You connect with someone in a Facebook group. She wants to know more about you so she clicks through to your personal profile to see who are you are and what you do. (Neither of you know it yet but she is a *dream* client who you’d love to work with!)
But your personal profile doesn’t give her any more information. She can’t go to your website and she doesn’t realize you are *exactly* who she’s been looking for. You’ve lost the chance to turn that ‘warm’ lead into a dream client.
Even if you are actively keeping your personal and business lives separate on Facebook there’s a few things you should do to make sure you personal profile is not costing you valuable business connections.
Since you can only join Facebook groups as a person (not a business page), when you’ve gone out of your way to be helpful in a group where your ideal client hangs out (which I highly recommend–it’s the best social media strategy out there), potential clients or partners are going to click through to your personal profile to see what you are all about. So let’s make sure it’s business-ready.
4 quick steps to make sure your Facebook profile is ready for business
Step 1: Make sure you profile picture is actually a picture of YOU.
Your profile picture is always public and is visible to people within groups even before they even click over to your personal profile. This does *not* need to be a professional headshot, in fact, since it’s your personal profile, I think it makes more sense for it to be relaxed, but I strongly advise you to make it a picture of you–not your cat, not a flower and not your baby. It’s fine to have your dog, kid or friend in the photo with you, but potential clients are clicking through to find out more about you (and people do business with other people, not pets or babies) so make sure they can see your face.
Your cover photo can be anything you like, just remember it’s always public so you’ll want it to be something you are comfortable sharing with potential business connections.
Step 2: Include a public description of what you do and, if applicable, a link to your Facebook Business Page
Aside from your profile picture and cover photo, you can lock down pretty much everything else on your personal profile (if you choose) so it’s hidden from people you aren’t friends with on Facebook (you can control that in the Edit view on your personal profile and under > Privacy & > Timeline and Tagging in your general account settings).
BUT, the most important addition to your personal profile is a current description of what you do under ‘Work and Education’ — and this should be set to ‘public’ visibility.
If you have Facebook Business Page you want to make sure it’s linked here so people can click through easily. (Here’s a quick tutorial on how to link it up.)
If you don’t have a Business Page, I’d use my website address: like ‘Social Media Coach at JackieJohnstone.com’ — it won’t be clickable but at least people who come through to you profile will know where to find you. (You can, and should, add your website to the ‘Contact Information’ section of your profile–it will be clickable there–but most people won’t click through to your full About tab to see this.)
Step 3: View your profile as ‘Public’ to see what potential clients are seeing
Use the little wheel on your profile to ‘View as: Public’ so you can examine your profile from the point of view of a potential client and see if there is anything you might need to tidy up. Are there family photo albums visible you want to keep private? Is your new Work information showing up?
Step 4: Consider turning on the ‘Follow’ option for non-friend connections
If you prefer to keep your personal profile for friends & family, you can limit who can send you friend requests. You can set this under your account Settings > Privacy > Who can contact me (‘Friends of Friends’ or ‘Everyone’) — this will keep people who don’t have a friend in common with you from even seeing the ‘Add Friend’ button on your profile.
However, your personal profile can still be a great place to keep in touch with business connections if you enable ‘Followers’. You do this under Settings > Followers, set Who Can Follow Me to ‘Everybody’.
These ‘followers’ will only be able to see your public posts on your personal profile so you’ll still be able to keep your personal stuff private, but people who want to connect with you have the option! Win-win.
I’d love to hear from you:
Is your Facebook profile business-ready? Do you have any more tips for your personal profile that I’ve missed?
Jackie Johnstone is a social media coach for passionate entrepreneurs with an important message to share. If you are tired of wasting time on social media and itching to reach a bigger audience but aren’t sure how to make that happen, she can help. She’s on a mission to help you banish tech headaches and find and connect to the people you can serve, so you can get paid to do what you love.
This Wednesday, March 12th, she’ll be sharing her “easy button” strategy to get your Facebook Page or Twitter account stocked with brilliant posts your audience will love–so you can reach more people and attract more clients! If you wish you had a successful social media strategy to get your work noticed — but right now that basically amounts to posting to your Facebook or Twitter account when you publish a new blog post and not much else — this is for you! Register here: it’s free!