When It All Comes Tumbling Down
Starting a business today is arguably easier than it has ever been in the history of mankind. But with the rise of platforms that give us unprecedented exposure to potential fans, clients, and guests comes a sneaky caveat…
The easier and less costly a tool for your small business is, the more you will invest in it. The more you invest in the tool, the greater your dependence on it becomes. The greater your dependence on any single given tool becomes, the more leverage the executives of that company wield. The more leverage the execs wield, the more likely the business model will pivot in favor of profit. From there, every change to the platform can begin to erode your work.
It’s not a vicious cycle because we know what we’re getting into when we sign up. But it catches a lot of people by surprise!
Examples Of Dependency Leading To Disaster
From Super Hosts to Power Sellers, be aware that this trend happens across all industries:
- Medium Realizes It’s Model Is Broken & Lays Off A Third of Staff: Thought your future as a writer was through the annals of platforms like Medium and Huffington Post? Think again.
- Instagram Secretly Made A Huge Change, And It’s Not The Logo: Brands and influencers are concerned about Instagram’s surprise algorithm change because it will significantly diminish their ability to reach their audience without paying Instagram to boost posts.
- iTunes Podcast Ranking Fluctuations: Over the course of the last year, podcasters have watched their podcasts go up and down in iTunes rankings — the biggest podcast platform in the world.
- Google To Hotels — We Pick Your Thumbnail Photo: While Google ostensibly offers businesses the ability to set this profile photo for their own business, that appearance of “freedom” to a large extent is a sham. Business wishes be damned, Google is going to make the choice that optimizes their monetization of local.
- The Terrifying Moment In 2012 When Youtube Changed Its Entire Philosophy: YouTube re-jiggered its search-and-discovery algorithm on March 15 to make watch time, not views, the determining factor in what videos to recommend. This resulted in a massive plummet for many long-time users
- Amazon Suspension Crashed My Sales From $50k to Zero: The story of how one seller’s account got suspended for no reason. To this day, he has no clue or idea as to why he was suspended and my listings had to be deleted.
- Facebook’s news feed algorithm is so mysterious, users are developing “folk theories” about how it works: Since Facebook will not reveal, here researchers have gathered 10 “folk theories” of the mysterious algorithm in a paper describing a study of 40 users.
So what does all this mean?
Taking advantage of any platform to generate more business is a good thing. In fact, it may be the very thing that sets apart successful small businesses from the rest.
But equally important is remembering where that channel fits in your diverse and sustainable marketing portfolio.
Use a good email marketing platform to begin building bringing all those fans into your own court so you can reach them directly should the rug be pulled out from under you. Because when it does happen, you will leave your immediate competitors in the dust.
About the Author
I enjoy life and creating unique experiences for myself, my neighbors and friends, and my clients. When I wake up each morning, happiness and a meaningful contribution to those around me act as the framework for how I shape my day.