As a business owner, you need to find and connect with your potential clients.
There are many ways to 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.
So why has everyone forgotten that connections and conversations can happen without social media?
I’m not against social media, in fact, I’m a fan of it and use it myself.
For me, it’s a place I can connect with people and then from there have real conversations and build relationships.
If you want to use social, 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 don’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 Zoom, or on the phone.
Conversations you have with potential clients and potential strategic alliance partners.
This sounds crazy right, actually talking with people.
And 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.
Here is more about how to make every conversation you have more meaningful.
Emmy McCarthy and I dished on this topic in our conversation about what you need to focus on more than social media in an episode of Business UNVARNISHED.
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 dreaded networking.
If you don’t like that word, just think of it as connecting. Because that is 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:
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.
And you can still use LinkedIn to find and connect with people and build your network. More on how to do that here.
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 put on pantyhose and 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 overestimate the number of people we need to reach in order to achieve goals.
If you’ve created a Business Model then you know exactly how many clients you want. More on this here.
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 with 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, with other business owners who serve the same group but with different products and services, they 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. More on why your email list is more important than social media here and here.
Convinced that you can grow your business without using social media?
Let me know if you have questions, I’d love to hear more about your marketing strategy.
© Stephanie Ward
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Great advice Stephanie, thank you! We’re finding ways to encourage our students to have more actual conversations with each other in our online programs. They hate the idea of it, but LOVE the resulting connections.
Fascinating, Vicki! Thank you so much for sharing. Curious about what the initial resistance is about. So happy they love the results.