The discomfort of advertising

Updated: Sep 14

I assigned myself the challenge building a business without paying for advertising. I intended to do things my way, and I was fully convinced after finishing studies in web marketing. There is a moral aspect to question, which is not vocalized too highly.

Paid advertising is an extending interruption of my life and valuable time, to my dislike. It does not feel right inserting more ads to the portfolio of the already 4000 exposures in your everyday life. Besides, I do not want to pay for my company’s visibility, your attention and following. I do not want to pay for your clicks and likes. What is important to me, personally, is to see my business grow the natural way, as a result of effort, of what I create and deliver, not as a result of what I would be willing to pay to be seen and acknowledged in social media and search engines. I want to earn the honour of a position in the market, base on your genuine preferences, interests and needs, not buy that.

Authenticity is my business philosophy. Meaning my business, in all aspects, is attempted congruent with my own personal beliefs and values, and attempted resistance towards external pressures. However, is it actually possible to run a business this way? Or might authenticity be the major hindrance for growth? Like when refusing to pay for advertising?

I am noticing my organic reach in social media is falling towards zero, exactly as warned and expected. Currently, 93,6 of my own followers do not see my postings on Facebook, and how many non-followers? The figures are similar for Instagram. In other words, most of what I am doing these days, designing, storytelling, photographing, is for no one to see. The purpose consequently being undefined. My organic reach is intentionally restricted by social media, as interests want me to pay for it. In a way, I am feeling blocked out. Invisible. Banned for not following the rules of the game. But then, it is my choice. I just do not think it is right you have to have money, to make money in this modern capitalistic world, do you?

But then, I definitely feel the external pressure to pay. Every time I open my business Facebook page, I am asked to click this and that to “get more page likes”, to “get more link clicks”, and to “get started with automated ads”, to mention some of the buttons displayed. There are even ready made ads, for my own business, showing up in my private feed, just a click away to activate. And, e-mails headlining “get more fans for your page”. Tempting? Yes, but no... It is important to me, to defend my principles, for your sake: When 33% of the population in my country is saying advertisement make them truly irritated. When the majority feel uncomfortable with even targeted ads, adjusted by their own interests. - Then I am not doing it. Following the system standards does not feel right, to me. There is a discomfort with it. I choose to be me. I choose authenticity, when running a business.

However, how to battle the tree headed hungry troll? How to build a little niche business in a world so big, with the dream of making a little difference? I am not quite sure if I am just stupid and naive for my attempts. If I only work harder... If only... It is worth a try, right? To not give up? To dream onwards, on a back road?

The moments are still worth creating, to me. I love what I am doing. If anyone, at all, reads this article, I would be happy. If shared, I would cry...

Thanks for following me on my journey!

Irene Brenna

CEO and Founder

Prinser & Prinsesser

#followmyjourney

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