Why Your Contacts and Life Experiences are so Valuable

generate business leads market place for selling life experienceThings you will find in this essay:
What is the most effective medium for meeting someone new?
What twitter did different from Facebook?
How to contact anyone directly?
Why people you know are important in your future growth?
What information you won’t find in Google but you have it?
Next generation Content Creation Model – Make money before you create
How users force you to improve your venture
How do you know you are about to create the next big thing?

What is the most effective medium for meeting someone new?

Why people guard their contacts and don’t make introductions as often? When we first came up with Directly.me, all we wanted to do was “Contact anyone directly” reduce the six degree of separation to direct connections.  We knew the most effective medium of meeting someone new for personal reason or for business was through introduction. When you are introduced to somebody; by someone they trust, chances of a meeting taking place are much higher. Because introductions take time and come with consequences, people guard their relationships and provide referrals with much caution. Suppose if you introduced me to someone and I wasted their time, the outcome will also affect how referrals from you are looked up on in the future. Some of us use double opt-in, before I introduce you to someone I know, I will send them your details and ask if they are OK for me to make the introduction.  If they say no, I won’t make the connection and if they say yes, I will make the introduction. In most cases the equation for this process is:

Who then What, multiplied by time and consequences required on all parties involved. 

We wanted to change this. Just like friendship on Facebook required time, commitment, I search for you, Find you, Send you a friend request and then wait until you comeback to Facebook, open my Friendship request  and accept my request before we show up on each other’s Friend list

What Twitter did different from Facebook?

Twitter turned the friendship model upside down; simply come to my profile, follow me without waiting for me to accept anything and immediately consume what I produce. I can follow whoever I want to without their permission.  Number of followers turned into a social currency status symbol, higher the followers more important you are. No time commitment from the person I am following. If Twitter followed the Facebook friendship model, would they still have grown as fast as they did?

How to contact anyone directly?

We thought of taking heavy introductions and turning them into light Pass-Throughs (PT) allowing more people to get in touch directly with others they don’t know.The six degrees have been successfully reduced and replaced with money. You simply log on to the site, decide on whom you want to contact, write your message, decide the expiry date, pay what you think is fair price for that person to read your message and click submit. We then take your price reward, see who knows this person on Directly.me and alert them to do a Pass-Through instead of the introduction. PT is where you can let a person you know; someone has sent them a paid message.  For instance, you want to directly contact Jack Doyle and you decide to pay $20 for him to read your message. Jack Doyle is someone I know, I will simply do a PT by letting Jack know, “Hey Jack, someone has paid $20 for you to read their message”.  I cannot provide you with Jack’s details and I cannot read the message you sent to Jack. I can only let him know someone has paid to contact him. Paying the money will keep the noise out; you will know whoever is contacting is serious. All parties will have mutual benefit for PT to happen, without the consequences of introductions.  When Jack reads your message, he can than decide the next step but if your message did not appeal to him, it does not reflect on me, all I did was to let him know, someone has paid to contact him.  Since I don’t know the person myself nor I read the message being sent, my PT is simply to inform. 50% of the $20 will be earned by Jack and 40% will be given to me for making the PT.  Both Jack and I can keep the money we made or give it to a Cause/Charity of our choice. Everyone wins, person who is trying to contact Jack gets his message through, Jack knows the intent is serious and earns 50% of $20 and my PT earns me 40% of all his earnings. Society benefits because all parties involved can share their earnings with a Charity or a Cause they support.

Just like how Twitter changed multistep Friendship to single click Follow, Directly.me wants to change Introductions, which comes with consequences to a Pass Through, which has no downside.  You decide on the person you want to contact and Directly.me team and community members will help get your message through by a simple Pass through to people they know.

Why people you know are important in your future growth?

Facebook and LinkedIn are integrated with Directly.me which means you can signup or login using any of them with only a single click. Directly.me allows you to register all your Facebook and LinkedIn relationships through its Protect your contacts feature.  When consolidating your contacts from Facebook and LinkedIn, we follow the following rules:

  1. For your privacy we do not make your contacts visible to others. The only person who knows people on your consolidated list is you, unless you want to show some of your contacts on your profile.
  2. If you are the first to protect any of your contacts you would be getting additional benefits:
  • You will get 5-10% from every paid message to them. You can keep the money or use it towards a Cause/Charity of your choice or to do whatever you please with.
  • You will be informed before his/her other friends if anyone is trying to contact a person who has been protected by you first.
  • If anyone places a Price Reward on one of your contacts, a successful Pass through will earn you 40%.

In essence we turned the introduction equation to:

What and then who, multiplied by a simple Pass-Through with no consequences to the middle person.

What information you won’t find in Google but you have it?

Aforementioned was the plan until we opened up the site to its beta users.  What started to happen was nothing short of amazing.  Users not only did understand the concept of Directly.me (a place for directly contacting people you didn’t know) but also started listing what someone else should contact them for?  We quickly realized that members were listing their life experiences. Adnan, Zak and Tammy thought wow what you have gone through in life, someone else might be going through it right now, imagine if this person could pay and directly contact you for your life experience.  I had moved to the UK on an investor Visa and with my experience I can help anyone else who is about to travel on the same path.Imagine if someone who wants to move to the UK on this type of visa can directly contact me for suggestions, tips, procedures etc.

We started asking each other for our life experiences, here are some of my experiences:

  • How important is user experience in gaining startup traction
  • Why gaining momentum internally is crucial to outer reach for your startup
  • What role does momentum play in your startup
  • Consequences when your IT team goes that extra mile
  • Getting first 10,000 users for your Startup
  • Who are the real connectors in your personal network
  • When feedback from the beta users keeps you up at night
  • What Google Analytics Doesn’t Tell You
  • Some Key Factors in Spreading Word of Mouth
  • How do you define start-up traction
  • How To Get Investor Visa For UK
  • Top 3 seed stage venture capitalists in Canada
  • An ideal PR firm for your startup

We typed our experiences in Google to see what comes up?  We soon realizedthat Google did not have what is in our mind. Unlike the Borg race from Star Trek, which has hive mind (every Borg knows what’s in the mind of every other Borg) us humans have individual minds.  No one knows what is in our head and the only time we share our life experience is when someone close to us asks.  In short, your life experiences are not available to any stranger.  Creating Marketplace for Life Experiences where anyone can pay and access part of what you have gone through made lots of sense. We knew your life experiences were valuable to others and so were the life experiences of everyone you know. Protecting your contacts became much more important. Now you could do a Pass-Through when anyone wanted to learn from the life experiences of people you know.

We thought why reinvent the wheel when people have already spent a lot of time on building their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. Hence we developed theenrich profile feature, which with a single click allowsyou to build your profiles from your Facebook and LinkedIn data. This automatic one click profile builder gives you ideas on what people should pay to contact you for.

At this point, we had the following:

  1. Build and enrich profile with a single click
  2. Protect your relationships allowingconsolidation of your contacts from Facebook and LinkedIn in less than a minute

The next important decision was how do users provide access to othersfor their life experiences? What do they do to make sure it’s easy and fun? If within a couple of hours I was able to list loads of life experiencesto share with othersthan others could do the same as well. The problem I identified was that listing the experiences alone did not take much time but writing details of all theseexperiences was definitely a time consuming process. There was no way we could use the traditional content creation model to serve this need simply because:

  1. Writing details ofall of one’s experiences is time consuming.
  2. Writingdetailed experience in advance takes too much effort and by the time one finishes writing all his experiences, it will be months before others would be able to even read the headlines

We once again decided to go against the tide. Instead of writing experiences first, we allowed people to list their life experiences in beautiful headlines. Job done; now they would have to write their detailed experiences only when someone contacts them for it. A few quick headlines of some of my life experiences:

  • What I learnt from my first venture
  • Finding early adopters for your venture
  • Launching a Startup in London
  • Talk to me before deciding on offshore development
  • Who around you will help grow your venture
  • How important is the month before launching your startup
  • Why two businesses in the same industry achieve different results

Next generation Content Creation Model

Make money before you create

It was decided that we will let you write your life experience headlines first and associate a delivery date (how long it would take to be delivered) with each. This way whenever someone pays to buy that particular experience, you have the pre-decided time available to create and share your life experience with the buyer.  In simple words this gives me liberty to create table of index of what is in my head instead of creating loads of detailed life experiences. When someone buys one, I can than create and send it.

We believe that this minimum effort model is the right approach and the best way to share life experiences. This way, millions of life experiences can be listed in beautiful headlines very fast and others can contact us based on table of index of our brain.

We knew that this is going to be our biggest challenge as over years content has been produced and delivered in a set way, you create first and then monetize.

With our model; you monetize first and then create,

We are turning the content creation and delivery upside down.

Is the market ready for it?  Will people embrace the easier and more common sense approach?  Would people trust it? Would they buy something based only on a headline? We had lots of unanswered questions but more we shared our life experiences in headlines internally, more we realized, the model is faster, easier and credible. Although we knew each other for a while, our life experiences were not fully known and shared amongst us.  We realized we could truly benefit from each other, based on what we have gone through in life.

Headlines are a very effective way when it comes to consuming information. Even when you are reading newspaper, headlines catch your attention and you select articles to read based on these headlines. When you search something on the internet, you search based on string of words (headline).

How users force you to improve your venture

Initially we simply allowed members to write headlines in words, which got listed on their profiles.  Members wanted more, they wanted the option to be able to promote their life experiences and they wanted others to be able to vouch for them, which meant word description was no longer good enough for them.

As a result we decided to launch Life Experience Billboards;

  1. Create your Life Experience headline and place it on a billboard. Just like the Billboards you see on the highways
  2. Allow the members the option to share their Life Experience Billboard with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, or embed it anywhere on the internet.
  3. Allow users to ask those they know to vouch for them.  For example when I create a billboard for “Finding early adopters for your venture“, those who know I have this experience can vouch for me.
  4. People who purchased my billboard arealso able to rank and vouch.
  5. Allow members to customize their Life Experience billboards with images as well as videos.
  6. Allow members to re-sell anyone’s life experience with a single click based on profit sharing.

This way you can simply write a headline for your life experience, place it on billboard and syndicate it to others you know.

How do you know you are about to create the next big thing?

Simple answer is, You don’t know but Traction says a lot.  I am glad to write that we have not launched yet; more than 1.5 million life experiences and more than 2 million direct connections are already available through Directly.me.

Will Directly.me tip? Would it become the next big thing? Is it making something easier, faster and credible? Would it earn a permanent space in your mind-shelf? Only time will answer all these questions but gaining good traction is a very good first step.

What is in your head is business of Directly.me.  We all have two very valuable assets:

  1. Information in our head (life experiences and know how)
  2. People we know (our contacts)

Directly.me is a platform which makes it possible to easily and quickly share our most valuable assets to help people we don’t know.  This information cannot be found from the internet, we consume everything in life through the filters of what we have learnt or gone through.  At a dinner, I met up with some people who listened to Bill Gates talk in Dubai and asked “what did you learn from Bill Gates today”?

The answers were mindboggling and interesting:

1. Accountant learnt everything with accounting filters

2. Startup CEO learnt what it takes to keep moving

3. Marketing guy learnt and was convinced the talk was about growth

.

.

.

10. …………………..

Ten different people; at the exact same venue, listening to the same speaker, learnt everything with filters of their own life.  If you are an Accountant and you wanted to learn what Bill Gates talk in Dubai was all about. If all the people in the above list had what they learnt for sale, as an accountant who would you buy it from?

Directly.me is a new frontier in your quest to meet people, build business or personal relationships and to list the knowledge floating in your head to help not help others and to make money.

1. Join right away

2. Protect Your Contacts first and then inform others to do the same.
This in turn allows them the opportunity to add and protect their own network and profit in the same way. When a member helps you get in touch with one of their contacts they will benefit by way of a portion of the paid message amount.

3. Prelist what others should pay to contact you for. You have the option to sell your life experiences, information or data you own. Simply write a headline for what you want to sell, decide on the price, decide if you want to sell anonymously or with your name, set the delivery date and take your offer live. You can also use our Automated Experience engine to see what others will pay to contact you for?

4. Become a volunteer or advisor for Directly.me

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3 Responses to “Why Your Contacts and Life Experiences are so Valuable”

  1. Mark Adlam says:

    When i was reading this, i was thinking these guys created this just for me. so many times I wanted to contact someone and was willing, able and ready to pay but did not know their contact details. This concept makes sense because it solves a fundamental problem faced by so many people. To increase my network I attend conferences all the time but never actually know whom I will meet before hand. Now I can pay and schedule times with people i want to meet before getting to the conference. I don’t see any reason why this concept is not going to catch fire. You have my email address please tell me how i can help?

  2. Naya Heaton says:

    Great concept: I can see myself paying to contact people to open doors for business leads but how will you make sure quality is up to par for life experiences being sold?

  3. Jenni says:

    Com! Very good concept. Looking forward to using it.

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