How to Utilize Your Facebook Profile

The Facebook Terms of Service, under Registration and Account Security, state

You will not create more than one personal account.

and

You will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain, and will use a Facebook Page for such purposes.

Given these rules and the inability to participate in groups as a Facebook Page, I know a lot of artists and entrepreneurs who get frustrated with the perception that they can’t promote their businesses.

1. Update your profile photo.

Facebook groups can be imperative for networking and business-building. Your profile picture is your first impression. Keep the basic rules of a good profile photo in mind, and stay authentic to yourself and your brand.

ProTip: Keep the photo of YOU not you and your bestie, your pet, or your kids. People want to know who they’re talking to, a photo of YOU makes you appear more trustworthy.

2. Update your cover photo.

The cover photo is a great place to show off your family, your pets, your favorite vista. Again, keep it true to yourself and your brand, but be cautious about HOW you use it to promote your ventures. If it’s a screen shot of your business logo, your pay-to-attend event, or similar promotions, you may come across as pushy.

ProTip: Make the photo relate to your business. If you’re a musician, use a picture of your instruments; if you’re an artist, take a photo of your materials.

3. Use your intro.

Think of these 101 characters as your speed date. It doesn’t have to be all business, you can shout out your allegiance to a sports team or declare your love for bacon, cheese, and chocolate. What are the people and things that matter to you? What hats do you wear and what roles do you play?

ProTip: Imagine an acquaintance has just introduced you to your idol. What do you want him or her to remember about you?

4. Update your featured photos.

This is another great place to highlight your friends and family. You can also use it to showcase your business logo, event flyer, or book cover.

ProTip: You get five pictures, a maximum of 2 should be business related.

5. Update your workplaces and schools.

If you’re self-employed, a freelancer, or an artist of any kind, you should have a Facebook Page to promote your businesses and services. In the “About” section of your Facebook Profile, you can add your Page as a workplace. So instead of a generic “Singer at Musician” your Profile would link to a Page that people could then Like and Follow.

ProTip: You can choose which of your workplaces are public and which are private or shown to friends only. If you have a “day job” at a company that isn’t affiliated with your Page, make that workplace private or friends only.

ProTip: Avoid being overly cheeky in your workplaces and schools. Relevant education and work experience can lend you credibility, but entries like “Attended the School of Hard Knocks” or “Studied nothing at None” can make you seem flighty.

6. Edit your privacy settings. 

There are two ways of looking at this, either keep most things Friends Only and make certain posts/information Public, or make most things Public and make certain posts/information Friends Only. Either way, make sure there’s SOMETHING on your profile to give people an idea of who you are.

ProTip: Go to Settings/Timeline and Tagging and select “View As” to see what the public sees.

7. Update your Content and Basic Info

This is where you can link to other accounts (Instagram, Twitter, etc) which may have different rules about how accounts are used. The Facebook algorithm seems to suppress posts which were shared from other social media websites, so you should make it easy for potential followers to find you on those platforms if they choose.

ProTip: If you have a blog, register a domain and share that under the website heading. Don’t list your Facebook Profile or Page as your website.

8. Find and participate in groups. 

There are hundreds – if not thousands – of Facebook groups dedicated to any topic you can imagine: music, poetry, reading, photography, etc. Find the groups that are relevant to your field(s) and participate. This is where a LOT of networking happens. Some of my best clients and colleagues have come from authentic participation in groups.

ProTip: If a Facebook group has rules, abide by them. If you don’t like their rules, don’t attack the people who created and run the group, just leave it.

9. Don’t hesitate to make requests.

As it’s grown, Facebook has become less about keeping in touch and more about networking. If you meet someone through a group (or a friend), send a friend or message request. If it’s based on a genuine interaction, you’ll probably be approved.

ProTip: Never, ever, EVER send SPAM. If you send someone unsolicited self-promotional content, it’ll probably backfire. Rather than being interested in your work or business, the recipient is more likely to report you for SPAM and make a note never to work with you.

10. Be authentic.

Bottom line: If you’re true to yourself, you’ll make connections with people who will WANT to support you and your creative/business ventures. 

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A Call to Action

Like many of you, I often feel powerless to affect change in a world which seems to be heading ever closer to giving greed, hatred, and fear the right of way.

Rather than remain in silence, I’m joining forces with my writer pal, Laura to put out an anthology to raise money and awareness for those who are in the trenches fighting for gun control.

We are tired of seeing the death toll rising. We are tired of sending “thoughts and prayers” to the families of the victims.

If you’d like to get involved with DISARM, check out Black Heart Magazine for full details and submission guidelines.

#DisarmHate

Hashtag DisarmHate

The Liebster Award

For Week Two: Missing This of my 52 Weeks of Creativity Challenge, head on over to my writing blog to see my nominees for the Liebster Award. You don’t want to miss out on what they’re saying!

Maggie Writes Stuff

liebster-awardLast week, Laura Roberts of Buttontapper Press nominated me for a Liebster Award because of my homophone pieces from April’s A to Z Challenge, as well as my new 52 Weeks of Creativity Challenge.

Laura, thank you so much for the nomination, I’m honored to be one among your awesome group of nominees!

These are the guidelines to keep the award going when you decide to accept it:

  1. Display an image of the award and write about your nomination.
  2. Thank and link the person who nominated you for this award.
  3. Answer the 11 questions prepared for you by the blogger who nominated you.
  4. Nominate 5-11 awesome bloggers who you think deserve this award, and create 11 questions of your own for your nominees to answer.
  5. List these guidelines in your blog post.

My Answers to Laura’s Questions:

1. What most inspires you to write?
Observation (and the need to…

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Crossing Bridges: An Outreach Community

A few years ago, at brunch with friends, my husband and I raised the question, “If you could throw a bunch of money at a problem, what would you fix?”

Answers varied: cancer, education, healthcare… and conversation flowed around the topics, what would we change, how would we do it, what challenges would we face… then one idea took hold of the whole table.

Homelessness. We would fix, cure, and solve homelessness.

After parting ways with our friends, James and I couldn’t stop talking about the concept of eradicating homelessness. Was it even possible? How could we do it?

The easy first answer is to give everyone a home.

Since we first started talking about this, I’ve read numerous articles and studies showing that, in fact, providing a place for the homeless to stay is, in fact, the best way to solve a very expensive problem.

But we want to do more than just provide people with a place to stay.

We want to provide people with a community, a place they can safely leave their belongings, a place they can feel safe sleeping: a place they can actually call home.

We envision a large piece of land, with dorms, cabins, and a central community center (basically college meets summer camp). Families would be able to stay together, people would have an address to list so they could get a license, apply for jobs, register for classes. They’d have regular access to showers, women wouldn’t have to worry about getting pads and tampons every month.

Everyone would have access to job training if they wanted it, daycare and transportation to school and work would be provided.

Basically three rules: nothing illegal, no violence, and help out when you can.

Most people who are homeless just need a hand, a safe place to be while they get their footing back. The end goal for each person is that they find their way back home.

I was thinking about this one day while watching my son play with a train set, that this could be a bridge back for so many people, and I was put in mind of a song my husband wrote, and so “Crossing Bridges” was born.

We’re still in the planning stages, there’s a lot to take into consideration with getting something like this up and running, but it is definitely a huge dream of mine to make this happen.