Let’s sit back and enjoy a few words of wisdom from Uncle Bill (Gates):
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting…But the broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.”
In 1996, when Bill Gates first offered this opinion, he was considered quite bold and most people – especially members of traditional media like newspapers, television and radio – thought he was wrong. Fast forward 23 years and Gates’ words from so long ago are like a prophecy.
At the time Gates even acknowledged that audio and video (in their online infancy in 1996) might be part of the content revolution. He guessed that to fully engage a customer, audio and video had to be part of the content offered.
What Gates didn’t predict in 1996 was that all businesses needed to 1) have an online presence and 2) offer worthy content. In 1996, with an internet so basic that Atari’s Pong (Google it) looked high tech in comparison, Gates called that year’s online advertising revenue of $30 million “zero.” Here’s why $30 million might seem like zero: 2018 paid online advertising revenue for just the United States was $100 billion (with a B). And that’s just counting paid revenue. Earned revenue – attention through unpaid posts on social media – is estimated to be at least four times paid revenue.
What am I always saying? You need to get digital. You have to be part of what’s happening now. I know there are more digital choices than a plastic pumpkin full of Halloween candy; so many options and conflicting opinions on which one is the best. My best advice is to go with the truth that content is king and just start.
The first step is always the hardest, right? You’re probably making it even more difficult by overthinking. Let go of “I’ll do it after I [fill in the blank],” and just do it. Progress is always better than perfection. You can’t improve or fix something that doesn’t exist yet. There will never be a perfect time. The time is now.
Just start and be consistent. What is your message? Imagine you’re in room with a hundred people who want what you’re selling and you have all the confidence in the world. What would you say to that group? What are the information points that you can fall back on every time?
- I’m selling X.
- X is the best because…
- X can solve your problem in this way…
- X makes your life better by…
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling time in your recording studio, engineering know-how, installation of a commercial dishwasher or the next fidget spinner. Develop your message, stick to the message and jump into the digital world. Use all your energy for just that and stop wasting it on overthinking.
Nobody’s ever 100% ready. If you don’t have opening night or wedding day or grand opening or product launch jitters, then you’re not fully engaged. Embrace all of it – King Content, the digital kingdom, your place in it and the success that’s waiting for you.