Just like you, I love Facebook and I am almost always online checking out what’s the latest out there.
However, did you know that you can make money on Facebook?
I am not talking about things I’ve read online. I’ve actually done a real case study on this and come up with my personal data, findings and methods.
Here is a brief conclusion of my month and a half study into Facebook marketing.
I created a whole new product, marketed it mainly through Facebook and here are the results. Below that you’ll see how you can do it yourself.
Product – Top Level Freelancing and Internet Marketing in Kenya (An eBook on genuine, legitimate ways that people can become top freelancers and internet marketers). I’ve not yet even advertised this product on my site (at the time of writing).
Price – Sh. 1,000
Expenses on Ads – $50 (approx. Sh. 4300 back then in 2014)
Mailing lists used to attract and convert leads– FreelancerKenya, and job alerts. I was giving genuine, free information, products and job alerts through these mailing lists but also pitching sales through them. Nowadays my job alerts mailing list is off, and I’m mostly active on the free mini-course for writers mailing list that you can join here.
Sales – 66 copies sold
Money earned over 1.5 months – Approximately Sh. 50,000 net (there were different offers, discounts and costs).
Additional benefits – I made genuine friends, sold my training, helped people to find jobs and sold other services.
One thing that you need to always remember is the fact that for you to make real money on Facebook, you need to be out there to help people and make friends.
If you make it all about the money then you may not make much. But if you focus on helping people sort out their problems, you will develop excellent solutions that will make you good cash.
After testing different methods, below are some of the best ways you can make money on Facebook, some very specific to the Kenyan market.
1. Create a Product that Solves a Problem
The first way of making money anywhere is having something to sell. This can be in form of offline products, digital products, courses or services.
During the case study period, I saw people selling different things on Facebook. Some of the products that sold like hotcakes at the time included:
- Data bundles – Buying huge bundles from Safaricom then creating smaller denominations that you can sell (this is no longer a thing nowadays)
- eBooks – Writing an eBook that tackles a problem (still awesome today)
- Likes – Getting paid to drive likes to Facebook pages (not a big deal nowadays)
- Advertising – Learning how to do Facebook ads and then offering ad creation as a service. You can also earn from driving traffic to your own products through Facebook ads (this is still awesome and can take you far)
- Fashion – Get a source of quality fashion items. Ladies and baby stuff tend to do well. (Awesome even today)
2. Sign up to an email marketing program
Some may be wondering what email marketing has to do with Facebook.
Here is the deal.
People do not join Facebook to buy things. People generally join Facebook to stay connected with their friends, families and interest groups. Therefore, this makes Facebook a great site to offer soft solutions as opposed to selling stuff.
Facebook helps me collect thousands of leads. Many end up buying my stuff or used my services. Some don’t buy, but they refer others who buy. This is sort of a chain reaction thing that’s made possible by social media.
Some have just benefited from the free information I post, which I’m totally okay with. As long as you learn from me and succeed in some way, I’m a happy man.
Unfortunately others have unsubscribed for different reasons since it’s easy to unsubscribe any time. I’m fine with this, too. We’re not all a perfect match. Also saves on email marketing costs hehehe.
Through these mailing lists, I give free, genuine advice to subscribers.
Of course once in a while I do marketing blasts and sell HEAVILY.
Whenever I sell a product, 80% of my buyers come from my mailing list. In fact, research shows that email marketing gives back more than $30 for every $1 invested.
I fully agree and have experienced this.
3. Give free stuff
As I told you, you are trying to build friendships and help people solve their problems.
But first, you need to win their TRUST.
Therefore, you may have to create a free product that you can be giving so that people can join your mailing list. This is the link you’ll be sharing on Facebook with people who want more information.
I personally use my “Free Mini-Course: Writers’ Starter Pack” to get people to my mailing list.
After that I use an optimized autoresponder sequence (series of emails) that give free, useful information before I sell anything. This helps me to build trust, friends and to get a good market for future products.
4. Join engaged groups
As I said up there, in Kenya we have our own way of doing things.
If you study out other international blogs taking about Facebook monetization, they’ll say you make money using Facebook pages. However, in Kenya you can make much more money using Facebook Groups!
I will keep reminding you that your main aim is not looking for money, but rather to make friends and solve problems. You’ll solve some problems for free and charge for others. More than 50% should be free 🙂
There are many Kenyan groups on Facebook but here we are interested in two kinds of groups:
These are groups that are mainly focused on discussing ideas and not selling products. In such groups, you are not allowed to post advertisements.
Some soft ads may be overlooked by the admins but hard sale adverts are usually pulled down and in most cases the users are blocked and banned from the groups.
Therefore if you join such a group, make sure you purely share ideas and not adverts and you’ll be safe.
The question may then be, how do you make money in such Facebook groups?
Simply answer. Post, comment and share about your expertise.
I personally answer questions on making money online, especially through freelance writing. After doing it for a few weeks, I easily get referred to as the go-to-guy on matters of online writing.
That’s your aim, be the go-to-guy for something.
People will soon start asking if you can train them. This way, you can easily sell them the product that you created above.
If you ask me, these are the real cash cows of Facebook in Kenya. As long as you’re considered the go-to-guy, you’ll be getting constant referrals and constant income from members of these groups, despite the fact that you’re not advertising.
To optimize sales, strive to post one or two extremely engaging ideas every day and accept friend requests from these groups (especially from people you’ve gotten along well with). When posting ideas, post stuff that will require many people to comment.
This way your post will remain on top and you’ll get more leads. Since you accept and send requests to members, they will always be notified whenever you post and they’ll increase your chances of getting leads and sales.
In fact, if you are to get banned, you will still have the friends you made here as your Facebook friends and in your mailing list, so you’ll still have a chance to convert them to customers.
Make friends with all the idea-leaders in your industry. Genuine friendships with them will ensure that you have their backs and they have yours whenever you have “online beefs” or issues with admins.
Befriend admins, follow the rules, share ideas and convert those who ask you about your products and services. Offer free stuff which you share through your mailing lists since mailing lists create real friends and repeat buyers.
Market-related groups (The Sokos)
These are purely buying and selling groups.
They mostly have the word “Market” or “Soko” in them.
Some of the groups that you can look for include “Online Soko”, “Soko Kuu”, “Soko ya Facebook” etc. Simply go to Facebook and search for any of these and you’ll be given tones of related groups.
I am not a big fan of these since posts “die” quickly. They are just jungles of advertisements. Once you post yours, another one posts theirs and yours keeps going down and down.
Most of the people there are sellers and not buyers.
However, Kenyans still make lots of cash from these groups.
What you do here is you still accept sensible friend requests so that friends can be notified when you post stuff.
Since they are market related, go ahead and post direct advertisement of your products or services.
There is little engagement in these groups meaning you’ll need to keep posting severally, at least twice a day for you to be getting constant customers.
Good thing is that Facebook allows you to post on multiple “buy” and “sell” groups at once at the click of a button.
I personally did not convert a single soul from this method, but through my research I found out that there are guys who get customers through this. In my opinion, this method takes a lot of time and repeat postings of the same thing.
Note that there are many conmen in these groups so make sure you do some homework before you buy stuff. Below are some guidelines I give:
- Pray hard that you never get conned
- Avoid dealing with startups (remember the old statistic that 90% of new businesses fail)
- MLMs have an insanely low success rate (if you are really committed you’ll make it but don’t join blindly)
- Don’t take discussions to inboxes then buy “life-changing, revolutionary stuff” only to find that they are fake
- Talk to people online and even offline if need be before you close a deal
- Do not be a con yourself
- You can not get rich quick overnight so avoid people saying, “For an idea that will make you a millionaire next month, inbox please” or something similar.
5. Make money through your Facebook page
Sorry to say this but new Facebook algorithms are totally de-ranking Facebook pages.
This means that whenever you post something on your Facebook page, only a very small percentage of people will see it. When you make a post on your Facebook page, only a small percentage (even less than 5% sometimes) of those who like your page will see it. According to Facebook, these numbers will keep decreasing.
And you wonder why shrewd Kenyans are now joining Facebook groups where engagement is much higher.
Now to make money through your Facebook page, you can do the following:
- Post likeable and shareable stuff – Facebook uses EdgeRank to determine which posts will be visible first whenever someone logs into Facebook. The more people like, comment or share your stuff, the more visible you’ll be.
- Don’t always write marketing posts – Yes, sometimes you may need to write funny stuff, post interesting images and quotes among others. This way, the increased engagement will increase visibility of your posts. In fact, top marketers combine fun and business. This is where you have a funny, likeable photo but in the text you include a call to action for your product or mailing list.
- Use it for lead generation – Post a lot of stuff that will make people want to join your mailing list. Once they join your list it will be easier for them to become future clients. For example, I recently got a lot of people joining my free mini-course for writers mailing list from Facebook, some of whom are now great friends and customers. In this mailing list, I give writers free valuable tips via email.
- Sponsor your marketing posts – Note that it’s better to use pages to add people to your list than to buy directly. However, you can still market your products or services directly and laser-target your customers. E.g. if you’re selling nice ladies shoes, you can target women between ages 21 and 40 who like Prada, Manicure, Spa, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Note that these are not all shoes but ladies who buy Prada bags are likely to buy Gucci shoes.
- Use social media marketing tools – You can use tools to schedule posts for you, that way you don’t have to be on Facebook all the time.
- Events – Whenever you host events, make sure you create a Facebook event and invite all your friends. As the go-to-guy for your subject area, you likely have many friends who would like to pay and come to such an event.
6. How to earn from your Facebook profile
Yes, you can also make money from your Facebook profile.
If you have followed the above steps, most likely you have joined different Facebook groups and made genuine friends in your subject area. For example, I used to accept tons of friend requests (now my friends list is full)! Therefore, I have many friends in five categories:
- Those looking to be inspired with spiritual posts
- Those looking for posts on financial wisdom
- Those who want to improve their marriages and parenting
- Those who want to make money online
The first three above are more of volunteer stuff that I do for no pay.
The last one gets me lots of customers and the first three gets me lots of good online friends.
Once you have many friends in different categories, here is how you will earn:
Do not always directly advertise
Look at the three examples below:
“Buy my eBook on making money online”
“Ask me anything on making money online, today I am giving free information”
“Is online freelancing dead? No one seems to be making enough online nowadays”
Of the three examples, Facebook will likely favor the third example. It will get people on their toes. Those making money online will defend online freelancing while those who don’t know what it is will ask questions.
Therefore EdgeRank will keep your post above others and you’ll be able to pitch your sale to some of your commenters who are thirsty for information, products, training and services.
I learnt this trick from the book The Art of Social Media Marketing by Larry Keya — a friend I got from Business Ideas 101 (which used to be a powerful group on Facebook but it’s no longer there).
Yes, I buy stuff from other freelancers as long as it is something worth the value.
Don’t be all business
As you have seen on the info about my profile above, I post different things.
Facebook users prefer someone who is human. Someone who feels with them, is current on the news, has a sense of humor and generally has a life.
Therefore, talk about all sorts of things then once in a few days, introduce a topic that will get you leads and sales.
Advertise the benefits
Whenever you want to advertise any product, start with the benefits.
People at the end of the day need to know what they will benefit from your product. EdgeRank may not favor you much on this but you may make a few sales.
Post your blog links
Whenever you write a new blog post, make sure you post it on your Facebook profile, pages and groups.
Of course start with the benefits.
Inside the blog post, include affiliate links, calls to action, names of products and calls to add people to your mailing list. This way, some of your Facebook friends will turn into leads and eventually customers.
7. Affiliate marketing on Facebook
You can do proper affiliate marketing on Facebook. By proper affiliate marketing I mean referring people to real products that offer real value. I’m saying this since there are people who join fake “affiliate marketing campaigns” that lead to absolutely nowhere — such as links to “Public Likes”, “TaskToJob” etc.
Below are some tips on how to do proper affiliate marketing:
- Join genuine affiliate programs e.g. Commission Junction, ShareaSale and or individual affiliate programs such as HostGator and AWeber.
- Offer useful information related to the above programs e.g. you can talk about how web hosting is a pain. When people ask questions, ask them to join HostGator through your affiliate link.
- Don’t just go posting “naked” affiliate links everywhere.Talk about the benefits of what’s on the link.
- It’s always best to refer people to stuff that you have bought and used.
- It’s also good to inform them that you may get a commission should they use your link. Yes, if you use some links in this article I’ll get a commission.
- Strive to use your mailing list for conversions as opposed to Facebook.
8. Facebook Advertising
You can create Facebook ads to drive traffic to your product.
The best thing about Facebook is the fact that you can laser target your customers according to their age, sex and interests etc.
Simply look out for the “create ad” button on your homepage, click on it and create your ad.
Once you learn how to create ads, walk into town, talk to different businesses and become their Facebook advertising expert. You can charge them anything from Sh. 3,000 per week for a job you’ll be doing for 30 minutes or so. If you’re good at it, they will be making much more from this and you can charge them way higher.
In fact, I personally am a Facebook advertising expert and I earn from this as a side hustle!
For an excellent guide into Facebook advertising, see “useful links” below.
- AWeber – My preferred email marketing software which gets me lots of leads and sales
- GetResponse – An alternative email marketing software
- 101 Ways on Making Money on Facebook by one of my favorite writers, Kristi Hines
- Free Mini-Course for Writers – My writers’ mailing list
- Download my free eBook called How to Start a Blog that will Make You Money
- Business Ideas 101 – Best Kenyan Facebook group for businessmen and women
- Awesome Transcribers in Kenya – A Facebook group for transcribers and other online freelancers where I’m the founder and admin
- Top Level Freelancing and Internet Marketing in Kenya – To buy this ebook, send Sh. 1000 to my number 0720754933 then text your email ad and the fact that the money is for this book.
Don’t just be an ordinary Facebook user
Facebook. This can be your biggest distraction or your biggest tool.
You can use it in many ways — including to make money.
If you’re not using Facebook to make money, then YOU are the commodity.
Check out this amazing data from AdEspresso:
– The average cost per click is $0.97. Meaning, whenever you click on any ad (sponsored post) on Facebook, someone pays Facebook averagely $0.97.
– The average CPM for US FB ads in 2016 was $7.19. This means that even if you saw an ad, but didn’t click on it, and 1,000 of you did the same thing, someone will pay Facebook approximately $7.19.
See? You’re the commodity. For just being on Facebook, you’re generating billions of dollars for SOMEONE ELSE.
Yes, unless YOU are using Facebook as a tool to make money!
If you do that, Facebook becomes the tool and whatever you’re selling becomes the commodity.