It’s often said that the best ideas are the ones that happen accidentally.
I’m feeling that way about The Solopreneur Life’s “Get Connected” social network.
“Get Connected” was kind of an after-thought, a value-add to the “Relationship Marketing for Solopreneurs” home-study course that I co-created with industrial psychologist Jim Sheard, Ph.D. I envisioned “Get Connected” as a simple, private discussion forum, and for many weeks I thought that’s what it would be.
But then VERY close to the “Relationship Marketing” launch date, I decided to scrap the forum. The impetus was the clunkiness of WordPress-“friendly” forum plugins. I kept thinking, “A forum shouldn’t be this difficult!”
Then somehow I stumbled onto Ning, a social-networking platform. When I began to realize the community-building potential of a Ning-based “Get Connected” group, I was so excited my hands were shaking. (I’m not kidding about the hands!) I saw that a Ning location was the perfect home for initiating connections and building relationships, and the Ning features fit the vibe of the “Relationship Marketing” course.
Here are two observations so far about “Get Connected” (and I know I’m not objective about this!):
• The members of the “Get Connected” group are smart (very smart!), talented, and they want to build relationships. They ask great questions.
I told Rob Place on Tuesday night that I felt like I’d gotten several hundred dollars worth of coaching advice (at least) in the chat room that night from Deb Pang Davis and Jill Chivers. Is the chat room always going to be like that? No. But it’s very cool to have access to bright, supportive individuals who want to connect.
• I love the Ning platform. I was asked Tuesday if “Get Connected” was integrated into TheSolopreneurLife.com. Nope. But it looks and feels like it is.
The functionality and features blow my mind, and Ning is stupid-easy to administrate (fingers crossed!).
Most importantly, nearly everybody who has signed in to “Get Connected” has gone out of their way to tell me that they really like Ning.
In the “Get Connected” chat room, we have two casual chats “scheduled” for today (Wednesday): 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Central (U.S.) time. It’s a come-when-you-can, leave-when-you-must kind of thing. I can’t wait!
How You Can Be Part of “Get Connected”
From now through October 25, you can purchase a charter membership in “Get Connected” for only $37.
Get it free with your purchase of the $89 version of “Relationship Marketing for Solopreneurs.” Custom Web-site developer Naomi Niles, in her review of the course, said she thinks the $89 version is “a steal.”
I look forward to connecting with you!