Don’t worry about what marketing you’re not doing, get excited about what you could be doing
Finally a bullshit-free, anxiety-reducing article about marketing that will help you get excited, not make you feel bad for not doing enough.
From reading blogs and watching videos about marketing it’s easy to think you’re not doing enough, that you’re not keeping up and that unless you relentlessly post to social media you’re not good enough.
Most of what I read is frankly just hype, these blogs and videos often paint an unrealistic view of what you NEED to be doing in order to get marketing working. Hundreds of posts, seemingly continuous Stories, Reels and TikTok dances. It’s all bullshit. You don’t need to be doing it.
So what should you be doing?
Influencers rely on vanity
If your job is to show off stuff, places and people, ie. an influencer, then you need to be on social, engaging and building your audience all day every day. It’s a lifestyle choice that can work well for those who can take the pace and stress. For the rest of us, this relentless hamster wheel of posting, liking, tagging and commenting is just not worth the time it takes. Unlike influencers, we don’t need these vanity metrics to attract sponsorship, we need to build an audience of people who like what we do and want to know more.
You have a business to run
You don’t have time to be relentlessly visible like an influencer, you’ve got a business to run. Influencers are selling access to their audience so that’s why they need to spend so much time building and keeping it.
A lot of ‘advice’ out there focuses on the vanity metrics of followers and likes, they say you need to build a huge audience to get results. In a simplistic way their right, the more people you can take your message to, the more chance you have of converting. If you’re selling £30 water bottles or a £97 online course then it’s all about the numbers. For most businesses though what they’re selling is more expensive and needs a lot more consideration so your audience is just one part of what you need. Of course, there is an element of needing to grow, but it’s not the primary objective. The primary objective is to nurture your audience into becoming customers.
It’s a balancing act
You need to balance the time spent making and posting content with the return you generate. You’re not trying to build a mega audience, as your business model is not attracting brands for sponsorship. For most businesses you only need to nurture a relatively small number of strangers into your highest paying customers for your business to be successful.
Most businesses only need an engaged audience of a few hundred people to make this process work.
It’s not all about social
A lot of marketing advice focuses on social media and completely ignores email marketing. They’re missing out! For many businesses, the most effective asset they have is their email list. It’s direct access to their prospects inboxes and attention, something that you don’t get on social. When used well it can be really effective and it’s very low cost.
If you want to encourage people to join your email list, give them a great reason to subscribe, no one wants your boring newsletter, give them something that really adds value. For example, when you join our email list you get weekly marketing inspiration direct to your inbox.
Don’t mimic, be authentic
If you want to engage your ideal customer then focus on their needs, wants, problems and questions. Make content that helps them learn, understand and think. Show them how you help, how your process works, what goes into doing what you do. Don’t copy dances, memes or photo styles unless you think it’s what your customers want to see.
You’re making content for them, not for you.
We have a full guide on making social content that works, and here are our top 3 tips when you are making content:
- Be authentic — Be yourself and put yourself out there (people will be nice)
- Focus on your goal, not vanity metrics — use a marketing funnel to nurture and convert more of your ideal customers
- Don’t sell, show up and add value — no one likes a pushy salesperson especially on social, so don’t try and sell just add value
What channel should I be using?
This is one of our most common questions. There is no one right answer but consider this: Where does your ideal customer go to look for advice, to meet like-minded people or just hang out?
Think about them, where do they spend time online? If you don’t know then either ask them or take a look at a few channels and see what is going on there. Don’t assume you know what is happening on each social app, especially if you’ve never used it before. Try a few out and go find your people.
I don’t like (insert social platform)
I hear this a lot. I don’t use Facebook/Instagram/TikTok blah blah blah my customers don’t use blah blah blah stop making excuses, your customers are definitely 100% guaranteed using social media, so if you want more customers you need to get involved.
“I’ve tried social media and it didn’t work” — Unless you have tried posting consistently for 3–6 months then you don’t know for sure. If it didn’t work for you then the problem wasn’t the platform, the app, the algorithm and it certainly wasn’t your customer. It was your content.
If you’ve not tried posting there yet then how do you know? The only thing stopping a social platform working is you.
You can make it work, you’ve just got to consistently show up, be authentic and add value for at least 6 months. Your customers are out their right now waiting to hear from you and they really want to engage with your story and hear all about it. Millions of small businesses post about their business every day and it works, they check in say help show their audience how the process works and how they delight their customers.
Let’s get started
To get started my advice is to focus on one channel and get that working. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to be on them all at once. If you already use a channel yourself then start there, you already know how that works and what content you like. If you think your customers might be on another then give it a go.
“If you’re going to go fishing, then go where the fish are”
Plan out 3 posts to make next week and get started. It doesn’t have to be perfect just start and see where it goes.
If you want to learn more then check out our guide on making social content that works to get your content planned out and working.
You can also join our email list to get weekly marketing inspiration direct to your inbox.
This article was inspired by a fantastic summary of our podcast made by Frances Khalastchi