I am shifting way off course here today and I think that's okay. I was reading Skellie's blog a few days ago and his focus was on escaping niches. I thought it was a great post and worth a read and is something that I think my own site has done over the last two years. I tend to write about things that pertain to what is happening in my life and relating that to Social Media, Gen-Y and entertainment/music/whatever. At the end of the day it all comes back to this being my personal site, written by my crazy ass ideas. It's about the things that I do, see, think about and experience.
He then went on to talk about sites like Tim Ferriss's blog, of which I am a big fan. When you think of his site you might say he blogs about time management and lifestyle design. But would you categorize writing about the Amish, Twitter Giving and How to Lose Extreme Weight in 24 hours to be in the same blog?
Niches Don't Matter if People Love "You"
We all tend to focus on our niche, and I have done the same as well. I force myself to think about topics that lend ideas to marketers and other members of Gen-Y about the new marketing landscape. Most of the time, I think the posts are good (not great) and have to be forced out of my brain while telling myself that I have to post today.
In the business world, we were focusing strong on hospitality, we even released a Whitepaper on Gen-Y and Hospitality to get some attention and show some credibility. The last 3 clients we sold - a start-up music site, a real estate "community stabilizer" and a law firm. WTF?
What really happened was that these companies fell in love with us and what we do and not our niche. It didn't matter that our site is geared towards restaurants, hotels and timeshare people, they saw value in us, so we got them on board.
Get that money while its still worth something
my personal money hungry quests I have been looking into some Internet Marketing ideas and trying to get into the affiliate game. It has been fun, eye opening and exciting thinking about the truckloads of ca$h that are going to show up at my house when a product launch goes through the roof. Everything from list building to relationships and trust magnets - I think they all hold merit in the real marketing world and if we don't start asking for the sale, we are never going to get it.
Gary V (damn I am name dropping today) had a great talk the other day (I can't find it but when I do I will link it up) about getting paid vs being true to the social media ethos. The purists who say not to put affiliate links in Twitter, or don't sell shit on your blog or generate traffic through PPC or other advertising are hating on those that are making a dime or 2 in this industry. I say
if you can get people to pay for the value you bring, then you should.
These Web 2.0 companies that are living in the "give all their shit away for free world" are going to wake up one day and realize that their 100gabillion users don't mean shit because they can't monetize them via shitty ad networks and they can't up-sell them because there is no value in their premium model.
There is money in this economy, the proof is in the $5million dollars that Frank Kern made in 48 hours launching a ridiculous $2,000 IM product. Hate the industry all you want, but when products like that sells out and you can't charge $5/month for your web service, something in your marketing, value prop or target audience is wrong.
It's Ok To Shift Focus and Drift
When looking to market your products to the youth market, you also need to understand this principle. That focus group you had 6-9 months ago is useless for a product launching in the summer. Buzzwords come and do like clothing styles and even musical tastes. 37 Signals has a great philosophy, release early and release often. I think that speaks very loud and clear when pushing products to Gen-Y and teens. Get your product out already. Build buzz and release. Test in a live market, get feedback, improve, supply great customer service and do it again. Waiting only gives them time to focus on something better, cooler and flashier than what you have cooking.
Ok, I'm off to watch some video on how this revolutionary PPC system will drive 5 figures into my bank account this afternoon. wOOt - I'm not going to miss the wave - but I also won't fall for your crap.