Docstoc

guidelines_to_setting_up_and_running_successful_clubs_on_ecademy

Document Sample
guidelines_to_setting_up_and_running_successful_clubs_on_ecademy Powered By Docstoc
					Guidelines to Setting Up and Running Successful Clubs on Ecademy Written by Andrew Widgery and updated by Philip Calvert in 2008 based on their own experiences of leading successful Clubs on Ecademy.com.

Whilst this guide is not exhaustive, it covers the key benefits and methodology for running Business Clubs, Special Interest Clubs and Regional Clubs. If you have any queries or suggestions for adding to this guide please contact Philip Calvert.

Why run a Club? There are several reasons why you might want to run a Club on Ecademy. 1. To set up a local networking group in your region, city, town, or village. 2. As a forum to share knowledge, ideas, goals, best practice, experience, and expertise on a social or business subject that is of interest to you. 3. As a vehicle to add value to like-minded contacts and/or customers, to build Community around your brand and to attract new customers. 4. As a private forum to work on business projects with colleagues, experts and interested parties. 5. As a vehicle to promote your seminars, workshops and training courses - and with which to continue your teaching after the event in a private area that is exclusively for the use of your attendees. 6. As a private forum to provide online distance coaching and mentoring for select groups of clients. 7. As a vehicle to monetise your expertise online and as a distribution route for new services that are based around your intellectual property. 8. As a vehicle to create your own "mini social network" based round either your business, an area of your expertise or an interest. Your first 20 steps to running a successful Club Before your enthusiasm and gets the better of you, ask yourself truthfully, why do I want to do this and what value will it add to my members? If it is for any other reason than wishing to provide a friendly and helpful environment for Ecademists to meet and engage in social or business activities, then don't do it. If your ego is getting the better of you or you expect large amounts of business to fall into your lap in the first month, then you will be sadly disappointed. There are many ways that you can measure the success of your Club, but the common theme of the most successful Clubs is where Club leaders/owners/moderators put adding value to the members at the heart of their proposition.

Step 1 Become a PowerNetworker if you are not already one. This will enable you to not only join and comment in Clubs - but also to start your own.

Step 2 Think of a good title for your Club. If your Club is based around your own

company branding, then naturally it would be a good idea to include your company name in the title. If your Club is based around a hobby or business concept, again include that in the title. In the case of a hobby or business concept, bear in mind that many Clubs are found as a result of a search being conducted on the Ecademy website, on Google and other search engines. You may wish to consider including your business key words in the title to hopefully improve the chances of your Club appearing in Internet search results Don't make the title too long as this will make it harder for people to find the Club in searches, and will result in a long URL/address.

Step 3 If you are planning a regional Club, define the area that you can easily manage and which has a good number of existing Ecademy members - or where you feel there is potential to attract new members. Bear in mind that whilst it is potentially attractive to run a Club for (say) Manchester, the size of the area will inevitably mean that the location of your meeting will be inconvenient or too far away for many members. Where you are planning to launch a new regional Club, look for an area that is about 30 minutes drive as a radius from where you are planning to operate and make this your Club region. Check the Ecademy Club listings to see if a Club already exists in your area before going ahead. If you want to run a local Club, define those towns or areas close to you to which you feel members would be attracted because of your location and venue. If you want to run a special interest Club, then geography does not normally apply (and could indeed be a global Club) unless it is (say) a snorkeling or diving Club (or similar) - in which case you will probably look at coastal areas or areas close to lakes etc.

Step 4 Work hard to create a compelling and interesting Club homepage. Liken it to your brochure because this is what most potential members will look at and judge it on before they join. Try to incorporate some graphics or pictures and make it as attractive as you can to reflect the Club's purpose. Take time to clearly define the objectives of the Club - whether it is a social Club, business Club or whatever. If it is a subscription Club, make it very clear as to how potential members will benefit or they will not join. You may wish to offer your members something of value when they join as an incentive or as a means to cementing the value of the Club in their mind. There is a lot of useful functionality to help enhance your Club. Julian Bond Ecademy's Webmaster says: "These are the primary Club functions. These mostly affect Club owners rather than members" 1. Clubs can be defined as "Private". This means that the forums and membership can only be viewed by Club members. The Club is still listed in the All Clubs list, and its web pages are visible to everyone.

2. Clubs can be defined as Approved Membership. This means that after you join you still can't do anything until the Club owner approves you. Club owners will receive an email when people attempt to join. They will also see a "Pending" menu option on the Club and "My Clubs" pages. From there they can approve or deny the applications. 3. Clubs can be defined as "Business". This means the Terms and Conditions entry that says "Do not sell or advertise goods or services" is waived JUST FOR THAT CLUB and its forum. It's a decision by the Club owner that the selling and marketing of products and services is acceptable in that Club. It does not mean that this is OK anywhere else on the Ecademy website. These definitions can be set when creating a new Club or by choosing Club Administration from the Club home page In addition, regional Ecademy Clubs can be assigned an approved status which will feature Ecademy branding on its Club home page. However Ecademy reserve the right to withdraw the official Ecademy brand at its discretion should it feel that the Club is not representing the best interests of its members or those of Ecademy. In the case of a business Club, owners may also upload their company logo to reinforce their branding.

Step 5 Prepare a Word document, and compose a warm letter of invitation to be sent to those members of the Ecademy you feel would either benefit from, or who could add value to your Club. Take care to prepare a letter which expresses genuine enthusiasm for them to join your Club, and which explains the clear benefits of membership. Ensure the message is personalised, is not over-long and take care to check spelling and grammar. In your message, set out to your targeted members of the primary objectives, the benefits, and whether or not it is a private Club. You can target specific members by using the search facility on the Ecademy website. Go to Ecademy Home page and towards the top right use of the standard or advanced contacts search. You can also save your search phrases and set the Ecademy system to notify you when other or new contacts meet your search criteria. Once the site has given you your required list, retain the list on your screen and go to each member's profile and paste in your Word message. The messaging system allows you to incorporate simple HTML commands such as Italics, bold text and so on, to enhance the look, feel and professionalism of your message. Be sure to personalise each message with the name of your invitee. Add any additional text that may be appropriate after having looked at their profile. This is important as Ecademy does not encourage SPAM in any form. There are several thousand Clubs on Ecademy with new ones being created every day. Before setting up your new Club, check to see if there are others with similar subject matter, and where appropriate liaise with existing Club leaders to see if it maybe better for both of you to work together and to share expertise and resources.

Either way it is important that potential members can see exactly how they will benefit by joining your Club. Make the home page attractive, and if you do not have the necessary HTML skills, there are plenty of people on Ecademy who will be able to assist you. Use the search tools to find them Finally, when sending a private message inviting people to join your Club, make it as easy as possible for them to do so by including a hyperlink straight to your Club homepage - thereby saving them having to look for it.

Step 6 As part of your daily routine, check your Club membership list every day. Depending on your administrative settings, you will receive a notification every time someone joins or applies to join your Club. When someone does join your Club, it is good practice to thank them for their support. You may also wish to send them an additional note with some ideas on how they can contribute to the Club or maximise their membership. If it is an established Club, you may wish to provide some links to some of the most interesting topics in the Club forum.

Step 7 As Club leader you have a number of useful additional administration rights to assist you in the smooth running of the Club. For example, on your Club home page you will see a button marked Page Views. This shows you the details of anyone who has looked at your Club home page much the same as a PowerNetworker can see who has looked at their profile. This will give you a feel for the attractiveness of your Club and take action accordingly. You may wish to contact anyone who visited your Club (but did not join), and thank them for their interest. Again, you might like to ask them what drew their attention to your Club and briefly explain how they might benefit by joining. It is acceptable to send pre-prepared messages using cut and paste, but always personalise them.

Step 8 It is recommended that you add content to the Club forum at the earliest possible opportunity. This may mean starting a number of threads or blogs before anyone has joined and can sometimes involve adding content many days or weeks before the first member joins. Don't be disheartened! As long as you add good content they will come. There is very little point in inviting people to join a Club which has no value or content. In the early days it is up to you, the Club leader to create the content which will attract members. Providing your Club is not private, potential members will be able to read the content in the Club forum and this will help them to decide if they are going to join. This applies to both special interest, business, social and local networking Clubs. In short, do not wait until your membership is of a certain size before adding content or arranging meetings.

Step 9 if your Club is a regional or geographically based group, you will need to find a venue. It will need to be convenient for as many members as possible, have plenty of parking and be easy to find. If using a public space like a pub or restaurant, you will want a quiet area in which to address everyone to open the meeting if hire charges are to be avoided. Clubs, pubs, town and village halls and community centres are often popular for Club meetings, so if you are planning a meeting for a Club which has a business theme, or which is to promote your business you may wish to think more carefully about your choice of venue as it may well determine your credibility and say much about you. You may find that hotels may be prepared to hire out a room at no charge or minimal charge during a week night in the expectation that the bar revenue will cover it. If your hotel of choice is accommodating in this regard you may wish to offer them publicity in your Club forum in exchange for their assistance. Take the trouble to show the hotel management your Club homepage and explain how Ecademy can benefit them too. However, be prepared for many venues to make a charge for hire - in which case you may wish to make a small charge for people to attend the meeting. Alternatively it can often be a good idea to find a sponsor for your meeting who can cover the costs. In this way everyone wins. Do not assume that by charging people to attend the meeting that this will put them off. On the contrary, it can often increase attendance levels.

Step 10 Once you have set a date, using your admin rights as a Club leader, go to your home page and click on EVENTS, then ADD MEETING. Fill out the form/page with full details of your meeting and post it live. This will enable those wishing to attend to register through the Club meeting system and will also benefit by having visibility throughout the entire Ecademy membership. Club meetings are also promoted in the daily and weekly Ecademy newsletters, so large numbers of people will see it. The Club meeting system has an additional facility which, depending on the meeting settings, enables attendees to see who else has registered for the meeting. This includes their Ecademy photo, a link to their profile and is available in the form of a printable list which they can take with them to the event to help recognise people of interest. It also helps people to arrange meetings in advance for one to ones. The visible list of attendees also acts as encouragement for other people to attend your meeting. Whilst sometimes, the turnout may be lower than you were expecting, also be prepared for more people than you were expecting to turn up as occasionally people forget to register for the meeting. Those who have registered for the meeting will be sent an automatic reminder a few days before the meeting. You can also use your Admin rights to notify all your members of the event by clicking on ADMIN and selecting the facility to email all Club members.

Step 11 On the day, it is often a good idea to print out name badges using selfadhesive labels. Some members including BlackStars will have their own badges. If you have a sponsor, they may wish to include their logo or slogan on the labels/pages which you provide. It sounds obvious, but having badges makes it easier for attendees to identify one another easily.

Step 12 Prepare your welcoming speech, opening remarks or announcement. Make it friendly and warm and have a point in mind that you want to get across to your members for them to take away. Encourage them always to bring a friend so that the membership grows. You may also wish to promote the benefits of joining Ecademy and the various membership levels. If you have a sponsor they may wish to say a few words if they are present or you may wish to draw people's attention to them in accordance with the agreement you have. You may also want to have a speaker at your event. A good speaker can add considerable value to your meeting though it is recommended that you obtain testimonials in advance and have ideally seen a video or one of their presentations before committing to booking them. A high-quality professional speaker is likely to charge a substantial fee, however both they and other experts who speak are often willing to speak without charge, as your meeting will give them additional exposure and perhaps the opportunity to promote their book, CD or DVD video. A good source of speakers can be found in the Ecademy Speaker Bureau. There are several hundred people in the Ecademy Speaker Bureau who are experts on a variety of business topics including a number of world-class professional speakers. If you're looking for speakers for your meeting, feel free to join the Ecademy Speaker Bureau and post a message for speakers to contact you. For further help and advice on booking speakers, please contact Philip Calvert.

Step 13 Ecademy Club meetings are a great opportunity for people to make connections, both for the benefit of themselves and other attendees. A good exercise is to ask each person (subject to numbers) to introduce themselves to speak for one minute, during which time they can highlight their expertise, highlight key projects in their business, request help and/or contacts and explain what they can offer in return. This is a very good icebreaker and from experience it is usually viewed as highly beneficial for everyone. Study each member's profile for your own knowledge beforehand so that you know something about each person attending; this is of course more difficult when the numbers go over the 20/25 mark but pick out a few that you can approach and initiate conversation and make them feel at ease.

Step 14 Appreciate the fact that some members find Networking intimidating because they are new to it or are uncomfortable with it. Try to keep an eye out for those who struggle with networking and help by introducing them to other people. If you look after your members they will feel appreciated and valued and more likely to come back for more.

Step 15 The day after your meeting, thank them all for attending by sending an email or by sending a message through the Club messaging system. Follow up on any items of interest that were raised at the meeting. If you had a speaker at your meeting, you may wish to publically thank them in the Club forum, Ecademy Speaker Bureau, their Testimonials area or elsewhere if they did a good job.

Step 16 Encourage all your Club members to communicate with you and other Ecademists by using the links on the site and not via Outlook email since it retains the thread for reference purposes. Encourage people to put forward their point of view by using the Club Forum and encourage discussion. The more content you add to the Club Forum, but more likely that people will interact and engage with each other.

Step 17 Monitor your members' profiles and encourage them to ensure their profile is kept up to date with contact details, a good quality photograph and information about themselves and their business. It's important to remember that 'people buy people' and so their profile pages are both their 'shop window' and an extension of their website. There is also a lot of evidence to show that people with good quality photographs on their profile page receive more attention than those who do not. If you do not have a good quality photo there are a number of photographers on Ecademy who can help simply use the search tools to find one. If you look after your Club members by offering them helpful advice from time to time, they will be more likely to visit your Club regularly and to recommend you to their own network of contacts.

Step 18 As a Club leader, you will doubtless want to increase your membership base. This can be done in a number of ways, including using the search tools on Ecademy, through to contacting local Chambers of Commerce, Business Link and the Institute of Directors. You may also want to ensure that local newspapers are informed about your Club and its various activities. Even if you are running an online special interest Club it is a good idea to still contact these groups and newspapers as there are always people who will be interested in joining your Club. Your Club (whether a local Club or online special interest Club) gives you an opportunity to become an integrated component of your local community and will help to build your brand and profile.

Given that a great many people join Ecademy every day of the week, it is very important that you monitor on (say) a weekly basis those members who might have joined in the area or region that your Club is looking to attract. There is a tool to help you do this in the Ecademy search facility which will alert you to new members in your area.

Step 19 Be prepared to put in a lot of work and to receive little thanks for your efforts! A few will make it worth your while and show genuine appreciation. Remember them. Always remember that the more value you add to your Club (i.e. content in the forum), the more that people will engage with you and your Club. It will also attract new members to your Club.

Step 20 Congratulate yourself. You are one of the few that are prepared to contribute for the benefit of others and reflect the ethos and fabric of what Ecademy stands for. As your Club grows and members can see the value that you add to their life on Ecademy, the more your reputation will grow and the more people will be attracted to you, your products and your services.

Bonus Step: 21 With sufficient members and clarity of focus, it is possible to monetise your Club beyond simply using it as a vehicle to raise your profile and attract new customers. There are a variety of ways to create an income stream from your Club - the most obvious of which is to charge people for joining or to take advertising from members or businesses (who may not be members of Ecademy but who see your Club as a new vehicle to reach target customers). Advertisers tend to be more attracted to online Clubs rather than Regional Clubs (though not exclusively), and there are several ways that you can offer them a compelling media package. Potential advertisers will, not surprisingly want to see that there are sufficient numbers of members in the Club to justify their investment. However a Club which has a very clear niche focus or target market will have equal appeal to certain advertisers. Please note that any revenue from advertising belongs to the Club owner. Ecademy does not take a share of this revenue. For further information on how to monetise Ecademy Clubs, please visit the Ecademy videos section of the website at this link. Navigate to April 2008 and click on Philip Calvert's presentation at London Ecademy: "Successful Social Media Marketing - How to Skyrocket Your Sales through Social Networks and Online Clubs"

Suggested formats for Regional Club meetings At your meetings it is important to reflect that the membership's preferences - but also to vary the content of meetings to attract new members as well. Take advantage of your Club Forum to ask members what format works best for them, the type of speakers they would like to hear (if at all) and any other features they would enjoy. Here are some suggested formats:

FORMAT ONE - Open format 19.00hrs Suggested start time for attendees to gather and Network. 20.15hrs Club leader's introduction and opening speech/remarks 20.30hrs Main guest speaker (Suggest 20 minutes unless a recognized speaking professional) 20.50- 21.30hrs Networking 21.30 end. If you have two speakers: 19.00hrs Start as above. 20.00hrs Club leader's opening speech with introductions of both speakers 20.15-20.35 Opening speaker 20.35-20.45 Q & As 20.45-21.00 Break 21.00-21.20 Second guest speaker 21.20-21.30 Q & As 21.30-22.00 Networking This format allows attendees to go at the end of the second speech at a reasonable hour if they need to without missing out on either speaker.

FORMAT TWO - 50 Words (Pen and paper needed here. Ask members in advance to print out their profile and bring it with them to the meeting) 19.00hrs Suggested start time for attendees to meet and Network. 20.15hrs Club leader's opening remarks. Explain the significance of 50 words in profiles. 20.30-20.35 Everyone to review their 50 words to look for improvement. 20.35-20.50 Break audience into groups of 5. Each member in their group talks about their 50 words for other members to note and look for links to either their own profile or someone else they know and can refer. Teach people the importance of listening and connecting words to people. Afterwards, discuss the links that have been identified for 15 minutes. 21.00 - 22.00 Networking

FORMAT THREE - Winning by Sharing 19.00hrs Suggested time for members to arrive and Network. 20.00hrs Club leader's opening remarks. 20.15hrs Assemble attendees into groups of (say) 10 depending on the numbers there. Each person has 2 minutes to explain what they have to offer to the members present, what they have to offer the Club and what they would ideally like to receive (e.g. contacts, resources, ideas etc.). 20.35hrs Half the group move to the group to their right assuming the groups are in some kind of uniform circle or square and repeat what they did in the previous session. If the attendees are large enough in number, repeat the exercise again. When finished, allow the group to Network to pursue any opportunities that members have identified. 21.30 Finish

FORMAT FOUR - Pizza or restaurant-based meetings 19.00 hrs Invite members to arrive and Network at the bar area if there is one. If not organise drinks at their respective tables. Try if you can to have a long table so that conversation is easy across the table if necessary. Every 20-30 minutes, every other person moves three places to their right. This allows the opportunity to move and circulate in order to meet every attendee and develop friendships over a meal. 21.30 End

After a few meetings you may well find a different format that works best for you. Either way, continually ask your members for feedback as this will help to guide you forward in the development of your Club.

Charging for Meetings - Code of Conduct Ecademy have no issues with event organisers and Club leaders making a small charge of (say) £5 to £20 for their events to cover overheads - providing the following actions are strictly followed:  The costs MUST be made clear from the start on invitation emails and included within the details on the Ecademy on-line event diary. A facility exists to charge for attendance when registering for meetings in the events diary  Money may also taken at the door, by cheque or direct credit to your bank account  Receipts should always be offered  All monies can be kept by the event organisers - Ecademy have no financial interest  Organisers may wish to consider making a discount to PowerNetworkers at their discretion

Ecademy Clubs - FAQ Q: What is an Ecademy Club ? A: An Ecademy Club is an area within the online network at www.ecademy.com which has focus on a particular topic, cause, social grouping, belief or promotion. There are generally three types of Club: regional/local Clubs, business Clubs and non business Clubs. Q: What is the difference between business and non business Clubs? A: Non business Clubs are solely for debates, sharing knowledge, ideas, contacts and general networking. Selling commercial products and services is not normally allowed. Within business Clubs, selling of commercial products and services is allowed/encouraged. Business Clubs are donated with a "$" sign after the Club name. Q: How do I know what a Club is about apart from the name? A: Each Club has a homepage that describes in more detail why the Club has been formed and the nature of activity expected within it. All Ecademy members are able to view a Club's home page. Q: Who administers, leads and moderates Clubs? A: Each Club has a leader who by default is the individual who started the Club and set it up. Each Club may also have one co-leader who will be visible on the Club homepage. Some larger Clubs may have additional people to assist with various aspects of the Club, and it is a good idea for the Club leader to highlight others in the team on the home page of the Club. Q: How can I join a Club? A: Clubs can be joined by going to the Club homepage and clicking on the "Join" menu item. In the case of private Clubs, go to the Club homepage and click on "Apply to join". After reviewing your profile, the Club leader will admit you to the Club. If they do not admit you to the Club they will send you a message to explain their decision. Q: Where is there a list of Clubs that I can join? A: A full list of all Clubs is here. A list of Regional Clubs is here. Q: How can I contribute to a Club? A: You can contribute to a Club by posting new messages and threads in the forum in a similar fashion to normal news groups. Posting a new thread:  Navigate to the Club homepage if not already there  Click on the "forum" menu item at the top of the page  Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "New Thread" link that appears near the centre of the page.

Posting a new follow on message:  New messages can be posted to follow on from an existing message within an existing thread by:  Navigate to the Club homepage if not already there  Click on the "forum" menu item at the top of the page  Click the thread you want to follow on from  From within the thread scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find a "title" and a "message" box  Fill in the title and type your message as required  You can optionally preview your message before it is sent using the "preview message" button. This will show you what any interpreted html code looks like before sending. This is also good practice and gives you an opportunity to check spelling and grammar in your comments before posting. This is important because poor spelling and grammar may reflect on you and your company. If writing long posts, it is an idea to write them first in Word or similar, spell check and then paste into the Club.  Submit the message by clicking the "Submit message" button Q: How can I view which events are scheduled for a Club? A: Navigate to the Club home page and click the "Events" menu item. Here for example is the events list for London Ecademy. And here is a list of all business networking evens on Ecademy. Q: How can I register for a Club event? A: Navigate to the Club homepage and click the "Events" menu item. To register click the "Register" link that appears to the right of the event title encapsulated in the dark blue strip. In some cases, events and meetings may be chargeable and you will be asked to pay by PayPal at the point of registering. It is not compulsory to pay at the point of registering but you will be sent reminders by the meeting organiser/Club leader if you don't. If a meeting is chargeable it helps the organiser to establish likely numbers, so please endeavour to pay at the earliest opportunity. After you have registered for a meeting you will initially receive a confirmation email and in due course you will receive a reminder as the date approaches. Q: How can I see who else has registered for an event? A: Navigate to the Club homepage and click the "Events" menu item (you can also click the events menu item from anywhere else within the Club forum). Click the "Attendees" link to see who has registered. On this page you can also click on "Printable list". This produces a list of all the attendees and includes their photos, enabling you to help recognize them at the meeting itself. Q: Who can create new Clubs? A: You must be a PowerNetworker in order to be able to create a new Club. You can obtain details of how to become a PowerNetworker from the Ecademy homepage.

Useful Club Features As you become more familiar with the Club functionality, you will see that there are a number of useful tools to help administer your Club - including user statistics, page views etc. After you have started your Club, take some time to click on the various links in the left side menu for your Club and explore the functionality. Here is a selection: 1. Page links - if you add additional pages to your Club (you can have up to 10 which are added through Club Administration) a link at the bottom of the home and the additional pages appears at the foot of each page for easy navigation 2. If the Club is set up as private, each additional page that is added can be marked as private so will only be visible to approved members of the Club (the home page is still always visible to everyone) 3. Club leaders are able to mail all Club members. A filter can be used to choose specific types of members to mail based on membership level, gender, location, member since etc. 4. Club leaders and co-moderators can remove members from their Club by clicking the members list, clicking the check box on the right of each name then clicking the remove members button at the bottom of the list (a short notification message is sent to the removed member(s)) 5. The latest 7 messages from the Club forum can be displayed on any Club web page by adding the text: * club_messages * in the web page (in the edit mode) 6. It is possible to create a group of Clubs, or to add your Club to an existing group of Clubs which have a similar theme. This is done through Club Administration. 7. Club leaders have the use of an autoresponder, which they can use to send an automatic message to first time visitors to your home page. You can use this to thank people for visiting, to explain the benefits of joining and to invite them to join. 8. Club leaders can use a facility in the Forum to make individual threads "sticky". Sticky threads will always stay at the top of the list of forum posts and can be used for important posts - such as Welcome Messages, Member Introductions, Useful Links or perhaps sponsors' messages. 9. It is now possible for Club leaders to make their Clubs chargeable. The most appropriate use for this facility is with online Clubs, and has the potential to create a profitable new income stream. A facility exists within the Club setup routine to make

the Club chargeable, and payment can be made through PayPal - however it should be remembered that potential members will want to see that the Club concerned offers significant value. It is entirely up to the Club leaders to decide how much they charge for membership but it should be appropriate and proportional or no one will join. Ecademy does not seek a share in the fees charged. It is recommended that leaders do not make their Clubs chargeable until they have significant experience of running a Club or Clubs.

Bonus Tips 1. After you have created your Club pages, in edit mode copy the text for each page in to a Word document to be used as a backup should you accidentally erase a page. 2. In addition to the statistics that are provided within the Club Administration area, it also possible to insert code from common website statistics providers, enabling Club leaders to obtain additional information on hits and traffic. One such provider is at www.statcounter.com 3. As part of the Club and set up facilities, there are two optimisation tools which help to raise the profile of your Club on Google. If you want your club to become recognized as a resource or vehicle to promote your expertise, or perhaps to become known as a networking group in your local area - make sure that you include keywords and a phrase that is appropriate for the content of your Club. For example on Ecademy there is a Club for independent financial advisers called 'IFA Life'. Consumers are also able to use the Club to find IFAs, Mortgage Brokers etc. and to leave testimonials for them. Therefore the keyword phrase that is included in the Club setup he is: "Find an IFA, Mortgage Broker or Financial Planner at IFA Life - the leading business resource, discussion forum and social network for IFAs and financial advisers" Additional keywords that are also used for search engine optimization of this Club include: "Business resources for IFAs, CFP, Discussion Forum for IFAs, Financial Planner, IFA, IFA Business Forum, IFA Jobs, IFA Life Local, IFA media directory, IFA Networks, IFA Social Networking, IFA Software, Improve IFAs' online presence, Independent Financial Adviser, Internet Marketing for IFAs, Internet Marketing Seminar for IFAs, Internet presence of IFAs, Investment, Media help for local IFAs, Mortgage Broker, Mortgage Consultant, Online Forum for IFAs, Portfolio

Management Software, PR services for IFAs, Social Media for IFAs, Social Network for IFAs and Financial Planners, TCF and Compliance consultancy, Websites for IFAs"

Summary We hope you have found this guide useful. It is not exhaustive but contains most of the help and guidance you will need to set up an effective Club on Ecademy. There are several thousand Clubs on Ecademy with new ones being created every day and for many people they add significant value to their networking experience. For the Club owners they are a superb way to add value to the wider Ecademy community. Not only that, Club leaders generally find that as long as they put time and effort into their Club, it will enhance the perception of their expertise and professional credibility, build Community around their brand, raise their profile on Google and other search engines, add value to existing customers and attract many new customers.

Important Like all things in life, the more you put in to your Club - the more you will get back. How you conduct your Club will be a direct reflection on you and your business and as such can be a powerful marketing tool. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us. For technical queries please contact Ecademy support and for queries relating to managing and monetising your club please contact Philip Calvert through Ecademy or the Ecademy Best Practice team. Good luck!
Original source Andrew Widgery. Updated in April 2008 by Philip Calvert