Our 2019 Marketing Trend Predictions
Marketing and how we sell products and services has changed vastly in the last few years. 4 years ago everyone was writing and selling e-books as a way to create extra revenue, then when this bubble burst due to over saturation, we moved onto hosting workshops, becoming coaches, creating online courses, subscription plans - all of which were and can be great but I feel that as we start to navigate our way through 2019 and our impending Brexit, things are about to change. And I reckon for the better.
(I am probably going to ruffle some feathers here but this is what we are observing and more importantly, hearing….)
Last year I hosted a Facebook live in our group The Indie Practice Creatives where I said, quite passionately, that there is no such thing as passive income. What I said, was while it is possible to create multiple revenue streams, it was impossible to do this without doing any work. It takes a lot of hard graft to establish yourself as a brand and a thought leader, both of which are needed to be able to create extra revenue streams. When you create a course or workshop you then have to the market the s**t out of it. Then you need to write the thing, then you will need to advertise it when sales start to drop off. Not exactly passive right?
To create this passive income we generally get stuck in a loop of giving away something for free, usually called opt ins, then we swap from the freebie mentality and shift into the hard sell. Don’t get me wrong, this has worked really well but I believe for 2019 we will start to see a shift from this type of marketing as we desire. and indeed need, more one to one interaction so we feel important and less part of the machine to get faceless people in Facebook adverts their first million. While the idea of creating multiple semi-passive income streams will of course continue, the way we market them will change.
Remember in the 1980s when people were invited to come along to a meeting with champagne only to be hard sold a time share? Yeah, this is pretty much what has been happening right here for the last few years via webinars and the like. And yes we have done some of it too, as has everyone. While it has been a successful model for years, I can see the shift changing and as business owners we need to work out what is next..
So let me share with you a bit more of what we see coming through for 2019.
People want to see truth and have had enough of the “look at me and my success” photographs and posts. Did you know you can hire a swanky car or even part of a private jet for the hour so you can take Insta photos to hood wink people into thinking this is your life? Unbelievable right? This year we will see a move towards using any success for good, helping and supporting others rather than just the BS shows of wealth. (I’ve got nothing against earning money btw - we all need it and that is why we are doing it but the times they are a changing)
We will see businesses posting less but creating better content. Taking the time to share a story with a photograph rather than meaningless posting just for the sake of it. This will help you get better engagement as people crave connections and will stop and read, reflect and ultimately like and follow.
We will continue to see the rise of the micro influencers with brands seeing the value of their connected audiences over their follower numbers. This will hopefully put an end to buying followers and other unethical practices. Let’s face it who wants or needs an army of robots following you?
Brands will continue to focus on building their communities through groups and events as a way to bring value to their customers. But only the ones doing it for genuine reasons will succeed, again we are craving authenticity at every level.
With the ever shifting algorithms on social media, our email lists will continue to be important therefore something we all need to focus on. But with last years GDPR ruling, we are starting in our droves to unsubscribe, particularly to emails that consistently sell to us. To stay important to our audience we need to make our communications relevant and useful so when we land in inboxes, they are actually opened. We are starting The Indie Practice ‘zine to bring you what is new in the world of marketing, so helping people rather than selling.
This will become the best way to grow your list rather than the constant offering of freebie content (that everyone has wised up to). Of course an opt in or lead magnet can still be hugely popular but we are at saturation point with over communication. We are getting more than ever so are becoming blind to it all. Indeed we feel we will go back to where this all started with the e-book, with businesses actually selling useful content that will really make a difference and train teams instead of giving away something that only does a part job.
Getting Back To Basics
The mantra for most people over the last two years has been stop trading time for money i.e. create more money by doing less. Yes of course this is the dream but with everyone doing the same, again saturation is hitting. It is becoming harder to sell a course, harder to sell a workshop so we predict and indeed our focus is on getting back to the basics of client management; helping them, supporting them and giving them exactly what they need. And yes one person cannot do all this, so we will continue to grow our team so we can invest real time with real people and grow their businesses in the way they need.
Last year we launched our hashtag #authenticmarketing and #noBSmarketing as we wanted to put it out there that we don’t condone some of the dodgy practices we see out there. It appears even the word, authentic, has now become inauthentic with people using it to describe themselves while hiring a limo for the hour! (Anyone seen The Fyre festival documentary on Netflix?).
People will see through this!
The biggest thing we predict for 2019 is the people being genuine, real, open and honest will be the ones that succeed. We have lost real relationships through over use of technology and we need to get some of that back. Technology and brands marketing to you is not going to slow down, but the ones that take the time to listen to their audience and I mean really listen, will be the ones that win.