I said I would never do Facebook. I thought the last thing I had time for was six hundred more friends who wanted to talk to me all day long about these great new curtains they just put in their dining room. But everybody was doing it, and so just like college, I had to be part of the club. I went in kicking and screaming, but in I went. And I have never looked back. Turns out I LOVE Facebook. And turns out that I love it for far more than social reasons. A lot of people mock Facebook – the endless "buy a farm", check out my new flip flops, Susie's in a relationship posts. But wade through the parts that don't fit you (some people LOVE the games) and you find a very valuable tool for getting business – especially if you are a motivational keynote speaker like me. Here are the ways that Facebook has helped me in my business:
1. Fellowship: I now have a group of friends who follow me wherever I go – who are available exactly when I need them – and can be turned off when I don't. I can check in at any moment with an issue, a prayer request, a need for someone to talk to- and someone is there. And I am now far more connected with my friends than I used to be because Facebook allows me to stay in touch, even when I can't attend their dinner parties or girls night outs.You may think this has nothing to do with business, but it does. Being on the road all the time is a lonely business. Having friends helps refresh me and in turn helps me do better at my job.
2. Market Knowledge: I am a motivational speaker. My market is anyone who needs humor and encouragement. By hanging out on Facebook, I get a window into the lives of the people I serve. I hear their trials and tribulations – both big and small. I get to know them. And this is vital in selling to them.
3. Market Presence: And they get to know me. By popping onto their computer every day, even to say something small, I am staying front of mind. It's much easier for me than a postcard or a phone call. And, yes, I do have clients who are on my Facebook page. Many of them.
4. Material: Being a comedian and a storyteller, means that I am always looking for story and comedy ideas about real life. Facebook provides a never ending pipeline of funny comments, rants, touching stories, and universal perspectives.
5. Testing Ground: Facebook is a great place for me to test my new material and see what resonates with my market. I'd rather bomb here than in front of a thousand people.
6. SEO Rankings: No matter how good a speaker I am, nobody is going to book me unless they know I'm here. Facebook lets them know I'm here in the system itself, but also in Google. Due to the interactions on my Facebook page, the page is moving up the ladder in Google. This is GOLD for my business. For my market Google is the phone book. Facebook helps me get to the page they go to most. And this translates into dollars. (Side note: Last time I checked, LinkedIn was a closed system – meaning it gets no attention from Google – and therefore is not reflected in Google SEO. Maybe it's changed, but I just wanted you to know.)
7. Selling Product: While I don't like to sell much on Facebook, it is a great platform to announce when I have a new book coming out.
8. Publicity: Facebook allows me to help my clients promote for the event where I am featured to speak. Suddenly I have more negotiating power when I tell a potential client that I will help them promote the event through my social media channels, because most of my clients are concerned with filling seats. And even if I don't have friends in their area, my friends have friends in their area, and will help me spread the word. Because that's what we do.
9. Helping Others: Facebook allows me to hear about the dreams of others, and help them in any way I can. You may think that sounds like giving, not getting business. But I do believe that giving back is a vital part of getting business. And it's just nice. Facebook is a wonderful place to mentor and encourage others. There are a lot of lonely people out there. You never know how your one tiny post can change a life.
Okay, my love fest with Facebook is over. And, by the way, if we aren't connected on Facebook, I would love to be! So come find me on my facebook fan page: Funny Motivational Speaker and we'll travel this journey together.
Gotta run…..Just heard about something called Pinterest.