Scott Stratten's Ryze success story

Scott Stratten founded the Un-Marketing Network on Ryze just one year ago, and has grown it into one of the largest and most successful networks on Ryze, doing his business a good turn in the process. He recently shared some of the highlights of his experience on Ryze with his network:

Instead of adding to the glut of “year in review” things around December, I decided to write this now, since I have now been on Ryze for a year.

I actually signed up in April of 2003 but didn’t really start using it to the fullest extent until June/July of that year.

I started out like a lot of users on here. Someone passed along the URL of www.ryze.com, I assumed they didn’t know how to spell “rise” and off I went. I filled out the profile, jumped on the online business networking bandwagon and waited for the business to start flocking to me.

Nothing happened.

I got a few “hello” guest book posts and that’s about it. BAH! So much for the magic of online networking. Just another dot-com myth headed out the door.

And then I realized something. Networking online is no different than networking offline. You’ve got to make an effort. You have to follow the basic principles of relationship building to make it work. Become a known leader in the field, offer your expertise, help people out and business will happen.

So I gave it the ole college try. Filled out my profile a little more, putted up a snazzy picture, albeit one that made me look like a demon, but snazzy nonetheless and started the “Un-Marketing Network”.

My goal was simple: Just give. Give good information, create an environment where people could exchange quality information with each other and also build a network of local business owners (Toronto) that could become closer colleagues.

Fast forward a year, here’s what I’ve gotten out of Ryze:

– Over $20,000 in revenues directly attributed to people I’ve met through Ryze (combination of consulting, product, and speaking)

– 1,000+ newsletter subscribers from Ryze

– The Un-Marketing network of 2,500+ people

– The Ryze Toronto family, who are some of the best people in the world

– New friends/business owners that me think, smile, laugh (not cry…. yet)

– Publicity in USA Today and Fast Company

– Strategic business alignments

– A creative director/designer for Un-Marketing and one of my bestest friends www.un-marketing.com/index.php?p=a&s=3

– A Virtual Assistant team that makes me look good

And the question is how?

My list for Ryze success is as follows:

– Join some networks of interest and write well thought out, interesting and informative responses to other peoples questions.

– Never post something in a network or guestbook where the only person that stands to gain is yourself.

– Listen to every word the “other Scott” says especially before you post something “What would happen if everyone did this”.

– Understand that being on Ryze is not your right, but a privilege and think of ways of how you can enhance things

– Realize the the majority of network members don’t ever post or speak their mind, but they do read, and everything you write will reflect your business, and their decision to open their wallets

– Have a “Pull & Stay” on your Ryze page. A newsletter sign-up, ecourse, something that can bring people one step closer to your world

– Combine the online with the local events. It’s incredible when you’ve interacted with someone online for a while, then meet them in person. It’s like a long lost relative!

– Find local people on the site and build relationships with them… I meet at least 2-3 per week

– Read people’s “Have’s” and “Want’s” and see if you can help them.

All in all, I’ve spent a total of $120 on gold member fees on Ryze… I think it’s been well worth it 🙂

This is a powerful demonstration of why branded communities no longer have to be on your own website. The creation of these branded mini-communities within social networks is something I see as a coming trend as these sites become more and more popular.

It also reinforces the importance of the “give first” philosophy. Results are often not immediate, but they do come, usually in a big way if you are sincere and create real value for the people around you.