Promoting Your Business with Facebook Ads

There are over one billion people on Facebook.

Crowd of PeopleJust about everyone on the planet knows that Facebook has become the go-to media strategy for business promotion.  Using Facebook provides businesses one of the best opportunities on the Internet for targeted advertising. This is key because Facebook users provide pertinent information such as their age, gender, location and interests, which allows you direct access to target your audience. These Facebook ads can be used for lead generation, traditional brand advertising, and more all to promote your  business – FOR FREE!  Here are just a few ways to leverage Facebook advertisements for your business.

1st –  Know How It Works – When you run your ad or sponsored posts/stories you are charged for the number of impressions (CPM) or clicks it receives. The amount that you pay can be restricted by your daily or lifetime budget and there are no additional fees associated with running ads or sponsored stories on Facebook.  Facebook suggests you name your campaign, select your budget and set the time schedule for running your ad. When multiple ads are running in a campaign, Facebook automatically allocates more of your daily budget to higher performing ads. You can use the Ads Manager feature to monitor your campaigns performance, to measure its success and ultimately determine if you are spending your Facebook advertising $’s in the best way possible.

2nd –  Consider Psychographics vs. Demographics in the Setup – Psychographics study and measure attitudes, values, lifestyles, and opinions versus demographics, which provide quantitative data based on geography, age, gender and the like.  Psychographics give a true, life-like portrait of the targeted audience and consumer base for your individualized marketing purposes.  Facebook gathering this key information allows advertisers to target & pinpoint their audience in a very precise and henceforth successful way.
Leader & her team3rd – Always Use Effective, Eye-Catching Tools & Creative Options – We know that we “eat” with our eyes first.  What catches our attention through imagery certainly opens the door leading us to the relevant information. So smart use of imagery in your Facebook ad will make a significant impact on the success of the advertising and marketing campaign. And there are various forms of these eye-catching options to consider.

  • Infographics are a great way to grab the reader’s attention especially when you add imbedded links to your page to promote key information about a product or service being provided.
  • Video AdsFor those who prefer to watch than read, video ads are a great way to convey pertinent healthcare information or solicitations to the masses.  For example, there are sports companies like Nike that use ads like Nike’s Football: The Vapor Trail to create amazing & captivating video ads to entice their target audience and promote their products.
  • Job Opportunities – In need of more sales associates or another CPA for your growing accounting firm?  With over 1 billions people on Facebook, it is no brainer to use ad space to market career opportunities within your business.
  • Free Services & AppsNothing attracts new customers like the words FREE and even more so when they can actually obtain something.  What better way to entice a consumer than offering a limited service for free?  What about creating engagement via a free app offer as you lead consumers to your own website.  Use Facebook the way Facebook uses you – to get new subscribers i.e. new consumers.
  • Emotional Response Ads Emotions are one of the most powerful influences we have. Emotional Response Marketing & Advertising works wonders in the various forums such as healthcare because there are emotional attachments to health concerns, issues and supportive causes such as Shriner’s Hospital Love to the Rescue.
  • Hosted Event AdsEvents promoted on Facebook have a greater chance of success than any traditional marketing method. Business exhibitions and conferences, trainings, and career events can have a much higher participatory turnout when advertised through Facebook.

So are Facebook advertisements worthwhile for your business and particular industry?  Only you know who your general audience is comprised of.  But if there are more than 50% that you believe are online and use Social Media – than the answer is YES.  Especially if you look at the IMMENSE EXPOSURE opportunity versus the amount of money spent on the campaign.  Using Facebook creates unlimited opportunities to attain new customers, host successful  events and bring global awareness to your company’s product or service. Facebook Thumb Up


Freelance Designer: How To Find Real Jobs

Cubicle JailSo you made the jump from a safe, warm, and cozy job to the freedom of freelancing. You’ve dreamt about it for so long, wondering how the sun feels during the day while you were locked away behind a fluorescent lit cubicle isles and rows from the nearest window. Well you’ve arrived; so now what? How are you going to pay your bills, grow your skills, and market your skills on a shoe-string budget? Keep reading…

One of the more important characteristics of a successful is maintaining a steady flow of work. That work may come from agencies, current, or new clients. To me, each creative will find their own way to attain their own work but below are a few tips to try:

Online Agencies: These are good because most of the risk is on them so long as you hold up your end of the bargain. If you’re great at creating logos, but really don’t like to get into haggling and negotiating prices, these places are for you. You can create a profile, list your skills, and post your rate per hour or project. Then wait for the emails to come in. You’ll want to do some market research though so that you’re not too high or too low that you price yourself out of work or respect.

Network Locally: This one may be a step out of your comfort zone. Yes we have social media now a days and we can hide behind our keyboards, smart phones, and laptops but live networking still is held in high regard. Find out when and where other business professionals are hanging out after hours; then be there with them. Bring your business cards, but don’t pass them out like free tickets. Instead try making conversation first. Ask individuals what they do and repeat it back to them along with points of view while including their name here and there to show that you are paying attention to them. Before you know it, they’ll ask you for your card and then you can tell them about how awesome you are at design and how much fun you have helping people grow their business and brand.

Sponsor a Community Event: Pro-bono may be a great way to start out especially if you’re skittish about how people may appreciate your work. It’s also great experience in dealing with customers. You’ll run into all kinds, and before long you’ll have favorites and you’ll have some you wish you never met. As a self-starter, your reputation is everything so doing a free design or website for a local church could win you a lot of “oooohhhs” and “ahhhhs” from the members who all work in the community. A few thank yous and nice words from some non-profit organizations that rub shoulders with city officials could propel you to great levels. So even though the money may not have been there, you’ll still have new material for your portfolio, highly visible clientele, and letters of recognition you can tout around like trophies.

Embrace Social Media: This one comes with a grain of salt. There are many outlets out there to use. Find two or three that you can really wrap your mind around and feel comfortable using – and use them! Post daily, post often, but keep in mind you’re looking to engage first. The selling of your skills will be evident enough in your bio. Use it to showcase new designs you created. Get people to rate or comment on your work or even offer opinions and feedback. Learn how to strike up good conversations that may provide some great insight to someone’s problem or project and that could land you a job right then and there or not long down the road since you sound like you know what you’re talking about.

Your Portfolio: Well after showing off and practicing your elevator speech, you must have a place for all these people to view your work and vet your skills.  Even if you don’t want to set up a full-out 50 page website that has all types of forms, sub pages, and FAQ’s with endless breadcrumbs, you should still have an online presence. I’ve seen some really nice designer websites that were nothing more than full-width graphics stacked, scrolling, or animated with just a contact page with a phone number and 3 line form. Be versatile though with your displays so that businesses of most industries can envision you doing their work and not think you’re just a niche designer. Unless however you want to be tied to a specific industry. Nothing wrong with that. Let me also mention blogging. A great way to provide great tips on your trade that not only shows insight, but proves you are the authority on that subject matter.

Well for those of you who’ve been doing this for some time, why not offer some tips to others in the comments below.


Learning to say NO (to bad freelance projects)

Learning to say NOThe word “NO” may be one of those forbidden words in the vocabulary of most freelance designers.  We may be used to hearing it from time to time from prospective clients or recruiters, but actually saying “no” to someone is something we seldom do.  Why is that? For me, I’ll say it’s because deep down I’m in business to help people.  It’s not all about the money – though the money is a factor. Really it is about helping people understand why they need my services, and how I can make their dreams come true.  Essentially fulfilling a worthy need.  This comes with strings that may be harmful to that blissful and wonderful life we know as a freelancer though. Let me explain why.

There are a growing number of design freelancers out there either straddling the line of full time or part time work, and the main dream is to one day only work for self. In working for self, there are some preconceptions about how tasks and work will be from day to day. This may include getting up a bit later in the morning, watching the news, going to the gym, hours or work, quick snack for lunch, then more hours or work into the wee hours of the night. Sprinkle in some emails, phone calls, social media engagement, and research; and that would complete a typical day.

Here’s where things can go wrong. When you’re currently juggling a few projects and a new prospect is eager to work with you and ready to pay – but their project isn’t really within your scope of work or expertise.  Obviously you want to take the job because you’re thinking of the money and maybe some bills it would pay, or new iPad you’ve been craving.  I won’t call it greed, but you accept the job. Things seem to be ok at first, but after a few days or weeks the project takes a turn for the worst.  The client is very needy or lacks feedback you need to continue.  Their requests are over your head and out of your know-how. You’ve spent entirely too much time contemplating how to do or what to do. And my favorite, you’re now running behind on your other projects that are completely within your realm of service.

By now you’re thinking, “I shouldn’t have taken this assignment.” Hence, you should have said “NO.”  I’m here to tell you its quite ok to just say no to a project. The level of stress you endure when taking these non-essential gigs can start to ruin your ideal day of work. You remember that blissful feeling you had when you first starting reading this and reflected on your perfect day? Well that’s what keeps you doing what you do.

Here are some tips for saying “no” and being polite about it:

Increase your prices: Provided that you don’t have your prices listed on your website or posted service, you can accept a project, sub-contract it to a known associate that you trust, and still make a little money while retaining a new client.

Delay the project start date: Chances are that client may be looking to get started yesterday. (which is already a bad sign) Explain to them your current workload and defer to a date in 30-60 days. If they’re still interested you can contact them back.  This also works when current projects are about to expire and you’ve got nothing else lined up.

Admit to your limits: This is a bold step here but can be accepted as a humble gesture. Explaining to the client that their project is out of your scope of work and that you wouldn’t want to accept it without full confidence in what you’ll be able to produce in the end.

Offer a recommendation to another freelancer: This may seem like your passing them off, but if you can explain to them softly why they will understand. Especially if the recommended person is an associate of yours that you can make a warm introduction to this client. Now their project can be done with confidence, your associate will be happy with the referral, and you can keep your day bright and shiny.

Bottom line is that you have to respect people when they come to you for work, and also respect your existing clientele to ensure adequate service is kept for them.  One common complain I hear with people I’ve met is that their current or past designer doesn’t seem care about them.  Either by not responding to emails, phone calls, missed deadlines, and more. Word of mouth is so powerful and a kind word goes far; while a bad word goes even further and impacts a lot deeper.  As a freelance designer, we’re a dime a dozen. What sets us apart is our reputation, keep this in mind with the projects you do take and the ones you probably shouldn’t.

As always, your thoughts are appreciated. Please leave a comment and let me know if you agree or have different views.