How Do You Monetize a New Venture? Eleven Suggestions

Situation: An entrepreneur has created a new business offering a critical service but struggles with how to monetize it. The primary clients don’t have the resources to fund it viably. What alternative sources of funds or revenue can be found? How do you monetize a new venture?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • The venture’s brand name must carry the message – the name must describe the mission.
  • One of the core messages is reciprocity. Reinforce this theme all over the site.
  • Testimonials are critical. Testimonial videos of real users personalize the experience. These drive participant acquisition and contributions.
  • Make participants feel like they are a part of a community.
    • Consider a variety of landing pages – same database but different doors of entry.
    • Encourage even more communication within specific target communities.
  • Look at MySpace vs. Facebook to guide the model:
    • MySpace was already big when Facebook launched.
    • Facebook exploded by making itself a more closed community – all exclusive colleges and Universities.
    • Monetize via donation or advertising vs. subscription. Fees could kill the opportunity. Too many other resources are available for free.
  • The key appeal is enabling people to do something that makes them feel good.
    • Post stories from those who have succeeded as a result of the platform, as well as those who have helped on the site. This will inspire others to participate.
  • How do you recruit new participants?
    • Some CEOs joined LinkedIn because of peer pressure – after enough people asked them to join, they did.
    • Install a template to encourage people to invite new participants – allow new participants to tell their story and the need that the service fulfills for them.
  • Consider adding premium content to the site, but only for those who have made contributions – monetary or in-kind.
  • Consider Fremium to Premium. In the Fremium model include a banner ad for users, like a university Training Institute.
  • Consider creating an advice network. Post questions and ask for answers from the community. Include an option to click to become a contributing participant.
  • Online there are eyeballs vs. action – the action is what matters.

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