If You're Not Offering Downloadable Products, You're A SPUD Dud! As a professional speaker and author, I'm always on the lookout for new technology and delivery methods that can produce income while providing additional value for my clients. I got pretty excited, then, when I read a story in Friday's New York Times, followed by one in today's Wall Street Journal. The NYT piece was about how Amazon and Google are exploring ways to offer books by the chapter -- or even by the page -- as downloadable files, just like music and (now) videos/television shows. Readers would pay pennies per page to read a book on demand, a great offering for collections of poetry, essays, stories, recipes and lessons, to name a few. Imagine the possibilities! Gullible people all over the world could walk around with the "chicken poop" series at their fingertips. In fact, I predict Canfield and Hansen will soon produce a "Chicken Soup for the iPod Owners Soul." Meanwhile, today's WSJ reported that in the three weeks since the video iPod hit the market, over ONE MILLION videos have been downloaded from Apple's iTunes site. This is pretty impressive, given that the availability of TV shows, music videos and movies is still quite limited. The mix of what was downloaded was particularly interesting. The number one video? Michael Jackson's 1983 video, "Thriller." Who'd have guessed a video produced six noses ago would become such a hit again! These two stories gave me an idea. Authors and speakers have an opportunity to jump on the iPod bandwagon in a big way. Why not buy the video iPod in bulk (especially months or a year from now when the price drops) and load it up with the products they now offer as part of their back-of-the-room sales? Many speakers/authors/consultants have produced wonderful training modules, speeches, books, DVDs, you name it. Since many bundle these items anyway and sell them for several hundred dollars, perhaps this new delivery method would be the "ultimate bundle." Just think of the reduction in shipping costs alone! I envision the end user even choosing between hearing an author read his/her book, watching a video of a speech version of the book, or reading it the old fashioned way. Obviously, speakers and authors could (and should) also offer their goods as individual downloadable products on their web sites for the millions of people who already own iPods and MP3 players. This concept of marrying printed documents, such as books, with videos applies to many businesses beyond speaking and writing, of course. Many companies have ample opportunity to add a whole new dimension to the way they do business. Remember, to remain relevant, you have to apply the SPUD concept to everything you do. Be Strategic and Proactive. Create Universal appeal. And above all, be Dynamic (always on the lookout for new opportunities). Think about your training modules, web casts, product demos, sales pitches and instruction manuals. Maybe it's time to infuse them with the sex appeal these new technologies offer. Just don't use my name for it - the iSPUD. :-)
Are you relevant? Here's how to know: if you're absolutely certain what you offer really matters and you've won the mindshare and heartshare of your clients and potential clients, you "get" the SPUD Factor. SPUD stands for Strategic, Proactive, Universal, and Dynamic. If you aren't sure how relevant you are, or you fear becoming a SPUD Dud, this blog's for you. Find out what it takes to remain relevant in the face of change. Learn from good - and bad - examples how relevancy drives longevity.