Imagine being able to find clients without using social media. Sound like the dream? Viv Guy has done it. And she’s here to share how she does it, what happened to her business when she came off social media, and how she’s swapping scrolling for connecting!

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Viv Guy




Emma Cossey

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Emma Cossey: This week, I’ve got Viv Guy on, and if you’ve ever been curious about running your business, but not relying on social media, you’re going to want to listen to this. So first of all, Viv is a marketing visibility strategist. But I’m going to let you describe what you do and who you are, in your own words, Viv. So, I’ll hand over to you now. Tell us a bit more about you.

Viv Guy: Thank you, Emma, thanks so much for having me on the show. And hello to everybody who’s listening! Yeah, so I am a Visibility Marketing Strategist. What is that? It’s one of those things, isn’t it? Like when you give us titles people like, well, what is that? What I do is I help people, service-based business owners to grow their audiences. Okay, that’s a big thing. So, that they can make more sales. That is it, you know, simple as, by getting more visible and really addressing, how they’re marketing their businesses. So that that is it. That is it in a nutshell, there’s nothing more. I could probably chat for hours, but I’m just going to keep it concise at that.

Emma Cossey: Fantastic. And I think because a mutual friend of ours connected us. And usually I’m like, well go have a look on social media, at the person. Obviously, you’re not on that much. So, I think it’d be great to know a little bit more about maybe your journey with social media and kind of when you decided to stop relying on it, and things like that. So, I wonder if you could tell us a bit more about that.

Viv Guy: Yeah, so I’ve been in business for 20 years now, that scarily makes me feel very old. I started my first business way back when at the age of 22, grew that to well actually, like turned over more than 7 million in revenue in that business. And then I decided that I was going to start a family. And that I was going to step away from that business because I was a workaholic, and a bit bored of it. And all of those things. I wanted to do something creative, because my degree was in drama, creative. So, I wanted to go back and do something more creative because I felt like I’ve really lost touch with like, who was so I decided to become a photographer. And that catapulted me into this online, like, digital marketing sphere, because my first business was very much not that at all. It was very much sort of, I’ll talk about that in a moment.

So yeah, so I never did social media didn’t exist with my first business I should say, as well. That’s how long ago it was. So yeah, I was catapulted into this, this world of sort of online digital marketing, and was like, I know nothing about this, social media wasn’t something I used personally, particularly. I hadn’t grown up with it, it’s kind of just wasn’t something I’d done. So, I not only had a brand-new baby, I got pregnant very quickly with another baby, started new business and was suddenly having to try and learn all this, like how to market a business online. And everyone said, it’s, you know, you got to be on social media. So, I was like, okay, well, that’s what I’ve got to do. I’ll be on social media. So, I did, I did as I was always told because like, you know, there’s experts out there, it always kind of listened to coaches and had coaches and things. So, I was like, Yeah, I’ll do that. But I did not love it. I found myself with my phone in my hand an awful lot because everyone’s like, You got to show up all the time, share your life, you know, and I had little people at home and I felt my focus and attention weren’t on them as much as it should have been and I was getting myself really anxious during the comparative like scroll thing but a lot.

So anyway, I did that, did as I was told, kept going, not feeling aligned with it, but grew a successful photography business. In the end. It started off with no niche whatsoever, so didn’t start successfully. I eventually reached into personal brand photography, and then evolved into coaching, which is a story for another day. And again, I was on social media, but I remember, as I was launching my coaching business, I decided to invest a lot in an awesome coach. So, I spent £11,000 pounds on a great coach. And I remember saying and he wasn’t on social media, he left social media I think the previous year and I remember saying I don’t really want to be on social media, but I did I started a Facebook group because everyone tells you start a Facebook group. I was sort of doing the hanging out in comments, threads and going in and doing the search ‘what are people searching’ you know; can I add value? Doing all the things I will say it’s still posted on Instagram, but I felt sad, I hated Mondays because Monday was my content batching day. And I remember saying to my coach, like, I really want to look at maybe kind of getting away from social media.

Obviously, it was a plan, it was a not to just turn it turn off where leads are coming from. And so, I sort of started that journey. But what was really interesting was I was attracting clients. So many clients who were just like, ‘Yeah, I don’t want to be on social media, I find it really hard. I want a way to market my business, like I’m not making the sales I want because my marketing, I’m really kind of hit and miss with it. I feel burnt out with it.’ All different things going on. And it was really interesting, because I had never at that point said in my messaging market without social media. I always talked about marketing in a way that feels right for you. But it was really attracting these people. And then there came a point at the end of 2021, actually beginning of October 2021, where I was working with a different coach at that point. And she just said, you know what, just make a decision because you’re kind of using so much energy. Kind of going, should I be here, I don’t want to be here. And not really, and I’d really started to pull away from social media at that point. But it was kind of still keeping like, you know, keeping and dipping a toe in the water still and keeping like your finger in. I was like, this is not where I want to be. And this is not the most. The big thing was, I was like, I only work 20 hours a week. And I looked at and was like, this is just not giving me a good return on investment for the amount of time I’m putting into this. That was the big thing, because I was like, I feel like I’m putting all this energy in and it’s using all this headspace. I feel miserable on social media because I do struggle with my mental health at times. And it’s not a great place for me to be. So, yeah, so for me, I really was like, there’s got to be a better way to market my business that gets me better returns. So that grows my audience faster. That doesn’t require me to do all these things that feel icky. They just felt icky to me and, and disingenuous the way like the hanging out and comments and all that stuff. It just wasn’t my cup of tea at all, it wasn’t a cup of tea for a lot of my clients. So, I decided at that point, with a week’s notice that I was going to leave social media fully, like that was it, which peaked a lot of interest when I declared on social media, ‘hey, I’m off’. And lots of well wishes, but a lot of curiosity from people kind of going, oh my god, we’re going to be watching you very closely. So, I left, and my business just transformed within like, eight weeks, I launched my first group programme, I launched a number one podcast, I had my highest revenue only month at that point in my business. Yeah, so things changed. And then obviously, I was marketing my business in a different way, which we can get on to if you want to sort of want me to segue into that bit?

So, as I said, like growing the audience on social media has always been a slog, you know, and then everyone was, you know, you learn from business early on, you need an email list, everyone says, have an email list, but you’re like, well, how do I get people to get into my email list, because social media is not designed for people to navigate away from it to your landing page, unless you’re paying for ads. They want to keep you there, they want to keep your, you know, users’ eyes on the feet. So, it’s really difficult. And it had been difficult. So, my email list at that point was still very small. And I’ve really struggled to grow it on social media. So, when I came off, it was like, okay, what are the ways I’m really going to, like, boost this. And so, I started connecting with people, because this was a beauty background off social media was making, like, I felt so alive, making real connections, chatting to people, you know, like this, where we’re face to face. And I know that it’s digital, it’s on Zoom, but it’s still like a real person on the end that you feel like you’re actually talking to. And I think just by speaking to someone and seeing a face versus in threads and things, the conversation is different, it’s deeper.

So, I started connecting with more people. And I ran a business boost bundle. I think I called it that way back when. So, I’d already started kind of doing collaborations at that point. That was just before I left social media and, and sort of was like, yeah, there’s power in this collaboration, malarkey. I should have probably discovered it more before while I was still on social media, but I was like, no, I’m going all in on this. So, I started connecting and collaborating with people. So, I did a lot of bundles in those early days. So, kind of collaborating on those. But found they weren’t necessarily my ideal clients because of the type of service I sell. So, then I got into guest speaking, which I loved because I’m very much like implement as we go kind of Do is a master class. Well, I was always like, I worked 20 hours a week, I don’t have time to go to a master class and then do the work afterwards. So, I was always very much like, let’s do it as we go for people.

Emma Cossey: I’m exactly the same I if I don’t implement it, as soon as it’s done, it’s never going to happen. It’s going to sit on my to-do list for months.

Viv Guy: Yeah, so I do, I do it as we go. Like, you know, I think I used up a favourite like pause face that was like, hit the pause button, and he saw your faces on zooms and things like that with people. So yeah, so I started to like doing those collaborations and I was getting clients in really quickly. So, they were joining my email list. But actually, they were only on my email list for like, a number of days before they became a paying client, which is unheard of. And the reason was, that they were on there for seven days or something was because that was the time it took from someone actually, like, see me in a workshop, signing up to my like, email list, there and then, and it was the lag between them actually being able to find an appointment in my diary to book a call. And that’s the reason it was seven days, otherwise, it would have been like 24 hours or something. So, it was a really short timeframe. And the reason being, you know, it speeds up or you think about the process of someone coming into your email list. And then you know, cold, someone from social media or paid ads, they don’t know anything about you. So, you’ve got a long time to build like credibility, authority, trust, etc, with them. Whereas when you go in, and you have a conversation with somebody, and you’re invited in to speak in a community, or a group that’s already got a leader that everybody trusts, well, just by being invited in trust is all automatically imparted to you. But then you get to kind of do your thing, show your expertise. And that builds the authority, and that credibility and trust as well alongside so it speeds up that whole process. And that’s why people go, Oh, my god, yeah, that’s amazing. Like, I want to book a call. So, that that was like one of the things I was like, oh, this is good. I like this, like, this makes getting clients a lot easier.

But then we got onto the whole, we still need the email list, we still need to grow that email list. Because there’s that direct correlation between the number of leads you bring in and the amount of money you make, the number of sales you make, it’s simple math. Leads in, you know, direct correlation between that and money out of the business that’s made by the business. So, I was like, right, so I need to you need to make this like sustainable and to have recurring, regular, consistent calls in the diary. I’ve got to have these regular leads coming into my email list. So again, it’s a simple math equation here, which is, you know, how many sales do you want to be making a month? How many sales calls do you need because obviously, we don’t close 100% of sales, because we need to qualify people and audition them. So, how many sales calls does that mean I need? Okay, so let’s now do the math on actually how many people do we know are ready to buy from us, or are interested, you know, kind of raising their hand saying I’m interested in sort of potentially buying from you. We know it’s between 3-10%. So, for me, that was like, okay, 100 people, I need 100 people every month, okay to bring in approximately three new one-to-one clients a month. So, that was that was the equation and that was something that was a fit for my clients because the type of work, the higher ticket sort of offers that is. So, 100 leads are kind of bought and built the business on like now, which is like how to grow your email list by 100 leads every month, so you get that consistent revenue. And that came about then from just going in as a guest expert.

But what most people do is they rock up, they do a podcast episode, they go in and do a guest expert spot. And that’s it, they move on and do another one in another group. But the step that everyone’s missing is there is a relationship to be built there, there is a collaboration opportunity. So, if I go in and deliver a masterclass for someone’s paid membership, or whatever it might be, they still have a wider audience a wider email list. Okay. And so actually, we can say this, this, this has been going on in the paid membership, which is already kind of going oh, look paid membership, we’re kind of promoting that service. Here’s a taste of what like you can get and like, then you can give out your freebie or a free workshop or whatever it might be that you can send out to that wider list, which suddenly someone’s got an email list of 1000 people, we know the click through rate is around 3.71%. So, you suddenly got 30 new email subscribers to your list from that being shared with that one audience. And you don’t have to keep creating content. You know, social media is so exhausting and demands so much content being created to just have any chance to stay in top of people’s feeds. So yeah, so by, you know, instead of creating all this like churn churn churn of content, we could create one or two really, really valuable pieces, and share that widely with people and then create something else in another next quarter and go back to those people and say, hey, you want to share and vice versa. ‘Hey, what are you got going on, if you got any workshops and launches, anything you want me to share and promote, send it over.’ And that’s it’s got to be that two-way sort of equal exchange. So that’s the bit a lot of people forget to do. And that’s where you’re really going to get that list growth happening.

Emma Cossey: I love in particular that you talk there about looping back to people as well, in the next quarter, because actually, I think that’s, I’m very much guilty that I worked with someone, they’re like, oh, I can’t ask them to share anything again. But actually, if you’ve already given value to the community, then the community will want to hear more.

Viv Guy: Yeah, and you know, being straight up in that relationship, I think, especially when we’re British, we’re very polite and afraid of offending, but actually just saying, you know, at the end of a thing, or sending a follow up email up saying. I do it, you know, close at the end of every time I speak with someone and meet someone in their community, and I say, ‘Hey, I am all about long term relationships, you know, I’m not a wham bam, thank you, ma’am. kind of person. I’m all for the longer term, let’s really make this valuable.’ And if you both agree this say, ‘Can I get in touch, like in a couple of months?’ or ‘Can you let me know what you’ve got coming up.’ I’m saying to people, now, let me know what you’ve got coming up, like August to December, because I want to put in my content plan now. Simple as, it’s no offence for me, I’m like, if you want me to, I am more than happy to. And if you’re happy to reciprocate, great!

Emma Cossey: So, one of the things you touched on a little bit earlier as well was, you talked a bit about how you’re getting people onto your mailing list, but also that incredible conversion that you’re having. And I wondered if you could talk a bit more about maybe why you think it converts so well, or people converting into paying customers so well?

Viv Guy: Yeah, well, as I said, obviously, when you’ve been the guest expert in communities, and you’ve shared things, there’s that that trust is already imparted, which helps. But within my process, I’m all about automating as much as possible. And so often, what happens is people try and sell as soon as someone’s come into their world, and they’ve introduced him for the first time. Imagine going out for a first date with someone, so you’ve been on Tinder, or wherever you’ve been on, and you found somebody, and you’re gone, you know, you don’t rock up on that first date and go, let’s get married and have babies, like people are going to run a mile. Say, ‘Hey, do you want to go for a coffee?’ Or something really simple, and people like yeah, that doesn’t feel too much of a big next step. And that’s what so often I see happening your businesspeople literally like a kid step marriage on that first thing, which is ‘Buy my big thing’, you know, right now, let’s have a big pool. So, what I have is when people sign up to my opt in, is they get taken, they get redirected to a thank you page on my website that says your things on its way, it’s going to be in your inbox in about five minutes. But before you go watch this video, and there’s a video that says like an obvious it’s got a heading, like if you want this or that. And it’s just a short video that talks about if you’re struggling with these things, this is likely happening, because …, which again, authority, credibility, because you know what you’re talking about, oh, okay, ‘so they understand why I’m making, like, why this is happening, why I’m struggling with these things.’ Like, then I’m going to offer you a call a 15-minute call though, I’m not selling you an hour’s call, it’s a, you can’t buy anything on the 15-minute call. And that’s really clear as well, this is a, you know, if I’m going to give you loads of value, I’m going to give you like the three key actions that are going to help you move forward in your business. And then if you want to hear more, we can book in a deeper dive call.

So, it’s little steps. It’s like that’s like first date to second date to third date, you know, and so on. So, that converts really well because it’s one, you know, 15 minutes, not a big-time commitment to you got to go ’Oh, I’m curious’. So, a lot of people are curious, what’s this going to be? And to get my eyes on your business because you know, you’re so close to your business, you don’t see it sometimes you don’t see what you’re missing. Like, yes, you might say I’ve got a lead flow problem, but I don’t know why because I’m doing this, this, this and this, like so many people come to me and I only say so what are you doing to generate like, leads as in like people for your like, build your audience and they say, I post on social media every day and I’m on LinkedIn and Instagram and Facebook. I say okay, so talk me through, right. I, you know, people get a little bit frustrated say, right, well, yeah, okay, but what is the lead generation? Like, what are you actively doing proactively doing? So, I’m posting I’ve just told you might know, that’s for your existing audience. Okay. And only about 3% of those are going to be seeing that content if we’re lucky. But what are you doing to get new eyes, new people into your world? Because it’s that moment, that’s where I say I do visibility, which is you got to stand there and go hey, everybody, I’m over here. I exist.

You know, people do not just swarm to you by chance. And social media is not what it was 10 years ago, and that’s the big thing is 2023, it’s not what it was 10 years ago, where the reach and engagement everything’s like 80- 90%. You know, it’s absolutely rubbish, you know, like less than half percent on engagement and things like that. It’s shocking. So, it there’s no way that social media is really pushing out your content to new people. And it’s just appearing in their feeds as if by magic. So, sayings, I’m doing social media as a, like audience building lead gen strategy is just, you know, and you’ll see it in your numbers, unless your numbers are kind of really going up fast, then you are not really proactively doing, like, lead generation. And that’s the thing that I see a lot of people make. So, we need to be obviously thinking about, like, how are we doing that? And then where are we directed to them to after we’ve done that, and what’s that process.

Emma Cossey: And actually, I mentioned this just before this call as well. But one of the things I really liked was I signed up for your audience accelerator freebie. And what I liked is that on the I think it was the confirmation or their thank you page, you had a short video, which helped with that connection, because I felt like I got to know you better. And then step two, was the, so let’s get this popping up. Step two was to book in a 15 minute call with you. And then step three, was accessing the freebie. And I it made me realise actually, that I don’t see that a lot on freebie pages on the confirmation page, it’s usually just, here’s the link to a freebie. But adding in, even if you didn’t do the video, even just that 15-minute call thing makes you stop and thinking actually, that will be really useful. And you do what I’ve also got in my onboarding, all my discovery call link as well, which is where you have bit in there saying, if you’re not looking to invest in this, this might not be the right time. Which is great because that filters out. But I just thought it’s such a simple tweak. And even if you’re going to carry on doing social media and things like that and have that tweak on your opt in page would make, I would imagine makes a huge amount of difference.

Viv Guy: Yeah, the connections, the connection piece is so important. You know, because connections lead to conversations and conversations lead to conversions, you know, simple three C’s that we need to take people through. And obviously, coming off social media, because I say to people, you know, I’m not a poo on social media kind of person. You know, it’s an amazing thing. But the reality is, it’s not what it was 10 years ago, and we have to face that. And if we’re trying to grow our businesses and market in a way that many other people out there, in sort of the coaching, mentoring, online digital world, grew their businesses, they would like they’re at the start of like social media coming out. And they grew audiences very quickly. And they’re still teaching people like, this is great way to grow your audience. But actually, it’s not an effective way now. But I say to people, you don’t have to leave social media. I was extreme, because I was like, this doesn’t work. for me, as a person. It’s not great for mental health. But actually, what about if you just, I always say it’s like flipping a pancake. So, flip it all on its head, like turn it around. So right now, if you visualise like a funnel right now. At the top, you’re kind of going I’m on social media, and I’m trying to bring grow my audience, either on social media or my email list, whichever or both by being on social media. And then I get people try and get them into my email list. And then I try and like nurture them and connect with them on social media. So, I say to people, right, let’s just think about taking the social media bit away at the top of that funnel. How can we get people? You know, how can we get in front of people and connect with people off social media, bring them into your email list, because we know that you’ve got way higher open rate, like 80% delivery rate, you know, like 30 to 40% open rates, depending on where you’re at in your business, and then the click through rate is much higher. So, we know we want to have them in there. But you know, everyone says, you know, the moneys in your list, and it’s your pot of gold, it is your asset, you own it. But then once you’ve got them in there, if you love being on social media, if you’re like I’m always on Instagram Stories, you can say to people come hang out with me there and you can still connect. But again, we know that only about 3% of your audience is seeing that like consistently so you still got email is covering your back there, it’s got you covered, and people can kind of go when they really connected with you.

You could even like use your email to say, oh, watch this video I did in reels or watch this reel I did today or whatever it might be so you can send them to your Instagram or your Tik Tok or wherever you want to send them to. So, they can check that out. You know, or you can remind them or there are so many ways you can still use social media if you want to connect but you are not having to create the volume of content that you are right now. When you’re trying to market and grow your leads because it’s not working. So just stop, like stop, just, you know, it needs to stop. If it’s because it’s exhausting, it’s time consuming, and it’s ineffective. So, we’ve got to find a different way. And as I said, just then use your social media to connect with people. And for me, because I’m not on social media, that’s where this connection part is really important for me. As soon as someone clicks like my opt in, because there isn’t that, you know, come see me on social media join my Facebook group or anything like that. So, I have to find as many opportunities as I can to show up,

Emma Cossey: You’re like the poster child for work smarter, not harder. Yeah, and I suppose some people will be like, oh, but you’re going to end up doing all these calls, that will take them out a lot of time, but you’ve just freed up so much time by not doing social media.

Viv Guy: Yeah, and the 15-minute gameplan calls mean, you think about how many service-based businesses do their calls, they try and get people straight on a 60-minute discovery calls, sales call, whatever you want to call them, you know, strategy calls. And that was the big thing like that is time consuming to have people that aren’t qualified, that are not in a position to buy necessarily, and are not a good fit energetically. So actually, by having a 15-minute call, it’s really great to connect with people be they get some value of some kind out of that with their three actions. And be it’s an audition, you know, are this is it, we’re so often as service providers, we forget that we feel like we’re being auditioned, but we should be really confident to audition. Like, are these people? Am I energetically connected if I’m working like in a coaching capacity, because, gosh, that’s a long time to not be connected with someone and not to kind of have that, that vibe, you know, are they going to get the results do I think because that’s my reputation, if I don’t think this person is going to do the work, then, you know, as much as we might be connected and vibing if they if I don’t feel confident, we’re going to do the work, they’re not going to get the results. And that’s, that looks not great on me. And I am an over giver, and I love people to succeed. You know, it’s my god complex that I always get told by my coaches to stop having, but it’s, you know, I care, and I want people to get results. So actually, you know, for me, I really need to screen to make sure people are going to get results. So yeah, it is it is important.

Emma Cossey: I want to go and sort out my pages now. Thank you pages and everything and put all these in place. That’s super interesting. So usually, what I ask at the end is where can we find you online? And obviously, the usual social media ones are out, they’re not the things that we’re looking for. But where can we find you?

Viv Guy: Okay, so you can check me out on my website, if you want to dig into more about who I am and what I do, nice and easy. I know, if you’re happy Emma, I’ll share my link to my freebie, which is how to grow your email list by 100 new leads every single month without paid ads or organic social media. So, I can send you the link for that. Yeah, and as I say, I do have my social profiles still there because I decided not to delete them. So, they’re like digital business cards. So, you can go and see me, and it says I’m not here. But you can connect with me. And I love a good old voice note. So, if you want to, if you’ve got any questions, you want to just connect with me say hi, tell me where you heard me. Come and connect with me on Facebook Messenger because as I say, I love a good old Voice Note you’ll often find me puttering in the greenhouse and voice noting and things like that or walking. Especially now you don’t have to hold the button down any more to do a voice message which is awesome. So yes, come say hi. So, there’s a there’s a few different ways that you can connect with me.

Emma Cossey: I love a voice note too, I’m terrible for doing it’s my team and things and sending them voicemail. Thankfully, we discovered in Slack that it transcribes it and makes it so much easier.

Viv Guy: I love slack, the transcribe option.

Emma Cossey: Well, thank you so much. I am feeling super motivated by this, and I think lots of other people will too. If you enjoyed this, do go jump on Viv’s list, because that’s obviously where the magic is happening. And I think it’s going to inspire a lot of people. So, thank you so much for coming on.

Viv Guy: Thank you for having me.

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