Every now and then, I hear someone say:
“Facebook is dead.”
And for a second I think, could it be true?
Could Facebook, one of the most powerful marketing platforms in history, already be on its way out?
And I gotta tell you. I don’t think so.
Because when you know how to position your page in a way that appeals to the right people, in a way that makes your content naturally shareable, then the potential upside on Facebook is staggering.
Here’s an example of what I mean by staggering:
Over 53.9 million people reached.
Over 26.1 million reached.
And here’s a few more, because why not?
Keep in mind, these aren’t my posts. They’re from my students. And they’re NOT huge brands.
These are small business owners. Solopreneurs. Regular people like you and me.
So far I’ve had more than 38 of them achieve a reach of at least 10 million people on a single Facebook post—most of that coming organically.
And guess what?
If they can do it, you can too.
It doesn’t take a master’s degree in marketing. It doesn’t take a million dollars.
All it takes is a solid understanding of how to grow a Facebook page. And I can teach you how to do that in 4 basic steps.
So what are we waiting for? Here they are: the 4 steps to growing a profitable Facebook page.
Step 1: Figure Out Who Will Be in Your Club
Do you have big dreams of reaching millions of people and generating tons of new customers from Facebook?
Awesome. I want to help you get there.
But before we get to your Facebook page itself, the #1 most critical thing you have to do is figure out who those people are.
Who’s your audience?
If you’re going to reach 10 million people, what kind of people are they?
What kind of person is going to appreciate and share your content?
It’s important that you think about this early on in the process, because so many people make the mistake of focusing on themselves—their company, their product.
But you don’t grow an audience by focusing on yourself. Do it by focusing on the people you want to attract.
Here’s a great exercise to help figure this out. It’s super simple and it works amazingly well.
Just complete this sentence:
- Hi, I’m Rachel. And I help people sell their products even if no one knows who they are.
- Hi, I’m Rachel. And I help people grow an audience even if they don’t have a lot of friends.
The first 2 parts of this sentence are really easy. Everybody knows who they are and what their company does.
What tends to be missing is that last part. The “even if” statement. And that’s a problem, because that’s kind of the most important part of the sentence.
In fact, you should repeat that last line as many times as possible. Go for at least 15 “even if” statements.
For example, a weight loss coach might help people to lose weight, even if they…
- Hate the taste of vegetables
- Have never exercised in their life
- Don’t know what to eat
- Have low self-esteem about their body
- Are addicted to sugar
And so on.
See how this helps you to appeal to the real problems people are facing?
Those “even if” statements are what sell your products. So spend some time to get as many as you can.
Step 2: Decide How You’ll Build Your Page
There are 3 main strategies you can follow to build your Facebook page:
- Build it around a person or lifestyle
- Build it around a single topic
- Build it around yourself, your company, or your product
There are pros and cons to each of these, so here’s some advice on how to do each one effectively.
1) Build your page around a person or lifestyle
The first way to build your page is to focus it around a particular kind of person or lifestyle. For example:
- Men in their 50s who are high-performers
- Moms with kids in preschool
- High-income golf players in their 40s
This can be a really effective strategy, but you have to approach it the right way.
First and foremost, you have to really understand this person or lifestyle.
In a lot of cases, this lifestyle is going to be your lifestyle. If you’re creating a page meant for moms with kids in preschool, and you ARE a mom with kids in preschool, then you’re creating this page for people like you. You already understand your audience.
But that’s not always the case. Maybe you’re a 35-year-old guy creating a page for moms with preschoolers. If that’s the case, it’s OK, but keep in mind you are going to have to talk to your audience to learn about them.
Call them on the phone. Ask them questions. LISTEN to them.
You need to understand this person. You need to know their concerns, their hopes, their fears, their dreams.
In a nutshell, you need to know the important issues to this person right now. Because on this page, you’re going to become a cheerleader for those issues.
2) Build your page around a single topic
The second way to build a page is to focus it around one specific topic.
For most people, this is the approach I recommend. This is the easiest and fastest way to grow an audience—and it works not just on Facebook but also on Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
When I say a “single topic,” it could be just about anything. Such as…
- Funny cat videos
- Crockpot recipes
- Mystery novels
- Party planning
- Wreath making
Some people might read that last example and think, “Wait, wreath making? Seriously?”
Damon and Parker have grown the audience for Deco Exchange (a company that sells wreath-making materials) up to almost 200,000 people. And they make thousands of dollars a day from their Facebook Lives.
Why is Deco Exchange so successful in such a weird little niche market?
For starters, they make it immediately clear who their content is for. Take this video, for example:
Anyone who sees this video will instantly know if they’re interested or not. If you’re a crafty person who loves making things at home, your eyes will light right up. If not, you’ll keep scrolling.
This goes to show you that you do not have to make your page about some huge topic with mass appeal. You’d be surprised at the kind of audience you can grow around a niche topic that people are passionate about.
In fact, you want to make sure your topic doesn’t get too broad.
For example, I knew a woman who created a page that was all about how to build your own deck. She was an older woman who was really passionate about building decks—which is unusual, but also pretty awesome.
What wasn’t so awesome was the fact that she also posted a lot about her dogs.
And she also posted a lot of new margarita recipes.
Can you see how those are too far off-topic? It makes the page unfocused, and that’s going to push people away.
A page focused on margarita recipes could be a great topic. But not when it’s also focused on deck-building and dogs.
So pick one topic, and make sure your page keeps a tight focus on it.
3) Build your page around yourself, your company, or your product
The third and final way to create your page is the one that a lot of people default to, which is to make their page all about them.
An example would be my own page, Moolah Marketer:
Now, a page like this can work. But I want to make you aware of some caveats here.
First of all, even if your page is focused on you or your product, it should never be entirely about you or your product. You also want to include content relevant to the topic or lifestyle that appeals to your audience so that it relates to THEM.
If you scroll through some of the stuff I post on Moolah Marketer, you’ll notice I’m not talking about my products or how great I am. Instead I share marketing strategies that I know my audience is interested in.
And here’s another thing to think about:
If your goal is to create a personal brand, consider starting out with a topic-focused page first and then pivoting.
This is what Deco Exchange is in the process of doing right now. They started as a topic-focused page that was all about wreath making. Then over time, they’ve pivoted to more of a personal brand that helps wreath makers and other crafty people to build a business around their hobby.
If you want to build a personal brand, this is a really good way to go about it.
Because like I said earlier, your page will grow the fastest if you focus on a topic. And it’s actually pretty easy to pivot from that to more of a personal brand, AFTER you’ve built up your audience.
Step 3: Wear Your Niche’s Bumper Sticker
At this point you know who your audience is. And you’ve chosen the type of page you’re going to build.
The next thing you need to do is make sure your page appeals to those people. I like to think of it as wearing your niche’s bumper sticker.
One way to measure this is to see if your page passes the “blink test.” In other words, if you look at the page long enough to blink, you should know what it means.
This sounds simple, but you’d be amazed how many pages get it wrong.
Here’s an example of a page that fails the blink test:
Blink your eyes, and what do you see?
Invisible children. The cover image is a video with someone driving a car. And if you’re really perceptive, maybe you noticed they have a lot of events under the cover image.
What is this page about? No idea.
Now let’s compare it to this page:
Much clearer, right? You get it right away. They sell crazy suits.
So, how do you make sure your page passes the blink test? How do you make sure you’re wearing your niche’s bumper sticker?
This involves the 3 most visible parts of your page:
Page title: You want your page title to be clear. You also want it to resonate with the way your audience sees themselves. One super-easy way to come up with a great page title is just to ask:
“What would my audience call themselves?”
Do this, and you just might come up with a perfectly named page like…
Profile picture: When choosing your profile picture, there are 2 things to keep in mind.
First, a very small version of this image is going to show up next to all your posts. So don’t make the image too detailed, because people won’t be able to tell what it is.
Second, remember that this image is going to show up right next to your page title. So if all you do in your profile picture is repeat the page title, you’re not taking maximum advantage of this space.
Notice the page for Invisible Children does this:
It basically says “Invisible Children” twice in a row. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it is a bit of a missed opportunity.
Cover image: Because this is a much bigger image, it gives you some room to really show what your page is about.
Here’s an awesome example from Genuine Fishing:
This is a great cover image because it makes the promise super clear: we’re going to help you catch that BIG fish.
Step 4: Make Your Reader Feel & Look Good
At this point, your last step is to actually start posting content. But be careful here—the wording, point of view, and positioning you use on this content can mean the difference between a viral post and a dud.
In general, your goal with every piece of content is to make your readers…
- Look good
- Feel good
- Have a better life
This is not about making YOU look good. It’s about making your READER feel good.
And preferably, it can also make their FRIENDS have a better life. Because if your reader thinks it will help their friends, they’ll be much more likely to share it.
For example, pretend you’re creating a post about how to clean the carpet. And let’s say your audience is married, stay-at-home moms.
Which of these headlines would get more shares?
- “10 ways for you to get cleaner carpets”
- “10 ways to get cleaner carpets, even if your husband never vacuums”
Both of these headlines promise the same general benefit (cleaner carpets). But for an audience of married, stay-at-home moms, the first headline is NOT particularly shareable.
Just imagine how it would feel if your mother-in-law shared that post with you. Or imagine how it would make you look if you shared it with one of your married friends.
It would kinda make you look like a jerk, right? It would imply that they aren’t already doing a good job of keeping a clean house. Which is rude.
The second headline, by comparison, is much better. Because it implies it’s the husband’s fault that the carpets aren’t clean. And that’s going to make this audience more receptive to it.
Another thing to think about with your content is, are you going to appear threatening to your audience?
Take Damon & Parker from Deco Exchange for example.
Some people have suggested that these guys should clean up their image. That they should dress more creatively, and clean up their house so that it looks neat and organized.
But here’s what those people don’t understand:
It doesn’t make your readers look good to share someone else’s perfection.
A 45-year-old woman is not going to feel threatened by sharing Damon & Parker’s content. After all, they’re 25–30-year-old guys with a messy house and an unpolished video style.
(In fact, if anything it makes their audience feel GOOD to know that at least their house is cleaner than Damon’s.)
But if that same content came from another 45-year-old-woman with perfect hair and a spotless house, that would come across as more threatening. Because the audience of 45-year-old women would compare themselves to her and feel inadequate.
These aren’t hard concepts to understand. But they do require looking at your content from your audience’s perspective and thinking about how it’s going to make them feel.
Now Go Grow Your Page
Notice that I used the word grow in the title of this blog post. Because the reality is, you don’t just build a Facebook page with a huge reach.
It’s more like planting a tree. If you plant the right kind of seed in the right kind of soil, and then take care of it the right way, it will flourish.
And that’s exactly what the 4 steps in this post will help you to do with your Facebook page.
So go out there are start growing.