#3: Grow Engaged and Profitable Facebook Groups with Jono Petrohilos

Welcome to The Creator's Adventure where we interview creators from around the world, hearing their stories about growing a business.

Today we are talking with Jono Petrohilos about how to grow a successful Facebook group and how he built a 7 figure online course business in the fitness industry.

Learn More About Jono Petrohilos: https://coursecreatorcommunity.net/

Check out Jono’s Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/coursecreatorscommunity1


Bryan McAnulty: [00:00:00] Welcome to the creator's adventure, where we interview creators from around the world, hearing their stories about growing a business. My name is Bryan McNulty. I'm the founder of Heights platform. And today I'm talking with Jono Petrohilos about how to grow a successful Facebook group and how he grew a seven figure online course business in the fitness in.

All right. Hey everyone. We're here today with Jono Petrohilos and he is the co-founder and director of fitness education online. One of the largest providers of online education to fitness professionals in the world. In this business Jono sells over a hundred courses a month and generates over 1 million a year in online course.

He now helps other course creators sell more of their online courses with his new business, the online course creator community Jono how are you doing?

Jono Petrohilos: I'm awesome. How's um, how's this microphone, Bryan. It sounds alright. Yeah. Sounds great. Awesome. Yeah, it's, it's, it's interesting. It covers my face as well, you know, so I think that's probably another benefit for the people watching it.

Right. You know, the less of my face, they, they see the better. So it's a win-win for, for the audience, both.

Bryan McAnulty: We're really glad to have you on the show here. Um, so let's see you started your career as a personal trainer. Then you created fitness courses becoming the number one education organization for personal trainers in Australia.

You also have a business where you're helping entrepreneurs get started selling their courses. So can you tell me a little bit. The transition through all of this and how you got to where you are here.

Jono Petrohilos: Yes, a hundred percent. It's it is a 10 year story, Bryan. So I'm just gonna summarize it down to about, you know, two or three minutes if I can.

So if I miss anything out, you know, feel free to, to go deeper. But long story short, I started off as a fitness trainer, personal trainer here in Australia. I ran a, a fitness bootcamp and long story short. I used to suck at it. I was at a franchise, Bryan, there were 75 different locations all over Australia and New Zealand in this franchise.

And you were ranked on how good you. One being the best 75th being the worst. Take a guess what you think I was ranked starting off. It

Bryan McAnulty: sounds like it's not, not on the, the, the higher side of things. Um, correct. What's your guess? I don't know.

Jono Petrohilos: 70. I wish you are too kind, Bryan, 75 dead last, right? Yeah. Yeah.

But I loved what I did, you know, I, I, I liked it and I wanted to get better at it. So I essentially worked at it. Right. I did a whole heap of courses, workshops hire mentors, went to other instructors classes, 12 months down the track had another, it was like a 12 month thing. You got your ranking, right?

12 months down the track went back to the end of year convention after doing the, the courses, the self-development the mentors. Now take a guess to what I was ranked Bryan number. Number one. Yes. Right. Good, good guess there. So, and, and then, you know, and then obviously grew from there, then I was like, all right, cool.

You know, grew the bootcamp even more opened up a second location. And a couple things started to happen at that point. I was always a fan of upskilling. I would always do different courses. Right. Uh, and I all, through that [00:03:30] time, I would do a whole heap of different courses, but now it would be like, every course I did.

I wouldn't get as much as I used to. Get get, and it kind of got to the point and I was like, you know what? I'm gonna, these courses. They're great. I'm always learning something. But I feel like I could put together something myself. I feel like I could put together something where I can combine everything I've learned and get it into one place.

And at the same sort of time, other trainers started to ask me the same thing. They were like, you know, Hey JonoBE, you know, how are you getting all these people down here? You got a hundred people in your bootcamp, you got two different locations. You know, it looks really good. What are you doing? And to start with, I would just send them to a million different places.

Oh, great. Listen to this podcast and speak to this person and read this sales book and do this course, and then do that course, then go to this convention here. And they'd kind of be like, oh, is there anything easier? And then I sort of thought, all right, I think there's a market here. So that's where I put together.

My first online course or it was me a business partner, Travis return as well put together our first online course. That's a whole nother story, right? How we put it together and all that sort of stuff there. Put it together. You know, it was obviously slow at the start, like most kind of businesses. And then it grew few more sales, few more sales, few more sales, few more courses, few more courses, fast forward down the line.

I can't remember the exact number, but fast forward, you know, five or six years down the line. Uh, now we've got over 40 online courses, different courses. We sell over a hundred courses a month about a million dollar, a year revenue and all these courses, all revolve. uh, helping fitness trainers grow their fitness business.

Now a couple things happened at that point and it was a very similar journey to the, the fitness point as well, where number one, people started to ask me, they cared less about my fitness education courses, because, and if we look at that, my, my fitness education courses essentially help fitness professionals to make a hundred thousand dollars.

It's like, do this course follow these, these systems you'll have a, a six figure fitness business. Right. So I was teaching people how to do that and I still am, but on the other side here, I am making a million dollars. So there's a bit of congruence, you know, it's like, here I am with this system to make a million, but I'm just teaching you how to make a hundred thousand.

Right. And I still do that cuz cuz people are different, but there was just something inside of me. That's kind of like, ah, I feel like I've got this skill set that I should be sharing. And also it's, it's a different kind of skill set. Because there's a difference between what I do in fitness education, online, growing an online course business and what I teach actual fitness trainers to.

Right. So I was like, I wanna also share this skillset that I've got, that, that, that I know how to sell online courses, share it with other people. So that's where I was like, all right, right. You know, let me start up the course, create a community. And then I'm just going that extra layer, you know, it's like, here's what I'm doing in fitness, educational line.

Here's how I create the courses. Here's how I sell the courses. Yada, yada, yada. He's how you can do the same. So that's 10 years down in about two, two minutes. Did that make sense, Bryan?

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, that's great. But did I rush that? No, that sounds great. Generally, when someone gets to like the level of success that you've reached as an entrepreneur, the experiences that they have, it's usually like accumulation of what you've learned and done up to that point.

And so, in your case, what you've really stuck with here is the online courses. So why online courses for you.

Jono Petrohilos: Ooh, that's a good question. So there's a couple things originally online courses, it was without sounding too lazy was kind of like the less work, right? The way I looked at it back then, anyway, my first online course, I didn't necessarily wanted to do an online course.[00:07:00]

I wanted to teach people, right. Mm-hmm I wanted to help people and I had two options. It was like, or I can do a workshop. You know, I can hire out a workshop you know, I can do a face to face workshop and I sort of thought about the logistics. I'm like, hold on, then I've gotta rent out a venue, you know, then I need to market it.

You know? Then if, if if no one comes, you know, it's, it's gonna be, you know, I'm gonna have to pay for the venue anyway, it's a risk. And you know, what's worse if no one comes, what if only one person comes, then I actually need to run the workshop. And there's only one person there and I certainly need to pay the fees.

And I was like, all right, you know, what, if it was online, I put this thing together, online, worst case scenario, it doesn't sell. Okay. You know, I put a, put a bit of work in putting the course together, but it's not the end of the world, you know? Um, and this way it doesn't, if one person buys great, you know, it doesn't matter if two people buy it.

Great. It's the same amount of work either way. That's how I originally got into it. And the fact that I'm hooked on it now is that same reason. It's kinda like with online courses, every single course you sell. Is no extra work. So a lot of people like a lot of people are in the coaching space, right?

They'll, they'll sell coaching and it's very attractive now to sell high ticket coaching. Now, I don't really do any of that, even though there's you could make a case that there's more money in, in high ticket coaching, but there's also more work. So it's kind of like, let's say for example, you know Bryan buys my course great it's $500.

Zero work on my behalf. I've already done the work. You know, the next person buys it. It's unlimited scalability, but if I was actually coaching and obviously it's always to leverage coaching as well, group coaching and automations, that sort of thing too. Um, but it's to summarize, I think it's the best. Um, the best ratio of time for money where it's like, even though it may not be as much revenue as if you were selling more expensive things, there's just no time involved in it.

So it's just endless scale. So that's, that's why I like it from the financial side of things. Uh, and then from the impact side of things, it's just a great way to help people. It's kind of like, you know, you get people going through your course, people that I've never met, you know, Jono. Oh, I did your course.

That was awesome. It changed your life. That's. and it didn't take me any time as well. So that's, that's why I like it. I think to summarize that time is the biggest benefit.

Bryan McAnulty: Cool. Very interesting. Yeah, definitely. I agree with that. Um, let's see. But, so I wonder, do you do any, any kind of in person training at all now for the fitness business or for the courses, or is it all like courses.

Jono Petrohilos: all courses. So, and, and just to confirm by in person, you mean like face to face stuff? Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty: I guess like, especially like when it comes to like a personal training, something like that. Do you do any of that?

Jono Petrohilos: Oh, okay. So no. So zero personal training have haven't done that in, in years. Cuz my, my fitness education online course is more, it's not teaching people to be fit.

It's not teaching fitness. It's teaching the fitness trainers to grow their business training business. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. So no, no face to face stuff there before COVID can remember that, that far, that long ago. But we, we used to kind of you know, travel Australia. We do a little half day workshop and sell our online courses at the back of it, but haven't done that for two years more just COVID right.

More than, more than more than not, but even still with those face to face workshops, they were. A sales tool, as opposed to like the actual course

Bryan McAnulty: inside of things. Okay, sure. Uh, so I'm asking this because I'm curious what you think about one of the things that I've seen some [00:10:30] course creators struggle with even more so sometimes fitness related course creators.

They say that well, I'm worried about making an online course because. I'm not sure that I can give the same amount of value in a course, as I could, if I was training the person just as a, an actual in person session. So what would your answer be to someone like that?

Jono Petrohilos: Ooh, I love that question. So there's a few different ways to look at it.

Right. And I think like, you know what, I'm actually going to agree with that. To an, to an extent they'll give a caveat in a sec, but let's even use let's use fitness education online. As an example, I have no doubt in my mind, Bryan, that if you did one on one face to face in person mentoring with me, I could give you a better result than the online course.

I have no doubt. Because it would just be, you know, so specific and I could give you specific advice for you. The course wouldn't be as good as that. It wouldn't, let's be honest. Right. But let's look at it from both sides of things as well. I could only do that for a handful of people. If that's what I was doing, the one-on-one thing.

That's great, but I can only really help what 20 people in the world, you know? Um, and even then not even in the world, because they'd have to be in Sydney, you know, they'd have to be in my part. Like it would just be so limited. Right. So even though it's, it's, it may be a better service. Like it's limiting you as the, the creator can only help a certain amount of people.

Right. And then even from the other person as well, there may be an advantage for a course there too, because let's say Bryan's in Texas, right. He couldn't do face to face stuff with me. Right. Even if it was online via zoom, it might be hard to pick a time that works for both of us. Right. But if it's a course, okay, great.

You know, he can go through it at his own pace at his own time, whenever he wants. And also the course is usually more affordable as well. Like I would do that if someone said, you know, Hey Jono, I just want to. Drive to your apartment and you gimme one on one mentoring. Yep. Great. That's $2,000 an hour.

Right. That's what I would do for that. Or you can do my course for $500 and you get everything. It's kind of like a better deal to do the course there. So I think in the mind of the creator, like draw the line and be like, Hey. It may be be, yes, it is better for the person to to go and, and do you and face to face.

But there's limitations to that with you. You can only generate a certain amount of income there's generation there's limitations with impact. You can only impact a certain amount of people there as well. Um, and also with that too, I think most people, especially in the fitness space sort of undercharge, right.

It's kind of like what they're charging for their one on one services. Could be a lot more. And then the people that you know, can, for lack of a better word can afford that higher end service, you know, do your face to face stuff. That's great. And then here's your online stuff for people that maybe you know, it might be a bit of a stretch for them to pay the, the one on one fee.

That's how I'd look at that,

Bryan McAnulty: right? Yeah. That's an excellent answer. Um, I think one more point. So I think that point is perfect. , but what I would add, if there's anyone listening to this and you are a fitness creator and you're saying, well, I still have some doubts. Um, another thing that is a way to look at this is at touching on what you said about the impact.

That if you wanna be able to impact more people, you may, maybe you still wanna really do some kind of in in-person training. Maybe you still wanna do some kind of zoom training and that's great, but if you wanna be able to impact more people, and if what you really enjoy is getting them to that final stage.

Then your online course can still serve as [00:14:00] the lower starting, starting entry offer kind of situation where it's getting everyone to a certain point where that point you don't really need to be in person with them to get them to that point. But once you can get everyone to that point, now, the, the, the last level of that most advanced part, now you can go and help them with that on zoom or in an in person situation, anything like that.

There's still, no matter what you're doing in a business, even if it is a fitness business, there's still room for that online course in the value ladder of products that you sell a hundred percent. Cool. So besides online courses, you have a real lot of experience generating engagement through Facebook groups, and you have a fitness education online group with, I think about 15,000 members.

And then the course creator community group that has about 5,000 members. With a lot of really good engagement from the group members. It's not like one of those groups that's just sitting there and it has these members, but no one's ever posted in in years, you've got a lot of people constantly engaging and talking in your group.

So how did you get that started and how long did it take you to grow it to the point that you have it at today?

Jono Petrohilos: Yes. Good question. So big question as well, cause it's like a 10 year answer, right. But I'll summarize that in a, a couple minutes. So when I was running my fitness bootcamp, there were the 75 different locations, right?

And there was the owner of all different 75 locations. And each of us boot camp instructors had to pay the owner a thousand dollars a week to, to run the boot camp. Right. Cuz they would do your marketing, your sales, you know, the systems, that sort of stuff there. It was a good deal. Uh, well I thought it was a good deal at the time and they did the math and I'm like, hold on.

These people are making $75,000 a week without getting outta bed. You know, there they've got a good deal there as well. But the reason I mention that is when I was coming 75th, I had to have a meeting with the franchise owners. And they were like, Jono you know, you're coming 75th, you know, here are some things we recommend you work on.

Um, the first thing is your Facebook group. You know, your Facebook group is dead cause at that state, your bootcamp had your physical location, but you also had a Facebook group as well to, you know, to help the members out and give some online education and that sort of thing, too. And I was like my Facebook.

I was a 20 something year old guy then, you know, I'm like Facebook group is the reason my business is BA I'm out of the list of reasons why I'm coming 75th as a personal trainer. I think the Facebook group is down the bottom and we had a bit of an argument back and forth and they were like, well, look, think of it like this, Jono you're coming 75th outta 75.

We own all 75 locations. Maybe we know something about social media that you don't. And I was like, all right, good point. So went all in on, on Facebook groups. And that was one of the biggest things. Um, helped with my success to go from 75 to number one was that Facebook group there won the award for, for best Facebook group in, in the community, in the boot camp as well.

And even in that stage, there were a couple members that stopped training with me. This was a face to face boot camp, right? Mm-hmm . They were in my face to face bootcamp. They stopped training cuz they moved out of outta town, but they were like, Hey Jono, O can we keep paying you? We can't make any sessions.

These were two different people at two different times. Essentially. We can't make any of your sessions. We can't train with you. We don't live in your city anymore, but can we keep paying you just to stay in your Facebook group? We love your community. We love your, the challenges you're doing there. We love the info you put in there.

Happy to keep paying you. Even if you don't [00:17:30] come for me, that was a no. I'm like, hold on. I get paid for doing nothing St. Things that I do anyway. So that sort of showed me the power of how powerful a, a Facebook group can be. Then when I started the fitness education online, the online course business, I didn't know the online world that well, but all I knew was a Facebook group.

Right. So I was like, all right, cool. Like, I'll create a Facebook group. Um, that was, and I used similar strategies. I was like, all right, cool. You know, I know what works. If I've got a face to face community, let me also put them in. That was a bit of a trial and error at the start because I didn't really know how to do it.

An online side of things. I had the advantage. I had two advantages with, with fitness education online in that I had already knew how to do, do the Facebook group stuff with the, the you know, the face-to-face sort of stuff. And then also this was back in, I think 2014, I started this Facebook group. So it wasn't as crowded.

I would've been one of the only fitness education online spaces. There, there was less advertising, there was this noise. So it was a little bit easier. So that group, 15,000 people over, you know, six or seven years or something, right. But the course created community. Then I had an inkling and I was like, all right, I know I love communities.

I love leading communities. You know, now I love the online course space. Maybe I should create a Facebook group for the course creators I hesitated for about a year. Because I didn't think I could do it. I was like, ah, I just got lucky with fitness education online. You know, it was 2014. There weren't as many people then, you know, you can't start up a Facebook group and, and use it now.

So I just started with an email list, but I felt lost. I felt like there's a big difference between an email list and a FB group for me anyway, like email list I find is very me emailing my list. You know, Facebook group, Bryan can make a post. This person can make a post. This person can ask a question. This person get it's more of a community, you know?

So I was like, you know what, I'm gonna bite the bullet and I'm gonna see if I can do this. And I'll use it as a bit of a tester. You know, if I can do this, then no, one's got any excuses. Uh, so the course created community is actually in a. So in a year, I've got it to about 5,000 members because obviously now I know what I used, what I used in fitness.

I know what works with fitness education online. I was able just to implement that from the start. So yeah, that's that's um, long story short. That's the, the fitness education online group, obviously a bit longer, there was trial error at the start, but now that I know what I'm doing, you know, 5,000 in a year.

Bryan McAnulty: Sure. Well, that's awesome. So I'm curious, like where does, where does a Facebook group fit in. for your business night right now and your audience. Um, I'm guessing that the answer is going to be something related to it being almost like a lead magnet tool for you. Is that.

Jono Petrohilos: Bang on it is the lead magnet.

So there's, it, it hits a few different things, but the biggest thing is the lead magnet, right? So if I connect with people on social media, you know, my virtual assistant connects with people on social media. I meet people in person, you know, whatever it may be instead of saying, Hey, I got this free thing.

Yeah. Hey, you got this Facebook group, you know, it's awesome. Everyone there's super supportive, which says tips and ideas. And it's a little bit less salesy. You know how like, if it's like, Hey, I got this free thing. Gimme your email. You know, I just want your email to sell you something, you know whereas the Facebook group is a bit more like, Hey, come in here, you've got your expertise, share your expertise.

We'd love to have you in there. It's a bit more community based there. Uh, on top of that, I can rely off like, and not even if, and also like everything I do leads to the Facebook group. I've got a podcast, you know, I've got LinkedIn, whatever it is, everything leads to the Facebook group. But most importantly, the Facebook algorithm leads to the, the [00:21:00] Facebook group.

I get maybe. 10 20 members request to join that group a day. And I'd say at least half are just like, Hey, I searched course creator in the search bar and it came up, you know, or I joined this group and you know, it was suggested there. So it's just Facebook sending me people that are super target. Like the name of the group is the course creator community.

If you are not joining, like the only people joining that group are course creators, right. Or people that wanna help course creators, you know, so it's like, it just gets me very specific leads to get in there. And then I've obviously got a strategy to convert those leads or convert those members into leads and then into sales as well.

So the biggest part is the lead generation, but also the lead nurture. So now when I do run a webinar, I do make a sale. I do do a challenge, whatever it may be. It's not just like someone you've never heard of or whatever it may be. It's someone whose Facebook group you're in. So I just find the, the leads are a lot warmer if they're in my Facebook group.

Definitely. Well, me, so it's the lead

Bryan McAnulty: gen. Yeah, it makes sense. It's uh, sorry, just making me selfishly think that I should do something similar because so we, we have a Facebook group for our. But we are not treating it as a lead generation at all. We're using it. It's reserved for our paying customers only.

And I think that's something that a lot of creators do. We see creators, they have their course. If you buy the course, you get the Facebook group and you can still have that. That's great to have like the, the premium community, but why not have another larger community potentially that you can use to provide value to everyone and grow your list of.

Jono Petrohilos: Can I, can I jump on there for a sec, Bryan? Cause that's an awesome. So I, cuz I've fiddled with all of these, right? Just a paid, just a free, a free and a paid, I think for anyone starting off for the Facebook group and, and the course greater space, I think I would just, and even now with the, so with fitness education online, I've got two, right?

I've got the big free group and then I've got the, the paid group for the subscription members. Right. but with the course create community, I was like, I wanna try and. Is I I've had your time. Right? It's like, I wanna try, I don't wanna have a million different Facebook groups, you know? So I was like, let me just try the one.

So with the course created community, I've got the one group. If you buy my course, there's no sort of premium thing. If you are in my membership, there's no sort of premium thing. It's just that one Facebook group for everyone. And I find that still. Membership are a little bit different, but especially the courses like it works fine.

Cause I think there's so many Facebook groups out there anyway. It's not a huge value add to be in a specific paid one. And you can any questions in the course or whatever you can ask in my free one anyway. And that's another strategy I, I use with engagement. Anyway, I make sure that in my courses that the paid courses.

There's all. One of there's all these action tasks that are like, Hey, you know, do this in the Facebook group and, and whatever it may be. And I find that really helps with the engagement of my free group, because the most engaged people in my free group are the paying people, right? The people that are paid the courses and are asking the questions and like my content, but that helps with the free people in there.

Because they're like, oh, there's all these people doing these courses and asking these questions so who maybe I'll buy the course. So that's, that's my, and obviously you can go both ways the free and the pay, just the free, just the free, what I found, what works best for just start, if you're listening and just starting off, start with the free one.

And then when it gets to the point where you're like, all right, I got, you know, hundreds of members now I need to have the, the paid one there.

Bryan McAnulty: Definitely. Yeah. That's a great point because yeah, there's no need to overcomplicate things if yeah. Um, when you only have a few members. Having two groups. Now you have [00:24:30] to manage two things.

Now you have to manage the engagement in two things, cuz maybe one's doing great. Everyone's talking, as you said, the premium members, they're all talking with each other, but then your free group, you want it to be great. You want it to be what everyone has in that premium group, but it can't be because they're not, they're not talking.

And you can tell the premium member, you join this one too, but then they have to keep track of both. So.

Jono Petrohilos: You, you hit it on the head and it's so hard for the create. Well, what do I post in the free one? And what do I post in the paid one? That's the hardest question. That's the most from people that have two, that's the biggest question I get, you know, what's the difference between, and it's hard.

What is it? You know, that's why I like the one. Yeah, yeah. It will

Bryan McAnulty: start, start in one then maybe, and then wait until it gets too hard to maintain one. There's too many posts. There's too many things going on, then maybe split it into two. What do you think about that? PO exactly. Bang on. Great. So along those lines, let's say that I have a Facebook group and I started my Facebook group.

I'm struggling getting engagement in, what can I do to improve

Jono Petrohilos: that awesome question. So there's a couple things going on there. Number one, it's important to understand it doesn't just happen. So let's say when I started the course create face. Well, when I started the fitness education online group, it was dead and I had to learn, you know, what, what, what works, what doesn't work.

And I think that most Facebook group admins make it about themselves, right? Not, not like a selfish thing, but just it's it's I don't know what else to do. It's like, well, I got a Facebook group. I got a post on my Facebook group and I gotta give value on my Facebook group. To me, that's just a very small part or that's one of the components.

I personally think the real value in the Facebook group is the community. I want, I want my Facebook group to be more valuable than Google. You know, Bryan's got a question about maybe he wants to do some market research. You know, he can go in Google and try and find answers, or he can just make a post in my Facebook group, you know, Hey guys have got this software, what would you prefer this or this he's gonna get 2030 comments.

You know, that's what I want. And it's a win for the people commenting as well, you know? Ooh, I get some insight information or, you know, whatever it may be there. So that's. Uh, important to know that the group is about community. It's not just about yourself posting there. And then that helps with the growth and the algorithm and all, all that stuff as well.

But I think number one, acknowledge we want other people to post and comment. That's where the value is. Number two is to realize it doesn't just happen. I've got nine specific strategies I use. I'm not gonna go through 'em all. Now. I know we are short on time, but I just wanna, and I might, I might share one or two if you want me to Bryan.

Um, but I, the message that I want to get across here is before I, when with the course created group, it was like, right. Here's the nine different strategies that I know are full proof. And if I just implement these nine strategies, I'm gonna get so much engagement in this group. It's gonna be, you know, the most Engage group in the space.

It's going to grow quick there. Um, do you want me to run through like one of them, Bryan? Is that probably the

Bryan McAnulty: best way? The do say the top, top one out of those nine, if you could pick one

Jono Petrohilos: top one. Yep. Okay, cool. They're all juicy. I'll give the top one, but I'll also also rephrase this as well with the, these are, these are important all the way through, but they're more important at the start because if you do these things properly, From the start, the group will then run itself.

So, or cuz someone might be thinking, oh man, I gotta do nine different things for this free Facebook group. Like just at

Bryan McAnulty: the start. Like anything, everybody to understand the culture of the group.

Jono Petrohilos: That's it it's culture you that, that's what I was looking for. Okay, perfect. It's all about the culture and I'll give, let think of best.

Okay, cool. So, cause it's it's, this is with online course creators. I'll give the tip related to the online course, and this can be your online [00:28:00] course, but also your lead magnet as well. I'll quickly explain it with the lead magnet, then, then we'll go to the course. So most people watching this probably have a lead magnet or a minicourse right.

I make sure that there's a specific action task in my lead magnet. That revolves around asking an engaging question in the Facebook group. One of my lead magnets at the moment is how to create a course in less than how to create your first course in, in less than 48 hours. Right? One of the, the questions in that lead magnet is basically, Hey, I got a Facebook group with 5,000 experience cor or a lot of them experience course creators.

What I want you to do is make this post attach a photo of yourself to cuz it helps with engagement attention and just say, Hey guys, I'm a new course creator. You know, what would be your biggest tip for a new course creator? Most people in, in, in groups are there to help. Right? So someone makes that post, they get a whole heap of comments, you know, oh, I would do this.

You could do this. I could do this. You could do this. And it's a win and I'll give another example. And then I'll, it's a win. Another one of my lead magnets is how to create the perfect lead magnet. Right? The action task in there is, Hey, here's some examples of what a lead magnet could. But I've got a Facebook group with 5,000 people in there.

Go and ask that question. Hey, everyone, I need ideas for lead magnets. What your lead, what's your lead magnet that gets the most because everyone wants to share their lead magnet as well, because they might get leads, you know? So, but either way and same with your cause, there should be act in my opinion, there should be action tasks in the course that revolve around posting something in the Facebook group, but that's an actual win, you know, sometimes there's things in tar, in courses and Facebook groups where just like, man, this person just wants me to post in there cuz they want engagement in their course.

Right. It's important to make sure that it's actually a win for the person posting let's use that 48 hour thing. They're gonna get more tips, way more tips from making that post than in my actual minicourse. Right? Because they're gonna get 20 different. Some of them may be bad, but at least they're getting information right from, from those in there.

So it's a win for the person posting. Now what's going on there. That person that's done my lead mag that's opted in for my lead magnet. They're now in my Facebook group, they've made a post in my Facebook group right now. All of a sudden the algorithm's working in my favor because if they've made one post in that group, well, Facebook's gonna show 'em more of my posts in that group.

Right. Because they've, they've already made a post if they didn't make that post. They might just be one of those groups that they never see the posts from, you know, on top of that as well, you know, they've made a post and I've per I've crafted that post for them to make sure that it's engaging. So they're actually getting a lot of comments.

It's not just one of those groups where, oh, I made a post in this group and no one gave me any answer. I'm leaving that group. They made a post and they got. 10 15, 20, 30 different. This is a sick group. I'm never going to Google. I'm never going to one of these other groups. I'm going to this group here because people actually help me half the reason people, a it it's the culture.

I make sure that I have kick out anyone else that kick out anyone that's negative. Um, but also half the reason why it's engaging is cause I've crafted the perfect post for him, you know? So is that there? And then also the people commenting, right? Now, someone's now there's engaging posts going on in that group.

People are commenting. And if that person commented on that, that person's post. Now, they're more likely to see things in, in, in the group and that sort of thing there. And then on top of that as well, just the culture, right? Someone may never have done my lead magnet, but they go in this group and they're like, oh wow.

There's all these people asking these questions and answering questions. It's appropriate for me to go in here and ask a question and answer a question. Yeah, exactly. So that's an example where you, you like yeah. Like the fire to start with with this lead man and the lead mag. That one's good. Cause it's passive anyway.

And your course, so you're always going to get engagement going through then anyway, with [00:31:30] those strategies, but it's going to get even better and compound because other people are gonna see it. The culture's gonna see it, the algorithm, yada, yada yada. So that's that's and that's one, I got nine of them.


Bryan McAnulty: But that's that's one. Well that, well that's great. The it's really a win for everyone. And the way that they're asking that question, as you said, they may go in there, they get all these answers and maybe they, maybe they were not super engaged. They, they got to the point that they just about decided, okay, I'll post this F after seeing the lead lead magnet.

But then they weren't really quite ready to move forward with a course or, or whatever they were planning to do yet, but they see all these answers and then that gives them all this inspiration say, oh, well, I never thought about what, what this person's saying. And now you're actually hopefully helping that lead along even more because of all this new information they're getting.

Jono Petrohilos: Can I give a really quick tip for the fitness side of things as well? Sure. So let's just say, for example just to give another perspective. So it's not always you know, business, right? Let's say in my, um fitness education, online business, one of the courses is around kettlebells, right? Where I teach, 'em a whole of different kettlebell exercises and workouts and that sort of thing.

The action tasks in there are also related. So let's say when you get to the exercise side of, or let's say get to the workout side of things, the action task is, Hey, here's 20 different work. My favorite 20 different work kettlebell workouts, but he's a Facebook group with 15,000 trainers, make a Facebook post in there and ask every trainer what their favorite workout is.

Trainers love sharing their favorite workout. So now not only does that person have the 20 workouts in my. They're gonna get another, at least 20 from other trainers in the group. What a win. Yeah. Right.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah. That's great. All right. Awesome. I think this is a lot that people can take advantage of to learn how to start growing their Facebook group.

So, one thing that we like to do in this show is to have a question that you ask the audience as well. So if there's something you wanna know from our audience, what would you ask our a.

Jono Petrohilos: Yes. Well, I'm a big Facebook group guy. So I'd love to ask a question on Facebook groups. I'd like to ask everyone which, which one do you find harder growing your Facebook group or getting engagement in the Facebook group or both?

You can ask both as well. So I'm guessing this will be a comment thing. Bryan, do people comment below their answers? Yeah, they'll comment below

Bryan McAnulty: and you'll be able to see, see what they say when when this goes.

Jono Petrohilos: Perfect. So, yeah, just comment either which is harder growing the group, getting engagement in the group or both.

Bryan McAnulty: Oh yeah. I think that's a great question. Um, I'm curious to see what people say. Um, because definitely there is, there are a good amount of people. I think some people know that, like I can use a group as a lead magnet, but there's a lot of people where their community is maybe exclusively paid. So it'll be interesting for them.

Think about, well, how, how can I start off with something like this? Um, so I got one more question for you. You're focused thing on fitness and you help helping course creators. So where do you see yourself heading in the future with your business?

Jono Petrohilos: Good question. Um, so I like to always, you know, learn something and then I, I teach other people that thing, you know, and I was thinking about this just before I got on here, you know, and I was like, you know, what wonder what the, the next step is?

Cause I was a personal trainer and I taught people how to be a personal trainer with my online courses. And I, I was an online course creator. So I taught other people. I had been online course [00:35:00] creator the next step, which would be interesting if I can, is teaching other people how to help teaching other people who help course creator.

How to reach more course creators. That's, that's an avenue I'm thinking, you know, that's my own cuz there's so many of it, right? Yeah. And it's like, I think that could be a, an avenue for me there. So that's, that's what I'm thinking.

Bryan McAnulty: Cool. Interesting. All right. Well, this was a really great talking with you and I'd like to finish this off by saying, where can people find you online if they wanna learn more

Jono Petrohilos: about you?

Yes. So most people in here I'm guessing are in the course creator space. So the best thing to do is join the course creator community, Facebook group just type, in course, create a community. It'll be the first one that comes up. Uh, and I'm on, I'm not Mr. Creative. So if you just type that in, on any social media platform, you know, you'll see us come up and you can follow us on there.

All right.

Bryan McAnulty: Awesome. And I can attest to the fact that there's a good Facebook group. That is how I discovered you actually Jonoo. I joined the Facebook group myself and saw it. And then I said, Hey, well, let's let's do an interview together. So this was a great talk again. Uh, thank you for coming on.

Jono Petrohilos: No, thank you. And that means a lot, the compliment coming from you, Bryan, with what you do in the industry. So thank you for that compliment.

Bryan McAnulty: Great. Thank you. I appreciate it. If you enjoyed this interview and won the chance to ask questions to our guests live tune in on Tuesdays when new episodes premiere on the Heights platform, Facebook page, to learn more about the show and get notified when new episodes release, check out the creators, adventure.com until then keep learning and I'll see you in the next episode.

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About the Host

Bryan McAnulty is the founder of Heights Platform: all-in-one online course creation software that allows creators to monetize their knowledge.

His entrepreneurial journey began in 2009, when he founded Velora, a digital product design studio, developing products and websites used by millions worldwide. Stemming from an early obsession with Legos and graphic design programs, Bryan is a designer, developer, musician, and truly a creator at heart. With a passion for discovery, Bryan has traveled to more than 30 countries and 100+ cities meeting creators along the way.

As the founder of Heights Platform, Bryan is in constant contact with creators from all over the world and has learned to recognize their unique needs and goals.

Creating a business from scratch as a solopreneur is not an easy task, and it can feel quite lonely without appropriate support and mentorship.

The show The Creator’s Adventure was born to address this need: to build an online community of creative minds and assist new entrepreneurs with strategies to create a successful online business from their passions.

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