I think we’re going to see some major changes in the way business online get’s done. 2009 shook us and as a result, there’s an opportunity to blaze a new trail in 2010. (Yippee!)

I don’t normally do ‘predictions’ but this year I had to make an exception. A combination of macro trends combined with some grassroots rumblings I hear online led me to a couple of critical shifts I see happening this year and beyond:

1. The end of the clone wars.

People are looking for something different. The days of mini-me business models and do-it-my-way coaching is waning. If you want to be among the e-business elite, deliver something a little bit different, a little bit innovative. And a lot more YOU.

You know that idea or service you WANT to offer but hold back on because you don’t see it in the business models of the ‘big names’? Put it out there. 2010 is the year of distinction! People are tired of the same ole-same ole. Now is your opportunity to offer something no one else can.

2. Hype is out. Heart is in.

Being sold is getting old! If you feel it, you can bet you’re not alone! I have been hearing the groundswell of frustration with hypey marketing, over pricing, over promising and under delivering in the online world we call home.

After a year that shook us, we want to be stirred. People want a sense of hope and heart to stir them into action. And those who can connect and inspire us at that level are those who will lead the way in 2010.

3. Less pain, more gain.

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for marketing a PROMISE rather than pushing pain buttons or promoting fear, scarcity, mistakes and lack.

What is your promise to your market? Promote that with truth, heart and a heavy dose of hope.

4. Persona non grata.

Persona’s are out. Real people are in. The tables have turned and it’s a client’s market. To get and keep attention, give your audience the spotlight.

You don’t need a catchy name or a balance sheet brand to get known. You need to show up, take an interest in “ME” (your audience) and be real. (That doesn’t mean you have to reveal all your dirty laundry, by the way! TMPPI—too much pointless personal info--is also out.)

Let your clients and followers get a peek into the real you. How can you help them? How can you relate to them? That’ll get you known.

5. Paths of Growth vs Levels of Access

Note from your ideal clients: It’s all about ME and my goals/dreams/ambitions/needs. Take me somewhere I want to go. I’m not interested in paying large sums of money for access to your so-called secrets. Or for the privilege of an hour with you. I’m interested in what you can do for me.

What is the path of growth you take your clients through? How can you package your services around that path? How can you make the journey easier? Clients are not buying time…they are buying forward progress, movement, results. Where do you take them?

6. Transformation trumps information

We are entering the Value era. That means bye-bye low cost, low value information. Hello high value, customized solutions. It also means bye-bye to overinflated prices without true value backing them up (sidenote: overinflated pricing brings down entire markets. Just ask your local real estate agent or stock broker.)

What people want, and will pay well for is transformation. Help me USE the information. Help me integrate it into my life and business. Help me change. Help me go from A to Z more quickly. Eliminate struggle. What transformation do you offer?

7. Small is the New Big

Smaller, more intimate groups and programs will gain appeal because people want three things (1) connection, (2) to be heard and (3) personal guidance and support. You can’t get those needs met when you are one of “only 500” in a program or at an event. People will pay a premium to be part of a smaller community, with more customized help and focus on implementation.

By the way, this trend applies to social media, your ‘list’ and other places where ‘size’ has mattered. Small and mighty groups (tribes, as Seth Godin calls them) can be much more responsive than a large but out of touch list/group.

8. Multiply, don’t divide.

The early years on the web were a wild ride. Chasing opportunities, hot new trends, cool new ideas. Create. Create. Create. React. React. React. And we’ve been good little soldiers and created memberships and products and programs and ebooks and audios and books…well, you get the picture. We’re dizzy. And divided and diluted. People ask “what do you do again?” and come to think of it…you’re not sure.

2010 is asking you to commit. Now is the time to bring it together. Multiply your impact and your income by finding a unifying focus. What do you do best? Who do you do it best for? And what will you offer (and what will you release) so you can do it better and more effectively than ever?

9. Move over mediocrity. Hello Mastery.

Those who get and keep loyal clients deliver. Quality matters and people want to work with those they can depend on. Big promises with poor follow through aren’t going to make it. We’re more connected. And word travels fast. All sizzle and no steak? You can be sure word will get out.

The opportunity for you is huge! Because you get to shine. Showcase your mastery. Showcase what you do best. Focus on DELIVERING a great experience for your clients and followers. Being just 10% better is a critical advantage that won’t go unrewarded. (attention: All you recovering perfectionists…this is your time! )

10. Lifestyle isn’t all about Luxury.

Lifestyle has been a big theme over the last several years. But the definition of ‘lifestyle’ has shifted away from ‘luxury’ and towards simplicity. Family, freedom, flexibility and fun trump million dollar quests and luxury spa vacations. We’re going back to basics. We’re concerned about the environment and our carbon footprint. Connect with people on that lifestyle level and forget about limos, private planes and high end hotels (unless your audience has a different value set!).

Chime in. I’d love to hear your thoughts. What trends and opportunities do you see for this year? Have I missed the boat in my predictions? Set me straight! Your comments are encouraged.

Author's Bio: 

Register for your free e-course The 7 Surefire Strategies to Reignite the Fire in Your Belly at www.shawndriscoll.com. Shawn Driscoll helps high achieving executives and entrepreneurs breakthrough to the next level of success. She empowers them with the insights, tools and strategies they need to rise to the challenge of their personal mission so they can experience meaningful success while making a real difference in the world.