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Using Facebook Groups to Make Money


Are you an avid social media user? Do you use it to keep in touch with family or do you use it for business too? How familiar are you with promotions in Facebook groups? Digital marketing to grow your business.

I am a member of several Facebook groups. They primarily fall into two categories: single moms and business related.

Business Promotion

Each business group (and some of the more social) has designated at least one day when you can promote your business or service.  They include:

  • Sell Yourself Sunday.
  • Work with Me Wednesday.
  • Make Money Monday.
  • and so on.

You get the point. And despite being aware of sponsored Facebook ads availability, I’ve been remiss about taking advantage of free opportunities in Facebook groups to make money. But no more.

Digital Marketing Experts Say

All of the digital marketers I follow say the best ways to get noticed and grow your audience are:

  • Give advice away in social media forums. Engage.
  • Grow your email list by offering something for free on your website or landing page.
  • Share your story. (This concept is so foreign to me. I was also told not to mention anything personal in job interviews, etc. The thought of tying your personal story into your business story, well, I’m just not comfortable with it.)

Offering a Special

While I am working on these methods, I decided to take advantage of the social media forums this week for the first time AND a Facebook “promo” credit offered on my business page.

For $5, I am able to promote my business for one day. I have limited the audience by specific keywords and ages. It will be interesting to see if it gets any traction. Can’t see any downfall for trying it, since it’s only cost me a few minutes of time.

For this week only, I have offered a search engine optimization (SEO) site review and online competitive analysis for people’s blogs and websites for just $50 (typically a $200 service.) For that money, they will receive a full write up on their site’s SEO, keyword recommendations and competitive analysis (how they stack up online to two of their competitors.)

seo special

This is a new method for me. I’ve always depended on word of mouth and online sites to grow my business. Now I’m adding this channel to try to drum up more business.

What tools and methods have you used to grow your online business? Or advertise online to a relatively “cold” audience?

CPA Update: 2017 Taxes


I realize we’re now half-way through 2018, but I never provided a full update of our tax situation from 2017! The news is mostly good…..but a little “mixed,” I guess.

Our Tax History

In 2016 we messed up badly. During that year, hubs was still fully self-employed and although I had a full-time job where taxes were withheld from my employer, I also still worked part-time in a contract position where taxes were not withheld. Long story short, we WAY underestimated our tax payments. Come tax time, we were hit with a MASSIVE (like, felt insurmountable) tax bill. On advice of our CPA, we tried to fight a portion of the tax bill and it took 6 MONTHS of back-and-forth before we were finally able to come to an agreed payment plan. I’ve never revealed the exact amount of back-taxes mostly due to embarrassment. I did say that the payment plan we settled on will have us paying $283/month for….basically forever. A long time, okay?

ANYWHO….. The 2016 tax experience scared the pants off of us and made me extra cautious in 2017. I knew I was withholding more from my paychecks than necessary, but I wanted to err on the side of caution. 2017 had a lot of big changes for us: hubs closed his business and went back to school full-time. I had to leave my part-time job after getting a big raise at my full-time job and having to sign a non-compete agreement. All these changes made it so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect come tax time. Again, we used a CPA. I gave him all our stuff and held my breath, biting my nails, until taxes were complete. For some reason, I was still expecting we’d owe money. I was just hoping it wouldn’t be too much.

2017 taxes

When taxes were done, I couldn’t believe the end result. We were owed a refund! I’m using round numbers here, but we had overpaid our federal taxes by about $400 and had overpaid state taxes by over $800!!! This was a HUGE relief for me! I knew the federal overpayment would be applied to our back-taxes, but I fully expected (naively) that the state refund would still come back to us. I checked online a couple of times to try to verify the refund, but the online system just said that due to the high volume it was taking longer than normal to process tax refunds and to wait 8 weeks before calling to inquire further. So here I am, thinking I’ll get a check in the mail and it’s just going to take awhile.

Spoiler alert: I did not receive a check in the mail. Instead, I received this letter in the mail.

We used some or all of your 2017 refund to pay outstanding liabilities……

By law, we must offset any refunds or overpayments to certain government agencies.

Of course they do. They had to use the refund to pay for our 2016 back-taxes. I should’ve known this would happen. For some reason (false hope), I really thought we’d get the state portion of the overpayment back. But nope. It goes straight toward our past debt. Would’ve been nice to use that money for different, higher-interest debt. But I get it. It is what it is.

Long Story Short

No refunds for 2017. But no additional tax liability either. Now that our work situation has stabilized a bit (hubs now goes to school AND works part-time as a personal trainer where his taxes are withheld & I still just have the one full-time job where taxes are withheld from my paychecks), I feel safer to adjust my withholdings slightly so I will get just a tiny bit more per paycheck. Overall, we’re in a pretty good place. I don’t want to overpay in taxes (especially since I now know for 100% fact that we aren’t getting any overpayments back!!!), but I also don’t want to be short and end up owning money either. We should be in pretty good shape to be right about $0 owed or overpaid for 2018. We’ll check-in with our CPA again in a couple months just to make sure everything looks good and to see whether he suggests or recommends any additional changes to our check withholdings. With any luck, we can come in right about even for 2018 taxes. Fingers crossed!

And the $283 monthly payments to the IRS will continue as-is. For the rest of time. 😉

How did your 2017 tax situation work out? If you received a refund, what did you do with it?