advnce report #001

More than ever, the world is in constant change. It's almost impossible to keep up.

To help you stay informed, here's a weekly newsletter curating the best from the Internet.

Bringing you the best and rising trends on Business, Modern Media and Productivity.

Business Trends - Paid Communities.

😓 Problem: Free communities tend to be noisy without a barrier to entry.

Facebook groups, Reddit threads, Telegram groups, the list goes on. Free groups are often noisy and it is difficult to get value from it.

📈 Solution: Paid communities that have requirements, financial or otherwise.

As Derek Sivers says, the higher the price, the more they value it.

Barriers change these groups. Members are more engaged. They understand the more they give the more they can receive. Members aim to justify their investments. No trolling.

A strong, authentic community is one of the most powerful competitive advantages any company can develop.

  • Communities Are for Everyone. Organizations of any size benefit from building communities around their brands.

  • Connection Builds Value. When people feel an authentic connection to your brand, they’ll pay more for your products, and tell their friends about you.

  • Communities Thrive in Tough Times. People seek a sense of community when times get tough. Companies that provide a sense of community are positioned to weather severe economic storms.

  • Community Can Pay. People are willing to pay for the opportunity to connect with others.

👨🏻‍💻 Implementation:

Workfrom: A community of remote professionals who are interested in networking with one another, and avoiding the loneliness that can come from remote work. Members pay $9.99 per month. With 3.5k+ members, the community is generating at least $35k per month in revenue.

Farnam Street Learning Community: dedicated to helping members continue to learn, grow, and up-level themselves through interaction with other smart peers. Membership costs between $149 and $249, and their landing page says the community has 750 active daily users on average. If roughly 50% of users are active on any given day, that would mean ~1.5k members and $223k in annual revenue if everyone paid $149.

2pmBuild a paid community from your blog, podcast or newsletter audience. The founders of Traffic Think Tank and Web Smith (founder of 2pm) used this strategy to build paid communities.

🗂 Sources:

Modern Media: Creating Humans

😓 Problem: Unreliable Influencers

Scandal, drama and unreliability. Although impactful, it's tough to predict an influencer's impact on your brand. The success of the campaign is also platform dependent.

📈 Solution: Virtual Influencers

A "human" created in imaging, animation, or rendering software. It's then given a personality and made accessible via popular media platforms. They can be humanoid, doll, cartoon, anime, or another design style. These virtual humans epitomize sprezzatura. The art of making something planned seem spontaneous and casual. Studied carelessness.

By creating humans this way, brands surpass a painful dependency on conventional influencers.

👨🏻‍💻 Implementation:

PUMAMaya Gram is Southeast Asia’s first virtual influencer. When not leading her busy life, she's an ambassador for Puma Southeast Asia. After all, Maya was created to help launch the Puma Rider in SEA.

Barbie: Mattel turned their classic, ever-popular Barbie into a virtual YouTuber aka VTuber. Barbie hosts various vlogs on the official Barbie YouTube channel ranging from makeup tutorials to nail art designs to life advice.

🗂 Sources:

Productivity: Flexible Consistency

😓 Problem: Too much emphasis on consistency.

Rigid consistency is that it doesn't reflect real life. Life is chaotic. Things will go wrong. Combining proactive planning with reactive adaptation is better for progress over the long-term.

📈 Solution: The flexible consistency mindset

Rather than a specific framework, flexible consistency is a mindset. Instead of an “all-or-nothing” approach to life, flexible consistency offers a set of principles. To deal with the unexpected, bounce back and keep on making progress.

  • Plan for disruption. You can't expect to predict all events. Create a contingency plan to make sure they don’t derail your routines over the long term.

  • Fail like a scientist. Learning is a perpetual experiment. Whenever things don’t go to plan, see it as a personal growth opportunity.

  • Schedule over scope. In the long run, it’s more important to stick to a schedule than to be perfect. We often focus on a specific goal, for instance running "X" miles. James Clear offers an alternative: “Reduce the scope, but stick to the schedule.” For instance, if you don’t have the energy to run your planned 3 miles, run 1 mile instead.

👨🏻‍💻 Implementation: Mindful time-blocking

One of the best tools for flexible consistency is time-blocking. Try to keep as much of your calendar free as possible, and where blocks of time are for the activities you deem truly important. The crucial part of mindful time-blocking is to be flexible. Blocks can be moved or made shorter.

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