One of the first things that many business owners *think* they need to do when starting their business or growing their brand is to create an Instagram account, curate a perfectly aesthetic feed, and start attracting followers.
And don’t get me wrong – Instagram CAN be an amazing way to grow your following and generate leads.
But somewhere along the way, I truly believe that as business owners, we’ve lost sight of the other ways to build and grow a business…without relying so heavily on social media.
The truth is, social media hasn’t always been around. Therefore, there are more timeless ways to attract an audience, grow your following, AND attract real, consistent leads into your business.
People have been doing it for years, far before the ‘gram was ever a thing.
So why are we choosing to ignore those things? Why have we convinced ourselves that the timeless ways of marketing are “old school”?
Instead, what if we flipped our perspective to see that Instagram and social media isn’t the *only* way to attract leads?
Sure, it might be the fun way. It might be the thing that we really like to do. Trust me, I get it – I love social media as much as the next person.
But the more that I continue to grow my business, I’ve realized that Instagram isn’t my main way of attracting leads. In fact, it’s actually one of the platforms that we aren’t promised tomorrow.
We don’t have control over our account, our followers, or our content after we press publish, so wouldn’t it be wise to spend a little more time in some areas where we DO have more control?!
This isn’t to say that you should ditch social media altogether. It’s clear that it’s an amazing tool that can foster community and connection. But it’s not the only way.
So, if you’re ready to STOP being handcuffed to Instagram and start attracting real, consistent leads through various mediums, this post is for you!
Keep reading for 5 of my favorite ways to do this and then choose ONE that you’ll start focusing on this week. ⬇️
1) Blogs on your website ⌨️
Beyond simply having a website, the next thing that I preach is having a website that is consistently updated! And one of the best ways to do that? Implement blogging into your content marketing approach.
And I know… blogs?? The things that were popular in 2008? Aren’t those just for influencers and mommy bloggers?
YES, blogs the things that took the internet by storm in the early 2000’s. Yes, they’re still a thing and no they’re not just for influencers.
Most importantly, YES they can have major benefits when you implement them consistently in your business.
I dive deep into all the benefits of blogging in this blog post, but for now, let’s focus on how blogs can help you generate leads because sometimes people think that blogs are *only* for nurturing your audience.
While it’s true that blog content primarily serves as a source of education and information for your audience, the education and information you provide can go far beyond just educating and informing.
When you provide value to your audience on a consistent basis through your blog content, you are subconsciously building authority, credibility, and trust.
And you know what they say… business moves at the speed of trust! The more that your audience trusts you and recognizes that you really know your stuff, the more they’ll be inclined to work with you when they get the chance.
In addition to building trust, your blogs also have the opportunity to indirectly showcase your offers.
Instead of taking the in your face “buy this” approach, you can create blog content that highlights the benefits and success stories related to your offerings, so your audience first receives value around a topic and THEN is introduced to a possible solution for them.
This approach can lead to increased sales and conversions, as readers gain a better understanding of what you offer.
2) Email Marketing 💌
In addition to blogging in your business, I’m a HUGE fan of email marketing. Similar to blogging, email marketing is an example of one of those “timeless” marketing strategies that have been around for ages.
Although people are typically more keen to implement email marketing in their business before blogs, I firmly believe that you need BOTH!
But if you only have space to choose one and decide to go the email marketing route, the KEY is that you do it thoughtfully and strategically.
It’s not enough to simply launch a lead magnet, grow your list, and only email them when you’re selling or promoting something. That’s not going to work!
To truly see the fruits of your email marketing efforts, you have to make it something that you’re dedicated to and implement strategically.
This involves curating a newsletter or content style email that consistently gets sent on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis and has a clear objective while ultimately providing value to your readers.
Similar to blogging, your email marketing strategy can be a true relationship builder that consistently generates leads, thus leading to more inquiries and sales!
3) Podcasting 🎙️
Next up, another favorite – and I might be biased because I’m a podcaster myself – podcasting is another great marketing tool that builds connection with your audience and invites them into your community on a deeper level.
Similar to blogging, podcasting is a popular nurture tool and sometimes people choose one or the other. And I’ll admit – both blogging and podcasting are a commitment in your business.
They take time and strategy to create, but think about it this way: would you rather spend time curating a post for social media that’s going to die off in 48 hours (or less) OR would you rather spend time creating a blog post or podcast episode that has the ability to live on forevermore?
That’s the beauty of blogs AND podcast episodes – they’re entirely evergreen and your audience has the ability to find them at any given time after they’re published.
One reason that I’m such a huge proponent of podcasting is because it lets your audience get to know you in a deeper way. They can hear your voice and really start to create a connection with you that sometimes isn’t possible behind a computer or phone screen.
Getting to know you in this way can lead to building trust FASTER, which can speed up someone inquiring to work with you or buying one of your offers.
It’s truly magical and I can say that because I’ve personally experienced this in my business! ✨
4) Google Business Profile 🖥️
Google Business Profile is a marketing tool that I really don’t hear a ton of people talk about, but if you’re a location-based business, such as a photographer for example, you could really benefit from utilizing this!
If you’re not sure what Google Business Profile is, essentially it’s a free online platform provided by Google that allows businesses and organizations to manage their online presence on Google by creating an official business listing to display your key business information.
There’s a high chance you’ve been served these listings without evening realizing what they are! Here’s what they look like in search ⬇️
The cool part about these listings is that regardless of the SEO work that you’ve implemented on your website, THESE listings will populate first in search results (right below sponsored posts).
Typically, a consumer will see this list as businesses that are legit and professional and there’s a good chance that they will navigate to the websites of these businesses first, which means that without having a Google Business Profile listing, you could potentially miss out on the chance to populate in a list like this, thus missing out on potential business!
5) Paid Ads 💸
Lastly, a great way to attract consistent leads to your business is through paid ads. And I know what you might be thinking… “Sara, didn’t you just say that I should focus on marketing outside of social media?!”
Yep, I did! And that’s why ads are the last thing on this list.
After you’ve implemented all of the more traditional ways of marketing in your business, I believe it can still be beneficial to show up where your audience is.
And let’s be real: the majority of people ARE spending their time on social media, so it would be silly to write it off altogether.
What I don’t want you to do is start with paid advertising. I truly believe that there are some foundational things that you want to master first before you incorporate this into your business.
But when (or if) you do decide to implement paid ads, my suggestion is to keep it strategic!
What’s the ultimate goal? Growing your email list by promoting a free lead magnet, a free workshop or masterclass that leads into an offer, or a program you’re launching for a set period of time?
Determine your goal and THEN, work with a professional.
I’m a big fan of Google University and trying to figure things out on your own, but I also know when it’s time to call in the big guns.
In my opinion, paid advertising isn’t something you want to DIY, so find a service provider that you trust (Kendra is a former student of mine and is fantastic!) and let them help you navigate the crazy world of paid ads so that you can experience results that you’re proud of!
Ready To Market Your Magic? ✨
Overall, there is a way to generate consistent leads into your business BEYOND just Instagram!
There are so many amazing marketing opportunities and if you really want to stand out from the crowd, it’s time to implement some of these overlooked, timeless strategies to grow your audience and attract real interest in your business.
If you’re ready to market your magic in one or more of these ways in 2024, I invite you to join Storysale – a 3-month group coaching program for creatives to market their magic ✨
With Storysale, you’ll receive:
- 7, 60-minute group coaching Zoom calls with me
- 2, 60-minute guest coaching Zoom calls with guest experts
- Weekly 1:1 Voxer access to ask any questions you have about marketing your services, creating offers that your clients will love, brand messaging, and more
- 1:1 Intensives – every month of our program, students will schedule 1:1 intensives with me to put your website copy, SEO page titles, and email copy to work for YOUR business and your ideal client
In our calls we’ll focus on:
🗣️Introduction to Storytelling with website copy being the main focus area
⏰Sustainability Cornerstones with productivity and SEO being the main focus area
💬Marketing Your Magic with email being the main focus area
The cool part? Everything that you learn in Storysale can be applied to ANY part of your business!
CLICK HERE to get all enrollment details and be on your way to becoming the stand-out business owner that you were created to be. 🎉