Make All This Simple. Perfect What You Know
Why do businesses have to pursue innovation and look to do things in a new way? Lets flip this and champion an approach to perfect what you know.
Being an innovator means taking a chance on something that you don’t know too much about. That just doesn’t make business sense.
Why bet your business on something you don’t know?
Why Businesses Fail
According to CB Insights (a tech market analysis platform), when surveying 101 businesses that failed, the main reason for start up failure, was not running out of money, but there was no need in the first place.
An innovative approach will never work if the marketplace simply isn’t there. A founder will believe that their product is great, since they will be the first one to try. The marketplace will be thinking opposite if it doesn’t serve a purpose.
When you perfect what you know by providing value to an audience, you don’t need to figure out how to monetise off the next PokemonGo manifestation or run to the next social space (well we only saw what happened to video platform Blab when they shut down a few days ago).
Master Of A Craft
Perfecting what you know is about understanding the narrative that you craft.
Through examples I have used this year and people I have met, there are businesses that are making a success based on this common denominator of perfecting what they know.
This is now a case of connecting the dots. This whole owned media approach is about businesses really getting stuck into what they know and what they are good at.
Have a look at what Mark Cribb is achieving with his Urban Guild brand and this whole idea of perfecting the art of hospitality.
Tim Poulton and his wife Tarryn have perfected what they know about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Tarryn was diagnosed with PCOS in 2010. They have perfected what they know by overcoming PCOS and have built online courses targeting this niche.
As an aside have a listen to Tim on a recent Entrepreneur On Fire episode with John Lee Dumas, click here. They will also be guests at the November You Are The Media Lunch Club.
Oli Perron has perfected what he knows about cooking and now turns this into an ongoing video series for Lunchd, that deliver healthy lunches to work places.
Ernest Capbert is the ex-co founder of surf brand Finnisterre. From his experience of knowledge of building a customer base, he now perfects what he knows with his business Who Buys Your Stuff.
Jim Cregan released his second ‘rap’ video (released Tuesday 9th August). It’s not just a case of selling more Jimmy’s Iced Coffee but getting people to connect with him and having the ability to ‘seriously’ entertain. Jim is perfecting what he knows about entertaining an already engaged audience (as proven with last years video).
Why The Need To Perfect What You Know?
If you get deep, real deep into what you know, you have a better chance of having a direct relationship with other people.
The biggest change for all of us looking to build a continual dialogue and be relevant to others has been the democratisation of media in the past three to five years.
The media once had complete control of your audience. To access this you had to pay. From thinking that proximity to a target audience meant paying for a stand at an exhibition to thinking that an exchange of money to be seen in a directory paved the way for credibility, now seems an antiquated way of thinking.
Where we are today is brands and small businesses do not need the traditional marketing mix format to enable access to an audience. What businesses need today is a mix of short form (social) and long form (blogging, video, audio) content that is accessible through a plethora of channels. Most notably your own.
The ability to create content is no longer unique while we all compete for attention. There were at least 4.66 billion web pages in March 2016. In July 2016, there were more blog articles posted via the WordPress platform than ever before. There were 69.7 million articles, compared to 595,000 in October 2006.
We all acknowledge that it is getting harder to get our message through and maintain mindshare.
However, what is unique is the ability to find an audience that is attracted to you via this approach of perfecting what you know. These are the people more likely to interact, connect and share.
In the words of Mark Schaefer from a Talking Content Marketing interview and this idea of igniting content from his Content Code book, “People share content for hundreds of different reasons but there is a uniform psychology behind it very much connected to self image, caring for others, and even caring for the author or brand. It is an intimate experience, an enormous sign of trust and communion.”
The Internet Is Not This Rigid Place
You don’t have to accept that the internet is this hard space where the main objective is to achieve views, clicks and likes. It flows; it goes up, it and down. There will be work that you create that generates a reaction, there will be content that doesn’t. That is ok, as long as there is an audience in the first place.
I am seeing this with the ongoing You Are The Media Lunch Club events. The reason I started this was because of a growing subscriber base from a local level (for the Thursday morning You Are The Media email, hey…you can even sign up at the bottom of this article).
People come every month for the lunch and the chat and a bit of networking, it’s the flow that works. By this, I mean that people commit (in terms of leaving their email) and a platform is created for them to be a part of, with other like-minded people.
Each month we move on, a different guest comes to share their perspective from an owned media approach. Some month’s people won’t come, and then they’ll participate in another month. They are part of something that is continuous.
This is where I believe marketing is heading, where we have the ability to create our own audience and build our own communities. Success is determined by creating something with meaning, generating an interest and then converting (from a subscriber to a customer). From a subscriber to customer, we all need to find ways for others to join in. This is what makes us different from the other choices that are out there.
This is the crux of any strategy to understand what differentiates you from the rest of the crowd that is sustainable for a period of time to create a profitable outcome. If you can build an audience that is yours, you stand a better chance of success.
The Flow & The Tools
As we approach 2017, the funnel or believing that the AIDA principal still works (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) is broken. People will continually flow in and out of the content that you create. If it is on a consistent basis, people are more likely to become attracted. Rather than using outdated models in a contemporary format, what we have are the tools in front of us to connect.
The tools to connect work best when you have the ability to say something that represents a viewpoint that stands separately from the rest of the industry. Many businesses state that they are forward thinking, innovative and unique, but that’s what others say.
When you have the ability to perfect what you know and then use the tools available to connect, interact and convert this represents a whole different behavioural model that puts you in your own space.