How to market your small business when you hate spending hours on social media

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You’re probably here because you want to know how to minimize your time on social media but still leverage it for your wellness or coaching business.

I’m with you, and I have some “no fluff” tips for you. 11, in fact.

For more context, be sure to check out part one of this series about using social media in your wellness practice or coaching business, which is about mindset and perspective as a business owner.

Yes, there is a part two, which is all about why it’s not a smart idea to depend completely on social media to market your small business. 

In this article, (part three) let’s take a closer look at  11 ways to make social media work for you, even if you would rather be doing something else.

 

How to play the long game with social media with as little effort as possible

1. Aim to attract, instead of chase.

You may want to consider using platforms designed to drive traffic to your website, instead of keeping them glued to a platform like Facebook or Instagram.

This is where Pinterest, YouTube, and other search platforms like TikTok can help you. Via keywords and search, the people who are already searching for the specific things you offer will find you like those tiny bugs that find your way into your wine glass on a summer day. (Those little bastards!)

This means you are playing the “attraction” game instead of the “chasing” game.

Keep in mind that in order to do this, you’ll need some flowers to attract those bees. (or wine to attract those little bugs that like to drown in your perfectly good glass of chardonnay) What I’m talking about is content.

The more high quality and relevant content you have that answers the specific questions and queries of your ideal client or customer, the more likely you’ll be FOUND in a search.

Google is still the primary way that people search for information, but they also use platforms like Pinterest and YouTube to find inspiration and answers to their “How to” problems.

2. Focus on content that has a longer shelf life. (Evergreen content)

Would you rather:

A. Be committed to creating new content on a daily basis, hoping that it “goes viral,” (or having to dance and act silly just to get attention) ..only to witness it attract uncommitted followers, and disappear within days or hours?

OR

B. Create some foundational or even “epic” pieces of content that showcase your expertise, while still driving traffic to your website, months or even years later, thanks to search engines like YouTube, Google, Pinterest, and even Amazon and TikTok?

Bonus: The visitors in option B become subscribers because they found something that they are actually interested in NOW, rather than stumbling upon something that may be “kinda cool and nice to have, one day.”

Evergreen content is designed to be found in searches, months or even years from now, when placed strategically in the right channels and optimized for search.

Remember, not all “Social media” is really “social.” Again, think of Pinterest and YouTube. Do you go to these platforms to socialize, or look for something specific that you found via direct search or a “you might also like this” algorithm?

Even TikTok is a search engine. Facebook and Instagram.. Not so much.

Evergreen content not only lasts longer, it also drives more qualified leads to your website. It may look like more work on the front end, but after a while (yes, a few months to a year) it’s SO nice to not have to constantly create something new.

For this reason, I’m a firm believer in focusing on content that lasts longer than a few days. I don’t mind putting in more work creating and optimizing a blog or podcast if I know that the content isn’t going to disappear into the social media void, causing me to lose ground if I don’t constantly keep up.

I like knowing that I can also update and edit the same “core” content on a yearly rotation, spin off a livestream series, turn it into a podcast, or make minor updates a few times a year to boost my SEO.

This series is a perfect example.. You BET I’m gonna leverage the hell out of this beast!

Consider creating evergreen content on a regular basis, such as once a week, which can be hosted on your website, on a podcasting platform, or on a channel that is based on search instead of random discovery.

This doesn’t mean that you should skip posting on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.  In fact, I know a drummer who mastered the art of showing up on Facebook almost every day with entertaining content of him playing covers and requests.  People now tune in because they are fans and want to hear more and connect with him.

So yes, there are no absolutes or hard and fast rules to follow. You can do what works for you.

If you need a different way to present information that takes an audience/lead/customer through a journey, (#6)  I recommend focusing on evergreen content primarily off social media and then sharing bits and pieces of your already created content in new ways that don’t require you to work so hard.

Because, you have an actual business to run outside of social media!

Later, you can use concept #4 to make the most of your time when posting on social media.

3.  Go with the flow of those pesky algorithms

One way you can help yourself with the crazy algorithms is by “teaching” it what to show you and what gets shown to your audience. If all you post in your personal profile, page, and groups is cute memes with no text, you’ll get all kinds of random shit showing up in your feed, and Facebook will have no idea what you’re about because it will seem like you are all over the place. (no keywords)

I’m not sure exactly how well this works, as algorithms change constantly. I DO know that since I’ve been more focused with my posts, the algorithm gods have regarded me more favorably.

Whether or not it affects the algorithms..  never posting any original content is one of the biggest mistakes I see brand new entrepreneurs make. (Stop doing that, and start posting your OWN original content.. even just a few of your own insights, behind-the-scenes peeks of your work or life, or pictures of your dog.)

What really counts is quality and consistency.  (See #9)This means that once you find your niche and identify your ideal client, you focus only THEM, and show up consistently.

I no longer try to connect with every entrepreneur or even every wellness entrepreneur on Facebook, because many don’t fit my ideal client profile.

Since I’ve focused more on creating a Freedom-based business, I find that my “tribe” is steadily growing, and that more people are engaging, which means that.. You guessed it, more people actually see my posts.

And I try not to let the algorithms get to me.

4. Find opportunities to get more of your IDEAL clients on your email list.

Now that you have the attention of your ideal client, don’t stop there! You want to be in control of who sees your best content, and hands down, the best way to do this is via email. (Email marketing) This means consistent “newsletters” and at least one simple “set and forget” series of emails that new subscribers will receive.

You’ll also need some kind of “freebie” or lead magnet. Gone are the days when people would subscribe to a newsletter without getting something immediate in return.

This is something I guide my students through in the Future Proof Your Practice Toolkit.

4. Repurpose and streamline your workflow to save mental energy

Consistency is important, but it needs to co-exist with sustainability.

I’ve had clients that don’t have the capacity (bandwidth) to post on a consistent basis on more than one channel. I’ve also known admins for 1k+ Facebook groups that have confessed to me that it’s become a part-time job.

My take on this very common problem:

1. Choose your primary platform, based on the easiest for you to show up consistently.

Do you prefer writing? You can share your blog with your social media audience. Is it video that you excel at? Or maybe a podcast? Start there.

Any other platforms you add will be your secondary channels (apply #3 to these)

It’s unrealistic to expect a solo entrepreneur to show up everywhere, all the time.

Those who DO show up everywhere have a dedicated team and very, very streamlined workflows. This doesn’t happen overnight, and trust me, they got there via a specific and intentional process.

2. Batch and schedule.

I don’t know about you.. but if I’m immersed in another project, it takes me 10x the effort to switch gears and come up with a single post in the moment than it does to brainstorm about 20 all in one sitting. That single post often takes a lot of mental energy for me, and many times feels “flat” because I’m not writing when I’m truly inspired.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t create real-time, in the moment posts.. They do tend to get more reach, but I think it’s unrealistic to do this every day for most.

3. Repurpose

The only reason I may have the capacity (bandwidth) to create short form videos like reels (and of this writing I still don’t) is because I can create them from pieces of my long form videos. I can also create podcasts from livestreams, or use transcripts that will become a blog with a bit of editing.

(This is where establishing a workflow comes in)

Even this blog can be broken down into smaller bite-sized pieces of content that I can use on any social media platform.

You can choose the way that works best for YOU.

5. Use social media to build and nurture an already existing community

Facebook Groups

I’m going to share with you how I use the purely social media platforms. Remember that other platforms like Pinterest and YouTube, which I prefer, are classified more as search engines than social platforms.

Also keep in mind that your business and your brand are different than mine, and that there are many creative ways to show up online.

Let’s begin with Facebook. Whether or not it’s considered “in” or “out,” it’s still widely used by many people and a primary focus for many businesses. Especially groups/communities.

I personally have not had much luck in using Facebook groups to draw in new ideal leads, although some have trickled in because it’s an interesting niche. I use my group to engage with leads that already exist, and I regard it much like hosting a party.

I host live trainings a few times per month. I do not attempt to show up live on most days, like some marketing experts recommended a few years ago. I don’t think it’s the best way to spend my time, as livestreams don’t qualify as evergreen content. Even when I do, that content goes into my paid membership.

You can join me in my Freedom-Based Wellnness Entrepreneur Community, I would love to have you!

Combined with the fact that I don’t have much control over the platform, I haven’t really put a HUGE effort into growing it and honestly wouldn’t want to rely on a Facebook group alone for generating leads.

Instead, I use my Facebook group as a combination of a community, a laboratory, and a party.

In order to keep it interesting for members, I make sure to stock it with more than just “fluff” content. (although I am fond of offbeat humor)  I also allow others to post and promote (for now) because of the small, intimate vibe. Some of the members may be leads, and others could be collaborators, affiliates, or podcast guests, so my preference is to keep it open like this.

I DID stop using Facebook groups to permanently host my best content, and moved it all to Mighty Networks. I think of it as the “VIP party with extra drinks and food, more rooms, movies to watch, books to read, and other exclusive surprises.”

This is a perfect place for leads to make a small commitment and get a feel for my work, without pressure. It’s a “one stop shop” for my library of content, and it’s much more organized than Facebook, which isn’t really designed for curating content and making it easy to find what you’re looking for.

This is what works for me. For you, a different strategy may work.

That’s my take on Facebook groups, but not the only one:

There are many VERY successful marketing coaches who like Facebook groups much less than I do. (I’ve heard “Facebook groups suck” more than once) I use them, and found a rhythm with it that I’m liking. Will I continue to use Facebook groups in the future? I don’t know.

If you have had luck in generating new leads with a group, and you enjoy the process,then more power to you, and keep going. If you have a larger group, your experience and time commitment will be vastly different than mine.

Instagram

You can do something similar on Instagram, but to be honest, it’s not my primary focus and I’m not the right one to speak about this platform.

I will say that it’s not the most effective search engine nor the best option for building a community. It worked well for my Balkan Nomad project, which was about primarily visual content.. but it’s not high on my priority list for Tech and Wine Media.

It could be perfect for you if you are a hairstylist, in the fashion industry, if you create your own physical products, or focus on visual content.

6. Be focused and intentional about the journey you take your audience, leads, potential clients, and clients through.

Social media CAN be a key player in the entire client journey, so that you can address the needs of your ideal clients or customers according to where they are at in both their personal journey and within the context of the buyer’s journey.

However..

The buyer’s journey for most service-based businesses tend to be longer than for that of commodities, lower-priced physical products, impulse purchases, or services and products based on convenience and telling a visual story.

For example, if you are a hairstylist in my area and you show me some pictures that wow me, I may just head over to your salon right now.

If your services are more based on long-term commitments and specific processes or strategies, your leads are going to need multiple touch points, generally 7-10, before they buy. This is especially true for services that are less tangible or take more time to understand, or for high-ticket items, obviously.

These touch points are not about pressure or sales, but building trust. There is no attachment to outcome, since it’s more of a math game.

These built in, intentional, and essential “touch points” are designed to nurture and build trust.. OFF their dang platform, and on yours. Having this system in place is critical for service based businesses  based on expertise and applying a strategy in order to help clients, patients, and customers get the results they desire.

Taking cold leads and earning their trust so that they naturally become warm and hot leads is a thoughtful and creative process that you own.

There is no ONE way to do this.

The key is in creating a chronological journey and even a story arc that makes sense to a human brain, rather than being bombarded with fragments that take work to piece together, if they are remembered at all.

Where does social media fit in? Honestly, it depends. There’s too many variables to go into here, and it’s about what works for you.

I go into this in detail in the Future Proof Your Business Toolkit, which takes you through the entire process of creating a new business model based on having at least one digital offering, step by step, even if you are starting from scratch. I’m all about starting simply and the “80/20” rule.

Being intentional also helps you.

By remaining focused, pacing yourself, and setting up some of your work flows to happen automatically, you can capture and nurture more leads over time without having to be a slave to multiple social media channels.

It’s unrealistic to expect a solo entrepreneur to show up everywhere, all the time.

Those who DO show up everywhere have a dedicated team and very, very streamlined workflows. This doesn’t happen overnight, and trust me, they got there via a specific and intentional process.

7. Be willing to play the “long game.”

This concept is similar to concept #2: Creating evergreen content. The difference:

Evergreen content is an asset, much like having a library of intellectual property. Playing the long game is about how to leverage your assets, including evergreen content, so that you can gain more with less work.

Focusing on SEO, evergreen and long form content, and steady growth over time is a strategy that many overlook because it doesn’t pay off right away. It’s also not a novel concept, and it’s not as “sexy” as posting on TikTok.

It’s kind of like planting a fruit tree that doesn’t bear fruit right away, but we trust that it will if we care for it consistently. Let’s say it’s the kind of tree that when it matures, doesn’t require much maintenance. The same goes for cultivating a garden.

On the other hand, relying ONLY on social media can sometimes be compared to forcing crops to grow via synthetic fertilizers indoors so that we can eat next week. (Only to have to do it all over again the following week) It feels like less work than planning for and nurturing an abundant garden, but in the long run it’s not sustainable. The minute we stop, the minute what we create disappears.

But many don’t trust what they can’t see right away.

The truth: We reap what we sow. We can actually create the opportunity for more “low hanging fruit” (2 analogies, 2 plant cliches!)

By focusing on long-term, sustainable ways to attract leads that also happen to be closer to being ready to buy from me, I’m ensuring that I won’t need to RELY on social media when I want to take a break from it.

I also have plenty of content that exists outside of social media platforms that I can keep using, updating, repurposing, and recycling. I created an asset that I actually own, and that has a much longer shelf life than a social media post. (yes, I still post on social media.. I’ll get to that in a moment)

This way, nothing really goes to waste, even when I “fail.”

8. Don’t dismiss social media altogether

This blog isn’t about finding more reasons to justify in our own minds “why social media doesn’t work.” It’s an easy trap to fall into with social media, SEO, building an email list, PR, networking, or any other available ways to market a business, no matter how big or how small.

It’s the “See, I knew this wouldn’t work” mindset.

I’ve had clients that have set up social media accounts, only end up using them sporadically, which of course didn’t work. This also doesn’t help create momentum and confidence.

When it comes to any marketing tactic or strategy, it’s much like working with your new clients or patients. It doesn’t help if they haven’t completely “bought in.” It’s not about them being subservient to you. If you are in a unique position to help them with a specific problem and they choose to work with you, then they need to trust you and your process.

The same applies to social media. If you go in, it can’t be half-assed. You have to decide on something, implement it, and keep at it for a while till you can accurately assess what’s working and what isn’t.

It’s a more scientific approach.

And just like science and the pursuit of knowledge, social media isn’t something that is “good” or “bad.” It’s more nuanced than this. It’s very likely that one or two channels will fit in perfectly with YOUR overall strategy.

Much in the way that a good strength training program can be a part of the routine for anyone, of any age, as long as it’s tailored for their needs, social media also has a place in your overall marketing strategy.

Finding the right combination of “Social” and “Search” platforms: Your social media sweet spot

Going back to concept #1: I don’t prioritize purely “social” media, and consciously choose to spend less time there, but I still find it useful.

I personally prefer to focus more on search engine based “social media” like Pinterest and YouTube (TikTok is also a search engine) rather than pure social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, because I want to drive traffic to MY platform (my website.)

I also can’t stand Twitter, but it IS a great way to access celebrities and influencers, once you get past the “Twitter mob.” Note: I’m not sure what the future of Twitter is at the time of this writing. You could use this strategically if it makes sense for you.

I don’t find Instagram to be as appealing as say, a podcast, but it may be perfect for you, as I mentioned in a few examples above.

Since I naturally gravitate towards creating a community/laboratory, I currently use Facebook as a part of my overall marketing strategy, but I don’t count on it to attract leads into my pipeline, because that’s not what Facebook is designed to do.. It’s designed to keep people occupied (and distracted) on THEIR platform.

Although I want to spend less time and become less dependent on social media, I’m not dismissing it altogether. I can still benefit from it if I refine the way I use it.

How and even if I continue to use it may change over time.

9. Consistency is crucial.

This principle is timeless.

The concept of consistency is slightly different from concept #7. Playing the long game is about crafting your strategy. Consistency is about showing up to implement that strategy, even when you don’t feel like it.

I have a lot of memes and quotes about consistency, because I firmly believe that this is the key for most entrepreneurs.

You may see someone who is “killing it” on social media, and has huge followings that turn into leads. Please remember that they also had to do their homework and put in some time to get where they are.

They also show up consistently.

I’ve seen others who claim that one thing or another “doesn’t work” when it’s not about the tactic or method itself, but probably more about how it fits into their own overall strategy and how consistently they apply it.

Of course, if they never give it a chance to work, it won’t, yet they blame their lack of results on the method rather than their lack of commitment.

It’s not just entrepreneurs, either. There’s also a mindset that social media posting isn’t something a company needs to be present for. Just hire a freelance social media manager that knows nothing about the company to come up with some filler posts and sit back and watch the leads pour in.

It doesn’t work that way.

Social isn’t something to “get done”; it’s an ongoing practice to attract, engage and convert.

10. Know when you “Don’t know what you don’t know.”

Many also “don’t know what they don’t know” when it comes to creating a social media strategy and how it can fit into an overall holistic marketing plan.

This also causes the entire process to move at a slower pace, including trial and error and mistakes. I know, because I’ve done things the slow way myself, and found out the hard way what works for me and what doesn’t.

This isn’t a character flaw. It’s normal, and we all do it.

It’s the same thing with any endeavor.. Whether it’s a new fitness program or learning to play a musical instrument, we trust that the teacher knows what they are doing. That’s why we hire experts (the right ones for us, of course) to guide us.

For example, let’s say I want to learn how to play the drums. A complex, prog metal song, and I’m a beginner. I really, really want to play that Tool song.

I’m not going to tell my instructor what to teach me each time I show up for a lesson, because I don’t know the process involved in learning to play a prog metal song that has a kick ass and really difficult double bass pattern, (and lots of other intricacies) when I don’t even know that double bass is even a thing.

Because I don’t know what I don’t know.

My job is to tell the instructor what my goals are.

Or maybe some preferences as far as how I learn and absorb a new technique or learn a piece of music. It’s not my job to tell them how to do their job based on a few YouTube videos I watched.

My teacher’s job is to demystify, teach, discover ways to help me learn, create a plan or strategy, reverse engineer a goal, provide accountability, and hopefully give me confidence to achieve my goal. It’s also their job to let me know what is realistic and what isn’t.

It’s also about timing and the order each step in a strategy is implemented, and this can be the hardest part for many who tend to rely on piecing everything together via Google and YouTube searches.

Chances are,a good teacher/guide/coach has developed a unique system to help their students and clients learn and achieve their goals, even if it is individually customized to a degree.

Of course you CAN rely on trial and error. Just know that it will take longer, and that you’ll discover the gaps in your knowledge along the way.

The bottom line..

To sum it up, social media is often very much misunderstood, by both those who love it and those who hate it, or even those just trying to figure it out or keep up with it all.

I’ve been avoiding writing about this topic for a long time, because of this. Social media isn’t my specialty, but I do need to be informed as it fits in with an overall holistic marketing strategy.

I don’t have all the answers.

And neither do the social media gurus I subscribe to who I rely on to keep me up to date, because it all changes so quickly.

But there are things we CAN do to make social media work for us (rather than the other way around)

Hopefully this article helps you make your own informed decisions and avoid being a slave to social media, and reduces some of the overwhelm factor for you.

I would love to know what you think..