How to Use Facebook to Find Freelance Work
I want to see you be successful in your biz. I really do.
I get emails often from virtual assistants who are struggling to find clients. They're discouraged and want to throw in the towel because business is not going the way they thought it would.
Don’t do it.
You’re one pitch away from landing your ideal client. So, let’s learn how to do it the right way.
I want you to take a second and look at the Facebook groups you belong to.
Do they have anything to do with business? No? Well, it's time to fix that.
You see, I used to join Facebook groups that interested me. I love football and I joined football groups. I spent a whole lot of time talking about football when I could have and should have been promoting my business. Then I got mad when my business wasn't growing like I thought it should.
I was using Facebook groups totally wrong!
I'm gonna get real with you -- if you want to turn Facebook groups into a lead magnet for your business, you've got to ditch the way you're doing things and do things that actually work!
Joining the wrong Facebook groups that have nothing to do with your target audience is like shooting fish in a barrel - you're going to miss.
It's time to get intentional in figuring out who your ideal client is.
I love this quote: “Customers buy for their reasons, not yours.” --Orvel Ray Wilson
We're going to figure out who your ideal client is by taking these steps:
1. What are the benefits of your service or product? For this, you'll want to think like your ideal client: "What's in it for me?" Make a list of what you offer. Your client wants to know why they should hire you.
2. What problems can your service solve? There are four reasons why people hire freelancers: save time, make money, save money and avoid effort. If you offer web design, you're saving time for a business owner who doesn't have web skills and doesn't have the time to learn them.
3. Who needs your services? You'll need to figure out who you want to work with. Once you’ve gathered a list of benefits your product offers and the problems you can solve, you need to figure out who needs your services and who has those problems. Really brainstorm who you like to work with and where your expertise lies.
4. What are your potential clients like? Where do they hang out? Are they mostly female? Make a list of demographics.
5. What do they use? For example, if the majority of small business owners you are targeting use ConvertKit for their email marketing, you'll want to be proficient in that. Knowing what your target market uses will be very helpful.
6. What can they afford? If your ideal client is a nonprofit, their budget may be limited, as opposed to a very successful email marketer. Keep that in mind when identifying your ideal client.
I'm going to say something that is probably not too popular: the number of followers you have on Facebook doesn't matter.
What matters is having an optimized Facebook profile, a kick-butt Facebook page and the right secret sauce when you promote your business in Facebook groups.
Numbers are just that: numbers. It's a vanity thing and you shouldn't get caught up in that.
The money is in how you promote yourself in your identified Facebook groups, with a carefully crafted introduction and providing value.
That's where it's at.
So, don't be intimidated when you join Facebook groups with oodles of members. Admins of Facebook groups are looking for a Facebook profile that tells them what they need to know to see if you will be an asset to their group. They don't care how many friends or followers you have.
What can you do?
1. Your Facebook profile - no logos or avatars. Use an actual picture of yourself.
2. Hyperlink to your Facebook business page - include your Facebook page on your Facebook profile.
Now we're going to get into how to find and join the right Facebook groups.
Before You Join a Group
I recommend 10-20 groups where you know you'll be pretty active. If that proves to be too many, whittle it down to a few that will give you the biggest bang for your time.
But before you go joining every Facebook group under the sun, you want to check out a few things first:
Is it an active group? Are users interacting with the posts and each other?
Is there a lot of spam in the group?
Lots of groups are closed groups, meaning you won't be able to see what's going on in the group until you join. If, after you join and you find the vibe isn't for you, don't hesitate to leave the group.
Are you ready to find some groups? Let's do this!
Log into Facebook and look at the top of your screen. You should see a Search bar.
In the "Search" box, type a keyword. If your target or ideal client is the blogging community, type "blogger" in the "Search" section.
You'll get results than run the gamut -- posts about blogging, videos about blogging, apps, events -- and groups! Click "Groups."
And BOOM! You've found your target groups.
You'll want to click the title of a group that sounds appealing to you to learn more about it and the group rules.
Find 10-20 Facebook groups based on your ideal client. Read over the rules for each group and get acquainted with them.
There are some rules you need to follow when it comes to Facebook groups.
1. Follow the group rules!
I can't say this enough. You've got to follow the rules or you run the risk of being branded as a troublemaker, someone who likes to start foolishness, or a fool. Whatever word you want to choose, you don't want to do it.
Find the rules and actually read them. If the post says to comment or click LIKE to show that you've read the rules, do it. Saying you can't find the rules is not an excuse for not following them. If you have trouble finding them, send a private message to the admin of the group, asking them to direct you to the rules. You can usually find the rules under the "Description" on the right hand side group or in a pinned post.
Another note - if you don't like the rules of a particular group, there are plenty of other groups out there for you to join. Don't complain about it. If your post gets deleted because you broke the rules, don't badmouth the group. The virtual world is an incredibly small one and your brand/business is not worth damaging because you didn't follow the rules.
2. Don't just drop links and run!
Just posting your links without engaging with the group makes you look like a spammer. That's not why you're in the group. You're there to share your expertise and establish trust with the group and not just talk about you and your business.
3. Come up with the perfect post to introduce yourself.
When you join a group, make sure to introduce yourself. Think of it this way: would you walk into someone's house without introducing yourself? Probably not. Make sure to read the rules of the group to see if an introduction is allowed. Some groups allow it directly on the wall of the group and some allow it in a specific post. Check to see if you can include a link. Get started on the right foot!
What makes a good introductory post?
Include a photo of yourself.
Include a few fun tips about yourself - "I grew up in a small town of 100 people" or "In my spare time, I enjoy watching British comedies." This makes you look like a human and not just a brand.
Share something about your business - what it is, what you do and who you serve.
4. Watch how you drop those links.
Some groups allow you to promote your links. That's cool. But watch how you do it. For example, if a group member asks a question looking for advice, only include a link if it truly helps the member. You should always be on the lookout for ways to add genuine value.
5. Participate in promotional threads.
I love these! I've seen big increases in page views when I've participated in promo threads. Plus, I love supporting other business owners. But...
I tend to shy away from the threads that require you to retweet, pin or like everything in the thread. Here are a few reasons:
The content may not relate to my brand. I blog about things related to being a virtual assistant. My audience is not big on topics about baby clothes so there's no reason to share that sort of thing with them.
Some groups require you to share within a certain period of time. Because I may not be able to live up to that expectation and I don't want to risk my membership in the group, I sometimes choose not to participate in those types of promotional threads.
6. Use the "Search" feature to find relevant threads to add value.
If you're not aware of the "Search" box, get acquainted with it. Have a list of topics and keywords that you use in your business. Type those keywords in the "Search" box to find posts and then engage. It's a simple way to find relevant conversations.
I hope this helps. The key? Give more than you take. Be helpful, share what you know.
And don’t give up.
Until next time,