When I work with business owners to grow their online presence, their first question is, "Should I dedicate 50% of my time online and 50% in-person?"
I say no, be 100 % online and 100 % in-person. This is a significant mindset shift that most people need to adopt. When culture changes, businesses should be changing at the same rate. If the culture changes faster than your business, your business becomes irrelevant, ask Blockbuster.
Stop looking at COVID-19 as a disruptor, and look at it as an accelerator. The virus did not create the changes that we are experiencing. It accelerated them. Don't wait for them to go away. Many of the changes that people adopted won't change back after the pandemic.
Michael S. Rogers, the former director of NSA, confirms that "COVID-19 is serving as an accelerant to speed up trends that were already present in the marketplace." Others describe the virus as the most efficient accelerant of our times.
Esther Shein describes COVID-19 as "The digital accelerant of the decade." Do you view the pandemic the same way?
Stop looking at the internet as a connector, and look at it as a catalyst that speeds up growth. Use it to connect with people, but keep asking yourself, "How can I help others grow?"
Facebook, Google, Alibaba, and Salesforce connect people, but their main goal is to help their customers grow. Youtube has an academy that helps people grow their channels and earn more money.
What can you do to help your customers learn more so they can earn more?
Stop looking at your organization as a physical place with a digital presence, and view it as a digital organization with a physical presence. Focus on creating content, documenting your journey, and share your work with your customers.
Sephora management does not view their organization as a physical space but a digital organization that helps their customers connect, grow, and sell their products to each other.
Sephora does a fantastic job of helping customers feel connected with their online community. They provide a platform that allows customers to connect and share their ideas. They mastered the art of selling without selling—the platform called Beauty Talk, and who does not want to talk about beauty. Genius idea.
Do you view your business as a digital organization?
Stop viewing your business as a well-known business. Most people haven't heard about you, which is okay. You only need few customers to succeed in business. Stop trying to please everyone, and focus on people you can add value to their lives.
Kevin Kelly, the co-founder of Wired magazine, wrote a great article titled 1,000 True Fans. He argues: “A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, or author — in other words, anyone producing works of art — needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.” Kelly defined a true fan as anyone willing to purchase anything that you produce.
You do not need to sell to the masses. You can create a niche product that has a steady demand. Evernote solved a specific problem and attracted people who want to keep their notes organized and willing to pay a small fee for the service. In short, you do not need to be popular with everyone to make money, but you have to offer a valuable service.
Do you know your customers?
Stand up for something and not against everything. Jeff Henderson wrote a great book called "Know What You're For." He thinks you can not build a business without creating a community, and I believe he is accurate. When customers realize an organization is for them, they return the favor.
Julie Bawden-Davis wrote about how to build a community around your business, and I think we all can learn from Harley Davidson's ability to build a strong community around their products. As an American icon, Harley has come to symbolize freedom, rugged individualism, excitement, and a sense of "bad boy rebellion."
What do you stand for?
These five mindset shifts will help you grow faster, learn and earn more money.
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