Considering all that is changing, how business is changing, how global and yet how locally our businesses must be, does your business line up with that future? Is your business social, or is it traditional? Does your business advertise on the Internet as part of its marketing mix, or do you stick with traditional modes of advertising. There are many questions to ponder when starting a new venture, but the main questions is, what kind of business, what structure, what type, and will it meet the needs of the economy.
The new economy is a connection economy, how does your business connect consumers, how do you connect to other businesses. Just using social networks is not connecting, depending on how you use them, most use them as another channel to yell, flood, to do what you’ve always done. You use them with a traditional mindset, it’s not connecting, it’s telling.
The traditional way, meant you had to have ads in the yellow pages, maybe you ran radio commercials, and you mostly used Newspaper. You never had to consider the Internet as part of your mix, and most still don’t have a clear understanding of how it works, and how to you use it for business. Today you have to think about where to best spend your time & money, adding the Internet as another way of enticing consumers to your business, to buy. But consumers act differently online, or do they?
More than ever , there is much to consider, it’s not black & white as it was back 30 years ago. The Internet is 25 years old, and brings with it challenges, and incredible opportunity. Asking yourself if you’re on LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus is the new normal today, knowing what to do on them, and how to leverage them, is not normal, not like Radio, TV, and Newspaper. But you’re already figuring that out aren’t you.
Business is getting much more complicated, it’s causing you to rethink what kind of business. Traditional or The Connected. And what does a connected business model look like, it’s the Open & Free Business Model. And that you can learn here on owengreaves.com.
The Internet is cluttered with programs and ads claiming their way to build a brand, is the right way to build a brand. I’m here to tell you, there’s more than one way. Many claim their system is the right way, the best way, the way that works. One of those might be true, but let’s get real, there are so many options to build a brand, so many tools, and marketing companies to use, so many ways, one person could never try them all.
Personally, it comes down to a couple of things, and its old school. Be persistent, and never quit.
If you stick with your strategy, your plan, and you always deliver, or ship. You will eventually have built a brand, you don’t need to buy every program that claims it’s the best way to build your brand, or claims to be the easiest. You can, but it still boils down to hard work, and being there everyday, showing up, shipping, delivering, it works, and is the truest way to know you did something. If you blogged everyday for a year, you eventually would have built a brand, because you shared, you were maybe helpful, you solved a problem, or maybe, you just informed your reader of something they never heard of, thought of, or new before.
That’s the beauty of building a brand, or sharing your work, you never know who is interested, or even likes what you’re doing. The most important part is, you’re doing it. The world needs you, it needs to hear from you, it wants to hear from you, no matter what your product or service might be. Writing, music, photography, the list is endless, whatever you’re passionate about, and you want the world to know about it, then put out there for the world to consume it.
No matter what you choose, there’s more than one way to build your brand, find the way that fits you best, and yes it will take time and effort, but do that, pay that price.
At first when you put you and your work out there for the world to see, you hope someone will like it, but be prepared for those who don’t, it’s the nature of starting something new. This blog is one of those things I put out there, to see if someone was interested in what I’m sharing, it was a risk and it still is. I believe we are headed for a complete reset in the world of business, I believe we will give away more than we actually sell, I believe the younger generations will drive these changes. I set out to help you figure out how to take part in the new world order of business, how to use the open & free business model, how to Create, Differentiate, and Deliver.
Nobody notices at first, sometimes it takes longer than it should, but eventually….somebody notices. The like-minded do come, they’ll spread your work, they may even talk about, they may even follow you, waiting for the next thing you have to say. If you’re fortunate and you’ve built enough trust, you have true fans, and those are priceless, cherish them, even if you don’t know them personally.
Nobody Notices immediately, you do have to make it easy for people to see your work, if you’ve created good work, many will notice. If your work isn’t good, some will come, but many will go somewhere else to find the information you’re sharing. If at first your work isn’t good enough, don’t quit, keep creating it until you come to master your creation. This isn’t a new message, it’s tried true message, but for some reason we keep hoping it will change and everyone will become fans of what we do.
Consistency is a secret ingredient to success, giving up is not. Write, create, make if different, and deliver…it’s the only way you’ll know if anyone notices.
I was once asked what do I get if I use the Open & Free Business Model, it’s simple really, it sets you free. We are so afraid to change the way we think about business, how it really is, we forgot what it was like when we first started, the energy, nervous fear that it might not work, but we kept on going anyway. There is only one thing you really need to master, your fear. If you could identify it, you would probably be able to nail it down to one or two things.
I can only really speak from my experiences, my fears, they still live in me, but they don’t keep me from doing what I so desperately want to do. It doesn’t stop me from doing the thing, it may continue to haunt me from going bigger, growing my art to something far bigger than myself. The truth is, I actually care more about you than I do myself, I write, I share, I speak in public, I do workshops, all for you. But sometimes, all those exercises don’t work, sometimes you want my work the old fashion way. I can assure you, you probably won’t find it in the traditional format, it’s not who I am, and it doesn’t support my message.
Choosing to execute the Open & Free Business Model takes guts, courage, and persistence, it’s not easy to stay the course. It has the same slow growth as the stock market, it takes time to master the model, it takes time to figure out what part of your business can leverage the model. But once you’ve figured out it’s power, you’ll never go back, you’ll never stop giving your customers what they really want from you and your business.
What they want is freedom, freedom to choose, freedom to tell you how they would like to be served, how they would like to use your product or service. If you’re listening, and your practicing the Open & Free Business Model, your world will change, and your business will look different to you, and to your community. But first you must admit your business needs to change, it needs something different, it needs to attract attention in a non-traditional way. Otherwise, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got. That may be OK for you, but it also may be the very thing that causes your business to struggle, and maybe even go out of business.
Set you and your business free, learn the Open & Free Business Model, follow the three-step process, Create. Differentiate. Deliver.
It amazes me how afraid business owners are of giving something of value away, that fear of loss prevents them from learning something special about themselves and their customers. Typically, if they aren’t afraid, they are trying to dump a loss leader item that is costing them money, not because it adds value to their customer base. It’s a way of justifying a bad buying decision, let’s just get rid of it, rather than invest in it and do something special for our customers. If that’s you, why not rethink how you can bundle that bad buying decision and turn it into something customers could use and actually want.
Maybe you’re not one of those businesses trying to dump a product that didn’t sell like you thought it would, maybe you’re just trying to figure out how to bring up the bottom line during a down cycle in sales. It doesn’t really matter what or when, it does matter how view and think about incorporating FREE into your business. The benefits of free are mind-boggling sometimes, there are examples of business, large and small, that took the risk and came out looking like the most amazing company ever!
From very large organizations, to individuals, people who saw the value in their customers, not their wallets. The by-product of the interaction and free, was in the end, customers opening their wallets…or they became your largest PR & Marketing machine. You know, the kind of advertising you could never buy or afford.
Most of you know who Gary Vaynerchuck is, he gave away his Wine Library TV content, most of you know who Seth Godin is, he opened up Squidoo, and you get to use it for free, they both practice the Open & Free Business Model, in their own unique way, but that’s the they’re selling advantage. They gave content away, good content, and or provided a service that didn’t force you to open your wallet. They also did it for a considerable length of time, they built credibility. WestJet over Christmas used FREE as a way to not only show they value customers, but they did something no one saw coming. The setup a kiosk where you scanned your boarding pass and Santa appeared asking what you wanted for Christmas, hours later when those who participated landed, Westjet presented each of them with the gift they asked for by sliding it down the baggage carousel for them to pickup. It was brilliant, it was dubbed a #WestjetChristmas, and it was risky too. It doesn’t matter how much they spent on the gifts, they got it back and then some with the PR that came from it.
Watch the video:
No, not everyone can do what WestJet did, but you can do something. And no, not everyone needs your product or service, but someone does, and they’re looking for you, online and off. Keep in mind, what you think should be given away for free, may not be of value to your customer base, it’s a double-edged sword if you get it wrong. You must know your client base, understand some of their basic needs. You must have some data to work with to get the strategy right, to make sure it succeeds. Don’t just give something away for the sake of giving it away, make sure you think it through, and build something around it that makes it engaging, people want to be a part of it. Hire the right people to help you, don’t rely on your own brain power, get outside help, they will see your business from a different paradigm.
The Future of Business is leading people on a journey, giving them something they didn’t really need but wanted, to be a part of what you are doing anyway. Plus, your product or service actually solved a problem, or helped them get to the next level. You provided value because you valued them first. The Open & Free Business Model is a way to make a difference in your business, to make a difference in your customers view of you and your business. Use your business to make the world a better place.