The 10 biggest changes of the last 10 years in online business - Chanti Zak - Copywriter & Funnel Strategist

Estimated read time: 6 mins

In my Empathy Marketing Ecosystem model, water represents CHANGE.

I devoted an entire element (⅕) to this because it’s that important. 

Change is the only constant. 

And so often we disregard it because change by nature is also very confronting. 

I don’t want to think about how my children will change as they grow, how the eleven lines between my brows will deepen with time, or how what’s working in my business today might not work tomorrow because of a multi-faceted array of factors. 

To me, water is the perfect element to represent the nature of change because it’s always in motion.

So what role does change play when it comes to building a sustainable business and marketing model? 

How do we… 

🌊 Stay up on changes relevant to our brands or how we do things? 

🌊 Adapt to change when necessary? 

🌊 Use change as a positive force for GROWTH and evolution? 

You’re about to find out…

What you’ll learn in this article:

🍵💲The 10 biggest changes I’ve witnessed or experienced in the last 10 years of building an online business. 

🍵💲What “the narrative” has to do with your capacity to stay ahead of big changes. 

🍵💲4 quotes on change worth saving (or maybe even sticking to your bathroom mirror)

The tea: 10 years = 10 BIG shifts

  1. Attention is becoming harder to get (+ more expensive) 

Attention is currency. All the proof you need is in the numbers — 2024 global ad spend is around $900 BILLION dollars.

^$900 Billion… srsly. 

For contrast, that number was $156 Billion in 2015. 

Small business owners with small budgets are competing with big brands and big budgets who have all the data in the world in their targeting arsenal. 

But, personal brands have an advantage right now because there is only one you. Your story, your experience, and your humanity are what help you stand out. 

  1. Everyone knows that if they sign up for a free webinar or training, they’re gonna be pitched 

The marketing plays that once felt like novelty are now well known strategies even amongst non-marketers. 

Doesn’t mean you should do them or they don’t work, it’s just these tactics aren’t a secret like they once were. 

True story: In my early days, the hot thing was “teleseminars” where you would actually phone in to attend the free training — every millennials nightmare, am I right? 😅

  1. Software and design tools are highly accessible and easy to use and in turn, the bar is higher

People expect a certain level of aesthetic cohesiveness and tech sophistication. 

  1. Trust is less easily gained because lots of people have had their trust broken at some point 

We’ve all likely experienced very expensive lessons that have eroded our trust and made us question big promises and overhyped anything. 

Discernment is at an all time high and building trust takes longer. 

  1. Bro marketing is DEAD 

Direct response was still really big when I first got into copywriting. 

Major scarcity, fear, and pain driven copy.

Bright red buttons fucking with our reptilian brains. 

Yellow highlighters screaming at us to TAKE ACTION NOW OR DIE. 

Oof. RIP ☠️

  1. SEO is almost unrecognizable and only becoming more so 

A friend of mine who built his bootstrapped multi 7-figure a year business by being an SEO genius told me that if you don’t already have established domain authority it’s almost pointless to try at this point. 

  1. AI is changing absolutely everything… obvi. 

I mean, where to even start with this one. I don’t need to tell you how close we are to artificial general intelligence. Listen to some Lex Fridman episodes and trip out if you’re into that sort of thing 

  1. People want real. 

AI might be touching every corner of our lives but it’s no substitute for real complicated humans. 

With every movement, there is a counter movement. In the age of AI, our humanity is our greatest asset. 

  1. Followers are becoming a meaningless metric. 

Followers don’t pay the bills, and often, they don’t even see your content. 

The ‘for you’ feed is how the attention economy hooks us. Highly engineered, tailored, top performing content that we didn’t opt-in to but sort of, fell into. 

  1. There’s more “competition” than ever. YOU are the differentiating factor. 

It was the same back in 2014 when I started the little food blog that would serve as my gateway drug into building a brand with staying power. 

That said, it’s even more important today. 

If what you’re selling doesn’t have a story behind it, it’s gonna be harder to sell. 

If you’re unwilling to show your face, it’s gonna be harder to build trust. 

How to harness the wild waters of change and find your flow amidst the chaos 

Change happens gradually, then suddenly.

Seth Godin wrote about this 10 years ago

Consistent actions compound, for better or worse. It’s the reason for the “overnight success” a decade in the making and the “where the F did these wrinkles come from?” glance in the mirror. 

If you want to keep getting paid, pay attention. 

🌊 Keep a neutral eye on the overarching narrative in your industry. No need to get caught up in it or even make it mean anything, just take note of the overarching story being told again and again. 

🌊 Connect to your people. Always be researching. Always be listening and learning. 

🌊 Don’t bury your head in the sand or believe the echo chamber you’re most comfortable in is all there is. 

🌊 Trust the ones who are in the trenches with you. 

^^Subtle nod to yours truly, always happy to share the changes I’m seeing and what’s working now 🩵

It takes a team to navigate the rapids of change we’re all trying to swim in.

Sip on this…  

🧋3 quotes on change that I love: 

Identity lags reality by 1-2 years.
There’s a lot of psychological fallout from a rapid change in status.
— Mark Manson

When life changes without our permission, we still have permission to change.” 
— David Kessler 

Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.” 
— Jacob M. Braude

Welcome to my corner of the internet where you’ll find no shortage of real talk and proven growth strategies for solopreneurs, professional creators, coaches, and service providers. Grow forth and make it rain in your business, I’ve got your back every step of the way.

Hey superstar! I’m Chanti. 

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