This is technically last week’s news (I post here a week behind).
Here’s the thing about TikTok
My personal opinion on TikTok is that this whole ban controversy is more about wrestling TikTok into submission rather than banning it. I sure don’t want a foreign government spying on me. I don’t even want the U.S. government spying on me. But here we are. The spyware is in the palm of all our hands. We gave our power and privacy away long ago.
(I’m not even exciting enough to spy on! Come on!)
TikTok + CapCut has become my favorite medium for creating. Yes, I have a bias against digging in too deep with Meta after Insta memorialized my account without warning nearly 4 years ago. I recently dove into Lemon8—a great place for someone like myself who teaches meditation and offers Reiki sessions. Lemon8 (also from Bytedance) is a fun place to share lifestyle content like that redbud vinegar I made (for free, with flowers from my friends’ yard).
But Lemon8 isn’t for B2B social media.
TikTok has grown in popularity and acceptance to the point it’s influenced other social media. Short-form video is the future and we’re living in it. Which is why I stay there now. I hope TikTok survives and I personally have the most fun there.
But I know I should probably hedge my bets and create a backup plan for when/if TikTok were to stop working due to a ban.
Here’s what I’m doing as an independent content creator lately:
(This is primarily for B2C content creators, which is how I spend 25-50% of my workday).
- I opened up my “backup” Twitter account (@heatherlarson) as the current Twitter CEO keeps threatening to purge old handles and unused accounts. I let this account go after using it for years of broadcasting in radio & TV and having a huge audience of…I didn’t know who. It now has ~3K followers nd so it’s worth keeping for that along with the handle being my name. (2007 was a great time to start out on the Bird App!)
- I now tweet from both the original account (@heatherlarson) and my new, more focused one, @writerheatherl.
- I also reopened the @heatherlarson instagram, which has double the followers of the one I have been using. I make the same posts on each in case one goes down. This isn’t in response to any current trends or rumors—I just don’t truest Meta. I’m no an aesthetic person, so I’ve never gained much traction on Instagram. I think I had 1,200 followers at the peak of @heatherlarson. But what’s the point of building there when Meta can kill you off without warning?
- I started a Lemon8 account on April 7 and already have 60 followers there with little effort. They say there they want authenticity, but it’s still highly aesthetic. Again, I have no smooth aesthetic!
- My TikTok lives! I’m making content there like we aren’t losing it.
- I don’t get too much traction on my Instagram Reels. Until they post to Facebook! So I guess I still have to do that… Seriously, don’t simply make Insta Reels; make sure they post to Facebook too. You’ll get much more traction there.
- Then there’s YouTube Shorts, which should be my TikTok backup plan. I have other plans for YouTube but that’s another post…
I don’t think it hurts to keep posting on TikTok TFN. It’s exhausting trying to post to all these different accounts. I’m a believer in doing what I can, when I can.
My business doesn’t—nor shoult it—depend on social media. I still offer in-person Reiki sessions in Wichita at the same metaphysical shop I’ve been at for 9 years. I still build my email list. I still own my websites. I look at social media in a healthy way as part of my content flywheel.
Last year, it was hip for the marketing bros to tell everyone websites and blogs were dead. (Because they were selling a SaaS). But if you built on Twitter last year, you’re pretty pissed off right now aren’t you? You’re just like everyone else who has seen engagement there tank since October. (And we all know what happened then: Elon).
I’ve had the same website since 2016. I’ve had the same email list since 2014. I’ve had the @heatherlarson Twitter since 2007. I’m a MF OG.
I just don’t have a Bluesky invite—yet. 😉
Here’s my advice if you want to build a content business online:
Roll with the punches. Don’t get discouraged when Insta kills you off or Twitter engagment tanks. The cream will always rise to the top regardless of what outside forces put pressure on you and your content strategy. Build things you OWN, like websites and an emailing list. Following the trends is fine, but you really need to commit to what works for YOU. You’re not THEM. You’re YOU.
It’s not easy. But it’s worth it.
In 2016, I was working in a detox for bupkiss an hour, riding the bus, and updating my website during 30-minute lunchbreaks on county wifi. The amount of income I had to replace by doing my own thing was minuscule & non-threatening. I knew I could do it. So I did it.
Now it’s 2023, I work from home, I have my own business, Destiny Architecture, which I have learned to keep as an ever-expanding personal growth engine. You have to grow, change, and evolve rather than be dependent on Twitter, TikTok—or whatever.
NOW isn’t the time to build a contingency plan. 2016 was the time for that. You can, however, create one going forward. Start yesterday!