More changes afoot with the “marketing plan app” project I’ve talked about off and on. But in a good way. Feeling so much more positive about this project at the moment and that it is so much more do-able.
There is no longer an app for that
After several months of work on my proto SaaS version of the app, involving lots of steep learning curve stuff with me and my buddy PHP, frustration at having to cull out so much content to aim for a remotely reasonable first MVP, and a distracted winter involving various bouts of soul-searching, I decided to go in a different direction with this material. I still think the premise of the content I was working around is good and can be useful to people, but I’ve come to the conclusion that building an app is the wrong way to go in quite a number of ways. Aside from the logistical issues (of me and coding), I frankly, don’t think it would be a successful product in that form. A curiosity, a thing a few people would love an most people would’t even bother to look at. It was niche to begin with, an then, within that niche, the marketing challenges were just mountainous. I think, for any startup, you have to at least be able to envision it succeeding wildly — and, whether this is realism or some reflection of my inherent lack of confidence, for this one, I could only picture a ton of work followed by a sort of bitter, expected fizzle into the bin. Either way, not the sort of thing one should pursue!
Bigger than a (small) breadbox
I also realized that I have a lot more to say/give/offer than just the original idea of helping creatives to structure editorial calendars in a right-brain way (which is what the app was essentially for). After almost 20 years working with clients creating branding, design, marketing and, moreover, strategic plans for the integration and implementation of all of those, I have a lot to share. Much of it is actually a sort of rebellion against the old way of doing things — the way I did them for a lot of those 20 years. Insights gained through seeing what worked, what didn’t, and, especially, what was just outright bloat.
I find, as I look inwards, backwards and forwards, there’s a lot there. It’s hard to come to this realization, and worse to admit it aloud, when you have a tendency to be less-than-confident (of which I’m guilty). But there it is. I have some strong opinions and ideas, and helpful methodologies from all these years of doing this work, and I really would like to “get it down on paper”.
So much is changing, and it needs a lot of looking into
We’re living in very exciting (inspiring!) everything/everywhere/everyone times. The world/economy/business has changed SO much in the age of radical connectivity, and is changing more daily, exponentially. The old ways don’t really work anymore, and encouragingly, there are enormous opportunities for small- and micro-businesses, startups and entrepreneurs to change the world. And these are my people. But there are way more them than I can work with — and they don’t often have the budget for it, anyway. Luckily, they’re smart cookies. So…
I’m structuring this original “app” content plus much more into a New Thing. While I have quite a bit of the concept and content cooking at this time, the exact form of the New Thing is still to be finalized. It’s probably some manner of online course (or multi-media journey, if you will) and/or a print and/or digital highly-interactive book (read: tons of worksheets so you can really figure your shit out and DIY) and/or a series of in-person courses. Or, all of the above. Maybe after all this, once I discover, through rolling this out, what people like/find useful/want, I can make some kind of app version. But, I really doubt it will go that direction, actually.
In a way, the audience for this might actually not be the same as the audience who comes to my website (or would, if I ever cobbled my own shoes and promoted it in any way). It’s the artists, bloggers, microbusinesses and very-early startups for whom it makes no sense to hire someone like me.
The point is to let small businesses, startups, solopreneurs and creatives REALLY understand their own branding and be able to use that understanding to create appropriate and effective marketing (i.e., content marketing) and even do a whole lot of their own design work. It’s me revealing a lot of the “secrets” I use to do this for my clients (not that it’s a big secret, but I’ve certainly never written it all down in one place before!). It’s taking a lot of the mysterious “black box” aspect out of contracting design, branding, strategy and marketing work and just telling you how to do it — in a pretty accessible, hopefully somewhat fun way.
More details to come!