I’ve been accused of being an evil genius. This is (part of) my plan, you tell me.
Take one look into the world of Facebook marketing and you will find a handful of “influencers” offering a menagerie of free and paid training resources. People like Amy Porterfield, Jon Loomer, and Mari Smith have built both their brands and their incomes by offering resources to internet marketers working with Facebook ads.
“Facebook marketing” as both an industry and a search result is, for all intensive purposes, the grandfather of internet marketing niches. Facebook’s advertising platform is one of the oldest and most developed, but it’s still in its teenage years.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the model. There is a great need for training on the nuances of Facebook’s (IMO) atrociously built Power Editor and never ending stream of new features. The development of a brand that generates a full time income (let’s call that $60K net revenue) through informational products, speaking gigs, and other “knowledge leverage” requires a sturdy Unique Selling Proposition.
For every influencer you see with a reasonable amount of credibility there are hundreds if not thousands of people who tried to make a living teaching and failed. This isn’t to say that they didn’t have unique things to teach or a valuable ability for communicating something complicated to an audience that wouldn’t otherwise understand. Marketing and ‘building a profitable business’ are two different things.
Said differently, there are a fuck ton of highly intelligent people not being heard.
Last year I started looking at the topic of “Reddit marketing” and comparing it to the development of the “Facebook marketing” niche (at least what used to be a niche).
The more publicly I taught Reddit marketing… the more competitors would appear.
Here’s a snapshot of the Google Trends data for the term ‘Reddit marketing’:
Facebook and Reddit are vastly different from one another. Many sheisty marketers have made an unreasonable amount of money selling trainings and tools that leverage “hacks” which are then plugged by Facebook (things like UID scraping and fake play buttons). Unlike Facebook, on Reddit these types of tactics would damage the community’s trust in marketers seeking to add genuine value to the conversation.
It was fairly obvious that the more success I had as a Reddit marketer, the more people would follow my lead and build themselves into the space… which further validates the value of the opportunity democratic social platforms provide.
When this happened I figured I would have two options: I could discredit the value of what my competitors had to offer in order to differentiate or I could help them speak.
Competition + Cooperation = Coopertition
Stop rolling your eyes. Shakespeare invented words — I can too.
I built a menagerie of alerts, primarily with Mention (they interviewed me and gave me a free corporate license), for any discussion of ‘Reddit marketing’. I also built my brand in a way that people actively pull me into private conversations on the topic.
When I find a Redditor that’s teaching or a marketer that’s coaching — I reach out.
Chris spoke of himself as a “Reddit Guru” but doesn’t have any products or memberships available for purchase. While chatting via email, he gave me a clear understanding of how I could help him and has been beyond appreciative of the support.
After receiving this tweet, Eddy saw mention of the Facebook Ads Prank in my bio and shot me a direct message with interest to connect. We have a call scheduled at the end of the month, but yesterday he shared how his “Tinder Growth Hacking” got featured in the Daily Mail and, without him requesting I do so, forwarded it to a friend at UNILAD.
I have no clue if, how, or when we can work together… but we’ll figure that out later.
As an extrovert and connector who’s genuinely curious about the world, it’s in my nature to find opportunities to bring people together and I do so with great enthusiasm. Over the years I’ve also developed a curiously diverse assortment of friends and colleagues that, in the pursuit to support my would-be competition, are eager to be introduced.
The simple reality is that a niche that’s united is far more powerful than one in competition.
When’s the last time you made friends with someone you’d call “competition”?