Happy Holidays, blog readers.
I’m hopeful for a new start in 2013. I’m gearing up for that right now. I’m also very hopeful to be able to share a lot more on this blog from then on out. Right now I’m not in the right place for it, I’m still figuring a lot of things out and I simply don’t have much (that I want) to say (right now). I don’t want to sound like a broken record, basically, haha. What I’m saying is that I’ll resume blogging once I have my ducks in a row, once I feel like I have something to say. Which will be soon enough.
Until then: see you.
Today I learned that Facebook, which I use personally and where I have a few small pages for my photography, intends to have page owners pay to increase the number of already acquired fans (“likes”) that see your page’s posts (NB: this means on the news feed). This is for pages with 400+ fans.
Facebook up until now has been free for use in that sense. No one is forcing page owners to pay a dime; page use is still free. But is it worth keeping up a Facebook page if the default number of my “fans” who can actually view my content and get a page update on their feed is only 19?
Because that’s what’s happening, and I didn’t really understand that until now: Facebook automatically restricts the number of people that see your posts.
I get that it would be overwhelming if everyone saw every post by every page they like, which is FB’s reasoning, but that’s what people choose by clicking ‘like’. They want to stay up to date; if it’s too much, there’s this nifty feature called ‘unlike’, or ‘hide post’, or hey: Interest Lists. I find it patronizing that FB controls this for its users. They slowly implemented that a while ago. All page posts used to be visible to all fans. It used to be free.
Now if you want all your fans to see all your page posts, you need to pay up, but only if you’re a big page otherwise it won’t be worth it to Facebook.
Not that I would want to pay to promote my posts, but for argument’s sake: I can’t change the number of people I reach because my page is about 353 fans too small; getting the 28 OTHER existing fans to see my posts is simply not good enough for Facebook.
My page is small, not even 50 fans, and it doesn’t even reach half of the people I painstakingly got to even notice my page. My page will always reach only about 40% of my “fans” until I have 400 fans, which is when I can pay to increase the amount of people who can see my posts. (I expect the default percentage will decrease as you gain more fans.)
However, instead of allowing the other 28 people to see my posts, posts they elected to view because they liked my page, they get to see promoted posts by OTHER PAGES they never even ‘liked’ in the first place. Solution? You can prevent this page’s post from showing up in your feed, but you have to like that page first. A lot of bigger pages paid for advertising to gain more ‘likes’, only to have a fraction of their fans see their page now, their fans instead seeing sponsored posts by T-Mobile’s page.
So why bother with a network that has become so greedy, it requires their raison d’être to pay extra? After all, there is no Facebook without users. We are the reason Facebook has survived and grown. Facebook generates plenty of income simply because we use it. That goes for personal profiles and pages. But that is no longer enough.
And I’m not sure if I’m willing to support that greed by keeping up my Facebook pages, which are fractions of miniatures compared to George Takei’s 2M-sized page, but they are responsible for fractions of miniatures of teeny tiny flimsy bits of income for Facebook, that I no longer want it to have. On my business site I link to Facebook by linking to my pages. Should I charge FB money now?
Suddenly Google+ looks a bit more attractive… make that social… to me. (And that’s saying a lot. Because I’m no Google fan.) But who knows how long that will last…
Fans: you can help page owners out. FB only allows you to see a fraction of page posts in your news feed. Help your ‘liked’ pages connect with their existing fans without page owners having to pay for it: use interest lists and keep up to date in your own way.
My flyers arrived today. I wanted to remember this moment in particular because… while I have been feeling optimistic (about my photography business) so far, it wasn’t really until I opened this box and saw these 1250 flyers that I actually really felt like a business person. I’ve got a long way to go, but I thought, “I’m doing it. I’m going for it.”
And I realize that I feel incredibly happy that I’ve started off my online “being” with web design. Without my interest in websites and making graphics, I doubt I would have been able to do any of what I’ve done for my business so far. I’ve learned so much. I’ve been able to design my own logo (crucial!), design my websites (graphics, color schemes) by myself as well as my upcoming newsletter, and I also managed, without much trouble, to design important materials such as my business cards and these flyers.
I think that’s what I also felt when I opened that box earlier: a bit of glee and self-awareness, as I am solely responsible for my brand identity. My personality went into it, my style. It’s 100% my own doing, and that’s what I’ve been dreaming of. Really make this one my own.
It’s been five months since I went into business and became the owner of a little photography business. I must admit, if you were to graph my emotional state during this time, it would look like a giant U. I started off great, motivated and hopeful, and after a few months of slow-goings I headed down into a state of hopelessness, endless “What did I get myself into?!”‘s keeping me from really feeling motivated. But now I’m feeling, above all, blessed.
I’m looking at this mostly as a start-up year. I think that’s the wisest way to go about this, for me personally. Meaning after my dip, I picked myself back up and started going about this whole thing with low expectations. I just changed my tune and figured, “nothing’s lost yet, and whatever is gained is extra”.
That’s not to say I was feeling negative about my business or had low self-esteem; I was instead taking off the pressure, working hard but not (just yet) doing it for a literal pay off. I started feeling joyful about little amounts of money earned, bits of euros I’d then invest in improving my business. This made me feel like I am indeed making progress; my business is growing “by itself”.
When people ask me how I’m doing – how Karin Elizabeth fotografie is doing – I tell them the truth, and tell them we’re doing well. It’s not Insta-Success, a hit story about entrepreneurial brilliance. I’m no wunderkind in that sense. I have so much left to figure out.
But I’m climbing, I’m finding my way, I’m not losing any money but gaining it one euro at a time… and I can’t even begin to tell you how good that makes me feel. It’s a risk I am taking, especially since I don’t plan on keeping my current (small) job much longer (I’m struggling with it, it’s a small job but it’s keeping me from my business, mainly due to my energy being depleted after a few hours of work). I will have to give it my all come September, when it’s just me and KEF.
But I’m willing, and I am able. I notice that I work harder and harder, feel more invested in my business. I don’t want it to fail, but I don’t feel in my heart that it will. (And I’m a realist. Yes it’s risky because I won’t have a lot of income for a while. But I will have income.) I’ve never been the type of person to “want it all”. True, I’ve always been an underachiever. I could achieve more if I set my mind to it, and I’m working on changing that about myself now. I work hard, but I know I could do so much more. But what I mean is that… I feel optimistic and positive. Happy with the small things. I’m building up to making those small things bigger. I feel stress free, I feel free in general.
I don’t have a high paying, 40 hour job. I’m not in charge of anyone but me. I don’t earn a lot of money. I used to feel ashamed about this, I will be honest about that. I used to feel worthless. But not anymore. I’m doing what I love. I feel proud of what I’m doing. I feel lucky and I feel brave for doing this. I feel in my bones that I’ve made the right decision. I’m not going back.