Making Money With Your Webinar- Structure Your Content in Five Easy Steps!

So, you finally decided to try out a webinar to make money. By now, you probably have an idea as to the type of webinar that you would like to make money from. Perhaps you have a pre-recorded webinar on your computer with a teaching or sermon that you would like to share with the world. Perhaps you recorded a how to get a full body workout in only ten minutes or conducted a teaching session on how to thrive in a stagnant economy.

It’s exciting that you’ve selected your topic of interest! The ideas that you have are indeed limitless, and the webinars that you could create are now within your grasp. You want your customers to come to you so that you can answer their needs. Every business fills a need, every customer has a need waiting to be filled. How will you go about filling this need with your webinar?

Dynamics of Content

First and foremost, you’ll want to understand the dynamics of your content and how it brings life or death to your webinar. Content answers the question of how to get your webinar off the ground. It also creates a hunger for the products and services that you have to offer. I don’t just go to any place to get my pizza fix. I go to a specific place because I know that I like the content of their pizza and the way that they make it. In the same way, your attendees are coming to your webinar for the content that you have to offer and the way that you offer it.

If you haven’t already created a webinar, you’ll want to decide on the software to hold a web conference first. Once you’ve finalized the software, you can begin to put the pieces of your webinar’s content together by following these five simple steps to ensure that your content meets the mark and your subscribers leave the session happy that they purchased your webinar!

1.) Know your audience.

  • If you’re lecturing NASA scientists, you can pretty much skip the fluff and beef up the content with more analysis and scientific research findings.
  • If you’re creating a session geared for Girl Scouts, you’ll want to include more things that they can relate to.

2.) Decide on your approach.

  • Do you want the audience to sit through the entire session or do you want to include short quizzes and test sections?
  • Do you want to be more informational and provide a lot of data or conversational and more relaxed? Which approach fits your audience better? Can you customize it to fit their needs?
  • Once you know what style approach you will be using, it is much easier to create a consistent webinar that exudes professionalism. There are many, many bad webinars out there that could easily be avoided if the webinars had only been consistent in their approach from start to finish.

3.) Structure your time well.

  • If you told your audience that you would be discussing XYZ in the webinar, make sure you don’t gloss over XYZ and skip over to ZZZ. I’ve seen this happen too many times and have been completely disappointed when this happens. Not only do I feel cheated out of my time, but I feel betrayed by the bait-and-switch method that seems to run rampant.
  • If it takes ten minutes to explain a key area, do not take more than that time to explain it. You want to engage your audience and keep them at the edge of their seats wanting more!

4.) Groom your content.

  • Are some areas too wordy and others lacking in content? Take time to comb through your presentation and cut out the clutter while beefing up the lean parts.
  • Does your outline convey your actual content? We often think that we have everything perfectly compiled only to discover that a key element was never included. A scan between your actual content (webinar) and your outline will help you get that 1:1 match.
  • Do your images and illustrations match up with your topic?

5.) Is your content engaging to your audience?

  • If I am going to sit down and watch a webinar that I paid decent money for, I must be looking for specific content that will help fill my needs.
  • Have you created the content that adequately satisfies my need (ie, my need to learn how to sew from your created webinar)?

The above are a great starting point when beginning to look into creating a webinar that has lasting results. No only will you come across as more professional, but you will also service a niche group that could potentially return time and time again.

Benjamin Baker is addicted to writing! He is a research hound and fills hard to find searches. He enjoys playing his guitar and spends his free time camping and fishing. He recently discovered and is starting his own webinar mini-series on how to fish. He is happily married and is the father of 3 growing (and busy) teenagers. He lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife and kids.

DocuSign – The Next Big Thing is Here

DocuSign LogoWhat if you could sign all of your small business contracts with just your finger?  What if you never had to print a contract again.  Even better, what if your child’s school could e-mail their permission slips, and you could sign them right from your iPad or iPhone?

I had the pleasure of meeting several members of the DocuSign team at a dinner in New York, and after speaking with them about the possibilities of DocuSign, and how they have grown, I was completely amazed.

DocuSign began in 2003, and has managed a steady increase in users ever since.  In fact, they now have more than 22 million users that have signed more than 160 million documents in 188 countries.  More than 150,000 documents are “docusigned” each day, and over 90% of the Fortune 500 have used this service to complete their documents in under 2 hours.  But, what’s even more amazing is the fact that they have reached 22 million users without any real advertising and marketing campaigns.  And, according to Dustin Grosse, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, they have their sights set on 50 million users by the end of 2013.

That’s right.  This is a true viral story.  DocuSign has grown without any traditional advertising and marketing.  Currently, they have over 6,500 followers on Twitter and 10,000 fans on Facebook.  They even have their own YouTube channel, with over 250 subscribers and 500,000 video views.  And, let’s not forget their iOS app, DocuSign Ink, which brings the ability to docusign five documents for free.

How have they become the number one service for eSignatures?  According to Grosse, it was simply having an easy to use service that made people wonder how they got along without it.  And then, have those people become their brand evangelists.  It is truly remarkable they way they have built such a loyal following through nothing more than a great product and terrific social media.

I highly recommend you check out DocuSign, and join the “next big thing” in eSignatures.  After all, the “next big thing” has been around for some time, and you don’t want to miss the boat.  Do you?

Have you used DocuSign?  What unique ways could you envision using the service?



DocuSign on Facebook

DocuSign on Twitter

DocuSign on YouTube


Why LinkedIn? [Internship]

                In today’s economy, students and young professionals share a common fear. Their fear is whether or not they will find a job. With the presidential debate currently going on, the candidates for president are constantly promising to make new jobs. This does nothing but make the current students worry that there are no jobs now and may not be any in the future. Fortunately, there are online tools that can help graduates and undergraduates worry a bit less. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site. It is said to be the best investment you will ever make in your career. It is used by individuals and businesses for networking, job searching, hiring, and much more.

                Recently, I have started an internship with the company Digital Ethos. They have asked me if I was signed up with the website LinkedIn and were shocked when I said I was not. Immediately I signed up after receiving their reaction. I could see how important LinkedIn was right away. LinkedIn is a great way to establish your identity on the web. With 175 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is clearly a striving network that helps individuals and small businesses to large corporations.  With LinkedIn, you can exchange ideas, knowledge, and opportunities with a broad network of professionals. Your LinkedIn account is the first impression someone gets when they google you, this can be a huge benefit if your LinkedIn account is up to date and well put together. Your LinkedIn page can either make you or break you.

                Signing up for LinkedIn is easy. You simply put in your full name and your email address. From then on, LinkedIn gives you step by step instructions on how to get your account up and running. This includes indicating where you are currently employed and what type of job. Another cool feature of LinkedIn lets you indicate what field you are in. It also asks you where you have been employed in the past and for how long. This can give your future employer a general knowledge of where you worked and what your skill-sets could be. Your education also holds a section on your LinkedIn profile, which can include when you were in high school and in college. If you haven’t graduated from one or the other, it lets you select your anticipated graduation year. LinkedIn has a section called “Summary” which lets other users quickly learn about your background and interests. There is a different area for your skills and expertise which helps potential employers find you when they are searching for a specific knowledge-base. Recommendations on your page can carry a lot of weight.  It lets your colleagues, clients, or suppliers speak on your record. Recommendations are just like reference part of your resume. You’re “snapshot” is like your web based business card. It includes your name, location, education, recommendations, education, past positions, and links to your website. Use this space efficiently and you’ll be sure to catch someone’s eye.

                These days, it is so crucial for not only graduates, but undergraduates, to get their foot in the door of the career world right away. It is very important for young professionals to use LinkedIn for many reasons. Young professionals don’t have a lot of experience, so LinkedIn helps them by providing an answers section. This allows a wide variety of professionals to answer any question you might have about your field or any type of field you may be interested in. Asking and answering questions also helps you build your online visibility. This is essential to making your way to the top. This generation of young adults is said to be the “Digital Native” generation since most, if not all, of their life was spent in front of a screen. LinkedIn lets them continue this sort of lifestyle and it makes it a lot more comfortable to be more productive on the network. Young professionals have little to no experience in the work force. LinkedIn gives them a realistic outlook on their field of interest. You should never let one job define your field. With over 175 million members worldwide, it is easy to network and see all kinds of different sides of your field. You can also check out your fields leading players. You can see how they got to where they are by seeing where they went to school, what they studied, what skills they developed, what groups they belong too, and to whom with they are connected. This will help you obtain a better grasp on your anticipated field you want to join.

                The people who are part of your network are called your connections. A connection can indicate that you know the person well or that they are a trusted business contact. In order to become a connection, you need to be invited and accepted. LinkedIn doesn’t support people in adding somebody that they don’t know. When you want to send someone a connections request, LinkedIn asks how you know this person. The options include colleague, classmate, friend, business partner, and I don’t know said person. If you chose “I don’t know said person”, LinkedIn will not allow you to add them. If you chose any of the other, it will ask for the persons email address.

                LinkedIn narrows down your connections into three different categories. They are first degree, second degree, and third degree connections. First degree connections are the people that you have directly connected with because you or the person sent an invitation that has been accepted. Second degree connections are the people who are connected with your first degree connections. You can contact them through something called an introduction. You may ask your first degree connection to introduce you to your second degree connection. Since you probably don’t know your second degree connection, an introduction from your first degree connection would be the only way to connect with them. Finally, your third degree connections are the people who are connected to your second degree connections. If you want to become their first connection, you have to ask for an introduction. An introduction usually sounds like, “Dear Mr. Smith, Let me introduce you to Mr. John from Company X.” LinkedIn shows you which connection a person is by placing an icon which says either “1st”, “2nd”, or “3rd” connection.

                LinkedIn offers a feature called “groups”. Being a member of a group lets you engage in one on one networking between group members. An advantage is that you can send lnmail for no fee. As a member of a group, you can discover the most popular discussions in your professional group. LinkedIn groups also allow you to follow the most influential people in your groups by looking at the Top Influencers board to see all their group activity.

                Looking for a job on LinkedIn is said to be a whole lot easier than going door to door hoping they are hiring. If you know what company you are interested in joining, simply search for them on LinkedIn’s search bar. The company will have their employers listed and you can network with them and see what they did to be able to work with the company. Eventually, you will be able to establish them as a connection. On the other hand, if you have no idea what company you want to work for, you can search a keyword, job title, or location. Even though the search is much broader, you will still get a general knowledge of what you are looking into.

                It is clear to see that there is a lot more to LinkedIn than just looking for a job in a newspaper. Connecting with people and getting your name out there can also contribute to your success on LinkedIn. If you use your LinkedIn profile correctly, it will become a huge benefit for you in the job marketing world.



The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

Did Digital & Social Media kill the economy? [OPINION]

While the internet is full of success stories for Digital & Social Media, and we all know I have covered a few, like Facebook Success Stories (Social Media), Google Places for Your Service Industry (SEO), New Google Newsletter and Mobile Adwords Features (SEM) etc. However, I was recently left wondering about the bigger picture…

Did we fail to learn in web 1.0?

Websites were all anyone could talk about in the late 90’s and everyone was trying to get on the web. The issue with web 1.0? Business owners created a website just to have a website, which resulted in a business move that in most cases was a poor investment. The websites had no business plan, no systematic function and in some cases reflected poorly on a business rather than positively. The complete lack of strategy wasted time and money which also left the business owners in disbelief about the value of such a venture.

Less than a decade later here comes the Social Media Revolution, with the promise of opportunities to reach and touch people on a global scale at rates, that overnight, make TV and Print look like the dinosaurs. In 2008 the Social Media rush is on and you can’t help but get a sense that web 2.0 looks a lot like web 1.0. Social Media sites are flooded with businesses that again have no business plan, no systematic function and in some cases reflected poorly on brand. Overnight Social Media Marketing becomes a keyword that tens of thousands flock to. This brand new communication tool in the digital space is barely in industry use and gurus and experts pop up everywhere and overnight the guy next store has started an agency.

When the iPhone was launched in 2007 and forever changed the music industry, mobile for business doesn’t pick up steam till 2010, when it starts to become a part of mainstream marketing. With the announcement in early 2011 that Smartphones have surpassed PC sales the industry prepares for the next technology rush. In that same year reports indicate that Mobile Advertising is Expected to Reach 5B in 2015. This brand new communication tool in the digital space is now front and center and the young child of social media tries to pivot and tie mobile and social together, not an easy lesson as Social Media giant Facebook is learning in 2012. A prediction everyone sees coming but Facebook and the greedy analysts, and a point I tried to make days before the IPO in my aritlce “Why the Facebook IPO looks like a Bad Investment. Just like websites and social media, the industry rushes to mobile, creating apps, mobile sites and forever changing their advertising all without any thought to a strategy or branding.

Was there a bigger problem?

  • For the first time anyone who wanted to launch a website could.
  • The masses can be reached through Social Media sites that are free.
  • Everyone has a mobile device envisioned as if we all lived in the era of Star Trek .

What is it about the “basement business effect” that caused irrefutable damage to the digital economy?

The basement business effect

With the entry level barriers of owning and operating a business practically vanishing overnight and with the pool of talented employees vanishing, the best corporations are left competing against the best talent, who despite the lack of traditional resources can do the same job for a fraction of the cost and in some cases better!

Here enters our problem, the entry barrier is so low that anyone can show up at your door with a fancy website, flashy business cards, a MBA from the internet and the promise of gold. Fool’s gold that is. The market tumbles overnight because the shift happened so fast no analyst can predict the effect the American ego has on the pretty bubbles floating in front of them.

It’s not just digital, but it’s hard to argue that digital hasn’t played a crucial role in the economies demise. Banks offer checking accounts for free, the technology and promise of low overhead and the thought that you don’t need a traditional infrastructure make it seem possible. The overflow of students in education that already had swelled the ranks were overtaken by the fact that you don’t ever have to come to school to earn the same degree as the people before you did.

As if the degree from Walden, Phoenix, Capella or any other distance program could even compare to the brick and mortar programs. Can you truly believe that the distance learner has any of the abilities that a traditional student was forced to learn through socialization and real life interactions? I have done them both and I don’t think so…

Digital and FREE

FREE, its killing our economy and the digital revolution is what caused it. The best technology still requires two things:

  1. Education (Invest to Expect)
  2. People (Humanity)

While the industry would have you believe that there is an automated solution for everything, there is not and the truth is humanity can’t stand automation. Take IVR, the phone system that would replace a call center employee, for example.  The research shows that people can’t stand it and those that offer a “real” human interaction have seen their sales climb! However, this will not stop someone from selling it and some unaware business from buying it.

FREE is the biggest thing plaguing business and the economy. Despite the common phrase “you get what you pay for”, business owners continue to pursue FREE at their own demise. The pursuit of FREE, whether by the seller or the consumer, leads to complete chaos and is quickly ruining our economy.

Make a decision, it doesn’t matter whether you’re buying or selling. Invest in what will work and you’ll get the ROI your looking for.

If you’re a consultant selling digital services, STOP doing FREE consulting or proposals. The second you start to look over a company’s assets, be it the business model, the website or the social media site, you are WORKING! Do you want to work for FREE? How do you see that in the long run?  This is why you are running around working 80 hours a week and only getting paid for 10!

If you’re the business owner stop taking or looking for FREE! When you get something for free you don’t respect it, and if you don’t respect it, it’s useless. Second, you’re not that smart. When you assume you can listen to someone explaining a business or marketing strategy and then you just go do it yourself, you are, quite literally, entering into idiotic behavior. Now you’ll spend time doing a job that you don’t quite understand, are not equipped to supervise, and might never have the skill set to correct or evolve as needed. Worse, you are spending time working on something that won’t provide the promised ROI (based upon the professional’s history), and you will end up spending more than necessary, and possibly stunting your businesses growth!


The Importance of Identifying Your Ideal Customer

In our current economic climate, it’s crucial for business owners to keep their customers loyal.  Surprisingly…..the one question that most businesses can’t answer is who their ideal customer is.  Some questions include – Who do you enjoy serving and who is your main target?   You should include the exact criteria of your ideal customer and develop ways to continue targeting this group.  It’s important that all your marketing material targets this type of customer and uses the appropriate messaging.   Another reason it’s important to pinpoint your ideal customer is to stop focusing on the customers that you don’t want.  Some customers end up costing you money in the end.  Companies should conduct a customer analysis annually with the help of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software.  This type of software can help you figure out your customer equity or what your top customers are worth to your business.

In the agency world, there are two types of customers – one type can create havoc and continue making changes to advertising and PR copy that ends up costing the agency money and time.  The second type of customer respects the agency’s time and more than likely has a marketing and business plan with clearly states goals and objectives.  For an agency owner, the ideal customer would be one that has a business and marketing plan laid out.  Each type of business will have different criteria for their ideal customer.  There is no cookie cutter formula for successfully identifying your ideal customer.  However, there are similar questions that you can ask:

  • What is the age, gender, education, location of my ideal customer?
  • What other products do they purchase that relate to mine?
  • What is their favorite form of communication?  Online, print, TV, etc.
  • How did they find your business?
  • What is important to them when selecting a vendor?
  • What do they think of the quality and value of your product?
  • What books do they read?
  • How long have they been a customer?

Once you can answer these questions, you are on your way to determining your ideal customer.   The most important part of the process is making sure you discover the main pain points of your customers.  You need to know the main problems, needs, and wants of your beloved customers.  The goal is to continuing solving their problems and coming up with the most cost-effective solutions.   This takes marketing research and really understanding the needs of your customers.  It also involved researching your competitors to see if they have similar products/services and can become at threat in the future.  Once you have the knowledge of who your ideal customer is…then you can propel into the future and build your business with the right customers.


SignMyPad – the PDF Document and Signature Solution

SignMyPad is a great app that is perfect for those in the sales industry, or those practicing law or real estate transactions. It allows users to fill in information in fields on a document as well as gain viable signatures from clients on-the-fly.

The Test

Running a test on an iPad shows that this is a very user-friendly and quick application for filling in text fields, dates, check boxes and more on documents. While other applications such as Smartnote may have a couple of more alternatives for the insertion of special characters, Smartnote is nowhere near as fast as SignMyPad. Since those in the real estate, law and sales industries are frequently only n need of check boxes, signatures, and text fields, this app fits perfectly.  If you are using the newest iPad OS, you should also have a bit more flexibility and functionality. Using it is s easy as selecting the type of items to enter.

  • Date
  • Radio Button
  • Signature
  • Check Box
  • Text

Using the date option auto-enters the current date and a sales person should be able to create a full purchase agreement without spending too much time or putting clients on hold for too long.

Pros of SignMyPad

  • Fast
  • User-friendly
  • Flexible
  • Functional
  • Opens documents from email attachments or Dropbox

Cons of SignMyPad

  • No landscape option
  • In some instances copy and paste does not work across documents

About SignMyPad

This app was created by Autriv Software Developement and is available for $3.99. The newest version allows for saved signatures and a clean folder interface for users.  Even if signing documents isn’t an everyday thing for you in your industry, the convienience versus the price makes this a must-have app. A Pro version for $19.99 includes geo-tagging options for saved PDF’s.

This app is available on iPad and Android.


@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education ( Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.


The Discovery Mode of Mobile – Elliot Nix Speaks at #SMWsmac

Elliot Nix, Senior Account Executive, for Mobile Google started out his set with a distinct reach into the depths of where mobile is really taking us. He shares in a couple of different examples about how it is effecting not only those of us who are amazed and appreciative of today’s technologies in relation to the more traditional formats we grew up with, but even how it is affecting those who have never known some of the more traditional media forms that many of us grew up with.

Kids Know the Darnedest Things

One instance was where his daughter  announced that she wanted to visit her Grandma that day. He explained to her that a visit to Grandma’s just wasn’t on the schedule for that day. Everyone has things to do, he just couldn’t get her there that day. Asserting her independence, she told him that she could get there herself. She asked him for his phone. She brought Google Maps up on his phone, clicked the bike path directive button, and showed him exactly how she could get there. A bit shocked by the fact that he didn’t know that option existed, even though he works for Google, showed him a pretty cool lesson about how are kids are learning to get around in this digital age, that for them, has never been anything but.

There is a discovery mode and a different level of interaction that is expected when it comes to mobile for the future of everyone’s business.

To A Child, a Magazine is an iPad that Doesn’t Work

The other story Nix shared was the one about a viral video that shows a baby playing with an iPad, and then playing with a magazine. Although she is very little, it is clear to see when faced with the traditional magazine, she is perplexed as to why it isn’t functioning. She can even be seen making sure her swipe finger is working properly.

Smartphone Usage is Skyrocketing

Nix shares that with the number of Smartphone sales and usage continuing to rapidly climb, not having mobile interaction on site for your business could be fatal. With roughly over 1 million new Smartphone devices activated daily, we are swiftly turning into an entire generation of folks into full-time mobile interactivity consumers. Nix relates that every time a new mobile device such as an iPad or long awaited Android release occurs, there is a clear spike in mobile sales and interactivity.

Mobile search is about saving time and interactive efficiency. Having any created apps optimized for quick search and discovery is imperative. Nix highlights the importance of analysing and recognizing customer behavior on mobile devices and then subsequently turning that information into actions.

To watch Elliot’s entire set including a highly informative question and answers section as well as a checklist of great practices for mobile search marketing, please check out the video from the #SMWsmac event.


Joy Lynskey is the owner of JRL Solutions, a copywriting and content management company based in Bedford, Virginia. JRL Solutions hosts a Freelance Writers Education Blog that is managed by direct and guest posting. Joy is the Content Manager and Editor for Puglisi Consulting Group at Digital Brand Marketing Education. Joy regularly works in SMM via freelance consulting  private clients with their social media campaigns.


Social Influence Panel Shares Industry Knowledge at #SMWSMAC

With social influence playing such an important role in who is determined to be an expert on any given topic, Social Media Action Camp would not have been complete without an expert panel of social influence professionals.

Michelle Ross of the Brand Partnerships Team at Klout spoke to attendees a bit about what it takes to produce the Klout score itself. Much of Klout’s employee-base, around 85% is dedicated solely to the development and management of the intricate algorithm that helps to determine a user’s score. Michelle mentions too that Klout is in actuality, sponsoring brands who are looking for the more ‘everyday’ type of user when it comes to directing Perks and marketing efforts.

“Brands are so excited and hungry to connect with influencers who are not the traditional famous blogger, journal, or celebrity. “

Ben Farkas is the U.S. Director for Synthesio, a global social media monitoring service that was founded in Paris in 2006. Ben shared that their U.S. office having just recently opened may be one of the reasons why they aren’t a more easily recognizable name in the States, but that they are likely soon to be. Ben shared that what Synthesio has a focus on is in leveraging the wealth of data available on social networks.

With such big names to represent such as Microsoft, Toyota, and Nike, there is no doubt that Synthesio has been tried and tested when it comes to how to monitor all forms of media channels. Everything from forums, blogs, Facebook, and basic mentions are monitored in real-time to help the ad agencies to continue to fuel their entire organizations. Ben shares his thoughts on what social media really is becoming to many businesses.

“Social media is the DNA of the organization, of any organization, that’s what it is becoming.”

It is also fairly cool to know that as one of the official sponsors of #SMWsmac, Synthesio was actually tracking our hashtag and the social influence of our event and will provide us with some of the analytics for the event in a couple weeks.

Anthony Napolitano, Director of Sales at StumbleUpon, shares that StumbleUpon’s service answers two questions. One for consumers and one for advertisers. The one for consumers is in supplying a collaborative format for sharing all of the content from the web. As businesses of all types produce blog articles, images, and other forms of content, they are sent out to all of the different distribution channels such as social media networks. However, how can one individual possibly consume all of the content relevant to their own industries or interests?

Quite simply, there isn’t enough time. StumbleUpon allows its users to aggregate all of the best content for their personalized needs. StumbleUpon is not indexing web content, but letting users do that for them. So while hitting the Stumble button means that you may not know what you are about to see, you will know that it will be something incredibly relevant to your own interests. StumbleUpon can be highly beneficial for those content creators as well. While many tend to rely on the same resources for their industry news, using StumbleUpon can help introduce users to other options for relevant and reputable content beyond what they have already become familiar with.

If you would like to watch the full panel, head to the livestream video for the social influence #SMWSMAC panel.


Joy Lynskey is the owner of JRL Solutions, a copywriting and content management company based in Bedford, Virginia. JRL Solutions hosts a Freelance Writers Education Blog that is managed by direct and guest posting. Joy is the Content Manager and Editor for Puglisi Consulting Group at Digital Brand Marketing Education. Joy regularly works in SMM via freelance consulting  private clients with their social media campaigns.


Group Commerce for Publisher-Based eCommerce Solutions: #SocialCommerce

Recently, I sat down to an impromptu interview with the CEO of Group Commerce, Jonty Kelt, to learn more about what publisher-based ecommerce solutions can offer to more traditional form of media that may be lacking digital presence.

What is Group Commerce?

Group Commerce is a platform for publishers who want to integrate ecommerce into a successful element of their business. Group Commerce serves three groups that help to make their ecommerce program work.

  1. Consumers
  2. Merchants
  3. Publishers

Group Commerce’s technology was designed to support, from the ground up, the unique lists of needs that brands and media companies require. Their enterprise-grade platform doubles as a command center for a publisher’s ecommerce program as well. There is nothing else like it anywhere.  Group Commerce understands exactly what it take to succeed. The professional services offered provide all of the needed elements to ensure that their publishers succeed in ecommerce.

Founded in 2010, Group Commerce is backed by several popular names such as Carmel Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Spark Capital, and Bob Pittman. Group Commerce has some top-notch clients in names such as,, CBS Local, DailyCandy, the New York Times, and many more. Based in New York City, Group Commerce now has over 100 employees in 11 major cities.

When asked about the publisher based ecommerce solutions provided by Group Commerce, Jonty Kelt shared with me, “We created group commerce with a mission to enable audience owners, to succeed in ecommerce. This is anyone with an audience, website owners, newsletter businesses, TV, radio, print and more. The brands have to engage with intelligence and integrity, so that they add value to their relationship with their audience. This can give traditional or ad based media companies more revenue stream, more engagement with their audience, attract new audience members and for some solid media based businesses, it can give them more relevance in a digital world.”

Before we wrapped up our interview I definitely had to pose to him a question that is near and dear to publications like DBMEi.

Since there is such a huge market now for content relating to the practices of digital marketing, social media and other similar services, how do you see Group Commerce fitting in for the smaller publishers? How can you begin to monetize platforms such as multi-blogger sites like DBMEi?

Jonty Kelt: We currently have an initiative in our engineering department focusing on building a ladder of service solutions which will enable smaller publishers such as bloggers, smaller websites and audiences to turn ecommerce onto their sites as well.

How Can I Get in on Group Commerce?

Group Commerce is rather picky about the publishers they work with. For the most part, applicants must have several of at least six unique qualifications.

  1. Verticality
  2. High brand engagement
  3. Strong local voice
  4. High user transactional intent
  5. Size
  6. Locally segmented

Since its launch, Group Commerce has raised millions in funding and Kelt plans to continue to expand the company’s reach into 2012.


#SocialCommerce: Jonty Kelt Interview Transcript

Business Insider hosted the Social Commerce Summit on Feb 7th, 2012 at Chelse Pier, during that event I had a chance to sit with Jonty Kelt, the CEO for Group Commerce. Here is a transcript from that interview with a general article to follow on Feb 19th at 5pm, right here on

About the event:

Since the immersion of social media into digital commerce, incredible opportunities and options have opened for business owners. Socially marketing your products and services can come with its own challenges though, so the Social Commerce Summit, or SCS, has a focus on presenting some incredible tips and tricks along with the best practices common to businesses successful in this form of marketing.

The SCS will provide the platform for experts in their industries to share their own best practices and ideas that have been built upon cutting edge trends and technologies and are the products of incredibly successful Fortune 500 campaigns and strategies.

The Interview: (Recorded by Basil C. Puglisi, Transcription done by Joy Lynskey)

JK: Started the company 2 years ago with a vision for media companies that are publishers, that they should engage in ecommerce.  They have great brands, reach, authority over some topics with certain groups, engaged audiences. Those things we believed could be translated into an ecommerce business, alongside the traditional types of advertising businesses. We created group commerce with a mission to enable audience owners, to succeed in ecommerce. Being as broad as possible. This is anyone with an audience, website owners, newsletter businesses, TV, radio, print. The premises of what we are saying here is that the brands have to engage with intelligence and integrity, so that they add value to their relationship with their audience. This gives ad based or ad revenue fueled businesses, the opportunity to have an ecommerce business alongside of it. This can give traditional or ad based media companies more revenue stream, more engagement with their audience, attracts new audience members and for some solid media based businesses, it can give them more relevance   in a digital world.

We have only been live for about 15 months and currently have about 15 live  , all of them traditional media companies. [name companies] A lot of the brands mentioned began with one or two people managing which has now, a year later, turned into teams of 20 or more employees managing their ecommerce. Now that they have seen it can work, many are now aiming for 9 figure revenue businesses.

BP: So what group commerce is offering is the opportunity for them to survive in the digital era with obvious subscription services failing, people are less willing to pay for subscriptions but instead prefer to get content for free. So this is a way to kind of fill the gap ?

JK: In some cases that is true. Some of our customers were already digital, such as Daily Candy, and this is just tacked on. Other services do not have much of a digital business presence and this can be a way to augment their traditional business and help them to survive in a digital world.

BP: So what are some of the verticals that you guys are seeing, in ecommerce that’s targeting general vs specific.

JK: So very simplistically we have two target segments, vertical such as; for young men, for young women, for endurance athletes, and then local media, which tends to be more horizontal,   the new york times for new york, for the boston area. The vertical ones are leveraging vertical authority, such as dailycandy is an expert on what young women want, that brings to bring great content and comments. Different than doesn’t have a specific audience. They have everyone, young and old, uptown and downtown. so they have to use their local authority to find the best merchandise and present it to the best audience.

BP: Do we see a higher conversion rate with vertical specific content versus the general content. We talked a bit about how Boston was able to generate something relevant to Boston being Boston based locations. I imagine some of the verticals when they’re talking about how to sell products outside of geographical limitations

JK: So local is normally services, nationally is normally product.  A local can offer local services, and even local product. National, we see more products since national cannot usually offer local service.

BP: Mike Wallace was a big speaker over at, you guys had him join you, what does it mean to bring this type of person into your fold?

JK: Our company is about 100 people right now. In order to pull off what we are focused on we have to have really high-quality people with different disciplines, technology, merchandising strategy, sales, finance, hr, account management, and Mike Wallace was actually a customer of ours at  Mike is a born leader, he has executed on the vision extremely well at, and we got on extremely well. He loved the vision we had. After about a year and a half of working with Mike, we had conversations with him on having him help us with our business. We wanted him to use his knowledge on how to actually build a program for in a group commerce setting.

BP: So his official title is..?

JK: Vice President of Publisher Sales which means finding new publishers who would like to participate in this. Finding new publisher partners is his main focus right now.

BP: So one of the things we are talking about when looking at ecommerce is that we have a lot of conversation about daily deals, selling locally, lot of conversation of the push vs pull. Push being here is an opportunity or offer, I may take advantage of it later. Vs the I am standing in the middle of boston right now. Push vs pull mentality, selling in advance, vs I’m standing here I am looking for something to do, where is the best deal or value for me? So have you guys seen the platform showing that push vs pull.

JK: We have been very focused on push. Our customers,, New York times, they have very powerful media, they have a voice in many touch points, social media, email list, web page, printed editions, so they are leveraging that and the fact that they have ecommerce now and are offering great stuff. With respect to the on demand, I am in the middle of boston and looking for a great deal right now, that type of pull is not the type of commerce we are currently offering, because we have been more focused on the push.

Groupon and LivingSocial are two of the things that you are referring to with respect to standing in the middle of Boston and having thirty things available around you, is just not reality yet. That is something that we have not been focused on, specifically because we have been more focused on the push. I like to consider the word pull being that when the customer is aware that dailycandy now has stuff on their website to buy, they go there of their own volition, it’s pulling them there. Rather than them having to be interrupted with an email. And that is the holy grail really, for what we are trying to do. We are using a public outlet to push awareness of what are the deals in front of them, which creates buying behavior.

It takes time for our customers to educate their audiences, some of them have only been going now for a little over a year.

BP: There is this huge market now for content relating to the practice of marketing, social media, etc, how do you see you guys fitting in for the smaller publishers? How do you start to monetize platforms such as multi-blogger sites like this?

JK: We have an initiative in our engineering efforts to build a ladder of service solutions, which will enable smaller publishers, bloggers, small websites, etc to turn ecommerce on.

Digital Media Monthly

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