Welcome to the new year! I hope you had a fantastic holiday season, because it is now time to hit the ground running, right? We are starting a new year and it is time for all of us to really get our businesses in gear. The subject that I want the talk about are the five trends that I see coming in the next year that are going to affect you and me and our businesses. The first trend is video, which is nothing new.

Video

Video has recently exploded, especially in the last year. We had things like Blab and Periscope. Now Twitter has video, and of course there is Facebook Live and many more things coming. One of the explosions that I am talking about is not so much that you need to learn to use these tools, which I do recommend that you do, but I think there is going to be an over-saturation. Already on Facebook feeds, there are lots of moving pictures and oftentimes people are trying to either sell something or they are just talking about their day.

It is going to get easier and easier for people to post these, and while they do tend to get a little bit more attention, there is going to be an overload of the amount of video out there. You want to get very strategic about what you are going to do. Do it consistently, do it repeatedly and make sure you have a plan as to what you are trying to accomplish with this. Ultimately, like with any other content, if you are putting out some kind of video, blog or podcast, you want to try to drive people back to a website.

I do this podcast to hopefully get people back to thebaconpodcast.com, which is my ultimate goal. Sometimes people listen to it on their phones through iTunes and there is no easy way to get them back to my website. In video, there are ways that you can do that, especially using Vimeo or YouTube. You really have to come up with some kind of video marketing plan. You need to ask yourself what am I going to do, how often am I going to do it, where am I going to post it and what do I expect?

The Evolving Web

The second thing that I think is a trend is the evolving web. Now, recently we have seen an explosion of multiple programs, like click funnels and lead pages. We are seeing many of these landing page style websites that get people to subscribe, purchase, come to a webinar or all kinds of things. Those trends are also going to be a lot of how we market our businesses on the web. I talk about this in my bacon system book and my bacon system classes. I think there will be more and more of these landing page style micro-websites or there will be landing page style sections within your current websites.

What you really want to think about is, “How am I going to drive traffic to it and once I do drive traffic to it, what do I expect? What is the call to action and what is the end result that I am hoping for?” There are going to be many more of those kinds of tools and plugins and I am sure they are going to continue to expand the capabilities of both of these. There were recent announcements, in both click funnels and in lead pages, of additional functionality that they are adding.

Hacking

The next thing that I think is going to be incredibly important to pay attention to is hacking. What do I mean by hacking? I mean people getting into your website, or other people’s websites, with malware. I saw this happen often over the holidays. I manage about 65 websites. I manage 18 of my own and a handful of my clients actually pay me to manage theirs. Some are hosted on GoDaddy and some are hosted on more sophisticated web hosts like A2.

If you are interested in finding out about A2 hosting, which I absolutely love and recommend for all my clients, go to brianloves.info/a2. Again, that is brianloves.info/a2. This is by far some of the best hosting for WordPress. The reason I say that is because they tend to have a little more sophistication and they are locked down a little better. The servers are in the United States and they monitor them and send you emails when there are vulnerabilities. They pay attention to it and they even show you how to fix it.

The sites that are on GoDaddy don’t have the capabilities that the A2 server does and it gives me the ability to go in on my 18 different websites from one page. I can go fix them all from the same page. I have multiple clients with two, three or four websites and we can fix them all. It really helps to keep things safe and running smoothly. There are other plugins that I absolutely recommend, so if you have a Word Press website and you haven’t checked out WordFence, you absolutely must.

You are going to have to get some kind of security and pay more attention to it, so be prepared to spend more time because the hacking is increasing. Why do people hack? Well, primarily for identity theft and for credit card numbers, so if you have a website that is storing any kind of credit card information, try to avoid that in the future. Figure out a way to have it all stored offline. Everything that I do, I do through PayPal, so PayPal handles all of that stuff.

Most businesses are tightening their ships and everybody is really trying to protect people’s information. We have got chip cards here now in the United States, but even those are vulnerable. Over in Europe, and other places, they actually make you use a PIN number in order to even use a chip card. The level of security because of potential identity theft is going to be incredible, so you are going to have to pay more attention to it and make sure you have a plan of what you are going to do.

Virtual Help

Whether you are going to do it yourself or hire somebody to do this for you, you need to be prepared. Make sure you are making backups and that you have got some kind of system in place in case there is such a hack that you can’t recover from. Then you can maybe go back to an old back up or something along those lines. You need to have a plan for that. The next thing that I want to talk about is virtual help. This topic leads into all of the things that I have talked about, whether it is video, websites and landing pages or hacking. There are going to be more and more people that you will need to hire to help you with these things, because chances are you are not going to have time to learn about them.

You are going to have to find great virtual help and that means very specific skills. I doubt you are going to find somebody who is really good in video, landing pages and funnels and also anti-hacking. You will usually need three different people. As you start to make those plans, you will need to start finding those people. If you need help, I know a handful of really great ones on all different levels. It just depends on what you can afford, so you have to budget for it. Think about it as the web and websites start to evolve, it means you are going to have to hire more specific experts.

Text and Email Hybrid

The last thing that I think is going to be a trend is more of the far-out wave of the future kind of thing. I think what is really going to start taking over is something like a hybrid text and email system, where texts and emails are going to work in concert, rather than independently. Right now, many millennials are having a hard time in the corporate world, because they like to text and talk in short sentences, consisting of 140 characters or less, and corporations need to have a paper trail of email.

They need to have that for compliance issues and HR issues and for other reasons too. As the workforce starts to skew more and more towards millennials, I think there is going to have to be some kind of compromise, where these two things are going to start to meld into one. I am sure there are systems being developed already.

Final Thoughts

If you have seen something that does a great job at this, I would love for you to put it in the comments on baconpodcast.com and this episode. Think about if that becomes necessary, how are you going to be able to adapt to it? Are you going to be able to send text, receive text, have emails, save all of this stuff and build up a system for your business that is going to allow you to communicate with people where they want you to?