Tuesday, 26 April 2011 15:43

The chicken or the egg?

Discussion started by Kim

I have an idea for a website which will be, in very broad terms, a home design resource with a directory of professionals. My query is how do you secure advertisers (banner ads) and paid directory members when you are starting from scratch and can't entice with established traffic? Start with the main content and develop traffic first before introducing the directory? Trouble is I am gearing the site towards user-generated and advertiser-generated content so hard to gather content from prospective advertisers and then ask them to pay an annual fee down the track?

Latest Discussion
Melissa-Jane

Melissa-Jane

1273 days ago
Hi Kim,

You may need to try to secure one or a few companies that would suit your website as partner/s that would provide some content to begin with. As for users, do you mean that users will pay to become members? If so, then perhaps you could offer free membership for the first month or first few months, or maybe even different membership options where one option is free but has limited access, this should hopefully help gain members initially and once the site becomes more popular and trusted you should be able to gain more paid members.

Melissa-Jane.
Kim

Kim

1272 days ago
Thanks Melissa-Jane - I'm not planning on users paying, only professionals listed in the directory part of the website will pay. Thinking of offering free listings (basically a 1 page website within my website) to selected professionals in different geographical areas to get the ball rolling and be an incentive for others to join. The bulk of the website will be free for users to view and upload content of their own. To start with planning to approach the selected professionals I mentioned to see if I can have attributed content from their websites which would hopefully be an ongoing thing as they add new content to their websites. I'll focus on higher profile professionals who aren't likely to be interested in paying for a listing but aren't opposed to free promotion.
Alli Baker

Alli Baker

1258 days ago
Hi Kim,

Have you considered putting up a temporary website that will build interest and possibly content while your official site is under development? It could be a great way to do some pre-marketing. Melissa-Jane's idea about partners is a fantastic idea so you could start by targeting other companies where you can engage in a mutually beneficial relationship. To get content now, reach out to people and see if they'd mind if you posted their article on your site with full credits - I would think most people would love to have their article "syndicated." Melissa-Jane is also spot on with offering free trials, that gives people a way to try out your website and see if it's for them.

Good luck!
Alli
Wendy Stephens

Wendy Stephens

1203 days ago
Hi Kim,

my business is similar but in a different niche and faces a similar chicken and egg dilemma - I know from my research that a large proportion of my target audience really want a channel that will help them get in front of consumers, so they are already motivated and I know their margins are tight. I want a high volume of people to list with my site so I have gone for affordable pricing. Balancing the price points against a sales target that is reasonable to recover my initial investment in the site and its promotion I've managed to have a good listing to offer for about a dollar a day, and my sales target is only a couple of hundred listings to break even.

On top of that I have a couple of ideas to get my first clients - the first is approaching targets who are the leading small businesses in the sector and have multiple shops, I'll offer them a free Showcase (top) listing for one of their shops, they get to try, and consider a multiple purchase - I get the appearance of their well known name on my featured listings display for other prospects to see. I've also decided to offer an early bird special which I'll restrict by time or number available to create urgency to respond - it will be that they get an extra six months on their first 12 month listing subscription - I am specifically trying to address that nexus between needing them to attract website users and not yet having website users to offer them, so I'm offering to share the risk of building up website use. But, by getting them to buy I am asking them to think seriously about it and make a commitment to do a good job with their listing and become part of the site's community. I also get cash flow, which I wouldn't with a free offer, so I will be able to keep promoting the site to get more sales and users.

My prelaunch acitivity includes a Facebook page for my business and I just started tweeting 5 days ago, which I was really nervous about, but is proving to be a really good way to access people and spread my brand name - today I got retweeted by a major media outlet in my niche to their 6700 followers. I'm getting both industry and consumer connections on Twitter too.

hope that is useful or thought provoking

regards
Wendy Stephens
Helen

Helen

1169 days ago
Try to secure foundation advertisers, with more benefits now as oppose to later. Take them through your marketing plan and convince them how their business will benefit from advertising on your site. It may also help to give free advertising to a major player and leverage off that initially...

Good luck.
Helen
loading...
loading...
loading...
loading...