If you’ve ever created anything new or different, you’ll know what I mean here. There is much to be said for the concept of serial publication. Something that is never quite done, that happens in installments, revisions, editions, updates. Examples of this include books that require regular updating to stay relevant, or products like software that require updates even more often. Things people use often, every day, things the user depends upon.
Making your product into something for the long haul requires careful thought into who needs it and what it will take to keep them happy and ready to buy your next major update. If you provide a product and still haven’t thought about it, consider this scenario:
You create a software product that becomes “required” within your industry. Suddenly one day a slew of your fans have become competitors. They don’t have your experience, but they do, in that they have your experience. They’ve analyzed your product backwards and forwards and know everything there is to know about it.Now they’re the experts on your product every bit as much as you, perhaps more. What’s more, five to ten new updates on your idea have thus just come out.
Question: What now?
Answer: Look ahead.
You can’t redo what you’ve done and expect to keep up with the market, What you can do is get to the new frontier first, ahead of your adoring fans/competitors. How? Ask yourself some very important questions about how you got here in the first place:
1) Am I still looking down the road, or am I looking back?
2) Is this whatchamacallit irreplaceable? Or could I replace the need for it myself with something entirely new?
3) What side industries have grown up around my original invention? Which side industries will become mandatory in about a year from now? Do I have a head start on my competitors there?
If you love being your own boss, you’ll need to love being ahead of the pack in your niche. Anything else will make you one of the pack, not the leader.
Mark Brimm is Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Marcana.com and is author of AdWords University: The Complete Guide to AdWords and other previous related books on search marketing. He is currently working on a forthcoming book on social media strategy.
Mark consults interactive media at Interface Communications Group where he is Partner and Director of Digital Marketing. Some of his agency’s specialties include SEO (search engine optimization), social media optimization (SMO), as well as PR campaign concepts, marketing plans and general web marketing planning and execution.