“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” — Molière
And oh boy, did we have some treacherous obstacles to overcome as online business owners and entrepreneurs this year…
Continued Zoom fatigue made it more challenging to get people — and keep them on — your live webinars.
Customer objections were plentiful (and you had to work extra hard to overcome them).
And the talk of an impending recession left people extremely hesitant to open their wallets.
But despite all these hardships and more, I’m proud to say that LYM is up over 11% from last year… and I learned some valuable lessons along the way.
So while the end of the year is a time of reflection, it’s also a time to look ahead to avoid getting left behind…
And this year, I found 12 distinct trends changing the internet and the online business world as we know it.
So if you’re ready to make 2023 your best year yet, pay close attention because one (or more) of these trends may just hold the key to unparalleled growth for your business.
Trend #1: Own Your Own Content on Your Own Platforms
I saw someone ask this in a Facebook group: Will Elon close the internet?
And while I can’t predict what Elon will do with Twitter (or if it’ll all go up in smoke)… I can safely say that social media channels can implode at the drop of a hat.
One bad decision (or a series of decisions) can equal demise…
Or perhaps the next big thing comes along and just does it better.
This has happened time and time again (Myspace, Vine, Friendster, Google+ and Clubhouse… just to name a few).
That’s why with all the uncertainty in the online world… it’s never been more important to own your own content and your own audience on your own platforms (namely your website and email list but also any web and mobile apps you create).
So in 2023, make sure the most valuable content you create lives and breathes on the platforms where you have more control and access.
Otherwise, you risk waking up one day and finding that the social media channel you relied so heavily on… is just gone in the blink of an eye. Or your account’s been hacked, flagged or shut down.
So, while you still want to build your presence on these channels, you DON’T want to rely on them exclusively as your one source of leads and sales.
Trend #2: Double Down on Email
For years and years, we were told that email was “officially dead.”
Not only was that a terrible prediction, but with the volatility of social media and the value of owning your own audience, email is more critical than ever.
Yet I work with far too many entrepreneurs who are hesitant to send emails regularly because they don’t want to be annoying and have people unsubscribe.
But why would you want to market to someone not interested in what you offer?
And why would you build a list if you don’t intend to use it to grow your business?
I say it’s time to focus on the people who don’t unsubscribe and are actually craving what you have to share!
So in 2023, put your email strategy front and center and focus on providing consistent value to your list that builds a deeper relationship with them.
And realize that the people on your list may be at various stages in their relationship with you — some will buy only after a few emails, while others may take weeks, months or even years.
But when you focus on their pain points and provide consistent value… you can nurture those relationships to make sales.
I once had someone buy for the first time after being on my list for 10 years!
One quick caveat: With the Apple iOS update, you can no longer rely on accurate open rate metrics.
So one thing we’ll be focusing on at LYM is tracking the number of clicks per email (and looking for consistency), so we can see if our emails are hitting or missing the mark with our audience (and adjust accordingly). Just something to keep in mind 🙂
Trend #3: Fighting Webinar Fatigue
In 2020, webinars and live virtual events had a banner year… everyone was on Zoom looking for ways to connect and to supplement their income (or even leave their jobs altogether).
That’s one of the big reasons why online courses experienced such a boom.
But then Zoom fatigue set in.
And now that we’ve experienced in-person connection again… it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get your audience and keep them on your webinars and other virtual events.
Which is why it’s time to change your approach.
Gone are the days of providing a little bit of information and then pitching your product.
Now you have to make your webinars and live events more connected and interactive and provide value your audience can actually take action on right away… the type of value that’ll leave them inspired and ready for the next step with you.
Try creating downloadable worksheets/workbooks they can fill in while you teach or simple guides that supplement your teaching. You might consider either sending these in advance or using them as an attendance bonus so they’ll feel compelled to hop on live with you to learn and implement .
And once they’re on, you need to keep them on (this piece has largely been overlooked in our industry).
Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Add fun giveaways throughout your webinar (this can be as simple as branded t-shirts or e-gift cards)
- Invite special guests for Q&As or quick presentations
- Have 1-2 people from your team in the chat who are actively engaging with participants…
- Or, my personal favorite, incorporate themes with costumes, props or multimedia
I even get my guests in on it (Eben Pagan really goes 100% whenever I have him on one of my live events and my audience loves it!)
And when it is time to go for the sale, throw in some fast-action bonuses that they can only get while you’re live.
Webinars are far from dead… they just need to evolve with your audience.
Trend #4: Ditch Over-Edited Content For Good… FINALLY!
This has been a trend for years but I still see entrepreneurs fighting it.
They think they need to be polished every time they’re on camera (all the big shots posting videos with their Lamborghinis certainly doesn’t help).
But the truth is that, especially in this era of mistrust online, people want to engage with people who are genuine.
So it’s time to put yourself out there… flaws and all.
The next time you film a quick video on your phone and are hesitant to post it because you think it’s too amateurish or the lighting isn’t good (or whatever the excuse is)… just go ahead and put it out there and see what happens.
For instance, this video of me being coached by Bo Eason on how to share my story doesn’t have the best sound or lighting BUT it’s still getting views and engagement over 10 years later!
Start taking baby steps to overcome (the very real and understandable) fear of being judged online.
I promise this realness and openness will actually attract the audience you want to buy from you… and don’t worry about everyone else!
Now, this approach isn’t limited to just your photos and videos… it goes for what you say and write, too.
Tell stories of a time you made a big mistake or misstep in your business, a time you let someone down or even your biggest failure.
This type of vulnerability builds trust with your audience… and in a period of such rampant mistrust, trust may be your hottest commodity.
Trend #5: Attention is NO Longer Currency
You’ve probably heard that attention is currency or maybe you’re familiar with the adage that any press is good press.
Well, that’s no longer entirely true.
Because with all of the recent upheaval in the online world (not to mention the real world), any attention is no longer currency.
This is illustrated by the rise of the “cancel culture” as big names such as Will Smith, James Corden and Chrissy Teigen instantly saw their reputations in tatters (Matt Damon even got into some hot water… didn’t see that one coming).
And then there are all the businesses that have been in the news for the wrong reasons and the impact this has had on their bottom line (not to mention their employees and the community at large).
Take the 2018 Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Was all that attention on Facebook (now Meta) a good thing for the company?
Trust in Facebook dropped by 66% and concerns led to Apple’s iOS privacy decision in 2021 (which has significantly hurt Facebook’s bottom line and drastically changed the way we advertise).
And since then, Apple’s Search Ads Business has made major gains and they now have a seat at the advertising table next to Google and Facebook.
So doing good can positively impact your bottom line.
Because while ALL attention is no longer currency… GOOD attention still is!
So, in your niche, focus on the needs of your audience and customers and do good by them. Make a tangible, positive impact in your online community… and reap the rewards.
Trend #6: Focus on Tried & True Strategies That Work
Big tech went all-in on the next big thing far too early and now they’re paying the price (well, mainly their employees and now former employees are).
Companies like Meta thought that remote work was going to be the new normal, so they quickly hired entire teams to create products around this remote work boom (like virtual meeting rooms).
Only to realize — as more and more people returned to in-person work — that they vastly overestimated this need.
So, to avoid making this same mistake in your business, DON’T chase the “next big thing” (before you actually know it’s the next big thing).
Instead, I say it’s time to go back to basics and focus on what we know works (and has worked for many years).
Focus on hiring for or training your team on copywriting, email marketing, community-building and customer success… and treat your team well… they’re your most precious commodity!
(For more tried-and-true strategies, check out my post on 21 marketing strategies that’ll stand the test of time )
Trend #7: Don’t Skimp on Copywriting & Creative
In Trend #2, I talked about how far too many entrepreneurs are neglecting their email marketing strategy to the detriment of their business.
The same can be said of copywriting.
Because when the Facebook pixel was alive and well… everyone could win (no matter how weak the copy was) because of the powerful tracking and retargeting capabilities.
But now, the best creative and copywriting have a competitive advantage.
So you need to focus right now on hiring or training an incredible copywriter (or a team) and don’t skimp on your creatives.
Because with the way Facebook ads are set up now, you’ll have to test a bunch of different angles, hooks and creatives to see what lands and converts your audience.
In just one day, I filmed 30+ Facebook ad videos with a bunch of different angles and hooks for our annual Experience Product Masterclass launch.
This ended up paying off with much better ROAS (return on ad spend) than last year… and we wouldn’t have gotten there without the small — but mighty — group of copywriters behind me.
So I promise it’ll be well worth your time, effort and money to FOCUS on copywriting and your creatives in 2023.
One Quick Tip: If you don’t have the means to hire in-house or the time to fully train a team member, ask people you know and trust in your own industry for freelancer recommendations.
Then, give them paid test assignments to see if they can create in your voice and brand. Because if they’re too far off, it’s not worth your time or energy to move forward.
Trend #8: You May Need to Change Your Ad Strategy Focus
Can’t fully invest in copywriting and creatives?
Then, consider changing your ad strategy to a consumption model (instead of a conversion model) by moving your ad spend to higher in the funnel.
Here’s how it’ll work…
You’ll consistently share your highly engaging content in the feeds of your ideal customers (and put some money behind these posts). And then, when they’re ready to solve their problem (the problem YOU solve), you’ll be top of mind because of all the value you shared.
And consider looking beyond Facebook ads.
Many online business owners have moved a big chunk of their ad spend to YouTube and TikTok will continue to make a big push to expand the advertising part of its business. So if your audience is there… why not try putting out some quick videos, promote them with a small budget and just see what happens?
Remember to ALWAYS lead with value first.
And no matter what happens in 2023… from budget to employee issues to a failed launch… NEVER stop marketing your business!
This is the #1 thing I want you to take away from this post 🙂
Trend #9: TikTok is Poised to Become a Super App
Speaking of TikTok… the app already has over 1 billion monthly active users and climbing (for comparison, Instagram has 1.4 billion but has been around for years longer).
So, what’s TikTok doing right?
For starters, they’re honing in on what the other social media channels are doing and adapting it to fit their app.
In 2022 alone, the app released at least 7 features directly inspired by other social media channels (including TikTok Stories and TikTok Music).
These new features, along with partnerships with Linktree, Shopify and Woocommerce and speculation about a podcast app, suggest TikTok is on a mission to become a “super app.”
They may even look to take on Amazon in the e-commerce space!
It remains to be seen if all these big bets will pay off, but given that TikTok continues to grow its user base at an unprecedented clip and is consistently the #1 app in terms of time spent and overall positive sentiment… signs point to yes.
So if you haven’t yet given the app a go… it may be time to take the plunge!
And remember Trend #4… ditching over-edited content? TikTok’s been one of the main drivers of this trend.
Trend #10: Video, Video & More Video
Social media marketing expert Rachel Pedersen predicts that YouTube is about to become the biggest platform on a whole new level, with TikTok right behind.
So if you’ve been hesitant about video, now is the time!
And you don’t need fancy equipment or an expensive video editor to make compelling videos that engage (& convert) your audience… just yourself, your phone and some talking points will do.
Start by putting together a list of topics you want to focus on…
What are the questions your customers frequently ask about?
What are their pain points? Their fears? Their hopes?
Pull questions from previous pieces of content (videos, blog posts, your webinars) and relevant Facebook groups.
Survey your audience via email or your Facebook group to discover what they want to know more about and what they’re struggling with.
You can even put search terms into a site like AnswerThePublic to see what people are asking about related to that term.
There are so many avenues to find relevant topics… you just have to do it.
And once you have your topics… come up with your video structure (be sure to start with a “hook” that grabs them right away).
The key is to do what makes you feel comfortable and test different formats and angles to see what works best for you and your audience.
And just do it!
Trend #11: Create More Small Ticket Offers
A recession in 2023 is predicted but isn’t expected to be as bad as previously forecasted.
So while people will be pinching pennies… they’ll still open their wallets for small ticket items that give them joy… give them a quick dopamine hit.
And to keep your business top of mind for your customers while adding a consistent income stream, think of creative ways to repurpose or create small ticket do-it-yourself offers that provide value but don’t break the bank.
Such as guides, templates, bundles and packs.
And you might even consider turning your trainings and guides into a low-cost monthly subscription service (just look at how successful streaming apps have become).
Release new content each month to keep your subscribers engaged and with you for the long haul. Plus, when the economy hits an upturn, you’ll have a group that already loves what you offer and is potentially looking for more (like your online course or group coaching program).
We’re definitely focusing heavily on this trend in 2023 as we’ll be launching our very own subscription service… so stay tuned for details 🙂
But on the flip side… don’t be afraid to market your high-ticket items too! There are people who acknowledge the importance of having support and a community as we enter into challenging times. In fact, we still saw 45% re-enrollment in our high-ticket business-growth program, Momentum.
Trend #12: Experiences Over Information
There’s a reason why I’ve been on a mission to reinvent the online education industry…
Because for far too long, online courses just dropped a bunch of information in their students’ laps… resulting in a pathetic 3% completion rate.
And those students don’t become repeat customers… leading to businesses spending far too much time, energy and money constantly trying to acquire new customers.
And in today’s volatile online and economic landscape, you simply can’t afford to do that.
Which is why you have to focus on experiences OVER information.
Your audience already has all the information they need… and what they’re really after is transformation.
So in 2023, focus on helping your customers achieve something real… using experiences in your online course, product or program to get them to take consistent action and cross that finish line.
Because once they get that sweet taste of success, they’ll turn into superfans, and superfans are likely to buy anything you create next — including your high ticket offers — and refer you to their friends.
And if you want to increase the chances of success, think of ways to use experiences outside of your course content to keep students fully engaged during the duration of your program. For example, try a Messenger campaign that sends important reminders or create an exclusive forum, group or community where students can hold each other accountable.
So that’s it for the 12 trends that I believe will change the internet (and your business) in 2023:
- Trend #1: Own Your Own Content on Your Own Platforms
- Trend #2: Double Down on Email
- Trend #3: Fighting Webinar Fatigue
- Trend #4: Ditch Over-Edited Content For Good… FINALLY!
- Trend #5: Attention is NO Longer Currency
- Trend #6: Focus on Tried & True Strategies That Work
- Trend #7: Don’t Skimp on Copywriting & Creative
- Trend #8: You May Need to Change Your Ad Strategy Focus
- Trend #9: TikTok is Poised to Become a Super App
- Trend #10: Video, Video & More Video
- Trend #11: Create More Small Ticket Offers
- Trend #12: Experiences Over Information
Let me know your thoughts about one or more of these in the comments, as well as what trends you’re seeing.
And in case you’re curious, check out my trends post from 2022 (these are all still relevant today!)
But before you go…
Are you feeling like where you want to be is light years away from where you are now?
You can’t seem to gain traction in your business because you don’t know where to start.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
You can wake up a month from now knowing exactly what you need to do that day to move your business forward.
By joining us for our next Live Your Message Lab experiment, where you’ll focus on the first choice you need to make to really start cooking with gas — your niche (which is the intersection of what you do and who you serve).
Over our 4 weeks together, you’ll brainstorm 1-5 different micro-niche ideas so you can see how many ways there are to make money doing what you love!
And even if you already have a niche… you may be overlooking a way to optimize, pivot or refine it.
LYM Lab is our new program where you’ll get step-by-step monthly experiments plus the coaching and community support you need to move your business forward… one tiny action at a time.
But we kick off our second experiment — The Micro-Niche Experiment — next Monday, May 1st… so your time to get in is closing in 3, 2…
I hope to see you inside the Laboratory, and I can’t wait to see the progress you make in just a month 🙂