“I’ve been quite direct about the fact that blogs are not businesses. I believe that so many bloggers get so hung up on their medium that they haven’t stepped back to look at the big picture. A blog is a promotional medium and a communications platform. And in order to really monetize a blog, you have to ask the question: To what end?”
This really got me thinking – What is my product? What is my end?
During a Skype call with my friend Robin Dickinson, Robin explained that he has two ends when it comes to business relationships: Sales Teams and Sales Leads.
Sales Leads are the people that will buy his product (premium business development consulting), and Sales Teams are the people that may not be able to buy his product, but will tell people about it. Both of these actually cross over – both sell his products on – so they are actually not just ends, they are funnels.
What I jotted down after our conversation is actually three funnels that I think I have, that send people towards my products.
Sales Seeds are those that I scatter my message to (remember that spreadability is like scattering seeds?), and are unlikely to go for any of my paid products. What they consume are my blog posts, my Twitter stream, my shared items – all digital social data. I don’t expect to get sales from them, but I do expect to get awareness from them as they share my content. That’s the currency I have with them: sharing.
Sales Teams are those who sneeze my message to others. They verbally tell others about me – and even possibly their clients. Whilst they probably won’t buy my high end products, they will certainly purchase my mid-range products – namely Like Minds Conference and Immersive tickets.
But more importantly, they are my sales team, and as their sales manager, I need to equip them with the tools to sell. This is where my blog, Twitter stream and shared items come back in. But also, my sales team get my time for free. These are the ones who I have Skype calls with. This is the largest benefit for me, and also for them, because what flows from this is mutual promotion. They are on my sales team, and I am on their sales team. So the currency I have with them is promoting.
Sales Leads are those who buy my high end consulting. As a premium priced consultant I have to deliver premium value consulting, so naturally I don’t have many sales leads. They don’t number more than 10 at once. The currency I have with them is buying.
Where My Funnels Flow To
These three funnels should flow to the product, and that’s where I’m a little stuck. In a video following his blog post, David says that “blogging is not a product, because no one is going to pay you to blog.”
David then says you should write ebooks and have inner circle content and that type of thing, and perhaps I should listen to him, but I know that my greater value (my premium value) is not in ebooks but it’s in offline engagement: my consulting and my events. My blog is the third product, where I have writing, but I chose to make it free.
That’s how I see it for now. What about you? What are you funnels? What is your product?