Ahh the age-old question.
If you ask any marketer, they will jump on to one extreme to sell their products.
That doesn’t mean they’re wrong – it just means that they’ve found a way to make one or the other work for them and want to sell you that solution.
You’ll have probably seen ads (or content) along the lines of:
- Organic content is a waste of time
- Facebook rips you off
- No one sees your posts
- The ads just get you a load of spam clicks
And so on and so forth.
So how much should you focus on paid vs organic?
I focus on both at different times and I think everyone should.
But don’t get reliant on one or the other.
You have 3 assets you can use in a business.
Your first asset is your skill or knowledge – which is what you’re selling.
Your other 2 are your time and money.
So you need to find that balancing point between the 2 that work for where you’re at.
Both organic and paid can and do work and have benefits to consider.
Organic is obviously unpaid – so if you’re on a tight budget it is a better option (or maybe your only option).
But it takes time, patience, finding your audience, knowing what works for them and then moving and adapting quickly as platforms keep changing their algorithms.
3 years ago it was incredibly easy to grow a decent following on Instagram just by posting daily.
Organic reach is falling and even hashtags play up sometimes now too.
So it’s not straightforward.
But over a period of time, even if you don’t grow your following massively, your organic posts act as a showcase for you, your brand and your business.
Which means if you are ever trying to sell to someone and they have questions or doubts, you can point to a history of posting consistently about your brand that shows you’re not closed down or out of business or just a shady fly by night operation.
So yes, at the very least make sure you’re present on your own profile.
I would say post daily on every platform you’re on but I’ll talk about picking your platforms and how to use them in another post.
Paid takes time, patience and money to learn.
You need to expect to fail or to make mistakes.
You need to understand the ins and outs of the platform you’re using to know how to get the best response.
Or you need to have the resources to work with someone that can do it for you.
A lot of people say Facebook or Instagram ads are a rip off and they scam you.
But why would they?
If anything, it’s in their interest to set you up for success so that you keep coming back to spend more with them.
The people that say that usually tried to follow a quick blog post or YouTube video that didn’t cover everything and they did something wrong.
But paid ads work – when you get the right message in front of the right audience.
(I get a ton of ads from other personal trainers who are literally 200 miles from me, advertising their gym – please don’t be that person. Right message, wrong audience.)
I will start to go through tactics and strategies for ads in future posts on here too.
But for now there are enough resources on YouTube and on Facebook itself to guide you.
Yep. Don’t believe anyone that only tells you to focus on one or the other.
Build your organic posting – it shows your skill and knowledge, it engages your audience and it builds a bit of a portfolio.
Get set up for paid – it accelerates your results and you’re not second guessing hashtags and organic reach and what types of content to post where or when.
What I’m doing
I’m writing this on 19 October 2020.
I don’t know when you’re reading this.
But I am currently trying to get 6 brands (including this site) up and running.
So how am I doing it?
I am posting organically for all of them but I don’t have the resources to put ad spend behind all of them.
So this is what I’m doing:
- Brand 1 is fitness coaching – I am posting on Instagram twice daily and just starting DM conversations with my new followers (as I follow my target audience first and they follow back)
- Brand 2 is fitness coaching in another niche – I am posting twice daily on Instagram but I am aiming to use Pinterest as my main traffic driver into my mailing list
- Brand 3 is a broader wellness brand – I’ve recently decided to pivot to e-commerce with a print on demand model – you can read about there here. But that is going to be organic Instagram, organic Tiktok and organic Pinterest.
- Brand 4 – you’re reading right now. At the time of writing I am just getting my blog posts written and I will add posting organically to Instagram and Twitter into the mix too. Pinterest will follow.
- Brand 5 is my main marketing services. This is the one I am putting ad spend behind because I think it’s the one that will return profitability quickest. I don’t have an Instagram page for this one so I am posting on my own personal profile, personal LinkedIn and a few occasional updates on the Facebook page that has been dormant for years.
- Brand 6 – I shouldn’t really call this a brand because it is just my own personal blog where I’m journaling daily, and keeping some notes on books, wellness and updates on how I go with trying to build all these things at once.
You’ve got me here to document everything so you’ll see what my strategies and tactics are and what is and isn’t working for me.
And remember to emulate, not copy, if you see anything from my posts that you think might work for you.
I mean you CAN copy but you might have missed some of the point behind why I did things a certain way so it might not work the same for you.