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Oh social media, it’s a complicated relationship…
“I hate social media but need it for business” is something we have all thought at one point or another…
My biggest struggle with it is I am not a naturally social person. It takes me all of Monday to recover from people overload after being at church twice on Sundays. Not that I don’t want to be there but for a natural introvert social interaction drains me instead of fills me up.
There have been several times when I have been staring at the DELETE ACCOUNT button in a platform app just wishing I could hit that button so badly.
But the honest truth is it has helped me so much in my business over the years and it still does a lot for my rabbitry business helping me make multiple four figures every year with a pretty small rabbitry. Which is a huge blessing all on its own.
Let alone the brand awareness that has come with it.
There are two ways you can approach this struggle of not wanting to deal with social media marketing and wanting to say the heck with it.
First is, suck it up butter cup and learn how to make the most of the social platforms you are going to be on.
Second, you can choose to use it for a time to grow your business and slowly phase it out so you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to. (Which is where I am and is probably why I struggle to want to create social media posts on a regular basis.)
But I would be totally lying to you if I told you that you could make money quickly without it. Especially if you are trying to grow your homestead business.
I will take more about this later but starting a website or youtube channel is a slow burn and honestly is not a “in the moment” marketing channel. They don’t work for selling the animals or products you have now. More on that later.
How Social Media Is Used in Business
Ok, so how can social media be used as a marketing tool to help you grow your homestead business?
Social media has become a key component of business and marketing strategies for companies in virtually every industry or niche.
Why? Because that is where people spend most of their time literally every day. Even if it is just to unwind at the end of the day or something to do while they are on the pot they are still there scrolling.
Not only can social media be used to get in front of your potential customers, but it also provides an opportunity to engage with people and get answers from your ideal audience when you are doing market research.
The key to marketing success on social media is knowing YOUR marketing goals AND what the platform wants out of its users and how they behave using the platform. Meaning why do people go to that platform? Is it to just scroll and unwind while seeing something funny like Facebook and TikTok, to connect with people like they do on Instagram, or is it to find an answer to their question or get ideas like they do on Pinterest?
It depends on the platform but most social platforms are best used for brand awareness and if people click over to your website great, but if not no sweat. But they are more likely to come to you when they are ready for that thing you offer because they have seen you over and over again on social. Constantly posting links to blog posts will get your content shown to fewer people. On top of that people are there on the platform to scroll not to leave and go to a website.
It might feel like a waste of time because you can’t truly see the click-through data. But when they are ready for homemade soaps, dairy goats, or learning how to garden they will look you up first.
Challenges of Social Media for Businesses
Social media is important for businesses to reach potential customers, but it can also be a challenge to manage. It can feel really draining for a lot of people and sometimes feel pointless because seeing results other than vanity numbers like followers and likes can be difficult.
The biggest challenge business owners (especially if they are doing it all on their own) face from social media is keeping up with all the different platforms and staying on top of the conversation. With so many social media channels it can be hard to know which online marketing platform is right for your business.
Tame Consumption and Stressful Atmosphere
Social media can be a huge time-suck for businesses, with a bunch of different platforms to manage and conversations to track. Everyone pounds the table about posting consistently which is a good thing. But that can turn into posting just to post so you can say you met the quota and you didn’t post with intention.
It doesn’t matter if you posted something that didn’t ultimately serve your business or meet the goals you have for your social media marketing. Personally, I think THAT is what people mean by high-quality content.
On top of posting often, the atmosphere on social media can also be pretty stressful at times, especially when there are negative comments or DMs. It’s important to remember that even if someone has something negative (or even downright rude) to say, it doesn’t mean you have to respond the same way or at all; take a step back and consider your options. Did this person say something that requires a response or not?
If you can respond to a comment that might be someone simply disagreeing with you in a way that shows your credibility is a good idea. I think that would be a great way to show your followers who see that person’s comment that you know what you are talking about.
Here is an example of that on an old pin on Pinterest where I responded with my reasons.
Now people have continued to comment with basically the same thing and it’s really not worth responding to all of them because they are welcome to disagree with me. And some just want to fuss anyway.
It takes practice to learn to stomach even these somewhat decent comments even though they clearly disagree. But that’s just it. We are free to agree to disagree.
Difficulty Breaking Through the Clutter
Breaking through the noise on social media can be hard for people for A LOT of different reasons. Here are some things you might be struggling with.
- You are not sure where your audience is spending their time so you are picking the most popular platforms and it’s not getting you the results you want.
- You are not creating content on the platform that speaks to the INTENT of the platform user.
- You are constantly trying to get people to leave a platform which is NOT what platforms like Facebook and Instagram want you to do. So your content is going to not get you clicks.
I think the biggest thing you can do to help break through the noise on social is to make sure you are creating content that serves people in the USER INTENT on the platform.
But then posting topics around that that are bold and don’t blend in. Content that causes people to stop and pay attention is what will get you results.
9 Keys to More Farm Sales
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Before You Hit Delete Ask Yourself This Question
Are you ok with the results of not posting on that platform? Meaning if you are getting results and you still hate it you have to be ok with potentially losing the customers you are getting.
BUT, if you are not getting the results you want then stop trying to squeeze water out of a rock. Let the platform go…
I went through a struggle with whether or not to keep social media at all the spring of 2023. I was posting on Instagram and Facebook A LOT and while Facebook was serving the purpose I intended for the rabbitry, Instagram was not getting me any real business results.
It was a huge energy drain and I was feeling the effects of it causing me to even consider selling my business… NOT GOOD!
If you don’t feel right about closing down the platform either then you need to find the answer to — what are you able to manage as a social media posting schedule. And is that plan going to allow you to free up your mental space and make use of that power for something else?
Things like building an email list or growing your website SEO traffic.
I am not the type that can be half-in only posting a few times a week and feeling like I am half-assing the content production. But something had to change. So I made my IG account to act as more of a billboard instead of a “hay I’m here for questions, reach out to me type of platform”.
I set up an autoresponder to encourage people to email me if they sent the account a message and also put in my bio that the blog and YouTube are my main platforms. If you don’t want to delete the account this is definitely a good option.
Reasons Social Media Is Helpful For Business
As much as I hate to admit it. Social media is a great tool to get your business started for free. AND it will start working much faster than most other ways to grow your business without social media. Methods like SEO, growing an email list, and being a guest on other people’s podcasts, shows, or collaborations are all great and I have seen awesome bumps in visibility from those opportunities BUT those take a long time and when you are smaller it can be hard to see momentum in all of those areas.
Generating Leads and Increasing Visibility
You need eyeballs (people to know you exist) if you want to make money from your homestead. So you have a few choices.
If you really hate social and you choose to not use it. You can decide to use longer-term methods like growing a website and learning SEO which can take YEARS before you start getting a lot of traffic and business.
Or do things like getting on other people’s platforms to gain traction but that is a very slow burn. AND the thing with that is people need some kind of place to look for you. Most often people look for a website or some sort of social platform first. It’s just the way most people are wired and the older generation ages out the more important social media will be.
Gaining Insights into Target Audience Behaviors and Interests
This is one reason why I have not completely given up on social media. Some platforms like Instagram are a great way to get people’s opinions on something, do market research, and learn what your ideal customers really want. People are more willing to engage and talk back on IG than on almost any other platform.
Having a website is great but you don’t have a good way to hear back from your readers and customers unless they reach out through email on their own. Which is like 0.000001% of the time.
Using One Short-term Platform and One Longterm
This is my personal recommendation for starting and growing your homestead business. Social media is a fast and free way to have some form of visibility online while you are growing your home base off of social media.
I recommend you choose one long-term platform (ideally a website because you own it) and one short-term platform to get the ball rolling.
BUT if you are just starting out I want you to start one social media account and grow it for a year before you start a website. I see so many people jump in the deep end of starting their homestead business and honestly find out that running a business is not for them. And that’s ok. But I don’t want you to use a ton of your time and money to start a website and then find out it’s not for you.
But you shouldn’t rely on someone else’s platform for your business.
Note: I did an IG experiment a while back and I was able to grow an IG account to over 100 followers in just a few months when focusing on growing the platform for my rabbitry. I didn’t tell anyone about the account I just wanted to see what would happen. Let me tell you it’s worth doing in the short term.
9 Keys to More Farm Sales
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How To Grow Your Business Without Social Media
In today’s digital landscape, social media platforms have become synonymous with growing an online business.
While they certainly offer a lot of benefits, relying solely on social media for business growth can be limiting and even risky.
Here are some alternative strategies that can help you expand your online business without depending on social media.
We’ll delve into tactics such as appearing on podcasts, harnessing the power of SEO for your website, and building a strong email list.
Podcasts have gained immense popularity in recent years, personally, I think because people can listen to them while doing something else like chores or other mindless work. Getting featured on relevant podcasts can provide exposure and establish your expertise.
Here are some tips to secure podcast appearances:
a. Research and identify podcasts within your niche: Look for podcasts that cater to your target audience and align with your business’s core values. — But don’t dismiss the niches that are right next door to what you talk about either.
b. Craft a compelling pitch: Outline your uniqueness and how you can bring value to THAT PERSONS audience and why you would be a valuable guest. Personalize your pitch to show genuine interest in the podcast and its audience. DO NOT start with I would love to be on your podcast. — I get these all the time for the blog and they don’t even say what topic they could write about. In the trash bin those emails go.
c. Highlight your expertise: Showcase your knowledge and experience that aligns with the podcast’s theme. Offer insights and actionable tips that would engage the listeners.
d. Be prepared and engaging: Before the interview, research the podcast host and their style. Practice articulating your ideas concisely and prepare interesting anecdotes to captivate the audience.
Harnessing the Power of SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool to drive organic traffic to your website, increase visibility, and boost your online presence. This has been MASSIVE for not only my online business but getting customers for the rabbitry consistently without my having to go find customers.
Here’s how you can leverage SEO effectively:
a. Keyword research: Identify relevant keywords that your target audience uses to search for products, and services, or ask questions in the category of WHAT YOU SELL! If that person probably doesn’t want what you sell don’t waste your time writing about it. Use keyword research tools (like Keywords Everywhere, Or Ubersuggest) to uncover keywords with a high number of searches per month, low-competition with other sites.
b. Optimize your website: Ensure your website is technically sound, user-friendly, and optimized for search engines. Optimize meta tags, headings, URLs, and image alt tags with relevant keywords.
c. Create quality content: Develop informative, valuable, and keyword-rich content that aligns with your audience’s interests. Regularly publish blog posts, articles, or resources that address their pain points and provide solutions.
d. Build quality backlinks: Seek opportunities to earn backlinks from reputable websites and blogs within your industry. Guest posting, collaborating on content, and creating valuable resources can help you earn valuable backlinks. Even sharing your blog posts on social media is a good way to start getting backlinks even if you don’t get a lot of clicks.
Building an Engaged Email List
Email marketing remains a powerful tool for cultivating relationships, fostering customer loyalty, and driving conversions. Here’s how to grow an engaged email list:
a. Offer valuable incentives to join your list: Create lead magnets such as ebooks, guides, templates, or exclusive discounts that provide value to your audience. Offer these incentives in exchange for their email addresses.
b. Optimize website opt-ins: Place opt-in forms strategically on your website, focusing on high-visibility areas such as the homepage, blog posts, and landing pages. Clearly communicate the benefits of joining your email list.
c. Personalize your emails: Segment your email list based on customer preferences, interests, or demographics. Deliver personalized content and offers that resonate with specific segments of your audience.
d. Nurture your subscribers: Regularly send engaging, informative, and personalized emails that provide value. Provide exclusive content, industry insights, promotions, and opportunities for feedback to keep subscribers engaged.
After hearing all of these ideas it can be tempting to throw it all out the virtual door and say forget it. But I would HIGHLY DISCOURAGE THAT until you have taken the time to build up your reputation for a few years. If you truly want a business you need people to know who you are and what you do to make money.
Don’t just hit delete and think your business will be fine. You will struggle if you don’t have another way people regularly look for you.
While social media platforms offer valuable opportunities for growing an online business, not relying solely on them is possible and advisable. But you need to put your marketing efforts somewhere.
By leveraging the power of podcast appearances, website SEO optimization, and building an engaged email list, you can expand your online business and connect with your target audience effectively. By diversifying your growth strategies, you’ll be well-positioned to achieve long-term success and homestead business growth beyond the confines of social media.
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