Recently, I’ve had quite a few sessions with clients about effectively marketing a spiritual business with a Facebook business account.  Facebook wasn’t created as a marketing tool – it was created to stay in touch with people you already know. (Read The Facebook Effect for more details).  I think many of us sense this.  On some level we get that traditional marketing styles won’t work well—especially amongst the people who are interested in transformational services.

So what does work?

Resonance is Connected to Vulnerability

The truth is I got stuck writing this post I wanted to share a great example that author and vulnerability researcher Brene Brown posted on her Facebook business account on December 5th, 2012.  It was liked 1494 times, had 81 comments and was shared 63 times.

My vulnerability armor red flag today: I’m practicing “winning” a conversation versus setting an intention to listen. Sometimes I wish Daring Greatly (her latest book) was a to-do checklist item rather than a daily practice.”

But what being stuck helped me realize is that the post I planned wasn’t juicy.  I was going to showcase Brene’s authenticity (she’s a genius at being vulnerable in public) rather than share my own.  I wasn’t living the “daily practice” of my own authentic business.

Because of all that, this post was feeling dry and flat.  Like most marketing.  It didn’t feel like me and I wasn’t proud of it.

So I posted on Facebook:

I’m writing a blog post – on balancing authenticity and professionalism in your Facebook marketing – and it’s not flowing easily. Sometimes when things aren’t flowing, I try just acknowledging that. What do you do when the flow feels a bit stuck in your life?

The conversation lit up.  There were dozens of heartfelt comments and suggestions.  The sense of connection was palpable.  And I found myself becoming aware of something very important.  I needed to remember the powerful feelings that come with being new to Facebook marketing and afraid of “doing it wrong”.

Start with Empathy.  And Don’t Rush It.

Fitness coach Drew Manning wanted to better understand his client’s struggles with losing weight and getting fit.  So he came up with a radical plan. Over the course of 6 months, he consciously gained 75 pounds.  Then he applied his strategies to getting fit.  It took him almost 8 months.  He writes about his challenging journey in Fit2Fat2Fit.

Before this radical empathy experiment, Drew’s business was mediocre.  By his own accounts, his connection with his clients was weak and he didn’t retain many.  Since Fit2Fat2Fit, Drew has been interviewed on Good Morning America, CNN, The Tonight Show and more.  His business is thriving.  The Facebook page has over 40,000 likes.

Many people are looking for cookie cutter solutions and instant results in their Facebook marketing.  As a spiritual entrepreneur, I want to encourage you to go deeper than this.

Yes, there are things you can do to increase your success on your Facebook business account.  For instance, I suggest getting to know Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm.  This post will help you do that.  And good visuals like a professional timeline picture and logo will certainly help.

But the honest answer about how to get the results you want on Facebook is to start with a strong empathetic connection.  It’s more like dating for marriage than a “one night stand”.  Experiment with mindfully allowing your own vulnerability in business to show on your Facebook timeline and notice what happens.  I think you’ll be pleased with the results!

What have you found to work on your Facebook business account?  What questions do you have?  I’d love to hear your comments and questions in the form of a comment below!