Life Lessons for Digital Business

I had these thoughts on the bus today en route to work. It was rather dispiriting, since I’d planned to spend the whole time learning the 14 songs I’ll be performing with thousands of other well-meaning chanteuses at the Liverpool ECHO Arena on Saturday 29th June.

Seriously. Me, singing. I blame Sam.

Merchants of snake oil (or the naive – me, c. 2010) will tell you in business the internet makes everything easier. Realists will point out you have a heck of a harder job competing against a world of choice.

There are some massive hurdles to overcome to deliver against expectations in any company these days.

But there are some easy wins that everyone, no matter where they are in the world of enterprise, should embrace.

If you’re going to succeed in 2013 and beyond digest these:

  1. Take the best bits from others, but don’t emulate – enhance. It’s easy to think you’re ‘the next Gary Vaynerchuk’ or ‘just like Chris Brogan’. But you’re not, and you’re not. You’re you. You’re better than they are when it comes to a bunch of things, and their strengths mean nothing to the advancement of you. The biggest challenge in life is identifying your own plusses. Do the Myers Briggs test or the Highlands Battery to kick things off. And ask others what you’re best at if you’re short on cues. But once you’ve found it, you’re sorted for life. It’s a journey well worth taking.
  2. More than ever it’s vital to have your own physical shop front. The honeymoon is over. Amazon is the exception, not rule. There’s a lot of deceit online, people saying if you spin this way or twist that, you can make a fortune with an exclusively digital business. But the internet is complementary to, and not a replacement for, being available and accessible physically. Never forget this, as more and more these days people are looking for a friendly face, not fancy pixel, to reassure them of the validity of their prospective purchase.
  3. Stop talking about ‘we’. Start obsessing with ‘you’. The very basics of marketing decree we need to sell the sizzle, not the sausage (hat-tip to my old boss Andrew Hill of Holiday Cottages Group for instilling this logic in me). That means be in pursuit always of promoting the benefits, not features, in everything you do and sell. Relentlessly devote yourself to your USPs, what separates you from everyone else including your competition, and soar.

Have you got a fourth? Do share.

Enjoyed this lesson for content strategy success? Get in touch on Twitter @davethackeray and let me know your thoughts.

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