Ever wonder what’s really hot, what’s really selling, where you can make some significant profits? Here’s a screenshot of the Auction House from World of Warcraft.

Auction House

Look at all the gold and shiny things you could sell. What should you sell? Where should you focus your attention?

If you followed the herd mentality, you’d put your resources into Runecloth. You’d spend every waking moment gathering Runecloth in the game, because that’s what everyone else is selling. 4,683 people are selling Runecloth – it’s wildly popular! Jump on now – everyone’s doing it.

If you don’t follow the herd mentality, you’d notice the item beneath it is Runecloth Belt, which is currently being sold by… no one. Not a soul is selling them. It’s not popular. It’s not hot.

It’s not being competed for. That means you can sell in that niche at whatever price you want to sell at. You have no competition. (caveat: it’s still a desired item – just one that isn’t being produced)

This is counter-cyclical thinking or blue ocean strategy – sell where the competition isn’t, and even a modest amount of product demand plus no competition will ensure profitability.

Contrast that with the commodity market where low price is everything and even the slightest sea change in the marketplace will throw you from profitability to loss in the blink of an eye.

Want to know what markets you probably shouldn’t be in? Real life doesn’t have an Auction House that details every last item available and its current profitability, but real life does have a spam box.

GMail spam

Spammers are the bottom of the barrel for any commodity, hoping to eke out the tiniest profit on sheer volume. One look at what’s “hot” in spam should tell you whether your industry is in trouble or not, whether you’re swimming in a flooded market. If you find your industry consistently in your spam trap, you need to give some consideration to alternate product lines and sources of revenue, because the spammers are crowding out all of your legitimate marketing efforts and probably undercutting you on price as well.

What and where should you be marketing? Wherever the competition isn’t.

Food for thought, by the way: when “everyone is joining Twitter” or “everyone is on Facebook”, everyone is doing the social media equivalent of piling into the Runecloth market. For leverage in the world of social media, are you looking for the Runecloth Belt market or hoping the herd is right?

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