Joshes and Joshettes, I recently picked up a book about publishing books and I honestly can’t put it down. In one of the chapters of the book, it talks about different tactics and strategies used by authors. Before that chapter, I viewed tactics and strategies as two sides of the same coin. Man, was I wrong, which is why I’m writing this post. Like always let’s dive into this post.
Let me start by defining both terms via the dictionary; tactics is defined as a system or mode of procedure, whereas strategy is defined as a careful plan or method. Both of these definitions come to us via the Merriam-Webster dictionary. In my opinion, these definitions sound generic and a bit confusing. Tactics can be seen as techniques used in order to achieve your goals while strategies can be seen as the plan used to achieve your goal. Honestly, they still sound very similar but tactics can change whereas your strategy is the core of your business. Let’s use my book writing as an example; A tactic I could employ to sell more books is to give users a free copy of the first volume of a book and encourage them to buy the second volume. The strategy I would use is to write a book that is captivating and will make the reader purchase more books. My tactic may end up costing me more money or it might not deliver the desired results, which means I will eventually have to switch my tactic. My strategy, on the other hand, will remain constant because it is part of my core, if I don’t follow it then I’m letting my customers down. If you still don’t understand the difference it’s alright because I will be going into more details in the following paragraphs.
I’m going to discuss tactics in an entrepreneurial/business sense. Let me first list a few that many people online recommend doing in order to build your business. Leveraging (insert social media site here), many guru’s and influencers talk about leveraging social media in order to build your audience/following. Many think this is a strategy but it really isn’t because of how often social media sites fail. Look at Vine, once it shut down the influencers had to start over on a different social media site. Even if your favorite platform stay open, what happens when they change their algorithm? The second tactic that is talked about online is to make money with (insert the flavor of the day here). Some people say make money using ads, some say using drop shipping, others say using fulfilled by Amazon that’s why I put flavor of the month. Sure you can make money from these different ideas but how long is it sustainable? In my eyes, these are business fads that people jump to and from at the drop of a hat just to make a quick buck. Why do I think this? Well, I had friends who tried all of these “amazing” opportunities and when the well dried up they jumped to the next idea. The final tactic I want to touch on that people recommend online is buying the latest (insert product or service here). You want to make YouTube videos, well you need a 4K camera and then an expensive MacBook Pro and Final Cut Pro if not then you can’t make a good video. Many people will tell you that you need the latest gear in order to run a successful online or traditional business. I’m going to tell you a little known secret, technology becomes old/obsolete in six months to a year. The phone that you just purchased so that you can vlog on the latest and greatest is going to be considered old after a new model launches in a couple of months. This is a tactic because the equipment you buy now will eventually not be able to function as needed down the road and you don’t want to become reliant on one piece of tech.
Now it’s time to go over some strategies. To keep it fair, I’m going to use the same topic as before, entrepreneurial/business. The first business strategy is to build an audience/following. Every single person reading this is scratching their heads because in the previous paragraph, I said using social media to build an audience is a tactic. That’s the magic of strategies you use tactics in order to complete them but the strategy never changes. Strategies are broad, so when you say build an audience you can do it through infinite ways because you are only limited by your imagination. You will never not want to build an audience or customer base because the bigger your following the more income you could possibly generate. The second strategy for a business is to generate a positive cash flow. This is still broad because this is your something that will not change because in order for a business to stay afloat it must be profitable. The last strategy is to make the best experience/content for your audience/customers. This is self-explanatory, use what you have to please your customers.
Like always I have to apply the post to my personal life/business, so let me do just that. The three strategies I listed above are literally strategies that I personally have for my business but my tactics are a bit different. I want to use my content to increase the size of my audience. That means having both high quality and a high quantity (not there yet) of content. This is a harder way but it’s the current tactic that I am using to build my audience. Since I refuse to run ads on my site, the only way I can generate a positive cash flow for my business is by using the tactic of increasing online sales. What do I sell? Books and the only way to increase sales is to have a larger offering. Which means I have to work super hard on this (currently have word goal and track how many words I type). My tactic to make the best experience/content is to actually produce content (which is actually very hard for me to do). If I were to search my site I can find at least ten different posts saying I’m going to do more posts and I honestly try to but it is not easy. I can sit here and list thousands of excuses but I need someone to just glue me to a seat and place a computer in front of me. Like always I’m working on this time using the knowledge from some books. Check out my GoodReads account here to see what I’m reading. Like I said tactics are constantly changing so if you read this post in a couple of months, then I may have changed the tactics that I am using. But rest assured, when I change my tactics I will do a post or a video discussing my new ones just like what’s in my bag (wink wink).
This post is pretty long and but it’s straight to the point. This post was actually going to be a rant but I decided to turn it into an informative post that is meant for two different types of people. The first is the entrepreneur/business minded and the second is those who care about Josh and The Books By Josh Brand. Let me know below if you learned anything from this post or even if you enjoyed the way it was written. Thanks for reading, JR.
Remember to be successful it's your right, duty, and responsibility.