Posted on

Where’s Your Buyer Platform?

garrick-dreams-api

A few weeks ago, I met with a local small business owner. We first met back when we were both solo and have met for coffee every 6 months or so since. He now maintains an office downtown full of employees. Towards the end of our time together, he asked which social media services I was actively using.

“None. My buyers aren’t there.”

He concurred that none of his business came through those channels either and that he’s considering deleting all his accounts. What’s been holding him back?

The sense that his future employees are active on these social media services and that not being present will make future hiring more difficult. I reminded him of the business he’s growing, the family he enjoys, and that his employees should do his recruiting since they’re who this hypothetical new employee will be working with anyway.

So, yes, delete the accounts. Your future isn’t there anyway.

Over the past 5 years, I’ve built, released, and retired a number of my own products (Cullect, Kernest, typerighter, and some even smaller ones). The revenue from these projects keeps both my server bills and my knowledge of the latest tech current. They don’t pay the kids’ yogurt bill, the tax bill, the mortgage bill, or my retirement. These expenses are covered by my consulting and coaching engagements. These are engagements with:

  • corporate executives challenged with transforming a multi-channel organization into a digital-centric organization,
  • leaders of digital-centric organizations charged with increasing growth and revenue,
  • founders fighting to pull their startup out of the din of banality.

Most important of all – they all have families they love, kids they don’t spend enough time with, and hobbies they haven’t pursued in much too long. In short, their calendars are booked solid with challenge and fulfillment. These are not people outraged by the latest Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook drama (product-related or otherwise). These are people fighting to make their vision a reality. Every. Single. Day. Fighting to transform their organization’s products and culture. They’re not tweeting it.

So, how do you get in front of your buyers? That’s your job to find out. It’s not a new job. Nor is it one that can be solved by the hottest new technology. It’s solved by building relationships – not followers – atop a platform that’s unique to your remarkable business.

Elsewhere:

“These aren’t ‘business media platforms.’ Those, you create on your own, not with followers or friends, but with prospects and clients.” – Alan Weiss

Posted on

Taking Stock

“So if you are in the position to have somebody else handle your flow while you tend to your stock: awesome. But that’s true for almost no one, and will (I think?) be true for even fewer over time, so you need to have your own plan for this stuff.” – Robin Sloan

A continuous stream can so quickly turns into background static. Just turn on any radio station or cable news station for proof. So much inane, meaningless, chatter between overly dramatic transitions to maintain attention and distract people from taking stock.

Infrequency has the benefit of being a novelty. Additionally, from what I see in this new publishing world – there’s an inverse relationship between frequency of publishing and positive impact on reputation.

I predict that if these real-time marketing channels (tumblr, twitter, facebook, et al) stick around another 5 years we’ll see a thriving industry of part-time, entry-level people dealing with it. Hell, I predict that these hired hands will handle most internet interactions for their clients. The role somewhere between personal assistant and PR agency. Especially those clients who feel the potential disruption of their own psychological flow is too significant to risk.

Perhaps, this is even something true fans will do out of their love. This final scenario may be the only saving grace for social media as we know it.

P.S. Proving my point, I was just pointed to Robin’s post this morning and it’s more than 3 years old. Significance continues to trump timeliness.

Posted on

Two Prices

“This is, after all, the way of our new product-based civilization — in order to participate as a citizen of the social web, you must yourself manufacture content. Progress requires that forms must be filled. Thus it is a critical choice of any adult as to where they will perform their free labor.” – Paul Ford, New York Magazine

Elsewhere:
A brilliant comic from Jen Sorensen:

(thanks for the pointer Darrin).

Posted on

Poke

“What does Facebook tell China when they ask if Facebook can be used to overthrow governments?” – Dave Winer

This question – on its face – is good. Load in all the U.S. media stories about Facebook being used to organize government revolts, the value of China to the U.S. economy, Wikileaks, and Dave’s work at RebootNews.com – and it becomes a 21st century riddle of the sphynx if not double jeopardy.

Posted on

Terms of Services Kinda Like Open Licenses – But Evil

The Combined Arms Research Library has a good post on the upside of the latest version of Twitter’s terms of service (“Twitter can do WHAT with your photos?“) .

The language is very similar to the MIT/X11 License in that the copyright holder is licensing their work to others and the licensees can do as they wish with the work – adapt, distribute, sell, etc. In the case of the MIT/X11 – those freedoms apply to everyone. In the case of Twitter’s Terms of Service – it’s just, um, Twitter Corp.

Yes, Facebook’s, Blogger’s, TypePad’s, WordPress.com’s, Tumblr’s, Posterous’s, and many others‘ terms of service all have similar language.

It’d be far more interesting, innovative, and plain simpler, if the lawyers at these services declared anything published through them was automatically licensed under a more well-known license like the MIT/X11, GPL, or Creative Commons. That license change would also be a boon for the driving creative innovation around that work and become a magnet for people interested in publishing under these open terms. Instead, it feels like these services are trying to get away with stealing.

While music and book publishers are being chastised for crazy low royalty rates – social networks have eliminated them completely and are praised for their innovativeness.

Rightfully so – they’ve attracted millions of creators and eliminated both the advance to create the work and the royalties on its commercial usage.

Elsewhere:

“We tend to like the primary uses of that data (Amazon book recommendations), it’s the secondary uses we’re not so crazy about (third-party datamines sold to anyone for anything).” – Bruce Schneier, DefCon 15, 2007

“Any smart CEO would kill to have a product like you that doesn’t cost anything and keeps renewing itself indefinitely so it can be sold and resold and resold to many different customers.” – Jacques Vallee