Every day people ask me questions about blogging, Facebook, Twitter and websites. The community of small business owners, particularly those that are “solopreneurs” is under served in this market.
There are plenty of people who are web designers and online marketing experts. But understanding the frustrations of business people who don’t have a marketing budget and who are simply working to stay above water is a different story entirely.
Which is why I’ve developed the iPOMplan – Purposeful Online Marketing plan.
My goal with this is to give these folks a plan to start immediately to grow their business online.
The problem is most of us don’t have time to read a book, or watch a series of videos to learn the ins and outs of marketing on the web.
What we business owners need is a place to start. I know from experience that just doing it one step at a time is the best way to grow your business.
Using Facebook WILL grow your business faster than the traditional networking and phone book ads.
With that, here are 5 steps to an effective Facebook page.
1. Get your company image, and photos ready. If you don’t have a page yet, I recommend getting these ready before you start. First of all you’ll want the get the image that will be representing your business ready. Below, you’ll see the image for TekMiss has my picutre on top, then my logo and my tagline below that. It’s very similar to my website header. Make sure the width is no larger than 180 pixels. The TekMiss image is 180 wide x 455 high.
If you have photos that you want to share, get some ready before you create the page (or ifÂ you have a page already, get them all ready to upload before you log back in to work on your page).
A good example is the Columbus Cultural Arts Center. They have a lot of images they want to share.
See below, where the additional images will go when you upload them to Facebook -Â across the top of your page:
2. Create a page! I know that obvious, but it’s truly a stumbling block for many people. JUST DO IT!
If you already have a FaceBook account, you simply to go http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. From here you’ll see:
Keep in mind, if you choose “Local Business or Place” your address will be part of your page, so people can come TO your location. For me, that’s not what I want – I work at home and I don’t want to give that out to the world. I used “Company, Organization, or Institution”.
You can create multiple pages. I have created one for my POMplan which is the service I’ll be selling.
I also have created pages for my clients and help them manage them. You don’t ever have to link your Facebook page(s) to the people who created them.
If you don’t have a Facebook account yet, then you’ll create an one at FaceBook.com. Once you have an account, follow the instructions above.
3. Upload all of your photos and organize them in albums. Make it obvious what the categories are. For instance, if you cater events, you may want to have albums for “weddings,” corporate events”, “birthday parties”, etc. I’ll be adding photos to my page when I get organized. I’ll categorize them in “websites”, “logos”, Facebook pages”, etc. You get the idea.
4. Enter in several “Status Updates.” Do NOT try to get people to buy something. If you have a product you want to sell and it’s say candles… write something about the benefit of lighting candles and how much better your life will be for having candles. (I’m not kidding! You better have some good reason why someone would want to buy your products and services – if you don’t I suggest you do something else!)
I blog posts like this one. I’ll call the status update – “5 Steps to an Effective FaceBook page”.Â I will then pointÂ backÂ here to my website and this blog! I’m not trying to “sell” anything, I’m giving people some good information they can use.
(The reason you put in your photos and several status updates, is you want to make a good impression on the people you are asking to like your page!)
5. Ask ALL of your friends and relatives to”Like” your new FaceBook page. Once you have 25 people who LIKE your page, you can give it a unique Username. For example, my Facebook address is www.facebook.com/tekmiss.Â Â
6. Well, I can’t do this in 5 steps, so here’s number 6. Create your unique Facebook Username. You simply click on “Edit Page” in the upper right hand corner of your Facebook page, then “Basic Information”. The second item in the Basic Information list is your Username. You can’t change this until you have at least 25 people who “Like” your pgae.
If your business is selling balloons, and you’re a woman, you may want to use something like Facebook.com/balloonlady. If you have a business name, use that for sure!
You can then email this address to people, put it on your business cards and letterheads, etc. It looks professional and it’s easy to remember.
So, that’s it to get started!
The next step I suggest is to get a FaceBook Ad and run it until you get a few hundred people who “Like” your page.
That’s when you can start really marketing to a new group of people you never would have met before.
And keep adding updates! Don’t let your page get stale. Nothing turns off people more than going to a page that looks like it hasn’t been changed in a long time.
Have fun with it – put in tidbits of information that YOU find interesting. It doesn’t have to be exclusively about your business. Using the catering business example again, you could put in information about wedding planners, or photographers you recommend. This is most likely useful information for people who “Like” your page.
Remember – people will do business with people they KNOW, LIKE AND TRUST.
First they have to KNOW who you are (by creating the page), then they have to LIKE you and you do this by not directly selling to them, and then they TRUST you because you’re giving them interesting tidbits of information and links to other people and businesses.