The Proofreader's Parlour
A blog for editors, proofreaders and writers
If you have a Facebook profile but haven’t created an additional business page on which to advertise your editorial services, you might be missing a trick. This is a free platform on which you can promote your editorial business online. When someone searches online for editorial services, they might find your Facebook profile before they come across your other links.
Wherever a potential customer finds you on the internet, said landing page should be designed effectively to promote your business. I use my Facebook business page to:
A new timeline layout will become the default setting on 30 March 2012. With this design you can now pin featured articles to the top of your timeline for up to a week. You can also highlight key posts so that they fit the width of your page. Older posts that you wish to re-feature can be moved into your current timeline by simply changing the date. All the admin tools are available in one area at the top of your page, which only you can see, making management of the site much easier.
Take a look at this article by Mari Smith for more useful tips and tricks: Facebook Timeline for Business Pages – 21 Key Points To Know.
How to create a business page
Under the profile picture on your personal page, you have the opportunity to fill in the “Works at” section. You can link this job description to an additional “page”, thus creating a separate professional profile.
Creating the business page is a doddle. Click here and follow the simple instructions on how to set one up. A step-by-step video tutorial is available here. This shows you how to get the best out of your page layout and use functions such as pinning, highlighting, and date changing.
Using the photo area wisely
With the old layout you had a photo strip with slots for five separate images that appeared randomly each time someone visited your page. The new design of Facebook pages matches the timeline layout on your profile page. The photo strip no longer exists and instead you have one large image across the top of your page. Note that your new image needs to be 850 high and 315 pixels wide.
There are restrictions to what you can include. Web addresses, discount offers, and other such "commercial" messages are not allowed. I elected instead to feature the book jackets of some of my favourite proofreading projects over the past few years. The new layout offers much more flexibility in terms of how you promote yourself visually. You could use your company logo instead of a thumbnail photo of your face, for example. Or you might use the large image space to create a montage of the clients you work for or other key groups/societies that you support.
How to create a custom url for your Facebook business page
If you want to promote your Facebook business page, or indeed your profile page, it’s advisable to simplify the link and set up a more user-friendly custom url. I changed mine from "facebook.com/pages/Louise-Harnby-Proofreader/328476347180231?sk=wall" to "facebook.com/LouiseHarnbyProofreader" – a significant improvement.
It’s very easy to do but think carefully about what you want your url to be before you confirm the new user name – you can’t go back and change it later. Click here for Facebook’s simple instructions.
Unlike my profile page, my business page is fully public. I never use this for personal banter with friends or family – its focus is purely professional. This is important because, as far as I am aware, posts on one’s business page are always public.
Thanks to some excellent advice from my Australian colleague, Wendy Monaghan, I have decided to allow people to post on my page but with a restriction - all posts by others are confined to a single box in the right-hand corner, meaning the overall layout of my chosen content is still in my control.
To manage your settings in this way go to Manage and Edit Page. Then, under Posting Ability, check "Everyone can post to <your page name> timeline" and, under Post Visibility, check "Show the box for 'Recent Posts by Others' on the top of <your page name>".
The new timeline design of Facebook pages doesn't match the functionality of a website, nor is it meant to. It is a vast improvement on the old layout and allows for a more professional and eye-catching presentation of your services. If you’re already using Facebook, why not take advantage of this feature? It won’t cost you anything to add this to your online marketing tools. And it’s one more public platform on which a client might find you.
Have you discovered any useful ways of enhancing your professional profile on Facebook? Please share your tips in the Comments section.
Louise Harnby is a professional proofreader and copyeditor. She curates The Proofreader's Parlour and is the author of several books on business planning and marketing for editors and proofreaders.
Visit her business website at Louise Harnby | Proofreader, say hello on Twitter at @LouiseHarnby, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.
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I'm an Advanced Professional Member of the UK's national editorial society.
All text on this blog, The Proofreader's Parlour, and on the other pages of this website (unless indicated otherwise) is in copyright © 2011–17 Louise Harnby. Please do not copy or reproduce any of the content, in whole or part, in any form, unless you ask first.
Author Member of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). I abide by its Code of Standards in regard to my status as an independent writer.
Advanced Professional Member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). I'm a signatory to its code of practice as a professional editor.
Featured in The Book Designer's Carnival of the Indies: Joel Friedlander's collection of 'outstanding articles recently posted to blogs'.
Winner of the Judith Butcher Award 2017 in respect of 'highly visible contributions to the SfEP and its membership'.