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When Instagram canceled his account and destroyed his business, this entrepreneur took matters into his own hands

September 8, 2020

7 min read

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  • Don’t grow up solely on social media
  • Build a reputation that extends beyond social media
  • Go cross-platform
When Instagram canceled his account and destroyed his business, this entrepreneur took matters into his own handsWhen Instagram canceled his account and destroyed his business, this entrepreneur took matters into his own hands

“I remember waking up in horror one morning in 2019 when I opened Instagram with an error message: Your account has been disconnected. One of my most important pages was down at the time for an unknown reason, “recalls Elijiah Pitman, an Australian social media expert and CEO of Clout media.

Pitman had built a social media business with more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, but on that tragic day he disappeared. So all her hard work disappeared with no explanation, no concession, and no appeal.

Social media is clearly the single most important marketing tool of the last decade, but as many are beginning to discover, it is a double-edged sword and you can cut yourself when you least expect it.

What happened to Pitman isn’t as strange or distant as one might hope. Many business leaders have faced a similar fate, losing many followers and business relationships overnight. But this unfortunate situation did not end Pitman’s dream. On the contrary, he built a larger number of followers on another of his Instagram pages, gained more than 500,000 followers in three months, and built a thriving business around himself.

Since then, Pitman has tried to help other entrepreneurs build their network of followers on social platforms and teach them how to use it to build longevity. It’s a cautionary story with a happy ending. But here are some obvious lessons you learned along the way.

Photo: Jakob Owens via Unsplash

1. Don’t grow up exclusively on social media

Developing 100% of your business on social networks is very easy. Use ads, stories, and all other creative ways to get your business to market. But an important lesson that the Pitman tragedy taught me: Don’t just build your business on social media or as John Obidi would say, “Don’t build your home on rented land.”

s need to learn to systematically take their business off social media. Pitman’s use of this strategy creates a strong support for your customers in case they ever experience a social media tragedy like yours. You need to create different ways to move your followers to your email marketing list or Telegram / WhatsApp group.

You can do this by offering certain free services, products, or information while using email bait and other strategies to make sure your followers and business contacts are supportive.

2. Build a reputation that extends beyond social media

Pitman cites his reputation before and after the tragedy as the main reason for his success at Clout Media. “You can make connections and improve your reputation,” he says. “Since then, it has been the positive customer feedback and reputation that have enabled Clout Media to continue to be a force in the industry.”

This approach is not about your products and services, it is about your personal reputation. If you can create a name that users can trust, you can forward it to any other company and platform, social media or not.

Because of this, Pitman believes there is an absolute need to be a recognizable face behind the business and to maintain the integrity of your business. That way, not even tragedy can stop you.

3. Proceed across platforms

The hard work involved in building a robust cross-platform approach to business on social media is probably why people are more likely to avoid this. But it’s also the reason Pitman’s company has become so relevant.

His insistence on having a strong presence and activity across multiple platforms rather than settling on one is a breeze because of his experience. Still, it’s a strategy he advocates for companies that need to target a diverse audience.

The different platforms give them a wide variety of users and it is almost certain that you and your business will have a long life if you are recognizable in many of them.

4. Become a hyper customer

The core characteristic of Clout Media is how customer-oriented they are in their business. This is a consequence of Pitman’s tragic Instagram experience and one of the reasons for his current success. Social media is so tempted to be satisfied with views, likes, comments, and requests that you fail to recognize your biggest followers and customers and relate to them appropriately.

When you build a highly individualized relationship with your social media followers, some relationships will be protected beyond likes and comments, and certainly beyond any tragedy.

Photo: Prateek Katyal via Unsplash

This helped save Pitman earlier, as the real connection was his first reason to join social media. He says: “I have always been excited about getting in touch with people and experiencing different cultures and lifestyles. My pages enabled me to propel and motivate the next three years of business growth as my goal is to help other companies and personalities achieve their goals in full.

5. Reinvest in yourself

In the end, you are the business and the business is you. Business can never become more important than you, and any investment that should be beneficial to you is ultimately an investment in business.

Pitman’s tragedy on social media showed him the value of all the good books he had read and the investments he had made in himself. The inner structures that these formed in him helped him to get up with his proverbial boots and stubbornly carry on.

His best advice for entrepreneurs has become a simple statement: “Invest most of your resources in yourself.”

Nobody owns a social network and with the same ease that you acquire a place in it, you can lose it with the same ease. The only thing that cannot be canceled is you. The Pitman success story reminds us all that tragedy is rampant in business, but it should not be allowed to define or limit progress.

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