Facebook Fan Pages for Performers

Facebook is an amazing tool to market and brand yourself, but I don’t have a fan page. Instead I use my personal profile to market and brand myself and I’ll explain why.

Here’s the typical scenario. You have your Facebook profile made up of friends, coworkers, clients, magicians, and other acquaintances. Then you read online that you’re supposed to have a fan page— all your competitors are doing it- so you decide to create one too!

Why fan pages aren’t very good for for most most performers

  1. So you invited all of your Facebook contacts such as friends, coworkers, clients, magicians, and everyone else on your account to try and get that number up as high as possible! Sound familiar? This is what 90% of people do, and already you’re off to a bad start… The only thing you’ve done is basically duplicate your friends list onto your fan page. Ideally you should ONLY be posting your work related updates to your fan page. But if you’re like me performing its part of your daily life. There is no separation for me. So you either post to your own profile or your fan page…. or even worse you post to both. Please don’t post to both because now that you’ve added all your friends and family and everyone now they will see your update twice in their news feed. You’re spamming all the people who decided to like your page in the first place. You shouldn’t spam your friends. So far you haven’t done anything at all, you’ve just shifted your audience from one place to another and you’ve created more work for yourself.
  2. Take a look at the people that are you on your fan page. Are they actually your target audience? Your buddies from school, that cute girl from that party, and that magician that lives on the other side of the world aren’t going to hire you. Instead you should sending your message out to past clients and prospective clients, people you’ve built a real relationship with that’s worth something. (Hint: Newsletters and email works way better for converting sales anyway)
  3. It’s harder to get people to like your fan page than it is to get somebody to accept a friend request. You’ll be working way harder to get people to like your page instead of friending them.
  4. People would rather be your friend than a fan anyway so give them what they want! (While you’re at it you can be my friend) Facebook is social NETWORKING. It should be a two way conversation where build a relationship with them. If they only ‘like’ your page you won’t see their updates and you have less opportunity to interact with the things that they post.
  5. Your updates don’t show up in people’s news feed as often. (Apparently there’s a new option where you can pay to get your story promoted now for pages.)
  6. You may eventually neglect your fan page because you have a larger audience on your personal profile. I’ve looked at a lot of magicians fan pages (here’s some) and you can look at their wall to see how often they’ve been updating. Most of the time they don’t update very often. What’s the point in having a fan page if you aren’t going to even update it? Just stick with your regular profile that you’re going to update more often anyway.
  7. How many clients do you work with in a year that will ‘like’ your facebook page? How many likes do you need to have on your profile for it to look good to prospective clients? If a client is looking at your profile and you only have 30 fans… it doesn’t exactly instill confidence. Does 100 look impressive? 200? 1,000? 5,000? For most of us you’ll have maybe a few hundred people who  are your target clients. If you do get into the 1,000’s then it’s worthwhile to have a fan page (see below).

Note: Strictly speaking fan pages are for businesses and profiles are for people according to the FB TOS. However, like I mentioned previously, I consider the elements of running a business to be my life and I have my posts intertwined between personal updates and business updates. I don’t do any overt advertising on my page. Its more about branding instead.

There’s no telling exactly how fan pages are going to change in the future. Its my belief that personal profile content will always show up in people’s news feeds more often because people want to see updates from your friends more often than you want to see updates from the brands.

When you SHOULD have a Fan Page

  1. You should have a fan page when you have real fans! How do you decide when you have fans instead of friends? Facebook did all the thinking for you. The number is 5,000. As you know you can only have 5,000 friends on your personal profile.I believe that you should add everyone as a friend to your personal page and categorize them into different groups (You should do this for your personal page anyway for privacy reasons). That way you can post different content for different audiences. If you do max out your personal page, you can then convert your personal profile to a fan page. (Warning! You’ll loose some of your profile information and other things will be different. Do a little bit of research first before you do this) This is the approach I’m currently taking. If I do max out my account I will convert it to a fan page, and recreate a new personal profile for friends and family.If you do reach 5,000 friends, people can still subscribe to your profile. That means that everything that you post as “public” will get shared with your friends list and everyone that has subscribed to your profile. Unlike “friending” someone, this too is a one-way street. They will get your updates, but you won’t receive theirs. Once you’ve reached the limit of 5,000 people it’s better for it to work this way anyway.
  2. You should have a fan page, or multiple fan pages, when you have multiple audiences that are large or a group of people that form their own community.
  3.  You should have a fan page if you want to keep your personal life and business totally separate. Remember to only post things online that you wouldn’t mind letting everyone see. (And to the younger magicians; untag yourself from those party albums where everyone is wasted)

Facebook is a tool for building your brand through interaction and sharing. It isn’t a place for sales pitches. By adding people as a facebook friend you’re better able to build relationships.

An effective fan page

If you are going to create a fan page there’s a few things you can do to get on the right track. I’ll use Jamie Jigsaw’s fan page as an example:

  1. His header and profile picture are branded to match his company (Bonus points for including his phone number. I would put my website address here too though)
  2. The about description includes who he is and his website address in the tiny preview space provided.
  3. There are regular updates about the goings-on at his business. He has also uploaded videos and photos from events.
  4. You can see that his clients have not only liked his page, but they’ve also left testimonials from his show directly on his wall. This is great social proof for future clients!
  5. The main benefit of having a fan page is access to the analytic insights data that it provides. Learn how to make sense of this information.

My views on Facebook Fan pages probably isn’t very popular…. Let me know your thoughts below!