(Continued from yesterday’s message…)
Things went smoothly for several years.
I published literally thousands of videos, each one pushing people back to my sales pages to become customers or leads. My YouTube viewership was steady and everyone was happy.
Then YouTube got smart.
They realized what I and others like me were doing: we were using YouTube as an advertising platform — which is fine, I guess — but we weren’t paying for our ads — which is not fine (for them).
YouTube introduced a change to their algorithm that, in essence, penalized Creators whose content led users to leave the YouTube.com website.
In other words, YouTube would reward Creators whose content led users to stay on YouTube watching videos by surfacing those Creators’ videos more often in search results.
In other-other words: if people watching your videos tended to leave YouTube after watching your stuff, YouTube would see to it that your content came up less and less often in search results. And your own subscribers would be alerted less often of your new uploads.
Basically the same as what Facebook did to business Pages, YouTube did to Creators. Facebook did it by charging you money; YouTube did it by charging you with keeping people on YouTube.
This was around 2014-15.
By this point, I was getting out of professional basketball. I had learned that business was more than just collecting direct deposits. I had a better understanding of the importance of leads and how to get them. And I had what I needed from YouTube: leads and customers.
In 2014, I met a woman who would become a mentor to me. As she helped me understand more of how business worked and what I’d need to do, one day she asked me an important question.
I had mentioned something about my YouTube channel and the popularity I had built to that point. She looked at me and asked —
“If you had to choose between money and popularity, which one is more important to you?”
While my reaction was to want both, the question was which would I choose. I came to realize something: I had been doing a lot of things that would grow my popularity, but weren’t generating revenue.
I realized that a lot of famous people aren’t rich — and that a lot of rich people aren’t famous. I learned that only a few people were both at the same time, and you didn’t need one to have to other.
I realized that, as my business matured and I started focusing on leads and customers more than views, subscribers and likes, I no longer needed to be popular with a large population of people just to say that I was… I needed to be known by the right people — people who both wanted to and could buy whatever I was selling.
As I read and watched and learned, I found out that the best business never did things just to do them: every action had a purpose, even if it wasn’t always measurable. Nothing was done just for the sake of doing it.
And, one of the biggest things I learned and have talked about a lot over the last year or so: businesses build their houses on owned land.
You don’t own your YouTube channel or your Facebook Page or your Twitter/Instagram accounts. Post something offensive or inappropriate for their rules, and see how quickly the moderators on any of those platforms can just delete you and everything you’ve created.
You don’t own your following either. If your IG profile gets deleted today, what becomes of your 270 or 30,000 followers?
They keep using IG, just without you. Which means they’re not yours. You don’t have their contact info, and Instagram won’t give it to you. The only way to sell them something is to either give Instagram money (in the form of advertisements) or to get your followers to leave IG and come to your land or a website or storefront, where you can get their contact info and where you make the rules.
Most of your followers won’t come to your land.
Any platform on which someone can delete, block or ban you is not yours.
Any follower, viewer or subscriber who hasn’t give you their contact info is not yours. You can’t reach any of your Twitter followers or YouTube subscribers outside of Twitter or YouTube.
If your whole business is built there, you don’t have a business. All your leads are inside that platform, and you can’t get them out.
They own you.
Facebook seems to have a firm understanding of how business is done. 98% of their $16B revenue comes from ads. Snapchat’s free users were worth $3 Billion to Facebook because those users are leads.
Facebook (and all the other platforms) adds an extra step into their business process, though — and tomorrow, I’ll tell you about it (and why social media apps are far from “free”).
Until then, though, read The Business Bundle, which is 3 of my books on sales and communication. You can get the bundle here: http://WorkOnMyGame.com/Biz
Remember: You’re Just One Bold Move Away…