Meet Michael Drew, my son from another mother ðŸ˜‰ Against some pretty big odds, he’s succeeded in getting his BIG thoughts out into the world in some amazing ways.
I’ve known Mike since he was 23 and had only 14 for 14 NY Times/Wall Street Journal best sellers underneath his belt. He’s 30 now with 60+ for 60+ NY Times and/or WSJ best sellers. It gives me great pleasure to finally be able to share this amazing concept – Pendulum – that I’ve heard about 5 times now (the 90 minute version).
Mike is genius in action. His little Mensa mind just doesn’t quit. He tells me
I think I have a slight case of Facebook Fatigue… If I get one more group message inviting me to an event 4,000 miles away I don’t really want to say what I will do, it’s not polite for ladies to say such things (as my mother would say).
Please (she ducks) don’t throw rotten tomatoes at me just yet…I think Facebook is still the most “fun” social network for business I’ve ever seen.
It just also has the ability to quickly fritter away MEGA time (a nice way of saying “time-suck) if you don’t have what my friend Kevin Nations calls a “Profit Strategy”. In other words, a real business model, with a sales system that can turn all that socializing into bottom line dollars and cents – eventually, after you’ve established your social hierarchy, trust and likeability.
Because at the end of the day, we all know that people buy from people they know and people they like – and how can you not like someone who has the audacity to throw Paris Hilton at you? (umm, yep, I’m talking to you Rodney Rumford, FaceReviews Guru ;-))
It’s been my observation over the past 4 years of working with mega-entrepreneurs (John Assaraf, Les Brown, Scott Martineau, most recently, Jerry Conti, my Purpose Posse over at HUB – Humanity Unites Brilliance) that the truly successful 7 & 8 figure + business owners create the sandbox and invite others to play with them, not the other way around.
In other words, they throw the party (or seminar) and collect 50% from the people they put on the platform in front of their audience.
Or better yet, they are the ONLY ones speaking on their platform, it’s their platform, and they aren’t afraid to use it. When you think of it, when have you ever seen Tony Robbins share his stage with someone else? VERY seldom. And if he does, they’re usually delivering his programs, not theirs.
There’s something to be said for continuity and a gated community.
I’ve been quietly playing over at Ning.com, where you can create your own social network with ease.
Now I’m “easing” several of my clients into developing their own private online communities where it’ll be all them, all the time. And, as Lady Fortune (or Law of Attraction ðŸ˜‰ would have it, my “Diamond Rolodex” delivered the ideal connection once again – a client introduced me to my new best friend, who is a “Ning Ninja”, and very good friends with Ning.com co-founders…if that isn’t attraction in action, I don’t know what is!
What’s really cool about Ning is the fact that you can private label it for your business – use your own domain name, display your own ads, and even remove their branding. The main consideration in setting it up is what your strategy will be to:
- Get people to come (for what will they come?)
- Get them to engage (why will they stay?)
- Get them to come back
- Get them to tell their friends
- Get them to buy your stuff
Another way to use the private label function is to use it as your own membership site – I know of at least one very well known spiritual teacher who is doing this with great success. She charges a monthly subscription that includes weekly audio, a monthly teleseminar and ongoing access and conversations.
And she gets their full attention, because they’re paying her for what she has that they want. Can we say “social network profit model”?
Works for me. What say you?
Update: I’ve since launched a consulting package called Instant Platform 2.0 to strategize and launch niche social networks/online communities for experts, and help them get their first “1000 True Online Fans”.
Here are a few of the ones under way…
Training wheels playground for my Social Networking Boot Camp for Women Entrepreneurs to learn how to play in the social networking scene in a supportive environment. Will start to conduct ongoing teleseminars with experts in social networking and social media, also business experts.
Virtual companion site for a live event that happens every three months)
Goal is to link hundreds of thousands of singers around the world, and meet at live Choirfest events that host up to 22,000 singers at a time!
Author community built around the topic of getting over a bad-breakup: “Wake Up Girl! From Break-up to Wake-Up”
Business Black Belt Network – an online community for JIAN.com business planning software company with 180,000 existing customers. Â This will allow customers to network and will have a nice Marketplace to list services/products. Â If you are a consultant who works with small business owners, email me to find out how you can participate.
What’s a Blog Carnival you ask? You know by now I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel, so without furthur ado, here is the description straight from the Blog Carnival Barkers mouth:
Welcome to Blog Carnival! We love the idea of blog carnivals where someone takes the time to find really good blog posts on a given topic, and then puts all those posts together in a blog post called a “carnival”.
To understand what a blog carnival is, consider some examples. Here is the first edition of Carnival of the Vanities (one of the earliest blog carnivals). Carnivals can be very descriptive like this one, or very concise, like this one. Find the style the fits your topic and time schedule.
We think blog carnivals are a great way for bloggers to recognize each other’s efforts, organize blog posts around important topics, and improve the overall level of conversation in the blogosphere. Carnivals come in edited “editions”, just like magazines or journals. The fact that carnivals are edited (and usually annotated) collections of links lets them serve as “magazines” within the blogosphere, and carnival hosts can earn their readership by providing high quality collections.
Since blog carnivals include lots of posts on specific topics, they also serve as a place to connect with those who are expert (or at least highly opinionated!) and those who are interested in that field.
Talk about moving the free line!
Peter Shankman didn’t start out thinking that he’d be giving the well-known PR service ProfNet a run for their money when he decided to post emails he was already getting from reporters asking if he had sources for their stories to his Facebook Page. He decided to call this free service “Help a Reporter” – it helps hungry reporters looking for sources connect with hungry sources looking for publicity.
What is interesting is that he was already getting reporters emailing him to help them find sources, so he has some credibility and influence with this audience. They have recognized that he is skilled using a new resource – social media – which makes him attractive to say the least. (Let’s face it, besides us information marketers and life-long learners, most people would rather not learn something new, they just want the answers.)
So he decided to take action to help them by exposing them to his existing network, using his already existing Facebook profile. Free to use, simple to execute – reporters emailed him their queries, and he posted them on his profile. A lot easier than answering them all one on one.
Then word hit the street – freelancers (who obviously must have been a part of his network) started telling friends, then publicists (also probably already in his network) realized these were prime opps for additional ways to spread the word about their clients. He created some buzz by buzzing it on his own blog, shankman.com. An A-list NY Times blogger wrote a nice post (notice, at this point he still hasn’t asked anyone to actually help him promote this service)
The free service got so popular he had to move it off of his Facebook Page and onto it’s own site at www.HelpAReporter.com.
Now, here’s where the story takes a counterintuitive twist…because it’s STILL FREE!
He clearly could have monetized it, because it’s clearly meeting a huge want in the market – which he says doesn’t surprise him that reporters are seeking an alternative to ProfNet. He says they get tons of queries from their posts there, but so many of them are “misguided”. (and he firmly says he will dump list members who don’t send a response that is on target in his welcome email)
Reporters report that they get a lot more on-target answers from Shankman’s list. Another plus is they get fresh faces from many of the smaller PR folks and even entrepreneurs themselves who can’t necessarily afford the pricey ProfNet service.
Maybe at some point in the future he will start to charge. However, my guess is that he’s getting a lot more visibility and more business doing what he really loves to do anyway this way.
There’s a lot more meat to this story here:
Tired of ProfNet? Start Your Own PR-Journalist Service
What could you do that would provide a similar effect to your target audience? I’ve got some ideas now myself that would help my expert authors…stay tuned!
In my opinion, niche topic professional speakers listen up – better yet, take action to find out how to capitalize on this ever-increasing trend of social video-sharing. You could be owning this medium in a big way to get your message out to a global audience with not much more than what you probably already have – video of you speaking. But you’ll have to shift your thinking to “content” and “contribution” …the level of thinking that got you where you are, isn’t deep enough get you where you want to go…
Move over MySpace, LinkedIn, Ryze, eCademy…etc. Free IQ is here. This site is the answer all of the business professionals have been looking for but hadn’t been developed yet.
Brad Fallon’s brain child, FreeIQ.com is an “Idea Marketplace” search engine and social networking site rolled into one …a place for speakers, authors, coaches, consultants, trainers and other independent professionals to show what they know AND make dough with their text, audio and video. (Hey, that all rhymes you know, ;-))
I’ll be posting more later about it, head over to Free IQ and check it out until then.