Grass Roots: Building a Local Empire From the Ground Up

samanthamehra    November 16, 2017

Building a business starts with a mission, an idea, a desire to bring a product or service to a wanting market. But what if you alone are the product, the marketer, the designer, and the administrator, a one-woman business band? How can you maximize your reach, market yourself, and cultivate your business in an effective, timely way? Luckily, social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Google analytics, Twitter) and their measurement systems have provided a relief in this entrepreneurial scenario, giving easy insights into potential target markets, post performance, reach, follower growth, and more. This technological milestone in marketing has allowed small business owners to reach a wider audience, gauge the success or failure of digital campaigns, and have a wide-angle view of potential consumers. The ease and availability of social metrics in these realms have also made it possible for individuals to pursue their areas of interest, making careers out of things they love to do.

Nancy Silverman, a Toronto-based yoga instructor and Kombucha expert, did just that.

Building an empire in the health and wellness sector of a highly competitive city, in an intensely competitive market, is no easy feat. But Silverman, a self-starter who teaches Yoga and more recently grew her business to include Kombucha workshops, has found success in running her business solo. She is the one-woman business band. Being highly qualified and certified is one thing, but being able to effectively tout your skills to a discerning public requires a whole other layer of expertise. For Silverman, social media has acted as a boon to her expanding business in terms of: Expanding demographics, strategizing online advertising, assessing the most effective engagement strategies, and understanding the habits of her target market(s).

Lessons for Others


Silverman, early on, recognized the usefulness of two particular platforms for her brand: Instagram and Facebook, which are largely visual, lending themselves well to her particular, visually-appealing products. The use of these two particular social mediums immediately gave her a better understanding of her potential followes. “I mainly use social media analytics tools on Facebook and Instagram to zero in on my target demographic,” she says. “I can easily find details outlining the age, gender and location of the people viewing my profile or clicking my sponsored links.” These insights also make it easier to insinuate her brand into trending conversations, hashtag industry and market-specific terms, and glimpse into the content that her followers are following.

Using social media for research and analysis of business performance has quickly had an effect on how Silverman curates content and unfolds longer-term digital strategies, particularly with online ads: “My social media analytics mostly affect how I go about advertising online.  I target my ads to the people most likely to click on them, and that is made clearer by the information provided in the Facebook and Instagram analytics.” Such information has also impacted the timeframe of content posting on a micro level: “I’m also given really useful information regarding when the most effective time of day is to post, making sure I’m posting at a time they will get the most views, and therefore the most engagement.”


Silverman acknowledges that even the minutia of social media analytics are revealing, such as age, gender, location, interests, likes, mentions. Even the insights into the time of day of a purchase have revealed some mysteries of the health and wellness market for Silverman: “The biggest secret?  Most people place orders for my workshops between the hours of 11pm-1am, when they’re tired and most likely in bed.”


When you are building a business as a singular entrepreneur, honing in on the most effective tools early on is best. Silverman adopted a minimalist marketing approach to social media because, even though unfettered, it works. “I fill my workshops 100% by using social media advertising, nothing else.  No posters, flyers or other advertising.  It’s cost effective and works every time without fail.”

Organization: Nancy Silverman Yoga
Industry: Health and Wellness
Name of Organization Contact: Nancy Silverman

Authored by: Samantha Donaldson

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Nancy Silverman Yoga. Retrieved on November 20, 2017 from

Email Interview. Nancy Silverman. 16 November 2017.