For today’s Monday Marketing Morsel, we are going to look at one of the most popular online marketing tools in use today: the multi-step webform.
And there’s no better way to learn than by doing, so I’ve created a multi-step webform for you to complete.
I’m doing this for two reasons:
The first is to learn more about you and how I can make Get Nonprofit Clients even better. Please answer the question about your biggest marketing challenge honestly.
The second is to show you how this works, and why you might want to put one on your website too. I’ll elaborate on that on the survey “thank you” page.
Tell me your biggest challenge with marketing your business to nonprofits.
After you are done, come back and share your experiences with these kinds of forms, or how you could see using one on your website, in the comments.
The standard advice, and the Facebook terms of service, go like this: You use Facebook Pages for your business and Profiles for your personal life. And that’s pretty much what I have done historically, rarely cross-posting between the two.
But does that really work for sole proprietors or “personality driven” shops?
For many of us, part of our marketing appeal is the personal touch. Our marketing needs to allow prospects and clients to connect with us as real individuals who can help them in direct, one-to-one ways. I find this to be especially true in the nonprofit world.
Profiles feel like a much better way than Pages to do that kind of relationship building on Facebook. Not to mention the drop in organic reach for many Pages.
I’ve been lurking around in other consulting circles outside the nonprofit world, especially for freelancers and coaches, and I see many people using their Profiles more successfully than their Pages (if they have a Page at all). This also seems to work well for creatives.
Let’s cue the buts . . .
But you can only have 5,000 friends. Only? I don’t know about you, but that leaves me plenty of room for potential clients.
But you have to approve all those people. Not exactly. People can “follow” you without “friending” you. The difference is that followers only see posts that you tag as “public.”
I just turned this feature on myself today. Go to Settings, then click on Followers in the left sidebar. Change the settings to Everybody.
You can also “view as public” to see what non-friends see. My public profile needs serious work if I am going to use my profile for business, as it’s mostly gardening and family content right now. You cannot tell what I do for a living.
I also had a bunch of “About Me” info inadvertently set to “Friends” — including my company name and website (doh!), so I changed several of those items to “Public.”
Something else I just learned: Anyone you don’t accept as a friend automatically becomes a follower.
But you will share too much personal info with strangers. What about your kids’ privacy?? Not if you manage it carefully. At the most basic level, you need to remember with every post you make to select either Friends or Public for “who can see this.” It does default to your last selection, so you have to get into the habit of looking at it every single time.
But using a Profile this way, not everyone is a real friend. You’ll end up friending a lot of strangers. So I am also going to use lists more religiously.
Honestly, I needed to do this as my kids reach tween/teen stage anyway, as they are much more sensitive about who sees what about them, even within our personal circles, let alone my professional ones.
When I first set up some lists years ago, I created too many different ones and promptly abandoned them. I think I will go with three lists (four if you count public). This is really based on level of personal comfort and trust with each person. (Tips on this here and here.)
- Close Friends. A tight list of very close family and friends who I enjoy with all my heart, from both my personal and professional lives. These are the people I could call at all times of day or night if I needed to. These people know my kids’ names, and the kids would know many of the people in this group at least by name.
- Inner Circle. People who I really like or trust or admire, even if we aren’t BFFs. Always happy to hear from them, or run into them, and I’m fairly certain the feeling is mutual.
- Acquaintances. Everyone else who is on the Friends list.
- Public. Wide open to the world.
But what about the Page? Yeah, we’ll still do that too. But the Page is responsible for most of the hate in my love-hate relationship with Facebook. In any case, it needs some attention too. We’ll use it primarily for the training part of the business.
But isn’t this more work? Yes, but hello, good marketing is work. I use Facebook more than any other social network (despite my love-hate relationship with it.) I have hundreds of friends (probably the majority actually) who fall into the category of people who only know me through my work. It makes sense to take the time to customize the content I create for these different groups of people.
So what do you think? How do you use your Personal Profile for business? Please share your perspective in the comments. I especially would love to hear from those of you creating content with different lists, or the Friends v. Public Followers, in mind.
P.S. Here’s the best article I found on this topic: 10 Ways to Use Your Personal Facebook Profile for Business
I will admit it right upfront: I think blogging is FABULOUS. It drives tons of traffic to us, it’s how many clients are introduced to us for the firs time, and it gives the sector great stuff to pass around (word of mouth marketing).
So what kind of blog should you write? Here are four options I think work well for consultants and freelancers.
The Toolbox Blog. This is the most common approach (and the one I mostly use), where you offer how-tos, tips, resources, etc. to help your potential clients do it themselves. When they realize they can’t, they come to you.
The News Blog. Search out and report on what others are doing. For example, if you are targeting environmental groups, report on new communications and marketing campaigns by other environmental groups.
The Advocacy/Opinion/Challenge Blog. Do you feel strongly that your target audience should be approaching communications in particular way? Use your blog to advocate that. Maybe your target audience is not embracing social media in ways you think they should, for example. You could write a blog that challenged people on the issues and advocated how they could make it work.
The Storytelling Blog. Share your experiences working with your clients. This requires a lot of cooperation from your clients of course, but if you can get them on board, it’s a wonderful way to show how you work. Use your clients not only for case studies, but get them to talk about the creative process, how it is to work with you and other creative professionals, etc.
What kind of blog do you write? Or what kind of blog might you write if you haven’t started yet?
When I look back at where I’ve made the most money in my freelance writing career, without a doubt it is from clients who came to me via word-of-mouth referrals from my friends or family, colleagues from past jobs, other communications professionals, or other clients. I’ve had multi-year contracts with clients who found me through my husband, through volunteer work, and through other writers I befriended through the blogosphere. I’m pressed to come up with even one really well-paid gig that I might have landed from a job board or advertising.
So how do you make word-of-mouth referrals work for you?
Do great work. Give people more than they expect. They’ll be so thrilled they will naturally tell others about you.
Be clear about what you do. Don’t describe yourself as a freelance writer. Instead, say you write websites or newsletters or fundraising materials, or whatever it is you want to be hired to produce.
Let people know you are available. Without appearing desperate, casually mention to friends and other clients that you have a little time in your schedule for new projects if they know anyone who needs some help with (fill in the blank with what you produce).
Network with other writers and creative types. If you give good referrals, you’ll get good referrals. It’s one of those ying-yang things. I have friends in the freelance communications and marketing worlds who don’t know anything about nonprofits and when they are offered those jobs, they send them my way. I often refer work to other writers, graphic designers, and consultants when the potential job just isn’t right for me.
Tell some good stories. When you are in social situations, have some good work-related stories to tell about challenges that a client faced and that you helped solve. It’s a great way to educate people about what you do without sounding like a walking brochure.