Frustrated with the changes to social media algorithms? Not getting the results you used to? Don’t worry, there are a LOT of other ways to grow an online business besides social media if it’s not working the way you hoped. Here are 30+ ways to grow your business besides social media.
30+ Ways to Grow Your Business Besides Social Media
Believe it or not, there was an internet before social media existed. 😉 Y’all, I actually grew websites during these “dark ages” and even grew a web design tutorial blog to over 5,000 UNIQUE visitors a day before social media even existed. For that site in particular, besides our early foundations of word-of-mouth growth and adding a link credit back to our site on our free graphics and resources, what really grew our traffic the most was getting featured on larger websites. We might have a design tutorial featured on a larger site and BOOM – viral traffic before “viral traffic” was even a thing.
Although social media can be great, you have to remember that you don’t own these platforms and that this is someone else’s business that you’re riding on.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Never base your entire business’s success on someone else’s platform, even social media. #socialmedia #businesstips” quote=”Never base your entire business’s success on someone else’s platform, even social media.”]
Otherwise, as soon as the rules change or they switch to a different provider, you’re out of luck. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!
So diversify your sources of traffic and new customers, and remember that the goal of external things like social media is not to build your entire business over there (or become an “Instagram influencer” or full-time “Youtuber”), but to get people back to your OWN website and preferably onto your email list so you can reliably stay in touch.
Here are a bunch of non-social-media ideas for growing your business. Some of these might be waaaayyy outside your comfort zone, but it’s worth a try. 😉
1. Add opt-in forms to your website to grow your email list (using a provider like Mailchimp, Convertkit, etc)
2. Email your list regularly (about once a week, every two weeks, once a month, etc depending on how fast-paced your industry is)
3. Create a free ebook, discount code, video training, etc as an incentive for people to sign up for your email list
4. Get belly-to-belly – the internet has certainly made it easier to do business, but don’t underestimate the power of talking to people in person and face-to-face
5. Join an in-person business networking group
6. Reach out to your friends and family and personal network to see if anyone is interested in your products or services
7. If you sell physical products, contact local retailers – whether by email, calling, or handwritten snail mail – to see if they are willing to carry any of your products in their stores
8. Guest post on someone else’s blog
9. Collab with other business owners – do a joint launch for something or create a new product or service that you each have a part in fulfilling
10. Team up with entrepreneurs in related, but different, industries and refer clients to each other – for example, a web designer, copywriter, and photographer could team up and refer clients to each other when their clients need additional services that they don’t personally provide
11. Speak at someone’s in-person event
12. Attend business conferences or events and make genuine connections
13. Contact past clients and ask if they need help with anything else or know anyone else who might need your services
14. Contact previous customers with a discount code for new purchases, or an exclusive offer for loyal customers
15. Send birthday or holiday cards to past clients to stay in touch
16. Do a little guerilla marketing and leave business cards or flyers in random, real-life places – inside of books, on the bulletin board at your local coffee shop, and more. Be creative!
17. Advertise – although the medium changes, the concept of paying to advertise something on someone else’s platform will likely always be around. Besides things like Facebook ads, you can go old-school and advertise in a magazine, on someone’s personal blog, on a podcast, on the radio, etc.
18. Send free copies of your physical or digital products to influencers
19. Hold a real-life launch party for your new book or party and invite as many people as you know!
20. Get interviewed on someone’s podcast, website, blog, or video (Pitch yourself! Generally you have to be the one reaching out to people making the ask, rather than people randomly finding you)
21. Use sites like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to find opportunities to provide quotes or expert advice for reporters writing news articles about a particular topic
22. Send out press releases to the media about a new business or product
23. Be someone’s success story or testimonial for their program or service
24. Offer to be an expert for someone else’s program
25. Write value-packed and helpful blog posts and free content with a call to action at the end
26. Ask people to spread the word or share your content with a friend if they liked it
27. If you sell physical products, make your packaging as cute as possible and include a handwritten thank-you note if possible. Here’s an example of a real-world package I put together once that got a rave review:
28. If you sell physical products, include a business card or two in the package and offer a discount code for future purchases so you can have repeat customers and encourage people to spread the word to their friends
29. Be an affiliate for someone else, or create an affiliate program for your own products
30. Hire “brand ambassadors” or a “street team” to spread the word about your business. If you don’t have the budget to actually hire people, give them free discounts or products instead!
31. Help people and give free value constantly
Things in the world are constantly changing, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up or quit. You just have to try some timeless marketing and sales strategies and not get distracted by the shiny new tactic of the week.
Remember: bands like The Beatles (or Taylor Swift tee hee) stayed popular for so long because they were constantly adapting their sound and style and stayed relevant with the times. They didn’t just make one hit song and then give up when people moved onto something else – they adapted their approach throughout the years, and continued to win people over as fans.
Or think about someone like Tony Robbins or Jack Canfield, who both started way before social media – or even their personal websites – existed. Their underlying message and transformation for people has always been the same; what’s changed is the specific marketing strategies. Selling physical books, in-person seminars, digital programs, whatever. At the end of the day, they’re still helping people change their lives, regardless of what platform they’re speaking from.
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