'Community, Tools and Intention' - how to achieve leverage through software and people
Indeed for 10 years we have been beating a drum, that some could not hear, some thought was a noise, but now, at last, Ecademy is being understood and the third wave of the web is emerging. In Thomas Power's words, "the third wave of the internet is all about the combination of Community, Tools and Intention'. Social Networking is all about providing friendship and a joint intention and purpose. Respecting that people are time starved and their time spent should have a productive output is critical, managing reputations and enabling people to develop in a positive way is how people can achieve success. These values provide the real benefit of the web and Ecademy is right there. Finally we are seeing tremendous growth. The community here has always known and believed; now we are seeing the media and the industry starting to understand too.
As a community we are all paving the way for change and I know the advice you all pass onto new members is the most valuable part in creating this change. There is a unique energy inside Ecademy, created by purpose and intention, by winning by sharing and by supporting one another.
The tools, the software are the things you can do on Ecademy to connect and promote yourself. Your intention and your attitude is what makes the tools work.
I read a book 10 years ago by Seth Godin called Permission Marketing, it had an impact on me. Seth Godin talked about businesses creating a process whereby they do not need to 'sell', rather they need to create a process whereby customers want to 'buy'. I read this before I started Ecademy and it played a major part in the idea of the Social Network we have created.
Seth's strap line for his book is 'Turning Strangers Into Friends, and Friends Into Customers', on Ecademy we say "Relationships First, Commerce Second'. They mean the same.
Owning a business, managing your time pressure within business, and perhaps working alone, requires the ability to leverage. Leverage allows you to get the maximum output from the effort you put in. In my 1-2-1's and Training Courses with members, I talk about how members leverage their network and leverage the Internet. Ecademy has been built by us through leverage, we started with a few people, we started with a small amount of software code on a website and we have attracted people and we have grown the code, it is the Internet and the Network that has allowed Ecademy to become global and have extraordinary results for many, interestingly as a Management Team, we have not grown in numbers, we have not needed to increase our costs in line with the growth achieved, we have achieved 'leverage'. This is the opportunity that exists for businesses today. In the 21st Century business people do not have to build big business to achieve big results, but they have to start with the right intention and use the tools available to spread the word.
I was interested to read this paragraph about leverage recently (http://homepage.mac.com/sneiderhauser/leverage.html)
A unique form of leverage exists today, which allows business to compete in a revolutionary fashion. It is changing business in much the same way that the industrial revolution changed business, but even more so. We will call this unique form of leverage: software leverage. Software leverage is the extent to which a company utilizes existing software in the development of new software. In turn the leveraged software will be used to reduce operating costs, either through reduced development costs or increased automation. The latest advances in the area of object-oriented technologies have enabled firms to leverage software to an even greater degree.
Ecademy is your software as well as your community. Everyday we are encouraged to see the number of business people leveraging the tools (software) we provide to ensure they get 'maximum output from the effort they put in. Using Blogs and Marketplace, allows you to communicate your message 'one to many'. Additionally, owning a Club allows you to create your own community and access tools that can enable 'software leverage' or "many to many". This enables you to get your message across to a like minded, focused group of people.
On Ecademy we have over 3,900 Clubs, some active, some very active and some dormant. They have been created by members for members and it is a total joy to witness the success that successful leaders are having.
This is a whole new skill to learn. How do you inspire activity and engagement from your members within your Club? How do you ensure you are leveraging and gaining for yourself also? This is an area that some succeed at and others start and give up, however, this is the future of marketing, the future of customer engagement and the future of customer retention. The Brands are starting to wake up to this, and we are proud of the fact that many small business owners, here on Ecademy, already know the subject better than any Corporate can yet, small business' like to engage with their customer brands find this terrifying.
The 'Club' tool on Ecademy is a resource for your business, it is there to help you 'leverage your effort to give you maximum output', as a Club Leader you should experience a measurable reward proportionate to the effort you put in. Momentum should be building up each day within your Club that delivers growth to you and your business, if it is not, then I suggest you look at what message you are promoting. How well aligned your intention is with your club to your business goals, fundamentally the value you provide as an individual.
As a Club Leader ask yourself:
How well do your members understand what you stand for?
What value you bring to the business world?
How can you pass this value onto people in your club?
All your members are in some kind of business, all members should be able to consume or advocate your products/services. Don't be afraid to build your personal brand in your Club, remember, giving should create an environment to receive.
To learn more about running your own Club, around your expertise, in your local area or as a social gathering, talk to other successful Club Leaders and read this guide created by Andrew Widgery and recently updated by Philip Calvert. Guidelines to Setting Up and Running Successful Clubs on Ecademy
We also have a dedicated Support Team that you can reach by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are already a Club Leader make sure you join and participate in this Club, created for you. Mentoring Ecademy Club Leaders. This Club is run by a member of our Support Team, Helen Winder and Philip Calvert
Philip Calvert is also speaking this month at our London Event on "How to Skyrocket Your Sales through Social Networks and Online Clubs", you can register HERE to attend.
Our intention is that Ecademy contributes to your success in 2008 and we hope that you leverage your network and the software tools we provide to make this happen, don't under-estimate what Web 3.0 is all about, be part of it on Ecademy and watch how we will all progress within it.
Connecting Business People - through Business Networking
To learn more about how Ecademy and how Social Networking can help your business, read my Blog Using Social Networks to grow your Business..
Also, come along to Thomas and Penny's Training Course on 17th April, (afternoon) in London- details and registration HERE