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What happens when an entrepreneur doesn’t want to be on social media? In fact, what about a business owner who doesn’t want to be on social media and is concerned about their current employer finding out that they’re starting a business? How do we market such a business?
This was the latest problem that I solved with one of my clients. My client is consciously not on social media due to the toxicity and ethical dilemma of supporting such services. Now, that may change someday, but at the time of his launch he was not on social media.
To further complicate the situation, he also had to be cautious about how public he was about his business within his inner circle. That inner circle of friends, family, and colleagues which is typically so important when launching a business.
As a result, we had to skip the launch party. We also had to skip any social media advertising and get a little bit creative.
Here’s what we did to draw traffic to his new website and begin generating leads.
1. Other Business Groups
There exist alternative platforms available for business owners that are not the typical Facebook and LinkedIn groups. In order to market his business initially, we opted for requesting feedback on his website to make sure that we had done everything right. We had conducted primary market research via interviews during the development of the business plan, but with the website done we wanted to make sure that we had hit the mark.
How could one get valuable feedback and potential leads when we couldn’t ask his primary social circle for feedback and support? This is where the private groups come in. Since he is not on most social media platforms, we decided to look towards business groups that were either proprietary, or hosted on Slack or Discord. That way his primary social circle would not discover the posts.
Each post would simply request feedback on his new website. In this way, he was both reaching out to potential leads and getting feedback on his website which was valuable market research. This built critical early traffic to the site, which is additionally important to Google ranking. The campaign also announced that his business existed in the first place.
2. Guest Blogging & Podcasting
As you read in my previous case study, the main work of a business owner post-launch is in telling the world that they exist. The above feedback posts was only a month-long campaign. We had to turn on my client’s lead generation pipeline, and without social media.
So we got creative.
I advised him to develop his free download or giveaway during the feedback request campaign. That way, as he interacted with wider circles, he could respond to aligned conversations with his free resource. This drove more traffic to the website and started his email list.
This also helped encourage third party traffic to the site. Here’s what I mean by third party: when we interact with strangers online, it is between us and a second party, another person or group of people. Without social media, we are reliant on a second party and their contacts, which is the third party for my client. We looked to guest blogging and being a guest on podcasts. The owner of the blog or podcast is the second party, and their audience is the third party.
When when we are speaking to third party listeners or readers, more is needed in order to garner trust and interest. That’s where the free resource comes in. It is a low barrier to entry for interested parties to get to know your work better without any risk to themselves. They learn how mindful and supportive your work is in the free download, and then are more likely to accept a consultation invitation.
This is where the bulk of the post-launch work laid for my client. Blog posts and podcast episodes peak in viewership within the first week of publishing, after which they fall into obscurity across the internet. This created consistent work for him to start marketing himself in order to break into the social consciousness at large and teach people that he exists while providing deep value every step of the way.
My client really enjoys speaking. Once we developed initial traffic and interest to the website and created his free download system, we began expanding his marketing to being a guest speaker at events where his target market is in the audience. Such events closes the gap to speaking directly to second party groups.
At such events, he is able to offer his free resource as the invitation at the end of his speech. This creates momentum from people who had just listened to his speech and brings them to his website, thus becoming more familiar with his work and accept the invitation to a complimentary consultation.
One of my colleagues in Los Angeles built her career on Quora, and I thought this technique a perfect fit for my client. Here’s how.
- Build a comprehensive profile on Quora.com. Include as much information about your work as possible and link to your website.
- Select the forums that are most relevant to your target market. This is where a lot of people lose out. They choose forums that feel relevant to them, rather than their target market. You can still get traction in doing so, but it will take longer for you to see results.
- Begin answering questions that are right in line with your target market. In the case of my client, we used the phrases and comments that emerged most often during his market research interviews to indentify meaningful opportunities on Quora.
Many people just answer questions on Quora in a few sentences. My colleague, however, realized that writing an answer in blog form with headers and sections (like this blog you are reading) draws better attention, looks more authritative, and lays the ground work for large guest post syndicates such as Forbes or Entrepreneur to invite you to work with them. That is how my colleague was discovered and built a career of paid blog work on the largest syndicates across the web.
That outcome would behoove my client as he loves writing, but building his authority on Quora and attracting new traffic to his website from strangers was the main goal. Quora posts syndicate via Google forever, and they backlink to one’s profile and website, amplifying the business’ standing across the web.
So there you have it. If you don’t want to be on social media in the traditional sense, there still are plenty of ways to market an online business. As you go through your initial business launch, there are even more options than what my client and I created. This was a plan customized to him and his upcoming goals, and it worked like a charm. If you’d like to brainstorm a custom plan for your business marketing, I’m only a Zoom call away.