Many coaches and therapists I know have a love / hate relationship with social media — Facebook in particular. We’re told it helps with SEO, so we grit our teeth and set up a business page. But when we don’t get new clients directly and quickly from this effort, we lose interest.
Of course there are some special issues with using a public social media platform for communicating with the types of clients that counselors and some coaches may attract. Caution, discretion, and tight boundaries are more important in our fields than others on Facebook. I’ll blog about those another day.
Facebook as Engagement Marketing*
Engagement marketing and Facebook are all about cultivating relationships rather than merely advertising what you do. Both can be extensions of the basic need to establish the know you, like you, trust you factors when marketing a private practice that deals with vulnerable people and sensitive topics. Both contribute to establishing you as a credible specialist in your area of interest — and that is the personal branding that attracts clients who are ready to hire.
There are two basic ways to cultivate relationships on Facebook. One way is to initiate comment-worthy posts, and respond to comments that others have made.
The idea is to generate or participate in conversation, be encouraging and supportive. The more you do this, the more of a following you acquire.
A second way is to look for opportunities to be a helpful resource. Direct people to information and tools that solve a problem, answer a question, provide inspiration, or further useful knowledge.
This is a powerful relationship building strategy because it keeps your name and resourcefulness in the consciousness of your potential pool of clients. When they need the type of help you provide, your name comes readily to mind.
Use Facebook’s Special Features
Facebook has a number of special features that most counselors and coaches are could use for more effective marketing.
Did you know you can still customize Facebook business page, despite the many changes that have been made to that capability? It’s worth exploring what’s possible and adding what will help promote your practice.
Some special features help move potential clients from your personal timeline or news feed post to your business page and then to your focused marketing pitch on your website. This is where the action is in terms of marketing strategy with Facebook.
So, does an unease with technology cause you to avoid exploring online client attraction strategies? You could be missing out on connecting with your ideal clients.
If you'd like to feel more comfortable with social media, email me to schedule a consult on how to get started.
*Engagement Marketing is the strategy of inviting potential clients and friends or family of potential clients to actively participate in the shaping of your business services prior to even hiring you for your expertise.