Metaphorically speaking, our businesses are our babies. They need nurturing too.
Whether you have kids or not, I think you’d agree there is a common struggle to balance time between family and business.
After all, if we don’t spend time in our business, baby ain’t eating Gerber’s this week, right?
We bottle feed them. Similac for the baby, Red Bull for the business.
We cradle them in the middle of the night with tears streaking the cheeks. Gentle burping for baby. Anxious spreadsheet keying for business.
We provide a home for them to grow up safe and sound. Brick and mortar for baby, and for the business? …
Well, that’s what this post is about. What kind of home to provide for your business. More specifically, Where not to build your business foundation.
So where don’t we want to dig the foundation of our building? Ready for it?
Did someone just say, “Dude, that’s crazy! Not use social media?”
Wait a second now.
Of course we want to use them, they are incredibly powerful. In a formula for attracting business—demand, reach, pricing, and copy, social media has the power to reach. No question about that one.
The point is not to let your business be so reliant on social media platforms, that it overrides your own.
We aren’t even getting into a social network’s right to use your written or multi-media material without your permission. Actually, that’s not right, they do have your permission, simply by using their platform. They just don’t have to let you know if, or where, they are using it.
Another topic for another time.
But let’s say you built your own web site using your provider’s hosting package. It wasn’t easy. You learned a lot, which was good.
Now it looks… absolutely fantastic… well…, I guess it’s okay. You’re proud of it anyway. A work in progress, and you’re okay with that.
You then jump up to some social media sites, open accounts, and set up profiles there.
One day while tweaking some add-on function to your hand-built web site, you realize there is a whole team of people at social media HQ working up cool networking tools for your page on their platform, on their clock, not yours.
Testing them out, you realize, “Man, this is a lot easier, and a lot more powerful than tools over at my site.” I can post my blogs there and people can comment. I don’t have to worry about comment spam or getting third party filters set up. I don’t have to monitor them as much. You begin to wonder why you just wouldn’t set up shop there.
Soon, you put more of your content on social media, because you’re getting activity and it’s keeping you too busy responding to people and marketing yourself there to bother updating your own site.
Until one day you look away from your FB page, over your shoulder, as your better half calls from the kitchen.
“We got an automated call from your web host. Your domain is up for renewal. The cost went up this year. Are you planning on renewing it?”
See the tempting transition going on here?
We can be so easily drawn to over use social media platforms, because they are so powerful and can reach so many.
But, you’ll see in a second how…
Your Business Could Be In Danger on Social Media Platforms
Sitting here at my desk on a sunny afternoon, I can’t really imagine how Facebook, YouTube, and the others would ever step out of grace and popularity with the public. In fact, I don’t think any social media source ever has fallen…
Wait a minute. I forgot about MySpace. Remember MySpace? Oh, it’s still out there, somewhere.
It was huge in its day. Everyone was clamoring to get on MySpace. From kids to artists, to businesses. In fact, so many businesses were on it, you couldn’t look at a page without getting the deer in the headlights look from all the ads.
In the middle of its windfall net popularity, no one would imagine it would have dropped to the level it is today.
So, what if you had built your business model, MySpace dependent? You’d be hurting today.
“Yeah but,” you say, “I could see the popularity dropping, and do something about it before it effected my business.”
That is true. I wasn’t even all that heavy on MySpace, and I could see it struggling. But, let’s say you saw it coming, and you were able to start changing your direction to another similar platform.
There are the countless hours of changing your network funnel and rebuilding your following. There is the loss of potential revenue during the transition. There is the energy which could be used elsewhere, like spending time with family? Plus, if you decide to set up camp on yet another social media platform, there is the risk of reliving another marketing disaster.
Aside from all that, what if, and we’re just supposing now, right? But what if you suddenly experienced…
Catastrophic might describe it.
In fact, you don’t even have to violate anything for them to take your page.
Coca-Cola is on Facebook, right?
Did you know it wasn’t Coca-Cola who started their Facebook page?
It was started by a fan of Coca-Cola’s.
Did you know that Facebook, expressing their rights, just pulled the plug out from under this fan, and gave the page to Coca-Cola?
Fortunately for this fan, Coca-Cola came back to him and made it right. Lucky him.
And this guy had tons of people on it. It was just a fan page at the time, but it would have been a business models dream to have had the amount of followers on there.
In a moment’s decision, not his, he lost control. And that brings us to the last point today…
Why wouldn’t you want control over your own business, on your own platform?
By all means, use the social media outlets to target clients and customers, but then direct them to your web site.
Put out good, informational content to keep them there.
Draw them in from resources other than social media as well. Guest blogging. Publishing your own podcast. Do some target networking. Even more traditional market funneling methods are still viable such as presentations at Chamber of Commerce events, and networking at trade conferences.
Would you agree that as you run your business, you might see an opportunity to take it in a certain direction? Maybe you see a windfall opportunity you can’t pass up.
What happens though if the social media platform policies don’t allow for you to do it, but you’ve built your entire business dependent on that model?
You’ve lost control over your business. You might as well be working for, “the man.”
The way we talk, and the way we are encouraged to talk about social media pages is: my Facebook page, my Pinterest page, my this page, my that page.
What we forget is we are guests in their homes. They are NOT our pages at all, or our accounts.
They are property of that particular social media organization, and that’s the way we should treat it.
You would think it strange to invite a friend from work to stay with you while they’re going through a rough stretch, and then overhear them say to someone, “Oh hey, come on over to my place. I’m having a wild party tonight.”
Then when you pull in your driveway, you notice your name is scratched off the mailbox, and your friend’s name is etched in.
Opening the door there is some stranger flopped out on the couch.
It wouldn’t be long and you’d establish rules of the house too. And if your guest doesn’t abide by them, you change the locks on the door. Problem solved.
Social media platforms have the same rights.
As entrepreneurs, our businesses are our babies. Bringing them into the world and bedding them down on a social media platform is like putting baby down for a nap, going out to the mailbox, and realizing your house that’s sitting on that nice waterfront peninsula, wasn’t a peninsula at all.
It was a landscaped barge, owned by someone else, and they just decided to take it out to sea.
It looked like it was yours, but it really wasn’t. And everything in it, including your baby, just went bye-bye.
That’s not a place you want to find yourself or your baby.
Until next time…
Live like you’ll never get hurt, dream like nobody is watching, and above all… Try, try, try until you succeed!