Social Media is Over, BUT YOU STILL Need a Website and Email List
You Need a Website and Email List, you can't rely on social media algorithms as their policies can change, asking you to pay for views resulting in fewer free views.
So you need to build a website or blog and start email marketing and growing an email list to keep access to your audience. Don't rely on social media. Rely on yourself. Email Marketing and Website Building are not something most social media influencers and content creators want to do, because social media is free and comes with built-in traffic, or so you think!
But you never know when you will lose access to your audience and that is why you need your own website and email list to keep that access to the audience you built long term.
"In 2018, 42% of those surveyed in a Pew Research Center survey said they had taken a break from checking the platform for a period of several weeks or more, while 26% said they had deleted the Facebook app from their cellphone."
Don't I own my Social media content?
If you're using social media, the reality is that you don't own the relationship you have with your audience, it's owned by the platform. And if you're running your business through the internet and you don't have direct access to your audience, to your customers, then you don't own your business. So it should go without saying that you absolutely need your own website and you need your own email list.
Why You Need Your Own Website
I wanna talk about why you absolutely need your own website and your own email list when all these social media platforms are free.
And the bottom line is, the only thing that's convenient about them is the fact that they're free and the traffic is already there but there are some problems and some caveats that go with that. And if you've been paying attention to anything going on in the world then you probably understand why. Do you know what one of the key difference is between someone who's an employer and an employee? It's who owns the relationship with the customer.
And you would think that with ‘X’ amount of followers and TikTok or Twitter, Instagram, subscribers on YouTube, and because you built that relationship that you own it, but oh no.
But at the end of the day if they decide to for whatever reason, if social media decides to delete your account, suspend your account or the algorithm changes in some way that's not favorable to you then guess what? All of that effort and all of the hard work that you put in to build those relationships doesn't really amount to anything because you don't control the access. You have no way to guarantee that you can reach these people that want to hear from you.
And while this might sound obvious, most people especially a lot of people who are millennials or Gen Z absolutely refuse to build their own website and they hate the idea of asking people to sign up to their email list and their newsletter. It's something like, it's just like they're allergic to it or something like that, I don't know. But I do understand some of the reluctance here. For one thing, we live in an age where let's face it people are gonna feel a little bit more spoiled, a little bit more entitled.
PAY OR FREE?
I know I sound like the old man in the room, back in my day we paid for everything, I understand. But the reality is yeah, back in my day we did pay for everything.
You paid for web hosting, there was almost no such thing as free hosting or free anything on the internet. Back in the days of AOL 7.0, Angelfire, Lycos, and GeoCities, what'd they do? Give us like 20 megabytes, 20 megabytes. And back then, you thought that was a lot. But now you have unlimited hosting for videos that are like terabytes large on YouTube. You have unlimited hosting in many forms throughout these websites, whether it's like Facebook, Instagram for your photos, and whatnot. And so when you really look at it, when you really think about it, we do have a very great opportunity here. It's this abundance of resources and access that you know 15 years ago just didn't exist.
But here's the downside when you don't pay for anything, you get what you pay for in terms of being a priority, customer service, and control. Well, the value of having free platforms that give you so much, don't require you to build or maintain anything, is that yeah they have all the leverage and that might actually be fair. They did in fact put all the upfront investment and infrastructure into that. We showed up, we participated. And so like I said, you get what you pay for now. Now as cynical as all that might sound, when you actually decide that you're gonna pay for and have your own website, yeah it's a pain in the butt, it is another bill, it is another expense. But if you're somebody who is not doing this as a hobby or if you're somebody who's invested in this whether you're doing an online business or you're an influencer; this is part of your livelihood and part of protecting that livelihood is having an abundance of options.
And again, owning the relationship you have and actual access and control when it comes to those relationships when it comes to the audience that you built. They built the platforms you built the audience. Now, the idea that I've always stood by is the idea of moving my audience and taking traffic away from these platforms and taking it to my own platforms, one that I have through my websites. The problem is that when you take traffic off these platforms, there's a little bit of a penalty in the algorithm. You will not grow as fast, they will not promote or push your content as much, that's just the way that it is.
And some of them have like done so much to limit reach, Facebook, that it feels very much pay to play at that point. If you're gonna do pay to play, you might as well at least own your own website and your own domain name and be able to control the look, the branding, the feel, and of course the access to your audience.
This stuff is not cheap that's why most people decide that they're just gonna use the free platforms and they're gonna live with the consequences, until the consequences (giggles) actually show up. Then it's a problem. Now, there are a lot of like web hosting companies out there and I think they're reasonable and affordable, you just have to make that decision of whether you wanna do this or not. Now, if you're someone who's not a paid influencer or you're not monetized on YouTube, or you don't have an e-commerce brand where you're like making money off of this stuff already, you know selling things or doing affiliate marketing then it can feel like, oh God it's just one more bill, it's one more thing to pay for. But it's reasonable because it does put you in a position to earn money usually through things like e-commerce and like affiliate marketing. If you're gonna sell things directly if you're gonna do e-commerce then Shopify is something that's specialized in that. They're not a sponsor or anything it's just like I'm recommending some things here. So Shopify is where you wanna do something like that.
DO THEY WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU OR NOT?
So in terms of being able to communicate and distribute content, even content from your other platforms to your audience that they may have missed because algorithms may not be working for you properly or notifications may not be getting through, etc.
This is where an email list and email marketing plays a crucial role in the future of your business and you really having access to your own audience because, with an email, the audience decides whether or not to open it or not, the algorithm isn't deciding whether they see it or not. They get to see it in their inbox and then they get to make a decision, do I open this or do I not?
Do I wanna hear from you or not?
They opt-in or they opt-out. But I think you guys are starting to understand the urgency of having your own website and having your own email list and also having something directly to sell because again, a platform can cut you off at their discretion, and I'm okay with that. These are businesses, they're private entities, we agreed to the terms of service that was the deal. I have no issue with that whatsoever. I just wanna deal with the practical reality of what do we do if that should happen?
How do we mitigate the losses that would occur if you do that? Maybe, YouTube's your biggest platform, “you have like a half million subs, "why don't you have this going on? “why don't you have that going on? "why don't you grow bigger? "why don't you add a million? "Why don't you get these views? "Why don't you get that?"
I don't do what's in YouTube's best interest, I do what's in MY best interests and that's why I won't always get the views cause I'll make helpful videos like this that have no hope of entertaining a young audience,
And see it's really that simple to tell your audience another way to stay in touch with you should the worst happen. It's also good to have a website and find a way to regularly promote that by giving your audience something that they would enjoy, that they would want, that they would care about, or just letting them know there exists a way to reach you if the platforms are not cooperating. Now when it comes to email well programs, a lot of people will go with the cheapest solution, the freest solution. Some of them upgrade later but there's like hidden fees or cost or something like that. I've used really almost every email marketing program out there, either for myself or for clients or when I worked in corporate. And what I've come to the conclusion on is there are two that I can recommend for sure. The bottom line of this very dry video is that you need to have a measure of control when it comes to what you're doing online.
Getting Direct Access
You need a way to have direct access to your audience and to the relationships that you built.
You need a website, your need an email list. You need, in my opinion, some kind of e-commerce solution that is separate from your major social media platform in terms of monetization. That way you're not relying on the brand deals, relying on the ad revenue or the donations or whatever. People need to be able to do a transaction with you because you need access to your customers, you need to have some control over your resources and you need to be able to directly sell.
This is what has to happen in order for you to truly have a business that you're in control of instead of somebody else.
Question of the day, do you have an online business? or is social media a hobby for you?