Let’s be honest, social media can consume your life and take the joy out of your business real quick.
For so long I thought there was no way I could grow an empire without being good at social media. I saw others in my industry killing it, so I thought it was a requirement to be wildly successful.
Boy was I wrong.
At the beginning of my business, I didn't have a vision of building a million-dollar business. I just wanted to make enough money so I didn’t have to return to corporate America. I had no shame in wanting to be a stay-at-home dog Mom who got to make her own schedule.
Then, 3 years later, I found myself hitting the million-dollar mark, and it was at that moment I knew I had to show people that social media is a great tool but it isn't the ONLY way to grow an online business.
So here we are! I'm going to share 2 things I perfected in my business that allowed me to grow without selling my soul to social media. You can click here to get a more in depth guide that goes over 5 things I did to grow my business without relying on social media, including action steps and templates!
Do I show up occasionally? YES, when I FEEL like it, not because I have to in order to create revenue in my business. I love showing up to show women an easier way. If you follow me, you know this to be true, and if you don’t, let’s be insta friends.
#1 Affiliate Marketing
I'm sure you've heard about affiliate marketing a million times in the online space, yet most people instantly think of Amazon or influencers promoting their favorite energy drinks, not how they can use affiliate marketing to promote their services or programs.
Affiliate marketing is similar to referrals, but it's done in a more systemized way. Inside of Aligned Growth, we go into great detail but the basics of affiliate marketing are this:
01. GET CLEAR ON YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
This seems like a no-brainer, but you've got to dig deeper and figure out who they are following, where they are spending their money, and what they feel like is their biggest pain point. For example, if you're a health coach who works with busy moms, you may think their biggest pain point is wanting an easy-to-follow system that doesn't take up a lot of time and helps them lose weight. While that's true, that's what they want, their BIGGER issue could be finding time for themselves and battling mindset issues, so they may be following life coaches or people who help them stay motivated. See where I'm going? You have to be clear on WHO your ideal client is and their problems as a whole, not just the problems you solve for them.
02. GET CLEAR ON WHO THEY FOLLOW
This piggybacks off of number one! Once you know your ideal client at their core, you have to get an idea of who they are following. Do some deep diving, ask some of your current clients, and if you're very active on social media, ask your following! This is how you'll know what to do next in step three.
03. CREATE COMMUNITY OVER COMPETITION
Once you know who and where your people are, it's time to join forces with accounts that have larger followings than you and ask them to collaborate on something like an event. Let them know that you are wanting to promote your new offer or service and you will give them ___% of all sales. When coming up with a percentage, you have to make sure it's worth their time or they will easily say no. Always ask yourself what YOU would want if someone asked you the same thing. Look at it as a marketing investment, instead of paying for Ads where it's a super cold market, you're paying a trusted HUMAN. This will allow you to get into their market to find your ideal clients. You always want to make sure it's not a competing business but a business that can also benefit from this collaboration!
04. AFFILIATE PLATFORM & HOSTING
After the connection is made, and it's a heck yes on both ends, you need to figure out the logistics of keeping track of the numbers and hosting the event. I highly recommend Tapfiliate! (We don't get paid to say this, we just love them!)
05. RINSE & REPEAT
After that, keep going. Will you get no's? YEP, but you'll also get yes’s. Not only does this get you in front of your ideal client, it gets you in front of people who are hungry for change, because you and I both know that if they attend that event, they are serious! Hundreds of my clients have been able to step back from social media by following this method.
#2 Media Outreach
Media outreach is a form of networking and an amazing way to establish trust in not only you but your business and brand.
We've been featured in Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes, Daily Biz, and many more. Each publication got us at least 10K hits to our site and our most successful media article got us 140K site hits in ONE day.
While social media is an amazing quick resource, there are billions of people who read and subscribe to blogs, magazines, and podcasts. There are also thousands of editors who write content day in and day out for big companies, and they are constantly searching for people to help them meet deadlines and get stories out there.
We go super deep inside of Aligned Growth, but here's how you can get started:
01. COME UP WITH TOPICS
When writing your articles for any major publication you will want to come up with 10 topics to get started:
5 Timely or seasonal topics
5 Evergreen topics
For your timely or seasonal topics, you want to look at what's going on in the world right now. For example, when COVID hit, I had a few of my Nutrition clients write articles about healthy quarantine snacks and foods that boost your immune systems. When it comes to seasonal topics, think holidays -- Summer snacks, Christmas shopping guides, etc.
Evergreen topics are simply topics that can be consumed at ANY point of the year no matter what's going on in the world. For us, that would be things like: How to Master Your Money Mindset, How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs, etc.
For podcasts you want all of your 10 topics to be evergreen, be sure to not promote a product or service, simply because if someone reads that article in a year and your business has pivoted it won't be applicable. Your "promo" is simply you and your brand.
This is where you want to get clear on WHERE you want to show up! Make a list of the podcasts, blogs, and magazines your ideal client is reading! Being featured in Inc. wouldn’t be great but if you're a health coach because that’s not necessarily where your ideal client is going to be hanging out. Make a list of 10 BIG publications or podcasts and 10 SMALLER publications or podcasts! Once you have your site, find their contact info. If it's a larger publication sometimes, you'll have to call the company directly and ask WHO you need to speak to in publications. You can also reach out on social media platforms as well OR do BOTH!! Larger companies are going to have a different person running their social than managing their emails so it doesn’t hurt to reach out both ways.
03. WRITE YOUR PITCH
Now, grab your list of topics and compose a great email, or message, that you can send to editors and podcast hosts! You can click here to download our free guide that has a script of EXACTLY what we say when we are pitching! Remember, you don't have to write out your article or prepare your podcast episode until you get a YES!
A few tips for writing your pitch:
Let them know that you loved something they recently published, and of course reference it or show how you connect with it!
Only reach out to people, companies and brands that align with YOUR core values, because then THEIR clientele and audience will be aligned with you.
Those 2 things are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to growing an online business without relying on social media. I would choose one and tackle it next month. I promise that if you’re sacrificing hour, upon hour, upon hour to social media, I’m living proof there’s an easier way.
I took a year off of Instagram and guess what happened?
My business literally tripled.
I poured my energy into things that would help me build a business long-term not just give me short-term results that I would have to constantly duplicate week after week.