Specific methods of monetizing your community’s recruiting activity
After publishing my last post, “How I made $1.5M from my community and how you can do the same”, I received all kinds of responses, but the most reoccurring one was “please tell me more about how exactly you did it”. So, since monetizing communities is what we do, I will dive into some relevant case studies and drill down the processes that enable a community leader to turn a community of professionals into a profitable marketplace of talent.
Let’s start with one of the first local communities that we launched in Israel on Comonetize’s platform. The community leader, Naor, was managing a facebook group for content professionals with about 10K members.
He continuously provided value and information to his group members by creating a safe space for them to ask professional questions and get answers and support from their peers. He also invited them to relevant meetups and lectures, thus creating a vibrant community of content professionals.
One of the side effects that appeared shortly after the group became successful was numerous job ads that flooded the social and professional feed. Recruiters realized that this group was a great place to find talent, and indeed it was. But these job posts spoiled the atmosphere as they became dominant in the group, pushing down conversations and social interactions.
Realizing this, Naor created another group only for job offers. This decision doubled his work, because now he had to moderate two groups instead of one.
Naor and I met around that time and he decided to check out our monetization platform, Comonetize.
He decided that, instead of referring recruiters to the new group, he would refer them to a dedicated branded community site where they could post their job ads.
Naor customized the site and at first invited only trusted friends and the other moderators of his facebook community. They created beautiful professional profiles, so, when Naor started inviting the rest of his community members to join, there were already twenty beautiful professional profiles in the index. Naor also reached out to some of the recruiters (remember the ones that made him open the new group?) and offered to post their ads for them on his new platform.
Next, he wrote a post: “We are going to launch a “contentX” premium community and we are limiting it to 50 members for the launch. Who wants in?”
Surprisingly, or maybe not so much, about 350 people wanted in. Naor sent invitations to the first fifty who replied and guided them personally as they created a full profile, with photos, links and the works. Then he sent invitations to the rest of the members that wanted to join, and the rest is history.
The road to monetization
The index filled up with hundreds of professionals, and the recruiters were fast to follow. Each job ad that was posted on the board was sent to hundreds of relevant professionals, and many of them applied.
The recruiters were happy, but also flooded with applicants, so, believe it or not, they complained to Naor for having too many applicants.
When Naor consulted me, I advised him to start offering his members a premium feature that we built into our product, which allowed offering premium members a few days’ advantage in applying to job ads.
Naor started offering this premium subscription program, which is still available.
When did paying a membership fee become profitable to the community members? When it gave them a real advantage over others in getting the business opportunities they needed.
Setting up this model in this specific community solved three problems:
1) Value for money for the community members: they gain a real advantage over non-premium members. 2) Value for the recruiter: the number of applications is reduced, but they are now coming from more serious applicants (since they pay to apply), at least for the first days. 3) Value for the community leaders: they can now invest their time in the community and actually make a living of it.
When I launched my community in 2006, I had no idea how I was going to make a living of it, and I wrote in detail about the process I was going through as I embarked on my journey to make it the most successful TV production community site in Israel.
When I started monetizing, I created the business model that is similar to what we, at Comonetize, now offer community leaders like Naor.
I realized that the balance of the market was such that producers were not eager to pay for posting a job ad, because workforce supply was much greater than the demand for working hands. On the other hand, offering an advantage in applying to these job ads gave great leverage to the premium members and helped them land more jobs, projects and business opportunities on a regular basis.
For the last decade, we have about 1,000 members who pay around $10 a month for a premium membership in our community, and around 50–60K who use it for free.
Do you want to start monetizing your community? Are you running a marketplace of talent but getting nothing out of it? Talk to us. We’re here to help you realize your community’s monetizing potential.