by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Business Development, Digital Strategy, Make It Happen Tipsheet, WebTagged as: Community, Content Marketing, Marketing Automation, Membership Sites
“The Internet wants to be free”: has been the internet anthem for decades. It has been sung by the academic world in the spirit of sharing knowledge, in the anti-spirit of corporate greed by anarchists, and by the “inbound marketing” crowd as a magnet to attract prospective clients. But at some point, intellectual property (IP) cannot be free: it has value in and of itself. And it costs money to develop.
Monetizing intellectual property can be done in a number of ways, including consulting, coaching, speaking (keynotes, workshops, webinars), books, advertising with podcasts, old-style DVDs and “programs”, implementation services, and selling related collateral (toolkits, posters, memory aids)
One of the most powerful – but also the least understood – ways to monetize IP is by selling it online. Not as a download, but as online learning. As there are so many different ways of doing this, choosing the right model and platform is critical.
There are two main types of platforms that are available:
Implementing either of these models can be done in one of three ways:
Choosing an approach: An argument can be made for each model, but the “best” depends on your goals:
Finally, there are many different business models – here are some of the more popular:
Of course, it is possible to use several of these models at the same time: provide All-you-can-eat buffet access, but also sell a la carte. Host the content within your own membership site, while also selling it through a shared platform. The key determinant of what/when/how, is how well the plan supports your organization’s overall strategy.
Inventory your IP, and put a line in the sand: what should be free, and what should be sold. Then start asking some questions: is there any group within your organization thinking about membership sites and Learning Management Systems, as part of your marketing strategy? If the answer is “no one”, then find someone who is.
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