Facebook may be the biggest and most popular social network in the world, but it isn’t really known for providing a lot of career or business opportunities. (We have LinkedIn for that, right?)
But despite its not-so-professional rep, freelance writers shouldn’t dismiss it as a network solely for Poking friends and posting photos of last week’s shindig. Remember, businesses are also on Facebook (there about 15 million of them on the site) which means that there are plenty of business relationships to be built and tons of potential clients that you can work with.
It’s important to note though that tapping into Facebook’s business goldmine isn’t about promoting yourself. As you’ll learn in the examples below, successfully landing clients on the site is about positing yourself in a way that invites prospects to approach you, instead of the other way around.
How do you do that exactly? Read more to find out.
A fair warning: Commitment is essential
One of the things that you need to keep in mind when you’re client-hunting on Facebook is that the process takes time. You would need to be out there posting updates and commenting on other Pages for at least a month or two, before you gain traction, and if you don’t have the patience to stick to it, then you might as well not bother with the entire process.
However, if you genuinely like networking on Facebook and would like to start getting some paid work using the site, then below are three action steps that can help you do just that:
Create—and maintain a professional Facebook Page
Set up and complete a Facebook Page for you writing business. Include a great-looking cover image and profile photo. Post a picture of yourself, rather than your logo, as users are more attracted to images of people. Also fill out the about info as much as you can. Incomplete Pages are a turn off. The more details you have in there, the more inviting and credible you’ll appear.
Take advantage of Page tabs to provide more information about your business. For instance, in my Facebook Page, I added tabs to showcase my portfolio, testimonials, and website. Having great-looking tabs on your Facebook Page doesn’t just make it more attractive, but it also keeps people on your Page longer and entices them to learn more about you. (You can create custom Page tabs using the Woobox app.)
Also be sure to keep your Page active. Populate it with content by posting images or links to relevant blog posts.
Like relevant Pages and comment on their posts
Once you’ve got your Page all set up, it’s time to start building your presence within the network. The first step to doing this is by Liking other Pages in your niche. Find out where your prospects “hang out” on the site and target the Pages that your audience would Like.
For instance, since most of my clients include founders of tech startups, I made it a point to Like Pages such as Funders and Founders, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, etc.
Liking relevant Pages is only the first (and easy) step in Facebook marketing, though. Once you have a stable of relevant Pages in your Like box, you need to build your presence by commenting on their posts. By doing so, you’ll allow the owners and followers of the Pages to notice you and hopefully send some traffic (and Likes) back to yours.
Make your comments as witty and insightful as you can. It’s not enough to say “great article!” You need to post something interesting. Something that would get people to check out your Page.
It is essential for you to post comments that add value to the conversation not just because it will entice people to visit your Page, but also because Facebook rewards high-value comments.
See, Facebook places comments that are most Liked or replied to at the very top of the thread. That means that a post can have a thousand comments, but if YOUR comment got the most Likes or responses, it will stay at the top and get the most visibility.
For example, one of my comments on the Funders and Founders’ post made it to the top of the thread and gained several Likes and replies (see screenshot). That one comment sent 20+ Likes back to my Page, but best of all, a startup founder actually sent me a message inquiring about my services.
With over a billion people on Facebook, you can bet that your target clients are also using the service. Some of them may not be actively looking for a writer while they’re on the site, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch their attention with a bit of wit and candor.
The marketing manager of a major European airline once sent an email out of the blue, asking me to write a few issues for their newsletter. When I asked him how he found me, he said, “I saw your comments on Ask Aaron Lee’s Facebook Page. I clicked on your profile, and learned about your services from there.”
Network with other freelancers
Aside from Liking Pages where your target audience hangs out, also make it a point to connect with other freelancers on the site. Network with graphic designers, programmers, or social media managers, too. Like their Pages, comment on their updates, and share their posts. Build relationships with them and find ways to help each other out. Trust me, it can be pretty rewarding.
Case in point: One of the individuals that I networked with was the founder of a social media marketing company. We talked online, shared each other’s posts and conversed regularly on Facebook.
After a few months, I received a message from him, asking if I’d like to partner up on a project for one of his clients. We ironed out the details with a few back and forth email exchanges and video calls, and that led to him introducing me to his client.
Have you ever found clients on Facebook? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
About the author:
Francesca Nicasio is the founder of CredibleCopywriting.net. She also teaches aspiring freelance writers how to build their portfolio and find clients at Be a Freelance Writer. Download her free eBook, 25 Types of Writing Gigs that Pay Well (and How to Find Them) here.