Found this to be a very useful article for my illustrated food blog page, covering some things I didn’t even know exist! Such as networked blogs.
How to Use a Facebook Fan Page to Promote Your Freelance Business
Facebook, with more than 500 million active users, presents an excellent marketing opportunity for freelancers. Assuming your target clients are active Facebook users, you can easily find new prospects in this social network.
I dare say, if you can’t or won’t create your own freelancing website–even though it’s now cheaper and easier than ever–then a Facebook page is the next best thing.
Benefits of a Facebook Page
Facebook pages are indexed and findable through Google and other search engines. Especially if you’re targeting a highly competitive keyword, having an optimized Facebook page may be the best way to rank highly in the search engines.
Facebook pages also offer plenty of functionalities, which make them more interactive than a static web page. You can embed an opt-in form and collect contact information, for example. You can link it to your blog so links to your posts are automatically published on your page’s wall. You can even use video and add all sorts of other whiz bang features, depending on how much coding you know or are willing to outsource. Nevertheless, the most basic Facebook page will let you do plenty of things.
Finally, creating a Facebook page will allow you to keep your professional interactions separate from your personal account. This way, you can share all your personal updates freely to family and friends (including potentially embarrassing stuff), but not to prospects and clients. That said, your Facebook page will show you as the administrator of that page. However, you can choose to share your personal updates only to friends.
9 Tips for Promoting Your Freelancing Services
Here are nine tips you can use to promote your freelancing business with a Facebook page:
- Know who your target clients are. This is the basic ingredient of any good marketing campaign. Know exactly whom you’re targeting, what their interests are, and where they hang out on Facebook. Maybe they don’t even use Facebook, in which case, you should stop reading this now and go to where your target market is. Understanding how your target clients use Facebook will determine how you use and promote your page.
- Fill out the information on your page. When you create your page, you’ll have several information fields to fill out. Input as much as is relevant. Definitely write something in the “About,” “Description,” “General Information,” and “Website” fields. Provide your location, if that is relevant, such as when you target local businesses in your geographic location. Under “Products,” name the main services you offer, like “graphic design” or “WordPress installation and customization.”
- Use client-focused language. When providing information about your services, avoid the common mistake of being self-centered. Write from the point of view of your prospects instead. One way to do this is to focus on the benefits you bring to clients, instead of only talking about the features of your services. To illustrate: web design that’s attractive, user-friendly, and affordable are features of your service. The benefit is that your client will effectively attract more of their target market, communicate their unique selling proposition, and establish a strong visual brand.
- Collect contact information from your page. Make your Facebook page work as hard as your website would! Embed an opt-in form on your page and collect the contact information of people who like or visit your page. This will allow you to build a list of prospects and communicate with them regularly. Even if you don’t have an email opt-in form on your Facebook page, you can still communicate with your page’s “likers” or followers. Every time you publish an update on your page wall, it will appear in your followers’ news feeds. However, there is another, better way to connect with them. That’s by sending them an update from your page (under the Marketing section). Your update will be sent to your followers’ emails, which gives you a better chance of getting their attention. Despite these features, I still recommend you get your Facebook contacts into your own email list. This gives you much more control and ownership of the list and frees you from being at the mercy of Facebook (and its many changes).
- Link your blog to your page through Networked Blogs. If you have a blog, link it to your page through the Networked Blogs application. You’ll find this under the Apps section when you click “Edit Info” from your page’s home page.
- Interact as your page. Facebook recently allowed users to interact on Facebook as pages, rather than their personal profiles. The implications of this feature are big for those with business-oriented pages. This means you can get much more exposure for your business, because it’s your business page, not your personal profile, that appears throughout Facebook. After you log into Facebook, click on the Account tab on the top right corner of the page. Select “Use Facebook as Page” and choose the specific page you want to interact as (if you have several pages). Now–as your business page–go ahead and “like” other pages (ideally the ones your target clients like as well). Post comments on those pages. Notice that this time, your page’s name and profile picture appear instead of your personal profile. This means exposure for your business! Go ahead and interact on relevant pages for a few minutes each day.
- Pimp the row of photos on top of your page. Facebook now displays a row of pictures on top of your page. This is another opportunity for you to attract prospects and showcase your services, especially if you’re in the visual industry. You can use the row of pictures to display your best photographs and illustrations, for example. However, even if you don’t provide graphics-related services, you can still use this feature creatively. For inspiration, check out Mashable’s list of 10 creative uses for the new Facebook profile.
- Promote your page. Your page will market your services effectively only if you get enough eyeballs to it. Invite all your friends and loved ones to like your page, even if they’re not your target clients. This will help you tap into their network, because when they interact on your page, this will show up on their wall. You can also add a widget to your website, so your site’s visitors can like your page. Another option is to pay for an ad on Facebook, if you’re so inclined. This post shares more specific tips on how to grow the fan base for your Facebook page.
- Post on your wall at last once a day. When you create a Facebook page, you need to commit to maintaining it for at least a few minutes every day. One of my social media marketing guru friends says we should post on our page wall at least once a day. More often is even better. And definitely respond to comments and other things your followers post on your page. Facebook now sends you a notification every time someone posts something on your page (assuming you allow others to post on your page wall), so you can respond in a timely fashion.
Ready to Facebook It?
Facebook marketing is becoming increasingly popular among businesses. Why not harness it for your freelancing business as well? It’s completely free (unless you use ads) and relatively simple (if I can do it, so can you). You can spend as little or as much time as you like on it (but remember you get as much as you put in).
Are you ready to join the millions of businesses that have Facebook pages? Did this post inspire you to use Facebook or other social networks to find clients? Or did it help you decide that Facebook marketing is not appropriate for your target market?
Share your insights, questions and feedback in the comments below.
Image by Findyoursearch
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April 25th, 2011 at 9:54 am
April 25th, 2011 at 11:54 am
I don’t necessarily agree that you need to post on your wall every single day, nor should you post on your wall more than once a day. It really depends on what type of Facebook Page you have. Personally, I dislike when a facebook page posts more than 2 times a day, it’s seems desperate and spammy. Unless the updates are far apart from each other, like one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, that isn’t so bad. But I’ve seen some FB pages spam all through out the day and I quickly unlike them.
But again, it’s all about what kind of page you have which dictates how often you should post.
Interacting as my page has drastically increased my audience and has helped bring in a HUGE number of new likes. I think it works better than any other method right now.
April 25th, 2011 at 1:15 pm
Great advice, the first couple ones are really obvious, and everybody tells them – but I guess it’s part of the picture :) I will definately try to improve on my Facebook page using this advice ;)
April 25th, 2011 at 4:53 pm
I myself set up a Facebook page and people seem really reluctant to click that Like button. It’s something that I’ve kind of neglected as of late but this post has made me thing that maybe it’s time to re-vamp it a bit and try and push it out there again.
Cheers for the post
April 25th, 2011 at 7:17 pm
Great post and resources! I need to make my facebook page more of a priority. I didn’t know you can send a facebok email to your “likers”. That’s cool, but I agree, it’s better to build your own list.
Mashable’s list of 10 creative uses for the new Facebook profile is downright awesome! Thank you for linking to it, but one question: don’t the pics at the top rotate? If so, is there any way to lock them?
April 26th, 2011 at 4:26 am
This is a great post, I agree that Facebook can do so much for all business’. If asked by clients if they should use Facebook nine times out of ten the answer is yes as it is a free marketing tool that you can get a lot out of by investing a little time. With such a vast range of users the majority of business do find that their target market are using Facebook.
April 26th, 2011 at 7:25 am
Great…Thanks so much for the information on using the facebook fan page. Cheers!
April 26th, 2011 at 10:42 am
Great post, Lexi! And some great comments, too. Remember to review your metrics so you can continually improve your Facebook marketing, which Facebook makes really easy to do: go to your Fan page and click on “View Insights” in the right area of the page. You’ll see interesting data about your fans and your performance. You’ll see your level of activity; the increase or decrease in number of fans; demographics of your fans; what countries they’re from; which of your posts got the most or least activity and many other helpful “Insights” that help you improve your “game.”
April 27th, 2011 at 5:07 am
Nice writeup. I need to put more work into my Facebook page, right now it lacks everything.
I don’t agree with the wall publishing frequency. To much feels like spam and I don’t think as a designer you have so much to share with clients that they would find useful.
April 27th, 2011 at 7:13 am
Agree with Morgan’s comment – a page which posts something every day or more than once a day does feel spammy and in your face. You’re likely to lose followers as quickly as you gain them. I think holding back is important – if you’ve got something you want to show off to your fan page, but you’ve already posted today – save it till tomorrow or the next. Keeping fans on your side is the most important part; don’t stress them out by overdoing it.
Oh, and nice post!
April 29th, 2011 at 2:26 am
thanks for this great advice.. I have just created my Facebook page but not aware how to use it for market my self. one question can you suggest where should i put some keywords in my Facebook page..
i really appreciate this..
April 29th, 2011 at 10:06 am
Just curious here- Dave Henderson specifically..We’ve been debating whether putting time into a company facebook page would pay dividends. What sort of search path would lead folks to your FB page rather than your website?
If I was looking for a designer I’d put the query into google.
Not saying this theory doesn’t work, just kind of curious as to how (from a user/searcher perspective)
May 2nd, 2011 at 2:34 am
DHMay 5th, 2011 at 11:28 am
There’s no way to install the Networked Blogs app on your Fan Page. You have to use your personal page.
May 11th, 2011 at 5:14 pm
I’m not sure about Facebook for marketing….. Really i believe in Search engine Better. somehow i managed to get more business from search engine then Facebook. But i have one client that has bn very successful in Facebook ( nightlife Page for a City) worked well for him as promoter.
This is just my opinion but I’m sure others have their way as well.
June 29th, 2011 at 8:04 am
Great tutorial – very well written and with great result.
July 5th, 2011 at 6:09 am
Really enjoyed reading your article. Great Information. The “9 tips” are awesome.
October 31st, 2011 at 10:07 pm
So difficult to get real followers and leads from a freelance business for web design or graphic design. Unless we have been going about it the wrong way all this time.
November 16th, 2011 at 8:08 am
I particularly like the social plugin for wordpress, however getting people to like the page is a lot harder than it used to be..
January 31st, 2012 at 1:47 pm
Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for newbie blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.
February 23rd, 2012 at 4:49 am
How facebook pages are searched? For example I’m a freelance ‘adobe flash developer’, will it search the entry given in ‘About’ or in the ‘name’ of the page. I’m little confused, i need to give ‘flash developer’ in the field in which search is enabled for facebook.
April 19th, 2012 at 5:11 pm
You Share Really good article. One extra point. Always make you article, page, or post super interesting to read. Make people want to come back for more.
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October 19th, 2012 at 12:31 pm
I am having a problem of which i think its a big one. i would really like to harness this great feature but am a kind of guy who has always underestimated the power of facebook. now am marketing this new product but i think its time to come down on my knees for facebook, in fact i have already kneeled down but it seem face book will never forgive me. i just cant make it wright. no one comment on any thing that i do or post on facebook.
what do you think am missing?
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March 4th, 2013 at 4:32 am
Really nice tips. I also want to promote my site. If anybody do for me meas it is fine.
Waiting for you reply……
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April 21st, 2013 at 2:41 pm
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November 18th, 2013 at 5:28 am
How facebook pages are searched? I’m a freelance web developer, and in the any of the search the facebook page doesn’t appear, are those pages are ‘no-follow’ by google
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