Are you sick of being shamed into using social media for your business?
I quit. I’m done using social media to grow my business.
More specifically, I'm done telling myself I’ll finally commit to using it next month.
After 13 months of pretending, it’s time to admit that it’s not going to happen. I don‘t want to do it. And truthfully, I don’t need to.
I can get paying clients and grow my business with and without using social media.
The notion that I must use social media if I want to reach paying clients and grow my business is a myth rooted in the fear of missing out.
Yet all known truths fade somewhere around the 8th catcall of the day. You've heard it ringing in your eyes too.
"Last month I got 600 new subscribers and $30k in sales... [come on over baby]."
As much as I loathe trite, formulaic headlines, I give them credit. Eighty percent of the time, they land on the right nerve and suck me in.
Because I know from experience how impactful social media can be to the growth of a business. There's no better proof than your own.
Pre-S: I'm teaching a free workshop on how on "HOW TO GET CLIENTS & GROW YOUR BIZ WITHOUT USING SOCIAL MEDIA" and you're invited.
In the early stages of my current business, I lived on Facebook.
I started using Facebook in college when it was still new. Then after college, my use waned.
I kept in touch with friends via instant messenger because that’s how my generation rolled. Back then, phones weren’t so smart and the Facebook app didn’t exist.
It wasn’t until I enrolled in an online marketing course that I started using Facebook again. The course had a Facebook group filled with current students and alums from around the world. We shared a common interest.
Business had always been that topic I could talk about for hours so my spare time was spent hanging out in that Facebook group and eventually, 2 other subgroups.
I already had the Facebook app on my phone and eventually set it up to notify me whenever someone posted in the group. God forbid I miss something interesting
Since the group had 6,000 members from around the world, there was always someone to talk to and conversations that would go on for days. I was in heaven.
I eventually disabled the notifications so I could focus and do some actual work.
But when I wasn't productively working, you could find me in the group. It was refreshing to be surrounded by like-minded women.
I found the kinship I lacked in my offline world. I felt normal and that I belonged, a way I hadn’t since college.
These three groups became a sanctuary for us to share ideas, ask for help, celebrate our wins and commiserate among others that got it.
Before long, hanging out on Facebook erupted into a consistent, daily habit that was as natural as blinking.
I lived alone and once I left the J.O.B., I worked from home.
I was lonely and social media provided a convenient social life.
I even convinced myself that hanging out was productive because I was learning and talking about entrepreneurship.
Then when I was pregnant and couldn’t sleep, Facebook kept me company. Forever the convenient substitute for excitement and connection.
I really had nothing better to do with my time.
Work was a passion, a gateway to new possibilities and a distraction from my current reality.
This was not a balanced nor ideal lifestyle.
It was efficiently sufficient.
As a newly self-employed-single-parent-to-be, my priority was filling my coaching practice.
There were many things I wish I had done differently, but this clear focus helped me reach my goal and I was able to give myself a 6 month paid maternity leave.
Most of my clients came from inside those 3 Facebook groups.
All the work I did on and off Facebook, before I went on maternity leave, made it possible to remain visible and get clients when I returned because people were still referring me to friends and talking about me in groups I didn’t know existed.
There was absolutely zero strategy behind my engagement on Facebook.
I was there because I wanted to be. I loved the energy within the community and my new “friends”.
When people asked for help, I wrote lengthy comments that addressed their needs or I referred them to people and resources that could.
When I asked for help, people did the same for me.
This behavior of authentic reciprocity is what allowed me to get noticed and able to forge relationships.
I had the time and this was how I chose to use it. There was no strategy behind it.
I was only active in 3 groups, my fan page, and personal page.
Those three groups were where I engaged in “conversations” with people.
My fan page and personal page were reserved for sharing random things that brought me joy.
I posted somewhat daily, not out of duty but because it was a natural habit to do so.
I mostly shared quotes that moved me.
And I never went out of my way to search for the perfect quote or design images to go with them.
My sharing process was organic and took less than a minute to perform.
Back then, I was subscribed to TheDailyLove.com’s newsletter. The founder, Mastin Kipp sent daily emails with inspirational messages and highlights from contributors on the blog. My favorite part of the emails were the selection of quotes he included.
If I read a quote that moved me, I copied and pasted it on both of my Facebook walls. If none of them resonated, then I didn’t post.
My email and Facebook stayed open in my browser tabs and it always shared things I liked. I didn't have to go out of my way to do this because it was already a habit. A habit I enjoyed at the time.
Interestingly, the quotes always received the most likes, comments and shares.
Yet as encouraging as this was, it wasn’t my motivation.
I’m the kind of person that buys a friend a gift that I want to receive. So if they don’t care for it, I can have it.
It’s my wall, I should enjoy reading it too.
The point is, there was literally no strategy behind my behavior.
However, just because I wasn’t doing this for and intended outcome, doesn’t mean this isn’t a known strategy.
Other people get paid to tell you:
"Be consistent. Post something that appeals to your target audience daily. When people post questions, answer in the comments to show off your expertise. In other words, stay visible by providing value to show people that you exist, are human, know what you’re talking about and are worth listening to."
There’s also statistical evidence showing that quotes are among the various types of posts that get the most likes, comments and shares.
And there's advice about simple tweaks you can apply to increase a social post's engagement.
For instance, add an eye-catching image so people notice it. Plus, if you watermark the image with your logo, website address, and/or social media name it could further your brand’s awareness and attract new followers as it’s shared across the internet. (This one of Gary Vaynerchuk has been floating around lately. I dig it.)
Eventually, I tried all of that and yes, it worked.
Then something changed, as all things naturally do.
I changed, the energy in the group shifted, the entire online space evolved, and with the birth of my son, my life became unrecognizable.
Hanging out on social media didn't fit into my new lifestyle and eventually it became the last place I really wanted to be.
I wish I had acknowledged the inevitable for what it was much sooner instead of feeding my fears with biased rules on how to operate my business.
Just because something works, doesn't mean I have to keep doing it if I don't want to.
I was taught to view this sort of change as being a quitter or flakey and uncommitted. Yet, I've grown to realize that this is a narrow-minded assumption.
Because nothing in life is constant. Everything serves a purpose until it doesn't any longer. It's an evolutionary process to outgrow things, people, and ideas.
I'm not telling you to give up social media.
I'm telling you that it's safe for you to do so if you don't enjoy it anymore.
The same goes for food you ordered, clothes you own, sexual acts, and redundant conversations.
There are always multiple ways to achieve the same outcome. Social Media is just one of the many ways.
Because making decisions from a place of fears is a terrible way to live your life or business, and you know it.
Plus you could put that wasted energy towards more fruitful activities and engagements that undoubtedly will bring you joy and money.
A LIST OF OTHER ACTIVITIES THAT WILL GET YOU PAID + EXPAND YOUR REACH
These are a few of the many things you can do to get paying clients.
- Go to Conferences, Meetups, Mastermind dinners or other kinds of events that allow you to mingle with people in your industry, ideal clients or anyone you feel like interacting with. This is also known as networking.
- Submit articles to websites and print publications
- Joint Ventures Online and Offline
- Write articles/blog posts for your own site
- Teleseminars/Webinars (here's one I'm doing)
- Workshops online and offline solo or with a partner
- Referrals from past clients, colleagues, friends and even family. (I’m still gushing over this and this.)
- Partner with trusted brands or organizations
Many of these are known to deliver a greater return on investment than being on social media.
If you want to learn how to use one or many of the strategies mentioned, then sign up to attend this FREE WORKSHOP.
You'll be thankful you attended even if you love social media.