The Blue Ocean
So how is it that disruption and chaos can cause calm and clarity? It seems like two counterintuitive things, but in reality disruption and chaos can cause calm and clarity. Have you read the book, The Blue Ocean Strategy, by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim? I love this book. It talks about that in the world of the feeding frenzy that’s going on in business, there’s a red ocean and a blue ocean. The red ocean is where all of the sharks are feeding, and there is blood in the water because everybody’s going after the same food. Blue ocean strategy is where you’re off looking into the blue ocean where nobody else is feeding. The reason nobody’s feeding in the blue ocean is because they just don’t know that there’s an opportunity there.
Usually, this is something that people do when they niche out. Instead of being somebody who focuses on, let’s say all coaches, that you focus specifically on small business coaches or coaches who help entrepreneurs. It’s more of a niche area as opposed to this big general area. The more you can niche down, the better opportunity you have to get your message heard. In this noisy, online world, so many people are talking to the same group of people.
Disruption and Chaos
What is disruption and chaos? Disruption is changing the way that people think about basic things they use every day. I just got off a great interview with Mark S. A. Smith that’s coming up. The interview is actually broken up into two parts, and I’m going to use some of his examples because they’re great. The first one is, if I told you I was going to give you a phone without buttons, would you use it? That’s what the iPhone is – a phone without buttons. Now, generally speaking no phones have buttons, they all have a touchscreen. Most people didn’t understand how to use it when it first came out. So disruption was not that we’re going to change the interface, but we’re going to make it so that it’s easier to use. They’ve done that in many different ways, by adding voice commands and gestures and all different kinds of things. It was the convenience factor; it was the way that you had to change the paradigm shift. If people are confused, then they won’t choose. So you need to make it super, super clear as to why somebody would want to use a phone with no buttons.
The other thing that you have to think about is, what is their bleeding problem? As Mark said, his dad was a doctor, and every bleeding stops somehow, but sometimes you either have to triage or just let it bleed out. That’s not what we’re trying to do. What we need to do is find the bleeding problem that people have. What is the thing that is keeping them awake at night? What is it that they’re trying to solve? Now, let’s look at this from a business standpoint. I’m going to use an example of an HVAC company. The red ocean is everybody does exactly the same thing. Let’s say they offer a $69 furnace or air conditioner check every quarter. They’ll do it in the summer, they’ll do it in the winter, they’ll do it in the spring, and they’ll do it in the fall. They offer these things on a regular basis to try to get into a house, so that they can check things out, and find out what’s going on.
So if you want to be disruptive, what could you possibly do that’s different? Well, let’s think about this. What if you taught the homeowner how to do all of those checks themselves and what to look for? So they would actually be looking at you, going through and watching a video of you testing different things. Granted, they don’t have all the right tools, they may not have all the technology, but you can still put it in a way so they basically understand how to do it themselves. Nobody online has been doing that.
Now you have an opportunity to be in front of them, so if they do find a problem or they feel like it’s too much of a burden for them to do it, chances are they’ll give you a call to come in. You’ve tried to help them save money. You’ve done something different than that basic bait and switch kind of thing, which is we’re really coming in to find a problem so we can help you get a new furnace, right? Or service it and make more money, and everybody knows the game. If you truly try to help them, if you’re giving them great information, they’re going to know, like and trust you and they’ll respect you more.
It’s the same thing with any kind of content for any kind of business. If you can find a way to create great content that nobody else is putting out there, that is in that blue ocean that educates people on specific things that they need to know. It has to be something that’s a bleeding problem and something that they know they need to fix. Then you can become the person that they’re going to pay attention to. What could that be? It could be videos, it could be audios, it could be eBooks, it could be a lot of different things, but it has to be something of value. Something they’d be willing to pay for, just like the person might be willing to pay $69 to have you come in and to that furnace check, but if you teach them how to do it themselves for free, the chances of them calling you actually come in and finish the job, are going to be a lot higher. That’s essentially what I’m talking about from a content marketing standpoint.
Turn Chaos Into Calm
The chaos happens when they go and try to do it themselves, and then realize that they really don’t know what they’re doing. They figure out they are in over their head, or they think they won’t get the right results. Now, that’s where the calm comes in. Because now, you have created an opportunity for them to say, “Okay, this person tried, they know what they’re talking about. Maybe I should just have them come in and take care of it.” The clarity comes in because they now have a sense of who you are and what your values, morals and integrity are, because they’ve heard your voice. One of the things I absolutely love about doing a podcast is that you physically get in somebody’s body. You’re going inside their ears, with ear buds or headphones or something along those lines. You create a one on one relationship when you do something like this.
Sometimes when you’re out there marketing to people, it just becomes noise. Try to find a way in that blue ocean to get inside people’s bodies; to get inside their minds and help them better understand that you are different. Help them understand that you have something better to offer and you’re looking out for their best interests. That’s what’s most important. Most people don’t care what you know, until they know that you care. By creating great content and putting your best stuff out there for free, you are going to help them have a lot more confidence in who you are and what you do.
Don’t Just Sell … Educate
What does that look like? Well, if you create great content, put it up on your website and make sure that you’re drawing them back into the home base that you’ve created. Yes, you can put it up on YouTube, but if you put the phone number and the website address and everything else on there at that time, it becomes more of a commercial. Whatever you do, try to get it so that it is at your home base and people can access it from there. How do you let people know about it? You do it with traditional advertising. You could do Facebook ads or Google ads. You could do something in your local newspaper or maybe even a chamber of commerce eblast. Just say, “We’re offering you free help on how to do your own evaluation.”
Think about ways that you can distribute the information so that they don’t step back and say, “Oh my God, I’m getting sold.” That’s it. By playing in that blue ocean, you take disruption and you turn it into calm. You do that by providing people the opportunity to see exactly what it is that they need, and then helping them to stop the bleeding. You turn chaos into clarity by helping them to better understand that they really do need help, they want your help and you’re going to be the perfect source to do that because you’ve already built up a rapport with them.
The bottom line is … think and act differently from your competition. Try something out of the ordinary to disrupt the status quo. Create chaos to build the calm. Ultimately, it’s about standing out in a noisy world by creating great content and delivering it in a disruptive way. This will get attention and create clarity by educating them how what you do can make their lives better and easier.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments and maybe some other limiting beliefs you have overcome!