When You’re Not One of the Favorites
I’m active in a few groups on Facebook. I’ve yet to see a need or justification for putting one together myself (heck, I’m still fine-tuning my message and my audience!). Like everything else, I’m learning a lot of “do’s” and “don’ts” from my status as a member rather than an owner.
Recently, I talked to one group owner about an offering, but the $XXXX price tag wasn’t in my budget. For the time being, I needed to make use of the free content (which is incredible) and my current pay-what-you-can mentoring program.
Though I felt we’d ended the conversation on a positive note, I’ve noticed a distinct chill since our conversation, not from any of the other group members, but my comments to the group owner go unmentioned and unanswered.
Putting it in Perspective
I understand it’s a large group and the owner can’t respond to all comments, but when you’re on a live with maybe 30-40 people and comments are being read on-air, it’s easy to see when your own comments are being passed over time and time again. It’s also clear that the people and comments which are highlighted belong to those who have, in one way or another provided value to the group owner. I admit, the obvious ghosting makes me less inclined to take time out of my week for the Lives and to participate by posting my thoughts in the thread. I am, after all, only human, and as a human, disinclined to go where I know I’ll be ignored.
I’ll concede it could be a personality thing too, but either way, it rankles, and were it not for some really helpful and interesting members of the group, it might become another I tried for a while, then left.
My point here is not to blindly criticize someone else’s methodology, but to highlight a challenge I’m sure most group owners face. As human beings, we will always have some people we prefer over others. When you have a group with members numbering in the thousands, you’re not going to be able to give the same amount of attention to everyone. To use an old term, if someone is supporting your business in some way, you’re more likely to want to “stroke” them so they’ll continue to support you. After all, a bird in the hand beats going out and beating the bushes, right?
Member vs. Owner
I’m finding one of the advantages to being a group member instead of a group owner is an opportunity to watch and learn, both what works and what doesn’t. Granted, it is my perspective, and in the end, reflective of the kind of people I like being around. Still, as I have with a number of managers in my former career, I see things people may not even be aware of. Some of them, I find really great and something I’d like to eventually emulate. Others, I recognize as things I could inadvertently do myself, thereby alienating people who might be valuable assets to the group and its members.
Believe me, I get that establishing and running a Facebook group is a HUGE investment in time and energy. Some are so involved in being available and creating new programs, I know it’s only because of an amazing team they’re able to give of themselves to their clients as well. After all, there are only so many hours in the day, and everyone needs some for themselves and their family as well.
My initial reaction at realizing I was relegated to the “not worth engaging with” list of this group owner was some resentment. But I realized we all must practice what we preach, and once he knew I wasn’t going to become a paid client in the foreseeable future, it was well within his purview to take attention away from me and give it to people who were more likely to become clients. Not only is it simple economics, it’s human nature.
Re-directing Time and Energy to the Right Audience
I’ve done the same thing myself in recent months. When someone has made it abundantly clear they’re
happy to take my money for their workshops and services, but that never in a million years would they divert money from one of their pet products or services to mine (even, in a couple of cases when they’ve made it clear they hate doing what I could help them do), I’ve turned my attention elsewhere too. They aren’t a potential client for me in the foreseeable future, so I need to put my time and effort into people who haven’t in effect crossed me off their list of potential service providers.
That’s not to say I do anything drastic like unfriending. I still like them as people, and appreciate the wisdom they share freely. But when their message is clear, that they’d rather suffer through doing something they hate, or worse, put it on the back burner, than hire me to help them, I accept where they’ve placed me in their own minds and move on. It goes back to a promise I made myself when I was young: I won’t stay where I’m not wanted.
At the time, I meant it in terms of relationships but what is business give and take? It’s all about relationship building, and part of that process is knowing when to let go and move on. The trick when it comes to Facebook groups is to realize a group is more than just its owner. There may be some great and valuable take-aways you’d lose if you tossed the baby out with the bath water.
Not a Teacher’s Pet
To be honest, I don’t set out to be any group owner’s favorite. Teacher’s pet has never been an aspiration for me, and it isn’t going to become one at this late stage. I’m my own person, and I’ll never make everyone like me. Frankly, that would be exhausting. Trying to remember who I’m supposed to be with whom is a pain in the neck. At least I’ve learned that just because one person passes me over, it doesn’t mean everyone will. For some, I’ll have something to say they’ll find useful, and if I can offer a little value while I’m interacting in the groups, I’m making progress in my own relationship building.
It’s Not the Size of the Package, It’s the Value Contained Within
I’ve found value in groups of many sizes. Some have less than 100 members, but are slowly growing. Others have thousands, and many perspectives and experiences. I’m learning as much from the Millennials as the Baby Boomers these days, and love how much each generation brings to the table. I respect and value those who take the time and make the effort to create, moderate, and curate their groups. I know they face a lot of challenges, and don’t need to babysit their members on top of everything else.
So to answer my question, I believe group owners do play favorites, but I also believe they’re justified in doing so for the most part, especially when it affects their livelihood. The time spent in their groups has to yield positive results for their business at some point, or why would they put so much into making them successful?
Gratitude Softens the Rough Edges
My gratitudes today are:
- I am grateful I’ve learned to slow down my reactions when the result would be negative and self-destructive.
- I am grateful for the people who create places I can learn and interact with others who are several steps beyond where I am.
- I am grateful for deductive reasoning and a place like my blog to write out my thoughts so I can arrive at a better conclusion than knee-jerk reactions would evoke.
- I am grateful for my writing. It’s a place I go often multiple times a day in one form or another.
- I am grateful for abundance; life, love, friendship, relationships, lessons, dancing, cat loves, books, helping, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She specializes in creating content to help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author