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How To Generate Freelance Referrals From Facebook

Sep 11, 2008
One of the easiest (and most effective) ways to build a client contact list is to get a referral from someone you already know. In fact, Facebook was created on this premise. This social media site originally launched as a closed network by which someone had to invite you to become a member. This is no longer the case, and you can choose to sign yourself up without a referral from anyone.

However, then you find yourself in Facebook and you're all alone! Instead of sending out e-mails to anonymous people, you should try to build your network with people you already know who are on Facebook. This way you never find yourself in the position of having to send out an intrusive e-mail. Someone will have already introduced you as a friend. This will give you a degree of credibility when you approach people you don't know on Facebook, who you would like to get to know. If you have no friends, you can bet others will not trust you as easily as if you have a few friends willing to vouch for you.

When you sign up, Facebook will ask you for a variety of personal information. You should be truthful with where you went to school, where you live, and where you work (if you don't mind an employer finding out you are on Facebook).

Some people have even tried using screen names, but found that when building a business, it makes more sense to use your own name. After all, you are not online to post pictures of the latest frat party, but rather to meet new clients. So, if you keep to some decent business standards, you shouldn't have to worry about using your own name as it can help brand you as an expert in your specialty or field.

The reason for using your own personal information is that you are going to use it to find your friends! If you go in and can find no one knows you, you will have to start trying to make friends, without having any friends to speak of. That's like being the new kid in school who no one knows, no one trusts, and everyone thinks is a bit weird. Friends are important because they can help you establish your identity and verify who you are. And, identity is everything in a social networking site.

After answering the profile information, you can start to look for people who might have attended school with you at some time in the past, your prior co-workers, and even people in your specific geographical area. Another great way to find people you already know on Facebook is to think about the types of organizations you have joined in the past. Is there a church you attended?

Plug in the church name in the Friend Finder and you will be surprised how many people show up on your screen. Any organization is fair game, whether it is a library book club or a business organization. It doesn't hurt to look and it can be a great way to establish a presence from the physical encounters and time you've already spent doing your regular activities in your area.

Develop Your Network But Don't Abuse It

As you start to attract attention through your interaction on Facebook, you can start building a network of people who are interested in you and your products or services. This is very helpful to build a contact's list and customer database. Whether someone buys or not, remember they are a potential client and you should try to get them into your sales pipeline. This can be done a number of ways to help convert traffic into sales.

You will have to devote some time to building your presence on Facebook. It isn't an overnight, turn-key operation. Every Facebook business should be as unique as the business owner. In fact, this is the primary reason people join social networks: to express their unique identities. To build a network of people who would be interested in your services or products, you need to concentrate on resonating with people's unique identities.

For instance, if you were selling tattoo designs online, you might want to create a group on Facebook on what makes designs appealing to some people and not to others. This is less informational and more identity-oriented. This approach would attract people who are interested in providing their opinions in your target market.

A Free Service, But Don't Abuse It!

Facebook is a free online service open to everyone .Because it is free, don't think you can do anything you want on this community! The Facebook staff monitors its community to make sure people abide by the terms of the Service Agreement. If you are doing something against the terms of the agreement, Facebook might ban or suspend your account. Without your account, you won't have a business presence. Be sure to read the terms of the agreement before starting. You don't want to lose your account due to ignorance.
About the Author
George Dean is the author of the newly-released book/audio book, PROFITABLE FREELANCING WITH FACEBOOK , available at http://www.PaydayPublishing.com. Listen to free audio samples on how to freelance with Facebook. Or sign up to our Affiliate Program and earn 50% commissions on our products!
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