One of the big questions of being a small biz owner is, “how do I get clients?” Because as someone once pointed out to me, if you’re not making money all you really have is an expensive hobby.[Tweet “”If you’re not making money all you really have is an expensive hobby.” – @SYTBizSolutions”]
I’ve learned a lot about marketing in 5+ years that I’ve been in business. Some of it from the tons of reading I do, but a lot of it comes from just learning as I go. One of the things I’ve learned is that Facebook is a great place to connect with people but there are right and wrong ways to go about getting clients.
The Wrong Way:
1. Spamming people. Facebook is appealing because of the potential to connect with so many people at once. So when you’ve got an awesome new offer it’s tempting to go into all your groups and post about it. Because why not leverage your connection to thousands of prospects?
The short answer, because it doesn’t work. If you haven’t been actively participating in a group, simply posting an offer isn’t likely to get a flurry of “yes please!” because people don’t know you well enough to want to buy. And if you’re in a group where offers are allowed 24/7 then odds are your post will just get lost in the long line of people promoting themselves. Because those people are more worried about selling their own stuff than buying from you.
2. Taking the same content and posting it in different groups at once. When you have an awesome insight that you want to share, like how you finally busted through your income ceiling, it’s great to share that with other biz owners. You never know who will be able to learn from what you have to share, and telling people how things turned around just when you were ready to give up, might just be what someone else needs to hear today. But when you go around and post that in multiple groups, the post starts to lose it’s authenticity.
3. Not being there to interact. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite are great for scheduling posts but they won’t take the place of you being there. We’ve all been there, telling yourself that you’ll check Facebook then realizing an hour later that you haven’t actually gotten anything done. You shouldn’t let yourself get sucked into social media, but if you’ve taken the time to post something, be sure to take the time to check on it. Set a timer if you have to, just make sure you don’t post and run. Social media is about making connections and if people are taking the time to reply to your posts you should take the time to check in.
The Right Way:
When I say that there’s a right way to get clients on Facebook, I don’t mean to imply that it’s the only way. I just mean that in my experience, focusing on relationships and helping people are more likely to result in clients. I’ve connected with multiple people who found me through my participation in Facebook groups, and were ready to work with me because they already knew about me.
So what does that look like?
1. Help people. Whenever someone posts a question that I can help with, I try to help as much as I can. Sometimes I follow up with them and offer more help, but only if it seems like a natural extension of our conversation. If someone makes a post about having issues with their WordPress website I don’t automatically send them my link because that’s not what they asked for. Go into your group and see how you can help, even if it’s just to comment on someone’s post and say “You can totally do this” or “I’ve been there, this will pass”. The more you participate and the more people see you, the more likely they are to come to you when they need the kind of help you offer.
2. Focus on relationship building. It’s easy to get caught up in making the sale, especially when the end of the month is coming up and you know an extra sale would give you some breathing room. But focusing on the longer term can pay off too. I’ve had people who were ready to work with me come back months later ready to say yes. I’ve also had people who didn’t work with me happily recommend me to people, so it’s important not to discount any conversations you have, even when you think you won’t make the sale today.
3. Sometimes less is more. Social media can be quite the time suck, and if you’re attempting to participate in too many groups you’ll find yourself spread too thin. Choose 1 or 2 groups to actively participate in and feel free to switch it up if you find that it’s not working for you. I’m active in about 3 groups, 1 of those groups I’ve been a member for about 2 years, the other 2 I’ve been switching up every so often. The one group that I’ve been a member of consistently, has paid off in multiple clients and referrals. Now I have people reaching out to me based on my participation, even when I haven’t directly interacted with them, and when people ask about website related topics I have people who tag me in the conversation because they think I can help. Things like that take time and consistency, but they can definitely pay off!
Social media is a great way to connect with people, and just like with anything else in your business, consistency is key. Keep showing up and building relationships with people, soon you might find that you have more work than you can handle!
If you’re ready to jump into Facebook groups but not sure where to start, check out our post on the best Facebook groups for entrepreneurs to hang out in!