We are at the end of the year and I wanted to take a moment to talk about change. Yes, we all got acquainted with the term “new normal” in 2020, but stick around to understand how change applies to us all.
This is the last episode of Distinctions For Life for 2020. It has been a crazy year. As we close it out I’d like to give you a distinction to think about during this last week.
Things change, and we need to be OK with that.
Obviously we’ve seen huge changes in the world at large because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those changes will be rippling out through society far beyond 2020.
Today I want to bring it down to a personal level and talk about changes we may be missing.
Firstly, just because we did something one way at one point in our lives, doesn’t mean we should now.
I heard an interview with author Neil Gaimen where he told an interesting story. He said when he was a young man and a young writer, he would write late at night. His best work was done after midnight. But now, years later as an older man, he finds his best work is done in the afternoon.
Be careful you aren’t continuing to do something because you have an identity statement about it. You are a night owl, but can’t get any writing done because you are so tired. Maybe you used to be a night owl, but that has changed.
Now you understand that we change over the course of our lives, we need to realize this also applies to business and industry. I was struck by this when listening to an interview with Joanna Penn about how being an indy author has changed over the last decade.
When she started all you had to do was write an ebook, put it on Amazon, and then post in a few forums. You’d get reviews pretty organically, and your book would sell.
Fast forward 10 years and that no longer works. No one will notice your book just because you put it up. Reviews are hard to get because there are so many books out there. Now your strategy has to include paid advertising, and even that requires a specific strategy.
While this example is about writing, I think it is true for most internet marketing right now. I have been thinking a lot about the strategy of content creation for marketing and am beginning to re-examine its effectiveness.
Because things change, and it doesn’t seem to work the same.
Starting a podcast, or a YouTube channel, so you can build an audience that you can then market to doesn’t work as well as it has in the past. Now you need a marketing strategy for your content channel.
This seems to be a pretty common evolution as a platform matures. Early on there is little content and it is easy to be noticed. Then there is a lot of content and it is almost impossible.
The point is, things have changed. Don’t keep doing the same thing and expect it to keep working.
Which is is my third point. The best way to know if something has changed is if it stops working. Too often we keep doing something because it has worked for us in the past, or it is the proper way to do something.
It is not just the end users either. Lots of internet marketing gurus are teaching the strategies of a decade ago because that is the way they built a 100,000 person email list. They are making money now because they have that list, but couldn’t use the same techniques to build it today.
I want to close with a statement about change. It isn’t easy. We’ve all been through a lot this year, and much of it has been painful. The changes I talked about today aren’t easy either. They aren’t easy to notice, and once you do it may not be easy to figure out what does work.
But if it were easy, everyone would be doing it, and then it would stop working. Consider yourself warned and prepared to be the people who do change.
Question of the Day: What change do you need to make?