book morphing into steam and sunflowers

It’s time for me to do business without social media, and put some of the alternatives to social media marketing to the test in real life.

What prompted this? Why now?

It was provoked in large part by the presentation on “Life & Business Without Social Media” hosted by Tad Hargrave of Marketing For Hippies and Bradley Morris of Majik Media.

(You can view the full “Life & Business Without Social Media” presentation here, shared with  permission and no opt-in required. Now isn’t that refreshing!)

If you’re considering limiting or eliminating social media from your life or business, I’ll share my takeways here, but even if you aren’t moving away from Facebook, Instagram and the like, this may prove a rich exploration into what else is possible when it comes to unleashing your authentic expression in business.

Let’s get something clear upfront:

I’m not anti-social media. I’ve experienced the benefits of social media, and Facebook in particular, for years in terms of relationships, education and income.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t use social media. I believe you know, even if you don’t know that you know, what to do in this moment to navigate the use of social media for your business with integrity. 

What follows is not a system for leaving social media. This is my own experience prompted by my own journey and inner guidance. 

I am absolutely passionate about doing business and marketing as a relentless expression of your joy and aliveness. I enjoy challenging the so-called rules of business, and take perverse delight in exploring alternatives to the status quo to see just how much (or little) I can get away with. This is the truest motivation behind my possible exodus from social media.

I’m not going into the details about why you might like to leave social media in this article. Either you get that, or you don’t, and I’m not here to convince you.

I’m much more interested in helping you explore YOUR path for navigating social media.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

Breaking Up With Facebook: It’s Not You, It’s Me

There often comes a time in a relationship when it becomes clear that something just isn’t working.

I’m just not feeling you these days, Facebook.

Bradley Morris’ story invited me to pause and take stock. Is it Facebook? Is it me? Do I actually want to be in this relationship?

“You experience what you bring to something; that something doesn’t create the experience.”

Mavis Karn, Counselor & Educator

It really isn’t Facebook’s fault. A social media platform does what it does. It’s job is to make a profit, and it does that by keeping people on it’s platform as long as possible and selling their information to advertisers.

I’m clear that any thoughts beyond that are stories I’ve made up about what “social media” means.

Facebook doesn’t “make” me feel insecure or suck up my energy — but the oppressive thoughts I have about it just might.

It was important to me that I see for myself whether my desire to leave social media stems from a misunderstanding that the tool is causing me to feel a certain way, or a genuine desire for something else.

My personal inventory began with these questions:

  • What communities do I want to hang out in now?

  • Where are my clients coming from now?

  • How much time am I spending on social media?

  • How much ROI do I get from the time spent?

  • If I had more than enough clients and no discomfort with social media whatsoever, would I want to use it?

  • If I had more than enough time to do everything, would I want to spend my time on Facebook?

It became clear that even if I felt completely neutral about Facebook (which is the case, for the most part) I would prefer to share and connect in other ways.

While it may have been true in the past that my clients came through Facebook relationships, these days people find their way to me from connections made through programs, courses and conferences. They may stay connected on Facebook, but that’s not how they find me.

All of which confirms that this is a legitimate “let’s see what happens” desire on my part to quit social media.

Not that I NEED this reassurance to overcome my insecurity and follow what I know, but apparently, I do.

A Graceful Exit From Social Media

phone taking a picture of woods

So, I’ve determined that I want to leave.

What the hell do I do now?

I’ll share the experience related by Bradley Morris regarding his departure from social media four years ago. This serves as a good jumping off point for my own exploration.

“What we need is more social connection, not more social media.”

Bradley Morris, Majik Media

Before leaving, Bradley made a list of the 25 or so people he actually wanted to talk to regularly. He put careful thought into the people he’d remain connected with, gathered their contact details, and connected on Voxxer and Marco Polo. 

He warns that it does take more effort to maintain relationships without the shortcut of social media. It requires being proactive in making phone calls and reaching out.

Dave Booda also gives some great tips for maintaining connection without social media here.

My main consideration isn’t how to keep in touch with the people I care about — I’m going to do that one way or another — but where will I focus my time and energy to share what I do in business instead?

Relationships: Back to Real-ity

Bradley emphasizes numerous times in his presentation that the secret to a successful business without social media is:

RELATIONSHIPS.

Tad Hargrave points to connections with what he calls, “hubs,” the communities where your ideal clients are already engaged. Build relationships with the leaders of those hubs and you have an introduction to your tribe, no social media required.

Bradley identifies the five types of relationships to cultivate:

  1. Collaborations – creating an event or experience with another person, such as a Summit, webinar or retreat

  2. Affiliates – an arrangement where someone sells your course and you a pay 20-30% bonus for referrals

  3. Licensing – creating assets such as videos, audios, meditations or templates and licensing them to multiple companies for a fee

  4. Guest Appearances – being a guest in other communities on their podcasts, membership communities, conferences or blogs

  5. Profit Sharing – charging a small up front investment and then partnering with others to build the product or service and share the revenue

Coming Home to What You Love

This exploration takes me back to the questions I ask my clients.

What do you love to do? What if that is your marketing?

I have always loved creating content (videos, articles, trainings) and writing about what’s interesting to me. In business, that’s often taken the form of  “content marketing” and “email marketing,” hosting webinars and events.

These days, I’m telling stories and creating experiments and journeys, then inviting people to join the adventures through both free and paid avenues.

None of this feels like “marketing,” and none inherently requires social media. 

My personal plan at the moment (if you can call this intuitive journey a “plan”) is to identify 25 people with the type of engaged community ecosystem I’d like to be a part of, and find ways to contribute content, feature them, and explore possibilities for partnership and collaboration.

By leveraging each other’s audiences, we can create value and grow together, doing it with play and fun.

Please check out Bradley’s resources (paid and free) for more information on how to license your content, partnerships, and how to use Mighty Networks for creating your own community platform.