Most of my website and blog set up gigs have come to me through word of mouth. You know, someone at a social gathering will say, "Hey don't you have a website? My friend needs a website, can you do that for them?" When that happens and when I'm successful in educating the prospective client that they need a blog rather than a static traditional Web 1.0 website, Cha Ching! on goes the Freelancer Hat.
So when I toyed with the idea of getting some more freelance clients, I turned to the online, free classifieds. Many online marketers claim great success obtaining clients using online classifieds like Craigslist. Just put up a graphic ad on Craigslist advertising your services setting up WordPress blogs for businesses and the orders will come pouring in, or so the claims go.
Freelance Blog Set Up Business Failure
I however have not been fortunate in obtaining any clients using online classifieds. I've tried eBay classifieds and Craigslist all to no avail. It wasn't because I was charging too much either. I was practically giving the things away. You know how I know that? When I saw that I was undercutting my own outsourcer who lives in Bangladesh, that's how.
I suppose there is just too much free information out there about installing and setting up WordPress blogs that people mostly go the DIY route. But mostly I just felt like a Beauty School Dropout (musical theatre reference).
Freelancer Business Hopes Revived
With the advent of Facebook Pages adopting an Iframe platform, there was a new "goldrush" in selling one's services in setting up Facebook Pages for offline businesses. My hopes of raking in the freelance dough was revived.
I set up a new page on Facebook and started blogging about Facebook. I took out yet another ad on Craigslist and eBay classifieds. I wish I could say that the orders started pouring in but….crickets chirping….nada!
I again got a couple of gigs setting up Facebook Pages via word of mouth, so now I'm actually getting pretty good at setting up a basic welcome page. I've sent out messages to all my so called "friends" on Facebook, many of whom are marketers of some sort, with little response (DIY syndrome again).
Enter Facebook Marketplace
Hope springs eternal, that or I'm just a fool. I got one of those emails from Facebook alerting me to all the amazing things my friends are advertising on Facebook Marketplace. As I'm checking this email out, a little light bulb appears above my head and I realize, "Well dang, I haven't tried Facebook Marketplace free online classifieds."
Not one to be deterred by failure I sign right up and take out an ad offering my services in Facebook Page set up. I'm also curious as to whether these ads might be a way to help build my fledgling list of followers, since in the terms of service it says you can give things away for free.
The Facebook Marketplace Experiment Begins
So I read through the Terms of Service and decide to go for the "Pro" account so my ad can get more exposure. It's a month by month charge so I'm paying less than a dollar a day for the ad. You can run a free ad and more than one.
I then read through the Content Policy to make sure there's not some obscure rule I can't promote a service involving Facebook activity, such as setting someone's page up. I also checked out if there were any restrictions regarding giving away free eBooks or video courses.
There's no restrictions on free content give aways but they do prohibit email spamming and affiliate ads. Which is fine as that is not my intention
So then I get the ad set up and here's what it looks like
It's not as good as this ad that I found on the Marketplace
But it will just have to do.
So then I go into the account profile to see if I can optimize it a little more for more exposure. Here's a little video showing my exploration and what can be changed and enhanced.
Onward Through The Freelancer Classified Ads Fog
So I placed the ad today on June 22, 2011. I will now do some SEO online promotion to promote the link and the ad and then we'll track the success of this campaign here in the blog over the next month.
I'll write up what my campaign will include and put up a new post tomorrow about my SEO (search engine optimization) and SMO (social media optimization) strategies tomorrow. Wish me luck!
If you have any suggestions, ideas or comments about how to make this experiment successful please I'd love to hear from you in the comments below or on my Facebook Page for Social Media Meg.