#51: Facebook Marketing Do’s & Don’ts

How can you use Facebook to market your health coaching business? In this episode Michelle shares…

– If you really need a business page or not, and why.
– What your profile photo should look like.
– What questions you need to answer before starting a Facebook group.
…and more.

Ask your questions:
Join Michelle’s free Facebook group:

This episode is sponsored by:
9 Key Facebook Elements For Your Health Coaching Business: healthcoachpower.com/facebook

Subscribe and leave a review on iTunes
Subscribe on Google Play
Subscribe on Stitcher


Okay, hello health coaches! How are you doing? Another week, another episode, and here we are on Facebook. I’m on Facebook anyway, like I know some of you might be listening via podcast later on iTunes or maybe you’re watching on YouTube, but every week I stand here, and I record these episodes via Facebook broadcasting live to wherever you are. And so I have a question, are you using Facebook and is it working to help you actually grow your business? If you’re here live, just throw in the comments like yes or no because I want to know is it working or does it feel like maybe just a big waste of time, maybe something that you do to quote market your business, but you’re really just kind of screwing around on Facebook and wasting precious work time. Well, today I want to help you understand how to kind of best use this tool because it is a beast.

Facebook is huge and of course I’m coming at it as a health coach who runs my own business and I’m using Facebook just like you are. I’m not coming at it from like a, I’m a Facebook marketing professional kind of person, but it’s really how I’ve used Facebook through the years and what I’ve seen work and what I’ve seen fail miserably and today I want to share with you some of my do’s and don’ts when it comes to Facebook marketing. Jennifer saying, no, not really working. Deb says just getting started, but it’s not really helping yet. Yeah, and sometimes it’s also hard to measure whether or not working, so you just don’t know. Meanwhile, if you haven’t really clocked it, you can end up spending many hours, but we’re going to help. For those of you, I don’t know, my name is Michelle Pfennighaus. I’ve been a certified health coach with my own private practice for the past 10 years and I also act as a mentor for my fellow health coaches. That’s you.

If you’ve been a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, then you may have seen me because I do appear in the curriculum there where I talk about marketing. All right. Also, if you guys are here live at any point, go ahead and throw a question or a comment into the chat area. I haven’t pulled up on my screen so that this can actually be an interactive experience. That’s the beauty of using Facebook live. Ps, we’ll talk more about that in a second.

Today I want to kind of address and expand on a question that Jade asked recently in our group. She said, is it necessary to have a Facebook page for your business or is your personal Facebook and website?

Okay, so as you know, you can have your Facebook personal account, which you probably already do. Not everybody does, but most of us do. And then you have the option to also create a Facebook fan page. Sometimes it’s called a fan page, sometimes we call it a business page. So that’s what Jay is asking about. And then during last week’s episode, I don’t know if you guys heard but we talked a little bit about Facebook there and several of you agreed that we needed a little more dedicated time because it really is a big topic and I totally agree with that. In fact, I have a free download that goes with this episode. It’s called nine key Facebook elements for your health coaching business and you can grab that at healthcoachpower.com/facebook. Okay, lowercase ‘F’ Facebook. This guy is going to help you get set up with your personal page, with your business or fan page and everything that you need to establish a basic presence on the Facebook the right way, complete with size guidelines for images and all the little nuts and bolts that you need. Again, this is a free resource that I made for you and you can get it for free at healthcoachpower.com/facebook all lowercase.

Okay. So jade, I am going to answer your question more directly and just a moment. But first I want to share some of the mistakes that I see coaches making on Facebook like every day. So these are my don’ts and then I’m going to share my dues first. And this is a simple one you guys, but so many, so many coaches are doing this. It’s a mistake if you don’t have your face as your profile picture. I see a lot of coaches using a logo or a graphic or maybe it’s a picture of them, but it’s a full body picture. So we really can’t see your face because it’s too small or maybe it’s a picture of like you with your best friend or your husband or your dog and we don’t even know who’s who.

Okay, we know it’s the dog, but the point is that it’s called Facebook and we really want to see your face. Human beings connect with faces. You know, we are programmed to see two eyes and a nose and a mouth and feel a certain human connection to you. That’s what we want when we do marketing on Facebook. So this goes for both your personal page and your business page. Use your face. It does not have to be a professional shot, but it should show me what you look like so that when we meet in person one day, I’ll be like, oh, hello there, Jennifer. Oh, hello there. Adriana. You know, instead of just saying like, Oh gosh, I always just knew you as that purple flower that you use for your Facebook photo. This is a benefit of Facebook to actually get to know people. So do it.

Okay. What is another don’t, this is a rule, I’m sure it has exceptions. I know it has exceptions, every rule does, but in general, hear me, do not use Facebook to pitch your paid services or to sell yourself to a prospective client like yes, in a way, Facebook is this huge, vast sea of potential clients for all of us. And Yeah, they might be interested in hearing what you have to say. That’s a good thing. But the second that you suggest they pay you or they hop on a call or they buy your thing, you’re very likely to get crickets. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this. You can post some sort of graphic or a link to your upcoming paid program, your detox, whatever you’re doing and maybe like one person likes it, but if you post a picture of the manicure that you got last week, suddenly everybody’s got something to say about that.

This is how Facebook works. Don’t try to fight it. So I suggest that you use Facebook to truly build relationships and when you make an offer, offer something that is free. Offer something that is free and easy for somebody, something low commitment because you have to imagine a lot of times people are sort of scrolling through their feed on their phone while they’re in line at the bank. I don’t know, do people really go to the bank anymore? At the line, at the grocery store or wherever they are. So you want to make it very easy for them to take that next step with you, which would be giving you an email address for your list and make that your goal to convert your Facebook audience, which is big to your mailing list, which is smaller. It’s growing, but it’s always going to be smaller than everybody who’s on Facebook. Right, and this is sort of how you start funneling people towards actually buying something from you.

All right. I’m just going to check in on questions. Adriana says, I think my profile picture is okay. It’s not only my face but it’s pretty close.

I’m looking at it right now. Adriana, I see. I sort of, I see like a sweatshirt that you’re wearing sort of, but I would really love to see your face because if I saw you walk down the street, I would never recognize you based on that unless you were wearing that sweatshirt and then maybe.

Deb’s saying if your fitness is your brand and your full body shot shows your face fairly well, is that okay for a profile?

Like if you’re a bikini model or something like that? Maybe. Maybe there’s an argument to be made there that people know you by your body more than your face. But I’m guessing that the end of the day as a coach, people are really hiring you for like you and who you are. Not like your body but like your, your brain, your heart, your soul and the closest we can get to that. It’s really seeing your face. So I would probably still go with your face, but I’m willing to be convinced that you might have a, a fair argument there Deb.

Okay, another huge don’t that I have got to share with you guys is do not spend money on Facebook ads. Do not spend money to boost a post. I know. Crazy. It’s so easy. They just put that little button there like boost posts, $5. It seems so simple. Please do not do this without expert guidance. And if you guys know me, you know that I am such a do it yourselfer like I hired nobody in my business for the first couple of years and even now there’s a lot of things that you’d be surprised, I still do myself and not having an assistant do. I’m not hiring a professional, but when it comes to Facebook ads, this is one area that I am so positive that you will lose money versus making money when you’re kind of playing with paid advertising on your own. So just speaking from personal experience, it is really easy, way too easy, in my opinion, to get yourself banned, kicked off, booted from Facebook advertising. And this is true, particularly when you’re in the health and wellness space. Even very, very benign things that you might say. You might say, what’s the big deal? You know, I didn’t break any rules. I’m offering somebody a legit product here can get flagged and they will shut you down with no warning and no recourse. It’s like a brick wall just goes up. So if you start trying to build some sort of marketing strategy around Facebook ads and suddenly they cut you off, guess what? You’re kind of screwed.

That happened to me a couple of years ago and it was really, really not fun. It’s not like Facebook has an 800 number and all of this customer service waiting to help you. Like Ah, they do not care. They shut you down and you don’t want to risk it. I have since talked with other coaches that had the same thing happen to them and it can happen for a lot of different reasons. So that’s reason number one to not do your own Facebook ads, but also like I mentioned, you can really waste a lot of money and I know that I did because for years I’ve been, you know, throwing $5 here, $10 there, $15 a year to see if I could gain any traction with an ad. You know, I’ll boost this post or I’m going to promote this event that I have coming up.

But if you don’t have a strategy on exactly who you’re targeting and how to target them and how that ad money is going to create a return on investment for you, it kind of just turns into like crossing your fingers and hoping that something happens with this ad. And that’s never a plan. Crossing your fingers is not a plan. So again, Facebook ads are a beast any way that you look at it and I really recommend waiting on them until you can afford to hire help. And also please know that I ran a successful health coaching business for years without using Facebook ads at all or paid advertising of any kind. It’s not the only path to success. I know you login and you see all these ads and you think, well maybe I should be doing that too. But there are lots and lots of other ways to promote your business. Ps, if you ever see a Facebook ad for me now it is because I pay someone dearly to help me with that.

Okay, got some questions here. Um, Bev says question, do you theme your posts to the symptoms you are signature programs solves?

Bev, what I think you’re asking is when you post to Facebook, would you be posting things that are relevant to the symptoms that your target market is experiencing? Yeah, that’s one of the wonderful things about knowing your target market. Like for years, I would post like, I don’t know, here’s like a picture of what I had for breakfast. Here’s a link to a healthy crock pot recipe and here’s a picture of my kids just because they’re cute and I was just posting whatever. This goes across all social media platforms. By the way. A lot of times we make it like about us, like here’s my kids, here’s what I ate, here’s what I’m doing, here’s my recipe, whatever.

But it’s smarter. If you can think about your target market, what does she want to hear? Or He, when does he want to hear? What is, what is your target market need to read? What are they going to be intrigued by? Sometimes it’s not something that you will be intrigued by, but something that’s going to work for them. So you just want to put yourself in their shoes. That’s who you’re posting for. That’s a good question Bev.

Adrianna’s asking about having a Facebook page or just posting to our profiles. I’m going to talk about that next. And this is again where I’m really going to answer Jade your question from earlier more specifically, cause Adriana’s is now asking basically the same thing. Do you need a Facebook page? Can you just post to your own profile page? Why complicate things? Why do you need 1400 different pages on Facebook?

Okay, I think overall, yes it does make sense to have a Facebook fan page or business page in addition to your personal profile. Now back in the old days, back when I didn’t have quite so many grey hairs, business pages allowed us to reach a lot of people for 0 dollars. So it was like a no brainer. Of course you’re going to have a Facebook fan page, but now our posts will only appear in a small percentage of our fans feeds. I’m sure you have noticed this. Like right now as of this recording, I have almost 8,000 Facebook fans on my fan page. I posted a recipe last week and it reached 400 people. Like that’s not a great percentage. Um, and sometimes it’s even less than that. And that’s why I think it’s easy for us to say, oh, Facebook fan pages or Facebook business pages. It’s not worth it.

You know, it’s, it’s not getting me anything. But I want you to just think about a few things. So first of all, if you’re ever going to run Facebook ads, and I just warned you against that, but I want you to know that if you’re ever going to run Facebook ads, you will need a business page, okay? And then even if that post that I just mentioned to you only reached 400 people, or even if it only reached four people total, hey, that’s something, you know, that’s 400 people or whatever, that I wasn’t reaching another way and it’s free. It’s still free, thank goodness. You can pay, Facebook wants you to pay, but you do get some reach for free. And that’s a wonderful thing. So let’s not look the gift horse in the mouth. Okay? Now you can reach even more of your fans for free by utilizing Facebook live video, by posting original photos instead of just typing text.

And when you don’t link off to another site. So if you are going to provide a link, Facebook likes you to keep people on Facebook. Of course they do because that’s how they’re advertising to them and that’s how they make money. So if you’re constantly linking off to your website, linking off to this other thing, you might just try keeping more content on Facebook. And if you’re providing a link, you know, link to the video that’s on Facebook linked to the person on Facebook versus linking off, you know when possible you can increase the amount of views that your posts get this way. My favorite of course is to use Facebook live video because at least as of right now, Facebook is favoring video and especially live video. So it pushes it out to more of your fans when you’re posting video as opposed to when you’re posting something else.

And then finally on this topic of why you should have a Facebook fan page, why it’s worth your while, it’s a public page. So you may not realize this, but anybody can see your Facebook page, even if they don’t have a Facebook account, anything that you post on your page can come up in a Google search result, which is also kind of cool. So it’s almost like having a website, right? Like pictures of you, a description of what you do, your services, uh, your phone number. I mean it’s a lot of stuff that your website does and uh, it’s really easy. So I think that when you’re first starting out, I would almost, I would definitely create a Facebook fan page before I even bothered with a website. And if you’re not ready to build a site yet, that should come as a huge relief.

So in short, a Facebook business page is not going to be like the end all be all to your marketing. But I do think it’s worth having. And I would say just post to it like once a day, you don’t have to go crazy. Back in the old days, we would post like eight times a day because we were actually reaching people. But these days, just the fact of having that page and posting to it regularly is all you have to do and jade you asked is absolutely necessary. No, none of this is absolutely necessary. Facebook is not absolutely necessary for your business, so if you hate Facebook, just forget it. Disable your account and you never have to go on it again. You can still have a business, I promise you, but it is easy. It is free. And having your Facebook fan page has some unique advantages, so that’s why I’m saying go for it.

Let’s see what questions we have. Jade is here. Good Jade, I’m glad that you’re here so you can hear me answering your question. Adriana says, I’ve been trying to do more lives lately and it’s helping. I got 75 views from a video last night, which is better than I used to get. Yeah, I totally notice it. If I’m, if I just post an article or just post something funny, a meme of some kind, you know, it always reaches a certain number of people at any time. I do a Facebook live video to my page, way more, way, way more. In fact you can reuse these things. You can actually post again a link back to that same video. Anyway, there’s lots of ways to make use of Facebook live videos. That’s probably a whole other episode. I’ll write that down. We’ll do the Facebook live episode maybe in a couple of weeks.

Deb says if you use an LLC to limit liability, you probably also want your Facebook page in your business name. I don’t know if that really has anything to do with it. You would want to talk to an attorney I suppose Deb, but you could as far as I know, have your Facebook page name be anything you want, but when you’re accepting money that’s always going into the bank account that’s associated with your LLC. Um, I’m not going to say much more about that because I’m not really sure.

As for me, I think the most important thing is to have all of your handles on social media and your website URL be the same as much as possible. So you don’t want your Twitter handle to be like one thing. If Facebook is something totally different and Pinterest is something else. I have recently begun consolidating all of my social media handles under my name. Um, and that’s because they were kind of all over the place.

Okay, let’s move on to another ‘do’ for your personal page. Now we’re talking about your personal profile on Facebook because this also can work for you. There are some really simple ways to promote your business here. You’re not supposed to use it for business like in a really big, obnoxious way. In fact, Facebook has some rules against that, but that doesn’t mean that you can never mention your business. It’s your page after all, it’s about you. And there are some areas where you can most certainly talk about your business and even link to your fan page without coming across as salesy or annoying or breaking any rules. So again, when you download the free resource that goes with today’s episode healthcoachpower.com/facebook all lower case, you will see exactly what I mean. There are a couple of places of real estate on your personal page that you can use to let your friends and family and acquaintances note about what you do.

So don’t skip that. And then I have one last ‘do’ for you. Do use your Facebook to stay top of mind with your circle of family and friends and even your clients. Because I figure, you know, most of us were posting stuff on Facebook and we’re hoping that other people are going to look at it and they’re going to think, oh wow, this is so great and I should become her client and blah blah blah. But that’s kind of egocentric or what’s the word I’m looking for? You know, it’s not all about you, right? This is like networking 101 you want to become extremely interested in everybody else and you want to engage with them. You want to share their posts, leave comments, be positive of course, but be authentic. And when you’re engaging with other people, they’re more likely to engage with you and there are more likely to think of you when their friend is struggling with such and such health problem and they’re like, oh hey my friend Michelle, right?

So that doesn’t feel like marketing. That just feels like being friends. But that’s like half of marketing right there. So do use Facebook for what it’s intended for and engage with others. And I got one more tip on Facebook and this one kind of fell between a do and a don’t, wasn’t really sure where to put it. So I just kind of put it at the end talking about Facebook groups and I’m going to give this one a big fat, ‘it depends,’ cause people always ask, should I start a Facebook group for my health coaching business? Speaking as someone who manages and has managed many Facebook groups, I know they can be tremendously valuable. Absolutely 100% but before you start like the 9 billion Facebook group about healthy living, I want you to first know your target market inside and out. You want to know what big problem you helped this person solve and then create a group that’s specific to that person that’s really specific to solving a problem for this specific person.

And there’s a big if. If it’s a problem that’s suited to a sort of public group environment. And I’ll give you an example. This is a, somebody in our Healthy Profit University group actually works with women with urinary tract issues – incontinence. Now I’m not so sure that women want to gather in a forum of virtual strangers and talk about their incontinence. It’s kind of private. It’s kind of embarrassing. But if you are helping moms, let’s say with breastfeeding brand new moms with breastfeeding, then I would say yeah, that really, really lends itself to a group. Because you know this poor mom, she’s probably lonely, she’s probably at home, she’s probably covered in breast milk. You know how it goes, and the women in your group could be a lifeline for her. So you just want to think it through. Who can I help solve what problem and does this work in a group atmosphere?

And then finally, I only want you to start a group if you again, have a strategy for how you can move these people from Facebook to your mailing list to some type of paid offer because groups take, oh my God, you guys so much work so many hours and as your group grows, which is a good thing, it’s like a good problem to have so much more work. You want to make sure that you have a way of seeing a return on that investment of your time. You’re going to want to post daily with some sort of prompt to get people talking. You’re going to want to respond to comments. Especially in the beginning when this group was new and I had like 25 people, 50 people, you know, a hundred people. I’m in there every day. I’m responding to everybody’s comment. I’m doing lots of live video.

You know, really, really you got to be the hostess of the Party if you want the group to gain momentum. And then after a while, as you see here in our group, there’s so many members of the group starts to run itself. And then it just needs to be monitored. But I want you to remember that all of this will be a waste if it doesn’t turn into income at some point. So you want to map out that plan before you dive in. And Facebook is massive. There’s so many ways to use it. I cover, uh, the basics that you must have and that so many coaches do not have, again in the Freebie that goes with this episode. So I super hope that you will grab it. It’s that healthcoachpower.com/facebook okay. I’m going to answer a couple of questions that I promised and then I’ll see if we have time left for others that have come in, uh, live.

So, I promised Aria that we were going to talk about Pinterest. Pinterest probably should be its own episode at some point, but she just asked, is anybody using Pinterest for clients and how do you use it? And do you find it helpful? She doesn’t use it, but she’s contemplating.

I use Pinterest for myself. I love Pinterest, but I got into it because I thought it would be a great way to network and find clients and things like that. And what I have found to be true is that Facebook drives some traffic to my website. People will share a blog post, things like that. I will get some traffic from Facebook, but I get tons and tons of tons of traffic from Pinterest. So if you’re using Pinterest, that actually might not mean that you’re on there pinning other people’s stuff, but means that you’re creating great content on your own website with great graphics that other people are going to pin. That’s how I use Pinterest these days. Most of all, that’s where I’m seeing a lot of traffic from. I do find that very helpful. The other thing that I do is I’ll collect boards. Like I have a board for like dairy free living. I have a weekly meal planning board and occasionally I’ll share this with somebody if they need ideas. So that would be another thought for you. Aria.

And Bailey said, I’m almost two years out from graduation and really only ever officially coached one client. Although I’ve applied my coach training to all of my relationships, including the one with myself. Does anyone have advice for how to go about getting started and building a practice after so much time has passed?

I hear this all the time. You know, life happens. Sometimes you go to school, then you have a baby or whatever happens and you don’t get back to health coaching until some years later. Good News, Bailey. It doesn’t matter. When you start, the steps are always the same. And by the way, it’s a lot of steps that people miss regardless of when they’re starting. So let me just lay it out for you. I talk about this all the time. Your first step is choosing a target market. Now you might get experience with your next door neighbor.

You might, you know, your friend might become one of your first clients. That’s all well and good, but as soon as you start marketing yourself, you need a target market. In order to be able to do that effectively, you need a mailing list. Again, if you’re going to market yourself effectively and you need to know what you’re offering, what kind of coaching, what does it cost, you know you need a package or program of some kind. So for all of you just starting out, that’s what you need and you don’t really need anything else. All right, I got a couple minutes. Let me see what other questions I have here.

Amanda says, I’ve been posting the same content from Instagram to Facebook because I have two different audiences there. Do you know if that impacts how Facebook pushes out the post?

I don’t know. Like if you automatically from Instagram say yes, share this to Facebook, I don’t know, but you should just try posting. You could even post the exact same thing, but post it yourself instead of sharing it from one to the other and see if that impacts the algorithm at all.

I don’t know, but I will tell you, I don’t often do that because if you notice when you share something from Instagram straight over to Facebook, suddenly it’s over on Facebook with all of these hashtags and, and some of the formatting that comes over from Instagram. And I feel like it just doesn’t make sense in the in Facebook world. Like what makes sense on Instagram world sometimes looks out of place on Facebook. So I actually never automatically share my content, but I will manually take the same content and even copy and paste the text, but plug it into Facebook so it looks native to the Facebook environment, if that makes sense.

Caitlin says, how effective have Facebook ads been for you to attract clients?

Well, it doesn’t go in a straight line. I wish I could tell you that I ran ads and said like, Hey, sign up for my thing. And then you immediately see the return on the other end. How it usually works is you run the ads, you get people onto the mailing list from your mailing list, you get them to buy something and then in the end you have to look at all the numbers and it’s a fairly complicated affair, which is why I have help with it. Yeah, it works. It definitely works, but it easily could not work. It has to be done in a very smart for the money spend to result in enough sales to make it worthwhile

And it is 3:30 you guys, so we’re going to wrap here, but I just wanted to say a big, huge thank you to Lisa Harvey who left this review on iTunes. She said, I wish I had found this podcast months ago. If you’re a health coach or even studying to become a health coach, this podcast is the cream filling. Of course like the dairy free sugar free cream filling made with cashew cream, I’m sure Lisa, she says it’s not just scripted info. Michelle is answering actual questions and concerns from real coaches. I cannot express how grateful I am to have found her and how much this valuable info has helped me with my business. Lisa, please send your mailing address to support@healthcoachpower.com because we have a little gift for you. And for everybody, please do head over to iTunes, leave us a five star rating and review because I put out a whole lot of free content every single week, and in order for me to be able to keep doing that, I need your ratings. I need to review so that we can reach more coaches. Awesome. I’ll be back next week, so keep asking great questions and I will keep answering them. See you then.