We all must start somewhere. So, starting with free and affordable marketing is not wrong. Testing out the waters before diving headlong into unknown depths is nothing if not wisdom. It gives you a chance to see what all the hubbub is about.

But social media is not a place to park and set up home. There are far too many tradeoffs, and most people are woefully unaware of them.

Here’s but a partial list:

  • Competing for attention on social media is mostly a losing battle
  • Trying to get your audience to immigrate off social media to an outside destination (that has the potential to benefit you) is an uphill climb
  • You could get canceled, banned, or deleted in an instant for less than satisfactory reasons
  • Your favorite platform(s) could be gone tomorrow thanks to acquisitions, insolvency, changing trends, and so on
  • You don’t have control over scammers (there are scammers on every social platform exploiting your audience, leaving a bad taste in their mouths)
  • You don’t take seriously what you don’t pay for
  • You never expand beyond your comfort zone, and therefore never expand period

The question is, when will you graduate from free and affordable? When will you really invest in your marketing?

Your answer can’t be “tomorrow,” because tomorrow is not tomorrow. It’s just another today when you get there. If your answer is “tomorrow,” then, you’re firmly rooted in the land of conceptual. You don’t have a grasp on reality.

Social media followings aren’t useless. They do serve a purpose. They are notoriously difficult to monetize, but indirect opportunities that come from having a sizable following – be it speaking engagements, record contracts, sponsorship deals, or otherwise – can be lucrative.

But you’ve got to be crystal clear on the objective. Otherwise, it’s not worth the trouble. You won’t take it far enough. You will give up. You won’t post 30 times per day. You won’t take out advertising. You won’t split test creative. You won’t gather intelligence. You won’t buy courses and invest in your unfolding. If anything, you’re balking at the cost – mental, physical, emotional, financial – already.

There are no free lunches. There’s always a tradeoff for the free lunch you think you’re gaining.

The journey truly begins when there’s skin in the game. And if there is no willingness to problem solve the obtaining of resources, there is no willingness to stick with it long enough turn pro either. Those who want to make it happen always find a way, hell, or high water.

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