Categories
Paid Content

What is Socionity, and why you should care

Socionity lets you launch your own app to start selling videos, courses and livestreams directly to your own customers.

10 years late

When the internet was nascent, circa 1993, there was no good way to accept payments online. Banks were reluctant to adapt to this new technology called the internet, the security systems were poor and things just kept breaking. It was practically impossible to accept payments online.

By virtue of not being able to able to have transactions on the web, the netizens had to find a different business model. A business model that didn’t require the end users to pay. They turned to oh-so-novel ads. As the communities started building up around ad driven content, especially the likes of blogger.com and youtube.com, we became accustomed to believing content online has to be free. We’ve been spoilt.

Over the next decade online payments started working. Credits card were a reliable way to transact and people have started using it to buy tickets, groceries and software. But the content industry lagged behind. It was too accustomed to ads and had a lot of inertia to adapt to the availability of a new business model around charging the users directly – albeit small amounts. They continued to run ads, until they realized people have developed a blind eye to ads.

Top media houses like The Guardian, WSJ and New York times have finally realized that ads aren’t going to be enough to sustain their business.

If the Wall Street Journal can’t get enough money through ads, how can you? WSJ should have asked users to pay for the journalism 10 years back. So should you have.

Netflix

Netflix came about and for the first time changed people’s notion of paying up for content online. Ever since, people have been paying for various online content services – big and small. Users now understand that good quality content is hard to make and deserves to be paid for.

This is a major change in user behavior. People are now accustomed to paying online for retail, and are now slowly getting accustomed to paying online for content. Now that the trend is shifting away from free content, is the time to capitalize.

It is now possible to ask users to pay for your videos, podcasts and livestreams. People need’t pay for some large subscription that gives them access to hundreds of different options. They can pay for exactly what they want. Your content.

App

Now that the technology is in place, content creation costs are plummeting and distribution channels like YouTube and Instagram are prospering, it is now possible to build an entire business around your content – all by yourself.

If it is to be your own business, one of the most important real estates in the modern world is the homescreen. You must enter the users’ homescreen with your own app.

The only missing piece till date has been that it was hard or expensive to get a good app made for distributing your content and charging for it. That’s the piece Socionity solves for. We make it super simple for you – just drag-and-drop, and in a few minutes you can have your app live!

Ragini Chandran is a partner of Socionity.com

Leverage

Once you have people coming repeatedly to your app, you can build a strong community. You don’t need a million subscribers anymore to earn a living. All you need is just a handful of people who pay you. It is not only easier to make content for a smaller, but more engaged, audience but it is also more fun.

People who pay are your biggest fans. If you give them great content they’ll stick with you for life. The more content you make, more they’ll pay.

Over time, the more you keep these people happy – more the word of mouth will spread and you’ll slowly start adding more and more users – and one day, very soon we hope, you’ll be a successful entrepreneur. It’s surely not easy. But, it sure is fun. That’s what makes it special to be a freewill entrepreneur.

If you want to start your own app and start charging for videos, courses, podcasts and livestreams – you should head over to our product socionity.com


We write a lot about how you can be successful in setting up your digital business and about freewill entrepreneurship. If you’d like to hear more, you should subscribe.

Categories
Livestreaming Paid Content Youtube

Earn with YouTube – A common mistake

YouTubers rarely make enough money through YouTube, and most of them err by believing that they’ll magically start making money when they get to 1M subscribers or any such arbitrary number. Here, I’ll tell you how you can leverage YouTube’s strengths and actually make money.

Not on YouTube

YouTube has ads. You would have already turned it on and are probably making some money from it already. That’s great. The number one thing you must understand on YouTube is that since it is free for users to watch, there is only so much you can actually earn through ads. You must not try to earn with YouTube. You must look to build a wide audience with YouTube by posting free videos, but you’d really make your money on other channels. Socionity is one such channel which lets you leverage your audience and charge them directly.

YouTube is only to be used for discovery and audience building.

Paid Content

Netflix et al

Gone are the days when everyone expected all the content online to be free. With the advent of Netflix, Prime and other such apps that charge the users for the content, people are now finally ready to pay.

Wallets and mobile payments

Payment has become easy. There’s Google Pay, Apple Pay, Wallets and ofcourse your credit cards. Payments are now much simpler and secure. Payments work. People are now much more accustomed to paying online.

People paid a whooping US$1,058,288 Million in 2019 alone – online.

Exclusivity

A lot of your loyal audience will want to get exclusive access to you. Content that they’ll be the first to catch.

Having a community of loyal audience is far more powerful than a huge following of people who kind-of-like-you. With a loyal community you can have a meaningful dialogue. You can charge for the content, because these people see value in it and will be willing to pay.

Over time more and more people will want to enter this exclusive club. And slowly your revenue will start growing really fast as more and more people refer their friends to your own app.

Don’t err by thinking you can earn with YouTube by just posting videos every week. You need to work hard and build a loyal audience and charge them directly.

You can give them exclusive access to livestreams, classes, videos and podcasts.

Direct

Keep it simple, keep it direct. Don’t play the guessing game of which video will go viral and how much money you can make from each of those videos.

When you start selling to an audience, you can actually just talk to them and see what they want and build exactly what they want & will be willing to pay for.

The number of people who’ll pay you will be far less than the number of subscribers on your channel. However, the amount of money you’ll make from these loyal fans will far outstrip the amount you make through ads.

No free lunch

As they rightly say, there is no free lunch. If you are creating value, you should be rewarded for it. Your content is watched and loved by people around the world, why shouldn’t they pay you?

A lot of YouTubers we talk to are very skeptical about whether their audience will pay for their content. It’s a good question to ask. If the answer is no, there’s a much bigger problem. If you think people will not pay for your content, you should re-evaluate the kind of content you are making. If people love you and your work, they’ll definitely follow you and pay you for your content.

Support

There will be trolls who will, like anywhere on the internet, come and rant about how selfish you are by charging for the content. These are the people you want to separate from your loyals. Your loyals will love the fact that you are taking a bold new step. They will be happy to help you. These are the people who realize that making content isn’t easy. It takes time and effort and you are being fair by asking them to pay up for it.

When in doubt, double the price

Never hesitate to charge for your work.


We write a lot about what we’ve learnt about making money through digital media. We write about what we learn and what we think. If you’re interested, you should subscribe. We don’t spam.

Categories
Features Livestreaming Paid Content

Paid live-streaming with a twist

How do you make money talking about things you love to talk about?
Livestream your ideas.

How do you make money with livestreams?
Make them paid.

How do I get people to pay?
Keep it authentic, original.

How do I get more people to pay?
Read on.

Engage

One thing that separates livestreaming from regular YouTube videos is the engagement – people can chat with you and you can respond in real time. That is what makes livestreams so interesting. It is in vouge today.

When you have paid livestreams, you give a sense of belonging to your users. They are here because they are your loyals. They want to support you. They will follow you where you go. They will pay you for exclusive access.

With exclusive access comes exclusive engagement. Once you get into the groove, you’ll know what your loyal fans want. And you can tailor your content to their specific tastes. On other free content platforms you are usually left guessing. The trolls far out number the loyals – that’s why YouTube comments are a source of constant depression for YouTubers.

A place for your most loyal community. A place of infinite positivity. On the Internet. Did you imagine that?

Growth

The immediate next question becomes how to grow your audience. You’re probably doing really well if you have a small number of people paying you something. It’s a big deal. If there exists one person who’s willing to pay you, there will be thousands of such people in the world. How do you reach them?

More like them

Ofcourse there are more like them. But how do you find them. Ask people who are your fans to find them for you. Afterall, they’d be friends with people like themselves.

Talk to them, ask them to suggest their friends to join in. If not, ask them why they wouldn’t recommend your livestreams to their friends – and make your content better.

Incentivize

Once you’ve done the basics, you’re probably ready to grow fast. Let’s add a viral loop to your livestreams.

If a user’s experience becomes better with more number of people joining in, it gives them an incentive to invite their friends.

Minimum Audience Livestream

Introducing Minimum Audience Livestreams on your own app using socionity.com

Here’s how it works.

  1. You set a date & time when you’ll go live
  2. You set the price
  3. You set a minimum number of people who should register for you to go live

Once you launch this, people can install your app and see the upcoming livestream.

If they like it they’ll pay for it and register.

Let’s say you are going to go live on 8th May at 4pm if there are a minimum of 25 people attending the stream. If on 8th May 4pm, only 20 people have paid – that’s less than 25 – the event gets canceled and all the 20 people get their money back.
However, if 25 or more people pay before 8th May – you’d go live and everyone gets to have a great time.

Why

We know no-one likes to talk in an empty room. So we want to help you safe-guard your self-esteem.

Also, people who really want to see you go live will push their friends to join in. And boom! You now have new people like your loyal fans. Hopefully they’ll love your content too and become your loyal. Rinse and Repeat!

Growth Hacking

This might get tagged under growth hacking, as much as we hate the term. But the truth is this is a small tool we add to your arsenal. The weaponry is still your content. Make that great, tweak it with the tools and build a successful online business on your own terms.

Building a business doing things you love is a privilege, we want to support you to make it possible. We want to enable you as a Freewill Entrepreneur.


Thanks for reading. We write a lot about what we think it takes to build a successful online business in the times of digital media. If you’d like to hear more, you should subscribe. We don’t spam – I promise.

Categories
Uncategorized

Facebook paid livestreams

Facebook’s latest new feature is on its way. Are you ready?

Facebook recently announced that it will allow users to have paid livestreams on their Facebook Pages. That is great news. Especially during these times when the world is locked up – and people are looking for a way to monetize their time and expertise.

For a long time now, we’ve been forced to believe content online should be free. There’s a very specific reason why. When the internet started in early 1990s, there was no good way to make payments online. Even when the internet was thriving, it was really hard to make any payments online. It was broken, insecure and buggy. The technology wasn’t there, and banks weren’t ready to invest on this new technology called the internet. So, people had to find other ways to commercialize the web. Companies like YouTube, Google and Facebook turned to ads. With this model, the content was free for the end consumers – because the brands were paying the platforms to get their ads out.

Things have now changed. Internet payments work. Credit cards, wallets, UPI in India and even crypto currencies now work flawlessly to make payments online. It just works, people are used to it. Yet, people creating content aren’t charging for it. Anyone who’s tried, including our co-founder, will tell you how hard it is to make any money by creating content online and relying on ads. The best way is to charge people for your content directly – especially now that you can.

We’re in a special time when not only does payment work, but so does video streaming. That coupled with the fact that people have a lot of time at home, makes us uniquely placed to do paid livestreams. It is no surprise that Facebook has spotted this. People are already doing this in the form of Zoom calls. Dance teachers who previously thought you can’t teach dance online are now taking all their classes online out of sheer compulsion. But how do you charge your users?

Facebook’s paid livestreaming may alleviate that problem for some users. But not the serious kind. The serious kind are the people who are looking to create paid livestreams and make it their business. What do you do if you want to make a billion dollar startup by creating media? How do you become a solo unicorn? Unfortunately, there is no real way to do it. Facebook doesn’t want you to do it. It wants you to do the paid livestreams inside Facebook so that it gets even more people hooked on to its platform. That’s when it gets more ad revenue!

There’s nothing wrong in that business model of Facebook. It makes sense for them and they are also right in spotting the user need for such a thing. Full credit where it’s due.

But will you be doing your paid livestreams on Facebook, where Facebook’s interests are only tangentially similar that of yours? We suggest otherwise, as you’d have guessed.

Because, that’s what we’ve built out. We have all the tooling you’ll need to setup a Billion dollar company by creating media. We help you launch your brand through your own app. Don’t rely on larger platforms like Facebook, where you would be a small cog in the wheel, where people are continuously distracted by the photos of their friend’s puppies’ lunch. Have your own app where people can give you full attention and money. Paid livestreaming is one of the easiest way to get started.

Growing your paid livestreaming business should be in your control

If you want to do a few lives sessions as a hobby, sure. Facebook’s paid livestreaming should suit you just fine. However, if you’re looking to build your content kingdom, your answer isn’t Facebook paid livestreaming. It might be Socionity. You should give it a spin. We want you to be a solo unicorn. A one member billion dollar company. The world is ready for that.

We write and think a lot about how paid content is going to evolve. Subscribe to our posts here. Never more than one email a week.