Today Seth GodinÂ posted a PDF about the record industry and how they HAVE to change their model. It got me thinking about what they are trying to sell (records that we can't copy and the fact that we should maintain their industry just as it is). Seth said what they SHOULD be trying to sell is the cool stuff that we actually like and will pay for – information about our favorite artists, backstage passes, concert tickets and other things that have NOTHING to do with paying $20 for a CD.
So what ARE you trying to sell? It really does make a difference because then you can give everything else away for FREE!
Why am I giving away all this information about how to do things for your niche? How to set up a blog, how to market your services or products and how to brand yourself. I am VERY clear about what I am selling so I can give everything else away for free. I like to figure out what other people are selling and tell them fun ways to do it. I like to talk to Realtors and find out what makes them special and then help them find ways to express that special-ness. I like to sit with people I like and talk about how to position their paintball business to get more corporate clients. I am selling IDEAS so anything that requires implementing those ideas I can give away for free!
I have a bunch of photographers in my family. They take pictures ALL the time and they have captured HUNDREDS of great images (the header features pictures by my husband John Jacobsen and my MIL Linda Jacobsen – thanks guys!). They post their pictures online and lots of people we know “borrow” them for their blogs or websites. I am sure that people we don't know borrow them also. I sent one of my clients to John's blog the other day and she fell in love with his style. She wants a print. THAT is where John can SELL something. The images on the internet are not large enough to print well. He should let EVERYONE use his imagesÂ for free with a link to his blog so that they can buyÂ prints of the ones thatÂ they like.Â Â He is not going to do that right now because photography is a hobby and that feels like work to him BUT HE COULD! If I were aÂ photographer this would seem like a much better way to make money than to schlep around taking pictures of weddings or dogs or families. It would let you take pictures of whatever you like and market them to people who like them too!
Because I am in the real estate business I read a lot of real estate blogs. Currently there is a huge controversy going on in the blog world and on TV about DOM (days on market). Consumers want to know how many days a property has been on the market – not just how long the current listing has been in the MLS. I think they should have that access. The National Association of Realtors is trying to hang on to the way it WAS instead of focusing on how to make the industry better. In the past Realtors provided access to information that everyone didn't have – that is not true anymore. What Realtors provide now is the knoledge and experience that consumers do not have, THAT is what NARÂ should be selling NOT trying to hang on to an outdated business model that puts limits on the information that the public has access to.
If you are reading this post because you are thinking of starting your own business or trying to learn how to market your currrent company, focus on what you are trying to SELL. It will make firguring out what to DO so much easier!