If you aren’t keeping up with industry trends, you might see the impact in your bottom line. If you fail to stay on top of things, you will fail to present your audience with relevant and authoritative content or add new offerings that the industry trends demand.
As always, any task that isn’t focused on day-to-day operations can be challenging. It’s difficult to find the time and resources to dedicate to this, and still run a successful business. Unless you use a few simple tips for finding, consuming, and applying new information as efficiently as possible.
At Moonlighting, we believe that to become an industry leader, you have to grasp what is trending, and apply that to your business model. The first step in this is awareness. By taking the actions below, as recommended by successful business leaders, you will be able to do that easily.
1. Join discussion groups and community forums
“If an industry exists, it is virtually guaranteed that like-minded people are online discussing it. Find Facebook groups, Subreddits, and websites dedicated to your industry. These are the places you will find influencers, super users, and others who have a dedicated interest to your industry and share trendy insights. This is a great way to get to know what people who matter care about.” – Viktar Kliuchenia, CEO of HRank.
2. Subscribe to trade journals and magazines
“They may be a bit on the dry side, but trade journals and magazines are a great source of up to date information. Think about it, what better source of current, well-researched, and verified information is there? Better yet, many industry publications are now available online, and subscribing costs little or nothing.” – Luca Torzulli, CEO of Couponbuffer.
3. Attend networking events
“A good networking event is more than sharing cheap drinks and exchanging business cards. Find the right events and you can discuss important issues in your industry, learn about trends and technologies, and develop mutually beneficial relationships. Browse online to find virtual and in-person events in your area.” – Jim Vernon, CEO of RockHer.
4. Go to trade shows and conferences
“Even if you don’t have the time or resources to rent a booth or give a presentation, make it a point to attend at least a couple a year as an observer. Before you go, create a plan of action. Read the event schedule and carefully select the presentations you want to attend, and the booths you plan to visit. Of course, everyone knows the real action happens after hours. You can maximize your time with industry influencers and other business owners by staying at a hotel where other attendees will be; attending unofficial events and meeting up with members of your social media groups.” – Greg Baldwin, Admissions Director of Dimensions Recovery Centers.
5. Get team members to share and learn
“Staying on top of industry trends is not a one-person job. Every member of your team should be responsible for gathering information on industry trends as it pertains to their jobs. They should also be responsible for passing that information on to you and others in the company. Slack.com is an excellent information sharing tool for this purpose.” – Austin Wampler, CEO of Vision Smash.
6. Follow influencers and competitors on social media
“Truth be told, there are times when your competitors are simply going to get new information before you do. To avoid falling too far behind, follow your competitors on social media. If you haven’t already, you should begin connecting with influencers there as well. If you know what they are doing and discussing, you’ll know what you should keep your eye on.” – Johnathan Zheng, CEO of CouponBirds.
7. Set up Google Alerts
“This is a ten-minute activity that can really pay big dividends. Create a list of keywords that are relevant to your industry. This can include names of influencers, big name industries, technical terms, or any other combination of words you think will appear in trending content. Then, set up an alert for each term. Google will then deliver content on those topics right to your inbox.” – Doug Mills, CEO of Rankings Magic.
8. Block out time for podcasts and videos
“If you already spend time listening to podcasts and watching videos, carve out some of that time for industry specific content. If there are influencers sharing their knowledge for free, take advantage of this. You’ll find it is well worth an hour or two of your surfing time each week to consume content that will keep you on top of things.” – Scott Keever, CEO of Scott Keever.
9. Query your customers
“What can be more trending than what is important to your customers. Insider information is great, but it can be a bit circular. Sometimes what seems to be trending is simply what people want to see trending. Customers will tell you what they want, what is concerning to them, and where they think their needs aren’t being met. Use surveys, comment cards, polls, even direct contact to get feedback.” – Israel Sanchez Jr., CEO of Primo Management Group.
Are you ready to start your own business or try out a few side gigs to get the feel of freelancing? No matter what path you choose, kick start your freelance business by joining the amazing community of freelancers, moonlighters, and solopreneurs on Moonlighting. Sign up or download the app today.
This article was originally featured in the USA Today.