No social media, no email, no website. And she’s a business success.

no social media

By Mark Schaefer

I think one of the weirdest questions in all of life is, “How do you want your hair cut?”

I have never known how to answer that, other than … “a little shorter, please.” I mean, do you express this answer in millimeters, or hair density, or “just keep going until I say stop?”

So when I find somebody who understands how I want my hair cut, I tend to stick with them for a long time!

Such is the case with Frankie, who has cut my diminishing amount of hair for more than 10 years. She rents a small space in what can best be described as a warehouse of small beauty-related businesses — nails, spas, all sorts of things to make you beautiful. I don’t have much use for that stuff, but that’s where Frankie is, so that’s where I go.

Over these many years, I’ve encouraged Frankie to get a website. How will people know when she’s open? How will they know how to find her?

She just rolls her eyes.

I’ve given my books to her. I’ve talked to her about social media (Instagram at least?) and maybe building an email list of clients. I introduced her to a web-based scheduling system for salons. But she hasn’t done anything like that … and probably never will.

And yet, her business grows and grows. It’s hard to get on her calendar without at least two weeks notice and she is raising her prices.

She has never had a drink of the social media Kool-aid and she’s doing just fine. What’s going on here?

The no social media business model

How does Frankie maintain and grow her business without any web presence whatsoever … not even email!

I’m a bit of an unusual customer for her. I just go in for a haircut but Frankie makes most of her money by putting elaborate color schemes in a woman’s hair. And she does an excellent job. A lot of women are like me I suppose — once they find somebody who does it right, they keep coming back. And they ALWAYS have to come back if they want to keep that nice hair color.

Frankie says she never has to send out reminder notes because their hair reminds them to return.

Her business grows entirely by word of mouth, the customers keep coming back like the swallows to Capistrano and she communicates to them entirely by text messaging throughout her day.

Her keys to success are:

  • Establishing trust through a friendly personality
  • Delivering an excellent product, reliably
  • Building a business that thrives on repeat business with little customer turnover
  • Keeping her overhead costs low
  • Earning loyalty by doing the “extras” (like coming in early so I can squeeze in a cut between business trips!)

In short … she does not need a social media marketing plan — or any formal marketing plan — to have a comfortable living.

But what about the hustle?

Like me, your head is probably spinning with all the things that Frankie could do to grow her business through social media ninja moves. But why … and how?

“Why” is a relevant question because she is fully booked and has raised her prices. She literally can’t take any more business.

“How” … because she also has two active teenagers, an ill mother who lives with her, and a boyfriend on disability from an industrial accident, confined to a wheelchair for the near future. That’s a lot of life to deal with.

Like many people in this world, she doesn’t have time to become remarkable, “hustle,” or even become “known.” Maybe some day … but for now she is amazing by living a principled and generous life, not becoming an Instagram star, and that is perfectly OK.

Take a breath

I wanted to share this story because I meet a lot of people putting unbelievable pressure on themselves to be the next Gary Vaynerchuk, the next great vlogger, or a rising YouTube “influencer.”

If that’s your dream … cool. Go for it.

But there are also a lot of worthy people in the world who are getting along just fine and taking care of a parent, a boyfriend, sick kids, and a small business who have not achieved internet fame, but something even greater: peace in their heart.

Sooner or later, I think most people realize that is the ultimate goal in life. To be who you want to be, love who you want to love, make a difference without broadcasting it on Facebook, and living in a way that brings some happiness  and satisfaction each day.

Perhaps stepping away from “the hustle” is the boldest “growth hack” of all.

You can certainly find peace in your heart, and even run a nice business, without being an “influencer” or even earning a single Facebook Like.

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world.  Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

Illustration courtesy Flickr CC and hobvias sudoneighm.

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