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How to decide if you need a Facebook page

Jessica Watson is a mom to five, four in her arms and one in her heart. She lives in Michigan where her life is as unpredictable as the weather. After the loss of her infant daughter in 2007, Jessica left the corporate world behind, vowe...

Do you need more than just a profile?

Are you just starting your own small business or thinking of doing some freelance work from home? Is it worth it to put the time and effort into developing a Facebook page for your new venture?
Do you need more than just a profile?

Here's how to decide if you are ready to take the leap to creating and maintaining your own page.

Facebook is one of the best forms of social media out there when it comes to networking, connecting with friends and finding opportunities for yourself and your business ventures. Creating a Facebook page for your blog, business or independent services can be a tough decision to make. It takes work and a commitment to managing one more thing in your already busy life. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you decide if a Facebook page is the right move for you.

Are you bombarding your friends?

If the majority of your status updates are self-promotional... sharing articles you've written, new products you've created or the latest deals on your services, it's time to think about creating your own page. Even your closest friends and dedicated relatives may get tired of these types of updates. Your own page allows those who you have not "friended" to see what you have available, thus broadening your business contacts.

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Do you need more than just a profile?Can you devote the time?

Maintaining a Facebook page and making it successful takes time and dedication. You need to commit, not only to posting information about what you are doing and sharing your links, but to engaging with fans of your page. Even if you manage to get 1,000 people to "like" your page, if there is no dialogue with them, the following does not mean a thing. Creating conversation and putting a face to your name is as important as it is time consuming.

Are you ready to go public?

The products you are making from home or the blog you have been sharing with only friends and family are, most likely, near and dear to your heart. Creating a Facebook fan page opens up your work to the public. Anyone with a Facebook account can potentially "like" your page and see what you are up to. If you are interested in expanding your customer or fan base, then this is a great bonus. If you are worried about the information you share or having too much out in the open, then a fan page may not be the right decision for you.

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Can you take the heat?

Just as you have to make the decision as to whether or not you are ready to go public, you also have to decide if you have thick enough skin to handle those who may not like all you are posting. When you post things to your personal status, your information is going to those you know and like. When you post things to your fan page, your work is going out to those who may not know you personally and sometimes this lends itself to criticism from anonymous "fans." So if you can digest an argument against the point you've raised in your latest article or a mention of how awful your latest recipe was and manage to turn the other cheek, then you are ready to start your own page.

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