Facebook Groups Aren’t Dead: Jono Petrohilos’ Modern Strategies Guaranteed to Turn Your Groups Into Cash

Australian legend Jono Petrohilos, the man behind Fitness Education Online and host of the Bootcamp Blueprint, recently joined me from Down Under to reveal exactly how he’s built a revenue-generating empire through Facebook Groups.

The fitness superstar has developed a handful of secret strategies and tactics that have thousands hooked on his Groups… but there’s more.

He’s mastered the seemingly impossible process of nurturing these Group members into loyal, paying subscribers … and he even unveiled the step-by-step process he uses to do this.

If you think Facebook Groups aren’t what they once were, you’re wrong. Jono’s doing it and he’s doing it big. Strap in for his modern tactics and strategies to turn Facebook Groups into cold, hard cash…

Listen In:


Jono’s Backstory: From Worst to First

Jono didn’t get his start as a Facebook group whiz. Instead, he was leading a fitness franchise ranked 75th … out of 75 locations. Rather than accepting failure, he mastered the bootcamp game by dedicating 12 months to becoming the best instructor in the world.

Mission accomplished. His club went from worst to first over the course of a year. Realizing anything is possible, Jono’s next endeavor was to take over social media and have it work for him instead of being a slave to it. So, he jumped headfirst into Facebook Groups and came out as the freakin’ guru.


3 Essential Elements of Successful Facebook Groups

If your groups are gonna go gangbusters, there’s a few things you must be delivering before you can capitalize on the strategies revealed here.

Don’t put the cart before the horse; make sure your Groups check all of the boxes below right here, right now.


  1. Great Groups Foster Relationships:


Your Facebook Groups should give your followers a window into your life, your unique perspective, and of course your own original thoughts. This helps to build real bonds that lead to profitable relationships. Too many fit pros are just tapping post on articles without any insight. BIG mistake — that kind of crap won’t get you anywhere. And it will make you blend in with all the other noise and jackasses posting pics of ass, abs and ego.

What you want to understand is that the power of any group, any list or any community is in the relationship. Your mission is to consistently nurture that relationship by adding value so that your guests decide to take action with you.

Then once they’ve developed a relationship with you, use your Groups to help them build relationships with each other. You know the value of your group fitness and personal training clients interacting with each other, right? The same holds true with digital relationships: Interaction among members is a winning formula.


  1. Offer Accountability:

If you work with clients in-person, Groups are a fantastic way to offer them additional accountability. One hour a week (or a day) isn’t going to do jack if the other 23 hours of the day are spent munching on potato chips, binge-watching Game of Thrones, and avoiding activity like the plague or falling into excuses that can tear down even the most well designed programs.

We’ll touch on tactics later, but there are plenty of ways to use your Groups to hold your peeps accountable. And if you’re not offering accountability, they’ll eventually leave you for someone who is. It’s a tragic ending many fit pros are all too familiar with.


  1. Encourage Engagement:

Turn crickets into conversation by forcing engagement. Engagement is hands down the best part of Facebook Groups … and the element we overlook way too much.

From tagging people in posts to offering challenges that make conversation non-negotiable, your Facebook Groups are a waste of time and effort if you’re not doing whatever it takes to earn engagement.


Create 2 Groups: Community Groups vs. VIP Groups

One tactic that has withstood the test of time (and all the algorithm updates) is the benefit of multiple Groups. You need a Community Group that’s free to join and a VIP Group that puts the velvet rope around you’re paying customers. As Amex taught us, membership has its privileges, baby…

Don’t worry, we’ll show you exactly how to get those Community folks into the VIP group shortly.

First things first, do not place qualifiers on that Community Group. Whether it’s a new lead, ex-client, or complete stranger, they should have access. It might surprise you, but Jono experienced firsthand that a Community Group can pay huge dividends when nurtured properly. Even if they’ve turned you down or never worked with you before, they can be nurtured into subscribers and clients … but the process only kicks off if they’re in the Community.


5 Proven Strategies to Get People In Your Community Groups

  • Invite Them. Every interaction you have needs to include an invite to your Group.

  • Network. Toss the business card aside and make your Group the number one way to contact you. Whether it’s at a party, a fitness facility, or a Pearl Jam concert, you need to be shaking hands and kissing babies.
  • Leverage Your Other Channels. Add a link to your group at the bottom of your emails with a succinct message enticing them to join. The copy here is important: focus on the value they’ll get. If you’re on Instagram (you should be), set up automated messaging for new followers so they’re instantly invited to your Group.
  • Offer a Free Gift for Joining. Speaking of value, give them something free for joining. Bonus points for getting their email address for the delivery of the gift. More on that later.
  • Referral Program. If you’re delivering value to your current Group members, they’ll have no problem recruiting for you; especially if you incentivize them. It’s a win-win.




What Should I Post in My Groups?


Content Strategy Basics:

Your VIP Group should have content about them, while you offer accountability and support that helps them foster relationships. Your Community Group should be more about you, and how you can help them so they get to know you. Furthermore, your content needs to be high-value. If they love what they’re getting — for free — in your Community Group, their imagination will run wild with what they could get by paying for VIP access.


There Is No Right or Wrong — Test Everything:

Jono found his Community Group is obsessed with his weekly workouts, while his VIP Group is hooked on his Facebook LIVE videos. Is this what works for everyone? No. Find out what works for you by testing different content and analyzing the results. If you get hundreds of likes on videos and crickets on images, you know your audience wants more video. The worst way to learn is by doing nothing. Do something and see what happens.


Use Giveaways to Get Contact Information:

While Facebook Groups are great for sharing valuable content, Jono has found sales are better done via email. Regardless of what works best for you and your audience, contact information is currency. So, when they join your Group, offer a free gift in exchange for their contact information. You now have multiple touchpoints.


Offer Challenges:

It’s an age-old practice, but it still works today. Challenges offer the perfect blend of engagement, accountability, and motivation to get your audience hooked on you. Plus, they attract new members too. Rather than waiting for the content to run dry, get on a regular cadence of challenges.


Jono’s 5-Step Formula to Transform Group Members Into Subscribers:

Alright, here it is. This is what you came for. A million-dollar strategy delivered in a minute’s time. Well I’d love to take credit for this, be sure you thank Jono. And if you want to see it in action, watch and learn by joining his Community Group.

Step 1: Invite Away.

This will kick things off. It’s a numbers game … invite everyone.

Step 2: Pin a Giveaway Post.

That way, the first thing they see when they join is a free gift. You’re giving tremendous value right off the bat. It will pay off in Step 4.

Step 3: Tag New Members In the Pinned Post.

In case they missed it, that notification will capture their attention. It’s instant accountability and a little reminder to take advantage of the offer.

Step 4: Require an Opt-In for the Giveaway.

That teeny bit of effort to tag all of your new Group members in the pinned post is going to get them involved and help you earn their email address. After all, that gift is delivered via email.

Step 5: Put Them In a Nurture / Sales Sequence.

Armed with their email address, toss them in a sequence that nurtures them into joining your VIP Group. Just a few days after inviting them to your Group, you’re now earning money.

Easy peasy. Want more of the details behind this incredible strategy? Give the podcast a listen. Jono spells it out in its entirety.  


Jono’s Bonus Tips for Fantastic Facebook Groups

Jono dropped a TON of knowledge bombs in the podcast. Far too many to cover in this blog alone. But here are a few bonus tips that stuck out to me. As I told Jono, I’ll be stealing these for my Facebook Groups.

Bonus Tip 1: Explore Facebook Automated Messaging.

Automated messaging allows you to sell through a series of questions / surveys that get you instant feedback. Instead of waiting for days, you can engineer the conversation and find out more about the individual then and there. They can also subscribe to your messages as another way to get them on your “list” and keep in constant contact.

Bonus Tip 2: Use Comments for Soft Selling.

Like any business, Facebook wants to keep its users on Facebook. So, you may notice when you post external links, your metrics take a nosedive. The solution? Keep them on Facebook with LIVE video and native posts. Then, hop in the comments to promote external links. This will ensure you don’t miss out on reach and engagement, and when done properly, those fresh comments can actually boost your metrics and keep your post at the top of others feeds.


Add CTAs to the End of Your LIVE Videos:

A quick pitch at the end of your LIVE videos is all you need to ensure you don’t come off as a sales-hungry influencer while still promoting your next big thing. After your short teaser, hop in the comments to give them more information. It works like a charm … as long as you’re providing real value in your videos.

Other than Jono’s vote for favorite Game of Thrones character, this man exceeded my expectations … and I’m sure he did the same for you. Facebook Groups aren’t dead. In fact, they’re alive and well. You just need to do your part to capitalize on them.


Catch you on the next episode of the Fitnesspreneur’s Life… or spying on Jono in his Community Group. It’s ok … he encourages it!


Peace, V!


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By Vito LaFata

As a certified High Performance and Funnel Optimization Coach, Vito La Fata, is the NO BS business & personal brand coach to the wellness and fitness professional or company that is looking to get outside the box of the industry and start learning how to grow a personal brand online and offline utilizing a hybrid business model of offline and online marketing strategies that deploy customer value optimization systems in order to create as much benefit and offering for the customer and as much profit and lifestyle for the company as possible.

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