For a long time now, I’ve talked about the fact that everybody is a media company. For me, it’s a pretty straight-forward concept:
- In order to ask for sales, you need to provide value.
- The best kind of value is giving people media they like to consume.
- The channels through which that media has been traditionally distributed have been democratized, allowing anybody to do it easily and with little monetary investment.
If you take all that stuff together, and you want to sell more of whatever it is you sell, your next step should be pretty obvious. Despite that, there are many people running small-to-medium sized businesses who still feel like this doesn’t apply to them. They don’t have the staff, they don’t have the time, they don’t know where to start. So I want to take this opportunity to narrow down what can seem like a gigantic scope. Here is the small business version. Note that in this article, I’m going to use real-estate as an example, but this could apply to any local business!
You need to become a local newspaper.
You get on Facebook, and Twitter, and Pinterest, and Medium, and YouTube, and start cranking out content on everything that matters to your community.
- You’re interviewing the local super-star high school football player.
- You’re reviewing the 48-year-old sub shop that’s the 8th best-ranked sandwich in all of New Jersey.
- You’re interviewing the superintendent of the school district about how new legislation will affect the kids.
- You’re making a video of you going wine shopping in the local, amazing wine store — maybe like the one in Springfield, NJ
Then, you start becoming the authority. You get every housewife, every retiree, and every high school kid to start following you because you’re covering the things that interest them as members of that community. By being the authority, you’re providing value for people who live in your town, AND for people who are interested in moving to your town.
If you’re putting out a piece of information on Millburn, NJ every day, I can promise you that when someone shows interest and Googles it, your interview (because let’s remember that Google bumps YouTube in its search results) shows up first.
Then, at the end of your great 5 minute interview about the local school district, there is a title card that says “Johnny McGee, Real Estate Agent #1 in Millburn, NJ.”
You’re going to start getting business.
The bottom line, my friends, is that we’re just not providing enough value. The days of just being a real estate agent, or just being a wine salesman, or just being an agency, are over. The media production as been democratized, so literally anybody can do it.
You need to get into the newspaper business.