Tag Archives: Community

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.

How Do You Manage Opportunities in This Economy? Five Ways

Interview with Keith Merron, CEO, Avista Consulting Group

Situation: Ongoing uncertainty makes it difficult to clarify strategies going forward. What are the bases for these uncertainties and how do you manage opportunities in this economy?

Advice:

  • The world is moving so rapidly that they key to success is differentiation. There is so much information about how to do this that companies start to look similar very quickly. The ability to stand out as different is critical. Ask yourself:
    • What is my target market?
    • What are the needs that my offer will satisfy?
    • What is my unique approach that is distinct from other solutions which meet these needs?
    • Once you identify the answers, you need to back these up.
  • One has the opportunity to write the future. If you can get one step ahead of the curve this is a huge advantage.
    • Products that died were often two steps ahead.
    • Successful visionaries see patterns that are emerging, sense what is next, and speak to that.
  • Because information is at your fingertips through the Internet anyone can set up a business. The Challenges are viability and sustainability. If these are present the opportunities are huge.
    • The web is a place where you can share information. How to monetize this is unclear.
    • Once you have a following you can offer things for sale that are valued by your following. When this happens, the potential for fast growth is more available than ever. So is the flip side. If a restaurant gets trashed on Yelp this can kill it!
  • In a recession, M&A activity is faster. This enables one to establish a presence much more easily.
    • There are many virtual companies. You no longer have to be in the same place to work together! There are also many ways to partner or co-brand via the Internet.
    • What’s hard is to create tensile strength in the relationship. Because it is so quick and easy to cobble together relationships, the biggest challenges are creating loyalty and commitment.
    • The needs are communications, motivation, commitment and follow-through – just like in a traditional company but in a virtual space. This creates a true bond.

You can contact Keith Merron at keithmerron@comcast.net

Key Words: Uncertainty, Opportunity, Differentiation, Target, Market, Needs, Approach, Timing, Patterns, Visionary, Internet, Following, Community, M&A