It was only after moving to Thailand did I truly recognise the opportunity of exploiting social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to start my very own business.
I know marketers who build Instagram accounts in the health niche and sell them to others, some create Facebook Pages and use it as a platform to sell or direct traffic to their landing pages.
With so much opportunity on social media, today I'm going to discuss 3 very simple business ideas you can start today by leveraging Facebook.
1. Become A Facebook Adverts Manager
Over the last few years, I have been researching everything I can about online marketing, including Facebook Advertising. After a few months of constant reading and testing my own ads, I got to the point where I knew everything there was to know about creating a successful brand, targeting prospects, ad copy, Facebook Insights and their third-party apps.
I liked my local Gym’s Facebook Page and couldn’t believe how badly they were running things. I sent them an email listing all the things they were doing wrong and simple solutions to fix them. I also told them I was a Facebook Ads Expert and if they needed more help, they were more than welcome to contact me.
I met up with the manager and told him what I can do, what they were doing wrong and how I can reduce their marketing spend while yielding much better results.
One thing lead to another and he offered me a pretty tasty fixed rate contract to manage his Facebook Page. How many local businesses in your area have no idea how to use the Facebook Adverts Manager or the benefits it can bring their business?
The world’s a large place and this is an untapped market with huge potential. Take a few Facebook courses, read the best Facebook marketing blogs, run your own ad campaigns and get some experience before you start offering your services.
If you visit any freelance website, there are several businesses who are paying good money to hire a Facebook Guru to run their account, why can't that be you?
2. Start an ecommerce store
It’s not cheap setting up a physical store and selling products, a shop front in any major city is going cost the tens of thousands – who’s got that kind of money under their mattress? Not me.
Creating a Facebook Page is free and you only pay to promote (even then it's not a lot). You can create advertising campaigns for as little as $1. In their targeting options you can target prospects based on a number of parameters, including zip code.
I’ve had the idea of exporting goods from Thailand at least a 100 times but couldn’t find a way to sell the products. I’m sure you have or know someone who has mentioned this kind of idea before.
In 2015, all you need to do is setup a Facebook Page, create a simple website with your products and promote them through Facebook. Any new startup is going to have a hard time relying on SEO traffic to drive sales in the short-term, Facebook is easier and simpler.
StoreYa is a third-party Facebook application that lets you sell products on your Facebook Page, you don’t even need a website!
3. Create your own digital products
Digital products are all the rage today, I know because I recently launched an eBook on how to become a freelancer which is selling like hot cakes (okay, lukewarm cakes).
Anyway my point is this: you can use Amazon Kindle, Udemy or other third-party sites which take as much as 70% profit per sale, or you can create a website and use Facebook to promote the living hell out of it.
Here’s Drop Ship Lifestyle promoting their online course product through Facebook. Look at their website, they have no blog and don't appear to be using any other form of inbound marketing, they simply created a website and are using Facebook Ads to generate sales:
There is nothing stopping you from creating your own product, course, app and promoting it through Facebook. With over 800 million users, you will find your ideal customer on Facebook.
Things you need to know before you get started
Facebook won’t let you spam. Don’t think you can create a badly constructed landing page and run an advert redirecting uses to your page, they have a lot of rules and ads need to be approved before they go live.
I’ve done the above and have had my adverts unapproved. Here’s a great article by Jon Loomer, giving reasons why your adverts may not be approved. You should also read Facebook’s guidelines to posting paid adverts.
To clarify, a paid advert is different from a regular Facebook Page update, an advert is when you pay to reach a wider audience (people who haven’t like your Facebook Page).
Facebook is an amazing way to get started online – but you need to play by their rules. Facebook can delete or suspend your account if you don’t play ball, and there is nothing you can do about it. You don’t own your Facebook Page – they do.
Keep this in mind when starting out, I always advise marketers to start on Facebook as a way to ‘test' their business idea. You can set everything up within a few hours, you don’t need to learn design and can trial your ideas for very little spend.
If your business is successful, slowly shift to other mediums you control such as a website and email marketing. So in the unlikely event that you do get hit by the Facebook Ban Hammer, you are not totally squashed.
Are you using Facebook as a way to create an online income? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear what you're doing.