Technicianinabox.com (Forum Campaign Advice sought)

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Stephen Ryan, May 4, 2011.

  1. Stephen Ryan

    Stephen Ryan
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    I need some business advice for my Technicianinabox campaign.

    Basically, I have developed the product and set the wheels in motion but i need to get the right people in the forum, both from a support point of view and subscribers.

    I decided to go the paid route because my experience is that people who are given training for free rarely take it further than a basic understanding of the materials.

    I guess you could say my real market is young people who have a lot of spare time or maybe unemployed people or even people with disabilities (some of these people maybe on your forum promotion website). I don't want to charge a lot because part of what i am trying to do is on compassionate grounds because after a long career in IT I have a mental disability and want to try and give something back.

    I myself will soon be attending MCCH Aspirations for help.

    So I am not to sure whether my prices are right (although 50% discount for unemployed/disablity) and the way i am approaching things is correct. Can you please advise me what you think i should do to take this project forward and connect with a marketplace?

    thank you for any help and advice you can give
    Stephen
    Technicianinabox.com
     
  2. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Hi Stephen, welcome to Business Advice Forum, good to meet you here. Offering discounts to the unemployed and to people with disabilities is a good idea and it should make it easier to sell to them.

    Whilst I do agree that people value services and content more when they pay for it, it will be a challenge to get people to pay to join a new forum. The difficulty you will face is that there are so many free forums available on the web, that provide good quality content and advice, without charge to their members.

    Have you considered the option of making your forum free for most of your members and then charging for premium membership, which could perhaps give them access to a forum section exclusive to premium members as well as some additional bonuses on the forum?

    Alternatively is there anything extra special that you can offer to your members, that they can't already find for free?
     
  3. Stephen Ryan

    Stephen Ryan
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    Thanks for your advice Fergal.

    I guess the real advantage of technicianinabox vs. a free tech-support forum is I will be publishing a system of training modules on a monthly basis, whilst providing backup support through the forum to help members turn this knowledge into profitable enterprises within the area they live.

    Free forums are good places to ask for advice and get interesting information, but are not the same as structured training programmes that lead to the development of legitimate, profitable, technical services businesses. As an instructional designer I understand the importance of effective communication in order to translate expectation into action. I also have a 25 year background in technical sales and have worked for Codemasters as a hiring manager and with IBM as a consultant.

    So I guess that's some of the difference between a free forum and what I am trying to offer with Technicianinabox.

    Does that sound sufficiently compelling enough to be of interest to members of Business Advice Forum?

    all the best
    Stephen

    PS. I guess a further answer to your question is that by structuring the delivery of content and support it is possible for members with virtually no skills at all, to develop a cash-earning technical services business in a much shorter period of time. If they had to learn from free forums it would take them much longer than with Technicianinabox.
    Stephen
     
  4. Fergal

    Fergal
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    That all sounds very attractive Stephen and your own knowledge, skills and experience should be of great benefit to your paying members.

    Perhaps starting a free forum or blog could work, as a a way of attracting members and obtaining their contact details. You could then offer Premium Membership and only provide the "system of training modules on a monthly basis, whilst providing backup support through the forum to help members turn this knowledge into profitable enterprises within the area they live" to members who sign up and pay for that. I've heard this approach described rather crudely as the bikini principle - provide 90% of your content free and charge a premium for those who want access to the extra 10%.

    http://www.seobook.com/ is a good example of a site that uses this strategy very well. They provide lots of free resources and tools, but you have to pay a hefty fee for the premium content. This site would be well worth a look, for ideas on how to implement this model, if you decide to go this route.

    Do you feel that kind of approach could work for you?
     
  5. Stephen Ryan

    Stephen Ryan
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    Yes, that seems like a very sound approach Fergal, thank you.

    I could develop an opt-in list (Free Forum/Twitter/FB/SqueezePage) using free content and then leverage it to sell premium training content on-line.
    I can take some of the training materials and breakout some content for free distribution.

    Makes a lot of sense.
    Cheers
    Stephen
     
  6. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Good luck with it Stephen and please do keep us posted on how it is working out for you.
     
  7. Stephen Ryan

    Stephen Ryan
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  8. Fergal

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    Looks good Stephen. Is the guy with the moustache someone you hired online to create the video, I've a feeling I've seen him somewhere before?

    The sales page is compelling and it does encourage visitors to enter their email address. I've entered mine and received the report which is an interesting read. One thing I do wonder is how you will have the expertise and resources to cater for such a diverse range of computer related businesses. I do love the two examples in the report of how completely ordinary people were able to very quickly start making money from a computer related business. The stories are extremely practical and could help motivate anyone to take action and get started.

    Good luck with it and I look forward to seeing the opinions of other members on what you are doing.
     
  9. Stephen Ryan

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    Hi Fergal, Yes that guy is on Fiverr and does a pretty good job for what is effectively £3.50. :)

    Name is Sam Cornwall.

    Thanks for your remarks. I will have the expertise available because I have about 10 content providers supplying technical content and forum support.
    Thanks again for you time and advice.
    Stephen
     
  10. Fergal

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    Thanks for that name Stephen, I may contact him at some time if I decide to get a video done for BAF.
     

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