How do you create your future? Clear goals, a path to achievement, and controlling your destiny. Sounds simple, but is it… the most difficult portion is the controlling your destiny. There are several ways to end up in situations where you are “controlled”.
Most of these center around money. The bank holds your loan, partners that grow apart, inventory and even non-payment on inventory. You need money to sustain and expand. Your own financial advisors can help guide you in these areas, but what about the “new” controlled areas of business?
I’m referring to access to customers.
Who’s the “big guy”? Well, Google followed by Facebook. You are controlled by them. Even in the smallest town in the middle of the country, you are controlled. Why? Because they have a very big presence online and you want (need) to “borrow” this access. As such, you are dependent on them and if “they” change “their” rules you can be shut down, instantly, without warning.
This is not new. But it has gotten worse. Imagine that you have 25 million followers on YouTube (owned by Google) and you are shut down. No more access to 10 years worth of videos, no more access to your followers, AND no more access to the advertising revenue you generated from the videos you have created for 10 years. It’s all gone, now. This is happening. I think it’s wrong. You research it yourself and form your own opinion, but at the end of the day, you are putting videos on a free service. As such… You do not pay to host your videos. Therefore, you are at their mercy.
Facebook did this around 2009 when it cleaned up it’s user newsfeeds and started restricting “free” company page posts from getting to followers. Overnight companies saw their business models crash. You still had followers, but the ability to stay in touch got much more expensive. Yesterday it was free, today it’s not. Therefore you are at their mercy.
I experienced the Facebook shift. That was not fun. I also experienced getting Google smacked. That sucked. I’ve been kicked off Amazon (roll eyes). And my favorite was getting locked out of my 1500 emails on Constant Contact. I let an email list go dormant for 6 months and they would not allow me to send to send from the list because it was dormant, and they would not allow me to “clean” the list because it was dormant but they wanted me to clean the list (lots of chicken and the egg going on). Needless to say, I am not a fan of Constant Contact, AT ALL. Here’s the deal. When big companies shut you down, don’t waste your time or energy in their phone trees. It’s pointless. (sorry if that sounds defeatist). Move on, learn from the experience, AND…
Make the plans ahead of time to NOT depend on the big companies.
You are a small business…use this to your advantage.
Switch your main marketing model to email. Funny, since I hate Constant Contact! But I believe in email. Email as THE tool for small business marketing. You need to build and control your list. This is the way to protect yourself from being dependent on “big company” rule changes. Sure you will create social media followings and use Facebook, Google, YouTube, etc., but you will NOT depend on them. If they choose to shut down your page you won’t be devastated. You must do this.
This is the way to create your future. There are many facets to developing an infinity marketing machine, which is my ultimate goal for you. This is what I believe is the new success path for small business marketing. It takes time to build an infinity marketing machine, but it all starts with emails. Begin today by developing the system to capture emails from customers. You don’t have to do anything with the email today… but if you have it you can do something with it tomorrow, next week or in a month!
Question of the Post:
Have you ever been “shut down” online?
PS: Make sure to “like” this post… and follow me. Please answer the question of what your two biggest hurdles to online marketing are, it will really help me! answer here
1- Start collecting emails from your customers. (abide by the CANN-SPAM rules)
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