Today, being the 18th day of February 2021, thousands of Australians woke up to find that their livelihoods were decided by a CEO in California. Australian news organisations had their Facebook pages basically shut down because Facebook doesn’t want to play ball with the Australian government.
There’s a lot to be said about that entire action, but this isn’t a membership website for news organisations, it’s for celebrants.
Are you prepared
Your Facebook page, Instagram page, Google My Business account, your LinkedIn, and god forbid any of you have a Parler account, but they’re all not your property. Running your business on the back of those properties is like going to your local cafe and setting up shop at a table. Putting up a little sign with Married By John Citizen on it, and accepting meetings and enquiries there. It might be ok for the longest period of time (thanks for hosting me, Sisterhood Coffee), but at any time that business owner can ask you to leave and not come back. That coffee shop owes you nothing. Facebook, Instagram, Google, Bing, Parler, LinkedIn, Mailchimp, Squarespace, Snapchat, Blogger, TikTok, Youtube, Twitter, owe you nothing. They can shut you down any time they like, just like they have to Australia’s ABC, Courier Mail, Sydney Morning Herald, and hundreds of other pages managed by thousands of content editors and journalists.
Are you prepared for this? It might never happen. But it could, and if it did, are you prepared?
How to prepare
- Is your best writing, your best content, your best photos, ideas, videos, stored on your own website/blog?
- Are your reviews on those platforms backed up in a document, and shared on your own website?
- Are you building relationships with your tribe by building an email and/or sms list?
- Are you diversifying your social media content creation and relationship building by trying new social networks, and posting on older ones. If you lose one, will the other networks provide for your lead and tribe building?
- Finally, this is the big one: Are you focused on building a long term brand, not a short term sale?
If your focus is on building a brand. Someone who is known for doing a certain kind of work, in a certain kind of way, for a certain kind of people, is building a brand.
When you are brand building, you can move from platform to platform, not worrying if Facebook shut you down or if the Instagram algorithm changes, because you are focused on building community in your tribe around your brand.
A solid brand is identifiable, memorable, and meaningful. This is the main reason I encourage celebrants to drop the fancy brand names like “Married By” or “Cool Noun and Cool Noun Weddings” and just stick with their personal name, that way your tribe has to remember less things.
Build a brand. Use and abuse the platforms for your brand building. Don’t cry over losing one network – like Facebook – because you’re building on others at the same time.