.
Digital products are scalable, So it’s highly recommended to focus on it. Offline offers are less scalable, but if you can do it, it’s great .
Start with posting one event and follow up with videos and photos from the lecture. When you post them, don’t forget to mention that anyone who wants to book your lecturers or workshops is welcome to DM you.
Mass audience? Try affiliate marketing
Just sign in to one of the many affiliate programs that are relevant to your community members and find products you genuinely think are worth recommending.
Add your affiliate link, and don’t forget to ask the community members to use your link when they purchase or check out the product.
Create a marketplace of talents and engage a subscription program
If you manage a community of experts, freelancers or professionals, you can set up an index site for them where they can open a professional profile, get recommendations from customers or colleagues and upload their portfolio, links and bio — all under the same familiar and trusted brand: your community. This is what we at Comonetize offer, but I’m sure that there are more available tools for it.
With Comonetize, once your community index is set, you can offer any member who joins a paid membership, or premium services for those who prefer priority access to job ads and other exclusive services which you, as a community manager, can decide upon.
Set up a paywall between your audience and the recruiters and companies who wish to reach out to them
We all know how disruptive constant job offers can be to our community’s conversation flow. So much so, that many professional group leaders end up opening a second group specifically for posting job opportunities.
Instead, you can set up a job board or a community board for your community (start one here, for free) and when a job ad comes up on your Facebook group wall, just refer the recruiter to a form. This form is followed by a simple paywall, and you’re all set.
If you have members that are already registered to your site, they’ll get notified about the new position or opportunity.
When the ad is posted to the board, you can share it on your community wall or in a dedicated post. Anyone who wants to apply to it, will register to your site, creating an effective growth flywheel.
What is my suggestion to you?
Do it all.
Start turning your community from a side project into a profitable business, and make enough money doing it so you can invest more time and make your community grow and thrive.
You can set up an index and a board and start monetizing in a matter of minutes, free of charge.
Still not sure? take a free community monetization potential assessment.