Thank God we live in the future (part 1)

No seriously. It's not just because I grew up in the 80's and 90's which was arguably the worst hair eras of all time. I'm thinking back to going to job interviews in the mid 90's where looking "professional" meant interviewing for a $15 an hour job meant wearing a suit with nylons and a modest heel. The barrier to entry for a small business person was STEEP - think about it. In the 90's, if you wanted to start a business, that meant finding money, filling out a lot of forms, getting all kinds of licensing, finding someone that would rent a retail space to you and then basically living there on peanuts until you became profitable, which if you were really lucky was 3 years. If you wanted to be a writer, better go to school for four years and intern for two, and that's if you were lucky and some publication wanted to hire you more than the other 20 applicants. 

Now if you want to open a store, you're all bummed out if the first 7 choices of domain names are already taken. $300 a year covers the hosting fees for an online store. Done. You don't even have to calculate shipping. I'm not saying success is that much easier in the current day and age, but the barrier to entry is negligible. For less than it would cost in just one month's rent on my 90's dream of opening a coffee shop, I could open an online store. I wouldn't even need to buy product if I found suppliers who would drop ship. That's a real thing.  You want to write? Start a blog. That's free. You can do it whenever and wherever. No big deal.

So the barrier to entry for a small business isn't as steep as it used to be. All kinds of awesome. I wasn't actually planning on writing all that, but that's what I was thinking about as I wrote my little blog that costs me nothing. 

The topic that I really wanted to discuss was advertising. If you're good at social media - that's free.99 folks. It's worth a little effort to make that happen, no? The reason I got stuck on the "barrier to entry" bit was that 15 years ago, the barrier to entry for the advertising field was MASSIVE. Let's say you're a wellness professional (...and based on my analytics, you probably are) and let's say it's 1997. You want to advertise? Let's check out your DIY options - we'll go with an ascending order. Flyers. Postcards. Direct Mail. (the flyers and postcards you'd actually walk around and put those in mailboxes or on the windshields of cards in parking lots). Big Banners. Newspaper Ad. Once you get to magazine ad, you'd have to hire a graphic designer and we're out of the DIY game.

Now you've got social media, and if you are smart about how you use it, that's free advertising. Use it! Don't post another buzz feed personality test - tell us something awesome. Tell a story. Keep it current. Have cool photos. Hire me to take them.