Industry news is vital for keeping in touch with changes and upcoming trends. What is the best way to stay on top of industry news? Why does it work?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
Most people shy away from having a relationship with their competitors for fear of revealing strategy or even awkwardness. But having an open relationship with them can be one of the best ways to know how other operators are thinking about your industry. Be a yardstick for how you are doing and gut-check your own operation.
I have always said that Twitter is the best news source we have available to us. Follow the experts in your industry as well as your competitors. Break them out in a list if you have to so you can quickly browse through without being distracted by other nonindustry topics you may be interested in.
3. RSS Feeds
Most major web publications will have some sort of RSS functionality, making it easy to organize their content into a feed. I use Feedly to create a tailored list of new stories from a variety of publications that are relevant to my field and my interests. This is how I effectively stay up-to-date without wasting time clicking through multiple tabs and refreshing pages.
4. Business Community and Events
Online business community and in-person events help in being in touch with key players in the industry and create new connections, even with competitors. You can stay on top of industry news and developments. It helps because it’s always relevant and specific to your domain, helping you eliminate all not-so-specific news easily. You can actually see what’s in-news, what’s working and what’s not.
While reviewing industry news sites can be helpful to track trends, the best tactic is to turn it around on its head. Instead of trying to root out industry trends and news, ask people who are already in the industry what they think are the big industry trends. Stay engaged with them on social, ask them questions periodically, post an article and ask for insights. To quote Dale Carnegie, “If you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested.” You can then take those same insights and repeat them, verbatim even, to other followers.
One day, it dawned on me that instead of scrapping all those industry newsletters, I might just start glancing at them now and again. That was an eye-opener. The newsletters spot research a mile away and tell you what your competitors are doing. When I was young and hungry, I figured I would learn things organically, which is a polite way to say by trial and error. Now, I could probably write a book about all the mistakes I’ve avoided by simply reading the targeted newsletters that come my way.
7. Google Alert
Google Alert is a simple way to stay on top of all the latest industry news. I set alerts for different keywords and get automatic updates sent to my inbox every day, I encourage everyone on my team to do the same. Google Alert allows you get all the latest news without having to spend the time searching for it.
8. Industry Conference
Each industry has at least one big conference every year. Attending that conference will get you at least 80 percent of upcoming trends within your industry. This works best because you go to the conference in a state of mind of learning and absorbing all of the information that comes your way.
9. Hacker News
Y Combinator’s Hacker News is an essential resource not only for staying on top of industry news but also for keeping abreast of interesting and inspiring stories across a wide spectrum of topics. The moderators do an excellent job of keeping the community in line and the content relevant. Its merit-based voting system means that the most vital stories move to the top of the feed. It’s a must bookmark.
10. Social Networking
Social networking on platforms such as LinkedIn gives you easy means to stay on top of industry-specific news and trends. However, for it to work you have to do more than just create a profile. Instead, read what’s being said on relevant discussion and networking groups, and partake when you can. These platforms also give you access to what industry leaders and senior professionals have to say.
Reddit can be a huge time-suck if you attempt to be an active member of the community and try to engage there, but it’s actually a great source of news. Bookmark a few subreddits in your space, visit the first three pages every day, and skim through the headlines. Quick win!
12. Industry Blogs
I get most of my industry news from relevant blogs. When I find an article I want to reference later I’ll typically use a bookmarking app like Pocket or Instapaper. I’ve found that keeping the links organized has helped with brainstorming new ideas.
I find that I’m spending more and more time on YouTube listening to industry news and following customers’ reviews of our products. YouTube also has a feature where you can click “watch later” on a video, and it pops up in your feed next time you’re on the site.
14. Trade Journals and Magazines
This is still one of the most popular ways to stay on top of industry news. Find some of the most relevant journals and magazines in your industry and subscribe to them. Many times they will have scientific studies and information that the blogs will pick up after.