I think I am the one who sent her a friend request on Facebook some time in the year 2016. I don’t remember much about that.
Anyway . . .
I got interested in working with her by using her platforms to spread my work – especially my public speaking work – in exchange for my time and talent. Since she’s in the eventing industry and hosts conventions and seminars. So, in essence, this would be a barter deal of sorts. We spoke about that for a while, but nothing solid came of it.
While going about my business on Facebook one day, I bumped into her business’ page and read through it. I spotted some things that could be improved and I had ideas for it immediately as I began curiously scrolling through.
Confession: I am obsessed about telling amazing stories. Whether through a blog, YouTube channel, Soundcloud or Facebook even. I am all about stories, weaving together words to form a sentence, paragraph, article and eventually, form all of them then into a larger body of work. I am on a patient journey littered with words, if you will.
So, I decided to send her a direct message, an “inbox”, outlining my thoughts on how she can execute her storytelling on her Facebook page.
Hello! I hope you are well! Anyway, here is some unsolicited advice, Catherine* (feel free to hit me across the face if it’s useless):
For your business’s Facebook page, it would be awesome if you used language that’s more relaxed as opposed to having the posts sound like traditional press releases. Make the language relatable.
How do you begin that process?
You start talking about the everyday things you and your team go through running Catherine Holdings. Share your journey with your current clients and prospective ones. When an employee has a birthday, document and share that. When you sign up a new client, share that, too. When you experience business pains, share those stories as well (they will be useful to other entrepreneurs and that will turn you into a respected voice other people turn to).
Don’t only write on the page when you want to sell your services. Give away your knowledge through your online platforms – sharing with your audience won’t make you / your team less knowledgeable. So, make the content helpful somehow.
Another thing. Pay attention to how you structure the status updates on the page. This means the punctuation marks need to be used well, the spelling needs to be prim and proper, the sentences need to align well so that it’s a great experience to read them.
And, one more thing . . .
The use of #hashtags is important. I would say to you: brainstorm one to three hashtags that best describe your business and the work you do. Those tags will be used as links or search devices (someone can search your # to see and follow your work).
Here’s an example: #ThembaJayWriting and #ThembaJaySpeaks – I chose those two because my work can be easily reduced to writing and public speaking. Those are my core services. And when someone clicks on either # , it will show them my posts because I’m the only one using those hashtags.
And if you (perhaps) fancy it, you can use video as well. Record yourself with your phone – using Facebook Live – talking about your knowledge of the eventing business. Or speak about your day at the office. Stream video live when you’re hosting an event for a client or your own seminars.
If I am honest, there are so many other things you can do beyond the aforementioned. But, the above is enough for now to get you launched on a path to telling better stories about your business and the work you so take pride in.
I must confess that I do this often where I give away my perspective on matters of writing, telling stories and marketing. Even if we have not met before. I do this because, one, it solidifies my knowledge, two, it helps someone else to do better, and three, it spreads my name and my work and will open up opportunities for me some time.
I love giving away what I know. It does not make me feel like I have lost something – a competitive edge, or whatever. Instead, sharing my knowledge makes me way better at what I do.
You could say that I emulate Chefs. Those people tell you everything they know through their exhaustive cook books, television shows and YouTube channels; they bare their recipes, “secrets” – what makes them the best. This amplifies their work and spreads their names. Of course, other people may try to copy them, but, you just cannot outdo Jamie Oliver at being Jamie Oliver.
You need to come up with something of your own! (And that’s where the hard work lies, which, really cannot be avoided if you seek mastery and longevity.)
That’s my method, part of it. I share my way to being a better Themba Jay.