industry trends

Keeping Up with Industry Trends – Should Businesses be Overly Concerned about Being Trendy?

Many of us struggle with finding content to write about. Especially if we’ve been writing or making content for awhile. As you’ve guys have seen this year, I’ve been writing in this blog since 2010. Since then, I’ve written quite a bit.

I have to admit, there’s times where I wonder if I’m going over the same stuff over and over. And if I am, is it worth it to you guys to go over something I’ve might have talked about not too long ago?

For those of us who are regularly creating content, it’s easy to do this because it’s what we know.

However, there are times where we might feel that we’re not keeping up with the times. That perhaps we’re missing something on this or that social media. Or that, perhaps, social media is where we should be to put our message out there.

Is that really the case? Let’s look at this a bit closer.

 

It’s All About Your List

When it comes to having a successful online business (or any business for that matter) is having a list of people who like what you’re about and could be a potential customer.

So, it’d make sense that the longer your list is, the more income you could possibly make when you release a new product.

This is true. And in fact, that’s the real power of Facebook and other social media platforms. Businesses of any size can “rent” parts of Facebook’s list (their users) by paying for ads. Or, as an alternative, if you don’t have a budget to spend on ads, you can spend more time by making a Facebook group.The more activity you have in your group, the more Facebook will share your group with its users. The more users you have in your group, the more you’ll be able to market to them.

But there’s a catch. You’re still using Facebook’s list.

And really, you need to own your own list. And still to this day, as I said in a recent interview, the best way of doing that is owning your own website and building a list of emails.

 

If You’re Not Trendy Can You Still Be Successful?

Now at this point, you might be thinking about that old saying “What brought you here, won’t get you to there.” Meaning, can my bread and butter – whatever you’re good at – can it take you to the next level?

The short answer is that it can – but not the way you’re currently doing it. What you’re offering people or however your servicing them, it should stay the same. If you want to scale, the way to do that is by changing your process.

However, don’t mistake this for new products or new services. Sure, you can get new customers by offering new things that are more trendy. BUT, that’s not what attracted your original customers.

What do your original customers want and are they still getting it? Ask yourself how can you service them better?

 

McDonald’s Attempt to Stay Trendy

Let’s take McDonald’s for example.

McDonald’s has a process that we’re familiar with. Every store has the same process. If you watched the movie “The Founder”, you’ll know that what Ray Kroc did to make McDonald’s better wasn’t by just toying around with the menu, it was by how he was able to scale the company. He offered the same thing at every store and that brought them loyalty.

That model worked for decades – until people started realizing what they were eating and wanted to eat better.

Now, McDonald’s realized that people wanted healthier alternatives. So they started offering all kinds of different products to cater to the healthy consumer. Their menu got larger and larger until in 2013 or so, not only could you order your regular burger, but you could order a fairly large chicken wrap.

The problem is, though, that these healthier alternatives that McDonald’s was trying… they weren’t improving their revenue. In fact, I’m guessing they were losing money with this bloated menu. Because it wasn’t too long that they got a new CEO and the menu was scaled back to a more basic selection.

They decided to cater to WHO got them there in the first place.

And one of the biggest ways they did this was by expanding the times in which they offered breakfast food.

That said, here we are in 2018 and I’d pretty much say that McDonald’s menu is about the same as it was when I was growing up. That’s why they’re still in business – not because of all the healthy alternatives they were starting to offer.

 

Social Media is Designed to be Addictive

Something else I want to point out is that social media is designed to keep you interacting with it. When I was in Honduras in January, I didn’t have a reliable internet connection. So I had just enough time to get me off of Facebook. Sure, there was a couple of times a day where I connected, but for entertainment – I read. And in fact, I read a good book you’re probably all aware of by now (Meaningful Work).

Unfortunately, that hasn’t helped me be the best steward when it comes to the Junto Facebook group. I still think that people get more fulfillment out of working their personal mission – but at the same time, they need to be actually working on it. On one hand, I don’t want to be the reason they spend all their time on Facebook, on the other hand if I didn’t care about that, the group might be growing at a more steady rate.

So, right now to get back on the horse with the Junto, I’m going to schedule time for me to actually be present on there and post. Because really, I’ve just stopped using social media altogether recently. It’s a great feeling, but I need to make sure I’m connected and connecting still too. So yeah, be it a half an hour or an hour, I’ll create a little time in order to do stuff in the group and create buzz in other groups.

 

Action Steps

So trends. Sure, they can be useful in creating more customers. But if you’re already a successful entrepreneur, stay with what you know works. Identify who those raving fans are and figure out how you can serve them better.

Are trends something that you can ignore all together? Probably not. Carve out a day once a week or once a month where you can explore to see what’s popular out there – where you can experiment in growing your business. Not only will you see more opportunities this way, but you’ll also be helping yourself avoid burnout!

As usual, let me know what you think below. How do you utilize trends in your work?

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