Entrepreneurs: How to grow your business without using social media
As a business owner, you need to find and connect with potential clients. There are many ways you can do this and you don’t have to do them all. Using social media is one of them. But you can skip it if you want.
Yes, that’s right. You can create a successful business without using social media.
Think about it... people have been running businesses for centuries and social media has only been around in a big way since 2006. That is only 13 years. So, why has everyone forgotten that connections and conversations can happen without social media?
Building a business is about building relationships
I’m not against social media, in fact, I’m a fan of it and use it myself. For me, it’s a place where I can connect with people and, from there, have real conversations and build relationships. If you want to use social media, go right ahead. Just be clear about why you’re using it and what goals you hope to achieve. But if you’re spending hours on Instagram and have nothing to show for it, you might want to rethink your marketing strategy.
So, what is this mysterious way to find and connect with your ideal clients that doesn't include social media? It’s called having a conversation with another person! I’m talking about conversations where you talk face to face, on Skype or Zoom, or on the phone. Conversations you have with potential clients and potential strategic alliance partners.
This sounds crazy, right, actually talking to people? But this is what it’s really all about it. Building a business is about building relationships and that is most effectively done with actual conversations.
Connecting in person
One way to meet people and have a conversation is in-person meetups, sometimes referred to as networking. Gasp, oh no, not the dreaded networking! If you don’t like that word, just think of it as connecting. Because that's really all it is. Oh yeah, and having some fun too.
“Every good conversation starts with good listening." ~ Anonymous
It’s easy to do some research on Google and find local groups where your ideal clients hang out. You probably already know these global platforms, but just in case:
- Creative Mornings
Another way to find and connect with people is to go online and use LinkedIn. I know LinkedIn is considered to be a social media platform, but if you don’t want to use it that way, you don’t have to. Meaning, you don’t have to post updates or publish on LinkedIn Publisher. Simply use LinkedIn to find and connect with people and build your network.
Once you connect with people on LinkedIn, you can invite them to have a conversation either in person or virtually. The idea is that LinkedIn simply facilitates the connection, it’s like going to a networking event but you don’t have to leave the house. And it’s free, so there are no costs involved.
Know your numbers
You may be thinking that having conversations with people won’t allow you to reach enough people to create a prosperous business. But we tend to over-estimate the number of people we need to reach in order to achieve goals. If you’ve created a business model, you know exactly how many clients you want. It’s probably not millions or thousands.
Depending on your business and what you offer, you may only want less than 100 clients per year. You can reach out directly to potential clients and depending on your conversion ratio, you may only need to talk to double the number of people you want to work with (if you have a 50% conversion ratio).
But connecting directly with potential clients isn’t the only way to meet people and have conversations. You can have conversations with potential strategic alliance partners. If you build strategic alliance partnerships with people, other business owners who serve the same group but with different products and services, will send you clients. How does that sound?
And finally, building your email list is another way to build relationships with people that can lead to having conversations.
Convinced that you can now grow your business without using social media? Let me know if you have questions, I’d love to hear more about your marketing strategy!