Let’s get this out of the way right away: It was weird being one of maybe a dozen men at a conference of 200 women bloggers (mostly of the mom variety). I’ll get back to that weirdness in a moment; but first I want to make sure you didn’t miss Shelby’s takeaways yesterday. She even shared how she once lived on $80 a week.
Back to the weirdness (different perspective)
I eat, sleep, live and breathe most days in the printing and graphic arts industry. The part of the industry sandbox I play in is heavily dominated by men. Let’s say it’s safe to say seldom, if ever, are overt sexual comments made from the speakers’ podium. That’s not the case at a mom’s conference. Do I have your attention yet? Good.
As long as we are talking about different, let’s talk about how you and/or your business are different. Are you trying to be one of the pack or are you differentiating? Day 1 of the conference started with a keynote from Teresa Kroll, Chief Marketing and Entertainment Bear at Build-A-Bear Workshop. Teresa spent a great deal of her hour talking about the experience of creating a friend at the Build-A-Bear Workshop stores. The thing is you aren’t buying a teddy bear. You can do that at any number of discount retailers for about $10.
My grown children own two of those $50 bears from the early days of Build-A-Bear. It was never about the bear and always about the experience. When my wife and I returned from a vacation several years ago, the kids could not wait to show (and tell) us about the bears they built with their sitter at the workshop. I heard how they put a heart in the bear, stuffed it and then watched a nice lady sew it up.
Be different and differentiate. Everything else is a race to the bottom. No one but the low-cost producer ever wins a race to the bottom.
Privacy is not dead…
For awhile now, I’ve been of the opinion that online privacy is a myth. For the most part, I still believe that but if apps like Path (which I wrote about before) and Burst, which I discovered at She Streams, are indications that we are all looking for ways to share more but with a smaller audience. I love that Burst was created with families in mind. In most families, mom is the curator of movies and pictures so it makes sense that they are marketing first and foremost to moms and families. I, on the other hand, can’t stop seeing the potential business applications for Burst on a daily basis.
As a mater of fact, I am recording a video a day on that topic and bursting it to my inner circle. If you want in on those videos, shoot me a note using our contact form and I’ll add you to that group. Then you’ll be notified each time I create a video. There will be a link to view the video so you won’t need the Burst.it app. I still suggest getting the app anyway because it’s very cool stuff indeed.
Can we talk mobile for a minute?
One of the three other men (okay, I admit maybe a dozen were there) presented on mobile development. This is the second presentation in as many months I’ve attended on the topic. For applications like Burst, developing an app is the only real option because they needed to integrate with the phone and calendar functions of the mobile device.
The advent of HTML5 and CSS3, however, make the development of mobile friendly sites a better option for many other applications like membership sites and online shopping portals. Like many things in business, start by looking at the revenue model and move out from there. It’s difficult to sell things inside an app (aside from getting folks to pay for the app). From a mobile friendly site you have a great deal more options.
Like all conferences, it comes down to the people and the networking. Different conversations happen in face-to-face environments. It’s always interesting to see groups and clicks form even at a two-day conference. Don’t fight it, learn about it and get to know the people you gravitate to.