One day, fads will change and today’s popular social media platforms won’t exist at scale.
New ones will.
This is a guarantee, but the timeframe and specifics are unknown.
How much time and money will it cost you to switch platforms and build a new audience?
Now, 15X that.
Best case, this switching will probably happen 2-3 times over your career, on 3-5 platforms.
You’ll always be in a battle to grow your audience, again and again, instead of spending that same time getting better at your craft and creating stuff that matters.
This removes all chances of exponential growth, long term.
It also steals your most valuable asset, free time to make things that only you can create.
If you never have time to create, you never get better at your craft.
No one is interested in bad creative work. It has no value.
These hidden back end costs are massive.
You also have no clue when these costs will hit, because you have no control over the social networks.
Even worse, it won’t happen all at once.
Your platform-specific social traffic may slowly decline over a few years.
- How will you know when it’s time to jump ship & move to the next platform?
- All of these “open loops” suck up mental energy that could be used for creating.
How to Fix the Problem
Building a large social media audience, which your brand depends on, is similar to renting space and building a popular retail brand, on a busy street in a busy city.
The value of your brand depends on the location & your visibility to new customers.
One day the owner might sell the property, forcing you to move locations.
You have no control over this. It’s a huge risk.
Finding you will be much harder without your popular storefront.
It will take the 10 extra minutes that no one wants to give up.
It’s too much work. There are too many other options to choose from.
They will forget about you.
Now, you have to start all over again, repeating the same steps you worked so hard on in the past.
You’re strapped for cash and back at square one.
Rebuilding your social media audience also takes a massive amount of time and energy.
You need this time and energy, more than anything, to create things that only you can create.
Scarcity is one of the most valuable assets on the planet.
When there isn’t much of something that’s needed, the value skyrockets.
Anything you create in your mind and build in the real world is scarce.
There is only one of you.
If you keep making these scarce bits of creativity, day after day, year after year, you will become world-class at it.
When you become world-class at something your work markets itself. People will find you!
Constantly creating new things will be hard work, producing endless self-doubt and mental torture.
It’s part of the game. It’s what we sign up for.
This is a good thing. It ensures long term scarcity.
The best part is, hardly anyone is doing it.
Anyone can build a social media following.
Currently, it’s one of the least scarce things on the planet.
It’s so easy, that almost everyone on Earth is doing it.
Build Someone Else’s Brand or Your Own?
Every time you create something new on your website, it will work for you, until you remove it.
There are articles which I wrote years ago, that still pull a few thousand views a day, each, without any added work from me.
This scales quickly over time, as multiple traffic sources from multiple website articles, add up.
A website, where you pay for the servers, is a piece of property that you own, forever. You even own the address (URL).
- No one can take it from you when fads change.
- People always know where to find you.
- Make your website into a place that others trust as a valuable source of content and creativity.
- Build it long term because you love doing it. Not for quick gains in followers and likes.
This is how to build a strong, long-term brand, in the internet age.
Websites might not be as popular as social media right now. This is a good thing.
No one is looking.
Buy cheap. Start building.
It’s a great investment.
Social media isn’t bad. It’s just being used as private property when it’s actually a public tool.
It might be a good place to invest 10% of your time, business & creator dependent.
Social media can be a cheap and easy way to drive traffic.
BUT… It’s not a piece of private property. Don’t design your company to depend on it.
Even depending on social media for 20-30% of your traffic is a huge risk.
Would your company survive if the traffic went away?
Invest in the long term game.
Buy your own website property. Start building.
This is the one guaranteed way to spend your life creating, instead of constantly rebuilding your audience.
You owe it to your ideas, your brand, and yourself.
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