Welcome to The Business Bites Podcast, the podcast where busy entrepreneur, whether you are an online entrepreneur or seeking after brick and mortar success. This podcast brings you quick bites of content so you can learn and grow anywhere you are. Now, here’s your host, Rachel Brenke.
Hey guys. Welcome to this episode of the Business Bites. I am Rachel Brenke all day, every day and I have to admit that I feel kind of really bad for having such an upbeat tone coming into this episode because it is going to basically showcase some very scary things that have happened to some online entrepreneurs, including myself all within the last week. If you don’t know who I am, I am a lawyer and business consultants, so I deal intimately with other businesses on a regular basis and everyone just seems to tell me horror stories, but most of the time it’s because they want to know what can I do if something happens. So I want to walk through some of these situations that just occurred and then I want to help you understand ways that you can wait to prevent this or to fix it should it happen. So within the last week, these are the things that have occurred.
I was locked out of my own Instagram account. I could not get anybody from Instagram to reply. I tweeted, I emailed, I could not get the verification codes to send. So essentially if I was hanging my entire hat on Instagram marketing, on Instagram communications with my potential clients and audience, I was locked out for 48 hours. Luckily I think it was just a glitch in Instagram system and I was able to get it fixed, but it is kind of really scary to think that I have a good amount of my audience over there. And had I not converted them to other areas to find me, then I would have probably lost a good amount. Yeah, the loyal ones would’ve come over, but not always. Another thing that happened to someone who is near and dear to my heart that I’m actually going to bring on the podcast in the future to talk about her Pinterest course because it’s amazing.
But she got locked out of her Facebook this week. She was in the middle of launching a new product. She had testers going, she had sales going, she had ads trying to run, and they just stabled her private Facebook account in all of the business pages, in all the groups and all the ads that were connected to it. Now, luckily for her and just like myself, we have backup ways that we could reach our audience and customers so it’s not that scary, but when that’s your prime platform to reach out to people, that’s really, really scary. Another one is there was somebody that I had been working with intimately as their business consultant for a while who calls me, calls me yes, didn’t do send the regular email me calls me at 11:00 at night, so of course I’m freaking out thinking like something really life damaging had happened and it kind of potentially did.
She runs a blog that is very heavy in compensation by Amazon affiliate links. She was abiding by Amazon terms. She had her appropriate affiliate disclosures on there. She was biting by everything from now that we’ve dug in to see what was going on and what had happened was one of her competitors who apparently had gotten jealous. Now we’re just going to say this is all allegedly right, that it can’t be established, but I will say that there was, there’s some truth into this. And being in the time that her Amazon account affiliate account was on lockdown, her affiliate links, we’re not tracking. They had gone to remove everything and she was not able to make money in those 24 to 48 hours and what’s really scary about that is that is your main source of income. What are you going to do that is a good portion of the month to make money of especially if you’ve sent out an email blast or Facebook ads or whatever else you’re doing trying to drive people back to those areas and you’ve spent your time linking and you depend on that compensation. It’s really scary.
So the whole point of this episode, which has totally shook up by recording schedule because this really was based on real life events and it really struck more fear into me. While I am a very conservative person in my business. I try to have backup upon backup alternatives and always make sure that I’m going to be able to reach my customers and have backup plans upon backup plans. That’s the lawyer in me and the fact that I’ve got five babies to feed, but it really scared me to think, man, this could really happen at any time on any platform. And another issue that happened with a friend of mine, it wasn’t within the last week, but it was in the last six months. There was an issue with the fact that her delivery of her emails was getting a really high spam count and I would tend to believe that maybe as people marketing span that who should have been on subscribing, but they were too lazy so they mark spam.
But in that time her newsletter account was suspended, but her newsletter account was also an automation account. And until she could appeal all of it, none of our automation was running. So none of her emails were going out and none of the automated sequences or anything. So no sales on that side were coming in. And for someone that really depends on your email list, that’s really scary. So that right there is Amazon affiliate, Facebook and Facebook ads, Instagram and your email, and you’re probably thinking like, all right Rachel, so then what am I freaking supposed to do? Well, lucky for you, my answer is to make sure that you always have an opportunity to have those people on whatever platform it is you’re using, have them accessible in another way. So for example, my main core place to go is an email list where I have a routine export and backup in a CSV file of all of those subscribers with their tags, with their information.
Like the example I just gave you a little bit ago, email providers can suspend your account if they determine that maybe you’re spamming people, right? Sometimes it’s an innocent mistake. Sometimes it’s just routine checks, but it still impacts your business. On the Instagram side. I don’t have any other connection to you. If you follow my Instagram other than Instagram, my friend on Facebook, she had no other way to reach these people if she hadn’t had a backup of their direct email addresses. So my recommendation for you is no matter what platform are you using, if you’re a huge YouTube person, yeah, get people to subscribe to our youtube channel, but get them on an email list and have that email list set to routine export and back it up to your cloud, inner, external hard drive in your computer and everywhere else and in your mama’s safe like you want to have that information at all times.
Another really important thing is to make sure that no matter what system you’re going to use, whether it’s an email capture system, some kind of options out there that it allows you to export these customer data so that you can take it with you to leave at any time as well. Not just in case if you get locked out or if something happens, but so they’ve, you decided you’ve outgrown a certain system. You can take your list and that contact information to the people that are going to buy into you that are gonna make your livelihood, make sure you can take them with you to a new platform. Now, one of the last tips that I have, because I think that’s a pretty well generally accepted idea of having an email list. I mean you can hardly visit a website these days. It doesn’t have some sort of opt in.
Even many eCommerce sites are going to this in some form or fashion. Typically it’s you create an account for them and they get your email address and they are routine exporting and backing that up somewhere. So may not be on the front of like a routine opt in for a Freebie or a pop up with some kind of discount code and make it be from when they force require an account creation and checkout for you to purchase something. But the next line that I really want to suggest after making sure you have an email list, is to see if you to have a phone number and or mailing address backup. You can also use this for marketing because who doesn’t love getting a happy birthday card in the snail mail? I mean even carrier pigeon, if you got to do it to stand out from the crowd, but who doesn’t love to get physical mail, but worst case should your email … So let me back up for a second.
Should your Instagram fail, lock you out and you can never get ahold of anybody. Should your email lists than fail and your exports all corrupted and everything is like burning down around you. You might still have your list of phone numbers and or mailing address backup to reach out to people and physically mail something to them. Are your conversion’s going to be lower? Yeah, but you have a better shot at being able to maintain that customer and audience base if you have some way to contact them rather than no way at all. So I suggest you guys make sure you do the following. Make sure you’re abiding by all terms. You’re doing everything you’re supposed to do. Disclosing affiliate links abiding by all of advertising terms, the content you’re putting on these different sites, make sure that whatever platform you’re using, you’re driving people into an email list so that you can be gathering this data.
Look for a system that’s going to let exporting to occur and of course take up even a backup contact method, whether it’s a phone number and or a mailing address backup, and then you never know. You may want to use that for marketing in the future, so just be mindful that anything you put on the web is out there forever until these platforms decided to take it away. You don’t want to rest your entire business on the backs of someone else, so make sure you’re safe guarding you so that you can focus on your business and keep growing, making money, and being happy with what you’ve built and not having it snatched out from under you.
Thanks for joining Rachel on this episode of the business bites. For show notes, a list of recommended tools or referenced episodes you can find them at businessbitespodcast.com. Until next time.
Rachel Brenke is a lawyer, author and business consultant. She is currently helping professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction.