In The New Economy You Have To Think Differently!
If I was to call out any “one” strategy that has made a difference to my businesses in a positive way, over the years, it would have to be this one. It is not obvious, after all when you go to business school you learn that there are basically three types of strategies: cost strategy, differentiated products and services strategies and focus strategies (which is sort of a hybrid of cost and differentiation).
However, I believe that this strategy that they do not teach you, is the one that can give you the greatest results in what we call today as “The New Economy”.
Now I did not purposely start my business with this strategy either, it just fell into place and as I started to see results, I adjusted a few things – the tactics of the implementation, until I got it right.
You see, what drives my businesses today is a Content Management Strategy centred around value. In other words, content is key and the content must provide value at all times – from freely available articles like this, through to my high-end business advisory services.
But Aren’t You Giving Your Intellectual Property Away?
When I went through my doctoral journey, the guiding principle was that as an academic, you are making a contribution to the “body of knowledge”. So, it was natural for me to translate this in the business world. However, many of my colleagues say to me “your giving your stuff away for free!”.
OK, so let’s think about that for a moment with your own business. Do you think it is possible for anyone to spend a few hours searching the internet, maybe logging into some research databases, to become relatively well informed about the subject matter of your specific business? In my view yes – though I do accept that hidden away from these online channels, are unique ideas and innovations that are yet to hit the market. But in all sense of purposes, I would have to say that for over 25 years and the thousands of clients I have worked with, this would be the case for them. The key of course is how you utilise content to share this information that still provides value!
The second concern that comes up is that “I don’t have time to create content – I am too busy as it is”. Fair enough, that is why having content management as a core strategy, is essential if you want to be effective and at the same time efficient.
It Only Takes Three Steps
The first step then, is to establish an overarching framework or model, that defines your business and how you are helping your target market. This is important because it has nothing to do with you, rather all about them. A good way to do this, is to think about all the problems you are solving for your current customers or clients. You may be a business consultant, you may be a builder or you may run a hotel – regardless, your current products and services are solving a specific problem and what that is for one customer will be different to another. When you define what these “problems” are and then align your offerings in a way that positions you as the authority to solve these problems, then you have created gold!
The next step of course is defining the sorts of channels that your target market use on a regular basis. Is it through social media? Is it through live events? Is it through print media? Note that none of this has to do with the channels you like. It’s all about them and where they like to hang out!
Your final step is about being smart on the implementation which is basically about publishing. This is where I see most people or businesses fail. They are motivated at the beginning but then lose momentum. So to prevent this happening to you, you need to think of yourself as a publishing house. Just imagine for a moment that your local newspaper decided not to print one day – would that be a turn off to their readers? That is why it is essential that once you start, you are disciplined and consistent. Sure, some days will have low “readership levels” – but over time, if you do this in focused way your results will be phenomenal!
How To Become An Influencer
Which reminds about a recent trip flying 14 hours straight, from Sydney to Dubai. It’s a long flight, but I have to say it is more comfortable when you are seated in Business Class. But do you know what can make it even more pleasing? Well it’s when you get asked to speak at a conference attended by over 10,000 people and all your expenses are paid for… that is comfortable!
While I do get several invitations each year for various events like that one, it never used to be that way. Things only changed when I embraced content management as a primary strategy.
Now, I am no celebrity, but in my niche, I have created a significant presence which gets attention as a Leading Expert Authority For The New Economy Business. Companies like Microsoft have asked me to be their brand ambassador and that’s pretty cool because that role itself, has opened up more doors and opportunities as well. You could say the more I get out there to share insights, ideas and value, the more it has come back to me in so many ways which is an incredible privilege.
Why Are You Trying So Hard To Fit In?
But here’s the thing. You can do this to! As my great friend and mentor, Andy Harrington (founder of the Professional Speakers Academy) always asks his audience this…
“Why are you trying so hard to fit in, when you were born to stand out?”
You see once you accept that you have unique talents, skills and life experiences that are different to everybody else and your insights and perspectives are valuable and can really help others and are no longer consumed by thoughts like “what if I fail” or “what if no one shows up” or “what if I they criticise me” and let go, yours will be the world!
Imagine the possibilities! Imagine taking your business to the next level! Imagine seeing your goals and dreams realised and then setting even bigger ones! I have been on a long journey to come to this point, it has not always been easy and I have made so many mistakes along the way, but as I said, this strategy of content management that provides value, has been key.
It’s In Your Hands!
Shifting to a content management strategy centred around value is not difficult, but it does require a different way of thinking. It needs to be holistic and include your whole business and everyone in it. It is also very much customer focused, so if you feel you are not strong in that aspect, then you may need to get to know your customers and I would suggest this starts by having conversations.
You also need to have a grasp on technology as this will help you expand your reach and do it efficiently. Then with no surprise, it takes focus, discipline and finally consistency and patience. While you may not notice any changes after a month, but possibly after six months, though likely nine months and definitely within twelve, things will be different for you and how you are perceived in the market.
What keeps you moving forward requires a lot of effort, what takes you forward however is actually effortless