I recently heard an episode of Amy Porterfield’s podcast where the guest said, “As soon as you can afford to, put five dollars a day on an ad. As soon as you can do that, five dollars a day is all you need to start putting your engagement content in front of new people.”

I wanted to pull over my car so I could scream, NO! You do not NEED to run Facebook Ads to be successful!

Later that day, I emailed my list about my social media fatigue leading to a decision to move my paid community off Facebook groups & onto Circle, and a flood of people replied; here are a few excerpts:

I do not like the distraction social media presents and I don’t like being told that the only way for me to be a successful coach is to have a FB Group.

My fb groups have become the sole bright spots in my fb experience but that activity also increased my attention to a platform that’s ultimately bad for my health. I intensely feel the conflict between “how do I connect with my people in 2020” and “social media is having disastrous consequences on our society.”

I gave up on Facebook almost 3 years ago. And I don’t miss it. However, as someone starting a new Internet business, I have had multiple people tell me I would need to return to it if I wanted my biz to grow let alone survive.

Reading these replies rile up my inner rebel, and I start to channel my 5 year old: “You can’t tell me what to do, you’re not the boss of me!”

So let me tell it to you straight: You do not need a Facebook group or Facebook page or Facebook Ad strategy to run a successful business.

And as long as I’m sharing truths that will set you free: You also don’t need to blog or send email newsletters or run webinars or produce Instagram Stories/Reels or attending networking events or start a YouTube channel or pitch yourself for podcasts or cold call prospects.

There are only 2 things you absolutely need to successfully market your business:

The only two things you need to market a successful business

Here are the two things that you need for marketing a successful business:

  1. An offer people want to buy
  2. A way to tell them about it

That’s it. Full stop.

The way that you market your business is up to you, and should be based on your personality, your offer, your strengths, and your values.

If you love the engagement & discussion of Facebook group, then enjoy that space you’re creating! If you dread the idea of coming up with daily prompts, that skip that option.

If you thrive in networking opportunities, sign up for your local BNI chapter or chamber of commerce! If you don’t want to put on pants, then you don’t have to.

If you have ideas about your industry & want to get found for them in search, start a blog or podcast or YouTube channel. If the thought of producing content gives you hives, then don’t make that part of your marketing strategy.

Heck, you might not even need a website — I know quite a few service providers who are so booked out from referrals that they’ve never bothered to build one!

3 considerations when planning your marketing

First, consider your source of information.

Any time you hear somebody say, “You need to …” take a look at what they’re selling. The advice could be coming from a well-intentioned friend who has seen success with a particular method, but that friend might not know all the details about your business model. Or the advice could be coming from a marketer who is trying to sell you something … which isn’t BAD, it’s just BIASED.

For example, I teach people how to use content to get found and build trust … and you’re reading this blog post, so something must be working, right? But that’s not the only way to get found & build trust, it’s just my favorite method.

Second, consider your business model.

How many people you want to serve? If you’re a high-touch, low-volume consultant and just need a handful of clients, building a giant funnel might not be necessary. If you’re selling $10 ebooks, you’ll need to get in front of a larger audience. Here’s the full formula for how much traffic you need.

Third, consider your speed & risk tolerance.

If you want to scale quickly, you may need to try things that have fast results, but those fast results come at a price (like running aggressive Facebook or Google ad campaigns), which could mean a large cost to get started, and you may need to bring in multiple experts to your brand to test different funnels and copy and design tactics.

If you want to grow sustainably and have the luxury of time, you can rely on organic methods (like SEO & content marketing & Facebook groups & daily Linkedin posts & in-person networking) to cultivate an audience & nurture over time. It’ll absolutely take longer than the high-pressure high-cost high-intensity sales funnel, but it might also be lower stress on your mental health.

How to find the right marketing tactic for your business

Take a minute, close your eyes, and think about how you want people to find out about you. Do you want to be heard on stages? found in search results? connect on social? leverage your network for referrals?

If you know that creating content to get found on search (and leverage that content to connect on social) is part of your marketing plan, then grab my SEO Starter Kit or get on the wait list for Attract & Activate (starting again in November!).

If you’re not sold on the SEO bandwagon and aren’t entirely certain what kind of marketing is best for you, and don’t want to try out all.the.things to decide, go check out Uncomplicated Marketing Academy, from my friend Kyla Roma.