Is social media for business a waste of time?

March 26, 2021

This week I decided to spend some time going under the hood of my business and see where my traffic and sales actually come from. Have you taken the time to test what’s working in terms of the hours and money you put in versus what you’re getting back?

My business has many moving parts that I pause, change or retire at any given time. This week, I just want to take you inside the passive income part – my online coures.
It might be a fluke, but since pausing social media and going back to creating one blog post/email for my audience a week, my sales have gone WAY up

It’s 3 weeks in, I could just be getting dumb luck. Yet I feel like “use social media for your business” is something that’s been screamed at me so often in the last 3 years. Something I’ve never even questioned – for someone who is raising two daughters to question EVERTHING (except my parenting, lol!) this just feels out alignment.

So, let’s look at one of my courses –Birth Trauma Training for Birthworkers. At the end of March, I’ve almost hit 800 enrolments. I usually get around 100 a month on average.

The overwhelming majority of my sales are organic. Which means word of mouth and direct searches. People type in ‘birth trauma’ and my course comes up. It has a bestseller badge and attracts CPD points and is pretty much always on sale. One birthworker sees a sale, takes the course, likes it, then shares it with other birth workers.

By comparison, social media traffic is pretty low. Sad little linktree (which is the link from Instagram to my course) only has 270 visits. All that time on Instagram. Yikes.

This is actually crazy considering how much time, thought and execution was going into my social media. Even with a content planner, scheduling software and all of that, it still took up WAY to much of my time if you look at Pareto’s principle – that 80% of the work will result in 20% results.

Most people buy my course on Udemy for $20 or less. Is this worth the investment to keep creating free content for Zuckerberg? For this particular course, it’s looking like a strong No. Not when I could use my email list and my blog (both of which I actually own as opposed to content on social media). No more keeping to the word limit and scratching my head each time algorithms change and noone sees your content anyway.

But what about all the people you help?

Here’s the thing. Social media is ONE way to help people and serve for free. In the grand scheme of things, it hasn’t been around long enough to really have any longitudinal results.

Social media experts tell us to be consistent – yet social media platforms are fluid and change all the time. Post X times a week. Now post Y but in Z format. Now there’s an algorithm change and what you were doing is working now which always seems to result in: “now use this other strategy and use it more”.

People who use ads regularly complain that they need to keep spending more and more money to get the same results.

The goal of social media platforms isn’t to get you more money. It’s to keep people glued to the platform for as long as possible and make themselves and their shareholders money.

People are now spending more time on Instagram than they are sleeping, eating or going to the toilet.

Yes, social media gets eyes on you and your expertise. Yes, it’s free advertising. Yes, it’s powerful. But knowing that people are consuming something in such high doses – something that is known to be addictive – I’ve had to ask myself, like really sit down and ask myself:

is this aligned with my values?

Let’s look at the concept of maintenance for a minute.

I can sit across from a heroin addict for one hour and we do deep work on getting them ready to quit. Then, between this session and the next is an entire week. An entire week spent with other people who use heroin. It’s not really that one hour of work with me that creates the lasting change. It’s the in -between time where integration and maintenance need to happen. It’s in the thousands of hours it takes for that person with an addiction to change their subconscious routines. To move away from temptation which often means – move house, move neighborhoods, end, pause and change relationships. To commit to using replacement strategies when things get really tough.

In a less extreme example – I wonder how many Mums go to therapy for anxiety and depression for one hour a week. Or maybe they complete an online program, or coaching or even use an app for Mindfulness. In that one hour they work on strategies to feel better. But then within an hour they are Instagram scrolling for 20+ hours before their next session.

Do you see what I’m saying about how social media addiction might just be cancelling out the deep mental health work? That it might, in fact, be interrupting the process of maintenance?

Is there a way to connect and sell to people using social media that feels truly good, now knowing what I know?

I don’t know the answer to this yet. I want to stress here that this is how it feels for me now in my reality. It might not be how I feel in my reality that is tomorrow, next year or two years from now. Humans are dynamic and nothing stays the same.

There are other parts of my business I haven’t tested yet.

3 weeks in, I feel less distracted. I have more space to be alone with my thoughts to think about what I want to do instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing.

Instead of telling my mentoring clients to amp up their social media, we’ve gone back to the drawing board to teach avatar (ideal client) work and crystal clear sales copy. Don’t feel alone or silly if you’ve never learned this stuff. No one is born knowing this stuff, and even if you think you know, it doesn’t hurt to polish your skills.

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I specialise in birth trauma and perinatal mental health. I also write books, create courses & provide clinical supervision & business mentoring.


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