woman whispering about social media

“Get clients without selling, marketing, social media or any of those other icky business chores you hate.”

Sounds like a click-bait headline if ever there was one, right? Admittedly, I feel a little giddy over the audaciousness of it.

It is possible, and I’m living my (Un)Marketing experiment to see just how far we can push it.

Here’s how I can make such a bold statement:

  • I don’t “sell” the way the experts tell you to do it: discovery calls, overcoming objections and fake scarcity offers.

  • I don’t “market” the way I was taught: agitating pain points, hustling every waking hour, showing up consistently on all the channels.

  • I haven’t used social media for four months. (I did make one brief exception to promote a workshop with a collaborative partner by doing two posts.)

Let me be clear:

You need to have a product or service for sale in order to have a business, so in that sense, you’ll need to sell something. But you don’t have to do selling the sleazy, pushy, inauthentic way most people hate.

You’ll probably need to take some action to tell people about your product or service, and that might look like “marketing,” but it doesn’t have to feel icky, fake or require endless self-promotion.

Social media? It is absolutely, positively NOT a necessity for a successful business. And I’m not the only one who’s made a choice to leave or limit their social media presence.

We’ve made up the distasteful meaning about all of these things…which means we can make up an alternative. That’s what (Un)Marketing is all about.

Selling, marketing and even social media isn’t so bad — it might actually be fun! — without the nasty thinking we have about it.

How to Get Clients Without Trying

Now kids, don’t try this at home until you read my disclaimer:

This is my personal journey and what’s working for me. It was inspired by my inner guidance, and your results may vary.

It’s not a “proven formula,” and adapting it for your business without some major adjustments probably won’t work well. Unless you want to try on my size 8 Altra Zero Drop trail runners and see if they fit? (Trust me, you don’t want to go there; they’ve pretty much melded to my feet.)

However, I believe creating clients without struggle can be done by anyone when your business actions are inspired by your inner guidance and aliveness. The principles of creating clients without trying will be the same.

When I stopped doing social media for my business, I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t follow the advice of those who’d gone before me, and I’m sure there were potential clients and followers who didn’t discover me as a result. But I was inspired to new avenues of connecting with clients that I never would have discovered if I hadn’t taken the leap off.

With that in mind, read on, and ask yourself what a divinely inspired You-flavored version of this might look like.

#1 – Identify communities where the people you love hang out.

Where do you love to hang out naturally? Who are the people you’d choose to be stuck on an island with?

Tad Hargrave calls this “hub marketing,” connecting with the communities where your ideal clients are already present and getting a warm introduction to them. I’m going to encourage you to simply be present in the locations and with the people who light you up, even if you’re not sure who your “ideal client” may be.

This might be a church, yoga studio, gamer group, book club, Facebook group, charity, travels, meetup, cooking class, school, women’s circles, tarot readings. It could be in person or online.

Now, if you really don’t like any people, I can’t help you, because you kinda need people to serve in order to have a business. But I’m fairly certain you love people because you’ve got a desire to change the world, eh?

For me, this meant joining a few membership communities: 3PGC and the Majik Membership. I also showed up in coaching communities and partnered to create a remote co-working space just for coaches.

I applied to be a guest on podcasts that serve my audience with a compatible worldview. I revived my Wildspire podcast and invited entrepreneurs who inspire me to be my guests, and wrote blog posts with YouTube videos of their episodes designed to make them look good.

Why? Because I know that if I show up in these communities and connect with these people, it generates partners, client-playmates and friends. But that’s not why I do it! 

I don’t go in with an agenda; I’d hang out in these places with these people anyway, just because it’s FUN.

That’s the key. Go places and have fun with people you enjoy.  

#2 – Be YOU in these communities.

What is it you love to do in these communities? Who would you be if you didn’t “have” to be anyone there?

Whether it’s sitting there quietly, working out, or chatting people up, DO YOU.

There’s nothing more irresistible than someone who’s dancing their heart out on the dance floor or reclining in the corner with a book, enjoying themselves in a way that’s perfectly them. It’s going to attract other people like you.

So whatever it is you do in the wild, do that in these communities.

For me, that looks like answering questions, sharing resources, recognizing people, telling stories and getting involved. It’s not a chore for me to volunteer in these communities because I love being there. I also invite people to conversations whenever my inner guidance nudges me to do so.

It’s easy, natural and fun.

#3 –  Leave a trail of breadcrumbs people can follow to easily discover what you do.

This is where focused intention comes into play.

Remember our conversation about needing to have a product or service available for people to buy? The clearer you are about what you’re doing, who it’s for, and how you do it, the easier it will be for people to know if it’s for them or not.

My favorite means of doing this is by sharing your Contrarian Voice of Wisdom and creating transformational content. You can share this content in numerous places: your website, Facebook, YouTube, Medium, podcasts, your own blog posts, other people’s blogs and newsletters, magazines, Insight Timer, communities and forums. (Check out this list of 27 Alternatives to Social Media Marketing if you want more ideas.)

You can do this even if you haven’t “nailed your niche” or know what results people get. You can still be clear about the experience you’re creating and who you’d like to invite into it.

Some of the breadcrumbs I leave come in the form of:

  • Blog posts on my website
  • My Wildspire and Wild Creation Stories podcasts
  • Stories shared in off-Facebook forums
  • Blog articles auto-magically shared to my Facebook page and LinkedIn profile
  • My zoom name that includes TheAwakenedBusiness.com so people can find me
  • An email signature

This is what it looks like for me. I have a friend who posts daily on Facebook about whatever adventures they might be having. Another creates meditations for Insight Timer. Another shares videos of her artwork.

The secret is to be discoverable. If someone Google’s your name or business name, can they find a clear description of what you do?

Being You In Your Business

My #1 wish for you is to get in the game of your business, playing full out. Get your hands dirty. Experiment, test and try.

Use the templates and strategies of the experts as a starting point, and then, keep going. Discover what works for you and what doesn’t. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, create it.

You can have a thriving, profitable business that changes the world and feels good to share. If you haven’t found your way there yet, I have a 1:1 coaching journey to explore your irresistible message and playful (Un)Marketing that lights you up and attracts soulmate clients.

You can also join the Play Circle to connect with and tap the wisdom of other inspiring transformational entrepreneurs like you.

You’re not alone in this. You never were.

Yours in creative play,

Steph