99: How Do I Escape Social Media Dependence?

99: How Do I Escape Social Media Dependence?

Episode 99! Hard to believe. Today I’ll be answering some viewer mail from the last episode, i.e.: OK, the social media outage scared me. How can I not be so dependent on it?

Key topics:

✔️ I don’t recommend going cold turkey, especially if a huge amount of your income is predicated on social media. Instead, create an exit strategy BEFORE you need it.
✔️ This is not insane. Don’t think for one second that your business could not survive without social media. Yes, even in 2021, this is true.
✔️ Is your marketing plan based mostly or solely on spamming other people? Well, if so, plz find something else to do with your time. Sending out 500 LI InMails each day trying to pitch yourself is probably not the best way to make money. Ironically, it might also get you banned from the platform one day.
✔️ There are other ways to obtain positive reviews and testimonials without relying on star reviews through social media. If you’re viewing social media as the only means for proof of concept, you’ll stay stuck forever.

Links to articles I discuss:



Special intro music: “99” by Toto.
Special outro music: “It Keeps You Runnin'” by Michael McDonald.

Need more? Email me: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/contact-causey/

Transcription by Otter.ai.  Please forgive any typos!

Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now here’s your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. I played you in today with 99 by Toto because it’s the 99th episode and I thought, what better song and what better opportunity to get to do that? I think I will play you out with It Keeps You Running by Michael McDonald. Because I feel like it had life itself has kept me running over the past month. It’s just been slightly insane. I want to utilize this episode to answer some viewer mail that came in from the last episode regarding the social media outage and how the future is now with censorship, banning shadow banning platforms that may be super popular today, not so much tomorrow. Do you know that you could survive if your platform of choice, the way that you’re utilizing social media to bring in all or most of your clients? If that disappeared tomorrow? Do you know that you could survive? And if the answer to that question is not Yes, then you need to start war gaming out your strategy. So I’m going to condense the viewer male down into the centralized question that came up most often, which is either a yes, I was impacted by the outage and it scared the crap out of me, or I wasn’t impacted yet. But if the outage had gone on much longer, I really would have been hurting and it woke me up to reality. So how do I make this transition? How do I get away from a real dependency on social media? And know that I could survive? Like, where would I even begin to do that? Probably not surprising to you, if you’re a frequent tuner, the first thing I’m going to say is don’t slam the door shut and run off. I myself am not a big fan of ripping the band aid off and going cold turkey in most situations. Now there are some situations where that’s frankly the only option. But when we’re talking about marketing for your business, if you have a strategy that’s working right now, but you have concerns and you have reasonable doubts as to whether it’s going to last into the future, or you have placed all of your eggs in one basket. And that basket is something that you neither own nor control, and you’re frankly at its mercy, I really don’t think it’s a good idea to rip the band aid off and say I just won’t use social media anymore. I’m just gonna cut off all of my revenue and hope it works out. Some people are able to play that game really well. They thrive under pressure. If they’re afraid of starving or losing their house or having the car repoed they will actually produce better. I myself am not one of those people. And I know a lot of others out in the workforce are out freelancing that are not of that flavor, either. If they were under the sword of Damocles of starvation or having the car repoed in the middle of the night are getting thrown out of their house or their apartment, they would be an anxiety fueled wreck. They wouldn’t be thinking about business and how to drive revenue, they would be worried about basic survival. So I’m not going to tell you to slam the door shut with no game plan. So essentially, my first piece of advice is, I guess a two parter. Part A is don’t slam the door shut and get in a big hurry. B is understand that there are other people who have either greatly reduced or eliminated their social media presence altogether. And yet they still have a thriving business. I like how Alexandra Franzen says social media is optional, not mandatory. And yet today in 2021, we so often think of social media as being the only option or the gold standard, so to speak for marketing and how in the hell are you going to attract people in how are you going to have proof of concept? How are you going to have five star reviews and positive things said about you if you’re not using social media, it’s almost like everyone’s forgotten how to do anything from the old school. I’m going to be reading from some other websites and from some articles and I just want to put this out there I’m I’m disseminating this information, but these individuals are not people that I myself have worked with. So this is not an endorsement or not a not endorsement. It’s neither an endorsement nor not an endorsement. It’s just me providing information for your decision making. I stumbled on an article by Brogan Micallef called, I quit social media and my business is fine an in depth guide. And yes, I will be dropping links in the write up to this podcast episode so that you can visit these articles and absorb this information for yourself. And she talks about leaving social media not for a break or a social media detox. So I’m going to leave for two weeks, I’m going to give myself a break for one month, see how it goes. But like really leaving. And one of the questions that she asks is, in fact, is not using social media as an option that anybody really discusses. And in a lot of circles, it isn’t. It’s looked at as, Are you nuts? Why? Why would you not use this, there’s so much proof of concept that people are going to want to read the reviews, they’re going to want that bandwagon phenomenon of saying, well, other people have used your service and they like it, or you have really high reviews on Facebook. So that counts for something, right? Well, I’m here to tell you, there are other ways to get positive reviews, there are other ways to get positive feedback other than social media. So I don’t want you to feel hamstrung by the review part of this. One of the points that Brogan makes is that your ideal client and audience will meet you where you are, whether that’s on social media, your newsletter, or some other form of marketing channel, your audience is going to find and support you. The old days of the one quote, perfect social media platform is well and truly over and quote, I agree with her on that, especially if you have taken the time to suss out who is my ideal client? Where are they lurking? How are they most likely to find me? What do I even though I hate the term watering holes? What are their watering holes? Where are they hanging out? What are they looking for? How if they need a consultant, a graphic designer, whatever you are, what are the steps that they take leading up to that to find someone like you, the more information and clarity that you have around that, the more likely you are to succeed at being able to say no, right now all of my revenue is coming in through Facebook ads, or 80% of its coming in through Instagram ads. I want to get away from that and not be so dependent. Well the more clarity that you have around where else can your clients or prospects engage with you? How else can they engage with you, the better off that you’ll be? Just another reason why I don’t want you to slam the door shut. You need the time to do your testing, and your beta testing. And to get all this information sussed out as best you can. It isn’t going to be perfect. No, but it will at least give you a good start. Now I want to read a passage from Alexandra Franzen’s website. What I am saying his social media is optional, not mandatory. If you love it, use it. If you don’t love it, you can choose to make some changes, you can quit completely cold turkey, you can quit gradually, with a transition plan. You can keep using it but establish new boundaries and limits 10 minutes per day on the apps, not two hours and 24 minutes per day, which is the global average, you can bring your message to the world in other ways through a podcast, radio show speaking engagements, articles, essays, newsletters, a press release, product, demo, info, session, panel, event, book tour, and so on. Twitter is not the only place to speak up and be heard. Instagram is not the only place to be seen. Many people want to quit social media, but like me seven years ago feel frightened to do so perhaps you worry that the consequences will be too great. And quote, I absolutely love that servation. And I’m so happy that she’s clearly delineated it out why why sit here and reinvent the wheel if somebody has done such an elegant job already. And she says yes, you could go cold turkey, you could quit gradually with a transition plan, or you could keep using it, but set some kind of boundaries around it. I myself would advise you on the latter two, which is make a transition plan and quit gradually or use it but limit its influence. So that right now if it’s 90 or 100% of your income, you need to switch that ratio around so that if you ever got banned or shadow banned if you got censored if the algorithm changed, and whatever it is you’re doing on the platform was no longer bringing in revenue. If the platform died and went away, or there was some long term outage of Hey, we’re going to take this platform away from you for one month, and then we have a relaunch like you would need to not starve during that month, you would need to know that you could survive. And that’s why I think quitting gradually with a transition plan or continuing to use it but with some parameters and boundaries around it is a great idea. Do you have to write a book and then go on a book tour if that’s not really what you feel passionate about? No. Do you have to go to public speaking events or networking breakfast and brunch? If that’s not what you want to do? No You can still be an introvert in an extrovert world and market yourself and your services. So I don’t want you to get all panicky and sweaty under the armpits going, Oh, she’s gonna tell me to go to one of those garish networking breakfast at seven o’clock in the morning with a bunch of other desperate people. No, not only No, but hell no. Have I ever told you to go to one of those things? No, and I won’t. Because to me, networking is not working. It’s most of the time people sitting around having coffee in the backroom of Panera Bread or Starbucks or something. And everybody’s covering and talking. But there’s no deals actually being brokered. So I myself am not going to tell you to go waste your time doing that. Now if you’re super social, and that’s your thing, you want to go and have like a social club breakfast. Cool. I just don’t know that it’s great for making money. Do you have to launch a podcast or a radio show? If that’s not something of interest to you? No, you don’t. I would say that podcasts are probably less than a dime a dozen, maybe more like a penny, or a penny. A dozen at this point. Everybody and their dog and their cat and their uncle’s wife’s cousins, brother in law has a podcast now, doing podcasting or a radio show or launching a YouTube channel is not a guarantee of success. It is not a guarantee that people are going to listen to what you have to say. Especially the more manicured and phony and robotic it is, the less likely that anybody’s going to tune in. So if you don’t have any experience in that world, and it’s not really something that you want to be doing, you’re just sitting there writing articles. Today, I am going to talk about the best platform to utilize in computer programming. I would say there are so many other ways to engage your creativity besides recording a broadcast that maybe four or five people, including your grandma and your dad are going to be listening to something very simple. and cost effective is having your own website. This is a place where you can create content if you want to, if you want to have a blog, if you want to have articles, if you want to have a podcast, or have some videos that you embed on the website, cool, you can engage your creativity, however it makes the most sense to you. So I’m by no means saying that you shouldn’t be doing those types of things if you want to. I just want to make sure that nobody gets overwhelmed and thinks No, this this is too much. I don’t want to record these videos, I’d rather just keep posting on social media instead, it’s very easy to get stuck in a rut. This is another danger with those freelancing websites because it’s easy to get up in the morning with your cup of coffee and go Alright, I guess I’ll go shopping, like I’m in Walmart, or I’m in Costco, and I’m just going to look for something that seems reasonable bah, bah, like, you’re not really intellectually challenging yourself anymore, you’re just looking for the best of a bad situation. For me, in my business, something that has been huge has been word of mouth marketing for I don’t even know if I would call it marketing, just word of mouth, satisfied clients who refer other clients and well, you know, right now we don’t have any project work. But I’ve heard that john doe over at ABC engineering is hurting for some people, he would be a good person to connect with, and networking in that way. Not networking in the back room of a coffee shop at seven in the morning or taking somebody out to lunch and begging for their business and then having to expense the lunch after they like not even anything’s gonna happen. It’s just like, Hey, thanks for the steak and bake Tater buddy. But now we don’t need any help right now. Instead of doing that, being able to tap into your network of satisfied clients and find out who do they know who is like them? Is there anybody that they could recommend to you? or could they recommend you to somebody else and really building up a network of satisfied customers that way, Alexandra also suggest doing a 30 in 30 challenge of like sitting down and making out a list of 30 people that you know, and they and this is not just business it can be friends, family members, former colleagues, teachers, professors, neighbors, whoever, and then reaching out to them not in like a smarmy, slimy kind of way hey oh buddy Oh by all not not like that, but just letting them know here’s who I am and where I’m at and what I’m doing. And so the example she gives is like for a financial planner this year, I’m offering tax preparation, financial planning services, and then I also have this 30 day course to teach about financial education. If you know anybody who might be interested please share this information with them. Now am I gonna sit here and tell you that doing that is gonna make you an overnight Millionaire? No. But do you think that running 20 or $30,000 of ads on so Media is going to make you an overnight millionaire either way, probably not. A lot of these things are going to take some time at the very beginning to get started and get going and get off the ground. And if you need a temporary assignment or bridge job in the meantime, maybe you want to escape cubicle zombie life you haven’t totally done that yet. By the way, this is a good opportunity for me to interject that episode 100 that will drop next week feature Scott Grayson, we’re going to be getting an update from him and re examining cubicle zombie life. So if you’re still stuck in the cube, and you’re like man I want out of here so bad, keep the benefits and the paycheck. But get your side hustle going get all of these traps running, get your lines in the water and get the fish coming in before you abandon the corporate job so that you know you would survive. Something else Alexandra says that I really, really like is do a really good job. I’m going to read from her passage here. The best marketing plan is to be really, really, really good at whatever you do. If you are really good attorney graphic designer, massage therapist, executive coach, dog trainer, sci fi novelist tarot card reader, you make mermaid inspired facial products from seaweed and crushed shells or whatever you do. People will talk about you people will rave about you to their friends, people will text their cousin and say you need to check this out. Word will spread over the next few years. Instead of spending 10,000 hours posting things on Facebook and trying to find new customers there. Instead, use those 10,000 hours to gain mastery of your craft, hone your skills and become excellent at whatever you do. Stop doing shallow, unremarkable work and start doing as author Cal Newport calls it deep work your best and highest work. Do this and people will talk about you recommend you and send new clients your way end quote. Yeah, so round of applause for that. Continuing Education is so important. Now I’ve always been something of a fiend for reading and continuing ed and just absorbing knowledge. Knowledge is power. I definitely think it’s no coincidence that I did so much academic work in school on the Faust legend because there is that Faustian edge to my personality that craves knowledge, like oh, I want to know I want to play detective and ferret all of it out. And that tendency of wanting to do research into play detective to get the ungettable get to find the unfixable find serves me well, you know, doing the type of work that I do, which is often the top end of the hiring funnel, helping people to pipeline and to find niche individuals like we’re we’re trying to find somebody with this type of credential. It’s super difficult, like I enjoy doing that kind of work. And because I enjoy it, and I keep doing it, and I keep doing it, and I keep doing it. I just perpetually get better at it. I learned from mistakes I learned from missteps, and I keep going. So to summarize and bring this home, I will drop a link to Alexandra Franzen’s article here about marketing without social media 20 ways to find clients and customers without using social media. And I would recommend that you read through them and figure out what appeals to your personality, as well as what makes sense to your business and your prospects. I mean, if some of these suggestions seem cuckoo, or you’re like, I just don’t think my clients would even respond to that, I think it’d be a waste of time and money. Part of me is like, Well, I mean, do you know that Do you know that well enough without trying it, are you making excuses, I mean, if you know that, something’s probably not going to work, then you might want to move on to the next suggestion on the list. But don’t give up. Don’t just sit there and say, Well, I feel like I’m hamstrung. I feel like I can’t do anything. But try to spam people relentlessly on LinkedIn in males, or I feel like all I can do is just keep dumping money into Facebook and hoping that it pays off, you want to make sure that people have a way of finding you that’s not predicated on social media or on some type of profile. And the more people that you’re able to engage with in a meaningful way, which is not spam, it’s not bombarding somebody’s inbox, it’s not being super obnoxious. on LinkedIn, or using something, you know, like an automatic sender to cyberstalk everybody and send out Connect requests that’s not connecting with someone in a meaningful way. But being able to post content that people will engage with, whether it’s a blog, it’s graphics, it’s videos, it’s a podcast, making sure that you have your own website and you own your own data, you know that you could find your clients and they could find you if social media collapse tomorrow, and then trying these other things. To get word of mouth going. Get yourself noticed, make sure that people are aware of your business and that you exist on planet earth that can really help you to begin your strategy. So that whether you want to just reduce your footprint on social media or you Want to disengage all together? You would know that you could survive. We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you haven’t already, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you next time.

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