Week in Review – Security and Heart of Your Market

A few stories that have a security twist before we cover the week in review:

Talk over an iPhone 4S security flaw regarding Siri working from the Lock screen has made the rounds the past few days, but this “security flaw” is not so much a flaw, but an indented feature from Apple. more here.

I discovered a vulnerability in Adobe Flash that allows any website to turn on your webcam and microphone without your knowledge or consent to spy on you.

It works in all versions of Adobe Flash that I tested. I’ve confirmed that it works in the Firefox and Safari for Mac browsers. Use one of those if you check out the live demo. There’s a weird CSS opacity bug in most other browsers (Chrome for Mac and most browsers on Windows/Linux). view more here.

As email, documents, and almost every aspect of our professional and personal lives moves onto the “cloud”—remote servers we rely on to store, guard, and make available all of our data whenever and from wherever we want them, all the time and into eternity—a brush with disaster reminds the author and his wife just how vulnerable those data can be. Read more on Hacked!

Now Week in Review

Simple answer to the question in the headline… You should be spending all  your energy on creating immediate income (or delivering on existing income opportunities) Next, creating a unique position for your product or service in order to create demand in the market place Below I expand on how you would go about this. Are You a Business of One? Here’s Where to Focus Your Energy.

How to create a Brand Name Part1 and Part 2.

I think one of the hardest things for business owners or marketers to do is self analyze their work. That is stepping outside of the business and objectively measuring results. The thing is there is one surefire way to overcome this, you have to implement a regime of testing in your business. How to Overcome the Challenge of Self Analyzing Your Work.

That’s all for this week, see you on Monday!

Are You a Business of One? Here’s Where to Focus Your Energy

Simple answer to the question in the headline…

  1. You should be spending all  your energy on creating immediate income (or delivering on existing income opportunities)
  2. Next, creating a unique position for your product or service in order to create demand in the market place

Below I expand on how you would go about this. Today’s show topic came about from a response to the above 10 Steps to Becoming the Only Option in Your Target Market. In the first email we ask two main questions:

  • What is your biggest marketing challenge?
  • What’s one thing holding you back in your business?

Most of the responses are focused on what activities someone should be doing in both their business and marketing. Today I thought I’d share and expand on a recent email exchange that is usually where I start. Here’s the response from those two questions from Christi who is a photographer:

  • What is your biggest marketing challenge? I am a fine art photographer in a huge crowd, many of whom have very established customer bases and more talent/experience. My work is good and will appeal to a specific customer base, I’m sure, but I need to be able to stand out so they can find me.
  • What’s one thing that is holding you back in your business? This is a one-woman operation. I have to be marketer, artist, social networker, secretary, etc., and it’s a challenge to keep all the plates spinning. I officially hung out my shingle five months ago and have accomplished a lot in that short time. Now I need to figure out where to best focus my energies in marketing and networking so that I also have time to produce my art.

I love this response as it’s well thought out and gives me plenty of information to respond in detail. As an expert marketer there are a few things that really stand out. First, does she really have a target market defined? Next, how can she create a unique position in the market place so that she can create more demand for her service or product. Finally, this all equates to an income problem for her business.

Do You Have a True Target Market?

In my response I share exactly how to solve the income problem and find out if she truly has a target market. Here’s my response (which I expand on in more detail in today’s show):

Here’s a few things that come immediately to mind that I hope will help you gain a little more clarity:
  1. Can you list 5 people/business that should be doing business with you but aren’t?
First, If you can’t immediately name 5 then you have a challenge of really identifying who your target market is. So I’m clear, it’s not archetypes of customers but actual people that could (I like to visualize them taking out their checkbook) buy your services right now today. It’s important that they are real people you can get on the phone or call.
Second part, from the little you told me I’d suggest you spend most of your efforts connecting with the above. Drop all social activities except for follow up to to gain the attention of the above person/company. Your best tool will be in person meeting or on the phone. To me this will take you farther than any blogging, social, or other aspect of networking.
Photography is tough… I feel in some ways it’s like interior design, at least on the marketing side. Here’s what I’ve learned in that space. We helped a designer with marketing and at first his thought was that he can design anything, which is probably true. The challenge is this confuses the market, ultimately people want to work with the expert. That’s why you have to create a style (or look) unique to you. Then people work with you for that idea, for that style, look etc.
I think its probably the same for you. Not only is it doing the exercise above but it’s figuring out what you have to be known for… and I know that’s tough as an artist. Most artists I’ve worked with find that limiting. I think the key there is to interpret your style into the other things you do. When you do that you start creating a self selecting subset of people willing to do business with you–essentially they either like you or don’t.

Here’s Why I Responded This Way

First her question was about where to spend energy. To me her energy should be spent talking with real people who can actually pay her to deliver her service. If she can come up with 5 then that’s where to start. If she can’t then her first task is to create those 5–then connect.
Second, she’s in a field that is full of me-too type businesses. She has to find a way to add value to what she does. She has to create a unique position in the market place that creates demand for her service or product. If she was competing with photography being a commodity then she will have to still create a unique position but also understand it’s really the delivery method (as we talk about in this show). The key here is stepping out and being unique. Having a unique style that the market ascribes towards and will pay for. It’s not an easy task but it’s where the energy should be spent.

How to Create a Brand Name [part 2]

Here in our second part of our 2 part series on how to create a brand name we dive into detailed exercises for coming up with your name. If you haven’t listened to part 1 you can find that at How to Create a Brand Name Part 1.

So you’ve completed your empathy map and your metaphor map. These help you not only focus your mind and start the creative wheels turning in your mind. This is what you want is for your unconscious mind to most of the heavy lifting. Before we dive into creating a list of names there are a few more questions that will help.

Answer these 3 questions about you and your company:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you do?
  3. Why does it matter?

When answering “what do you do” make sure you create this with benefits in mind. You also want to make this memorable so someone can relay this information to someone else.

This last one is important. It’s about how it matters to you, your customers, your market, and the world. Why does it matter. This is like creating your big idea. Your big idea on what your trying to accomplish.

These next questions will be familiar only with a twist. In part 1 we talked about what your target market thinks and feels about your company. The twist is you want to look inside and project what you want someone to think and feel. Not what they feel but what you intend them to feel and think.

  • What do we want them to think about your company?
  • What do we want them to feel about your company?

Your Next Step

Take all these words and phrases and start building a larger list. You do this typically by using an online dictionary and diving into other words that are similar to these words. Your goal is to build the biggest until you get a few that just feel right to you. Yes, this is combination of art and science.

Here’s what to keep in mind. I call this the business card test. You want to create a brand name that not only feels good inside but something that you would be so proud of that you would be excited to give out your business card.  Yes excited and proud to hand over your business card.

Important Brand Name Tips

  • Make sure you’ve created a brand name someone can say and they know immediately how to pronounce it.
  • Focus on the core emotion you want to convey to your target market. By now you have a list of words and phrases from the exercises before. Now take all that and create a top of the list words that convey what you want the market to feel.
  • Avoid strings of letters or numbers that have little or no meaning.

There’s tons more in the show as this part runs roughly 23 minutes. I should mention as well that this is one of those subjects that is tough to explain because sometimes all these steps are not necessary. Sometimes you come upon a name early in the process and other times it takes longer.

 

How to Create a Brand Name [part 1]

First I have to apologize, in the beginning of the show I didn’t share that this would be a 2 part series. Sorry about that but I wanted to make sure we covered this in-depth and as complete as possible.

In part 1 of how to create a brand name we talk about laying the foundation. This is an important step because seldom do you sit down with a pen and piece of paper and immediately conjure up the perfect name. I like to say that you have to prime the pump–with the pump being your mind. You have to put all the info in so your subconscious can do the work. Now that’s not to say that you wont find an idea that wont lead down the path of finding that perfect name. Usually that’s the way it works. You have an idea or a thought that you just can’t get out of your head and that leads to a connection. Then you combine a few things and before you know you have the perfect name.

There are really 2 exercises I’ve found that help with getting into the right frame of mind to create a brand name. First up is something I’ve shared before… that’s the empathy map. This is an exercise that not only helps you get into the mind of the market but it is something you should have already done. It’s one of the best exercises you can do to create a good understanding of who your customer truly is.

Empathy Map

I first saw this concept in the book Business Model Generation. The empathy map is broken down by defining the following elements of your target persona:

  • What do they think and feel?
  • What do they see?
  • What do they say and do?
  • What do they hear?
  • What gives them pain?
  • What/How do they gain?

Metaphor Map

Next up is creating a metaphor map. This is an exercise designed to figure out what your target market should think and feel about your company. This exercise can be done two ways. First is to draw a circle on the page. Put you or your company in the center of that circle. Next you surround that circle with words or phrases you want your target market to think and feel about your company. Do separate exercises answering the following questions:

  • What do I want my target market to feel about my company?
  • What do I want my target market to think about my company?

It’s important that you have a complete open mind and go through this exercise in full. It will start moving the gears inside your mind. It’s also important for the next step and what we cover in part 2. That’s the actual name generation process. This is the process you go through to come up with names that correlate to both the empathy map and the metaphor map.

How to Overcome the Challenge of Self Analyzing Your Work

 

Before we get started on our main topic there are two stories worth highlighting. First up comes from Cracked.com on The 4 Worst Things About Writing for the Internet and next up is about Google:

Businesses that place a heavy emphasis on Google Places listing in their web search strategies must take into account a startling change just introduced by Google. From now on, it announced, it will make a change to any data about the business if any user provides new information about that business they know — or Google’s system identifies information from another source on the web that may be more recent than the data the business owner provided via Google Places. Read More.

Self Analyzing Your Work

I think one of the hardest things for business owners or marketers to do is self analyze their work. That is stepping outside of the business and objectively measuring results. The thing is there is one surefire way to overcome this, you have to implement a regime of testing in your business.

I’ve said before that the quickest way to become a great marketer is to think like a direct marketer. That typically runs contrary to all the advice you see out there and to all the latest talk around social media. It’s true though, thinking like a direct market enables you to market thru science. It’s the raw numbers that tell you the results. Then you scale.

We talk a little bit more in today’s show about how to accomplish and why it’s important.

Media Thinking, Success, and Content on this Week in Review

First up this week are a few updates and some posts worth highlighting:

This weeks shows:

I had an insight this weekend. 2 things really lead me there. First, the story that a company in India produces the cheapest tablet for less than $50. Second, we released a new special 10 part series across our web platforms (you can see that above). How do these two these correlate? There Will Be a Worldwide Tablet Revolution and What That Means for Your Business.

I recently had a quick email exchange with a photographer who shared with me his biggest business and marketing challenges. They were… Spreading his work and too much unfair competition. He added that his field is becoming to competitive because with digital photography almost anyone can be a “photographer”. I’m willing to bet he would agree that while it’s true everyone now can virtually take a picture anytime that doesn’t make them a skilled photographer (or even something that will come close to what a pro can produce). How to Win When Your Product or Service Becomes a Commodity.

Today we have a short follow up to the discussions we’ve been having about thinking like a media company. One challenges faced by all content producers is how they monetize their content and audience. Bundling Your Content for Profit and Optimize Profiles for SEO.

Finally I shared an interview I had on THINKING LIKE A MEDIA COMPANY [INTERVIEW].

That’s all this week. Any topics we should have covered this week or you want us to cover next week? Just leave a comment below.

Bundling Your Content for Profit and Optimize Profiles for SEO

 

Today we have a short follow up to the discussions we’ve been having about thinking like a media company. One challenges faced by all content producers is how they monetize their content and audience.

A recent post at GigaOM Planning a paywall? Maybe you should sell some e-books instead spurs our discussion today. I think this is a great option for an additional revenue stream. At the very least if you have been writing for a while it’s something you should test out. Take the top 15 of your posts and bundle them into an e-book. Then see if you can sell them. We cover this in much more detail in today’s show.

Also… Adobe is developing an upcoming feature for Photoshop that could end the problem of blurred photos forever. See video below:

Next up is if you want to strengthen your personal or business brand’s visibility, then one of the top things you will want is to have strong social media profiles that rank in the top results for your name along with your website and blog. Having a strong online reputation that is comprised of nothing but content that highlights the best about your personal or business brand will allow you to keep undesirable results at bay, such as bad online reviews or mentions. Read the rest here.

Thinking Like a Media Company [interview]

I was recently interviewed by Robert Dempsey of Dempsey Marketing. We talked about how to think and operate like a media company.

Here’s a few things we cover:

  • Why should you think like a media company?
  • What happens when you think like a media company?
  • Why thinking like a media company makes sense.
  • What is the role of your content?
  • Flipping the switch so you start thinking like a media company…

How to Win When Your Product or Service Becomes a Commodity

image by vonlohmann

I recently had a quick email exchange with a photographer who shared with me his biggest business and marketing challenges. They were…

Spreading his work and too much unfair competition. He added that his field is becoming to competitive because with digital photography almost anyone can be a “photographer”.

I’m willing to bet he would agree that while it’s true everyone now can virtually take a picture anytime that doesn’t make them a skilled photographer  (or even something that will come close to what a pro can produce).

The real problem is his market is entering mass commoditization.

This has happened to the music industry. It the good old days you could make money on an album, you could make tons of money. That all changed with digital (both digital delivery and creation).

Now an album (music) is the delivery mechanism to reach the market.  These revenue streams are now replaced with licensing (both products and music), performances, and other related income. Sure artists and labels still make money on sales but it pales in comparison to what it used to be. It has become a delivery mechanism to the market.

Or in photography, I recently saw an interesting example of this. There’s a company named Brides Unveiled in the UK that does wedding photography but they do something a little different—it’s what the Daily Mail terms sexy photoshoots:

It’s not the traditional guise of a blushing bride we’re familiar with, but hundreds of not-so-shy wives-to-be are stripping off in front of the camera.

The racy pictures, taken by 27-year-old photographer Jodie Howe, are early (non-traditional) wedding gifts for lucky future husbands.

Some of the glamorous poses show the brides-to-be in their honeymoon lingerie and bridal veils.

So they are still selling photography services and photos are still the delivery method, but the market is reframed and what is offered has changed.

Is Your Market at Risk?

With the rise of computers, AI, and robots more and more industries are at risk. A recently remember reading something about law clerks and how some major law firms are investing in new mega computers that can find legal briefs and background in a quicker and more thorough way than a clerk could ever dream. Once this system get’s perfected will these firms really need these extra people. You might think at it’s core this is wrong but I don’t think it will stop it from happening.

3 Next Steps

  1. Your first step is to understand what people are buying… what is their desired outcome?
  2. Next look at how you reach your market or the feature of your delivery method.
  3. Finally find new and unique ways to position you or your company based on the need and the trust of the delivery method.

Those 3 steps are loaded because the devil is in the details. Executing on those three will be a challenge but for some industries it is a must if you want to stay and thrive. Take it as a challenge.

There Will Be a Worldwide Tablet Revolution and What That Means for Your Business

 

I had an insight this weekend. 2 things really lead me there. First, the story that a company in India produces the cheapest tablet for less than $50. Second, we released a new special 10 part series across our web platforms (you can see that above). How do these two these correlate?

Let’s start with a story. Years ago I was in the Army and I was deployed to Bosnia and Liberia. It was a different time and a different Army back then, nothing compared to today. While deployed something always struck me, these places were years ahead of us in the mobile revolution. The main reason was cost. In the western world we had wired infrastructure, which is expensive to create and maintain. In the developing world it was cheaper to go mobile than to go wired and that’s what has happened.

I take this thought and expand it out to tablets. Now tablets are different than phones. They allow a greater opportunity for the consumption of content. They allow a greater opportunity for the creation of content. Last week we mentioned a study that said tablet households literally consume over 50% more content than non tablet households. If that stat holds up what would that mean for a tablet that will take the rest of the world by storm?

How does this relate to our new 10 part series we released this weekend? Well in looking at the opt-ins we received I noticed something interesting. A large percentage was from countries and places that I would be prime candidates for a new tablet revolution. That’s when the connection came.

See there is a different consumption model for content when you no longer have to visit a internet cafe or a public space. When you can consume it on a device that’s built for a good experience then your consumption and browsing goes up.

That’s when I asked myself. If we are getting visits from people in these countries… why are they visiting? What are they searching for? How can we add move value? Is this an opportunity for us to expand our market?

I believe it is and I believe it’s an opportunity for you as well. We talk about this a bit more in today’s show.

I also mention a new analytic platform we are testing called ChartBeat. It’s interesting and I compare it somewhat to Clicky. Both have their strengths but Chartbeat seems to have a nicer interface and dashboard. Once we put it through a little bit more usage I’ll give a full analysis.