Sick of Social Media? How to Grow Your Business Without It! | By Ruby McGuire

Bird Tweeting about not using Social Media

A few years ago, I wrote a popular blog post titled "What to do when you start to hate social media?" It got an incredible response.

So many people are exhausted by social media. They don't know what to say, find themselves constantly tied to their desk or phone, and wish things could be different.

Does this sound familiar? Do you dream of stepping back from social media in a big way? Well I'm here to tell you that yes, it CAN be done!

Why I stepped back from Social Media

I'd been falling out of love with Social Media for a year or two before I decided to stop using it as my main marketing tool. I was physically and mentally tired of showing up day after day with new content.

With my HR background, I wanted to start using some other key skills I hadn't used in a while. And leadership (a.k.a. being Queen of your business) became my new niche.

At first it was scary!

I'm not going to lie—at first, stepping back from Social Media was terrifying.

Where would I get clients from? What if I withdrew and it was all a big mistake? Would I now have to work even harder to run my business?

But balancing these questions and fears was the prospect of FREEDOM. Oh so much freedom!

How many years of your life will you spend on Social Media?

The seed for stepping back was planted when I interviewed the lovely Alexandra Franzen. She said she'd calculated how much time she spent on Twitter and realized that she could lose 3.2 - 3.4 years of her life if she carried on at the pace she was going. She has calculated that across all platforms, the average user could spend 6 years of their life. SIX YEARS!

That's incredible! What could you do with SIX years of your life instead of scrolling?

This has really stuck with me.

And then I came across a fabulous card in a gift shop: "Fabulous birds don't tweet!" Well, if that wasn't a sign from the universe to give up Twitter, I don't know what was! So that was the first account to go.

Making the leap

Last summer, I did a "Marketing Without Social Media" course with Alexandra Franzen, and it was incredibly inspiring. I learned that 95% of my past clients hadn't come from social media at all…

I'd been keeping my Facebook group open because that's where I thought my clients were coming from. But they had pretty much all come from four places—referrals, my blog, my podcast and my newsletter.

On that course, I decided that I wanted to take back control of my life and limit my time on social media drastically. I closed my Facebook Group and now focus on the four key areas I mentioned as my marketing strategy.

And then there are the secondary benefits…

I'm sure my clients thought I was completely crazy closing the group, but it hasn't had any impact on my income.

In fact, I've had space to take on lots of new and inspiring projects as a result, including two book collaborations and an exciting project for a business academy in Los Angeles, California in the USA (I am based in the United Kingdom).

And I wouldn't have had the time or capacity for any of these if I hadn't reduced my social media presence.

You may need Social Media in the beginning

Now, I'm not saying this is for everyone, because the truth is that without Social Media I wouldn't have built a successful business at all. I still believe that having a Social Media presence in the early days allowed me to build my visibility. It helped me build brand awareness and a loyal following.

But remember that businesses did survive before social media—it is absolutely possible to create a successful business without it.

Here are 4 ways you can grow your business without Social Media

So let's dig into some ways that you can get more clients without social media.

1) Connect, connect, connect

A massive realization that came out of doing Alex Franzen's program was that my business had always grown by building relationships.

You can begin your journey away from Social Media by focusing on relationships you already have:

  1. Figure out where your past clients have come from (social media, referrals, blogging, podcasting, networking etc.)
  2. Write a list of people you could work with and reach out to them. This could be as a potential client, fan/follower, a referral / joint venture / collaboration partner etc. Matthew Kimberley once suggested that you list 90 names. Reach out to one person a day. As you cross the top name off the list, move it to the bottom and keep going through your list. After 90 days, you'll be back to the person at the top and it will have been three months since you've been in contact. This was a game-changer for me. I've been doing this for years.
  3. Inform people you know when you create something new. One thing I've always done whenever I've launched a new program or created a new package is to reach out to everyone I know, past clients, colleagues, friends, etc.

I usually say something like this: to current/former clients:

Hi _____, how are you? When we last spoke you were _____. How's that all going now for you? I'm reaching out to you because I've created something that you might be interested in (share a few snippets). If you'd like to know more, let's chat. Here's a link to my online diary. Whatever you decide, have a fabulous day.

And to friends:

Hi _____, how are you? When we last spoke you were _____. How's that all going now for you? I'm reaching out to you because I've created something in my business and I'd love to get the word out there. (Share a few snippets.) If you can think of anybody in your network that might be interested, I'd love it if you'd share it with them. Here's a link for them to book my online diary. Whether you decide to share or not, have a fabulous day.

  1. Set up affiliate partners. I have just set up a simple referral system with select VIP affiliate partners that I work with. When they send clients my way, they get an introductory referral fee when the client pays in full. It's a win-win.

Here's what I say to my potential affiliate partners:

Hi _____,

I'm popping in to your inbox to talk to you about my affiliate scheme.

If you enjoyed our work together and would like to be a referral partner and send people my way, then I wonder if you'd like to be part of my affiliate scheme.

To keep it simple I'm offering X% on my 1:1 and QOBMM work, and X% on self-study programs as a one-off introductory payment for each person that you refer (NB. This does not apply to future purchases after the initial introduction).

So if you send someone my way for a Straighten Your Crown Session at $X, for example, then it's $X to you, or it's $X for the full package of $X. If that's of interest, just let me know you're making the introduction and I'll pay you when I get paid in full by the client you send my way.

Ideas for how you could do this include the following:

  1. Writing a social media post and tagging me as someone to work with
  2. Adding something about working with me to a newsletter
  3. Cherry-picking people you think would be a good fit to work with me—inviting them to find out more about me

Whatever you decide, I hope you have an utterly fabulous day. x

2) Create content for a blog

Blogging lets you communicate what you do and how you can help. If you don't consider yourself a writer and prefer video, you could do vlogging instead (videos on a blog).

You can blog on your own blog—or blog for other people. It's a fabulous way to showcase your expertise. I've attracted many clients based on my blogging alone.

Not sure where to start?

Here's a process to quickly come up with a list of blog topics ideas:

Simply write a list of all of the topics that you could talk about, and then divide each of those into a list of sub-topics. These should be areas where your typical clients have issues, things they need help with - or would like to achieve.

For example, if you're a Stress Reduction Coach:

  • There are many topics that cause stress such as career, parenting, relationships, nutrition, lack of sleep, business worries etc.
  • Each of these can be an area to write about, and each of these has many potential sub-topics.

And if we now take sleep as an example of an overarching topic, you could have a list of sub-topics such as:

  • Creating a bedtime routine
  • Choosing the right foods for better sleep
  • Having a notebook by your bed to capture your thoughts so you sleep better etc.

You'll quickly realize you know more than you think, and each of these sub-topics can be a starting point for your writing.

3) Podcast

Podcasting is another fabulous way to attract clients.

Here are some of the many benefits of hosting your own podcast:

  • Grow your email list
  • Attract more paying clients
  • Establish yourself as a go-to expert
  • Promote it at networking meetings etc. (free offering)
  • Create content you can repurpose
  • Offer guest interviews
  • Build a better connection with your audience
  • Allow people to listen on the go
  • Make people feel like they know you already!

If running your own podcast isn't for you, that doesn't mean it can't be part of your marketing strategy: a bit like blogging, you can get yourself interviewed on other people's podcast shows.

4) Newsletter

Dale Carnegie is often quoted as saying he could restart any business provided he had his list of contacts. (If you know the original source of this factoid, please let me know. I've been trying to find it for years!)

Why is a newsletter list so important? Well, with a newsletter, your list of contacts is not owned by any of the social media platforms.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider using your newsletter to attract clients:

  • You can keep in touch with your tribe and continue building relationships. Talk to them, help them, invite them to take that next step!
  • Remember that these people have put their hands up and asked to learn more from you!
  • You can showcase your expertise.
  • There's money in your list! It's a great way to share content, information, and product updates through email marketing.
  • You're in your potential client's inbox, not in a personal newsfeed with videos of cats, photos of people's lunch - or jokes.

To get a newsletter up and running, start with a simple email marketing app.

A popular one right now is Mailchimp. There are lots of help videos online to help you navigate and learn how to use it.

You'll also need to think about the type of content you could share in a newsletter.

Here are a few newsletter content ideas to get you started:

  • Your own blog articles or podcasts (either a short passage with a "read more" link or you could include a full article).
  • "Guest blog posts" where you've featured someone else's article or where you have been featured on someone else's blog.
  • Links to "Facebook Live" Replays, or your webinars or Youtube videos.
  • Tools you like that will help your clients.
  • Top tips and ideas.

As a general rule, you want to make the people on your list feel special—share new things with them before others and sprinkle in freebies (templates, audios, planning sheets, checklists, resource centre, etc.).

And remember to promote your services and offerings!


I hope this mini-guide has helped you step back and take a fresh look at whether social media is the right strategy for you.

You don't have to go "all or nothing"—you could just choose to focus on one fewer platform, set a timer and spend less time on Social Media, or move away from Social Media as your main marketing strategy.

And you definitely won't find me on Social Media as much. I'll be out and about walking in my local woods, or making cards (with a cappuccino in my hand of course).

Just think—what could you do with those six years instead of scrolling?

Learn more about Marketing without Social Media with Ruby here:

Would you like to attract clients in an easy way, WITHOUT social media? You can!

Get an extract from her new book plus 3 Free Masterclasses – and learn simple tips to either reduce your social media time or stop altogether.

Finally, check out her mini guide to Marketing Without Social Media (an extract from her book, Ruby's Coaching Gems). You'll pretty much always find her surrounded by lots of books or making cards with a cappuccino in her hand (She says, "Preferably Whittards Vanilla Coffee please"!)

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Contributing Author:

Ruby McGuire is a Business & Mindset Queen. She's an Accredited Master Coach & Master Mentor with the IAPC&M, Trainer, Inspirational Speaker and Author of multiple books. She loves helping her clients step up and become leaders (aka Queens) of their businesses. She helps her clients develop their leadership and business skills, create a success mindset and attract dreamy clients. She is a Brit on a mission to live a simpler life without marketing on social media so that she can spend more time in her beautiful Scottish surroundings. You can find her at her pretty online home, over on her podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz, and here where she shares her Mini Guide to Marketing Without Social Media. When she’s not working you’ll find her surrounded by books, making hand-made cards, and enjoying life with her hubby, little dog and chickens (usually with a Whittard Vanilla cappuccino in her hand)!

Learn more about Ruby & see all their articles here >>


  1. Bernard

    Great article. I left most of my social media accounts in January. My online focus is now just concentrating on YouTube. My life has gotten better and my business is still growing.

  2. Vadim

    Lots of useful tips, thank you. But... Dale Carnegie died had died in 1955. He could not possibly use a technology, such as email, that had not been invented yet.

  3. Uta

    It's easy to forget that businesses were successful in getting clients prior to social media.
    Thank you for your marketing tips and also sharing examples of your reach out messages.

    • Michela Phillips

      Very true, social media has grown so much! I hope you found this useful 🙂
      - Kindly, Michela

    • Ruby McGuire

      Yes, it's very easy to forget. When you remind yourself of that, you can be kinder to yourself. Whether you do less social media or no social media is a choice we can all make 🙂

  4. AH Jamh

    Stepping back from social media can be a scary but freeing experience. The idea of losing six years of life to social media use was a wake-up call for the author. The author closed their Facebook group and focused on referrals, their blog, podcast, and newsletter as marketing strategies instead of social media. They found that their business continued to grow, and they had space to take on new and exciting projects. The author believes that social media was helpful in building visibility and brand awareness in the early days, but it's possible to create a successful business without it. They suggest focusing on building relationships, reaching out to potential clients, fans, and partners, informing people of new creations, and using your network to grow your business without social media.

  5. Amy A.

    I found your post today while searching "sick of social media algorithms" -- and finding it proves that blogging still works. I am ready to walk away from social for my business, or at least take a huge step back from it (especially Facebook groups - sigh), and it's nice to see comments from several people who have done so happily.

    • Ruby McGuire

      Thanks for your comment, Amy. It's nice to see that the blogging is working! I hope you have many hours of happiness doing other things instead!

  6. Katie m. Berggren

    This is great to read, I'm feeling frustrated by only about 300 of my 19.3K followers being exposed to my posts on FB, and several collectors saying they have to seek out my artwork, because they don't get shown it. I'd love to step away, but I feel I have become so dependent upon socials as a way to showcase my work... I appreciate this post and the nudge, because I've been in business for 20 years, starting before social media even existed! It will be fun to re-explore what I was doing back then 🙂 thanks! Sincerely, Katie

    • Ruby McGuire

      Hi Katie, it can be disheartening when your work isn't shown despite having a big following. I hope you have fun re-exploring!

  7. Searchie Inc

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom on growing an online coaching business. Your insights are not only informative but also inspiring. Building trust and credibility in the online world is indeed a journey, and your tips are a fantastic roadmap. I'm excited to implement them!

  8. Noah Coax

    Ruby McGuire's article on growing your business without relying on social media offers a refreshing perspective. Her insights provide a valuable guide for those seeking alternatives, emphasizing diverse strategies to thrive independently. A must-read for entrepreneurs looking .


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