Before Facebook and Instagram, photographers established their brands and showcased their work through their personal website and blog. Everything they wanted to share to their clients and potential clients was there. Portfolio? On the website. Their thoughts and future plans? Website/blog. I wrote more about this on my personal website, click the link below to read more about it.
As Facebook took over personal websites, a lot of photographers were encouraged to set up business pages. Everything was decent for awhile until they were hounded by Facebook to buy ads, Buy Ads, BUY ADS to reach their audience. And Facebook wasn’t kidding. Photographers could not reach their intended audience without paying for the right to do so. Then the algorithms changed. For those who did buy advertising, they were prompted to buy more because their reach had not reached to the intended potential clients. All that time, effort and money has been wasted.
And ever since Facebook has purchased Instagram, photographers have seen more of the same. “Get a business profile! Separate your brand from your personal profile. Promote this post with an ad!”
Yes, I have an Instagram page. Yes, I cannot stand it. The one piece of social media I am on and I want to be rid of it. No longer though, will I let it outgrow my own website. I have switched to a personal account as opposed to a business account. Why? Re-read the previous paragraph.
While their old websites were left static, outdated and the last entry they posted was from three years ago, these photographers were pumping up social media sites that did not belong to them. They were working for someone else on someone else’s land while their own land was unattended and neglected.
Over time, these same photographers realized what had happened. Since they were so embedded with Facebook and Instagram and could not control what their audience saw, they decided to wean themselves off slowly.
Owning your own website takes more work than just creating an account and turning over all your personal and creative freedoms to a company that is not your own. The money that was used to buy advertisements or gear or another set of presets to look like everyone else could be better spent on buying your own domain name, buying your own web host and creating your own content.
Another benefit? You control the design, the content and the marketing. These are your lands to build on as you see fit. One company will not be able to censor you for something you posted or something you say. You are in charge, not some vague community guidelines that can force you off their land without getting anything out of it in return.
To answer the question in the title of this note, yes, absolutely. In 2019 we all need our own place to call home on the world wide web and we need it now more than ever.