Fizzle.co Review: Planning My Business (Stage 3)

If you’ve been reading this series, I recommended that you join Fizzle.co with my affiliate link: http://fizzle.co/?aid=12584

Stage 3: Planning

The third stage in the Fizzle Roadmap is ‘Planning’. After an unusual 0330 hrs webinar (IST), I realize that doing something in the wee hours of the morning may be my ticket to making more time for myself. It’s 04:45 and I’m starting with the third stage.

I have my cup of chai, a bottle of water, my notebook, ‘Above & Beyond’ (Trance Music), headphones and a blanket — I’m ready.

Onward.

Lesson 1

So far, in the first two stages — Direction & Connection, I’ve got a general idea of what I want to do, who I want to serve and where to get support when I need it.

In this stage, I am looking to fine tune my approach and make a business plan. I’ll also get more clarity on the business approach — which ‘archetype’ will I be adopting/is a good fit?

Lesson 2

To recap, my topic is “business storytelling” and my audience members are “small business owners and marketers.” I have not restricted this in any way.

This step focuses more on defining the problem and collecting information that either proves or disproves the hypothesis. This stage took me an inordinate amount of time to finish as I took a break to watch some One Piece cartoons, speak to entrepreneurs and do research. (But mostly the binging on One Piece anime!)

Finding My Audience

My audience is predominantly marketers who are struggling to gain traction/leads/sales. They hang out primarily on LinkedIn, Quora, authority blogs and Twitter. For early small businesses startups, they hang out in entrepreneur communities and startup communities online — these are very prevalent in Facebook.

Offline, they’re found at conferences, startup festivals and networking groups and meetups.

Based on my research, these are the decisions I’ve made for my niche:

  1. I will focus on LinkedIn, Quora and authority blogs. I am also a part of Fizzle, so I will use that to grow.
  2. I will attend local startup festivals and meetups to connect and grow. I will also try to get in front of them via speaker positions at the earliest.

Connecting With My Audience

I went ahead and did my research in three different ways — emailing and messaging people, posting on the Fizzle forums and by speaking to a few people. All the research indicates that there is a need for this. I also coupled this with a bit of market research and noticed that there are several companies that focus on ‘storytelling’ alone. So, definitely a good market.

Other People in the Same Space

While digging around the internet for other people serving the same audience, I found these blogs:

  1. http://www.StoryBistro.com
  2. http://storywallahs.com/
  3. http://www.anecdote.com/blog/
  4. http://www.amandalewan.com/blog/
  5. http://antonionunez.com/

There are a list of 50 available here: http://highspark.co/blog/business-storytelling

The Problem I’m Tackling

Brands are unable to stand out in a crowded marketplace. There is a lot of clutter and competition. Marketing communication efforts are falling flat and there’s no emotional resonance between brands and the consumer.

In short, marketers are struggling to get an emotional connect with their consumer. They do not know much about storytelling or the techniques and concepts involved.

How Am I Tackling It?

I want to equip marketers with storytelling techniques, tutorials, examples, case studies, interviews and other tools. I want to help marketers hit the ground running with storytelling and get actionable insights from what they learn.

Lesson 3

Phew.

After multiple attempts, I finally froze on my offering. The more information I have, the better refined it became. It also helped that I could gain clarity by bouncing it across in the forums.

Another thing that really helped is that I distinguished between the problem I’m trying to solve and not products I’m looking to make.

I quickly moved on to the third lesson — all about selecting an archetype.

Luckily for me, I’ve already figured out my starting point — the teacher archetype. And, at the moment, I’m going to hypothesize that I will become a mediapreneur in the future — along with either some freelancing or thought leadership along the way. (I got this clarity by listening to their podcast in a particularly aggravating 3 hour one way commute to work.)

Lesson 4

This lesson focuses on filling out the business plan template. Upon cursory inspection, it seems to be modelled after the business model canvas. Simple, and effective.

As I was filling out the business sketch template, I realize that I can focus predominantly on tech startups and people running online businesses. This narrows my niche down further and presents a better differentiator as well.

I did struggle a bit while filling out parts of the template — especially the ‘Key Metrics’ section. That was a challenge as initally, I couldn’t figure out what to put there. I even completed the short ‘Business Sketch Template’ course as well, but didn’t make too much headway with the ‘Key Metrics’ bit.

So, here’re my inputs

The Problem

Technology marketers struggle to connect emotionally with their audience. They do not know much about storytelling or the techniques and concepts involved. Therefore, they are unable to sell their stuff.

The Audience

Marketers in small companies promoting their technology driven products and services through content.

The Channels

Initially, I will need to do guest posting and other tactics to siphon an audience from other, well established blogs.

Post that, it will be email, LinkedIn and Quora for interactions. Webinars are popular too.

The Solution

To start things off, I want to equip marketers with storytelling techniques, tutorials, examples, case studies, interviews and other tools. I want to help marketers hit the ground running with storytelling and get actionable insights from what they learn.

Apart from that, I want to offer consulting services for brands that want to leverage the power of storytelling in their marketing efforts.

The Differentiator

Indian Mythological Stories, Focus on Tech Startups and Small Businesses, Adding Psychology & Influence

Revenue Channels

eBooks, Courses, Consulting, Freelance Writing, Specifics to be confirmed once I’ve checked with my audience.

My Elevator Pitch

V1
I enable small, technology driven companies make more money by helping them connect with their audience better across different media through the power of storytelling and psychology.

V2.
I help tech marketers sell more through storytelling and psychology that connects with their audience.

(I like #2 better.)

Key Metrics

Initially, email signups, time on the list and feedback.

Once I have products, I will track sales, testimonials & recommendations.

EDIT:

After asking around in the forums, an awesome Fizzler by the name Ken Chiavone helped me out with this as additional metrics for my ‘Teacher’ archetype:

External (feedback from the world):

# of email subscribers

# sign-ups per month

email open rate (%)

Email link click rate (%)

Internal (what you do):

# words written per day

# of posts published

# of pitches sent for guest posts

Costs Involved

Hosting, Domain, Convertkit, Podcast Hosting, Books & Reference Material, High Speed Broadband

My Advantages

Master’s Degree in Corporate Communication and reputation management, My extensive experience in marketing, Corporate, Agency & Startup Experience & The fact that storytelling is nascent in India

Next Steps

And, after all this, I am going to take a small break to deal with the rest of the work’s that piling up. Anyway, in a few hours, the Fizzlers in the rest of the world will awake & I’m confident that I will have feedback on my business plan.

It should — that’s what will help me grow.

Let’s wait and see.

If you’ve been reading this series, I recommended that you join Fizzle.co with my affiliate link: http://fizzle.co/?aid=12584