This post is a must-read for you if you use Facebook groups as a way to do networking with the hopes of getting new clients, referrals, leads, partnership opportunities… or really, anything that has to do with you growing your business.
If you use Facebook groups just for fun, and you don’t care if clients come from it, then don’t worry about this post and you don’t have to take everything I say here to heart.
But to the rest of you… Seriously. Read this.
This post is actually not just about Facebook groups. But it’s something that is important to make sure you have done before you even start using Facebook groups for any type of outreach or marketing initiatives with the hopes of driving more traffic or referrals to your business.
A couple of weeks or months ago, I was looking for a health coach with a weight loss specialization for someone I know. I belong to a several entrepreneurial Facebook groups, many of which have a lot of coaches in its realm (and I now for a FACT, there are people who would fit the bill). So I thought it wouldn’t be hard to come up with some good referrals to give quite quickly.
Boy, was I wrong.
Not only did a search come to be very frustrating, but it’s crazy to me how difficult some people, who may or may not be a good fit, made it to find out whether they were indeed a good fit. When a person is readily SEEKING a specific person…. and not having any luck in the groups that consist of several thousand entrepreneurs, most of which are coaches, something is not right. And through my search, I quickly realized the things that made me really turned off and frustrated during this experience.
From that, this post was born.
Is your Facebook profile driving potential clients away? Learn the things to avoid. (tweet this)
Alright, so without further ado, here are some things you have to make sure you do if you plan on using your personal Facebook account with the hopes of attracting more customers or clients into your business (like with the help of Facebook Groups).
1. Make sure your profile is filled out with your Facebook page as your place of work
If you want people to contact you or inquire about working with you, PLEASE don’t make them do the extra 5 steps of googling your name with the hopes of learning about your business. Or having them private message you for more information. Why? Because they WON’T do it.
There are SO many instances I come across where I see people in Facebook groups talking about their business, inviting others to have a conversation about working together or whatever; they are very clearly there for networking opportunities to grow their business (and I’m ALL for it!) BUT they are making it hard as all hell for it to be any kind of fruitful. Seriously.
If I can’t find your Facebook page or your website from your profile, do you really think I’m going to Google you or reach out to you without any prior knowledge of what you’re all about? If I don’t know you yet and don’t know what you’re all about, the answer is a hard no.
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There are usually a LOT of other people who are doing what you are also doing, especially in the service-based field. And if I can’t find your information of what you can provide me (aside from just saying “Oh yes, I am a health coach and I work with women! PM me if you wanna talk) and I can’t see your personality, your style, your testimonials, your offerings… do you really think I’m going to go ahead and reach out to you blindly?
Well, maybe. If you’re the only person who replied to my post. Maybe.
But most of the time? No.
I wanna make my own decision first and not waste time in back-and-forth that might end up being awkward when you don’t turn out being who I’m looking for. Like it or not, very often people prefer to look at your website and offerings in how they are structured first before moving forward, especially when they have never heard of you before. I don’t have hours (sometimes, not even minutes) to talk before coming to a decision about right-fit that I could have made in a fraction of the time by looking at your site.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a Millennial or maybe it’s the fact that I’m busy most of the time. But really, don’t you agree we all want to save time and avoid unnecessary back-and-forth’s?
2. Have (at least) some trace of your business in your Facebook profile
I’m not saying you should use your personal account as a way to market your business to your friends. That’s obviously not the right fit for everyone. Personally, I do it because a large percentage of the people I am friends with on Facebook are also my ideal clients, but that might not be the case for you. And that’s absolutely fine.
However, if you are interacting in networking groups on Facebook and someone gets curious about you based on a comment you made or something so they go to your profile to check you out… but then they see absolutely nothing at all that would tie you to what you claim your business to be, or any interests or passions related to your business in SOME way, on your account…. well, they might then think you aren’t serious or passionate about what you’re doing.
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Maybe it’s because I like to work with people who LOVE what they do. They love it so they can’t help but share it on their wall. What we share on Facebook has been shown as an aspirational as well as expressional way to show who we are and if you don’t show an interest in the topic you’re business is in, then in my eyes… something’s missing.
Something’s not right with that picture.
If you’re passionate about your business but yet don’t post anything related to it on Facebook… Something’s missing here. (tweet this)
Whether it’s through the outside links they share with their friends that are still related to their business, or having a website link/workplace filled out (see point above), or having an image or two that talk about what you do.. or show what you do, I wanna see it!
Even if you don’t want your personal account to be all business, just have SOME kind of a trace to show me you actually enjoy your work.
3. Not having a real photo as your profile picture
Again, this might not work for everyone. Not everyone is as into social media as I am, but if you want to get some referrals or inquiries through Facebook groups, or getting contacted via your personal account… well, people want to know they are contacting a real person. Not a flower. Not a drawn smiley face. Not a quote.
That’s not to say you can’t have that as a profile pic sometimes. Go to town.
But if there are no pictures anywhere of you on your personal account, showing me that you are a real human being with a life, interests, passions, etc – I don’t know… it just feels weird to me. I wanna know how the person I’m contacting looks like. If I wanted to talk to a robot I’d call my bank. Or just spend the rest of my life Googling and reading things. (Does that even make sense? Hah, whatever).
Show me your face, gorgeous! Don’t be shy 🙂
4. Overdoing it on the promotion
On the flip side of promoting yourself and sharing your interests and passions on your Facebook profile, there’s also such a thing as TOO MUCH promotion. Same as it goes for Facebook pages or any other social channels – usually the 80/20 rule is a good one to follow. Post normal stuff, fun and engaging stuff on your profile that your friends might wanna see for 80% of the time and then you can use the other 20% to promote yourself.
It’s not a hard rule. You can mend it to work for you. You’re the only one who knows how your friends on Facebook react to your stuff. And also there is a way to post stuff that promotes you and your work without being promotional, and that’s not what I’m referring to here.
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What I’m referring to is when I go on your wall and I see the same post over and over (some MLM promos come to mind). Bad graphics, overly loud copy and nauseatingly excited phrasing with hundreds of exclamation points and question marks everywhere. Over and over again. Yuck.
Don’t hit people over the head with your biz promos – that’s annoying and unprofessional. Be authentic instead. (tweet this)
Not only would I NOT wanna work with you (or buy from you) but I’m probably gonna unfriend/unfollow you as well. Stay away from me.
I realize you’ve gotta hustle, especially in the beginning. Just do it authentically not like a used car salesman.
So what CAN you do?
I didn’t want you to feel like I’m scolding you. I’m just venting a little and hoping it makes some of the readers think if you’ve done some of these things on your own Facebook profile. If you have, don’t worry – this is FINE. How would you know how others react to these things? I’m not telling you you’re a bad person or a bad marketer or bad business person. Quite the opposite. I am giving you the insight into how I (and surely many others) think when they go through looking for referrals and/or people to work with, especially found via Facebook groups.
What can you do now?
Simply be aware and see if you’ve committed any of these “sins” and just pick yourself up and start over again with these thoughts in mind.
You can do this! 🙂
Speaking of Facebook groups – I invite you to join me…
After an inspiring conversation with a fellow biz lady the other day around FB groups, I’ve decided I wanna connect more and have more fun with likeminded boss ladies online. Please join us if this vibes well with you and let’s hang out 🙂