Setting a price for products and services seems like a black art. The Art of Pricing covers strategies that you can use to come up with differentiated prices, versioned products, or segment-based approaches.
Click on the image for a larger version of the sketchnote.
The Art of Pricing has some tips for entrepreneurs who are trying to figure out the right price for their first product or service (see the value decoder on p99). It has more tips for business owners who have established a few profitable offerings and are trying to figure out how to tweak the levers for more profit or expanded markets.
Most business books focus on beating the competition. Blue Ocean Strategy (Harvard Business School Press, 2005) focuses on breaking out of red oceans of competition, creating new markets instead. Here are some ways to find alternative markets: alternative industries, strategic groups, buyers, complementary product and service offerings, functional/emotional appeal, time.
Click on the image for a larger version of the sketchnote.
Blue Ocean Strategy is a good book for established companies that are finding it challenging to differentiate themselves, but it’s also a good read for companies that are starting out and who are looking for their unique selling propositions (USPs).
I’m going to go over different business ideas, sketch red ocean / blue ocean strategies for each, and see about talking to lots of people in order to help validate the sketches. Looking forward to it!
If you’re starting a technology business – or other kinds of businesses – you’ll find many tips in Ash Maurya’s book, Running Lean. In particular, he provides step-by-step guides for conducting problem interviews, solution interviews, and MVP interviews, all great ways to validating your business assumptions and make sure you’re on the right track.
Here’s a sketchnote that summarizes the key points from the book. Click on the image to see a larger version.
The business model canvas in Running Lean is released under the Creative Commons Sharealike Licence, so this image is as well. Enjoy!
Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works, Second Edition (O’Reilly). (affiliate link) Copyright 2012 Ash Maurya, 978-1-449-30517-8. Recommended for startup founders and early employees.
If you like this, you might want to check out:
Here’s how I’d like to remember 2012. =) (See also this quick month-by-month summary)
For comparison, here’s the sketch and summary from 2011.
People tell me that conference/presentation sketchnotes are an amazing service. I’ve been getting paid to cover conferences and events, so I’m thinking of focusing on building this as a business in 2013. Here are some ideas I’ve been playing around with:
Imagine you’re a conference or event organizer. You want to make sure your attendees get a lot of value out of your conference, and that a lot of potential attendees hear about it so that they’ll sign up for the next one. That’s why you’re using social media, you share slides, you’re working on getting videos uploaded, and so on. BUT you’re still only engaging a small fraction of your potential audience because most people don’t have the time to review all the materials, people aren’t interested in wading through lots of slides or text, or the materials are published long after people have gotten distracted by something else they need to focus on.
Sketchnotes can help you help your participants remember and share key points from the conference, increasing their ROI (and yours!). By sharing these images, people become ambassadors for your conference.
This is about helping organizers engage participants through digital sketchnotes that are published throughout the event, taking advantage of the Twitter buzz. Sketchnotes can offer more information and more context than live-tweeted quotes, and they can reinforce the conference brand and sponsor relationships through templates. included in every sketchnote.
After the event, these notes also help participants remember and share key points from the conference. People can feel overwhelmed by all the great ideas they’ve picked up from a conference. When they get back to their offices, they probably need to justify their participation in the conference by writing a report on what they’ve learned. Few people have the time to review slides or re-watch videos. Conference sketchnotes are a quick way to trigger memory, and they can also be shared with people who have not been to the talks. This additional value gives conference organizers a good reason to follow up with participants after the event, which could influence feedback survey completion rates and scores.
Sketchnotes can also help organizers pre-market the next event. As a quick proof of the content covered in the conference, sketchnotes can spark interest in a way that slides may not. Often tweeted, reblogged, and searched for after an event, they’re an excellent way to share great ideas.
ALTERNATIVES AND DIFFERENTIATION
One of the great things about this is that I don’t have to build a market from scratch. Bloggers and live-tweeters are now part of many conferences’ social media and marketing planning, so there’s an established need for real-time sharing. Video/slidesharing is part of many conferences as well. Many companies and conferences have worked with graphic recorders and facilitators to capture and share discussions.
Organizers use several alternatives for engaging people during and after events, some of which are complementary services. Here are a few:
I think there is a space right there, in the gap between
where digital sketchnoting makes sense, especially considering the advantages to working with an all-digital workflow. (Quick publishing, templates, non-distracting setup…)
Also encouraging: I’m not the only one looking into this! Here are some companies offering digital sketchnoting/digital scribing services: The Grove Consultants International, Imagethink, See in Colors, The World Cafe, WrightMarks, LearningTimes, Virtual Visuals
SALES AND MARKETING
Most conference and event organizers won’t be looking for sketchnoting in particular, so I’ll want to start by identifying potential clients, reaching out to people, and figuring out the possibilities together.
Another way to find potential clients would be to work with event producers who help organize lots of events. Sketchnoting becomes another capability they can offer to clients in order to add value.
People might not know how to make the most of sketchnotes as a resource. By handling the social media publishing and coordinating with the event’s social media team, I can simplify the process. I’ll also put together a guide for organizers who have existing blogs, Twitter accounts, Pinterest accounts, and other publishing platforms, so that they can take advantage of the sketchnotes that they’ll have.
My long-term evil plan
One of the reasons I’m interested in building a business around sketchnoting is because I want to learn more about sales and marketing. I could learn these business skills using web development or consulting instead, but those engagements involve longer iterations and less tangible services. Sketchnotes are easy to appreciate and share.
In addition, sketchnoting business and technology events also helps me build my visual communication skills, my understanding of topics, and my archive of content. This will come in handy when I write more books and work on more experiments. I think there’s room in the world for more visual books like the Sketchnote Handbook, especially as we shift towards reading less and wanting to understand things faster.
I think that sketchnoting might turn into an interesting 12-16 hour/week business that takes advantage of and fits in well with complementary strengths. Looking forward to trying this out!
More notes: Business idea: Digital sketchnoting agency