Friday, October 27, 2006

3 business models that always work for everybody

I have three (3) business models that I dream of in perfectionistic bliss.

The unusual thing about them is that they always work for everybody who uses them correctly and persistently, heck, even sporadically and lazily like me:

(1) Get rich by doing next to nothing.


(a) 100% User Generated Content: like Post Secret, Digg, and YouTube.

You just provide the platform and a steady flow of agented benefits for the community (you find fresh content or present new functionalities your audience wants or will want once they see it).

(b) Change Nothing: do what you do anyway, for pleasure, with no one having to remind or motivate you, like a hobby or craft or music or art or programming, and figure out a way to solve a problem with it that seems impossible to solve, then market that solution to those who desperately need it.

(2) Help others help you as you help others.

What? Okay listen: you want something? Become an expert on it or help others get it. Assist, with info or advice or systems or structures, others in obtaining what you don't even have yourself, but also want. Like fame, power, money, success, happiness, salvation, nirvana, prestige.

You want other bloggers to blog about you, answer your burning question emails, and invite you to be a keynote speaker at conferences?

Then blog about those other bloggers, talk about them, quote and analyze them, in your blog. Post helpful, thoughtful, funny, informative, sincere, relevant comments in their blogs and in the blogs they discuss, negatively or positively.

See if you can say something so spot on, so profound, so provocative, so challenging, you start a whole new conversation thread. What you say is so smart or so unique, it sparks its own discussion, and you become a center of attention for a day or two.

With your blog URL embedded in your comment signature, others can click on your name and navigate to your site. Eventually someone who needs what you do may visit your blog, be blown away, and want to contact you to hire you for some project or position. Hang in there. These things happen every single day.

So you help others achieve something, something desired and difficult or time-consuming, like research or marketing strategy, then you make it easy for others to know your expertise and to contact you.

Post comments all over the place. Do new things on your blog: email interviews with other bloggers, podcasts, video, art, music mp3s. Keep making your blog more interesting, provocative, entertaining, and of unique value to your audience.

(3) Give away tons of FREE things.

The faster you put out FREE material, free music, free consulting, free art, free videos, free samples of whatever you do or make, the faster you'll be famous.

You never pine or weep for success, envying others, feeling sorry for your own sorry ass. Get up and distribute free samples, even to those who may not care about it, because perhaps they'll give your weird music CD to a cousin or nephew and they'll rave about it a year from now. Who knows?

Life Is Backwards. Yes it is. You want something, you have to give it away before you get it. It's a paradox, but it always works, with perfect (not necessarily your) timing.

Music is a great example. There is too much of it. So how do you stand out from the crowd? NOT BY TALKING ABOUT IT and pleading with mailing lists to come to your next five gigs. The only way to promote anything, especially music, is FREE SAMPLES.

Don't worry about "protecting" your shit. Just get it the F out there, dude. Quit whining and complaining. Stop demanding that others tell you how to make money. Forget money if you want to make money. Focus on value, altruism, sharing, and cooperation.

Initially, don't worry so much about "making money". Knock it off. Simmer down. Keep mowing lawns and repairing roofs. It's going to take you from 2 to 6 years to make any money with a blog, web site, API, web service, ecommerce operation, what have you.

Get famous. It's all free. It doesn't cost anything to promote stuff, including yourself, online. With Net Neutrality and Universal Content Utopia, everything (almost) is free and abundantly shared, discussed, rated, and ranked.

Put your stuff out there. Everywhere. If you're not discovering 5 new places to put your stuff online everyday, you need to do more web surfing and trust linking. Go to reputable sites, and link or navigate from there. Don't go too deep into the link bin. It eventually starts deteriorating, no matter how pure the originating site. But check out the blogrolls and the sites that are linked to in posts.

Promote others more than you promote yourself, and you'll be ushered into the promised land.


CK said...

Thanks for this inspiring post--and for coining the "Share Economy". Your business models are indeed hope big biz will start listening and catching on as they can net into meaningful, long-term ROI.

Keep at it, you teach us all. And do so generously.

steven edward streight said...

You amuse yourself with far fetched fantasies.

I did NOT invent, invert, or inadvertently "coin" the Share Economy, though I did add the buddhistic Saha World concept to it, I admit that mulch.

Newsandseduction said...

I believe in what you say!

steven edward streight said...

I believe you do! Thanks. Mediocre people get rich because they promote and stay persistent.

carrie said...

i call myself too lazy,
a self-fulfilling prophecy no doubt.

Jim Estill said...

On 1) No work, get rich quick is a recipe for failure. May as well "invest" in lottery tickets.

Personally, I am a proponent of get rich slowly. I am also a proponent hard work. Perhaps I am just not smart enough to do it any other way.

On 2) - I agree this is a great addition to any plan.

On 3) - I also agree this is a great addition to any plan (although ultimately, you have to be able to make money on something.

steven edward streight said...

Jim: thanks for clarifying that "get rich doing next to nothing", which is only half serious.

I mean that there are ways to set things up, and let the users create the mashups or contribute the content, and many sites are allowing users to use each other's content, remix it, in a free sharing, like at Eyespot.

But of course, there is usually a lot of work, thinking, planning, failing, prior to these All User Content business enterprises.

Yet, look: Amazon and others empowering users to rate and review and interact.

I often get in very instructive debates with other people at product blogs, or product sponsored email discussion lists (like Audacity).

I don't know how this social media marketing implements in your computer re-seller business.

But great marketing thinkers, all of them, seem to concur: set up a community where the focus is users and their needs, help them buy from your competitor when the competitor has a better or more relevant product, etc.

Things that didn't make sense in the 1950s now are mandatory to survive.

What can you give away FREE? Your expertise. Your product comparison charts. Help your customers solve their problems, whether or not that solution includes your products.

We work too hard, when users could be doing many of the functions we strive to perform for them.

Your challenge is to translate these concepts, adapt them, revise them, for your corporation (SYNNEX).

I have to take this medicine, too, not just theorize about it. But I state what I've seen work in my life and in my clients' businesses.

I especially think of former employer Garden Way. In their direct mail promotion packages, selling TroyBilt garden tillers, they always included a free chart, or booklet, full of gardening expertise, highly valuable, credible, authoritative FREE.

People didn't consider it "junk mail" but "help mail".

And we presented limitations and drawbacks of our products, "not as good as a single purpose snow blower, but decent for light snow on short driveways, ...etc."

steven edward streight said...

My expertise is distributed 98% FREE and only about 2% PAID.

I mean, for all the client marketing research and tests and reports I do, I also do ten times as much out of personal passion, and share it at no cost to my blog audience.

I give out information that other web usability specialists and marketing pundits charge for.

I don't sell a book on Business Blogging, I give all you need to know, here in my blog.

Without few exceptions, I cover every tiny detail any blogger could need to know to succeed, I cover it all here.

Then I give free usability reviews and beta testing feedback, tons of these valuable contributions, to help others improve and succeed.

Life will make sure my needs are met by paying clients, to enable me to give my expertise away freely and abundantly.

If my clients read my entire blog, from the first post to the latest, they wouldn't need to pay me for addititional consulting.

But implementation is sometimes the tricky part, beyond the high falutin fancy theories and boisterous blusterings about Web 2.0, Share Economy, Universal Content Utopia, and Global Democracy Revolution.