I want to talk about “What's Next?”, or “Stop Reinventing When You Can Easily Pivot.”
In preparation for my 500th podcast episode which is coming up 9/9/19, two things happened. Number one, I did a Facebook Live with somebody else who is actually having her 500th podcast on the same day. Her name is Deb Krier from The Business Power Hour hour. She started her podcast in 2011, I started mine in 2014, and both of our 500th podcasts are happening on 9/9/19, so we decided to do a Facebook Live. We talked about the evolution of our podcast, and how they both started out with different names, in different ways. The big thing is, over the course of the year, we've been consistent to get to that 500, but the big difference is we didn't reinvent, we didn't scrap everything and start from the beginning, we pivoted.
Reinvention can be a good thing. For example, take a look at McDonald's business model. When you think about them, you think “Hamburgers!” They were originally a hamburger stand, but Ray Kroc came in and reinvented the business. He took them from just selling hamburgers to being a real estate and systems company.
You may buy a hamburger, but behind that is real estate and a complete system to make sure every hamburger is exactly the same in every location. Reinvention is the action or process through which something is changed so much that it appears to be entirely new, but reinvention can also be a detriment.
Reinventing The Wheel
For example, the phrase reinventing the wheel. Reinventing the wheel means you're trying to do something that somebody else has already done. A lot of the time, business owners stop doing what they're doing and then decide to reinvent their business to say, “I see somebody doing this and I think I can do it better.”
Sometimes they can, but more often than not, they can't because the other person has a head start.
Reinventing Your Career
Now there's another piece of reinvention, and that is personal reinvention. In today's business climate, the average person is staying at a business about three years, five years.
When my dad grew up, they stayed 40 years and got a gold watch. Reinvention is something that people have to do. That means going back and getting reeducated maybe completely learning new skills and taking on a new career. My wife went from being a manager at a really large insurance company to being a teller at a bank and she's really happy doing that.
You don't always have to reinvent, you don't always have to start from scratch.
The Apple Reinvention
For example, take Apple. When Steve Jobs started the company, they were a computer kit maker making computers, and as the company grew, the company outgrew him. As a matter of fact, he was let go from his own company, but then he came back and he reinvented the company.
He took them from a computer manufacturer to an entertainment company with the invention of the iPod. They basically turned into a company that allowed content to be carried in your pocket which led to the iPhone. Now, they still may computers, but the computers are part of a system and that system is delivering content to all of your devices.
I have an Apple TV, I've got an iWatch, I have an iPhone. All of those are delivery platforms.
Now let's look at pivoting. Pivoting in basketball is keeping one foot on the ground while your other one can move around and you can't dribble the ball, but you can move in 360 degrees. Once you lift that pivot foot, you get a foul for traveling.
That's essentially the thing that I'm trying to get across. How do you pivot instead of reinventing? Pivoting is a structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about a product, a strategy, or an engine of growth.
What's a Pivot?
A pivot is where you keep something planted and move other parts. In business, what you need to do to pivot is keep what's working, remove some of the pieces that aren't working and build upon that. Add to it, modify it, change it, but don't scrap everything and start over and reinvent.
The Groupon Pivot
Think about the company Groupon. Groupon actually started out as an advocacy platform called The Point. You pivot from a point and it was originally designed around crowdsourcing action around the owner's desire to get out of his cell phone plan.
Well, it failed miserably, but then he figured out what if he could do the same thing except with pizza. What he did is create a coupon that could be crowdsourced, multiple people could buy it and drive more traffic to a business. That, my friends, is a pivot.
Pivoting My Business
That's what I had to do in my business. When I wrote my book in 2014, I was already doing websites and audio and video. I've been doing that for years, but I needed to figure out how could I take that to the masses where I could actually run a business out of it, right?
The business is pretty simple. Here's the deal with business. You take $1 and you figure out a way to turn it into $2. I had to figure out how to leverage what I already had and build upon that. I started working as a social media consultant and started speaking about it and teaching people.
It was something that appealed to everybody which felt great, but the problem was is that it was hard to convert that $1 to $2 because people wanted to learn, but didn't want to spend. I had to say, “Okay, how do I get people to actually want to purchase the services that I have?”
I had to keep the training portion and take it to a different level. What I did is I turned into a coach or a teacher. I started teaching people how to do certain social media things, how to post to Facebook and use it properly, how to work with Google Analytics, how to do all kinds of things.
People started buying that, but when it came to solopreneurs, they loved to learn, but they didn't have the time. Then I had to pivot again. So I figured out a way to coach businesses, larger businesses, how to create content around a system.
Hence, my fourth book, The Bacon System, which was having a website, doing Google Analytics and then creating content to drive traffic back to it. I started showing people how to do that.
That worked for a while as well, but then I found that I really needed to take it to another level. I kept again some of those pieces and now what my business is focused on is creating a content strategy and creating the content and posting it to social media to use that system for larger B2B businesses.
That, my friends, is my pivot, keeping what's working, throwing away what's not and then adding to that to make it appeal to a new audience in a new way.
My question to you is are you reinventing or can you pivot? One final story.
When I started The Bacon Podcast, it was originally called My Marketing Magnet, but it finally took off after I added the name bacon.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/