4 ways to grow your business without social media

How to grow your business without social media

I’ve been running my online business for over two years without social media and my business is thriving. In this post, I share my experiences and teach you how to grow your business without social media.

Leaving social media was great for my mental health—and it’s had positive effects on my business as well. In my work as a small business mentor I encounter many clients who also want to focus on things instead of social media, whether they want to leave it completely or just scale back.

Want to dive deeper into running and growing your business without social media? This post provides a small taster of the kind of work I’ll help you do in my new group programme, Marketing without social media.

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Define your business’ marketing hub

If there was one place that you’d like potential clients or customers to visit, what would it be? When I asked myself this question three years ago, I quickly came to the conclusion that for me that place is my website. Unlike social media, I am completely control of my website. My website is my business home: it’s where I am able to create the feel of my business, from the words I use to the colours and images I choose. My website is where I set out my offers, publish blog posts and invite people to sign up to my newsletter. Whereas Instagram for me felt like I throwing pasta at the wall in the hopes that something would stick, my website feels very intentional and very much me.

When you’re deciding on your marketing hub, I’d encourage you to choose a platform or channel that gives you lots of control. As much as possible, make sure that your hub serves you and your business—rather than the other way around, as is the case of social media, where you’re essentially trying to market your own business while contributing to the success of the platform.

Once you’ve established your hub, review your other marketing channels. To what extent to they make it easy for people to click through to your hub? What do people have to do to get where you want them to be? “Link in bio” is a lovely thing, but how many people see one of your social media posts and decide, deliberately, to click on your profile and go to your bio? In other words, to interrupt what they’re doing to take the trouble to click through?

Grow your business without social media by focusing on outreach

We humans are herd animals. We spend all day interpreting all kinds of information coming our way, from traffic signs to ads, from websites to social media. Deciding which of that information we perceive as valuable and trustworthy is a largely unconscious process. But, if the information comes through a person or channel that we already trust, we are more likely to perceive the information as valuable too.

One of the ways to grow your business without social media is by creating connections, for instance through collaborations and outreach. Know someone whose business, products or services fits in with your own? Why not reach out to them to see whether they’re up for a collaboration? For example, if you’re putting together a gift guide showcasing your own products, you can make it broader—and even more valuable—by adding products from other businesses that fit in with yours. If you sell organic tea, why not reach out to a ceramist you’ve been following who, like you, cares about sustainability and ethical sourcing? Your tea and their handmade mugs complement each other perfectly. Collaborations can also take the form of guest blog posts (like this one I did with Jo Dymock) or interviews.

If you’re up for it, explore more formalized forms of outreach as an alternative to social media. A few years ago, I was surprised to discover that I really liked doing podcast interviews. They’ve been great for my business, have a long lifespan and are a really lovely way for me to share about my business and approach.

Market your business without social media

Love on your community off social media

My favourite thing to focus on instead of social media is my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers are so much more invested in you than social media subscribers. Take a close look at your newsletter: do you have a regular(ish) newsletter? What do you use it for? And how can you use it to turn your subscribers into fans?

What feel good to share? Don’t be afraid to sell, but also think broader: which stories can you tell around your products or businesses? A friend of mine creates products that are inspired by nature and the seasons. Her newsletters always include really lovely reflections on the season, natural symbolism and things to look out for in nature. If you’re comfortable, you can even share more about how you came to run the business you do. Was there a pivotal event in your life that led you to, for instance, coaching? Did you love of plants come from your grandmother?

Reflect on how to run your business on your own terms

Now that you’re using your time and energy to grow your business without social media, use it to reflect on how you’re running your business. One of the things that annoyed me most about social media was the feeling that every single post was doing more for Instagram/Meta than it was potentially doing for me and my business. And, every time a new feature was rolled out, I felt like I had to get on board with it. When Instagram felt introduced Reels, my feed was suddenly full of reels—and not a single other post.

I want to run my business on my own terms, not on those dictated by another company. This doesn’t mean that I don’t still use certain platforms (Pinterest and Substack, in my case). However, I’ve chosen these platforms for giving me the kind of autonomy I want, and also for honouring the pace of my life and business. As someone who has “slow” and “gentle” as two of her business values, the fast pace and addictiveness of social media just didn’t fit.

What about you? What would it mean for you to run your business on your own terms? If you’re not focusing on serving the algorithm, what would running and marketing your business look like? To what extent is your business currently serving your needs? Remember, your needs always go first, before the needs of your business or clients/customers.

In Marketing without social media, your needs, values and desires are central to how you’ll shift your marketing. Join me and other small business owners, freelancers and creatives for this gentle, effective and powerful group programme, first running in the Spring of 2024. 

If my newsletters and free resources resonate with you, I might just be the right mentor for you. I don’t believe in 10-step-plans, or get rich quick schemes. I do believe that it is possible to create and run a business that fits you and your life: your values and rhythms, your strengths and passions. I strongly believe that you don’t need to do all the things, or be on all the channels to make your business work. 

I’m here to help you feel more supported in your business. I’m here to give you the confidence to run your business from that place of deep inner knowing inside of you, offering my signature blend of mindset shifts and practical steps.

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