Most folks use Facebook for one or the other, not both. However, many freelance writers and I use Facebook for both personal and business. After all, when you hire us, you get our personalities and styles. I take care to watch what I post by remembering a future client, a former boss and family member could read it. Although I use Facebook’s settings to limit what some contacts can see, you never know what leaks from one realm to another.
If you’re not sold on Facebook for business, here are 50 writer uses for Facebook.
Ready to create an effective Facebook profile? Don’t worry about doing it in one sitting. Quality is more important than speed. Besides, I still tweak mine. It helps to do a review of all your bios at least once a year as you gain experience and new clients.
1. Use your full name. This is especially the case for women writers. They might write under their maiden names or both maiden and married. Mine says “Meryl Kaplan Evans” because some knew me before I married and I used that name when I first started freelancing as a writer. If you have other names — past or present — include them in a logical spot such as your Info page under “Personal Information: About Me.” (See screen shot.)
2. Complete your profile as much as possible. The four sections in Facebook’s profile include Basic, Personal, Contact and Education and Work. Add publications, writing types (white papers, case studies, etc.) and other relevant information. Also ask yourself, “Do I want the client to know this?” so you don’t share too much.
3. Select an ideal profile photo. Remember you can share lots of photos on your Facebook photo page. For the profile photo, it’d be wise to use a professional one or a photo that shows you wearing clothes that fit your personality and style. BitRebels has great tips for looking good in photos.
4. Add your blog. You can import your blog entries into Facebook with several Applications like Networked Blogs, which I use. Not everyone is into reading blogs and Twitter, and you can find a new audience this way. What’s cool is getting comments from my local friends who didn’t read my blog until I fed it into Facebook.
5. Skip your Twitter feeds. At first, I sent all of my Twitter tweets to Facebook. However, after seeing others doing the same, I realized it would probably bother more people than not because even I was bothered by the frequent updates. If you don’t use Twitter much, then it might work for you. But status updates aren’t meant for frequent updates like Twitter. Besides, we all know that Facebook attracts people from all walks of life including those whose only social network is Facebook. Now I just send relevant tweets to Facebook through Selective Tweets by adding “#fb” to a tweet for posting in Facebook.
6. Capture writing career information on profile home page. A paragraph appears beneath your photo on your profile home page. This is your chance to tell people the most important thing about what you do as a writer. Keep it simple and to one or two key things otherwise people won’t remember you for anything. Questions to ask: What do you want potential clients to know about you? What do they get from working with you? Other things to consider: industry, client type, writing type. (see “Facebook Profile Bio” screen shot.)
7. Review your profile information privacy settings. Click some of your friends’ friends links. After looking at a few, you’ll notice some have almost empty pages while others reveal more. This is the information people see when they search for someone not yet connected. Understandably, some set profile settings to very private that we only see a name when we search for them. However, they might not be the only one with that name and you can’t discern if you have the right person. I open my profile photos and “Education and Work” to everyone. This way they know if they have the right person and learning about what I do. (See “Privacy Settings” screen shot.)
8. Manage privacy settings. I assign “limited profile” to people I only know on a professional level or through another contact. This assignment allows them to see specific parts of my profile based on the assignments I set. You can do the same for every photo album: open one to all, open another to everyone except those on “limited profile” and another that exempts certain people.
If you need help with your Twitter bio, here are tips for creating a Twitter profile for writers. It’s unbelievable how many people use a shortcut service URL for their URL instead of the real thing.
How do you manage your Facebook profile for business?