In this segment, we are going to talk about your platform needs. As you know, the term platform can mean many different things to different people. So, we are going to spend some time discussing some of those things.
Welcome to the Subscription Maker Podcast. This is your host Zachary Alexander. As a subscription maker, I work with people who want the freedom of a creative lifestyle and the security of recurring income.
Last year, I spent a lot of time talking about platforms in the context of makerspaces on the Makerspace Development Podcast. Listeners heard a lot about workforce scale solutions. However, in this segment, we are going to talk about platforms for subscription makers.
Platform as a message
For the record, professional speakers are some of the most entrepreneurial people you will ever meet in the business world. Collectively, they have their fingers on the pulse all of the major trends. Many create businesses out nothing more than a message.
Over time, they may grow additional services. They can add staff to perform and monitor these services. However, all that’s really needed is a message that resonates with enough people who are willing to follow their advice.
At this point, you may say don’t they call these people influencers. And don’t influencers need millions of followers in order to be attractive to sponsors. The answer is no. Influencers come in many different sizes. Some as small as mid-three figures. All you really need is a platform.
Platform as SAAS
A lot very important people like to talk about a platform as “software as a service” or SAAS. These people think of it as something akin to an online marketplace or video on demand services like Netflix, Amazon Prime or YouTube.
If you want to play in this space, your needs can be boiled down to a single phrase. You need to raise a billion dollars. And you need to continue raising money at that scale for the next decade or so without any hopes of showing a profit.
Most subscription makers don’t fall into this range of uber-wealthy. In fact, most subscription makers are what you could call “accidental creatives.” They produce value on demand. And they must find a means of marketing themselves that won’t break the bank.
Platform as a commodity
Next, let’s talk about commodity players in the form of site builders. Site builders are also SAAS providers that allow you to set up your website based on a subset of predefined components. As you can imagine, this forces you to limit your business services to a set of standardized business practices. There isn’t much opportunity for creativity or adjusting to subscriber preferences.
As a subscription maker, you will need to make very few business decisions about how you service your subscribers. Unfortunately, most of your business decisions will be made for you. Also, they will be made in the context of product sales instead of in the context of subscription services.
You, also, need to be prepared to rip everything out and start all over on a different platform. There is a saying that you shouldn’t build on rented land. The reason is that commodity platform providers can change their terms and conditions based on what’s good for their businesses not what’s good for yours.
Platform as a niche solution
I would suggest that you think of a platform as a niche solution to a problem that you are committed to fixing. Generally speaking, you are talking about a combination of messaging/ branding and software as a service.
As a subscription maker, you need a place where you can grow your tribe. And make your niche solution. Nothing is ever set in stone when it comes to online businesses. Everything has to have to the capacity for change based on subscriber demand.
You could make the case that recurring income is a numbers game. There just needs to be enough paid subscribers to pay your bills and sustain marketing efforts. Subscribers will come and go. That’s just the nature of the beast. However, you will measure success by how many people are willing to stay past your pre-defined breakeven point.
Platform needs come in many flavors. However, subscription makers should consider their niche solution when they make their plans. And the necessity of retaining subscribers past the breakeven point. Thank you for listening to this episode of the Subscription Maker Podcast. This is your host Zachary Alexander. If you like to spend more time discussing how best to create value you can book a consultation on the SubscriptionMaker.net.