Over the past couple of years Facebook groups have blown up, and if you’ve been thinking that any day now they’re going to go away, I truly believe that you’re wrong. It seems that Facebook groups are proving to be an excellent way to build community and drive sales for all business owners.
Just as quickly as groups became a thing, people started realizing that it was easier to gain clients through them than through most other social media platforms. The thing is, though, that after people started to realize that, everyone started to take advantage of it. Unfortunately, it’s gotten harder for service-based business owners to book clients, especially for designers. Since I’ve been lucky enough to book my fair share of clients straight from a handful of groups, I wanted to share some of my tips to help you do the same thing.
Find groups with your ideal clients
As business owners, many of us find ourselves in Facebook groups with like-minded people. That’s a great way to get feedback and advice on decisions that our peers have likely encountered themselves. Because we’re already in these groups, many designers tend to turn to those groups first to find new clients. The problem with that is that your peers might not be the same people as your ideal clients.
Instead of focusing on Facebook groups that only have a handful of your ideal clients, look for and really market yourself in groups that would be primarily your ideal clients. So for example, if you don’t primarily do design work for other designers, you have to be in more than just groups of other designers. Instead, maybe you work with business owners who have a shop. Look for groups that would have those people in it.
Be genuinely helpful
Once you get in the groups with your ideal clients, it’s all about what you do. Most people’s first instinct would be to simply look for posts where other people are looking for a designer, right? That’s where you can link directly to your website and have the best chance of getting people who need your services to see what you have to offer. Well, that’s true. The problem is that most people only do this in the groups they’re in.
In addition to dropping your link when you can, you want to focus on being genuinely helpful on other posts as well. People come to Facebook groups for a lot more than just to hire someone; most of the time they’re asking questions to get help with their blog, business, or something else they’re working on. While you obviously won’t be able to answer all of the questions that get posted, when you invest time in being genuinely helpful on as many posts as you can, you’re going to make an impression on the members of the group. This is your chance to really show off your expertise and show other people that you actually care about helping others.
Show up consistently
Everything in business is all about consistency. A lot of people want to be able to just show up whenever it’s convenient to them to do things for their business, but that doesn’t always work. This holds true in Facebook groups as well. If you’re trying to build your expertise in a group of people who have no idea who you are, which is likely at least half of the groups you’re in, then you have to be willing to show up in the group consistently.
Don’t just show up only when you have questions or need work. To start getting your name out there, show off what you know, and be more likely to get work from the groups you’re in, you want to be showing up consistently. This means checking in at least once a day several days a week to answer questions, help or sympathize with people, and pitch your services when you can. An easy thing to get you in the habit of consistently showing up is to create a recurring task on your to do list so you remember to check in even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes at a time.
As I mentioned before, one of the main things people think to do to get work in the Facebook groups they’re in is to drop a link to their website as often as they can. While this is great, at this point there’s usually at least 50-100 other people commenting with their links as well. This makes it hard for you to stand out because the person looking for a designer is now probably incredibly overwhelmed with all of their choices.
Just as often as you leave your link, it’s even better to get referred. Just think about it, would you rather hire a random person you just heard of or someone that you just heard of that has several people vouching for how incredible of work they do? A great way to do this is to reach out to a few friends of yours, better if they’re not in the same field, and create a plan for referring each other in the groups you’re in. I’ve done this with Krista, and it’s definitely helped me gain work even when there were so many other people trying to get the job.
Bonus: Make sure your website is linked on your profile
If you’re going to go through all of the work to start showing up and being helpful in the groups you’re in regularly, then you want to make sure that it’s actually going to benefit you at least a little, right? Well, then you want to make it easy for other people in these groups to click through to your profile and find a link to learn more about what you do. Regardless of whether you create a business page or just have a link in your intro section, make it easy for people to be able to find your website.
Do you book a lot of clients from Facebook groups?
I’d love to hear about how much luck you’ve had booking clients from the groups that you’re in. Have you tried any of the pointers I share in this post? Maybe something else has worked really well for you? Be sure to share in the comments!