If you’re one of the many people who are a bit fed up with social media and wish there was a way you could market your business without it, this post is for you!
I’ll be sharing exactly how you can market your coaching business without social media and giving you lots of ideas for alternative things you can try.
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Over the last few years there’s been an increase in the number of people leaving social media. As we become more aware of ethical issues and how social media impacts our health and mental health it can simply feel unaligned for those of us health and life coaches to continue to base most of our marketing on those platforms when we know they can be harmful.
Also for the sake of our own mental health and wellbeing you might want to move away from social media.
In my Wholehearted Business Show episode with Alex Strauss we discussed how she markets her business without social media and it was something I really wanted to explore further.
Things to remember when it comes to marketing without social media
Something I like to remember when it comes to marketing is that it should primarily be about getting in front of new people – not necessarily just creating content and serving your existing audience. I’ve found that it can be easy to just keep showing up for the people who are already in your world and forget the actual growth piece of the equation.
This also doesn’t necessarily have to be about giving up social media altogether. I do still use social media but it’s not the main way I market my business, rather it’s more like the cherry on top of the cake. I try to make it fun and use it kind of like an amplifier of work I do in other places.
I used to really dislike Instagram. It always felt like an uncomfortable place to show up for me because I got so bogged down in comparison and not feeling good enough. However I changed the way I see Instagram in terms of where it sits in my business so I could take a much more relaxed approach to it where I don’t worry about the numbers that much and it’s made a huge difference to how I feel about the platform.
So it might be that there’s other stuff impacting how you feel about social media that’s more of a mindset thing that just needs to be worked through.
Remember that you can approach this however you want, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing and I invite you to throw out how you think you should be ‘doing social media’ and just do it the way you want to do it. That might make it a much more fun place to show up if you decide you’d like to continue there.
Also, just to note that when I’m talking about social media, for me I’m thinking of platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter + TikTok – that’s just what my head puts in the social media box – it might be different for you.
Although YouTube and Pinterest share some similarities with the other platforms I don’t put them in the same box at all!
Let’s get into a few of the different ways you can market your coaching business without social media.
Blogging will probably always be my first love! I started blogging 12 years ago and my whole business is pretty much built on the back of the blog posts I’ve written over this time.
It’s the backbone of my marketing and it works so well for several reasons.
The content you create is searchable and therefore it has longevity. It can easily be repurposed for other channels. You own your blog and website where as you don’t own your social media channels. Blog posts can easily be shared on Pinterest for extra exposure.
To me it just makes a huge amount of sense to focus on your blog and let everything else ‘orbit’ around it – an approach I cover at length in my Blog School programme.
You can also download my Blog Checklist here to get started:
Pinterest really links heavily into blogging and although the platform is now more focused on Idea Pins (basically Reels / TikTok style short form videos) the core of the platform is still traditional pins that link back to blog based content.
I talked a bit about Pinterest and the changes to the platform in my What’s working in 2022 post here.
I think it’s kind of a no brainer to use Pinterest if you’re blogging. It’s a great place to add your content to so it has the possibility of being picked up in Pinterest’s searches. For more on using Pinterest as a coach check out Pinterest Magic.
I resisted starting a podcast so much and now it’s one of the best things I ever did! I actually had a podcast with a good friend, Kezia who is a nutritionist. Kezia took that podcast forward and it was always something I wanted to revisit but I didn’t want it as a whole new separate part of my marketing when I still wanted to be creating regular blog posts.
This is where the whole concept of The Wholehearted Business Show came from – a way of having a podcast but also doing the blog and a video for YouTube in one fell swoop.
So you can absolutely see a podcast as a totally individual piece or integrate it with other platforms.
There’s also never been such a good time to start a podcast. Relatively speaking, podcasting is nowhere near as saturated as social media in terms of the possibility of getting in front of new people.
It’s also not as complicated as I thought it would be!
I’m not sure what it is about YouTube but I feel like it’s having a bit of a comeback, or at the very least it’s not going anywhere!
YouTube has also gone down the short form video route with YouTube shorts but longer videos are still it’s main jam and if you enjoy creating video it can be a great place to be. The content there has plenty of longevity and searchability which I think makes it a great place to be.
A bundle is where a third party brings together a bundle of other people’s courses or programmes and through all of the contributors sharing that bundle the collective action benefits everyone involved.
Contributing or even running a bundle can be an amazing way to grow your email list and even make money directly yourself or as an affiliate if the bundle is a paid one.
Last year I took part in two bundles, one with Infostack and another which was Lizzy Goddard’s Christmas Party. Together they’ve added over 500 people to my list.
Obviously to participate in a bundle like this you need some kind of small digital product or course, just another reason why I think having something like this is a good idea in a coaching business even if your main offer is a 1:1 coaching package!
A summit is an online event that a host will organise. Various speakers are invited and again, through the collective action of everyone involved, a summit can be a great way to get in front of new people, grow your list and even make money if you’re the host or affiliate income if you’re a contributor.
My client Alex ran a summit last year and it was wildly successful! Whether you’re a host or you contribute to it, both can really help you market your business.
I was in two minds about including this option here and generally speaking a challenge is best run with the support of social media to promote it and actually host the community element.
However, I think there’s so much scope to be creative with how you run your challenges and if you link it in with other places you’re being visible such as Pinterest or your blog or podcast I think they can work well.
A little trick that could help you get in front of new people is through encouraging or even incentivising people who sign up for the challenge to share it with their friends.
Working with other people is such a great way to build your business without social media. This could be a joint venture webinar or being a podcast guest or having guests on your podcast. You could also do guest posting on another person’s blog.
Again there’s a lot of scope for creativity here I think, joint challenges or online events? And bundles and summits fall into this category too as discussed above.
Affiliates and referrals
Creating a referral network or asking if people would like to be an affiliate for your services can work super well. When they share you and your work with new people they benefit via a commission and you benefit by getting in front of those new people!
Press + PR
Looking for PR opportunities can massively impact your business – just imagine what a magazine or newspaper feature could do for you? I was lucky to have quite a lot of press over the years when I was a health coach and it really helped me grow my audience and community.
It doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds either. Think about which publications you’d love to be featured in, consider how you might pitch them and what angle you might go for and then get in touch with the right person at the publication. Then be persistent! It can be worth it for the results.
Old fashioned in real life shiz!
People still ran businesses before social media even existed. Never forget the power of word of mouth, flyers in places your ideal clients might be showing up (like gyms, physios, yoga studios etc) in person networking events and more.
It can be really good to remember that these ‘old fashioned’ methods still exist. In real life connection can go a long way!
I hope you’ve found this post helpful! I’d love to know, how do you feel about social media marketing for your business? Will you try any of these different methods out? Let me know in the comments!
And if you’d like to do more blogging as part of your marketing efforts, grab my free Blog Post Checklist below to get started:
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