Grow Your Writing Business: Waste More Time on Facebook
Recently, we shared how creating your own Facebook group can help you grow a following for your writing business. We have a great Facebook group connected to this site, where our members share their wins, struggles, help each other with questions, and meet other writers on the journey.
But since this site and our Facebook Group are in their infancy, that’s not where I meet most of my potential clients and get traffic back to this site.
Most people who join the MultiTalented Writers group already know about this site, so I have to put my efforts in other places to get more traffic. That’s where other people’s Facebook Groups come in.
To be clear, I don’t join and participate in these groups just to get traffic. I’m a very social person, I love social media, and I love helping people out. I often joke that I can’t solve some of my own problems, so it makes me feel good to help other people solve theirs.
I participate in several Facebook groups, mostly for fun, but there’s a business strategy behind it as well. As I continue to offer advice and answer questions in these groups, I start becoming known for my knowledge in certain areas, and people get curious about my blog and services.
While Facebook groups can be very helpful for your business, you should be careful to choose your groups wisely and to decide how much time you can devote to participating in them. You also need to think about who your target market is.
If you’re a freelance writer who does not provide coaching for other writers, joining writing groups is good, but don’t rely on those groups to get clients. If you’re a copywriter who writes for the pet industry, the formalwear industry, and the automotive industry (yes, our members are MultiTalented), then you should join groups that would be frequented by people who own (or at least work for) these types of businesses. Your end goal is to make connections with people who might be interested in your services or who might refer you to people who are.
Of course, you should also join groups about writing to get tips and learn more about your craft, but don’t waste time advertising your services in these groups if writers aren’t your target market (and definitely don’t advertise anything in any group that doesn’t allow self-promotion). Although you’ll be joining these groups to get help with your business, make sure you don’t just just take, take, take. You need to put into groups what you want to get out of them. If you ask question upon question but never answer any, you’ll start becoming known as the person who never helps out, and it’s very hard to get referrals that way.
People who help out and answer lots of questions, offer good advice and share quality content in other people’s groups pique the interest of both group members and the group owner (when done right). You then create the potential of both increased following to your own site (when the time is right), as well as the potential of alliance with the group’s owner. Be an active participant in the groups that cater to your target market, and you’ll start becoming known as an expert in the multiple niches in which you write.
Nick Darlington of Write Worldwide has seen success with this strategy. He’s a member of several writing groups, helping whenever he can, offering great advice, and answering people’s questions. After many months of doing this, he shared the link to the freebies on his website, and saw a sharp increase in both traffic as well as sign ups for his mailing list.
Before you use this strategy, however, you need to keep a few important bits of etiquette in mind.
1. You need to want more than just leads when you participate in other people’s groups.
If you join groups with the sole intention of getting clients for your business, it’ll be painfully obvious, and you risk three things: pissing off the group’s owners and its members, getting kicked out of the group, and getting a bad reputation on social media (the last thing you want if you’re trying to build a name for your business).
Before joining other groups, make sure you have a genuine desire to help people, an interest in what they do, and that you enjoy social media interactions. If you don’t, you’ll be pretty miserable using this strategy.
2. Give more than you take
Be the person that people want to go to for advice, not the one people run away from because you ask for too much. If all you do in groups is ask questions to help your own business and you never contribute anything, pretty soon, people are going to be sick of you and won’t want to help you anymore.
Make sure that in addition to asking questions, you’re also helping where your expertise allows. If you don’t, not only will you not achieve your end goal (growing your business through social media), but you also risk getting kicked out.
3. Follow group rules
Make sure you read the group’s rules for each group you join, and abide by them. If you don’t, you’ll piss people off and run the risk of being banned to boot.
Many groups do not allow direct advertisement of your services, but have specific days/posts where you can do so. Follow those rules.
But trust me, answering people’s questions and being an active participant will do a lot more for you than putting links on an advertising thread.
4. Assume no one cares about your business.
Several people are on these networking/Facebook groups to grow their own businesses. Assume they don’t care about your own and help them with theirs. This will get you known as someone who is genuinely interested in other people’s success, and they’ll eventually get interested in yours. This creates genuine connections that will help you a lot more than if you try to shove advertisements in people’s faces. Of course, this strategy works a lot better if you’re actually interested in people’s stories and in helping others.
5. Do not add people to groups without their permission
This should go without saying, but judging by the number of times it happens, most people are clueless about this. No one wants to be added to a group without their permission.
Perhaps you’ve found this amazing group that you think would help your potential clients and friends. That’s great, but if you add folks without their permission, you run the risk of losing that potential client. And maybe even that friend. Always, always, always, ask people permission before adding them to a group. It’s just common sense and proper etiquette.
Now that you know some rules about proper social media engagement and group use on Facebook, here are some groups you should check out. Whether or not you write about writing, consider joining writing groups to learn more about growing your business, as well as to meet other people on the journey. I have developed some wonderful friendships since joining some of these groups (I’m looking at you, Heidi!)
Three Facebook Writing Groups Worth Checking Out
1. MultiTalented Writers
MultiTalented Writers is the Facebook group connected to this website. Unlike any other group on Facebook, this one is dedicated solely to writers who choose to write in multiple niches and in various formats.
We have a great, supportive membership who helps each other out and shares wonderful information on how to grow your business as a multi-niche writer. Anyone is welcome to join, but membership is not approved unless the screening questions are answered, so be sure to do that if you want in.
Also, remember that we do not allow self-promotion except in the comments to your introduction thread or the comments to the Flaunt it Friday posts.
2. Earn Your First 1,000 as a Freelance Writer
This group is currently by invitation only. The reason for this is that the official challenge is now over. This is a group created by Bamidele Onibalusi of Writers in Charge, and is currently being administered by the awesome Spike, who is one of the most helpful people I’ve ever met online. His “say it as it is” attitude also helps to keep the group running smoothly.
If you want to know more about the challenge, check out this post, and if you want the step-by-step instructions on how the challenge was completed (so you can try it for yourself), visit Bamidele’s site here. Ensure to read these articles in full before attempting to join the group.
3. Writers Unite!
If you’re a fiction writer, this is a great group to join. There are several newbie writers here, but also several veteran ones who share great information and can help you answer all your questions to do with writing your story.
There are many, many more writing groups on Facebook, and which ones you join will depend on the type of writing you do and what your goals are in being a member. Chose wisely and remember to read and abide by the rules for each group.
Other Groups You Should Join
In addition to joining groups about entrepreneurship and writing, you should also join groups that your target market would frequent. Think about the niches you write in, and join groups about those niches.
Help out as much as you can in those groups, so you start becoming known for your expertise in those areas. Soon, you may see an increase to your own followers.
Do you have a Facebook group we should check out? Write the link in the comments and we’ll stop by and have a look!