What has changed the most since you’ve been marketing online? What’s coming up next in online marketing that entrepreneurs need to know about to stay ahead?
I get asked these two questions a lot in interviews. People are curious to hear my answers because I’ve been creating and marketing brands on the Internet since 2003. I’m going to answer both of those questions for you now.
This brings me back to the idea of The Long Tail of Influence from my last post, How Thought Leaders Rise to the Top of the Market
Let’s dig into that diagram now.
Each of the red lines on the left side of the chart represents a person or business of influence. The taller the line the more impact, influence and income that influencer generates.
Remove all the blue lines and dots, and the chart is a snapshot of what this diagram would have looked like twenty years ago before the Internet as we know it really became a thing.
Notice that all the red lines are grouped to the left side and eventually stop. This is because twenty years ago there were only a limited number of opportunities to get enough visibility to build an influential brand. Back then it required having access to mainstream media like TV, news, bestselling books, magazines, etc.
The Age of the New Influencers is Born
Then the Internet happened — forums, blogging, podcasting, YouTube, social media, social networks, and on and on. Suddenly, anyone could build a platform, gain visibility, and share a message. This is where the blue lines come in. There was an explosion of media makers and content creators each with their own perspective and story to share. Consumers learned they could find just about anything to fit their exact needs and preferences.
This was the dawn of the long tail of influence.
This provided an amazing opportunity to anyone looking to make more money while also making a difference with their expertise, experiences, and point of view. As a result, every stripe of marketer, entrepreneur, leader, and opportunity-seeker flooded the Internet looking to gain attention. Some created real results and value. Others were just looking to make a quick buck. The Internet went from having 100s of thousands of blogs to millions of blogs, from thousands of podcasts to 100s of thousands of podcasts.
The Biggest Change Affecting Your Brand and Business
That brings us to today. The game has changed again. Now the graph includes these little noisy dots at the end. The most important thing that has changed in my 14+ years online is that it has gotten exponentially noisier. We now live in an attention economy because attention is the one thing you need most and it’s the hardest thing to gain. Consumers have gotten really good at tuning everything out except the stuff that is most relevant and interesting.
This has made it incredibly hard for even legitimate influencers and entrepreneurs to get seen and heard. Many never move out of the noise floor and simply get ignored. And then there are others who have succeeded in getting seen and heard enough to build a lifestyle business that provide a decent income as well as freedom and flexibility.
But now they want more. They want to move up to a higher level of income, influence and impact. They want to go from a lifestyle business to one that creates and leaves a legacy.
The problem is that there’s a force that continually push against their efforts to rise to higher levels of reach and visibility. Noise constantly pushes against your business keeping it from growing to the legacy and industry leader level.
And it’s not just noise in the marketplace. In fact, there are two other types of noise that threaten every day to keep your business small, pushing it to the right towards the noise floor and oblivion. Until you can clear away all three types of noise, your business cannot grow to be an industry leader that enjoys all the visibility, income, resources, influence, impact, recognition and more that go along with reaching that level.
And once you get to that level, it’s much easier to shield your business from noise and competition and remain a leader.
Is it important to you that your business provide more than just lifestyle and freedom for you? Do you want to make a mark on the world with your brand and business?