Personal Brand Gold Rush: Is the end nigh?
June 19, 2009
Dave Powers is a charismatic character by anyones measure. He runs a little site called RCPowers.com where he orginally shared his passion for R/C aircraft via the mediums of Video and Text and has healthy activity on his YouTube channel. This quickly turned into a fulltime career that branched off to a secondary activity, that being consulting (through web video) to those other hopefuls that are looking to make their mark on the “Web Cottage Industry”.
- A usually small-scale industry carried on at home by family members using their own equipment.
- A small, loosely organized, yet flourishing complex of activity or industry: “The study of Gandhi has become a virtual cottage industry in the last 30 years, producing schools, museums, foundations and more than 400 biographies” (Jean Strouse).
Dave is not alone there are many people that share the passion of pushing there personal brand through the internet, some backed by larger corporations, some selling products they themselves produce, other’s making money from advertising and affiliate programs. These others include people like Gary Vaynerchuck, he who took his love of wine to the internet fulltime and managed to achieve huge success through his Wine Library TV.
This morning I receive a strange note through twitter from Dave (@RCPowers):
“The personal brand Internet gold rush is coming to a close. If you are not in it by now its gonna be 1000x harder to get in later.” — @RCPowers
This worried me, because like so many others I thought this cottage industry movement we where seeing online was really interesting and inspirational, here we could sense the real value of social media interaction, truly speaking to the brand and not just a figurehead for the brand. I too had starry ideals of providing niche products to loyal fans. So what does this mean, is Dave heralding the end of the opportunites?
Furthermore, RCPowers.com recently underwent a major overhaul, Dave introduced other channels like Outdoor/Survival and Fitness to his offering, effectively diluting his R/C brand (thats for another discussion), which was worrying as I felt that possibly the R/C stuff wasn’t bringing in the money any more or his growth rate had stalled.
So now I wonder, does the rapid addition of more and more “noise” even in niche markets started taking its toll on our attention, capacity? Perhaps. Or maybe its just the Economic Recession takings its toll, are people spending less money on their passions, and has advertising expenditure cuts meant that the little guy is suffering?
What’s our solution? Maybe going more and more niche? I hope their still is some opportunity out there for people wanting to be like Dave, I really do.