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Just in case you missed part one of our guide to James Tuckerman’s four pillars for bridging the digital divide, here’s a quick summary.
James founded Australian Anthill magazine at the age of 26 in 2003. It shot to success virtually overnight. In 2009, in the wake of the GFC, he scrapped the print version and moved the magazine entirely online. And made the entire move on a budget of only $900. Media commentators thought he was bonkers. He proved them all wrong. Anthill is still highly successful, and still going strong five years on.
So, what was the secret to James’ success? What made Anthill work? And how did he do it?
He bridged the digital divide.
He bridged the digital divide using a modus operandi based on four pillars. Four blindingly obvious pillars. So blindingly obvious, that I had failed to spot them before I heard James speak a couple of weeks ago.
Last week, we covered off pillar one (Measurable) and pillar two (Findable). So, let’s get stuck into pillars three and four today.
Pillar Number Three: Shareable
You need to empower your existing customers and fans to share your content, your product, your service. Sharing on social media is no different to word-of-mouth marketing. A recommendation from a trusted source is worth so much more than a paid advertisement. James’ advice when it comes to sharing?
Think like a Masterchef.
Think like a Masterchef to monetise your fans. Masterchefs (like George Calombaris, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Andriano Zumbo, Nigella Lawson and all the rest) spend every waking moment giving away their recipes for free. They give them away on television shows, on websites, on social media. And what do we all do? Do we all think, ‘No need to spend our money on their brand, they’re giving it away’? Nope. We do not. We buy their recipe books. We buy their DVDs. We buy their saucepans and cookware. We spend our money at their restaurants.
The old modus operandi of ‘the margin is in the mystery’ no longer rings true. There is no mystery anymore. You can find out everything, about any topic, through a five minute YouTube video.
Generally, people fall into one of three classes: DIY (Do it Yourself) who will watch the You Tube video and do it themselves; DIWM (Do It With Me) who will watch the You Tube video and ask for your help so that they can do it better themselves; and DIFM (Do It For Me) who will watch the You Tube video, think it all looks too hard, and employ you to do it for them. It’s this last group that you really want to tap into.
The most important thing when it comes to having shareable content, is to get your potential customers off social media. Once they’ve shared your content, redirect them to your website. Get them onto your website, onto your mailing list, on the phone and into a meeting room. Monetise them.
Pillar Number Four: Manageable
The main thing about bridging the digital divide is that the processes you implement have to be manageable. They shouldn’t require too much effort on your part. As much as possible, you should be able to automate all these processes, ensuring consistency, measurability and more time. Your processes should free you up to invest your energy in improving your business.
For instance, James has no employees at all. Just him. That’s not to say that he is producing Anthill all on his lonesome. He has a team of freelancers and contractors, all of whom can choose to work as little or as much as they like.
According to consumer behaviour research, human beings need (on average) 11.4 instances of contact with a company or brand before they will buy their products or engage their services. It takes seven instances of contact before someone will even trust your brand. This phenomena is known as the frequency principle.
Realistically, do you have time to reach out to every potential customer 12 times? I know I don’t. That is why it is vital to have scalable, automated, manageable processes in place to handle this engagement. For instance, Anthill sends over 350,000 emails a month. That’s a lot of emails. But they are obviously effective.