These last few weeks have been a wild ride.
Over the last few months, we've been seeing our Facebook interactions dwindle, and emails from our friends and followers increase with sadness on missing out on sales, freebies, webinar and workshop sign ups, and on and on. It has really been taking a toll on us, emotionally. It has made it hard to know how to run our business, because things have been so variable and every time we offered anything, people were sad they didn't get a chance at participating.
And then Dec 4th came and FB made their latest and most dramatic squeeze to their artificial filter yet. Shortly on the heels of this came the revelations about all of the fraud for ads and click farms and we started to see the writing on the wall. Facebook has literally lost control of the ship, or just stopped caring about creating a quality community anymore. It seems like they don't care that they are sailing right into the rocks, but they seemed intent on dragging every small business relying on them right into the shoals with them too. Their method of monetizing their site with insanely expensive boosts was drastically changing the tone of Facebook from a vibrant give and take community to a hollow and cheap echo chamber of sales pitches. (Mind you, we've never been against paying, because fair is fair. But it needs to actually WORK! Let our friends and customers see what they want to see. We'd love to see a reasonable monthly fee instituted for business pages, akin to website hosting, but allowing the pages to reach ALL their followers.)
So, we started investigating our options. We started posting a little on Google+ and were intrigued. It was pretty quiet over there, to be sure. But there was potential and we could feel it. So we started researching. We found the AMAZING SEO benefits to be had on Google+. So we felt like, heck, if Facebook is going down as quickly as it seems to be, then getting on Google+ JUST for the SEO alone made sense, even if no one else ever adopted the platform. Soon we would be relying on people organically finding us on Google more and more. So we jumped.
We started talking about it to our friends and followers, because we are very open like that. If it could help us, maybe it could help others. As we have watched our friends being hurt by Facebook and the photography industry being ripped apart as people literally sold their souls and gave away the farm for a few views, we felt obligated to share what we were learning.
And the response was like a match to dry grass. We still get a little teary thinking about how much everyone has been looking for alternatives. We DON'T want to all be forced to undercut ourselves and still see businesses that we have put so much into die on the vine.
So, it's been such a busy week and a half of interacting and helping people get set up and find their footing in this wonderful and brave new world. But we've been working on these as we have had the time to thank everyone for being willing to see that we all need to work together to save our businesses. SO, please take these free templates and use them with our thanks. And if you know others, tell them. In fact if you know other small business owners, I would say to let them know about the SEO and networking and emerging social benefits of Google+ and maybe even help them make a template for THEIR page. The more we can get the bakers and plumbers and dress shops of the world over there with us, the more we can create our networks and communities and marketplaces again. So, now is the time to reach out and help each other.
There are a total of 7 templates that can be used in Photoshop or Elements! There is also a set of photoshop actions that make it easy to use the templates! All for free!!! All we ask is that you share this post with your friends on Google+ and Twitter and Facebook!
Just click the image below to download your freebie!