Over the last two months, Wanderful World has grown by 10,000+ readers a month and 600 new email subscribers. This is partly because it’s found its groove in the whole freelancing melee, and partly because I’ve started creating posts that are high-value and non-airy.
But I don’t think these are the main reasons. I know they say that “content is king”, but I really believe that CONTEXT is king. Basically, putting your blog in a context where people who need it can see it really, really helps.
And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. With Facebook groups.
Now, I’ve been on Facebook for almost 10 years now (geeez, that seems like a long time!), and I’ve never been that enamored with it. I rarely update my status, and my profile picture tends to stay the same for a good couple of years.
So diving into the world of Facebook groups was a little scary to begin with. The platform is so personal – I’d only ever interacted with my friends and family there before, so it was difficult switching my mindset to business and blogging mode.
The great thing about Facebook groups, though, is that they’re private, safe spaces. Your “friends” can’t see what you’re posting, and you don’t clog up others’ newsfeeds with the stellar advice you’re no doubt offering.
A Guide to Networking in Facebook Groups
Okay, but what exactly IS a Facebook group?
Facebook groups are private communities of like-minded individuals. Usually, they’ll be centred around a theme, like travel, or freelance writing, or photography.
Some have schedules and themed days so you can share posts, ask for advice, and promote your services.
Others are more casual affairs, where you can simply strike up conversations with people who have similar interests.
Basically, it totally depends on the group you join. But don’t go ahead and join every single group you can find because that will 100% lead to overwhelm. Instead, you want to cherry pick between 3 and 5 groups that you can actively participate in and keep up-to-date with.
When it comes to Facebook groups, you want to create a consistent presence, not just drop in and out every now and again.
It depends on how busy your schedule is, too. Facebook is a notorious time suck, so picking just a few groups will help you stay on top of your schedule (because, let me tell you, some groups are hella active!).
How to find the perfect Facebook group
Now, it’s a little trickier finding decent Facebook groups that are relevant to your niche, because there are actually a fair few spammy offerings out there. Ya’know, where people just promote their posts day in, day out, and there’s not really any discussion.
These might seem tempting at first, but after a while you’ll start glazing over the posts people publish there (which means others are doing the same to you).
- Step 1: Start by choosing a phrase that aligns with your business. So, if you’re a travel writer you might search for “travel writers” or “travel brands”. If you’re a photographer, you might search for “photographers in X” or “portrait photographers”. We’ll talk more about the kind of groups you can join in a mo, this is purely to show you how to find relevant hubs.
- Step 2: Put your phrase into the search bar on Facebook.
- Step 3: Click “more results for X” when the dropdown menu appears (after you start typing in your phrase)
- Step 4: On the left hand side of the search results page there should be a link that says “groups”, click that and voila! A whole load of groups to scroll through.
Note: Not all Facebook groups are public, so it’s worth taking the time to read the descriptions in the private groups to see if it would be a good fit. Then you simply have to click “ask to join” and wait for approval.
- Bonus step: Alternatively, if you’re struggling to find any good groups via the Facebook search, you can simply type your phrase + “Facebook groups” into Google. Lots of sites have curated the best Facebook groups for each industry, so you can find some gems that you wouldn’t otherwise come across this way (some of the best groups won’t include your required phrase).
This is a screenshot for the search term “best Facebook groups for freelancers”. Simple!
The Unwritten Rules of Facebook Groups
Because the groups are private and cater to specific niches, sometimes you’ll find people who “dine and dash” – basically, they join a group, link to their site, and disappear.
This is NOT how you make the most of Facebook groups.
Instead, you want to involve yourself in the community vibe of the group and become a valued member.
The Dos of Using Facebook Groups
- DO start relevant conversations and ask questions to your fellow members
- DO offer helpful advice and answer questions you can for other members
- DO thoroughly read the rules of each and every group before you even think about posting
- DO show up regularly to offer your input
The Don’ts of Using Facebook Groups
- DON’T “dine and dash”
- DON’T post links to your site when it’s not been asked for
- DON’T put other people down (seriously, I feel like this doesn’t need to be said, but you’d be surprised!)
- DON’T “use” others to promote your stuff. Instead, think about how YOU can offer value to the group
Now we’ve covered the rules (which I really can’t emphasise enough – I see people doing all sorts of frowned upon things and people just start to resent them. Not good for business), let’s move onto the different kinds of Facebook groups that are beneficial for freelancers.
The Best Facebook Groups For Freelancers
When you’re new to the world of Facebook groups, it can be difficult to know where to even start, so I’m going to give you a little push in the right direction.
1. Connect With Colleagues
One of the absolute best ways you can find freelance work on Facebook groups is to connect with colleagues rather than clients.
Seems strange? Hear me out.
Colleagues aren’t just people with like-minded interests, and they certainly aren’t competition (there’s plenty of room at the top!). They’re also people who have rosters of clients. They might have a packed out schedule and need to find someone to take on new work for them. They might want to collaborate with another freelancer on a bigger project. They might have a lead that isn’t a good fit for them, but might be for you.
The possibilities are endless.
And, even better, you don’t have to stick to freelancers in your own area. If you’re a writer, you can network with web and graphic designers. Often they’ll need help with copy for projects, or will have a client that wants the full shebang.
2. Connect with Your Ideal Audience
As well as connecting with colleagues through Facebook groups, you can also connect directly with your ideal client.
If your ideal clients are photographers and you live in London, you can join a group dedicated to – you guessed it – photographers in London. If you’re a wedding planner, you can join groups for brides-to-be in your local area. If you write for corporate businesses, you can join marketing groups, start-up groups, and groups dedicated to growing businesses.
If your target client is small businesses, here are two groups straight off the bat that you could join.
3 Top Facebook Groups for Freelancers
These are groups that I’m a part of and absolutely love. They’ve made it into my top 5 groups because they’re useful, informative, and the people really support each other.
1. The Freelance to Freedom Project (join here!)
I love Leah Kalamikis’ Facebook group. It’s a place where all different kinds of freelancers converge, start conversations, and share their wins. Each week there are designated threads where you can promote your work and social media handles, but it’s not just a free for all – people actually post AWESOME stuff and interact with others’ work, too.
2. Creative Freelancers Unite (join here!)
I kinda have to put this here because it’s my group (oh yeah, I started a Facebook group for creative freelancers, where we can support and celebrate each others’ successes! You should join!). There are themed days for sharing your posts, and a lovely group of freelancers at all stages of their careers.
3. Female Freelance Writers (join here!)
Shelby’s Facebook group is home to tonnes of awesome women who are really rocking it in the writing industry. Like the other groups, there are themed days, where you can promote your client work, ask a question, and share your weekly motivation. It’s a great place to connect with like-minded women.
I’m only going to offer 3 groups now, because I don’t want to overwhelm you. I know I’ve gone through lists of Facebook groups before and joined every single one of them, only to feel waaaay overwhelmed when all their posts start showing up in my feed.
These 3 are the ones I’ve had the most fun in so far, and that offer the most authentic connections in the freelancing world.
I can’t impress enough how great Facebook groups are for getting your name out there and landing clients. That being said, there are a few things you should consider before you dive in head first.
Top Tips For Using Facebook Groups
Set aside time
It’s really important that you set aside a limited amount of time each week to get involved in your groups. Social media is notorious for sucking away time, sapping creativity, and leading to enormous amounts of procrastination (we’ve all been there).
So, while Facebook groups are GREAT places to hang out (and it can feel like you’re working at the same time), it’s so, so important to limit your time there.
I’ve been through that stage where I refresh, refresh, refresh to see any new content or if anyone’s responded to my post. But guess what? That new content and those responses will still be there when you check back later. They ain’t going anywhere.
I suggest setting aside half an hour on 2 days a week to network in your chosen Facebook groups. This gives you enough time to show up regularly and offer help without sucking away too much of your precious time.
Fill out your profile
You’d be amazed at the amount of times someone has given excellent advice in a group and I’ve hovered over their name to click through to their site, only to find this information isn’t available.
With Facebook’s privacy settings you can make it so only your job title and website appear when non-connections look you up. Please, please, for the love of all things, include this in your profile.
It’s so nice to be able to hover over someone’s name, find out who they are and what they do, and figure out how to connect with them on a deeper level from there.
Phew, there you have it! The non-sleazy guide to landing clients with Facebook groups.
It definitely takes some time to get used to putting yourself out there in front of a bunch of strangers, but for the most part Facebook groups are supportive and kind.
Have I missed anything out? I’d love you to share your favourite Facebook groups in the comments below!
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