Have you tried using Facebook for business with limited success?
Facebook pages provide limited opportunity unless you are willing to “pay to play”, which leaves the door wide open to take a different approach with your Facebook marketing through your personal profile.
According to Facebook’s newsroom, as of December 31, 2016, Facebook has 1.86 billion users.
This growth extends to Facebook’s online advertising platform, rapidly expanding thanks to its fine-tuned targeting algorithm.
What does this mean to you? In a few words, you can reach a whole lot of the exact people you want to reach on Facebook if you pay for it.
However, the power of Facebook for business, especially for service-based entrepreneurs goes beyond “fan pages” and advertising.
A growing number of consultants, coaches, podcast hosts, practitioners, speakers, authors, and other service-based entrepreneurs are using their personal profiles as part of their Facebook marketing strategy.
As a coach and consultant, I used to be reluctant to “friend” anyone I didn’t personally know. After all, business contacts had the option of “liking” my business page. However, soon enough I learned that if I used my personal profile as another component of my brand, I could create a much closer interaction with potential clients and business partners.
In contrast to posts on business pages, which you need to “boost” to reach your followers, posts on your personal page will be shown for free to the Facebook friends who interact with you. The more interaction you create, the more people you will reach.
How can this organic Facebook reach help you? And what exactly can you do with your personal profile to grow your service-based business? Try these.
7 Facebook for Business Strategies via Your Personal Profile
1. Grow your business page
As you build your base of personal Facebook friends, you’ll be able to invite those friends to “like” your business page. This is especially important if you’re advertising on Facebook, because you’ll be able to create campaigns targeted to people who like your page.
To send the invitations, you’ll need to hover over “More” below your Page’s cover photo, select “Invite Friends,” and then select who you’d like to invite.
Keep in mind that the maximum number of personal friends you’re allowed on Facebook is limited to 5,000. Even though that audience size might seem small, you’ll be reaching a targeted group of potential clients who already know about you.
2. Add interaction and community to your training programs
If you offer training programs online, you can use closed Facebook groups to create a sense of community among your course participants, provide support, and share new resources.
In fact, many online training businesses offer membership to a private Facebook group as a bonus for joining their programs, like this one below that Melonie Dodaro offers when someone joins her online program.
Close interaction is one of the most powerful ways to build trust and increase customer satisfaction. If you plan on upselling your high-end coaching and consulting programs to your course participants, delivering support and value to those participants through your Facebook group will make your job much easier.
The power of your closed Facebook group doesn’t end there. You can gather feedback on beta versions of your courses, so that your final edition is geared for success.
Also, group members will most likely create relationships with one another as they provide feedback and share resources, which will add a new layer of value to your offer.
To start a closed group on Facebook, click in the top right of Facebook and select “Create Group.”
Once you have entered your group name and added the group members, you’ll choose “Closed Group” as the privacy setting.
Keep in mind that you can only use your personal Facebook profile (not your business page) to join groups. Here’s where the advantage of having a personal profile designed for business comes into play.
3. Connect with potential clients
With hundreds of millions of groups on Facebook, you’ll be able to find and join networking groups filled with your ideal clients.
To find the best groups for you, only enter your keywords in the Facebook search box and click on the “Groups” tab. Here’s an image of the results I got when I entered the keywords “Social Media Marketing.”
Once you have narrowed your search, focus on the groups that have the most interactions. Seek group organizers who enforce group rules aimed at reducing spam and maximizing value.
It’s important to focus on one or two groups at a time, and regularly provide valuable feedback to the members. Over time, you’ll build authority and will be seen as an expert in your field, which you’ll need before anyone decides to buy your services.
Just like with any relationship, you’ll need to nurture your new connections before you’re ready to sell, and provide value after those connections have become clients or customers.
4. Get to know your avatar in depth
People tend to freely express their frustrations on Facebook, and you’ll only have direct access to that information if you’ve connected with your ideal clients on your personal Facebook profile.
If you want to use Facebook for business you must gather enough information about your ideal client’s pain points, one effective way to do that is to post a poll on a group’s newsfeed. Just click under “More” and select “Poll.”
I have used polls to learn more about my ideal client’s needs and wants, to test the most appealing landing page headlines, and to gather preferences for my course content.
An irresistible offer requires direct feedback from its intended buyer, and your personal Facebook profile can become a powerful tool to design such offers.
5. Connect with influencers
One of the most effective ways to connect with influencers is to join their programs or purchase their products. Many times, those programs and products include membership in a private Facebook group.
If you purchase an influencer’s product and become an active and valuable participant in the group, you’ll have a great chance to become one of the influencer’s personal Facebook friends. Also, you’ll have an advantage when it comes to connecting with these influencers on LinkedIn, where you can continue to nurture the connection.
Also, many influencers belong to paid groups run by influencers, which means that you’ll have a chance to expand your network even more. Delivering value should always be your #1 goal.
6. Boost your joint venture partner launch
If your business model includes product launches with joint venture or affiliate partners, you can maximize the engagement of those partners by adding them as friends on Facebook and inviting them to join a special Facebook group created only for partners. To be successful at using Facebook for business you can create a network of people that can share your content with their audiences, and you can reciprocate.
7. Connect at a deeper level with your clients and associates
In the end, we’re all human beings who use our emotions and social ties to make purchasing decisions. Connecting with potential clients and associates on Facebook allows you to show your human side, the unique you that will help you stand out from your competition.
In conclusion, gone are the days that Facebook was only for posting cat memes and baby pictures. Today, personal Facebook profiles are an excellent tool for business growth.
If you decide to make the leap and use your personal Facebook profile for business, be sure to match the messaging on your personal page to that of your business page, and always think of the impact on your personal and business brand before you click “post.”
What other ways have you successfully used Facebook for business with your personal profile? Share in the comments below.
Cloris Kylie helps entrepreneurs attract the right clients by leveraging existing online marketing platforms and connections with influencers. Learn more about Cloris here.