marketing without social media blog post

To be on Instagram or not be on Instagram. That is the question.

At the time of this writing, I have been off Instagram for the better part of 6 months. It’s not the only break I’ve taken from the platform. I was off for almost all of 2020. 

While I consciously decided to extend my break from Instagram, I noticed that it didn’t affect the amount of incoming coaching client inquiries. I was still getting a regular influx of prospective clients interest in working with me.

So how did I manage to get off Instagram for half a year and still be booked out in my business? 3 words: Diversified Marketing Strategy. That’s what I want to share with you.

You don’t have to use social media to market your business. If you choose to get off social media (temporarily or for good), I’ll share how a variety of alternatives to social media marketing to reach your clients.

But first…

Do you need social media to build your business?

The social media experts say that you do. And you might assume that you do if you’re on social media, because it seems like everyone is doing it.

And yet, to answer this question, let’s drill down to what you really want in your business.

If you’re a coach, especially a new one, what you most want is CLIENTS. And while you can find clients on social media, it isn’t always the best or easiest route to doing so!

When it comes to finding your first coaching clients, the easiest way is by focusing on the low-hanging fruit: your existing network. (That’s how I found my first clients and many others have as well!) 

If people are going to buy from you, especially if they’re going to hire you as their personal coach or healer, they need to know you. That’s why it’s easier to start with people who already know, like, and trust you (not necessarily strangers on the interwebs!)

Can YOU run a business without social media?

As long as you’re not an influencer, the answer is yes!

Let’s recall that there was a time before social media existed, in which people still had businesses and coaches still had clients! They just found them in different ways.

It’s totally possible for you to run a business without social media or run a business with a limited presence on social media.

While social media can provide visibility, credibility, and social proof, it’s also not the only marketing avenue that can provide those things. There are many other ways to increase your presence, share your expertise, and get found by potential clients.

But can I build an audience without social media?

This is a trickier question and more important for those in the season of scaling their businesses. 

When you’re early in business as a coach or healer, you’re focused on getting 1:1 clients. As you grow, you’ll either need  to 1) create a waitlist or 2) find a way to scale your business and serve your audience. (After all, there are only so many hours in a day!)

To scale your business, you might want to run a group program, sell a course, create a membership, or sell digital products.

Scaling your coaching business will often require attracting a larger audience. That means you’ll want to focus on building an audience and growing your email list

Focus on platforms that can attract an audience. Social media platforms can help you do this, but there are still ways outside of social media that you can build your audience, like podcasts, guest posting, and speaking engagements.

While social media can be an avenue for you to attract an audience, it doesn’t have to be — and should not be — the only avenue.

Why social media shouldn’t be your only form of marketing

Even if you love social media and/or want to use it in your business, it should not be the only form of marketing that you do.

Here’s why:

You don’t own your audience nor do you have much control over what happens to your content or to your account. Your followers are there on Instagram, but if you get hacked or your account gets disabled for some reason, Poof! They’re gone. Because Meta owns Facebook and Instagram, they own the audiences there, too. That’s why I recommend you also build your audience by the way of your email list.

You’re at the mercy of the algorithm, which is constantly changing. Social media is a play to pay environment that prioritizes companies who advertise because that’s how the social media companies make money. Think about it: There’s actually an incentive for them to throttle your reach so that they can prioritize those who pay. Organic reach continues to go down, ad costs continue to rise. 

It might be harming your own mental health. Studies show that social media can exacerbate anxiety and depression. (And we’ve all heard what it can do to teens!) Many adults have also suffered with social media addiction. You shouldn’t have to compromise your mental health for your business. And if that means getting off social media (or drastically reducing your participation), that’s may be in your best interest.

Your audience may not be on your platform of choice. As more and more people delete apps like Instagram, your ideal audience might be transitioning off social media and be more likely to find you elsewhere. You always want to keep a finger on the pulse of your audience, so you know where they’re looking for resources and information like yours. (And luckily, it’s probably more than one place!)

How to market without social media

By now you’re probably thinking, Great! I’m ready to get offline or at least ready to be “less online.”  

But you’re probably wondering, “How exactly will I market and promote my business if I’m not on social media?”

Great question! There are plenty of ways to grow your business without social media.

I’ll share some alternatives to social media marketing that can help you market your coaching or healing business. 

13 alternatives to social media marketing

There are many alternatives to social media marketing. It’s all about finding what works for your business, and likely that might entail a process of trial and error. 

These activities are mostly organic (unpaid) activities, but there are also paid (advertising) opportunities outside of social media, like Google ads. 

Online marketing ideas outside of social media: 

  • SEO
  • Blogging or guest blogging
  • Podcasting or being a podcast guest
  • Collaborations / Partnerships / Affiliates
  • Online events / Summits
  • Online directories
  • Online networking
  • Email marketing

Offline marketing ideas:

  • Local events (Fairs, community events, events at coworking spaces)
  • Local networking (Chamber of Commerce, local business groups, coworking spaces)
  • Local partnerships 
  • Word of mouth referrals
  • Industry events (industry trade shows and conferences)

The most effective marketing strategies use a variety of on and offline channels to attract clients.

Making a conscious decision about using social media

Ultimately the decision to use social media for your business is up to you. You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons and decide what is for your business.

  • The pros are that you may get exposure to a larger audience, build credibility, and establish social proof with your audience, as well as spread your message.
  • The cons are that you’re at the mercy of the algorithm, you have little control over who sees your content, and it may be a time and energy drain for you.

What I recommend is a diversified marketing strategy that offers a variety of ways and channels for you to reach your target audience. For example, you might decide to blog, be a podcast guest, and share on Instagram.

I recommend creating a quarterly marketing plan based on your goals, and from that, choosing the channels, messaging, and tactics you’ll use to reach those goals, while measuring the results.

Practice conscious social media use

If you do decide to use social media, you might practice using social media consciously to limit the negative effects and avoid burning out.

For example:

  • You might set boundaries on your time on social media.
  • You might plan ahead and schedule your content in advance.
  • You might even hire someone to handle your social media for you. 

Whatever your choice, remember that social media can be an effective marketing channel, but it’s not the only effective marketing channel. And whether or not you use social media, you’ll still want to have a marketing plan with a variety of channels for best results. 

Ready to start marketing without social media?

Are you a coach, healer, or service-based entrepreneur who wants to learn how to market your business without social media?  Great!

You’ll benefit from my training: Stop the Scroll: How to Market Your Business without Relying on Social Media.

In this 2 hour training, you’ll learn:

  • 5 solid strategies you can use outside of social media to market your coaching or healing business
  • How to choose the right marketing channels for your specific business
  • How to create a quarterly marketing plan for your business, so you can get started TODAY!