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January 11, 2008

5 Fun and Free Ways to Get Leads to Find You in Facebook

I’m so livid that I can still hear his voice in my head. Does that ever happen to you?

“You’re completely nuts,” he said. “You can’t get anything from Facebook but a sheep thrown at you!”

“No. YOU can’t get anything out of Facebook because you have a time management problem.” I hung up the phone, furious. I mean, how can you call yourself a marketer if you can’t manage to gain from a site where the leads come to you?

Since he obviously won’t listen , I’d like to tell you for free what I wouldn’t tell him if he paid me. (No, he’ll never read this – don’t get me started on That.)

What follows are Five Fun and Free Ways to Benefit from Having a Facebook Profile.

1. Import Your Blog Posts, or Social Feeds

Make sure you already have asserted your own copyright and that you read their T’s and C’s before proceeding.

Another thing Jeff Pulver mentioned to me in Facebook is that your audience in Facebook and in the Blogosphere may be different, so this isn’t for everyone. There’s not enough space to go into it here, but several variations on this can explode your results.

2. Get to Know Clients, Colleagues and Mentors Better

Many people think of LinkedIn when they hear about this tip, another of my favorite sites. (Google “Vincent Wright LinkedIn” and you’ll get tons of great, free information.) It’s a great site to network at if you have a specific professional purpose in mind.

However, if you want to get to know people, with no particular agenda in mind, Facebook is better. It’s not an either/or type of thing, they’re just different tools.

Once you’ve made some type of connection with someone in Facebook, you can unobtrusively learn about your online pals, and use the little tidbits to make small talk about common interests, which can lead to conversation, which can lead to phone calls and other offline encounters.

The reason this is so powerful is that it mimics the way we get to know people in our offline lives.

Familiarity goes a long way to establishing trust. Add in the transparency that occurs from them seeing your news, and you’re doing two things with your clients that your competition is not.

Who would you buy from, someone you trust, or a company where you’re just another number?

3. Participate in Groups

The emphasis is on participation. Interact and get to know people.

Be more concerned about connecting with others than about gaining site traffic. To get more involved, you can stop by occasionally and contribute content. You’ll get the best effect from joining the discussion board conversations.

If you’re looking for business related groups to start with, try Mark Joyner’s Simpleology, Jeremiah Owyang’s Web Strategy Group, Open for Web Business, or Facebook for Business.

Once people start to see your name come up in conversations, on their Facebook home page and in discussion boards, they click on your profile to learn more about you, which often begins interaction. Of course, they can also surf to your site through your profile. You can even start your own group, or a fan page about your business.

4. Upload videos

The kinds that seem to go over best are short, simple videos with just you, a plain or simple background (white wall or you at your desk). If you’re a bit too shy for the camera, think about a video capture of your screen as you demonstrate something important (also called a screencast).

They can be up to 15 minutes long, in a variety of formats, and up to 300MB in size. It’s free, and it automatically translates from their allowed formats into a format viewable by all browsers.

5. Share Links

When you share a link on your profile, your friends can get a notification of this, and they can also easily share it with their friends. Big deal right? But if you have 100 friends who average about 100 friends, the right link, exposed virally, can spread as if you emailed it link to 10,000 contacts.

As with email, not everyone will pay attention to it, and of those who do, not all of them will act on that information. But for the price of free, without spam? Can’t be beat.

If that weren’t enough, you can share links in Groups now on Facebook. So that means if you are an active participant in 20 groups of over 1000 people, you have added a potential 20K to your audience.

Hint: Link sharing works better when you’re being helpful and have a track record of being an open, sharing person, not just constantly posting links from your own site.

And there you have it, five fun, free ways to utilize Facebook to enhance your business.

The next time someone tells you that Facebook can’t help you, tell them to shut the hell up or talk about the things they know.

Okay, I’m kidding.

Just ignore them, and join the group of quiet marketers who are learning the laid back ways of social media marketing.

You don’t have to spend your day on Web 2.0 sites to promote yourself either. Often, when your profile is properly set up, it can generate leads for you with a minimum of upkeep- free. Not to mention advertising opportunities that are appropriate for some sites.

Try it yourself, then decide.

Author:  Confused about how to get clients, joint venture partners or more blog traffic from Facebook without violating their terms with traditional online marketing techniques? Go to http://freetraffictip.com/1-facebook to learn more about the ins and outs of marketing on Facebook.

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