Lessons Learned From Website Memberships

Lessons learned from website memberships.

 

Learn from other's mistakes, and proceed cautiously in joining websites that promise you 'free' leads or business

Learn from other’s mistakes, and proceed cautiously in joining websites that promise you ‘free’ leads or business

The sales spiel sounded great – this website was going to provide me with sales leads for potentially hundreds of folks looking for my services or products – for free (three monthly after the first 30 days).  Or, I could join the site at the next level and get a higher number of warm referrals from the membership site.  Sounds great – where do I sign up?

Then the warning flags start.  You are ‘required’ to do things or asked for information you are uncomfortable providing.  Why do they need a birthdate – especially if they claim to ‘never share your personal data with external vendors.’ For what purpose could they possibly need that?

If you want to provide your connections’ information (Facebook ‘friends’ or LinkedIn ‘connections’) then they will upgrade your membership or allow more ‘perks’ for your profile or account.  Or they want access to photos, friends, or posts on your profile(s) pages. The site offers great incentive to make it easy to invite your social or business network.  “Want to send out invitations to your friends or connections? Click here for Facebook invites or download your LinkedIn connections (“here are easy instructions”); then upload the list to our invitation box.  We will send the invite to your friends in your name.”

Then – unfortunately – you trust those contact names are going to be treated with respect and not spammed. Even more unfortunately – you have just provided that website with ammunition to start a magnificent promotional campaign – for themselves – with information you have delivered on a silver platter.

If you are in business – any new website or technology that seems like a good thing is worth investigating, or if incentives sound promising, you want to sign up for the benefits immediately.  If the app or the website promises to bring you more business at a low or no-cost alternative, then of course you are going to sign up.  Any business marketing or advertising at practically no cost is worth investigating.  But do remember – if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

When you develop a marketing plan for your business, research to the bottom of the barrel the methodologies for developing new clients. Look at traditional methods of advertising (mail, brochures, business cards, cold-call sales), as well as new technology methodologies (weekly text messages, scheduled Facebook posts, Twitter tweets). Be careful of new technologies that haven’t yet been time-tested.

If you try a new platform, or application and something goes awry, be on top of the apology.  The minute complaints start coming in, create a sincere, personalized message. Let the offended party know you are truly sorry.  Take a lesson from Tylenol’s fiasco several decades ago when doctored bottles with cyanide were placed in several store shelves to cover a murder.  Tylenol immediately recalled all bottles nationwide and apologized.  They got a black eye, although not their fault, but came out on top when the truth emerged. They demonstrated a sincerity about the public – before their profits.

I recently joined a new website and provided list of connections to invite to the platform.  Unfortunately the website sent out 3-20 spammy invitations to everyone!  How mortifying for my professional credibility! I spent hours answering all the folks who complained to me, and that doesn’t even include those who have now permanently moved my email address to the spam filter.  This means I’ve lost potential business, not gained it per the promises of this website.

Lessons learned: 1) don’t join every new website that promises huge ROI for your vested time and contact info, 2) test the lists (with emails that come back to you) to see what happens if you send out mass invites, 3) ask others who have joined what their experience is – was it worth it? and 4) don’t chase rainbows – make sure what you sign up for is worth it and you can drop the contract anytime. If they start adding on charges to use stuff that was free at first, then perhaps it’s not worth it.

 

 

Dawn Boyer, Ph.D., is the owner of D. Boyer Consulting – providing resume writing, social media management, business development, and human resources consulting. Reach her at: Dawn.Boyer@DBoyerConsulting.com or http://dboyerconsulting.com.

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Lessons Learned From Website Memberships

Lessons learned from website memberships.

 

Learn from other's mistakes, and proceed cautiously in joining websites that promise you 'free' leads or business

Learn from other’s mistakes, and proceed cautiously in joining websites that promise you ‘free’ leads or business

The sales spiel sounded great – this website was going to provide me with sales leads for potentially hundreds of folks looking for my services or products – for free (three monthly after the first 30 days).  Or, I could join the site at the next level and get a higher number of warm referrals from the membership site.  Sounds great – where do I sign up?

Then the warning flags start.  You are ‘required’ to do things or asked for information you are uncomfortable providing.  Why do they need a birthdate – especially if they claim to ‘never share your personal data with external vendors.’ For what purpose could they possibly need that?

If you want to provide your connections’ information (Facebook ‘friends’ or LinkedIn ‘connections’) then they will upgrade your membership or allow more ‘perks’ for your profile or account.  Or they want access to photos, friends, or posts on your profile(s) pages. The site offers great incentive to make it easy to invite your social or business network.  “Want to send out invitations to your friends or connections? Click here for Facebook invites or download your LinkedIn connections (“here are easy instructions”); then upload the list to our invitation box.  We will send the invite to your friends in your name.”

Then – unfortunately – you trust those contact names are going to be treated with respect and not spammed. Even more unfortunately – you have just provided that website with ammunition to start a magnificent promotional campaign – for themselves – with information you have delivered on a silver platter.

If you are in business – any new website or technology that seems like a good thing is worth investigating, or if incentives sound promising, you want to sign up for the benefits immediately.  If the app or the website promises to bring you more business at a low or no-cost alternative, then of course you are going to sign up.  Any business marketing or advertising at practically no cost is worth investigating.  But do remember – if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

When you develop a marketing plan for your business, research to the bottom of the barrel the methodologies for developing new clients. Look at traditional methods of advertising (mail, brochures, business cards, cold-call sales), as well as new technology methodologies (weekly text messages, scheduled Facebook posts, Twitter tweets). Be careful of new technologies that haven’t yet been time-tested.

If you try a new platform, or application and something goes awry, be on top of the apology.  The minute complaints start coming in, create a sincere, personalized message. Let the offended party know you are truly sorry.  Take a lesson from Tylenol’s fiasco several decades ago when doctored bottles with cyanide were placed in several store shelves to cover a murder.  Tylenol immediately recalled all bottles nationwide and apologized.  They got a black eye, although not their fault, but came out on top when the truth emerged. They demonstrated a sincerity about the public – before their profits.

I recently joined a new website and provided list of connections to invite to the platform.  Unfortunately the website sent out 3-20 spammy invitations to everyone!  How mortifying for my professional credibility! I spent hours answering all the folks who complained to me, and that doesn’t even include those who have now permanently moved my email address to the spam filter.  This means I’ve lost potential business, not gained it per the promises of this website.

Lessons learned: 1) don’t join every new website that promises huge ROI for your vested time and contact info, 2) test the lists (with emails that come back to you) to see what happens if you send out mass invites, 3) ask others who have joined what their experience is – was it worth it? and 4) don’t chase rainbows – make sure what you sign up for is worth it and you can drop the contract anytime. If they start adding on charges to use stuff that was free at first, then perhaps it’s not worth it.

 

 

Dawn Boyer, Ph.D., is the owner of D. Boyer Consulting – providing resume writing, social media management, business development, and human resources consulting. Reach her at: Dawn.Boyer@DBoyerConsulting.com or http://dboyerconsulting.com.

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Follow my podcasts

Available on iTunes and Podomatic:

Add to Google

addtomyyahoo4

The Best Host for Websites – Highly Recommended for Customer Service

InMotion Hosting Affiliate