Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reply All Files #1*: Should You Have a Facebook Page To Promote Your Work?

Recently had an email conversation with some good mates about the pros and cons of a having a Facebook page to promote your freelance work. After a few fruity language edits, I think the conversation's worth publishing. Chaz is a Melbourne based PR writer. 

Chaz:  I know it's a bit shit, but a couple of people have told me to start an FB Page for myself, and just post regular content, to increase my profile, and hopefully attract clients. Heaps of dumb PR people I know do it, and get loads of work so maybe I can too. But what can I call it? My friend Daanen suggest ChazWords. Kinda like Google AdWords. I really hated it at first.. I mean REALLY hated it. But now it's kinda growing on me. It's snappy and succinct, which may or may not be the same thing.

What do you think? Any other (sensible) suggestions?

Some ridiculous suggestions like Chazwick's Models and Words With Chaz follow, then...


Chaz:  I quite like Words With Chaz, Jack! Better than Turds with Friends. I should add that really I'm just waiting for Glenn to tell me what it should be called.

Katia:  I don't think the name should necessarily have CHAZ  in it and also, I question how much work you'll get from Facebook but that may just be me.  Glenn will know better.

Me:  In all seriousness. As if we do seriousness around here, but don't do it. It doesn't work.

That's what your SBD (silent but deadly) blog is for.

If you need another site for work and resume just do one under your own name. And if you do, use blogspot and put statcounter.com on it so you can find out who's visiting. You have no control over FB.

I have one here. It's rubbish but it does the job. 

Katia:
  Oh god so my thoughts on facebook are confirmed by Peters. Phew.

Chaz:
Thanks Peters! Other similarly qualified people have also told me the same, but I was hoping you'd disagree! You see, my blog gets hardly any hits. I mean, I'm lucky if it gets 50 per post on the day I post something. And NOBODY checks it unless I post a link on FB. Whereas I know all these crap writers who get all their work from their FB pages (the work is mostly from other people in their social orbit who require a writer for whatever project). A dedicated blog for my work might not work, as my work is mostly just crap media releases and stuff. Not really ads or anything. Not really anything I'm in any way proud of AT ALL.

And almost every single job I've had so far has come from one of my FB friends recommending me to one of their friends / colleagues. And because I know so many of people in this town (I'm not boasting though.. they are almost all horrible), I thought an FB page, less offensive than my own facebook, might be helpful. Ok let me put it this way - would an FB page actually be HARMFUL? Cos I might just go ahead and do one regardless if not.

Matt:  I just got back from three hours in Parramatta, so thank YOU, Chaz, for giving me something comparatively intelligent to glance over.

It restored some faint memories that there are normal people in this world with questions that probe deeper than, “you got a smoke?”.

For what it’s worth, I totally agree with the proper blog if you’re not very good at creating custom MySpace pages.

Me: 
Yes it can be harmful. Definitely don't do it. FB doesn't appeal to the people making the bigger decisions like running your own website does. A FB page comes across too much as a shortcut. Anyone can start a FB page. But rarely many people run a blog well. People envy anyone who can keep updating a blog. Just keep doing what you're doing on FB. You do FB well enough.

You're getting all the work you can through your FB contacts. The only way to take it further is by getting published lots and people actually reading your work. It takes ages to get a blog working. And even if it does work, it really doesn't matter how many visitors you get.

Just write more on your blog or set up another resume blog with your name on and republish all the PR writing you do for clients. Or use Linked in.

One more thing, in advertising none of the people I admire run a FB page. They do all their self promotion with a combo of blogspot or tumblr and twitter and only use FB as a personal thing, sometimes pointing friends to cool stuff they've done.

Also separate church and state. Do you really want to self censor what you do on FB because that's what you're going to have to do LOTS when you set up a small business FB page.

Chaz: 
Ok, it's settled. No FB page and more blogging.

Then for some reason we move on to spending the rest of the day talking about Laverne and Shirley.


* #1 suggests this is first in a series. It could well be. All I need is another interesting email conversation. Email me to say hello or give me some freelance copywriting briefs at hotpies(at)gmail.com.

Or check out my work page here.

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