As someone who comes from a marketing/public relations background, I have learned this over several trainings and my own experience over the years. I've also been known to go against my own advice from time to time. You have to follow what rings true to your heart and when you start compromising who you are just to be a face of a business, your integrity will eventually be compromised and I guarantee, weeks/months/years down the line, it will be very visible for all the world to see. Truth be told, depending on the content of your business, some rules are hard or impossible to follow. For example, I run a spiritually based business. It is impossible for me not to talk about religion. What I do try to do however, is make sure that I am coming mostly from a non-denominational viewpoint. It’s definitely a slippery slope, because you still want to be able to express yourself and it’s okay to have your own beliefs, but at what cost? You have to be willing to lose certain followers if your beliefs do not match and align.
In hindsight, that might be okay, because as you build your tribe, you want to create an atmosphere of same-energy and like minded individuals who are on the same path as you. This doesn’t mean that you should ONLY accept individuals who are exactly like you. You need different viewpoints in order to grow. But you certainly don’t need people following you who are only there to give you the virtual evil eye every time you post.
Over the years, I am sure we have all come across what works for us and what doesn’t. I am sure we have also come across what turns us on to a business and what turns us off. I can think of one woman who was absolutely genius in her methods, but her business approach was demanding and obtrusive. It turned me off and I ended up unfollowing her shortly after my first session with her. The same could be said for me, I suppose. I share openly on my pages. Sometimes I rant ... something I am working on. For me, it is about sharing vulnerability. Many do not agree with my methods and many have left me. And you know what? That’s okay. Those who see what we are trying to do and are a match to our energy and personalities will stay. Those people are your tribe and we all have different tribes.
Here are some tips I have saved over the years in regards to advertising your business online. In all actuality, there could be double the amount of tips on this list, but I consider those tips to be basic for every-day use as these pertain more to businesses.
1. Don’t cut yourself short by only selling to your market or your people. I see this all the time. In the spiritual community, we advertise within our own people. Very little is getting out to the general public and so we keep ourselves in tight-knit communities. This is okay, but this is also why a lot of us only have between 5 to 20 people show up to our events. We are thinking small and limited.
2. Do NOT blatantly promote yourself or your business on other pages’ posts or blogs using the Facebook comment section. This is the Facebook equivalent to the sleazy car salesman. It’s side-handed and it makes you look desperate and pushy. Only comment your business if you have been given permission to do so. Otherwise, keep it on your own page.
3. Do NOT send a friend request to a stranger and then follow up with sending them your business page immediately thereafter. This is the equivalent of the cold call in the real world. No one likes them and it is also obtrusive. One minute you think you are gaining a new friend and then you start getting bombarded with sales-y type information. This makes people feel like they have been misled and it is not a good start to your image.
4. Create UNIQUE content. If everyone and their mother is selling an online chakra class, the last thing you want to do is sell another chakra class ... especially if you are stuck in the rut of having similar friends and communities that all share information. Stand out and offer something that no one else has or create it from a different viewpoint.
5. Avoid sending mass messages. Mass Messenger messages generate a notification for every recipient when any one of them replies. I know that it is so much easier (and faster) to do this given time constraints, but avoiding it will also help you avoid annoying others in the process. Group chats should only be created when given permission by all involved.
6. Be sure to have a profile picture and a cover photo. Otherwise, many will think you are a spam account and disregard any notifications or invites. Keep your account up to date as well. If it appears you haven’t posted since 2018, your profile will not be taken seriously.
7. When you copy someone else’s status verbatim, be sure to quote them or link back to their page. This is the equivalent of handing in a paper that someone else wrote. You don’t want to get expelled! It wasn’t cool then and it’s not cool now.
8. Maintain a higher standard of content than other networks. Try to deliver authentic content instead of just posting quotes or memes. Did you know that 1 out of 4 people on FB find inspirational quotes annoying? Sad because I like them so much, but true. Also, if you post an article or video, make sure that it is legit and does not come from a biased source.This will help you lose your credibility quickly. For example, if you post an anti-vaxxing article on your holistic page, but sure that it is not coming from a well-known anti-vaxx website. Of course, they will post anything that supports their viewpoint. Post something that is neutral or at least a little more reputable for both sides to make an educated decision.