WHY EVERY STARTUP NEEDS TO BE A MEDIA COMPANY FIRST.
The internet has made it possible for anyone to have their very own mini media company, without passing through labels and middle men, you can get direct to consumer through the internet and build brand at scale.
WHY EVERY START-UP SHOULD BE A MEDIA COMPANY, FIRST.
The content written in this article does not apply to all startups, only the ones that are building a community, platform or brand at scale and have the patience to follow this slow but more rewarding route.
TRADITIONALLY PEOPLE BUILT BUSINESS NOT MEDIA COMPANIES
Before the age of the internet there were only a handful of media companies out there and they had all the power and basically controlled all the content consumed by humans at scale. They made money from advertising for big companies who also had big bank accounts to pay these media companies and smaller companies where kinda left out of the equation because all the “slots” were usually paid for by these big companies.
THEN THE INTERNET CAME AND FUCKED SHIT UP.
The internet came along, and it was this open platform where anyone from anywhere can create content and could reach a greater audience than the big media companies.
Now I want you to imagine the internet as an empty piece of land and we all have access to it and its infinite. We are also farmers and creating content is like planting seeds and when you have food in your farm you attract people that want to buy foodstuff, The amount of people you are able to attract can be called your brand reach or leads or a community and all this is achieved by just planting seeds ( creating content ) and attracting people who want the types of food you sell ( inbound marketing )
This led to a lot of “farms” that got very specific audiences. You can discover almost any niche about anything on the internet and there is a new one springing up everyday. This is leading to something very interesting you dont need to go through those old media companies to reach a massive poll of everyone that wants all types of food. but you can plant a specific type of seed and attract a specific type of consumer. This is what marketers call Inbound marketing ( check out this article on hubspot to find out more ).
NOW EVERYONE BUILDS A BUSINESS FIRST AND A MEDIA COMPANY LATER ( IF THEY ARE SMART )
So a lot of people that had business before the internet had to adjust or die to the fact that the internet was a real thing and had a lot of potential/threat to their existing businesses. The smart ones built a media company around their business and others lost the opportunity to have a fertile land on the internet and thus lost access to the world ( because if it's not on the internet does it even exist ? )
We have seen a lot of banks build media companies even in nigeria and some may be wondering why? well now you know. This also ties in line with the Digital boom so you should go check that out later.
But what happens if you just want to start-up that great company of yours today?
BUILD A MEDIA COMPANY FIRST, YOUR BUSINESS LATER.
This may sound very hard to understand for most people and it's perfectly fine.
but just for context lets go through how you would do it if you didn't listen to what you read in this article.
- you get an idea
- You get a co-founder and try to build a team ( which almost always fails btw)
- You draft a business plan and seek funding( you realize no one will give you money )
- Your investors ask to see traction.
- you build a MVP
- You get funding ( maybe)
- You build your product/platform and it lies stagnant
- You then start focusing on marketing and have to pay a lot of money and you would make a lot of mistakes that may take you out of business.
Now lets imagine you built a media company first.
- You get an idea
- You start creating content about and around that idea
- You slowly build traction and attract investors to you
- You get funded
- You already have a community and an audience for a product yet to be launched.
- You become seen as a expert and when you finally launch your product you have already built a community of user to use the product and you can get feedback every step of the way because you are in full control of the types of seeds you plant and the type of consumer you want to build for and you know how to attract them.
Honestly which of these looks sexier?
The thing is, the second method is a whole lot slower than the first but is it worth this time and stress?
You see we think businesses are built in a year or two but if you want to build a solid brand that would last a lot of years its going to take you time to really build that.
Ask yourself, why do all internet companies have blogs, social media accounts, websites? these are all seeds and the more seeds of content you can plant the greater you would reap in the long term. but the moment companies start making money they stop planting those seads.
With this I do strongly believe every startup that fits the description above and hasn't entered the market yet or is looking for investment or looking for ways to make more sales the answer is very simple