Stay Current..

Or You Won’t Have A Business!

   

The last thing you want to do is share old and outdated information. Have you been to a seminar or conference where you heard a speaker delivering out-of-date ideas? You knew those strategies wouldn’t work anymore, yet the tactics were being touted as gospel. Why?

Because the speaker didn’t want to teach you what he was currently doing. This happens a lot with experts; they don’t want to give up the latest and greatest information. They only want to share old stuff that worked for them at one time.

To be someone who sets industry standards, you have to stay current. As the market and industry changes, you have to be willing and ready to change and articulate that change. Let’s face it; businesses today are more dynamic than ever before.

What’s true today won’t be true tomorrow, and it definitely wasn’t true yesterday.

Keep your business right on the edge of change. Stay up with the advances in your industry and then deliver everything a prospect needs to easily adapt to the new. Keep your clients, followers, and audience up-to-date.

Watch

Take a lesson from my good friend Jay Conrad Levinson, who was known as the father of Guerrilla Marketing. Jay had an idea back in the late 1970s that marketing for small business owners and entrepreneurs is different than for giant corporations. Small businesses needed marketing, but not the same type of marketing big businesses were using. However, nobody was teaching them what was actually necessary to reach their audience.

Jay developed a concept called “Guerrilla Marketing,” which helps small businesses and entrepreneurs market their business as a big corporation would, but with tactics that are free or almost free. He wrote the book Guerrilla Marketing, published by Houghton Mifflin in 1984. More than twenty-one million copies have been sold worldwide. There have been over one hundred Guerrilla Marketing books published in the series in just about every major language out there.

These books are sold in every country and on every continent in the world.  Jay created a market within a market and became the authority. Even so, he never stopped learning. Until his death in 2013, Jay showed up at business and marketing events just to learn. He’d buy a ticket, sit up front for the entire event, and listen to every speaker. He even did this at Armand’s Big Seminar.

When he left an event, he’d have a notebook full of notes from every session. Why? Because he knew the minute he stopped learning, stopped seeing what was new and changing in marketing, his competition would swell up behind him and pass him. He wanted to stay on the edge. He wanted to remain the authority, so he stayed current.

While I do think it’s important to attend events, you don’t have to attend every one of them; you can stay current by reading other authority’s books. There are books on every topic, in every genre, in every field. We all would like to think our book will be the first book ever written on our topic. Trust me; it’s not.

Your book may come from a different angle or have a unique spin on the subject matter, but there are other authors in your field who have written on the same topic. You should find and read their current books to see what they’ve said and what they’re doing differently. By doing this, you will see what’s new in the industry. You may discover something you hadn’t thought of before, and it may give you insight to what’s going on in the marketplace right now.

Listen

Subscribe to your competition’s newsletters, blogs and podcasts, or  check them out on social media. Choose a few competitors and limit  the  time you spend reading their material. Stay current, but do not bury yourself in  more things to do. A good rule of thumb is not to spend more than three hours a week checking out the competition.

By the way, I’m not saying to sign up for newsletters and blogs to spy on the competition and steal their ideas—that’s definitely not what I’m talking about!

However, it is crucial to understand what other people in your industry are doing so you stay up on the language, the new ideas, concepts, and products hitting the market. This focused curiosity will also give you insight on any new snags or pitfalls your competition has faced.

Ask

Ask the people on your list what they want, what they’re going  through, what they’re struggling with, and what questions they have. Fellow Marketing University Member, Frank Deardurff, has the perfect tool for this at Yurpl.com

If you’ve created sound relationships, you’ll get information from them, and they’ll tell you where they are in life and business today. Anyone who has rapport with their audience knows there are always those who will occasionally tell you more than you want to hear,   but they are usually the exception.

Once you know what questions your followers are asking, it becomes easy to see the right direction for your business. Just answer their questions and tell them what they want to know.

This simple method will help you stay on top of the game and solidify yourself as the authority in your field!

Jim Howard

With over 30 years in commercial print, branding and publishing, Jim Howard has dedicated much of his life to helping entrepreneurs, CEOs and business owners move ahead in their business. Follow him at, facebook.com/jimhowardauthorcoach.

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