I know your scratching your head wondering what I mean by this, stay with me and let me share some thoughts on the topic. We’ve been and still are under the bondage of control & protectionism, just look at the Newspaper & Music industries as an example. I’m not opposed to the creators, writers and artists from being compensated for their work, I’m suggesting that there is and will be a better ways to ensure that compensation happens.

I’m a firm believer that making content readily available and free will create new ways of monetizing, eventually most will figure out how to monetize around that content. If the music industry is smart, they will make collective agreements with those distributing music now, especially those doing it illegally by today’s laws. Pirates if you will, are not really the enemy, they are however breaking new artists all the time, the music industry benefits while the pirate(s) don’t get paid for finding them. The model is now beginning to reverse and is becoming open, the pirate will still find and break new music while everyone else benefits including the pirate. Collaboration is far better than the closed system of control we have today in the music industry. In Matt Mason’s book The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism (affiliate link) he states, “To compete or not to compete” that’s the question music labels have to answer. That is, to compete with the pirates not against them. The pirate is not going away so it makes more sense to change copyright to usage rights, to rewrite these binding, closed mechanisms to open collective agreements. So instead of fighting the pirate, work with them and feel the benefit, distribute the music freely through systems like Apple’s iTunes. Apple could essentially pay the labels a fee for that distribution, hence they still make there cut and everyone is happy. It sounds simplistic but it’s not, I’m merely sharing this is how it will be in the near future, I don’t know the details of making it work.

You & I won’t tolerate gate keepers and closed systems, you can’t put content behind walls and generate new money, only in an open & free environment will you make new money. Those words are Gerd Leonhard’s , he is a media futurist and his focus is the music industry. From his book called Music 2.0 he makes an interesting statement in the segment called, Access Will Replace Ownership and the Consumer Will Drive the Business:

In three to five years, consumers will have access to “their” music anytime, anywhere, and the physical possession of it will in fact be more of a handicap, or a pastime for collectors. Music will feel (and act) more like water, and music providers will become utilities.

Keep in mind this book was written prior to 2008, it is a collection of essays previously released. I’m not an authority on the music industry, I do however preach his message and see open and free as a sound business model. His new book I have yet to read but you can get it here: Friction is Fiction: The Future of Content, Media & Business (Affiliate Link)

Gary Vaynerchuk has also seen the shift long before it started, he produced 40 minute video’s on Wine Library TV and gave you the content free for 17 months before anyone really knew who he was. How do you think he is doing today, he took the family business from 3 -4 million a year to over 60 million a year doing that show. Today he has a 10 book deal due to the open & free business model, he continues to build his legacy in this new model. His goal is simple, buy the New York Jets NFL team and spend more time with his family. Gary’s message is simple, embrace who you are, your DNA, work hard, work really hard, and never give up on your passion. He doesn’t promise you you’ll make it big, nor does he claim you will be a millionaire, he does however promise, if you do what your passionate about you will win. Winning does not mean lots of money, it may however mean you will enjoy and maybe even love what you do. he preaches his message everywhere and to anyone who will listen, his book hit the New York Top Sellers List and is still available, Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion (Affiliate Link)

There are other examples of this business model working, the true test will be if and more like when Industries see the revenue streams around what they sell, how they look for gaps, create vehicles and harness the power of their audiences.

How will you embrace this new environment of Open & Free as a business model?

If your are interested in coming to one of my Open & Free Business Model Workshops, please email me Here

social-mediaWhat is considered successful marketing using Social Media Networks, is it how much money you made, how popular you are, how many hits your site(s) get? Many think Social Media is just being a good Internet Marketer, not so. There is this thought process of “looking out there” rather than looking in your own backyard in the Social Media World. Why is that? Is it merely thinking big or is it Ego, I think the later has a lot to do with it, we all want our 15 minutes of fame and this is the easiest way to get it.

The old saying, ” Think Globally, Act Locally” is the right approach regardless of the grandeur or weblebrity that might come from all the marketing efforts you expedite in these Social Media Networks.  The Internet is the vehicle and Social Media is the platform of choice to deliver your opinion, to be heard, and too be seen! Video is now the rage within the Social Media Networks, be seen and heard is socially acceptable!

So how do you apply these Social Media Networks to a local way of doing business? If print is dead, what options do traditional businesses have in a tangible way to market their business. To quote Guy Kawasaki – ”Advertising is when you tell people how great you are. PR is when someone else says how great you are.”

Print ads have a life span of a day and a half, Radio & Television is a frequency problem and direct mail is a low ROI challenge, what should you do? You have to mass mail or run HIGH rotations of ads, you can spend more money producing no or low results the traditional way. The bigger problem isn’t the vehicle as much as the way business owners think! Old thought processes and methods are written in stone in the walls of their brains, making it very difficult to see the value in Social Media Networks.

videoptin-optin_normalMike Wesely of Twittalk.tv during one of his shows suggested that building the relationship first is paramount, this will build trust which will allow you to influence those who follow you. This trust, like face-to-face relationships, takes time to develop so be patient and care about people. I had the privilege of speaking with Mike on the phone and I can tell you Mike loves people and truly wants to help people with Twitter. You can follow Mike on Twitter @mike_wesely and attend his Twittalk.tv Show for free.

Branding is the BUZZ word these days and frankly should be in traditional forms of making your business or product be top of mind. So, nothings really changed just the method has, the glue, the difference, is and always has been in the relationship. We have become markets of Social Circles that depend on knowing that its safe to buy or deal with a person or business. But most of us just want to belong and be in a safe fun place. Hang on, is that new? We as a people have always been like that, we are creatures of habits.

Now I’m really confused, if nothings changed then why has everything changed? The principles remain the same and have to be applied to every social market, only the methods have changed, not the principles of how and why people buy. So Think Globally and Act Locally helps me communicate to my target market or niche in a more accurate way. By the way, the original phrase “Think Global, Act Local” first appears in the book “The Evolution of Cities” (1915) by Scots Planner and social activist Patrick Geddes.

The world of business has not changed all that much, much of what you do to sell goods and products will continue, you will however add new ways of marketing. The principles of marketing will remain the same but your methods will change, this is going to be determined by where the largest flow of traffic is going not too mention where the greatest pool (demographic) of dollars resides.

You should and will have interaction with people at some level, so you will influence (sell) someone to get them to do what you want. Social Media Networks are best used in your PR efforts, not in advertising programs. No matter what you do, improve and be the best you you can be, because today’s markets are becoming very personal. I hope the shift to a more Social environment will make it possible for everyone to realize their dreams. Don’t forget your community for the sake of reaching the world, localize your Social Media Networks to serve your business and above all, care for your customers no matter where they reside.