Should you be Facebook friends with clients?
Most gurus will tell you that you should friend anyone and everyone on Facebook, to increase your visibility as a ghostwriter and to potentially connect with people who want and need your services. The more contacts, the more likely you are to meet potential clients, the thinking goes.
But there is a downside to letting clients and prospects see inside your personal life, or get a peek at your work habits.
Many writers think nothing of reporting to friends about their work load (I know I have). It’s a way to connect with others who may be facing a similar situation and to commiserate about what to do about it. But would you want potential clients to know you are currently up to your eyeballs with projects? Would you want them to see that you are currently pulling an all-nighter to meet your deadline for writing a client’s speech? Or maybe that you’ve put off their project in order to accept a more lucrative assignment from a corporate client?
From a client’s perspective, none of these scenarios makes them more likely to want to work with you. If you’re too busy, you’ll likely give their work less attention than it deserves. If you’re pulling all-nighters, the quality of your work may be suffering (it may not, but they don’t know that for sure). And if you are so willing to set aside work-in-progress for something new, they may not get their work done on time either.
It’s all about perception and what you share with your friends and family may not be appropriate, or flattering, for clients and prospects to read. Part of marketing yourself involves positioning yourself in the best possible light. That means behaving like a professional, acting like an expert, and suggesting that you are highly organized – even when you aren’t.
So even though you may be tempted to shout on Facebook, “Just landed my first ghostwriting gig. Very excited.” Don’t.
Because if you’ve recently friended said first client on Facebook they may not be as excited to learn this is your very first gig. Trust me.
Sure, you can say that you’re “excited to be getting started on a new business book project for a genius client,” or that you’re “learning so much about fashion thanks to my latest ghostblogging gig.” But don’t kvetch and moan about clients, especially if they can see your updates. Not only does it taint your relationship with them but it can also damage your ability to attract new clients.
If you can’t edit your Facebook status updates, a better approach may be not to friend your clients and prospects at all. Hang out with them over on LinkedIn instead.
Do you typically accept Facebook friend requests from clients and prospects?