Using The Web As Leverage

by Jay Deragon on 01/02/2012

leverage social mediaLeverage is a factor by which a lever multiplies a force – in business leverage is therefore related to a strategic advantage that achieves greater returns on efforts.

The useful work done by individuals and businesses is the energy applied, which is force times distance towards a a strategic objective. Therefore a small force applied over a long distance is the same amount of work as a large force applied over a small distance. The trick is converting the one into the other, leverage.

One of the ways for creating leverage for business and personal advantages is to use technology as a lever. Technology can be the lever which one uses as a fulcrum on one end aimed at reaching mass influence, productivity and change on the other end. When you push the long end of technology to reach a long ways, the short end moves a small distance up into markets and communities with great force. With this leverage a small business or an individual, can easily reach and influence people and markets faster and with more influence that a larger business with little leverage.

The Power Of “Social Leverage”

The cost of social media is free yet leveraged correctly it produces significant social currency that converts to economic gains. Example: Blendtec leveraged their product (an asset) on a YouTube channel titled “Will It Blend” and captured over 9 million views and the social currency created a seven fold increase in sales.

The above example is but one of hundreds emerging as a new way to leverage assets. However there are even more profound ways in which entrepreneurs are learning how to utilize other people’s assets to create economic gains. Consider Groupon which is a coupon promotions site that leverages other people’s assets, products and services, at discount prices to a market of willing consumers.  Participating firms report more sales than they can handle.

Now the game will be about learning new ways to leverage our own and other people’s assets for economic gains. Like what?

  1. An entrepreneur leverages a sporting event to create value for local merchants by creating coupon incentives for fans to buy transportation, food and lodging to the event. The savings from related activities and engagements reduces the cost of the ticket to the event to zero. The entrepreneur makes a commission off every sale. The assets leveraged were the event with the related product and service offerings all promoted via social media. The social value created economic returns for everyone involved.
  2. An entrepreneur leveraged empty seats on private jets by selling the seats to people who self- aggregate their intentions to travel. Related lodging, transportation, entertainment and food service companies threw coupon incentives to those traveling. The jet operator filled their plane, the related merchants gained revenue, the passengers saved time and the entrepreneur made a commission off all sales. The entrepreneur nor the jet operator and merchants had to take on any debt. Social media created the messages to affinity audiences who shared the experience with friends.

The examples are only as limited by one imagination and creativity.

Assets represent value that can be leveraged and converted to social value which leads to economic gains. Get it? Then start leveraging.


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