A lot of journalists who I’ve known for a while like to talk shop with me about what it was like to jump the fence and go to the public relations side of the equation. I made that transition 14 years ago, and I can remember feeling a huge identity crisis around it. Change is tough! Having our cheese moved can be so annoying, can’t it?
Let’s just say I can relate when anyone is at the precipice of a potential huge career change. Journalists especially. #softspot
Just last week, I got to have an awesome conversation with a good friend of mine who has been working at his publication for two decades. He’s really happy right where he is, but he’s looking out into the gaping abyss of the unknown, wondering if he should be considering a change.
He confided in me that he is just plain worried about where his publication is headed. It’s corporate owned and the same old revenue model and goals are still in place, despite the fact that the product (the editorial) continues to change. Talk about a moving target. …. Basically, my friend is:
- Working harder for less money
- Publishing a ton more stories and is worried about quality being edged out (and let’s face it, his name is on each and every article!)
- Generally not sure if advertisers will continue to see the value in what he does or what the magazine offers
The long and short of it? He’s working in a desperate environment, or as Einstein would have described it: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Our target customers are expecting evolution and something different, but so many of us in our businesses are sticking to the script that worked for a version of a production that’s long been over.
This is exactly why we can’t keep doing more of the same, and expect that it will be enough to bridge our companies and brands to the next level.
Funny thing is that what he was explaining to me about the state of his publication isn’t really that different from what my clients at Verde tell me, or what the entrepreneurs that I coach and support at the Intrepid Entrepreneur tell me.
It doesn’t matter what you make, what you do, or who you market to – our cheese is being moved right now, big time!
We’re all feeling like we’re mid-gap-jump and we haven’t stuck the landing, between our Old and New Playbook. (NOTE: The Old and New Playbook is how I refer to the dramatic direct-to-consumer shift that continues to rain down on us as business owners and leaders.)
Every type of business is being affected by these changes and there really isn’t a map or a blueprint to download for a way forward.
And that’s what’s cool about this. We’re entrepreneurs and we actually love to create new ways forward. Sometimes we need to be reminded of this.
When you reframe it (i.e. we GET to figure out a way forward) the process of change feels more normal to us. After all, that’s why we founded our own companies.
All of this change does equal opportunity, but you’ve got to be relentless about continuing to evolve.
Would you like to know the best way to navigate the gaping abyss of the unknown?
There are FOUR things to keep your eye on:
#1 – Embrace Change! Obvious, but necessary.
#2 – Know your company’s WHY. Check out Simon Sinek’s YouTube video of his Ted Talk, “Start withWhy.” Hit play and prepared to be fired up. I watch this one regularly.
#3 – Know exactly who you serve (your ideal customer, also known as an “avatar”). A great place to look for attributes of your fans and followers? Facebook Insights. Another great resource? I’ve got a free worksheet that you can download right from this very site you’re on that will guide you through the process of getting to know your avatar like the back of your hand.
#4 – Know how your business creates solutions for your avatar in a way that ONLY your business can. This used to be called a point of differentiation. That applied to the Old Playbook, when we were most concerned with reaching as many people as possible instead of reaching our tribe with ongoing value and service. Learn how your business provides solutions specifically for your avatar. It sounds subtle but it will make a world of difference in how your ideal customer (avatar) engages with your brand and buys from you.
I believe you can rely on these four factors as a lens when you’re considering your best next move in your business. When all else fails, always go back to serving your avatar.
I’m doing a FREE Masterclass today (Jan. 20, 2016) that teaches a lot of actionable strategies on this very topic.
Here’s how you sign up:
I know if you’re a member of my community, you’re also experiencing a lot of changes in your business. I cover nine big trends in my free Masterclass and I’d love to know which of the nine topics resonate most with you. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know where you are with your own transition from the Old to the New Playbook and what topics you might want more guidance on from me in my free weekly and monthly content.
Thank you SO much for your time today! I know your time is incredibly valuable and I truly love hanging out with you every Wed., in this newsletter. Now, time to get back after it! GO BIG!