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Self employed guide to Facebook

Facebook is the most famous and popular social network in the world, with more than a billion people believed to be active users of the site. Those users are thought to include more than half of the population of the UK, which means it can be a potentially lucrative marketing tool for businesses of all types, including self-employed freelancers.

What started off as a personal networking site for university students is now a multi-billion dollar industry and companies, brands and sole traders have been quick to realise its impact. Facebook plays a huge part in the marketing efforts of businesses in virtually every industry you can think of and with such a large potential customer base using the site every day, it is certainly something you should consider for promoting your own services.

More than 20 million people hit the ‘like’ button on the pages of different companies and local businesses everyday, making it an important platform for attracting attention, interacting with customers and potential customers and building a community that will hopefully lead to an increase in sales.

How to set up a Facebook page for your business

There is a strong chance that you already have a personal Facebook page, but if you want to use the social network to promote yourself professionally then you need a separate page for your business services. Pages are different to personal profiles and have different purposes and functions. It is these pages that your customers or fans can ‘like’ and share on their own profiles, further helping to market your business for you.

Facebook is another platform for you to give a positive impression about your business. You can use your page to keep potential clients informed about your services, share useful content that people will benefit from, give tips and advice and build your online reputation.

Setting up a page for your business is a simple process:

  • You need to have a personal Facebook profile, which can be registered for free. Each page needs to have at least one administrator, which is most likely to be yourself, unless you are getting somebody else to set up and maintain your page for you.
  • From your homepage you will be able to find the link to create a page.
  • If you want to use your page to market your business to members of the public, then be sure to select the ‘public’ option in your page settings.
  • You will have a variety of categories to choose from when setting up your page, but Facebook will take you through all the necessary steps needed for a basic page.
  • You can customise it by adding your own photographs and logos and a cover photo. You can also make your page more interactive by adding different applications in addition to the basic applications that are included to help you showcase events, photographs and videos. For example, some businesses can add applications that allow them to sell products directly through Facebook, offer promotions and special offers or collect email addresses. Applications are presented through tabs at the top of your page and you can arrange them and edit them to display in different orders.

Spreading the word about your Facebook page

A Facebook page is only useful if you have people who follow it or ‘like’ it, otherwise nobody will really see what you post on there or see any of your updates. That means it is crucial to try and attract people to your page.

Promoting it to your personal friends through your personal profile is a good way to start, even if your own friends aren’t your target customers, they may be friends with other people who are interested in your services.

Facebook pages also show up highly on Google searches, so it is important to set your page up with the correct name and to include some relevant keywords in the description of your page, that way people may come across it when searching for services on Google.

You can encourage people to interact with you by searching out target customers on Facebook and requesting they like your page. Many businesses also offer promotions or run competitions to encourage people to like their page in exchange for money off their services or some other sort of reward.

Promoting your Facebook page outside of the site itself is another way to encourage more interaction. You will notice many big brands now include their Facebook address on advertising campaigns. While self-employed freelancers are unlikely to have an advertising budget, you can still link to your Facebook page through your email signature, from your own website and from other social networks such as Twitter. Once you have reached 25 ‘likes’ for your page, you will also be able to create a custom URL for your Facebook page, so you should change this as soon as possible to match your company or service name, such as www.facebook.com/joebloggsphotography. You can edit your page name from the menu at www.facebook.com/username.

Staying active on your Facebook page is also one of the most effective ways to increase your followers and turn it into an effective marketing tool for your business. Keep the updates relevant to your work and use them to promote work you have done for clients (so long as they are happy for you to discuss projects in public), that way they will most likely spread the word about your page as well.

Using your Facebook page to curate content relevant to your industry will also make you seem like an authority and gives followers something worthwhile to engage with, rather than just using your page to push your own services constantly. Asking questions is another good way to encourage interaction with your potential leads and clients, for example asking for opinions on new designs or project ideas.

Of course, you should include updates about your business as well as providing other useful content and links. This could be new services or products, promotions or special offers, current availability or industry events and networking opportunities that you are attending.

Remember that your Facebook page is a very public refection of your business, so don’t use it to present yourself in a way that you wouldn’t want a client to see. You can use it to reflect your personality and add a personal touch to your business, but think about the image you want to present before you post anything. Think about your goals and objectives with Facebook and how you can monitor whether or not it is effectively promoting your work. Check out how your competitors use it and take on board tips and tricks that work for them.

We hope the above information has been useful. If you would like to chat with Easy Accountancy about your business call us on 0500 234 111 / 01442 275 767 or email heather@easyaccountancy.co.uk.

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Why Clients Choose Easy Accountancy

Easy Accountancy offers a low cost, fixed fee accountancy package with all clients receiving their own dedicated, friendly, approachable accountant.

All of our accountants specialise in providing accountancy services to the self-employed, freelancers, sole traders, small to medium sized limited companies and private individuals. All accountants are employees of Easy Accountancy and we never outsource or offshore work.

Our low cost, all-inclusive fixed-fee accountancy service includes unlimited access to your own dedicated accountant throughout the year and covers all your business and personal tax affairs needs.

All our accountancy services include:
  - Unlimited access to your accountant
  - Ongoing advice on how to manage your business
  - Proactive tax advice throughout the year
  - Updates and reminders so you'll never miss a deadline
  - Free bookkeeping software

As a sole trader our fees start at just £60 + VAT a month, for this you receive the above plus:
  - Completion of your Self-Assessment tax return
  - Advice on how much Income Tax to pay
  - Guidance on National Insurance contributions

As a limited company our fixed fee packages are bespoke to your needs, however typically you’ll receive the above, plus:
  - Completion of your year end accounts*
  - Completion and submission of your annual return Companies House
  - The director/s Self Assessment tax return
  - Payroll bureau
  - Dividends and corporation tax computations

We’ve saved our clients up to half on their accountancy bills – if you’d like a quote, click on the quote me button to the right of this page. Alternatively, call us on 0500 234111 / 01442 275767 or email heather@easyaccountancy.co.uk.

*If you would like us to complete your company year end accounts we simply ask that you have been a client of Easy Accountancy for one year or have made 12 monthly payments.