Soooo... that happened then.
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp (all owned by Mark Z natch.) went down. BIG went down. As in HUGE fuck up at the data centres type we-need-people-with-cables-stat! down.
And... for everyone who had their eggs in that ONE basket - FUCKED. Totally fucked.
Let me say this loud and clear: FACEBOOK IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS!
YOU are the product on Facebook.
They don't give a shiny fuck about your business - and building your business on SOMEONE ELSE'S REAL ESTATE? Big, bad move.
OK, so aside this major fuck-up yesterday, we're seeing a subtle cultural shift as people - certainly the over-40s who grew up without the omnipotent presence of Social Media - are feeling it's all a bit too "time-consuming", all a bit "meh, seen this before" and "OMFG, how have I just spent YET ANOTHER afternoon scrolling through utter shite?".
This shift is taking people in the direction of alternative Social Media channels where more privacy is available and it's not in the T&C to use your real name for example. People want more anonymity as users - and they don't want to be addicted to a bloody blue & white screen nagging at them from their pocket or handbag to just "have a quick scroll" while they're looking to fill 2 minutes.
People want to be more in control of their time - and the time they do have? They want to use it INTENTIONALLY!
I'm also hearing murmurings of people wanting to move back to good old-fashioned topic-specific forums - thereby tuning out all the crap they're not interested in and focusing ONLY on what they want to be there for.
There has been a long trend of people running their online businesses by utilising SOMEONE ELSE'S REAL ESTATE - this means: Social Media channels and websites built upon subscription models.
If you're going to weather these storms - and there WILL be more - and it shows us just how precarious this all is - you need to:
GET YOUR OWN DIGITAL REAL ESTATE
- Get your own website on WordPress. Self-hosted. (I use the Thrive Themes hosted on Cloudways). Take back-ups. DAILY! Make use of any on-site storage - but ALSO download back-ups (doesn't need to be daily) to your local storage. If your host goes down - you can transfer your site elsewhere in minutes if needed. I use ManageWP for back-ups and update management.
- Diversify away from the main Social Media channels. There are AMAZING opportunities out there to find YOUR TRIBE away from the same ol', same ol' where the BORING STEPFORD BITCHES OF ONLINE BUSINESS are fighting over the same scraps. You may well find that your tribe are too well and truly fed up with the same ol' boring shit.
- OWN YOUR LIST! When you collect people's emails, those are yours. You still have contact with your customers - NO MATTER WHAT! When the big SM channels went down yesterday, people were READING their damned emails - and maybe in some cases even a book or talking to their loved ones!
Learn to love your list with NOT ANOTHER FUCKING NEWSLETTER
- BLOG! For the love of G-d, start your blog, grow your blog, whatever - but no matter what - you need to be creating and distributing content on your OWN real estate thus bringing your audience TO you - and NOT someone else's (Mark Z) business model!
- Think about the apps you're using to run your business. An all-in-one portal which does 'all the things' is great and makes it easy... BUT... were it to go to shit - where does that leave you?
For planning, not much can beat a proper paper-planner. I've banged on about this before - but when you actually write stuff down rather than type, it goes through your brain differently and it gets your sub-conscious working on a solution - like an unpaid employee!
Can you export your contacts elsewhere? What about your invoices? Calendar system? A lot of these things sync with other apps and software which means the data is diversified - and there's a pretty low chance of ALL the systems going down on one day. E.g., I use Book Like a Boss for scheduling meetings - and this syncs with Google - it's unlikely I'd lose both on the same day.
- Backing up your data. I have various systems in place which means I'm less reliant on one sole platform - HOWEVER, yesterday's events have given me a bit of a kick up the arse and I've moved the idea of getting an external drive for my mac from the low-priority list to a high one. I want the important stuff locally with me!
- If you live in an area subject to regular/surprise power-cuts, it's worth investing in a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) - this is basically a go between from your electricity to your laptop. Laptops don't like power surges - this stops that happening - and living where I do, I lose the power at least once a week - and I can't be doing with frying my electrics for the sake of a UPS which keeps everything safe.
To summarise: Make sure your business is NOT relying on Social Media only - NEWSLETTERS + BLOGS are your top priorities to start building TODAY!
*This blog contains affiliate links - if you go on to buy something, I may get a small commission - not enough for a private jet, but helps me keep two small boys in Warhammer.