Change is inevitable. Each major shift brings an uproar of complaints. Rightfully so, it’s upsetting. I can only imagine how much it sucks to work hard on your website’s SEO to see traffic plummet due to Google’s new search engine changes.

Consider social media. We still don’t know how the TikTok ban will play out. In fact, Instagram has made several creator unfriendly changes over the years. I’d be livid if I built a huge following only to find out that the platform is dying. Or, my reach is being limited. It wreaks of unfair.

There’s a solution to all of this: diversify.

If you don’t own your audience, you’ll always be at the mercy of the platforms you use. So, what can you do to stay competitive in this new environment?

Keep writing, but also make videos

40% of Gen Z users turn to social media platforms for their search needs instead of traditional search engines like Google. This is a huge change in search behavior. Make videos for social platforms like Instagram and TikTok. DO NOT neglect YouTube.

Provide lots of value, don’t just sell

It’s important to carve out a niche. Having a niche make this advice less vague. When you have 1-2 key customer personas in mind, you can treat them as your guiding light for the content you’ll create. Picture those two customers. What are their problems? What relevant information would help them in their journey? What things do they care about?

Create content that supports them. Give real, genuine answers. Leverage your expertise and experience.

Terry Rice, a writer for Entrepreneur Magazine and consultant, shared some insight about his newsletter. He said, “I realized I would not read my own newsletter.” He went back to their drawing board. Now, his newsletter is “structured in a way where every week you get one thought, one tactic, and one time saver to help you save time, make money, and avoid burnout.”

Build an email list

Seriously, do your best to own your audience. List building isn’t only for media sites and writers. For brands, this is a huge opportunity. Email marketing ranks as a top marketing channel for most businesses. If you’re ignoring it, you’re missing out big time.

99% of email users are checking their email daily. But, only 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers. Meanwhile, email generates at $42 for every $1 spent. You will have to leverage social media and other real estate to build your list. However, successfully building an engaged email list is like insurance against changes on other platforms.

Be consistent

When I launched this website, I decided to make a conscious effort to test the effectiveness of Linkedin. I’m a consultant, so a lot of my audience is using Linkedin on a regular basis. I went from an occasional post every few months to posting 2-4 times a week.

A graph of Justin Bridges' Linkedin content performance after consistently posting in May.

Consistency is key. The peaks represent when the content resonated with my audience. Also consider, impressions are cumulative. The more consistent you are, the more impressions and engagement you’ll generate. Consistency increases the chances of expanding your reach, gaining recurring followers, and driving post engagement (i.e. comments and likes).

Being consistent coupled with providing real value gives you better chances of growing your email list.

Facing reality

Yes, it sucks when the rules change or the algorithm breaks an established system. It means we have to adapt quickly. Building an email list is like having insurance against changes on social media platforms and search engines. Always avoid being too reliant on any one platform. Owning your audience and diversifying across different platforms mitigates the risk of big changes. Above all, be super helpful to your audience and they’ll continue to buy what you’re selling.