Dru Riley of Trends.vc covers personal branding in the latest edition of the Trends Report. He outlines some predictions and opportunities for building your personal brand with more links for background information. I like the simple format of his newsletter. The free version has limited information but it is still a great read every week. Trends.vc is another good example of a paid newsletter business model. The free version offers a lot of great value, but you need to subscribe for the full reports.
The NotBoring newsletter has a comprehensive analysis of online retail. It’s easier than ever to sell online, but more competitive to attract customers. While DTC (Direct to Consumer) companies battle it out online, companies like Shopify and Amazon are the big winners. “Now that nearly every piece of the value chain has become modularized, the battle has concentrated in one place: marketing, via paid acquisition and brand, the only moat for the vast majority of brands.”
Mattress company, Casper is losing $349 for every mattress they sell. They have no choice to spend money to acquire customers. “Ultimately, when everyone is armed with the same tools, differentiation, brand, and audience/community matter for DTC brands more than ever.”
Business Opportunity: In highly competitive, oversaturated markets, curation becomes more important. Chase Reeves bag reviews from yesterday’s newsletter is a great example.
This is a great time to introduce Dru Riley of Trends.vc. On August 11, Dru’s Trends newsletter hit the #1 spot on product hunt. Since starting the newsletter six months ago, Dru is reporting more than 7k subscribers and 200 premium members. Dru was hinting that price of the newsletter will be increasing soon, so this is a great time to subscribe.
I love business ideas with a simple value proposition like the Trends newsletter. It’s a weekly email of key business trends. It is easy to understand and communicate. The best ideas are always simple.
At the same time, Dru has written about how he has gone 3 years without income and only recently starting earning money from the newsletter. Like most business success stories, a lot of hard work, sacrifice and trial and error went into getting to this stage.
The newsletters are a quick skim, yet there are many links to relevant companies and links for more information if necessary.
Here is a fascinating story from the New York Times about the problems of mass oversupply in the fashion industry. (Open in a new browser if you are past your limit.) Even before the pandemic, many clothing companies were having trouble. “We’ve done everything to such excess that there is no consumer for all of it,” For example, in 2018 Burberry burned $18m of unsold products. The pandemic and the resulting retail apocalypse are accelerating the crash.
Difficult times also bring opportunities. Last week, I wrote about a couple that built a 7 figure business reselling discount clothing on Amazon. There will be a lot of liquidations with so many retailers going out of business. I bet there are truckloads of Tokyo 2020 Olympic goods that are going to be collector’s items in the future. What opportunities do you see?
There are big opportunities for buying and improving sites like this. With some SEO, copywriting, and content marketing skills, these sites can be quickly grown because they are already established and have some traction. It is worth watching this space. At the very least, it might be worth your time to purchase a small site to get some experience buying and growing a website.
Good analysis of online retail with some predictions.
Here is another article on the GPT-3, the deep learning application that can produce human-like text. Computers are going to do a lot more work in the near future. Expect massive disruption. This is why I think UBI (Universal Basic Income) will be essential. If computers can drive our cars, write our blog posts, and cook our hamburgers, what do we need humans for?
Of course, there are also opportunities in every disruption. There will be services helping companies create content, build backlinks, etc. with AI.
I’ve experimented with it a little. While the content is readable, it’s not coherent for the topics I tried.
There is no question that AI is going to put a lot of people out of work in the future. However, we are not there yet.
There are big business opportunities in this space. Wait until the SEO agencies start figuring this out at scale.
“Indie newsletters are booming, and they’re home to some of the most exciting food writing today.”
Here is a look at the business of food newsletters. This can apply to any niche.
Business Opportunity: I think almost every business could benefit from a newsletter, even if it’s sent out once a month. Newsletters are easy to start and building an audience in your niche can open up all sorts of opportunities.
“A transient lifestyle could be well-suited to uncertain times.”
“Furniture subscriptions, in particular, have gone up in popularity recently due to a large swath of the population suddenly working from home.”
This article has some great examples on the shift away from ownership. We don’t need to own cars with services like Uber and Lyft. Short-term rentals can be found on AirBnB. We don’t need offices because of co-working spaces. We can now subscribe to software, monthly retail boxes, clothing, and even furniture. Most of these ideas would be impossible to imagine a decade ago.
Business Opportunities: Exploring the extremes of trends like this can help you discover new opportunities. With the rise of remote work and digital nomads, there will be home office equipment rentals, corporate retreat rentals, outsourced tech support, etc.
More homeschooling will lead to children’s toy subscriptions, learning materials, etc.
I have an idea for subscription websites. Outsource all the design, edits, and maintenance for a monthly fee. It would take away all the hassles of building, editing, and backing up your website.
“The Business Model of Good Taste”
“With more creators, more content, and more choice than ever before, consumers are now being consumed by a state of analysis paralysis. The real scarcity isn’t content anymore. It’s attention. When it’s impossible to absorb everything from the flood of information, the best we can do is pick and choose what matters to us most — or, better yet, find the people who can do the curating for us.”
I’m biased, but I definitely agree that curation is going to play a much bigger role in our future. There will be big opportunities for those who build a sizable audience.