In this post Evan Carmichael shares a few lessons that bloggers can learn from Sony.
Since Darren is a fan of digital photography and the Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 made his top 10 list of point and shoot digital cameras, I thought it would be fun and valuable to see what lessons bloggers could take from one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs: Sony’s Akio Morita.
1) Believe in yourself. Akio Morita’s family had been in the sake brewing business for 15 generations and he was expected to continue the tradition. Instead, he decided to go out on his own and build what would become of the world’s most recognizable brands. Don’t let people hold you back with their expectations of what you should be. Believe in yourself and create your own Sony.
2) Start small. Great businesses and blogs are built one step at a time. Morita started Sony with only $350 and worked in a bombed out building that had been abandoned after the Second World War. Keep building your blog momentum every day. Even though you may be facing terrible odds and are running out of money, find a way to continue and don’t abandon your dream.
3) Pick a good name. Morita originally called his company the Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). He later realized that to reach the American market he would need a better name. Sony was a combination of sonus – the Latin word for ‘sound’ – and Sonny – a mainstream American nickname. Does your blog have a name and domain that will help you gain recognition and credibility or are you being passed over?
4) Trust your gut. Morita did not believe in doing market research. His advice was to “Carefully watch how people live, get an intuitive sense as to what they might want and then go with it. Don’t do market research.” As an example, his team wanted to change the name of the Sony Walkman to Soundabout but Morita refused. He trusted his gut that Walkman was a better name. Today the word “Walkman” is in almost every major dictionary. Part of being a successful blogger is trusting your gut and going with what you think will work despite what the data and “experts” are telling you.
5) Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. According to Morita, “Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. But make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.” When you are blogging you are going to make mistakes. It is part of being a risk taking and developing new frontiers. If you are afraid of making, you will miss countless opportunities before you. The more mistakes you make the wiser you will become and the more successful you will be.
6) Build a quality product. Morita once commented that “Advertising and promotion alone will not sustain a bad product or a product that is not right for the times.”Darren has blogged at length about the importance of having quality content if you want to stand out as a successful blogger. Quite simply, if you aren’t writing material that is new, different, and offers an interesting perspective, you won’t get readers, sponsors, or links to your blog.
7) Be different. When Morita opened the first Sony store in America he hung a huge Japanese flag above the entrance. World War II had just ended so it got people talking. Journalists and hundreds of consumers came to see what the story was behind the flag. Is your blog different and standing out or are you using the same tactics as every other blogger? Can you answer the statement: My blog is different and unique because _____________ ?
8 ) Create the market. Morita knew that his success would come where there was no established competition. He created products for markets that did not yet exist and as a result received tremendous recognition. For example, in 1972, Morita was awarded the fist ever Emmy by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for a product – the Trinitron. Is your market filled with too many bloggers already? Can you create a new market and dominate it? Become the expert for your niche and get known as the leading figure in your field.
Akio Morita had no money, no experience, no external support when he started his business. He worked out of a bombed out building and the only asset he had was the passion to build his company. His passion and perseverance paid off and in 1998, a Harris survey revealed that Sony was ranked the number one brand name by American consumers, ahead of Coca-Cola and General Electric.
By following the 8 lessons from Sony (and by continuing to read ProBlogger!) you can also take your blog from a startup idea into a successful, internationally recognized, award-winning enterprise.
Evan Carmichael is the owner of www.EvanCarmichael.com, the Internet’s #1 resource for small business motivation and strategies.