Thursday, March 7, 2013
Never before has there been such an open space for anyone to have a podium to express themselves. In the past, only thought leaders, authors, or celebrities could get up on a stage and share their thoughts and opinions, but now with Facebook anyone can do it. So as a coach, how can you use this platform to spread positivity and simultaneously build your brand?
From committing to your status updates to creating ads and ‘promoting’ your posts, growing your Facebook page requires a strategy. Here I’ll share my secrets to developing my Facebook fan following.
Declare It On and Offline
In my latest personal development book, “Don’t Think of a Blue Ball,” I explain how the process started for me by making a declaration.
“When you want to do something and you decide that you will, you will. Since I learnt how powerful the power of declaration was, I started to achieve everything that I dared to declare. When I joined the social networking site, Facebook and created a Facebook Page, I declared that I would have 1,000 ‘Likes’ in three months. And I did it 15 minutes before the date that I had declared it for.
When you declare and announce it to people in your community—you give it power and it attracts the support of that community.”
Since then my page has received more than 5,000 likes in less than two years. As a life coach, we know how to coach ourselves out of fear and into courage. Taking action, making declarations and moving forward in spite of the fear, which after all is only “false, evidence appearing real.” When we make a declaration like this, we are managing our own accountability, we have set a goal and we are designing actions, which are integral attributes of an ICF coach being authentic and competent.
Walking the talk, is how we inspire people rather than “telling” them what to do.
Communicate Directly on Facebook Daily
I used to find this hard to do because in the past I had associated Facebook as “wasting time” but Facebook is not a game. It is a place you go to meet and interact with real life people and the only way to gain “likes” or fans is to be interested and engage with other Facebook users.
I take about an hour in the morning and then another 30 minutes at the end of the day to look through other people’s profiles and I like or comment on them, then I find something that I am inspired by and write a line or two on my Facebook page. Be sure to truly engage, remember that these are real people with thoughts and feelings and they have a message to shout out as well, they want to be heard not just bombarded with your inspirational words or your sales pitch. I learnt this lesson from Katrina Kavvalos—(Social Media Coach).
Be an Active Listener
Browse through profiles and see who your friends and potential clients “like.” Go on and “like” a few pages that interest you at first and then over the next few days, see if you really do “like” their posts. I found that I needed to reduce the number of pages I “liked” as it became too much for me, so I went through them again after a while and “stopped liking” the ones that I didn’t really enjoy, keeping my list of “liked pages” to very few that I truly did “like.” These should usually be made up of people you admire, you aspire to be like, you have learnt from and even your peers. Read what they post daily and “like” or even “share” when you appreciate or agree with them. People who like your page want to see and read content and it does not necessarily have to be all your own original stuff. They need to see that you are human like them on the same playing field and you too like and admire others.
Invest a Little
Although you can build your “likes” organically, it does help to set aside a monthly budget for Facebook Advertising. It is one of the most comprehensive and specific target market aimed tools I have ever come across. You can design ads or you can just simply click on the “Promote” icon below your post and set the budget for that particular post, starting from $5. I usually go for $20-$30 each time and receive at least 40–50 new views and page “likes.” This is far better than advertising the page, as it is promoting two things for the price of one. You have the potential to receive a “like” and you already have the viewer “engaged” and interested. This has worked wonders for me and I use it every time I want to promote a workshop, my book or a new video. There are many tools out there to measure how effective or influential you are being on Facebook including Edgerank and Klout.
Word of caution, there are a lot of sites that offer to get you more likes for $5 or $10 or more, these are not real and they do fall out eventually. You are better off having fewer engaged likes than many silent ones.
To conclude, don’t separate people you meet face-to-face with people you meet on Facebook. Some of my best connections and clients have come from Facebook. They are resourceful individuals just like you and are enjoying this incredible new platform where each and every one of us has a voice to declare, to share and to have an opinion. The “like” key is powerful, the comment key, even more so but the one you really want to get your users to click is the “share” key, for that shows that you have influence. Think about why someone would want to “share” your post on their profiles before you post anything.
Malti Bhojwani, PCC, is the founder of Multi Coaching International (1999). She is also an NLP practitioner and is trained in Ontological Coaching. Her latest book, “Don’t Think of a Blue Ball,” has gained international endorsements and is available online. As a coach she aims to serve, not fix or help, through her personalized sessions, virtual coach program, YouTube videos and her writing. For more information visit maltibhojwani.com.You can also connect with her on Facebook, LinkedIn, or follow her @MaltiBhojwani. This article was first featured in the February 2013 issue of Coaching World.