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Episode 128: How to Build a Successful Business Beyond Social Media

September 6, 2022

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Social media is an ever-changing place. From one platform to another, there are unique audiences, styles, approaches, and best practices. For small business owners, particularly those who manage every area of their businesses solo, keeping up with the ever-changing demands of social media can be challenging.

At With Grace and Gold, we have always managed our own social media marketing —  managing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube, and more. We believe our clients are our top priority, so when we experience busy seasons or when unexpected circumstances arise, transparently, our social media marketing becomes less of a priority… and maybe you can relate! When we manage several areas of our business, it’s natural for some areas to be seen as higher-priority and for other areas to be seen as lower-priority. 

All this to say, we believe, and have seen first-hand, what a special, unique, and meaningful role social media marketing can play for small business owners — how social media can help business owners to reach their audience, to build personal connections, and to strengthen their business as a whole. But as we’ve seen and experienced over the years, social media is ever-changing. Some platforms we relied on heavily when our business first began, like Facebook, are no longer the place to be. Some platforms we used to love and enjoy, like Instagram, are now a bit more complicated to get a handle on. And new platforms, like TikTok, appear to favor early adopters, but feel more challenging for late majority or laggards to experience success in.

That’s why, this week, we want to share how to build a successful business beyond social media — 5 creative ways to build a strong foundation for your business so that when social media inevitably changes, you have a strong and purpose-driven foundation to fall back on and have confidence in. 

How to Build a Successful Business Beyond Social Media

Welcome to Episode 128 of the Brand It Build It Podcast: How to Build a Successful Business Beyond Social Media.

We want to begin today’s episode by saying, we have always believed and will continue to believe in the special and meaningful role social media marketing can play for small business owners. Every business has unique marketing needs, and can use social media to showcase their business in creative, connection-driven ways. Over the years, though, we’ve learned how social media isn’t always a dependable and consistent place from which to grow our business; its ever-changing demands and inconsistency can make depending on social media feel somewhat risky. 

That’s why, this week, we want to share how to build a successful business beyond social media — 5 creative ways you can build a strong foundation for your business and withstand social media changes with confidence and purpose. 

  1. Build a brand. When we say ‘brand’ we often think of the visual elements of a brand, like your logo design or your web design. But building a brand can mean so much more — deciding who you are, what you do, who you serve, and how you’ll serve them. Deciding what you stand for as a business, what you value, or the experience you hope to give your customers and clients. Building a brand means making well-rounded and cohesive decisions about the foundation and future of your business as a whole. Building a brand can mean laying the groundwork for a successful, sustaining business. Or hiring a copywriter to bring a voice to your business and the products or services your business offers. All in all, your brand is how people perceive you and your business, so determining how you’d like to be perceived, and how to create consistency in your communication can make all the difference. Building a brand will equip you to build a successful business beyond social media, because it empowers you to create something solid you have more ownership of. 
  2. Build Search Engine Optimization. In Episodes 072, 073, and 074, we journey through our Small Business Owner’s Guide to SEO series. But first, what is SEO? Search Engine Optimization is made up of a variety of approaches for increasing your website’s ranking and discoverability for searchers who use major search engines like Google. Having strong SEO is made up of a variety of factors, and your goal is to be listed at or near the top of Google’s search results when someone searches for keywords related to your business. Strong SEO should help grow the quantity of quality visits to your website. As an example, if you own a photography business in Chicago, you’d like for your website to be listed at or near the top of Google’s search results when someone types in something like “photographers in Chicago.” A major goal of having strengthened SEO is to bring more of your prospective clients to your website and to grow your business as a whole. So, how do you build Search Engine Optimization? We recommend exploring each episode — 072, 073 , and 074 — for actionable ways to build Search Engine Optimization. Today, Google searches are one of the most common ways business owners come upon With Grace and Gold, so, we have seen first-hand how helpful SEO can be for our own business. By building SEO, you can help your business to be discovered by search engine users — opening your business up to a larger audience beyond social media. 
  3. Showcase your expertise. Along the same lines of building Search Engine Optimization, we recommend showcasing your expertise using your blog. If your website is the trunk of a tree, your blog posts are the branches of a tree — helping your website to be discovered organically. Showcasing your expertise through your blog helps you to demonstrate credibility and create a space your audience will connect with, appreciate, and value. Your blog can build value for your website and for your audience — making it more than worthwhile to manage and maintain a blog on behalf of your business.
  4. Build a newsletter audience. Your newsletter audience is perhaps your most valuable audience — a group of people who are dedicated to and excited about receiving more communication, resources, or education from your business. A newsletter audience helps you to foster a sense of community, to connect personally with people seeking your products or services, and to create a space your prospective customers or clients will value and enjoy. FloDesk is our recommended newsletter system — something we share more about in Episode 016: 3 Lead Magnet Ideas to Grow Your Newsletter List
  5. Diversify your offerings. In Episode 011: Your Passive Income Action Plan, we share our recommended step-by-step approach for adding new layers — new products or new services — to your business. By diversifying your offerings, you can creatively determine new ways to serve your customers and clients, while also building a stronger foundation for your business. When you diversify, you give your business additional legs to stand on.

We are so hopeful this week’s episode encourages you to build and grow your business with purpose — to create something sustainable you can rest assured will work on your behalf, even amid the changing social media landscape. By building a brand, building search engine optimization, showcasing your expertise, building a newsletter audience, and diversifying your audience, you can strengthen your business from the inside out.

Hosted by Kelly Zugay, co-founder of With Grace and Gold, The Brand It, Build It Podcast is a leading small business marketing podcast for small business owners, creatives, and founders. Weekly, brief, actionable episodes will equip you to build a successful, sustainable small business.

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