Event Recap: Leads and Lattes- Facebook Advertising 101 for Women Leaders and Business Owners

Last week, I hosted a half-day training workshop for an inspiring group of go-getter women in my local area who are ready to take their business to the next level! We ate, learned, drank, laughed and ate some more. This is the way we do workshops at Splendid Circle ☺️.

Although this class was called Leads and Lattes, we just HAD to pop a bottle and celebrate all the new leads these women have coming their way!  Aaannnd, this workshop was the culmination of two years of business for me as a solopreneur.  

Two amazing years of getting to work with purpose-driven women growing their unique businesses in their own authentic way.  So, to celebrate all that, we had put the lattes aside for a moment and pop the bubbly! 

In the spring of 2015, a few weeks before I created the beta test of my group coaching program (that turned into Splendid Circle), I went to a business conference for women in Dallas.  Prior to that weekend in Texas, I was on my own trying to make sense of my journey as a business owner.  Many of my friends weren't ready for business online and didn't really understand what I was doing.  That conference brought everything together for me.

Sure, I'd taken the best online courses and I was a part of great Facebook groups.  But as we all know, there's nothing like meeting people face to face and having those meaningful conversations and ideas.  

Quite simply, that weekend changed my life. I connected with inspiring women entrepreneurs from all over the world who were next to me seeking the same answers together!  I met web designers, life coaches, online course creators, software developers, social media experts, nutritionists, speaking coaches and many more. I made so many new friends and business buddies.  Since that conference, we've stayed connected (through Facebook!), provided feedback to each other, bought each others programs, cheered each other on for speaking gigs and so much more!

Fast forward to last Friday. I witnessed the same thing happening for the women who attended my first Leads and Lattes event.  Most of the women didn't know each other.  But by the end of the four hours, they were sharing, connecting and planning future collaborations.  

When you have a dream for your life and business, it takes a decision to say you're going to make it happen.  You have to take that first step outside of your comfort zone and towards your goals.  

That first step is realizing you want to pursue your dream, invest in yourself and that you're ready.  Luckily, these women decided to take that step and made it happen.  These are the decision-makers I love meeting through my business.  As I sipped my glass of champagne that afternoon, I enjoyed Splendid Circle having its little moment.

Back to the event! Leads and Lattes was an event all about getting started with Facebook Advertising.  But learning advertising isn't the final goal.  The real goal for all of these women was to find additional sources of digital traffic to bring to their sales funnels.  A sales funnel is the engine your business has in place to take cold traffic and convert them to warm leads. Getting traffic to sales funnel is what ultimately makes FB Ads extremely powerful right now. 

We discussed the role of Facebook and why it's important for women like us to be involved.  The internet is still very young.  One of my missions through my business is to empower women (especially Moms) with digital strategy and know-how so they can build profitable businesses and help shape the internet for the next generation.  Listen, it's either us or a bunch of young guys in Silicon Valley. We need to be in there and staking our claim!

If you're interested in attending the next Leads and Lattes event or another one of my upcoming business workshops (local or online), join the waitlist.  

I want to thank attendee and talented photographer, Tatyana Ali for taking these amazing shots of us and making everyone so comfortable with their headshots and the event photos.  

Should you Learn Facebook Ads or Get Someone Else to Do Them For You?

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These days, everyone and their dentist is talking about Facebook Ads. Am I right? 

If you're a business owner using Facebook, then you've probably seen quite a few people pop into your newsfeed talking about them.  Many of them are probably even bragging about them.  All this noise makes you wonder if all these stories are actually true.  Could they work for your business too? 

The truth is, Facebook is growing every month with new users and existing users are using it more frequently.  The company is also rolling out new features all the time to remove competition and keep their users glued to the platform.  

If you're a business owner who's already identified that your potential customers are hanging out of Facebook, then there's never been a better time than now to reach them! 

Having said that, organic traffic for business owners has gone down over the last few years.  This can be discouraging.  Back in the day, posts would reach almost everyone who liked your Page.  But now, with so many monthly users and pressure to grow their revenue, Facebook is nudging business owners towards a pay-to-play model.  

So what's a responsible business owner using Facebook supposed to do? There's no denying that today they just can't afford to ignore or avoid Facebook Ads.

So, now that you thinking about running them for your business, do you really want the hassle of learning something new? I mean, there's already SO much you're doing for your business every day. 

If you're not interested in the hassle, do you want a marketing agency to do them? You've been down this route before and marketing agencies can get pricy and without any guaranteed results. How the heck do you figure out which choice to make?

The first step is to be absolutely sure you want to go down this advertising path. Talk to a few Facebook Ads experts and marketing agencies and see if they're all saying the same thing. Many marketing agencies, digital marketers and Facebook Ads experts offer free mini consultations to discuss whether you're business is ready for Ads.

I offer Facebook Ads as a service and I've run ads for local and global clients over the last 18 months.  Over that time, I've learned a lot of short cuts and tips to get different types of ad campaigns to work and produce results. For newbies, you'll realize it takes some time to figure out your audience and craft messages that bring them to your business.

While there's no magic formula for a successful ad, a combination of the right message, the right targeting, the right imaging and the right offer from a business that has their branding and positioning nailed typically get better results.

As a revenue growth consultant, I'm passionate about teaching business owners how to use digital marketing to bring more targeted traffic to their business.  That's why I created a step by step guide so businesses can get all their ducks in a row for using Facebook Ads months before they actually create an ad! Yes, there's work you can do beforehand to be ahead of the game! Trust me, I can't tell you how many times I have to turn businesses down that want to start ads when they are nowhere near starting.

I'm also focused on empowering women business owners so I'm having my first in-person Facebook Advertising 101 Workshop in Millburn, NJ on May 19th! It's called Leads and Lattes.  

If you've been looking for guidance and insights into how to get Facebook Ads to work for you, I'd love to have you join our diverse group of women. You'll leave with the confidence and clarity to start promoting your business beyond your network through Facebook.  

If you're ultimately going to hand off Facebook Ads to a marketing agency, it's SO important to be educated on advertising on social media and really understand what the agency is doing for you and how they're using your ad dollars.  This way, you can make an informed decision about the services you purchase and you're not surprised when you get an invoice from them!

 

 

 

 

3 Behaviors That Keep You From Being A Customer Magnet On Facebook

If your ideal clients happen to hang out on Facebook, there's never been a better time than now to lasso them in and get them interested in your business. The key is to connect with them and then, boom! You can get them into your sales funnel. Voila!

If only it was that easy, right?

Most small businesses struggle to connect to their ideal customers on Facebook.  It's not because they don't have social media know-how, the latest graphics or support from their community.

They struggle to connect because of their behaviors. 

I've worked with dozens of small businesses over the last several years and I've realized there are several key behaviors that get in the way.  These specific behaviors are preventing small businesses from getting the attention they deserve from their future customers.

Social media was originally created as a place for people to learn, connect and, yes, socialize.  When you look at Facebook, it has a culture of it's own and it's very fickle.  Users are interested in looking at vacation and family photos, finding interesting articles and getting updates from old friends.  

Once businesses realized the potential of social media, they had to pivot their marketing to fit this new channel. Over the last several years, the digital marketing industry has learned quite a few lessons from the pioneering businesses that succeeded first on social media.  The businesses that have made it work for them have been very strategic about their online activities and have avoided the following behaviors.

1. Thinking that Generic Content is Good Enough

Most people on social media have seen it all!  Just look around and you'll see hundreds of other businesses competing for their attention on the newsfeed over the course of a day.  

One a Facebook Business Page is set up, businesses tend to take the easy road and go the generic way. They'll share articles from magazines like Forbes, Inc or an industry website. These don't work very well.  Facebook users reject this because they're not learning anything about YOUR business and they start scrolling their newsfeed.

After a while of getting no results, businesses get discouraged.  More often than not, they'll say it's because their customers are just not on Facebook.  That's not true!  With billions of users logging in every day, your customers are on Facebook.  Your future customers don't want generic content. They want customized content that showcases you and your business.  On Facebook, they want to see WHO they are dealing with.  They are interested in LEARNING about your business and why you do what you do.  They want to  be attracted, engaged and educated. 

2. Focusing on Vanity Metrics

If the main thing you think about on Facebook is number of Likes your business Page has, then we need to sit down.  Vanity metrics are things like Page Likes, downloads, page views that are easily manipulated and aren't correlated to profit or revenue.

Of course, we all want to be popular and look like we are on the rise and successful in our industry. Yes, once you have your ducks in a row, your Page likes will rise. But it takes time and strategy.  

A closer look at a lot of "big" Pages on Facebook reveal that their huge following isn't even getting them the reach and engagement that they should be getting.  It's all about pay to play on Facebook so if your huge following isn't engaging, you'll have to pay to get them to see your posts.

Also, if your existing Page "Likers" aren't genuine fans (as in friends and family who want to support you but not interested in ever buying from you), you will end up spending a lot more on your ads in the future.  Lesson: Focus on what it takes to get your best prospective customers to notice and follow you!  Start by setting yourself apart from the crowd.  This includes communicating your unique brand, your business story and putting thought into your content.  When these elements come together, your future customers are ready to listen to you.

3. failing to develop real Relationships Online

When we talk about buying in person, we invest in developing a relationship with the prospective customer and build that Know-Like-Trust factor.  It's the same thing on Facebook!  When you use Facebook to grow your business, you want to move your relationship building activities online.  

The first step is always establishing your branding and positioning to attract your "tribe" (the people who relate best to you). Once that's in place, create a content strategy that showcases your brand and your Know-Like-Trust factor.  You can use an editorial calendar that includes elements such as weekly FB Live Q/A sessions, testimonials, behind the scenes photos and team events.  Once you have a consistent content strategy in place, your online relationships will start to become real.  It will be as though you know them in person! 

5 Ways to Quickly Grow your Local Audience and Find Leads for your Small Business on Facebook

"I already have a great referral network! I'm not really sure Facebook is right for my business"

"I use Facebook to keep in touch with my family and friends. I don't really feel comfortable talking about my business there.."

I hear this all the time! If you're a local business owner, you probably have a great local referral marketing system working for you.  You may have a great set of referral partners and other businesses who frequently send business your way through the Chamber of Commerce, BNI or other networking groups. Your referral partners have typically known you for a long time, they know the great service you provide and they can trust that you'll take care of those they send your way. However, with the rise of social media (particularly Facebook) marketing, you may be wondering if it's worth your time engaging in this new area.  Is it possible to grow your local customer referral network further on Facebook?  The answer is YES.

The latest data shows there are nearly 500 million users on Facebook every single month so your future (local) customers are there too. So far, local businesses like real estate agents, nutritionists, physical therapists, lawyers, dentists, landscapers, interior designers and more are increasingly making Facebook one of their biggest channels of incoming LOCAL leads.  Why would you want to leave all that potential business ($$) on the table?  The data and the real life examples show that it's time to get real and get your local business the online exposure it deserves so you're on the fast track to getting more local customers! 

Here are 5 ways to quickly grow your local target audience and find leads for your small business on Facebook:

1. [Show Up] When you establish your business presence on Facebook, you're sending customers, partners and competitors a SIGNAL that you're on it! You want to communicate that you're on top of your marketing.  So, set up that Facebook Business Page and fill out all the information about your business like website, email address, hours, phone number, address that the page accommodates. If it's appropriate for your business, it's also possible to put in standard prices for your most common services, testimonials from happy customers and a call-to-action for them to call now or learn more about your services.  Consider this your business home on Facebook. Get existing Facebook friends who are aligned with your business to like your Page.  Here's a tutorial to getting your FB business page fighting ready!

2. [Tell your Story] If you're new to this step and don't know how to create content for Facebook, think about the CONVERSATIONS you have with your existing customers and business partners.  You can share those same business stories that you tell when you're meeting folks in person at local networking meetings like the Chamber of Commerce or BNI.  It will take some time to feel comfortable sharing your stories and finding your voice on the platform, but it's important to start sooner than later.  As your stories appear online, you'll start getting attention and find a much bigger audience looking at it. So, it's like having a much bigger Chamber of Commerce or BNI meeting!

3. [Get Friendly] Grow your list of friends on Facebook.  Consider becoming Facebook friends with your office team members, business partners and past customers if you connected well.  These days, customers use Facebook to help them quickly check on a local business owner they are interested in.  Also, business owners use the platform to boost their KNOW-LIKE-TRUST. Potential customers routinely check out business owners to see who they know in common to establish trust in working together.  By adding more friends, you have more people who will like your business page and share their engagement with their Facebook friends and family.  It's a great way to multiply the impact without additional work!  If you're not comfortable being Facebook friends with business partners and business colleagues, you can set up lists to keep your private photos restricted to close friends and family.  Here are instructions on how to create different lists for sharing on Facebook.

4. [Grow Traffic] Create a mini-business blog to your website to and deliver unique and valuable content so you can bring traffic to your website from Facebook.  Take a few hours and map out interesting headlines for 5-7 blog posts. Depending on how often you decide to blog, this brainstorming session will take care of 1-2 months of content. Blogs can drive your website's SEO and help potential customers learn more about how you view your business. Additionally, a blog post is a great way to drive cold traffic off of Facebook and to your website to create a warm audience. 

5. [System and Support] You can bypass all the above and join Boost Camp!  I just launched this program to help small businesses looking for local customers. If you're new to Facebook marketing or your posts aren't getting noticed (as in very small reach and Page fans), then this program is right for you.  Here's a snapshot of some of the modules..

Don't do what everyone else does by posting anything and everything to see what sticks! Boost Camp gives you a solid system that helps you get super clear on the who/what/why of your local customer, create attention-grabbing posts that get you a double-take in their newsfeed and boost those posts the RIGHT way so you can start generating local leads and growing your business.

Finally, the most valuable part of the program is getting support in our private FB group community where you'll join other local business owners who are also trying to grow their leads.  Stop doing it alone and get the SYSTEM and SUPPORT to finally grow your local customer this year. 

Since launching a few weeks ago, we have an amazing group of local businesses enrolled already.  There's a landscaper, a food blogger, a non-profit, a personal stylist, a yoga teacher, an executive coach, an insurance agent and more.  We would love to have you in our community! 

If you have any questions about whether Boost Camp is right for your business needs, send me an email to boostcamp@splendidcircle.com

If you want to talk about another solution for your business from one of the other options above, send me an email (sonali@splendidcircle.com)

Here's to growing your business in 2017!

Case Study: 3 Strategies a Local Mom Uses to Run a Profitable Franchise Business

Getting to know women who reinvent their careers is one of the most rewarding aspects of running Splendid Circle. They are blazing a trail for all the other women out there who are just not sure of their path ahead.  I believe the more stories we share, the more role models we have for the next batch of women wondering how they could reinvent their careers.

My second case study in what I call "Splendid Career Reinventors" spotlights Jackie Lieberman, a local Mom of two, entrepreneur and Editor/Owner of TAPinto Westfield NJ.  

After years of working in the publishing industry in New York City area, Jackie decided to breakaway from the hectic 9-5 work life and become a freelancer so she could work from home.  At around that time, the online world and blogging began to grow so she started a Mommy blog about incorporating her Jewish heritage and culture into her children's daily lives. It was through this blogging experience that she realized she enjoyed the connection and community you could build online.  At her kids preschool, she heard from another parent about an online news franchise business that was starting up locally.  

She learned everything about the TAPinto business model (previously called Alternative Press) and realized that it had a lot of potential in the local market.  Not sure of taking on a new business while raising two young children, Jackie started out as a freelance writer for TAPinto Westfield.  By leveraging her previous work as a magazine writer and blogger, she was able to make it work and enjoyed it.  Within a few months, she decided this was the right business opportunity for her and signed up to become the franchise owner of TAPinto Westfield.

Interviewing Fox 5 meteorologist Nick Gregory at the NJ Greek Fest.

Interviewing Fox 5 meteorologist Nick Gregory at the NJ Greek Fest.

Soon, she started developing relationships with local community leaders and business owners.  She began attending all the local town council meetings, chamber of commerce events and local business meetings.  In a few months, she got into a comfortable work-life routine and focused on growing the site's traffic and advertising.

Jackie loves the business she's created for herself but admits it's taken her time and experience to come up with a formula that works for her.  Here, she shares her top 3 strategies that helped her site become profitable:

1. Provide Value.  Early on, she created a Facebook Group for her local community that was not connected to her business.  The group is a central space for her township residents to ask questions,  share information and come together on community issues.  As a result, she has gained valuable market research for her content and can focus on the stories and local events that actually matter to the community members.

2. Focus on Selling.  In any business, selling is the key.  She knew she needed to get the word out to local businesses about what her site offers and invest the time to educate them about the site's reach and advertising packages.  This strategy was especially challenging for her at first but she got better at this over time.

3. Delegate.  Since she knew how to write, she was able to quickly identify and hire freelancers who could write well for her site.  Even though she was a writer herself and still writes quite a bit for her site, she understands that her time is very important. She knew she had to invest in getting the right help if she wanted to grow her business quickly.

At the TAPinto booth at the Festifall Street Fair.

At the TAPinto booth at the Festifall Street Fair.

On any given day of the week, you can find Jackie either sitting in on a local town council meeting or heading to a local business networking event.  She also sets up her schedule so she has time to attend her children's after school sports activities or PTO meetings at their school. She loves owning a business that offers this work life balance. Her approach has made her site one of the most profitable franchises in the entire TAPinto network.