Hey there girlfriend! Today I want to talk to you about using your Facebook personal profile to market your business.
Now just to make sure that we’re on the same page about what we’re talking about here, when I say profile I mean the personal side of Facebook and that’s where people have to request to be friends with you and you have to approve them in order for you to have that connection. When I say page, I mean the business side. That’s where you have your like page or your fan page, your business page. So profile is personal, page is business.
Got it, okay.
I want to talk to you about that and ways that you can do that effectively and things that you need to be careful of when you’re using your personal page to market your business.
Right up front, I want to make sure that you understand that Facebook’s terms of service actually say that you cannot do business on your personal profile. That it is personal, it’s not business. If you want to do business, you need to be using your business page. Make sure you understand that and even though that’s the case you can still work a little bit of marketing magic on your personal profile, especially for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs. If you were the CEO of Nike or Coca-Cola, not so much can really happen on your personal page that’s going to make a big difference in your business. However, for the average solopreneur it can actually make a difference for you. Especially for women, especially for those of us who like to form those real relationships with our clients. That they actually become friends. If that’s the case for you, then it may be a good idea to use your personal profile in some very safe ways that don’t violate Facebook’s terms of service.
Let’s talk about that.
Before I go any further, I want to say, that this only makes sense if you are friends with your potential clients. If your potential clients are not part of your circle of friends, those are not the people you’re interested in doing business with, then it will not work for you. It is pointless for you to do this because you’re not getting your content in front of the right people.
There are a couple different reasons why you might want to do this though. If you are friends with your potential clients, then it does give them a way to get to know you and build that know, like, and trust. They get to know about your business.
The other thing is that the people that your friends with get to know about what it is that you do. So maybe your roommate from college is not your ideal client, but her next door neighbor might be or the person that she works with might be. Her sister might be. You are educating your friends about what it is that you do in your business so that they can refer potential clients to you later. So that can be beneficial as well.
Remember that you do still need to be careful that you’re not going to violate Facebook’s terms of service. Asking for sales, really being pushy or being overt in your marketing, can potentially cause problems for you and there have been a number of entrepreneurs, in the past year, who have lost their Facebook profiles.
Think about what that would mean if it happened to you. Think about all of those pictures of your kids, of your family, that you have on Facebook that, if you’re like me, you might not have saved everywhere else. If you are like me you aren’t always backing up your photos as often as you should and sometimes Facebook may end up being the only place you can know for sure you have it saved! Maybe it is even a photo someone else took for you. If your Facebook profile disappeared tomorrow because you violated their terms of service, would you lose things that were important to you?
You’d lose an awful lot of contacts, you’d lose a way to keeping in touch with friends and family, potentially losing those photos, and you lose the link to your business page as well. That’s a serious problem. So let’s make sure that you’re staying on the right side of Facebook’s rules. In order to do that, what I recommend, is using soft business updates. It’s sort of, it’s kind of the sharing the personal aspect of your business.
So if you’ve got that big launch coming up or for instance maybe you are a travel professional and you’re hosting a Europe night at an Italian restaurant. You’re going to be serving dinner to some of your best clients and having a presentation on available trips that you have coming up. You might be really excited about having this event coming up, so you can talk about it from that standpoint. Share that you’ve just had a tasting of the sample menu and you can’t wait to see how your guests enjoy it. The key is that when you’re talking about the event, you have the opportunity to say what it is and what’s going on within your business, yet it’s still a personal update, it’s not a business update because what you were talking about was being exciting about it.
As entrepreneurs our work is a part of our personal life even more so than the average person working a 9-5 job. When you come at it from that standpoint, it’s easy to be able to justify that it was not a business post.
Start to think about those soft updates that you can make. You can post things like, that you just had lunch with a client and she shared with you some amazing results that she got and it has absolutely made your day. You could share a picture of you with a client and talk about how you love when clients become friends and share that you’ve been working with Suzy for the last year and a half on her fitness goals and she’s lost weight, she’s gained stamina, etc. It becomes a personal update, even though you are basically, sharing a testimonial and letting your Facebook friends know about what it is that you do in your business.
I have lots of different tips about this that I go over in my Facebook accelerator course. We have a whole section that we devote to this. Learning how to leverage the “soft business update” is a really powerful tool to use on your social media accounts.
Remember, if it is an overt marketing message, put it on your business page and share it to your personal page. Okay? The object of the “Facebook game” is engagement and a big part of that is encouraging people share things they find relevant, interesting and helpful. Just don’t be “that girl” who shares absolutely every post on her business page over to her personal profile too. You don’t want to become that annoying friend that everyone hides posts from because you’re constantly trying to sell something.
Here is the golden rule for soft business posts: if it is something that you would share with a good friend, over lunch in answer to the question “hey how are things going,”then you are totally golden!.
Can you think of some things you can start to share on your personal profile to start to get more exposure for your business and educate your friends and family about what it is you do and how they can refer business to you? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!