Over the last year or so I’ve been asked to do an increasing amount of Facebook consulting. Most weeks I get a couple of emails asking for help and asking how this sort of consulting works so I thought I’d explain my experience.
First off: Facebook is not all that hard. Putting a great-looking Facebook page up to support your group, cause or school doesn’t require any programming. But it can be confusing, partly because Facebook is always in-process. They keep adapting it and tweaking it. If you bought a book on Facebook campaigning a year ago, it would already be out of date.
My first job is to ask a few good questions about what you want to do on Facebook and then set up the beginnings of a site. I spend too much of my time already on Facebook but I also keep up with a lot of Facebook blogs and have recent copies of such wonderful tomes as “Facebook Marketing for Dummies.” In most cases my job is to recommend a Facebook strategy based on best practices and then to start up a Facebook Page for you. There are certain flourishes I can give, such as picking a good icon or making a customized tab for first-time visitors. But the real value of Facebook is clients sharing information directly with their audience so my most important work is getting you excited about doing it yourself. I’m really just a cheerleader for you.
I typically spend anywhere from two to eight hours helping a client put together a Facebook page. If it looks like a project on the small end of the scale, I just charge the expected amount upfront. I do keep track of my time: if we go over a little bit, I let it slide; if we still have a bit of a balance then I’m there for ongoing questions. Facebook consulting is not the core of my business but it can be a nice break from a big six-month development project and it’s helps with the cashflow. I’m also a naturally curious fellow so I like learning a little bit about the kinds of things.