Do You Need a “New” Online Business Model in 2018?

People often ask, “Do you think it’s too late to (fill in the blank)?” Usually the question goes along the lines of being too late to start a certain kind of business, sell a particular service or make “good money” following a certain path.

I’ve always looked at business in the terms of supply and demand. Black and white. Good and bad. For the sake of those caught in the middle, let’s jump into some gray space. By gray space I mean – when the waters are somewhat muddied and you’re really not sure what to do next.

I understand that it’s not always easy make a logical decision when you’re dealing with an overload of data, opinions and information. For example, maybe your experience is in a field that’s not exactly trending anymore. That doesn’t mean have to abandon ship and go elsewhere. Down cycles come and go. But oftentimes, the secret isn’t in the market you’re targeting – it’s in the actual offer you’re presenting to that market. Once you do a little testing and find out what people really want (the new thing), you don’t have to be a master marketer to make sales anymore.

Then and Now…

When I started online in the late 90s, info-publishing was hot. Content sold for a premium price. Today, content marketing is the new “info-publishing.” The label has changed but everything else is much the same. Sure, there’s more video and audio in place today than there was back then, but it’s all “info” at the end of the day.

Info-publishing (for those of us romancing the 90s) has now become content marketing. Upon closer examination, it’s the same basic framework but with a different coat of paint.

People still want to learn “how to.” They still buy information, it’s just packaged different. Like it or not, packaging sells.

I had a mustache in the 90s. I lost it in the early 2000s. People say I look better without it. I finally agree.

The clothes I wear look a bit different in 2017 are styled a bit differently than back in 1998. Is that a good thing? It’s a different thing.

Different sells… even if it’s really just the “same thing” bleached and repackaged. Does that make sense? Without the new thing, people get bored. It’s human nature.

What’s the difference between the new thing and the old thing?

In many cases, the new thing is really the old thing with a few tweaks. And here’s the thing, people have been trained to believe newer is better. You’re targeted by advertisers and the media from the time you’re a child. This year’s toys are better than last year’s toys. Newer is better, and you don’t want to be behind the times, do you?

Is newer really better? Logic says it isn’t, but logic does the 4-hour work week for most people. It’s seldom present when it should be. Deep down inside, we can all feel or sense the pressure to keep up with the times. We’re still influenced by emotions and feelings more than we’d like to admit.

Your niche is no different. People buy “new” based upon ingrained beliefs. Newer advice must be better advice. Newer software must be better software. Newer means progress (even if it really doesn’t or isn’t). Sad? Yes… but no less true.

What does all this mean for 2018?

It means that, if you want to stay competitive in your existing market, you must eventually put a fresh coat of paint on things.

You must adopt up-to-date imagery, website design, copy, layout, etc.

People are still influenced by all the things they know they shouldn’t be influenced by. Shiny object syndrome has reached almost epidemic proportions.

But here the truth of the matter… the real key to success for most people will be a return to the basics. Beyond all the noise and distraction, one truth remains untouched by time. That is, you make an offer and present it to someone. You will give X for Y dollars. You will create X for Y dollars. They can download X for Y dollars.

The more of that you do, the more profitable your business becomes because at the end of the day, another transaction is another deposit in the bank account. That’s the framework that never changes. That’s what often gets lost in the surface details.

So how will you make more transactions in 2018 than you did in 2017? Either you have to make more offers… better offers… or a combination of both.

And… (let’s not forget) these offers need to incorporate the latest, fresh coat of paint.

It may all sound ridiculous when you really think about it, but like the old saying goes – the more things change, the more they stay the same.

 

 

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