I recently hosted an online webinar called ‘Breaking the Facebook Code: 10 steps for getting customers’ (happens to be the name of the ebook I created, too. Grab your free copy here).
Starting my ‘online marketing career’ in network marketing a few years ago now, I was one of those really, really spammy people who post their products and business opportunity everywhere and didn’t stop to connect with people and build relationships. I was a seagull! I now encourage everyone who uses Facebook for business to be a dove, rather than a seagull. My mission now is to teach people how to be doves as I still see way too many seagulls on Facebook.
I’ve been to online webinars and to face to face masterclasses with the experts on how to increase ticket sales for my online events, and have heard many times the 80/20 rule. This means that when doing something like an online webinar or other workshop or training/educational activity, it needs to be promoted 80% more than the effort that goes into actually creating and running the event.
Most people wait until their brand is right, until they have their business cards done, their wardrobe colour coordinated and their stars align before they even set a date to run their on line webinar or offline workshop. Taking my cues from the lovelies Natasa Denman, from the Ultimate 48 Hour Author and Francesca Moi, the Meetup Queen, I generally promote, promote, promote the next event, and have a marketing plan that I can execute well in advance of the event.
Not this time, however. I had some things happen in my personal life that had my focus elsewhere, and I didn’t follow my marketing plan for the online webinar. The date sort of snuck up on me and nek minnit, the webinar is happening tomorrow and I’ve only got 6 people registered!
I was secretly hoping for 160, rather than 6 people to attend my online webinar so I had a ponder on what I could do to increase ticket sales for my online event. I realised that having broken the Facebook Code and was successfully attracting clients using what I was teaching, I’d better put some of that education on steroids and see what I could do to fill my online webinar.
I hadn’t factored in a marketing budget and it was too late to set up an advert as it would only just be getting warmed up and I’d have to stop it (here’s where planning REALLY comes in useful, Folks).
I’m getting ready to launch my ebook, ‘Breaking the Facebook Code: 10 steps to getting customers’, (you can grab your own copy here) and everything I do on Facebook for online marketing is designed around the 10 steps that I outline in the book.
Thinking about what’s the best way, I decided to send messages to people I was connected with. Not something that I would advocate you do on a mass scale, as it will get you a Facebook Slap or put in Facebook jail (and yes I’ve written about that too), so I reviewed my friends list and worked out who would love to hear from me about an online webinar for Breaking the Facebook Code. I selected around 200 people and contacted each one individually. I can hear you groaning now…so much time intensive labour, and yes, it was. I sucked it up as I’d left my run so late I had really no other option.
For this last minute strategy to work, there were several things that had to be put into place well before I ran my first online webinar.
The first concept I’d like you to understand is ‘The House of Facebook’. A signature concept with your personal profile being central to your presence on Facebook.
- The only way in or out of your Facebook house is though the hallway, or your personal profile. There are different ways you can engage on Facebook, for example you can interact in your business (fan) page room as either yourself or your page, you can interact in Messenger as only yourself from your personal profile and as of this week, Facebook is rolling out a new feature where you can interact in groups as your page!
You can have up to 5000 friends on your ‘back veranda’. I teach you to select the right ones.
The ‘House of Facebook’ helps you to see the entire platform of Facebook as a powerful business tool, to be used in its entirety. Having worked with people who want to lock down their personal profiles and only use their business/fan page to promote their businesses on Facebook, I think they are doing themselves a great disservice. I have a favourite saying, it’s ‘everywhere I go there I am’, meaning you can learn how to promote yourself in ways that are not spammy and include more personal stuff about you to help people connect at a much deeper level.
- You must, must, must develop your avatar, alter ego, imaginary friend, ideal client! Whatever you call them, it’s about who YOU want to work with. Many people say ‘my product/service is for everyone’. That may be true, and with close to 2 Billion people on Facebook, if you are trying to reach everyone, your message will be so watered down nobody will hear it. Having a clear idea of exactly who you are targeting is critical. I heard recently that less than 1% of entrepreneurs actually do this. You will be streets ahead of the pack if you do this now. In the Facebook Code Breakers group (my private, membership based group) we spend a week getting clear on who we are serving and who we want to work with.
Different people have different pain points, and lets face it, people buy services or products because they either want to eliminate or include something in their lives. The MLM company I was with sold anti-ageing products. Probably not of much interest to 20 year olds. Based on what I was like at that age, probably not even a preventative measure for the future! 40+ women, however, loved the products and were attracted to them because they wanted to reduce wrinkles and look younger. I found that blokes rarely cared about this, so they were not my avatar. I wanted to work with older females as I felt really connected with them and my avatar is based on a previous version of myself.
When your message is so lazer targeted to your avatars pain points, you want them to say ‘OMG, you’re talking to ME’! Guaranteed you won’t get that if you’re all over the shop with your avatar. Do the work, get your avatar solid and remember to run everything past your avatar when you have questions. They are your litmus test. If they say a new idea is sucky, then it most likely is, if they say it’s a great idea, then it’s got a much better chance of taking hold and flying. You’ll save time in the long run once you’ve got your avatar nailed. For those of you who take things literally, my avatar sort of ‘sits’ just above my right shoulder and I have regular conversations with her. Generally in my head.
- Knowing where to find your avatar. Going back to the ‘House of Facebook’, you will notice the rooms. Those rooms are the nooks and crannies where you will find your people, Based on your avatar, you can go into groups (where their interests are, not yours), on personal profiles, on pages, in Messenger chat rooms, and even off of Facebook, check out blog posts with comments linked to people’s profiles in Facebook.
- Connecting with your avatar. You can look at their comments, interests and see if they resonate with you. If they do, send them a message, a friend request and ask them to join you on your back veranda. Remember you are not selling or promoting at all at this stage. Your sole aim is to create a connection and build a relationship with that person. You will find that there is a tipping point where people begin to send you friend requests (and most often without a message). I have nearly 1000 friend requests I haven’t accepted. I leave them there as they don’t fit my avatar, and they automatically follow me once they’ve sent a friend request. Sound harsh I know, and it’s a strategy I employ to make sure I get the right people on my back veranda. You can ask people to friend you too. When you find your perfect client and want to connect, send them a message and ask them to friend you.A word of caution here. If you go nuts at getting people onto your back veranda, Facebook will see it as seagull-like behaviour and you may get a Facebook Slap, or be put into Facebook Jail. Be consistent and do a few small things daily, rather than a panicked rush once a week or month. There is real art to this, and I teach it further in bootcamp for Facebook Code Breakers. Happy to provide you with more information if you like.
- Content, content, content. Making sure you have the right content in all of your rooms in the house of Facebook is critical! If your content (and by that I mean non salesy or promotional posts) is designed to resonate with your avatar, you will find you have much higher levels of engagement organically and naturally. Once your avatar is on your back veranda, continue the conversation and get to know them even better. You can invite them to like your business page, invite them to your group (when you invite people to your group, send them a message with the link to the group and ask them to join, don’t just add them). Post a mix of content to entertain, inform, make your avatar laugh and some newsy stuff too. If you’re stuck for content ideas, you can check out my blog, Creating Content that Rocks!
- Finding creative ways of keeping in touch and connected. Do posts on your personal profile that encourage communication and always respond. I recently put a post on my page and asked people to respond with an emoji that represented how they were feeling that day. The post had 167 comments. I interact with as many as I can. Creating ongoing conversations is an art form. At Christmas, New Year and Easter I sent private messages to people I hadn’t connected with for a while on Facebook. (I was put in Facebook Jail for sending too many messages at Christmas time, and was only allowed to send messages to those who had messaged me first for the week between Christmas and New Year. My friend Theonie suggested I was on parole!). Putting posts on your business page and sharing them back to your personal profile helps get your business page more exposure.
- Once I’ve put all of the above into play and am consistently connecting with people on my back veranda and developing relationships with them, and I find that I’ve left my run too late for a real promotion of my webinar by any other means, I went back to my friends list. Working on the average that from contact with 90 people I will get around 30 register for the webinar, I messaged around 300 people. Doing this over a period of several hours (don’t do this in one sitting as it will get you banned from sending messages) I got around a 25% response rate which I believe is a good response rate for the action I’d taken to promote the online webinar. Over 40% attended the online webinar and I believe that is an exceptional result. I also attribute this to the work done beforehand in developing my avatar, connecting in meaningful ways, posting valuable content and finding creative ways to keep in touch.
This is very much an abridged version of what I coach and educate small business owners who want to have a stronger presence on Facebook. I was able to send a message to my connections and ask if they were interested in attending a free online webinar. I said if they weren’t able to make it, just to register and I’d send them a copy of the recording. It can and will work for you too if you are prepared to learn and are coachable. We live in exciting times, folks. Never before have we had the ability to connect with some many wonderful people, people who are like us, our tribe and community. Facebook brings them all together in one place and provides a magnificent platform for us to sort through people and find the ones who are just right for us, and we’re just right for them.