EP 19: Evolving with the Marketplace with Jim Christian

In this episode, Robyn speaks with Jim Christian, who is the CEO and founder of Blush Digital, a boutique agency that focuses on helping enterprise and mid-market companies around the world. Jim shares about his journey in digital marketing from working at GoDaddy to owning his own digital marketing agency and running the Advanced Search Summit.

Streamlining and adapting to an everchanging market.

When you’re in the digital space, and especially in Amazon, what worked last year may not work today.  Part of being successful on Amazon, and in digital marketing in general is the ability to watch for changes in the marketplace.  When working with businesses we find that the same business that may have been booming a few years ago might be struggling today.  Sometimes this will lead the business owner to blame the platform (Amazon, eBay, and even their own website) as no longer being viable for their business.  In reality, there are lots of other businesses that are still very profitable on those same platforms.  It isn’t necessarily the platform, but the inventory and methodologies that the business owner is using on that platform.

How do you know when you need to change your strategy or move to a completely different platform or marketing process?

Jim explains that it’s always difficult to let go of something that has worked in the past, but in the fast-paced digital world, he believes that’s a detriment to a lot of people. As a business owner, you need to identify what works and continuously try to improve those areas so you never get stuck or fall behind on trends that can affect your bottom line.

Some people get locked into the “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it mentality.” but in this day in age, when you realize something doesn’t work, you’re two years too late and playing catch up. That’s why putting in the hours, optimizing your procedures, and keeping up with market tendencies is crucial for a business to thrive.

Adapt, diversify, and grow.

When the market moves, you’re not out of business, and you’re not starting back over. You can take the skill sets that you’ve learned in whatever digital aspects you’ve been working with and apply that to the next piece because there are always new neighborhoods in the digital marketing world that are opening.

Diversify your portfolio.

The skills that you’ve acquired running your digital business can be extrapolated to different areas and taken advantage of for your gain. Jim goes on to talk about his portfolio and how diversifying led to growth, and growth led to stability and security. “It’s always nice to have something to fall back onto should something happen.”

Marketing your products in today’s landscape.

Jim goes on to share his experience on the subject and how he used Google trends to get an overview of the market and establish a game plan to adjust and succeed according to the new rules of the game. Time changes all things, and you have to be prepared to understand that the market is never going to sit still and wait for you.

The Amazon marketplace is not going away, but it is a lot different than it used to be. A couple of years ago, you could throw a listing up, and it would get sales right away. Now you have to focus on launch strategy, optimization, PPC quality, and several different pieces that maybe weren’t even a factor two years ago.

Attend as many events as you can.

One of the things that have helped us continue to be able to move with the marketplace and businesses around us has been attending conferences. And besides attending Amazon-related meetings, what has helped us is going to conferences that were outside of our little tiny world. Going to events where we could meet and network with people from other industries. Learn how we could incorporate new techniques, new thought processes, or to try to develop new revenue streams gave us a significant advantage.

Jim reveals that the real value of going to a conference is the people that you connect with. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve relied on the connections that I’ve made throughout time to solve a problem in my company.” Having that professional portfolio of people that could help you at any given time is priceless.
In an industry that can be so isolating as ours, developing that professional network outside of people who are in your tiny niche is compelling, it’s going to open up a lot of doors that you may or may not have been able to see.

Jim runs an event called the Advanced Search Summit in Napa coming up this April.

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