Freelance Marketing on Facebook

Before you start this learning track, I recommend you complete Introduction to Social Media for Business so you’re clear about where Facebook sits in your social media strategy.

Facebook is always in the news for  all the wrong reasons, and I have to say it’s always tempting to delete my account. But, there’s one reason to stick with Facebook: the audience. It’s 2 billion and counting (the size of a couple of large countries), and spans much of the globe. That means in almost any niche, it’s a good place to promote yourself and your business. 

Like other social media, Facebook can create more visibility for your content. And of course, it brings traffic to your online hub – your website. One caveat: Facebook is increasingly “pay to play”, which means you have to advertise to ensure visibility. 

If you already have a Facebook page feel free to skip forward. But as you do, assess your profile with fresh eyes and see if you’re really making it work for you. You may need to edit your headline and about section, connect with new people, and join new groups to focus on finding freelance writing clients. And you may want to change the content you share so it enhances your reputation with potential clients.

Activity 1: Set up your account/add a business page

If your audience is on Facebook, then that’s where you need to reach them. If you recall, we talked about checking web analytics data to see which social sites are most important to your visitors. Here’s a quick refresher on how to do that. 

Many people have Facebook profiles, and use those to get visibility for their content, but if you’re using Facebook for business, it also makes sense to create a Facebook page. This allows you to:

  • Separate personal and business interactions
  • Get analytics on your Facebook content
  • Run ads based on your Facebook posts (or create ads)  to promote your services
  • Create groups linked to your business

To set up your Facebook page, follow the advice in the guide below:

Key features for your business page

  • Make sure that your page has a bio (in the about section). You can take this from the about page on your website or from the about section on LinkedIn. On Facebook, you’ve got more space for the bio than on Twitter, so use it. 
  • Create a cover image. This can be the same as for Twitter, and you can use one of the tools shared in the last unit to resize it.
  • Get an avatar for your page. I find it helpful to have a slightly different avatar for my personal profile and business page so I can tell at a glance which one I’m using.

Assignment: set up a Facebook page for your freelance business.

Activity 2:Build your Facebook audience

Next, let’s start building your audience. Facebook will prompt you to do this anyway, but if you’re improving an existing page, you can:

  • Ask friends to like your page (they may not be your core audience, but they’ll help your audience look better at the start)
  • Ask past and current clients to like your page
  • Find people whose brands you like or who you’re interested in connecting with and like their pages AS your page (it’s a dropdown). Thanks to the principle of reciprocity, at least some of those will also like your page.

Don’t bombard people with like requests – ask them once. The point of this is to make your page look attractive via social proof (if enough people already like your page, then other people will think it’s a good idea to do it too.)

Assignment: increase your Facebook follower numbers

NB: Getting more followers isn’t an end in itself; in the long run you’ll want followers who really engage with the content you post. But at the start, you want to make your page look trustworthy and appealing. Following the tips above will help with that.

Activity 3: Be social

Once you’ve followed some pages, you’ll see their content in your page’s feed, and can also tag them when you share content on your page. So browse, and leave thoughtful comments (ensuring you are interacting as your page). This helps you build a network online. 

Assignment: Find three pages you like and visit them daily over the next week to leave a thoughtful comment on the content they post. 

Activity 4: Decide on your content mix

As with most social media, you’ll share a range of content on your page. This could include:

  • Your own content
  • Authoritative content with a commentary
  • Something that shows personality, like a GIF, meme or image (images are the most shared Facebook content, and a great way to engage your audience)

You can post daily on Facebook to raise brand awareness.

Assignment: plan a month’s worth of Facebook shares, aiming for at least two or three items per week. Don’t just list the content, though; for each piece, have a goal or particular customer you’re aiming at, and include that in the plan. 

Activity 4: Schedule a Facebook post

While you can post live, you can also schedule content so you can manage your time better. For example, if you’re running a group, it’s useful to pick one day a week and schedule content for the week ahead. Here’s how you do that: 

For an event, you might schedule content even further ahead. For example, when managing content for a health fair, I schedule countdown information over 3 months ahead. Then I allocate a couple of hours a week to schedule other promotional content. 

These days, Facebook encourages page owners to schedule content via their Business Suite:

Facebook notifies you when a scheduled post goes live, then you get notifications of engagement as usual.

Assignment: create and schedule at least 2 of the Facebook posts you identified in your content plan.

Activity 5: Join a Facebook group

Similar to groups on LinkedIn, Facebook groups can be a great way to connect with people who could either recommend or become clients. The more you participate, the more benefit you get. I’ve had people I met in groups approach me to offer writing jobs. However, as with most groups, avoid the hard sell. Focus on being helpful and the opportunities will follow. 

Note that the goal here is to join groups that will bring you clients, but sometimes you can get referrals from other writers, so you might want to join a writing community as well.

Assignment:  find a Facebook group where the people you want to reach hang out, join, and introduce yourself. And if you’re already lurking in a group, come out in the open and take part in a couple of conversations. Try doing that daily for the next month, and see what happens.

Activity 6: Boost a post/create an ad (optional)

Boosting a post is promoting it to reach more people. You can also create standalone ads. Either way, Facebook promotions work best when they are targeted (audience, gender, location, interests), and even a $5 or $10 spend can put you in front of the right people. 

Learn more about Facebook Ads in this guide from Buffer:

Assignment: Identify a subsection of your target customers, and use the ad builder to make them into an audience. Then, create or share a piece of content you can boost for that audience. NB. You do not have to launch the ad.

Activity 7: Generate more traffic and leads

There are lots more ways you can use Facebook effectively to drive traffic to your site. For example, you can:

  • Share interactive content
  • Use video or live video
  • Find the most engaging content to share with Buzzsumo
  • Partner with other pages for promotions
  • Reshare your updates to your page’s story

Check out some more traffic builders in this article:

That’s it! Don’t forget to check in with me via the drop in sessions if you have questions.