How My Business Survived 11 months in Facebook having The Most Shameful Customers
I saw my girlfriends' request for many years but never bothered, thinking Facebook would just be another one of those experiences I've had with Yahoo360 and MySpace; "just another hook-up site".... but that would soon change.
I am Facebook.com/CharleneBlacer, my real name, an entrepreneur and a hair enhancement specialist with one mission- changing the lives of Trichotillomania or Trich (a hair pulling disorder affecting 1-2 out of 50) sufferers worldwide.
It took only one website visitor, outside the US, suffering from Trich, to pop the suggestion; "you should join Facebook". That alone prompted me to sign up and on October 14, 2008 officially had an account. Two weeks later, classmates and then almost the whole class became my friends and my goal of using Facebook simply to grow my business began to dwindle. My page was immobile for 3 months so I thought it was time to make a brave decision.
Working with hair enhancement clients is probably like working with penis enhancement clients. Most will NEVER:
-accept your request,
-support your cause,
-join your fan pages, etc....
This is very difficult and very challenging for an entrepreneur which is why I decided to make new friends from the groups I belong to. It was the friends' requests of; "Hi! I'm from Make Mine a Million (M3) and Ladies Who Launch (LWL) and I thought it would be fun to network!" who inspired me to accept their requests and become my new friends.
Learning their technique, I began to search under "Trichotillomania" groups and invited people. The tension of "cold calling" grew. How will I ask them? Unlike M3 and LWL members who are all like-minded entrepreneurs, I am inviting Trich sufferers and:
1. I don't have Trich,
2. I don't have fake hair.
I decided to use my Press as a backup. Ah yes, the doors slammed shut and many times thoughts of Facebook shutting down my account came to mind. But for every "no, I don't know you" there's a "sure!, I'll accept your friendship" waiting and yes the wait did pay off. (I do wish Facebook would change it's email notification from "Do you know Charlene Blacer?" to "Would you accept Charlene Blacer's friendship?")
The payoff? StartupNation held a "Leading Moms in Business" contest. I entered and with the help of my Facebook friends, became one of the winners!
Now close to celebrating my one year anniversary, I feel I've somewhat mastered the art of Facebooking and tomorrow will be another experience. For today, it is my online roledex storing the personal daily lives, activities and photos of my:
-extrovert Trich friends from all over the world,
-secret Trich clients,
-secret Trich friends,
-the ever growing networking community of Count Me In, Ladies Who Launch, StartupNation, Twitter, to name a few...
Facebook serves as my daily inspiration. Like stock quotes and the weather; it's a breeze to follow up on iPhone waiting in line at the supermarket for instance. For my busy life juggling 3 salons, a non-profit, an online store, single parenthood; there's always a few minutes to spare to click on the 'F' icon, read the news feeds and grow my business.
I will never forget the advice from a social networking seminar; "your friends' list should consist of 50% people you know, 50% of people you want to know" = 100% sheer social networking success!
For those of you with Facebook accounts or soon to be FB accounts, it would be an inspiration to be in your FB roledex.
Oh, I wonder if StartupNation has an iPhone app? ;D
StartupNation's 2009 Notable Winner in Leading Moms in Business Competition