Social Media On The Airwaves
Anyone can start a successful small business in a challenging economy provided you are willing to “think outside the box” and find a niche that excites your target market. While some businesses are going under, others are thriving. It comes down to finding a product that people find so valuable they are willing to pay for it. Sometimes they don’t even know they need the product, but an entrepreneur on the lookout for innovative ways to solve their problems knows they do.
Here’s a great example of a business-minded entrepreneur that took advantage of a trend and is making good on it.
Alan Levy got started as a blogger in ’06 documenting the struggle his father was having with lymphoma. He noticed two things right away: a) at the time there were in the range of 75 million blogs indexed on every possible topic and b) the biggest drawing card for blog audiences was the conversation.
Levy got the idea that he could move the concept of blogging to the radio, to give users a way to get in touch directly with their audience. He developed a technology that allowed the users (individuals and businesses) to stream conversations live over the air using a computer and a telephone. No special equipment or software download was required.
Listeners hear the content live or can subscribe to the voice blogs as podcasts and then share them on their own blogs. Levy offers services in a couple different ways. There is a free service where BlogTalkRadio co-owns the content with the host and has the right to syndicate it. The other is a paid service for major corporations as private, branded networks.
The company generates money through syndicating content, sponsorships and ad sales. Since its launch in 2006 the network has broadcast 200,000 segments and had 7,000 individual shows by the end of 2008. The type of service it offers is increasing in popularity because it is far less costly as a marketing tool compared with terrestrial or satellite radio. Levy’s next move is to integrate the video experience and after that be ready for car radio technology as more vehicles are being manufactured with automatic internet capability.
Solve People’s Problems
News about a bad economic climate can only apply to businesses that are not willing to change with the times as the needs of the buying public changes. When you are starting up a business you may have your heart set on a particular product that you love, but if no one else cares about it you need to give yourself a reality check. You will do well by identifying what the real needs are of individuals and businesses and be ready to accommodate it with a product or service that gives them state-of-the-art solutions.