10 Smart Ways to Grow Your Brand Visibility (Without Facebook & Instagram)Oct 07, 2021
When Facebook and Instagram are down, is your whole business down? Did you feel a little lost when Facebook apps including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, were down for a about 6 hours earlier this week?
As an entrepreneur with a business to market, I use Facebook a lot – mostly for the groups and messenger. It's where I host my Be Seen Community for soul-aligned entrepreneurs, which has allowed me to create a much deeper connection with my audience and has essentially driven my business for the last two years. It's also where I connect with my own colleagues and coaches.
I actually felt a bit of excitement and relief when Facebook was down, as I imagined a world without Facebook or Instagram. Lately, I've been thinking of possible ways around the platform for both personal and business reasons.
It's a mixed bag, isn't it?
One one hand, there’s the opportunity for connection – When used in a positive, healing way, I've experienced and witnessed a great feeling of connection that can come from these platforms. Especially in times of this pandemic, this has helped so many people feel at least a bit less isolated.
On the other hand, it can take me to the dark place where I question how humanity will survive this.
I'm not alone in feeling the overwhelm from the spreading of hate, misinformation, and political polarization. Which is now getting heated and being brought to light by whistleblower Frances Haugen.
As a business owner of course I think of the marketing. Having to navigate the algorithms can make you want to pull your hair out, but it's also inundated with marketers which makes it loud and oftentimes lacking in authenticity. "Facebook and Instagram are the top two platforms used by marketers, by a longshot," says Social Media Examiner in their 2021 Industry Report, with Facebook used by 93% and Instagram by 78% of marketers.
All this noise makes it tough for the business owner to stand out and be seen, and hard for the consumer who's tossed in every direction by bright shiny objects.
As an entrepreneur building a personal brand, what would you do right now if Facebook was instantly gone forever?
Would this negatively impact your business? Would you break into a cold sweat wondering how you’re going to market your business tomorrow or how you’re going to access all the prospects you’ve been building there?
The problem with any social media platform is that you don’t own it.
These platforms can go away without warning. No, I don’t think Facebook is going anywhere at the moment, but if it did, so would any content you’ve accumulated there over the years, as well as any uncaptured data on the members of your groups, and so on.
Basically, unless you've brought your followers over to your own platforms where you can directly connect with them or were connected with them on other platforms, you'd lose all access to them. Thankfully, you've got options!
Here are 10 ways, aside from the obvious and more popular platforms, to grow your brand visibility and your client base.
#1) Use Email to Stay Connected
Email isn’t dead. This is a direct path to your prospects. Sure, email can feel like work to many, but YOU own your email list, not Zuckerberg. This is why it’s so important to give high value in all you offer online – it must be email-worthy.
#2) Focus on Referrals
Word of mouth is still the best form of marketing there is. You can run your business entirely on referrals.
#3) Start a Podcast
No matter where people are, they usually have something in their ears. Oftentimes, it’s a podcast. So, if you don't have a podcast but think you’d be great at it, go ahead and start claiming your space here as a thought leader. This is how you can expand your visibility and be HEARD. If you choose to interview colleagues and influencers, you’ll build a new audience a lot faster.
#4) Be a Podcast Guest
Being interviewed by other podcast hosts can massively expand your brand reach because you’ll be exposed to their audiences. Just be intentional about the process and do your homework to find podcasts that align for you, where you can find your ideal client.
Clubhouse is a great way to create partnerships and expose yourself to new audiences. It's similar to podcasting, in that you can benefit from being the host, a presenter, or an engaged audience member.
Linkedin isn’t just for people looking for jobs. One of the things I like best about LinkedIn is that the whole platform is intended for creating connections so you can evolve and expand your circle of influence in your industry. Building connections here – when done genuinely – is a way to get in front of prospects, and form promising partnerships that can become game changers for your business.
#7) Speaking & Presenting Opportunities
You can be a speaker or presenter at a Summit or other event. I love this one because when you present to an audience, you have time to really demonstrate your value and what you’re made of. This creates a much deeper sense of connection and trust. Whether it's a virtual or an in-person event, be sure you're strategic about your marketing before, during, and after the event. I personally love doing this because it aligns with my “Zone of Genius,” it’s a mutually-beneficial partnership, and some of my favorite clients have come from presenting at other people’s events.
If you love creating videos, you may as well have a YouTube channel. You can post high-value content consistently to build your brand there. If you love writing and video, doing both gives you more of an edge because you can attract those who prefer reading, as well as those who learn best through video.
#9) Networking off-line
Even if it feels old-school, networking is effective! Yes, the pandemic put a halt to this and may still do so to some degree. But that also means that it’s prime time for this because people want to get out! You can find local events or even create your own!
SMS (text messaging) is a great way to connect directly with you people, most of whom are usually arm's length of their phones. There's a much more personal feel to this type of connection and as a coach, I know my followers and clients crave this. They can reply and ask questions – it just humanizes the whole thing. I've also noticed a much larger percentage of my followers will come over to a live training when I send a text – it's quick and easy for them. "SMS is one of the most immediate channels available; with a read rate of 97%." (Smart Insights) And if they don't want the messages they either don't sign up for them or they can opt out at any time.
You don't have to do all of these. Not everything will work for everyone. I always say that your strategy has to align with your “Zone of Genius,” otherwise you will feel inauthentic – an energy can work against you, and even repel your ideal clients.
The key to any one of these strategies is CONNECTION. We’ve been spoiled by how simple it is to access our audiences online, but when you make this about building relationships over "getting" clients it's not only a win-win, but it brings a sense of meaning and fulfillment.
Building your personal brand requires coming out of hiding and actually talking with people!