What’s Hot and What’s Not: A Six Step Process to Identify Promotional Opportunities to Target Your Market
According to the experts, new technology appears online approximately every two and a half seconds – and theoretically, every new application has the potential to transform your business.
How do you know what’s worth your time and what’s a total time-waster? That’s a serious question, when you only have 24 hours in a day and still have a business to run.
Save time and minimize frustration by adopting this six-step process for approaching new technology. Followed consistently, this process enables you to identify viable promotional opportunities, discern which ones appear to have sticking power, streamline the learning process, and adopt best practices right from day one!
Step 1: Don’t Believe the Hype
Enthusiastic, cheerleading-style articles touting the lastest tech tool as the solution to all of your marketing challenges are fun to read, but they seldom provide enough information to make a solid business decision!
Put yourself on a short rein, and don’t let enthusiasm for the flavor-of-the-week by your only guide.
Do your research. Discover what demographics are adopting the touted technology. For example, the audience for Twitter-powered microblogs is different from the crowd downloading podcasts onto their cell phones.
Step 2: Seek Out Reputable Resources to Serve as Guides
While you’re doing your due diligence and your research, pay special attention to where your information is coming from. Not all resources have equal value. Look to those individuals who are consistently cited as an expert by others. It’s wise to have a rule of three for this. If three disparate sources all reference the same individual or work, there’s a better than fair chance that resource has some real value that can be of benefit.
Remember, you don’t have to limit yourself to online research, although that’s often the quickest and easiest way to find information these days. Check print media: if a tool is well established enough to have books devoted to it, chances are it can be used to help you pomote your business effectively.
Step 3: Identify What You Want to Accomplish
Set a clear goal for yourself. This goal needs to be specific, quantifiable, and realistic. Rather than saying, “I want to be on YouTube because everybody’s there!” consider, “I will post four videos a year to YouTube, each one focused on a different segment of my area of expertise.”
Knowing what you want to do is essential. Having an end objective helps you to understand what skills you need to concentrate on and which ones are irrelevant. For example, if you want to build your business through blogging, focus on learning how to write a great blog entry, how to promote your blog, and strategies to raise your blog’s visibility.
This step helps you to save time and be more efficient.
Step 4: Learn the Vocabulary
Make life easy for yourself! Before you start diving into the hows, whys, and how-comes of any new area of study, take an hour to familiarize yourself with the much-needed vocabulary. Every technology has a specific language you need to understand so that you can be more efficient.
Consider this vocabulary similar to the professional jargon you use when conversing with colleagues. It’s likely that your conversation might be unintelligible to the average listener, unless you took the time to define and explain the terminology you’re using.
Chances are you don’t have someone on hand to explain confusing terms or unfamiliar language. If you forge ahead, hoping to pick up the meaning in context, you’re likely to be very frustrated, and no clo0ser to achieving your goals. It may seem like wasted time to focus on vocabulary early in the process, but language makes comprehension possible.
Step 5: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
No matter what your goal or objective, there’s a better than fair chance that someone else has already done it before you. Look for examples that resonate: a blog you’d like to emulate, podcasts that inspire you, YouTube videos that have you green with envy.
Study these examples carefully. What is it about them that works? Make a list of those things you’d like to adopt for your own message. Obviously, you don’t want to make a carbon copy of someone else’s work, but there’s nothing wrong with modeling yourself after people who have done a great job communicating their message effectively.
Step 6: Ask Questions and Embrace Expertise
You don’t have to do it all yourself! owners often fall into a common trap. They convince themselves that because it’s their business, they have to do it all – marketing, selling, filing, hiring, firing, and so on. As a corollary to this, there’s a common misconception that one should know everything possible about running a business from day one and never need any help!
You need to put that attitude behind you! Save time, energy, and effort by asking questions! There are a number of platforms to do this online, Entire web communities exist for individuals who want to build a better blog, create great YouTube videos, and more. Find a community you’re comfortable with – this might require a few minutes with Google – and ask questions. This is often the quickest way to find information and, as an added bonus, start forming relationships with potential colleagues, clients, and peers.