How many of you freelancers have found clients in Facebook groups? I have to admit that up until this point I pretty much just used Facebook groups as a way to connect with other bloggers and freelancers in a casual way (nothing wrong with that, as you’ll see below!), but I didn’t really think of it in terms of boosting my clientele. I still think the creative connection is my #1 benefit from Facebook groups–if I don’t feel connected to the community you won’t see me sticking around–but this year I started using them a little more strategically. Here’s what I’ve found, in the form of a fun pros and cons list, of course…
(ps: macbooks are so tricky to photograph, they have to be upside down for the logo to be right side up! haha)
3 Reasons to Look for Clients in Facebook Groups
1. Like I said, my #1 reason to join Facebook groups is the instant sense of community. This means finding the right group. I’ve noticed that the only groups I’ve really connected with (I’m only in a handful) are those that a trusted friend has added me to, or that I’ve found from a blog/business/podcast I love. This is helpful for finding clients because you automatically feel this camaraderie with the other members; you have many of the same goals. So when I see a post calling for services I offer, I’m instantly excited to help a fellow creative out! I think this boosts our chances of gaining not only clients, but the right clients, organically.
2. From that, it’s easy to make connections with people you wouldn’t normally be introduced to. I’ve gone to a couple in-person meetups organized by other members of Facebook groups, and landed clients through them. And even when I’m not finding direct clients, I often meet people to collaborate or trade services with, which is just as helpful as a biz owner.
3. Lastly, it’s SO easy to refer a friend! Now that I have plenty of friends in the same Facebook groups as me, I can simply tag them when I see a project or job post I think would be a good fit for them. They do the same when someone asks for something I specialize in, so it’s a win-win. This only takes a second but can form lasting relationships :)
3 Reasons Not to Look for Clients in Facebook Groups
1. Okay, so the drawbacks. Depending on your industry, many of the people in your creative community may also be your competition! This is great when you need advice and can search the group for answers, but not always so great when you go to respond to a post and 20 other freelancers already have. My advice here is to make sure that you’re responding to posts that really speak to you. While it’s nice to get your name out there, I find that my time is better spent crafting one thoughtful pitch for a project that sounds totally up my alley, than dropping my website on every post I see.
2. This might apply more so to high volume Facebook groups (with hundreds or even 1000+ members), but anonymity online often makes people feel less responsible for their actions. There are plenty of people who throw their hat in the ring for every opportunity, which means they probably aren’t committing to most of them. Be wary of doing business with someone that seems abnormally noncommittal, and don’t assume that just because you’re in a group together, they are going to be as professional and considerate as you are. Unfortunately, sometimes people can seem like the perfect fit when you chat on social media, and you find out that they’re far from your dream client later on.
3. Lastly, do you really want to spend even more time on social media? Social media takes up SO much of a freelancer’s time, so you should be really mindful about adding online time to your plate. It’s so easy to get lost in Facebook groups, but unless you’re building authentic relationships, showing off your biz to people who are truly interested, and landing those clients, you may just be wasting time. I find that when I’m not intentionally searching for relevant posts, I end up wrapped up in a lot of inquiries and conversations that don’t really pertain to me or my goals.
This is of course just my experience on Facebook… The good, the bad, we want to hear yours, too!