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To social media or not. Can you have a successful business and not be on social media?

Selling your product without social media will make you much much better at social media when you do decide to strategically add it into your marketing mix.


Can you have a successful business and not be on social media? The short answer is yes. You always have choices of how and where you market.

Before we get into it, in this post, I’m not talking to natural social influencers or people who love to post and find it fun and creative. You should keep posting if it’s working for you. And download our Increase Your Revenue Guide to find tips to use social more strategically.

Here, I'm talking to the people who dread posting and take hours to craft one piece of social content.

You know that at the core of a great business is the product you sell. If you are looking to grow your business, focus on your product and customers. Period.

Design, test, get feedback, and do it again. Over and over.

Now, Let's say you've done this part. You have an awesome product or service at the right price for the right customer.

Are you wondering how you know? You know because you have customers who LOVE your product and are sending you referrals. If you are not currently getting referral business, then you need to go back and find out why.

Let's not even talk about social media until you have customers and those customers are telling their friends.

But what if I don't have any customers?!?! Don't I have to promote myself on social media to tell people about my product?

Not necessarily. And it's not usually the easiest way to get your first customer. In fact, figuring out how to sell your product without social media will make you much much better at social media when you do decide to strategically add it into your marketing mix.

Let's use an online retail business as an example. Let's say this business is importing a product that has a positive social impact. Think yoga mats made from coconut waste from a woman-owned regenerative farm in the DRC. I just made this up, but you get it.

The first shipment of mats is in. Website is up. Owner has 5 hours of available time and no money budgeted for marketing this week. Here are 3 ways she could use that time.

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3


​At home photo shoot and videos for social media. Craft 5 posts and schedule them.

Walk into 3 yoga studios and talk to them about your mat, ask them to test it and discuss partnership options.

​Organize a private event for the next week. Send email and SMS messages invitations. An evening of yoga, meditation, and stories (about the social impact and amazing women in DRC).


​200 per post




​10 Website Visits

​1 yoga studio has agreed to talk about the mat in all their classes and put a promo about it in their next email and do a post about it on their social channel

​10 people came to the event and 2 purchased mats.

​Immediate Sales




Bigger Picture

​You have no idea why your posts didn't hit, why the 10 website visits didn't buy or why the posts didn't convert to website visits.

It is very unlikely anyone is talking about you or your mats from seeing your post.

​Even if you don't get a partner studio, you have had 3 real conversations and gotten real feedback on your mat. You have probably gotten some leads. “Email this person and tell them about these mats".

The likelihood that your mats come up again in conversation is high because you had a real-in-person conversation.

You've invited your whole network of friends and family to the event and so they all know what you are up to even if they weren't able to come. You got real feedback and know what made people buy (was it the quality or the social impact?). You got a bunch of cool photos and stories for social and 10 people are likely telling other people about the event and the mats.

The more you can get yourself and your product in front of real people and get real feedback the quicker you will get social media working for you. Like when your people post about you or you do impromptu casual posts out in the wild with all these amazing people you are connecting with. Deciding to do social media or not is easier when the content is flowing in real life.

Think of organic marketing as something you don't do on social media. Think of social media as a channel for paid advertising. There is a time when you will want to use paid advertising in your business, and I am so glad we have social media as an option for that.

Now. Brainstorm 5 ways you could do organic marketing that ISN’T social media.

The best ideas come to me while walking. Also - more enjoyable than posting on social.

Woman walking along a path in a park with trees

The February Build a Business Plan Challenge
Free February Challenge to Draft Your Dream Business

For the month of February, we are leading a cohort of entrepreneurs through the basics of creating a plan to test the feasibility of their ideas. 


This is also good for businesses that have already launched but don’t have a clear strategy or want to revisit their plan.

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