Facebook Profile vs. Business Page: Which Benefits Your Coaching Business Most?
May I start with a warning?
What you about to read here goes against 99% of articles on a similar subject you may find on Google.
But BEWARE! Every article is written with a certain agenda in mind. Usually we share our value for free in our blogs and guest appearances on larger publications to guide you deeper into our content and if we are a good fit, closer to working together.
Full transparency — this is WHY I spend so much attention in marketing my coaching business on creating high value, detailed articles that can help you shift your mindset, boost confidence, get you into action and help you learn some simple proven strategies to get you results. You can read them, take away what you need and go implement it in your business. Or you can ask me for more support and guidance.
Now that this is out of the way, here is what I want you to think about the next time you read ANY advice related to your marketing questions: what’s in it for THEM? What are they selling?
In my observation every article I read that tries to talk us out of using personal profiles for raising awareness about our business and connecting to potential leads and clients is written by either someone representing a digital marketing agency or a digital marketing professional/freelancer. This means they will sell content creation, advertising and automation, which will only work from a Business Page.
And yet you might have noticed that when you go live on your Personal Profile, you get so many more views and interaction, than if you try doing it from your Business Page.
In this article I want to open your eyes to an opportunity to take your Personal profile on Facebook and turn it into the best marketing tool you can get for coaching/consulting/online services business, and it will work for you even if what you offer requires focusing on a Business Page! You can still get a lot of leads and clients when you get really active and seen with your Personal Profile. In my experience and observation, if you are an expert or a coach, who is not marketing to corporate clients — Facebook profile is where the magic happens. You will need to invest your time and be consistent, but it will bring the results that no ads or automation can, especially if you are not yet fully at consistent 6-figures in your business.
Pay to Play
The organic reach on pages is extremely limited. This means if you have 800 followers on your page or 800 friends on your friends list, the same post posted on your page will only be seen by a couple of people, which on your profile you may have dozens of comments and lots of reactions. (We are talking about a really good quality post). I have experimented with the same post posted on my personal profile that would get up brilliant engagement on my profile, and literally none on my page, when posted a couple of weeks later. It is just not shown to people. Facebook wants business owners to buy their services and access to tools and of course there will always be an agenda to encourage the need to pay for an extended reach (as they simply have no other choice). And I understand that Facebook is also a business that needs to generate revenue. This is all fair.
And, yet I find even when I am boosting posts on my page to a specific audience, I notice that some reactions come from a completely unrelated sources. For example, one of my live video marketing clients (not from a coaching industry, always boosts her live videos to an audience located in Ireland and then invites people who interacted but have now yet liked the page to like it. When we look at who has interacted with videos, we notice a lot of names that clearly are not Irish. On further inspection (we looked at a number of those people’s profiles) their location was not at all in Ireland, but Malaysia, Nepal, Bangladesh and other irrelevant to our targeting locations). The question is. We are paying to play, with highly targeted selection on our audiences, how come we are getting our content show to people outside that selection. Is that what we pay for? How can we trust Facebook?
When I go to a coffee shop, and they sell me a thin, flat cappuccino that tastes like dirt, this one time is enough for me to never return. I am just making a point here — I do not trust Facebook to put all my “eggs in its basket”.
While advertising is still key for many industries out there, especially e-commerce, let’s go back to the coaching industry.
This is where we get personal with our clients. (I mean, if you are in the coaching program where you do not get personal with your coaches, you have been scammed, in my humble opinion.) And the personal connection starts way before the transaction and the enrollment into our program happens.
As coaches, we get a better chance to connect to our audience through stories about our personal successes and failures, through educating them about our area of expertise, thought-leadership, but even more so showing a little of our personality, though some personal stuff. In other words, we can use our personal brands to create an excitement and connection that converts — and often converts FAST when we are strategic about whom we connect to.
And this is where we can fully embrace being active on our Personal Profiles, while perhaps just repurposing the best content on our Page to keep up appearances. People that notice us still want to check out our Business Pages, so I like to keep my as a sort of brochure about my business, but I do not rely on it for generating leads. Neither do I rely on my website, I just use it for a place where they can avail of more information and start the enrolling process.
The magic happens on the Personal Profile. It is a match made in heaven for coaches as it allows us to actively select who we want to connect and then actively engage with our audience, without relying on the algorithm to be seen.
Is it against the rules to use profile for business?
If you heard somewhere that you cannot use your Personal Profile for business, let me just be straight and say it is not true. Or shall I say, you must understand what this statement imply before reacting to it or assuming anything.
Facebook forbids us to sell access to our timeline (advertise products or brand for a payment or a free gift) — you can read their Branded Content Policies here. But you can talk about whatever you want as long as it does not cross the line — you can read more about Facebook’s Community Standards here — it is more about violence, profanities, racism, etc.
Marketing your business is not exactly the same thing as conducting business. You can raise awareness about your offers, share your expertise, invite people to conversations. None of this is against the T&C’s.
In fact Facebook recently reworded their T&C’s removing the wording “cannot use your timeline for commercial gain” altogether. It wants us to use our real names on the profile and use it for personal use. Which to me means that if I am passionate about helping people find more clients using organic Facebook marketing and I bend my family members’ and friends’ ears all the time talking about it in real life. I can absolutely talk about it on my personal profile. It is an exact representation of me in real life. Plus I get to also post pictures of my pets and a beautiful city I live in, that creates more connection with my leads and clients, so I am winning at every level.
There are hundreds of super successful 7-figure entrepreneurs who do most of their marketing on their personal profile (some also funnel the engaged audience into their groups, it is an option, but only really work as long as you show up on your profile a lot and not hiding inside the group. If you do not show up — how are you going to grow that group anyway? But spammy invites in Private Messages? Or just using an “invite” button that drops your Facebook friends into your group without their consent or interest in what you do. You know how everyone detests these invites!
5000 friends limit
The last reservation and the big selling point the gurus I mentioned at the start make about not using our Personal Profiles is that it only limits you to 5000 friends, while your page is unlimited. They say — sooner or later you will exhaust your audience and cannot grow.
Honestly, I have to laugh at some people, who have not even grown their Page to 500 followers using this argument not to focus on their personal profiles. (Honestly, I believe it is a form of hiding more than anything!)
The truth is that if you have 50000 followers on your page and only 20 on average see your posts, and your engagement levels are super low, what is the point?
It is not the number than counts. It is how many people you are actively engaged with. And going back to the point about being in full control — you are in control who to keep and who to let go of on your profile so you practically can never “exhaust” your audience if one of your regular marketing activities is to add fresh connections and delete old dead ones from your list.
In fact, I keep my audience at around 2000 and within that I manage to have a super fresh audience at all times, attract enough leads to fill my business and consistently generate solid 6-figures income (Not everyone has an ambition to become a Marie Forleo — this comes with some massive challenges and complications, I personally am happy without, and still generate enough to really love my life).
And it was all done from my personal profile. Ever since I pivoted into coaching in 2017.
Where there is a will, there is a way! And there is always a way when you want to have a successful coaching business and are tired of excuses and things not being consistent and smooth. My mission is to connect you to the way of thinking that outs your goals and dreams above the noise, so you can find the way to be seen in the most authentic and honest way: through true personal connection to your audience, your leads and clients.
If you need guidance and help,check out some of the ways I can guide you in the footer below.
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YOUR VISIBILITY GUIDE
Juliette Stapleton is a Visibility Strategist for coaches and experts. She teaches how to attract clients online, creating your OWN marketing experience that feels good, easy and aligned with who you are and brings results.
Juliette has been featured in Forbes and several major business and marketing podcasts, like SocialChatter, 365Driven, Rising Tide, iHeart Radio, and Confident Live. She is an active contributor to world-leading online publications, such as Entrepreneur.com Influencive, Addicted2Success, Thrive Global, Good Men Project and many more.
She lives in Tallinn, Estonia.