When I was still testing the waters of this whole ‘Facebook for Business’ pool (more like a vast ocean, as I would soon discover), I had absolutely no idea about the treasure chest of business that I was unlocking. At the beginning of 2020, I couldn’t imagine that this social media platform which I had previously used solely to stalk crushes and relive embarrassing memories would turn out to be my main lead for generating business. 

I’d market myself very meekly at first and use the then-new pandemic as an incentive for people to update their profiles. I remember joining pages and groups titled something along the lines of ‘South Africans emigrating’ or ‘Finding Work Abroad’. My advertising posts read as: 

It took a few weeks for these posts to start gaining traction, but I remember the excitement I felt when I got responses. I’d never felt more motivated. I’d wake up to messages in my Facebook inbox or comments on my posts, and the confidence boost was addictive.

When the responses and messages started to quiet down, I thought it was the perfect time to follow the same formula and post more personal messages on the groups seeing as the trial run was successful.

But when I searched for these groups, I couldn’t find them. I didn’t understand why.

I then used a family member’s account, and sure enough, the missing groups all popped up at the top of the search bar. These groups were easy to find for anyone else but, it would seem, me.

It turns out that I had gained too much popularity with my initial posts. I then politely asked the group’s admins via private message as to the reason for my unjust and unceremonious banning from their groups and received the equivalent of Whatsapp’s blue ticks: read but no reply. I hadn’t broken any rules (there were none against advertising, I had checked).

I did then find out that these groups offered their own CV and LinkedIn creation services, and it would fairly seem that my posts were direct competition to their services. I don’t begrudge them trying to protect their business by blocking competition in the form of a small one-woman start-up. However, I still take a small (not really) amount of glee in the fact KatyCan’s faithful members of these groups still recommend my services even though I am, to be dramatic, exiled.

Facebook continues to be my main source of leads, thanks to the recommendations of my past clients. I can safely say that one of my top 5 proudest achievements is the fact that I have managed to grow a business in which the majority of my success is based on the words of other people.

Satisfied clients urging others to use my services speak far louder than any self-promotion I could attempt.