My Journey

11 years ago I started out using Facebook to build a direct sales business I was in and couldn’t believe how quickly I could grow that business.  It was kinda crazy to be honest, as I never believed that I could sit on a social site and talk to people and then have them become customers and/or new consultants.  People told me I was wasting my time, I was not doing anything productive.

I was playing in FB and trying to figure out how I could build a business, I mean why couldn’t this be about me finding customers, right?  I started creeping around FB to see what was available to me and noticed that there were all these “fan” pages that were for the different towns and cities.  I thought “why can’t I have a fan page too?”  So, I create a fan page for my direct sales business (A Finishing Touch).  Well, this was great BUT who the heck was going to see my fan page?

As, I continued to creep FB, I came upon the different groups however, these groups were really about bringing different hobbyist together.  Well, of course, I decided to create my own group called “Home Based Businesses”.  I loved the idea that I could bring different business owners together where we could network online.  Now, at this point, I had to laugh to myself because I didn’t know any other business owners (I came from the corporate world, then a stay-at-home mom, so didn’t really know what an entrepreneur was or even running my own business).  So, what I thought I would do is a post on the different City Fan Pages, calling all other business owners to join me in my group.  I created a post and copied and pasted it onto a TON of different Fan Pages and guess what happened?  I went into FB Jail lol, yep, I was considered a spammer, my first real FB lesson.

Fast forward a couple of years and I built a very successful group where we brought 5,000 business owners together to network, to learn, to be inspired (I had different questions and topics I would post every day to get people talking), to promote their business (I have since closed down the group).  It was really awesome and it led me to building a successful direct sales business until the doors of the company were closed 6 years later.

Throughout this journey, one of the things that was happening was the different business owners I was meeting, started reaching out and asking me to teach them what I was doing on FB to build my business.  Funny, as I had never really thought about what I was doing, I was just using my time on FB to talk to people.  I launched my FB business “I was a FB Nobody” 6 years ago.

I started out doing group training sessions, traveling from one city to another, and teaching business owners the importance of privacy, their news feed, their personal timeline, groups and of course, their business page.  I absolutely LOVED doing this, LOVED teaching others, LOVED watching them grow their business.

As I did more and more training sessions (I trained over 600 different business owners), and overwhelmed some owners, I was now receiving requests to manage their business pages for them.  My next step was now adding Business Page Management to my growing Facebook business.

I continued to grow from many different aspects, which allowed me to add more elements to my business, including speaking engagements (one of my all time favourite things to do).  It also taught me about understanding my true value, that I was worth something, that I had knowledge that people wanted to learn from, to absorb, to be mentored.

I decided to rebrand and launch my NEW business as Tammy Hudgin – Creating Your Presence.  This was so perfect as I had been creating my presence since I started working FB way back when.  It is ultimately what I have been teaching other business owners to do for themselves.

These past 6 years have seen me take different steps BUT always steps forward.  I continue to add more to what I can offer based on all my own personal experience, because if I don’t do the work myself, then how can I ask others to do it?

I have learned many things about myself and FINALLY give myself the credit that I deserve.  I have worked very hard to get where I am and can honestly say, that I am truly happy with where my business is.  I am always looking to grow and will continue to do so, because I am not ready to say “sorry I can’t take anymore clients.”

 

Facebook Groups

With the algorithm change to our Facebook Business Page and not getting the reach we once got, it is time for you to think about creating a group that you can build up to a hot market.

There are a couple of ways to get a group started:

  1. Offer a FREE challenge and use the group to run the challenge and then build from there
  2. Reach out to your existing clients and ask them to join your groups for additional information, specials, relationships building
  3. Post on your timeline, business page and other groups, telling people the benefits of joining your group

Within this group, you want to focus on building relationships, getting people talking and upselling yourself.  Make the group interactive with a variety of mini challenges, education, and questions.  Don’t focus on always trying to sell a product/service, otherwise people will leave the group.  It is really about taking this market and continuing to build and educate so that they do purchase additional products/services as well as refer you to their friends.

Facebook has upped the game with groups, so now is the time to take advantage.  They have added a “topics” element that you can use for each post, making it easier for people to find a group of posts around a specific topic.  They have also introduced the option to have 10 announcements pinned to the top of the wall (this can be a very strategic move on your part on what you put into these announcements, so think long and hard about it).  Take advantage of the “welcome” style option that allows you to create a post whenever any new members join the group (this shows the other members that there is growth but also makes the new members feel welcomed).

Groups can be a fantastic compliment to your business page, so take some time and work out a marketing plan on how you are going to develop this group, content, mission, goals and get building those relationships.

P.S.  I do have a FREE download on “The Why and How to for Creating Groups”, so start with that 🙂      Sign Up Here!!

 

Facebook Targeting Ads – News Feed

Have you ever wondered why you see certain Ads in your Facebook News Feed?

Everything you do on Facebook is tracked, even when you “like” a Business Page.  They take your information and place it into categories of “interests”, anything you viewed on Google will show up in your News Feed, all the different information you input into your personal profile “about” section is also targeted.

The GREAT news is that you can clean this up so that certain Ads won’t be targeted towards you!!

Here’s how:

  • From your desktop/laptop, log into your Facebook account (if you are going to do this from your phone App, you will find it under your “account settings” option)
  • Click on the drop down arrow at the top right corner of Facebook
  • Click on the tab “settings”
  • Click on the tab “Ads” down the left
  • Once you are in here, you want to go through each category and remove anything that you do not want them to target you with
    • Your interests (this is the information they gathered based on the pages you have liked)
    • Advertisers you’ve interacted with (specific companies you have interacted with)
    • Your information (this is the information you have put into your “about” section, you can turn off any of them you did not wish to receive Ads based on this criteria)
    • Ad settings (in here you can turn “off” the elements you do not want targeted to you)
    • Hide ad topics (you can choose to hide for a certain time frame or even permanently)

I would encourage you to go through this exercise as you really don’t know what you have made available to those who are doing Sponsored Ads.  When businesses create their Sponsored Ads, they choose a very specific target market and if you have any of the criteria they are targeting, then it will come into your news feed.

Clean it up!

 

How are you “creating your presence”?

My tagline is “Creating your Presence” and what this means is that YOU need to be seen on Social Media, YOU need to sell YOU!

When we have made the decision to start using Social Media to build our business, there are many aspects that you need to consider:

  • How do I want to be seen?
  • How do I want my business to be seen?
  • What are my values?
  • Who am I?
  • Who are my potential clients?
  • Which Social Media platforms are they using?
  • What is my marketing strategy?
  • What message am I sending?

You need to take the time and answer these questions, in great detail, so that you can determine which Social Media sites you are going to focus on, what is the content you will be providing and how much time do you need to dedicate to it.

The mistake that many people make is that they believe they need to be working ALL Social Media sites and it is leading to being very time consuming.  Which in turn, causes people to give up or not get the growth they expected.

I encourage you to find your primary and secondary Social Media sites to focus on (based on where your target market is sitting) and make a marketing plan for both based on the above questions you answered.  From there, you need to schedule time on your calendar to focus on these platforms DAILY.  You can’t build a presence, you can’t build a business, without committing to it every single day.  Popping in and out will not help you to reach the goals you have set out to obtain.  It is a HUGE commitment and don’t let anyone tell you that it isn’t.

There are more elements that need to be considered when building your online presence.  You need to look at blogging, free opt-ins, networking on and off the computer, doing speaking engagements.  We live in a very competitive online world and you have to stand out above the rest.  This is why it is important to understand the value of selling yourself.  People buy/support because of the like/know/trust factor.  It is NOT going to happen overnight, I wish I could tell you that, BUT the reality is that it will take time, lots of time, to build your presence and see a return in your hard work.

When thinking about your marketing plan, I want you to go beyond your business.  I want you to look at the other elements that are available on these platforms and take advantage of them.  Look at groups, look at your personal profiles, how can you use them to create your presence?  Schedule the time needed to focus on the other elements that are available to you and go a step beyond in creating your presence.

When you commit the time to creating your presence, you will see a growth in your business BUT it takes time, don’t expect it to happen overnight and don’t fall into the trap of the “get rich quick schemes”.

Go out there and “sell you”!

 

GUEST BLOGGER: Finding the work/life balance when starting a business

Creating a business from scratch is not easy. It takes a lot of drive, goal-setting and most importantly: TIME. When you’re seeing your business grow from the ground up, it makes you want to say yes to everything. Soon, however, all the hours in the day disappear, and you lose precious family time or even just personal leisure time.

At first, it might feel like you have unlimited stores of energy that you can dedicate to your business (the excitement is real!) but if you’re not careful, too much work will start to wear on you.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind while creating a work/life balance:

  1. Know When The Work Day is Over

We are so connected to our devices! If you’re starting a new business, it’s seems natural to be your own 24-hour network. But shutting things off for the night is essential. In order to be more productive in the future, it’s best to set a time where you switch off business and focus on winding down. Not only will this help you sleep better, it will give you an opportunity to build discipline in finding the work/life balance we all crave.

  1. What are Your Time-Wasters?

What do you do in the day that is productive towards your goals? It can be little things, like posting a brand-relevant message on Facebook, or sending out a few introductory emails. Social media is PIVOTAL for business (I know a thing or two about that…), but are you using it for too much leisure time? How much time do you spend scrolling down your Facebook feed during your precious “working hours”? Sometimes old habits die hard!

We all need to re-evaluate what is important in order to make sure our time is used to grow the business and spend quality time with people we love.

  1. Social Self Care is Very Important

Speaking of people we love: when you’re running a business, you often forget to take care of yourself! Simple things like diet and exercise are obvious – but what about social health? Don’t abandon your friends! Try your best to make plans and stick to them. It will help you stop focusing on work 24/7, and actually leave your office every now and then. Friends can be great supporters of your vision, by the way, and that support comes from building strong bonds.

  1. Make Small Achievable Steps

A brand new business is like having a new baby! You have to nurture it and give it plenty of attention. But you can’t do everything all at once and expect it to run smoothly. Are you spending 12 hours a day glued to the screen when you’re only aiming for 4? Quitting cold turkey will backfire. Try weaning yourself off, hour by hour, until you find the right workflow that fits for your blossoming company. You’ve probably heard the phrase “Work smarter, not harder.” Keep an eye out for efficient solutions that help you get your business off the ground without taking up all your time to do it.

There isn’t a formula for the perfect work/life balance. Everyone has different lifestyles, workflows and circumstances that create their own unique challenges. However, once you find that golden balance that works for you, your new business and your home life will thrive!

This is a guest post by Josh Elkin, founder of Best Coast Marketing a marketing agency that helps increase our clients’ traffic through organic link building. Josh enjoys writing about entrepreneurship, marketing, productivity and self-improvement.

Connect via email:  josh@bestcoastmarketing.com

596eca3d151305733d0c14d1_headshot_contrast_square.png

Reflection…..2017

I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect over the past year as 2017 brought many different elements from both personal and business sense.

I started the year with working towards finishing my 10 month Mastermind program that I invested in and can tell you that it was a HUGE impact with my business, from many levels.  I grew as a person, I developed more free downloads, changed my pricing, implemented some new packages and increased my client base.  I realized my value and that changed how I presented myself, how it allowed me to believe that I was the expert in Facebook.  It is amazing when you change your mindset as to what you can accomplish.

I also learned how to say “no” more and to know when I wasn’t the “right” fit for a client.  Sometimes, we have to realize that not everyone is a good fit and we have to release ourselves from it (but do recommend them to someone else).  I also embraced more of my competition and developed relationships with them so that when I wasn’t the right “fit”, I could refer them to another Social Media person.  We all have our own talents, our own ideas, our own personalities and together we can provide services to everyone who needs them.

I think one of my BIGGEST “learns” this year was that I was more than just a Facebook Trainer, I was a coach.  Never would I have thought that people would hire me to coach them regularly on completing their social media goals.  Being able to provide them with guidance, marketing ideas, strategy, training, inspiration and of course structure (that is one of my fortes), was something I had not realized I had become and it feels awesome!!

I had the opportunity to travel this past year, a trip to Italy and to Whistler.  Italy was a celebration for completing the Mastermind Program with the others who also participated.  It was an outstanding trip, I fell in LOVE with the Amalfi Coast, truly spectacular!!  Whistler was a family trip with myself, my daughter, my boyfriend and his daughter.  We did 5 hikes (and yes some were killers lol) and embraced the world surrounding the mountains, just unbelievable.

One of the biggest “personal” elements that happened this past year, was with my daughter.  Many don’t know, but as a family, we have been working with our daughter to help her battle anxiety and depression.  I had to adjust my work schedule to be here for her, to be her “rock”, to help her understand and to work at getting her the help she needed.  We are now on the right track, in the past 2 months, and she is seeking regular therapy and on meds.  She was not able to attend College, so we had to withdraw her and she was not able to hold down a job.  I decided to hire her to help me with some admin work, as she really wanted to feel as though she was doing something.  She has struggled with leaving the house, unless I was with her, and we are slowly working towards her getting her life back and not being afraid of the “outdoors”.  As a family, we have all come together (her father and brother as well) to help and support her and we believe that she is on the road to being the person she eagerly wants to be.

As I move into 2018, I have to admit to you that I have not set any goals.  For me, I take each day as it comes, develop some ideas as they come to my mind and continue to push myself to grow and achieve.  Every day, I do reflect on what I have done and what I need to do and then I do it.  It is part of who I am.  So, that means, that I can’t tell you what my goals will be this coming year but they will fall into place as I continue to grow.

I want to thank each one of you for always supporting me, for encouraging me, for pushing me, for believing in me.  It I didn’t have you, then how can I continue to grow my business and push myself towards success?

Let’s ROCK 2018!!!

Moving into 2018…..

Well we are coming to an end of 2017 and need to get prepared for 2018.

One of the things that we, as business owners, need to realize is that Social Media is not going away, it is only going to get bigger.  What does that mean?  It means that it is time for you to take it seriously.

Now, if you were to google the stats around Social Media, you will find that Facebook surpasses all of them, from many aspects.  It is truly a fantastic site for us to be able to build a business and it’s TIME to do something with it.

  • You need to work your Business Page, daily
  • You need to work your Personal Profile, daily
  • You need to interact in Groups, daily

The KEY to building a business in Facebook is BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS!!  You need to be personable, you need to talk to people, you need to ask questions, you need to teach, you need to motivate, you need to inspire, you need to listen, you need to interact.

By utilizing your Business Page, your Personal Profile, Groups, you can incorporate all of these elements and start to build the relationships that will ultimately lead to business.  Please note:  it doesn’t happen overnight, there is work involved and it takes the time to build it.

Soooooooo………you NEED to schedule your Facebook time on your calendar!!  You NEED to realize the importance of Facebook and how it CAN help to build your business.

I remember when I first starting using Facebook, over 10 years ago, for building my past Direct Sales business, I would spend a total of 6 hours a day on there.  I created groups for business owners where I encouraged them to interact, gave them topics to discuss, we had a ton of fun AND to be honest, it was what built my Direct Sales business.  Today, I spend 3 hours each morning for myself and my clients and then will check in throughout the day BUT if I am home working, then I am constantly working my Facebook.

I really can’t stress the IMPORTANCE of spending the time and doing the work on Facebook!!  Schedule at least an hour each morning to get what you need to get done and then make sure you are checking in throughout the day to keep the interaction going.  You can do this!!

P.S.  If you are looking for ideas on how you are going to work your Business Page, your Personal Profile and Groups, be sure to check out my “Facebook Marketing for Small Business Owners” document, ONLY $20!!  I PROMISE you won’t be disappointed, tons of information!!!