If you’re a solopreneur service provider, like a coach or consultant, you don’t need to be active on social media, believe it or not. If that feels like a relief, then that’s a sign, right there, that it might not be a fit for you.
It can be great for some kinds of businesses (restaurants for instance), but not as ideal for solo service providers (coaches, healing arts professionals, creative professionals, consultants…).
The biggest problem is the opportunity cost of focusing so much energy (and/or ad dollars) on social media, without enough benefit, when you could be focusing on something that has a bigger and more lasting impact.
It’s possible you’re looking to social media to do the heavy lifting if you don’t feel like getting out there. But there are ways to attract clients that are more enjoyable for introverts, such as one-to-one meaningful connections with people you already know and like. SEO is another good option for us.
I’ll explain more about what works best for us introverted solopreneurs with a service-based business.
What’s Actually in the Way of Client Attraction
Stop thinking that marketing is mainly about connecting with strangers and “growing your network.” That thought is actually creating the block for you.
It’s much more about connecting in real life with people you already know and like, and staying in touch, and then, as it feels right, follow suggestions to connect in real life with people they know and like too.
Some proof. Think about this. Would you rather have 5 big fans who know you well and love to refer to you (and they do refer to you), OR 500 “followers” who don’t really know you and never take action? I’ll take those 5 genuine fans any day. Plus it’s more fun (and actually doable) to connect deeply with 5.
I myself like the combination of deeper connections and a small amount of online connection, and find that is quite a powerful combination. For me, it’s a both/and, in manageable doses.
Sample of Making It Easier
Ideally you’re doing real life connections, primarily, along with some online connecting, even in small ways.
For instance, connecting over lunch (or tea over Zoom) with a colleague, while also remaining visible and connected on a platform you both enjoy using such as LinkedIn.
That way social media is the reminder, while real life interaction is at the core. Social media then feels more friendly and comfortable when it’s people you actually know.
This is basically what I’ve done and I think I spend far less time on networking while still getting more meaningful and useful connections than those who spend hours a week on social media.
I’m actually about to head out for a midday walk with a colleague I only barely know who seems like someone I’d enjoy knowing more. Sounds fun and simple, right? (Update: it was indeed fun and simple and we plan to meet up again. Second update, 2 months later: She became a beloved client. My kindred spirit instincts really hit it right.)
But everyone is unique and it’s about finding what works for you.
How To Know What Fits for You
Everyone is different. Social media might be the perfect thing for you and it might bring you joy. For instance, some people I know really hit their stride while making helpful videos for YouTube. That’s great.
But if you don’t enjoy being on social media, it might not be the right fit for your marketing. Don’t believe the hype that social media marketing is a must. It’s not.
Follow the fun. If you enjoy it, that’s a sign to learn more about that direction and go deeper. See how that goes. Give it a bit of a chance and then stay with what feels right, and drop what doesn’t. Keeping it to one or two platforms for simplicity.
For instance, if you enjoy Instagram, take a course on Instagram for marketing (such as this Instagram course for solopreneurs). It will help you see if it’s a good fit for you or not. If you hate being there, it likely won’t pay off.
It’s a win-win: if you don’t like something after giving it a try, you can let it go with a clear conscience. No more “shoulds” rattling around.
For me, I enjoy blogging and that has turned into a fun and fruitful focus for me. Explore, choose one or two ways to go deep, and watch what happens.
Hiring a Social Media Person Is Not a Quick Fix.
Solopreneurs who don’t like social media often think they should just hire a virtual assistant or social media specialist to handle it for them.
Again, that can work great for something like a restaurant, but for the kind of business which is ultimately about YOU and your approach, it’s tough for someone else to express You anywhere near as well as you can.
Getting that to work takes a lot of time and effort. There goes that time savings idea.
In other words, even if you could hire someone and supervise them well enough to post in a way that fits your style (which is possible), it’s a lot of time and money to make it work well like that. Once again, it could be a big distraction from putting energy into other things.
Most typically I’ve noticed that when people do hire for social media help, they just post a lot of image quotes, but that is unlikely to lead to anything substantive for your business. Again, the real you is not showing. Lots of money and frustration, with no results.
Getting real traction on social media is much more about writing meaningful posts and engaging as a real person. If that sounds fun to you, take a course in how to do it well and this could be a good direction for you, although you’ll still likely need to pay to get your posts seen widely.
That Stuckness with Marketing Is a Clue.
The most common problem I see with people who feel stuck around marketing is how much time they put into social media, even with hired help. They get exhausted and discouraged about client attraction as a whole, because they mistake social media marketing for what is actually a whole range of possibilities. They start to feel like marketing failures.
While focusing so much energy there, they are usually leaving out the other methods that work better and that might be a better fit for their style.
If you feel stuck, that’s your inner compass telling you something is off and you need a new way that fits your energy and style. Your Inner Compass Is Better Than You Think.
Permission: You Get To Say No to Social Media
For Clarity, a Minimal Presence Can Be Helpful.
When I say you don’t need to be active on social media, it still could be worth having a filled-in profile on some major social media sites, like LinkedIn, because people might look for you there. And because search engines might have an easier time finding you too. (That’s an SEO tip. SEO is worth a good look.)
These 2 articles help to explain what I mean as a minimal presence that is still useful:
- Does social media influence your SEO? (by Yoast SEO)
- Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles To Get Found
No need to knock yourself out being active on social media, but you might find yourself open to having a simple profile there, and those articles above will give you the step-by-step specifics to make it easy for you.