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pokie's picture
1217 pencils

Facebook page? Marketing strategies?

As I've mentioned earlier, I have quit my corporate job which I had for the last 8 years, and have started teaching design and primarily, advertising. It allows me more time for my kids and after I get used to the teacher pace, I'm wanting to do more of my own illustration/graphic design work. Maybe some photography as well.
Without trying, I have gotten 3 freelance gigs in the last month or so. Wanting to keep the momentum going as I approach 3 months of not getting paid...
Do you guys have a facebook page for your design work? I have friends who are photographers who of course have a FB page, and then only 2 friends who are designers who have FB pages. One of which specializes in invitation design, so it makes sense for her to have a FB page. Others I know are more *fine art*ists so, naturally, they also have a FB page (and do GD on the side).
Now, I have one friend who just decided to get into freelancing and made a FB page.
I'm just wondering... should I have a FB page? Do you?
I obviously need to get an online portfolio going first (which I'm hoping to accomplish over summer break), business cards, an identity system of some sort.. but I feel like, aside from the photography, why would someone "like" my FB page, which would be more geared toward other businesses?
What strategies do you use to get the word out?

Commenting on this Forum topic will be automatically closed on July 7, 2013.

wgzn's picture
2122 pencils

you cant beat good old fashioned face to face networking. as much as it generally disgusts me. it's still pretty much the best way to keep your name on the minds of the folks in your area.

but yeah. itn most cases it would be dumb NOT to have a facebook page. considering the size of the community there. will joe stranger on the street ever find it? probably not. but your friends will and you will get a trickle of shares and likes from it. and if you post content that your target market will find compelling as well as challenge your "friends" to share your page for the possibility of a commission or finders fee. that will get you some legs as well.

when i set mine up i obsessed over how to do it. what classification was most appropriate. i have two different side efforts and i went two different directions. one is a "page" that i created under my personal presence and another was a completely stand-alone business presence. i find the one under my personal presence is easier to promote. as its easy for my existing "friends" to see what im doing. where as i have to actively promote the stand-alone page.

YoungZM's picture
916 pencils

It's important to also remember however to question yourself thoroughly if creating and maintaining the page is something you're you're serious about. If you're not, it will actually look less impressive than just not having one.

wgzn's picture
2122 pencils

that is a very good point. but be aware there is an "annoyance quotient" between finding/creating compelling content and just sharing a bunch of useless crap in a self-conscious attempt at relevance.

YoungZM's picture
916 pencils

Oh of course. It's the same idea of a blog. You don't fill it with content, you fill it with quality. A dead page however with no activity or anything of value also communicates that it was just an "idea" that died along with the business- to me, anyways.

Art D. Rector's picture
3164 pencils

Don't have one and honestly? I don't see them paying off for any of the small businesses either. You do have to consider those hours as work if it's for your business. One of my clients has his own business networking site with over 1000 members (and growing all the time) - but he's still posting mainly to himself. The noobs post one intro piece about what they do and "call me!" and that's it - they disappear. And that's a dedicated site - people all from the same industry who should have a lot of business to share.

However - that said - so many people act like I'm crazy for not having a FB page - I've started to consider it.

YoungZM's picture
916 pencils

Therein lies the issue, it's expected and yet the judgement of it is so severe. You post a bunch? People hate you. Unfollows, hides, blocks because you're too frequent. Too little? Same. None at all? No point. It's such a huge margin you really have to nail.

I'm not motivated personally either by knowing that I won't get thousands of people to "like me" on Facebook as it's not realistic and says nothing; yet if I do get some to like me 30-70 sounds sort of sad in the grand scheme of pictures about loving your grandmother that gets a few hundred thousand shares. I'm unable to take Facebook seriously anymore, even for business.

wgzn's picture
2122 pencils

"I don't see them paying off for any of the small businesses either."

paying off? how much of an investment is a facebook page?
financially : none
time: how much time does it take to post a nice project youve done or an interesting story a couple times a week? maybe an hour total, 90 minutes maybe?

i've not had an avalanche of work come from facebook. only a handful of new clients/projects. but it's MORE than paid off based on what i've put in.

you also have to think of it as if you were coca cola. everybody knows who coke is. they advertise to keep themselves top of people's minds. i dont know how many existing clients called because something i posted on facebook reminded them i was there.

with all that said. i think facebook is ripe to be replaced by SOMETHING. whether that's a new model of itself or by something completely different - i dont know.

either way. its still currently a valid promotional resource. to claim that its not is either subjective or ignorant.

Art D. Rector's picture
3164 pencils

Could be. Or maybe you think you're getting more out of FB than you actually are. Let's do the math (using your numbers)...

We'll split the time down the middle... (60/90) = 75 minutes to post, a couple (2) times a week...

75+75 = 150 minutes a week.

x 50 weeks in a year (2 week vacation)

= 7500 minutes a year / 60 minutes in an hour

= 125 hours a year maintaining your FB page

For a "handful" of new clients/projects? Time is money. :)

I do agree it's important to keep your name fresh in people's minds - I'm just not sure FB (or LinedIn) is the way to do it.

wgzn's picture
2122 pencils

when new clients average $2000 each. yeah. the math works out pretty well.
just my experience, yours may be different

YoungZM's picture
916 pencils

Might be my point of view but I'm siding with WGZN here. If a year has 365 days in it, how are you spending an hour every 3 days doing something on Facebook? That sounds far less productive and more recreational. Posting something would only take 3-20 minutes along with general maintenance of replying to customers/ notes. Takes nothing in the way of resources while giving you a reasonable return if done right. Question still lies for me in "is it done right" and if not: is it worth it?

wgzn's picture
2122 pencils

for me, the vast majority of it comes down to growing out of existing relationships. unless you have a consumer product or some kind of viral content. youre not going to get (nor gain from) a shit pile of "likes".

it comes down to the nature of your online relationships. 20 of the right kind will trump 2000 of the wrong.

Art D. Rector's picture
3164 pencils

Well obviously our experiences are diametrically different, WG - since I don't have a FB page. :-)

But if it's working for you - great. You would be the first person I know to get anything out of it. Everyone else asks me the same question.... "How do I make FB pay off?" OTOH, maybe I'm not the person to ask - I've never done any self promotion.

mara06's picture
2750 pencils

What do you guys think of just using a Facebook page that does nothing but point people to your website? I mean, it's one more way for people to find you if they're looking. I have a regular Facebook page for social networking, but I don't do much with it and frankly, I'd rather that my business acquaintances steered clear of it since they may find I'm of a different political strip than they, or something along those lines, that might be a turn-off. I used to do Linked In but it was more of a pain than it was worth. All it got me was reconnected with an old college boyfriend, which was fun but I could've lived without that pinch of sorrow. I'm thinking of rejuvenating it, though, just as another pointer.

When you are calculating the amount of time you need to invest in keeping a Facebook page functioning, be sure to include how much time it takes you to think of something to blog about, then compose it, ideally with graphics to go with. Sounds like a bad tradeoff to me. But something that just sits there pointing to your portfolio or something? I could see that being worthwhile and I might do it myself. Interesting topic, Pokie. BTW, I was a teacher for a year a while back, just part-time (high school graphics class) and I thought I'd have time to freelance on the side. I was so wiped out after just a half day of teaching, but that wasn't the worst part. It was all the paperwork, teachers' meetings, conferences and everything else that ate up my time. Work that into your expectations of the pace. You've got to be really fierce about protecting your personal time.

Mara

wow123's picture
1 pencil

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