Marketing Without Social Media


the blog

by sarah elrod

Apple Podcasts | Spotify

I’m sure by now you have heard the news. Elon Musk is buying Twitter. And honesty I am here for it. Not because I am a big Elon fan, but because of his stance on freedom of speech. Don’t worry I won’t get on a soap box about it but as an American, having the freedom to do and say as we please is a huge privilege that no other country in the world has the opportunity to do.

You do not always have to like, or agree or even think it’s okay for people to say certain things. But having the freedom to do so is key here.

Alright moving on to my actual point now. Since this announcement came out there have been so many hilarious memes about Elon and what he is going to do once he officially takes over Twitter. Y’all if you have not seen some of these, go find them because they are hilarious.

There is one meme in particular that has been sticking out to me though that I have seen several business owners talking about.

The meme says something like “Now that I own Twitter, I’m deleting it. Go outside and enjoy your life” or something along those lines.

And while I’m sure most people see the humor in it, I have noticed business owners re-sharing it and saying things like… “okay but please do not do that to Instagram because that’s where my business is”.


Friend, while I can agree that Instagram is a huge priority in my own business and where a lot of my inquiries come from, it’s not the ONLY place I have my business and focus my marketing on. Why? Because of situations exactly like this.

What would you do if something like this actually happened to Instagram? Mark Z could change his mind any second and decide he no longer wants the company and could choose to just end it all.

Then what? How would your business be affected at that point?

If the thought of Instagram being deleted (or any social media platform for that matter) freaks you out that much because you don’t know how you would reach your clients…. we need to chat.

Today’s episode is all about different ways you can market your business that do not require social media at all. Because while, we love these platforms and everything they can do for us, they are not the ONLY way to generate income and customers.

Ready to step outside of your comfort zone bubble and do something different in your biz? Let’s get to work!


A lot of people think of social media when they think of marketing. So on this episode we are not going to talk about social media at all. Maybe that scares some of you, but it might excite others. Social media can be an amazing place but it can also feel redundant and like you are on a never ending merry go round.

Instead of hounding on you about how to grow your IG account, let’s take today to be a little more creative and brainstorm marketing ideas that require 0 social media usage.

Grab a pen and paper and write these down because trust me when I say you are not going to want to forget these marketing methods and ideas.


I want to emphasize is that in order to be successful in your business and marketing strategies, you do NOT need to be a super extroverted person.

I feel like that tends to be something a lot of people get mixed up and believe. They think that the louder and crazier they present themselves, the more customers they will attract.

This could not be further from the truth.

While I do consider myself to be fairly extroverted, I would not say I am the loudest person in the room. Some people have no shame and will dance on a table in front of strangers completely sober and all by themselves, and that ain’t me.

But I am also not the person standing in the corner not talking to anyone either. No matter where you fall of the spectrum just know that there is a place for you and that it is possible to find success and find YOUR people.

But how do you find YOUR people? That’s right. Marketing.


Tip number one is easy because the hard part has already been done. Instead of focusing on trying to generate a bunch of new leads, pour your time and attention into your past and current clients.

This means doing things like asking for reviews and testimonials, providing an amazing client experience that has them raving about you to their friends. Send them a gift or a card. Anything you can do to really elevate your relationship with them is a great way to get those word of mouth referrals.

And remember, your client experience begins the moment someone is introduced to your brand. Not just when they actually book you. Everything from the language you use, to your communication skills, to how well you prep them, etc is all part of your overall experience.

I actually have another episode that you may want to check out that is in relation to this particular topic.

Episode 048: How To Get Customer Testimonials That Help You Sell

In that episode I teach you how to ask for a testimonial from a past client that is crafted in the way you want to be represented. While still being true and honest of course.

Getting solid testimonials is kinda like an art form. And requires more than just a simple “hey please go leave a review on my facebook page” email.


Have you ever heard that phrase “it’s all about who you know” well, it’s kinda true. In any kind of business, making connections with people in similar industries or working with potential references can be so helpful.

As a photographer, establishing relationships with other vendors at weddings can be such an easy way to get more future clients.

There are some venues that I have shot at multiple times and now my name is on their list and they drive a lot of business my way because I have established a relationship with them and we work well together.

This is possible to do with already established venues but also it’s a great idea to keep your eyes open for new up and coming venues because they likely do not have a vendor list created yet. The earlier you can get in, the better.

The same is true with other businesses too. If you are a boutique or a shop of some kind, getting connected with wholesalers or other brands is important.

Or for influencers, getting your name in with photographers, brands, shops, and big events are great ideas.

Networking is 100% worth the time and effort it takes to do successfully. And word of mouth references are often times a lot more powerful than just someone who finds your Instagram page.

Get created with this! Think about who you could work with right now. What kind of collaborations could you do or services you could offer to them.


If you have ever felt like your audience is full of cold leads only (meaning people who are not ready to buy from you) sometimes what you need is to step away from them and reach a different audience for a while.

This is where getting your name and face in front of someone else’s audience can really come in handy.

While this can be done on social media, it’s not the only way. Because social media is not the only place where people have audiences.

You could be a guest on a podcast, or write a post on someone else’s blog. Just make sure that you are able to bring something of value to that audience that serves them.

For a personal example, I am always looking for new guests to come on this show, but if you reach out to me and just say something like “I want to be on The Branded Cowgirl Podcast because I want to bring awareness to my business in the western industry”. Well, that probably isn’t going to make me excited to have you on because it sounds like all you want to do is promote yourself.

Instead, tell me what you want to talk about and why you think it would be helpful to my audience. This will ultimately benefit you as well because if my audience finds your information or topic helpful, they are more likely to come check out your business vs. Just hearing you talk for 20 minutes straight about how great your product or service is.


Usually when I ask someone if they have a content strategy in their business their response is something like “yeah I post a picture on Instagram every day”. Friend, kindly, I am here to say that is not a strategy. Or at least not a very well thought out one. Especially if you are just randomly posting and writing captions on the spot.

And even if you are pouring your heart and soul into your photos and captions on IG, do not let them live and die there.

The shelf life for an Instagram post is so little in comparison to other types of content marketing such as blogging, a podcast, or a video show of sorts.

It’s true that the more places you can be online the better. You work hard creating value, so make sure you are working just as hard spreading the knowledge to the world.

For me and my business personally, I like to separate my content strategy into 2 sections. And you may have heard me talk about this before in previous episodes.

Basically there is “Mega content” and “Micro content” also known as long form and short form content.

Mega content is things like videos (youtube), a podcast, your blog, or even your email list in some ways.

Whereas micro content is things like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on.

Your longer form content is the main content in your business and social media should just be playing a supporting role that leads people off your platform and onto something like a blog or youtube channel or whatever it may be.

This type of marketing is very popular in the world today. But that’s only because it works.

We are a content driven society and the more you can produce the better it will be. The nice thing is, it only really requires you to create one piece of content (long form) and then you can use bits and pieces of that to create content for your supporting platforms.


I have to call out my friend Yumi while diving into this last idea because we have this on going joke about email marketing. No matter how many times I say you need it in your business, she jokes that she just keeps on ignoring me.

So if you don’t want to be the butt of my next joke, listen up. If you have been in business for a while, email marketing might not be a new concept for you or at least you’ve heard of it before.

Or maybe you are like, what in the heck is email marketing?

Either way, I hope that I can at least emphasize that this above everything else is probably one of the most important things I think every business owner should have.

On social media platforms, sure you have access to your audience. You can follow them, or DM them and whatnot. But if you can have those same people opt in to be on your email list, that’s where the real magic happens.

So often we are frustrated with the algorithm on social media and we complain how it works against us. Newsflash: it doesn’t. But if you feel like you are having a hard time reaching people, then email marketing is for you.


When you have an email list, you literally have the names and emails of people who chose to hear from you. AKA they WANT to receive your emails and get the inside scoop on what is going on in your business.

The best part is, you can segment your list according to what people are interested in. So let’s say you are a shop of some kind or a boutique. You could have a segment for people who took part in a Spring sale. And then you can use that information to serve those people content and information until your next big sale already knowing they are warmed up to the idea.

If you are more of a lifestyle or ranch type of business, you could have segments for people who are interested in agriculture, another for recipes, and another for homesteading tips, etc.

For photographers, you could have a bride segment, a senior segment, a mini session segment, etc.

That way anytime you have something that will cater to one of those groups specifically, you can directly talk to them instead of telling everyone else about it too.

If you are like, Okay Sarah… you have my attention. I may want to give this email marketing thing a try. But how?

I refer everyone to Flodesk. The ultimate email marketing platform that not only makes creating funnels and emails on brand and fun, but it’s so easy and user-friendly.

You can actually get a free trial and a discount when you sign up for Flodesk at


All in all, my hope is that you are walking away from this episode with a fresh set of eyes on what is possible for your business. There are so many ways to expand and grow that require no social media at all and I do think it’s important to utilize them before it’s too late.

In case you need a little sparks notes refresher of the marketing ideas, here they are:

  • Leverage past clients or customers
  • Networking
  • Get in front of other audiences
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing

Do not be the person scrambling to grow their email list AFTER Instagram shuts down. Have the two work together so that if and when the time comes you are already ahead of the game.

If you have other great marketing ideas that you want to share, head on over to my Instagram (ya know… while you still can) and share them with me!

Also make sure to join the Facebook group for listeners to continue the conversation there as well.

As always, I hope you have an amazing rest of your day, evening, night or whenever you are listening to this. You are going to do big big things and I cannot wait to watch you crush your goals.

Until next time, make today your best one yet! Bye!



  1. How To Get Customer Testimonials That Help You Sell
  2. 5 tips to book more weddings as a photographer
  3. Multiple Ways To Repurpose Your Content To Save You Time


Start your FREE trial with my favorite email marketing software FLODESK when you click here!



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I'm Sarah Elrod

The Podcast

Rural Lifestyle



I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.

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