Half of Facebook’s more than 2.2 BILLION active users are on Facebook in any 24 hour period. In addition, the average U.S. Facebook user spends nearly 6 hours a month browsing this social network.
In other words, if your business isn’t on Facebook yet, maybe it should be. And one of the first questions I invariably receive from newcomers concerning Facebook is, “What should I post to get people interested in my business?” Here are some ideas:
Showcase your customers. If you’ve got photos, videos or emails from happy customers using your products, go ahead and show them. Just remember, you’re not bragging about your product, you’re showing what your customers are doing with your product. Keep the difference in mind when choosing and framing content and you can’t go wrong.
Instead of showing a testimonial from Jimmy telling how great your product is, show Jimmy using or enjoying your product, or show the direct results Jimmy achieved with your product. For example, if you teach your customers how to restore classic cars, show Jimmy with before and after shots of his car.
Use humor. Don’t make yourself or your business overly serious on Facebook. Instead, use light-hearted humor whenever possible. This isn’t necessarily telling jokes – most times it’s simply taking a poke at yourself or your day, showing something in a humorous light, being witty or simply sharing that silly thing that happened to you a few minutes ago.
Post funny videos, especially if they’re relevant to your business. And don’t just grab videos from YouTube – make your own quick videos when you feel inspired.
Give them content. Facebook isn’t necessarily the place to offer long winded diatribes about anything. But it is a great place to share cool content – especially the “How-to” variety and the entertainment variety. And it doesn’t all need to originate with you – use curated content to round out your own and keep people engaged.
Let them inside. That is, show off your staff (if you have one) or your family or the inner workings of your business. Engage them by pulling back the curtain and showing what they normally wouldn’t get to see. For example, if you’re a one person business working out of your home, show them your office, your view, and your little dog that keeps you company. If your business has oodles of employees, post pictures of your in-office celebrations such as birthdays, as well as the antics that go on and so forth. By giving them a peak behind the curtain, your friends and fans feel very much included and part of the group. You’re no longer just a business, you’re part of their circle.
Ask questions. Nothing engages other people like asking them their opinion on something, even if it’s as silly as, “What’s better: Baseball or Football, and why?” Posts with questions get the conversation rolling, especially when it’s an easy question to answer. And be sure to respond to the answers you receive.
Use these Facebook “attention getters” to quickly begin brining more people your way.
When we are making a final determination as to whether we could set up a successful home business we should really ask ourselves the following:
If we were our own boss, would we really do the work we need to do? Will we keep working diligently even though at first (and maybe for quite some time) we will not be paid? Will we be able to keep investing our time and effort and maybe a few dollars into our business for an extended period without seeing any return on investment? Will we be able to keep from feeling discouraged through this period?
You will need to be down in the trenches until you get everything set up, including some trial and error. The ‘magic sauce’ doesn’t sound very glamorous from this vantage point, does it? This is why you have to maintain a positive mindset. The work and sacrifice are exactly what makes the difference between make it or break it and not just at start-up but going forward as well.
So there is no point in wasting your time and other resources to start something you won’t be able to finish. That is why it is such a good idea for you to explore the possibilities first. Don’t forget that there are some business models that you may like more than others. So try a few on for size before you decide.
Also think about the goals you want to achieve if you do go into creating a home business. Do you just want to supplement your income with some extra cash? Do you actually badly need to bring in more income as what your job provides is not sufficient for a nice lifestyle?
Did you lose your job and now need to find a way to support yourself? (In this case it is probably advisable to get at least another part-time job first ) and work on your business start-up part-time (unless you have savings, severance pay, and/or unemployment insurance to tide you over). You have to have living expenses while you are developing your business.
Contrary to popular wishful thinking, starting a business is not going to generate income immediately. It needs to be developed over time with lots of effort. Just think logically – if we could send out 10 emails and then sit back and wait for the cash to roll in, why wouldn’t we all do it? The answer is because nothing like that exists (legally). It is more like 100’s of emails on a consistent basis over time that might produce some cash.
So do you think you can do it? I bet you can if you can maintain a mindset that is determined and motivated.
If you are really thinking seriously about starting a business at home you should consider a few things before you commit your time and money. While the skills and experience you have acquired during your working career can definitely help you when starting your own business, there are other functions that may be important to your success.
Discipline and structure are necessary to run a business. We may have taken these elements for granted our employer already had procedures. We just had to do them. We were also given a job description so that we knew what was expected. We were given a work schedule that outlined what time we had to be there, when to take breaks and when we could leave for the day. Additionally we likely had a supervisor or manager who would ensure that we met the expected criteria.
When we are starting out on our own we have to create all this structure to begin with. We should create a plan that includes goals, and we need to schedule our time so that we get everything done that we need to. We need to find a way to stay motivated to do the work that is necessary.
Very likely, our home business is not our only job, and adds additional duties and responsibilities to our life. This is one reason we need a plan. Since we don’t have anybody to hold us accountable, we need to have lots of discipline and to remain focused in doing what is necessary to run a profitable business. It is all too easy to procrastinate when you are your own boss.
When we have a job we know how much money we are going to earn and when we can expect our paycheck. This enables us to create a budget and a schedule for paying our bills, etc. This can definitely be a challenge when we have our own business because there are no guarantees or schedules. You never know exactly how much you will make or by when, particularly if we work in sales, as this depends on many factors; the primary one being how much time and effort you are willing and able to invest in to promote your business. If you have a business that depends on others to contribute then they are also a factor.
One obviously important factor is that we must survive while we are building our business, so this should be our first consideration. We must never speculate on our survival. Any logic at all will tell us that we must NEVER spend the rent, food or utilities money. Survival is not something we can gamble with as we can’t be sure we will have the money back by the time our bills are due.
Something that is also very important with regard to this is our mindset. Will we be able to remain discouraged when we don’t see results immediately? Do we really understand that nothing will happen instantly or without a good deal of effort over time?
We need to really ask ourselves if we will be able to stay focused and motivated without seeing anything tangible for a while. It requires faith, self-confidence and having the right information so that we will know what action we need to take to succeed.