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My top 3 ways I grow my business NOT on social media5 min read

Let’s face it social media is an excellent tool for marketing your business. But like any tool, it comes with its drawbacks. For so many social media is mentally draining, time-consuming, and just plain hard to master (yea I’m talking about you – Instagram algorithm 👀).

So what are other ways you can grow your business? I’m glad you asked, would you believe less than 25% of my website traffic comes from social media. These are my tried and true ways of growing my service-based business.

01. Referrals

I can not stress this enough, you can’t beat real clients talking about their real results! When your clients have thoroughly enjoyed the process of working with you and have benefited from your services what they tell their friends will be invaluable. I have found that referrals are my number one source of inquiries in my business. The best part about referral inquiries is they come knowing exactly what to expect with your process and you don’t have to spend a lot of time convincing them “why” they need your services.

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. One of the questions on my Project Feedback Questionnaire asks how likely are you to refer my services and why. This question not only lets me know what part of my project experience they really enjoyed but it also reminds the client to refer people.

Other ways to get referrals

  • Offer incentives or affiliates links for past clients.
  • Give past clients social media graphics to share about their experiences and remind them to tag you
  • Provide marketing materials such as referral cards in your client gifts

02. Email marketing Lead Magnets

So what is a lead magnet? A lead magnet is a freebie or deeply discounted item you use to draw people in like a magnet. It’s a valuable piece of information you give away in exchange for their attention. A lead magnet allows you to get inside your audience’s inbox and build the like, know, trust factor. 

My favorites reasons I like this strategy. 

  1. Lead magnets tell you what the viewer is interested in. For instance, if you download my Guide “The Secret Behind Consistently Creating Designer Graphics” I already know you’re interested in design resources and possibly you are looking to DIY. This gives me enough information to know after I nurture the relationship you may be a good fit to pitch website templates to.
  2. Lead magnets get you on my email list, once you’re on my email list I can get my information to you without worrying about an algorithm hiding it.
  3. Lead magnets are low maintenance. Once I create my lead magnet and then create a workflow using Flodesk (my absolute fav email marketing software) everything is automated and I can spend more time doing other stuff in my business.

03. Networking

If you haven’t noticed by now I love to talk lol I even have a podcast. But just loving to talk isn’t all it takes to be effective at networking. You have to really value making connections…I repeat connections, not transactions. When you make conversation with people solely based on what you can get out of it, they can tell. So do better. Ask people about what they offer and what needs they may have and then truly listen to their answers. Find ways that their story, their product, or their brand as a whole aligns with yours. Then you can share what you offer and see if it’s something they could benefit from or even their audience.

My favorite ways to network

  • Reaching out to be on podcast  – I have made so many industry friends by reaching out to be a guest on their podcast. Those free-flowing conversations taught me so much about them as business owners and also positioned me to talk about my brand in front of their audience.
  • Attending local meet-ups – Knowing local business owners is invaluable. You never know when you may need one of their services.
  • Attending conferences and workshops – I saved the best for last! Hands down this is my favorite way to network. Wondering why? Because you are in a room full of people who are ready to learn and grow! It’s the perfect place to do market research on the state of your industry. It’s the perfect place to befriend people in an adjacent industry to yours and set up referral agreements. It’s the perfect place to get feedback on a service or course you are thinking about launching. It’s the perfect place to exchange contact info and set up virtual coffee dates and WFH zoom rooms. Okay, you can see I am passionate about this one! Needless to say, there is a lot of “social networking” that can be done outside of social media.

So there you have it, these are the top three ways I have grown my six-figure design business. Not a designer, no worries these same fundamentals can be applied to any service-based business.

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