Change is good.
NEW Biznik is here.
February 10, 2012
You're a business. Biznik is a business. As we grow, change is inevitable. Change is scary, but change is good! You have invested a lot into this community and have entrusted us with the clarity of mind to steward it forward. Lara and Dan created Biznik with the hope that people who are called to live out their passion through their business, should have a community of others doing the same thing to support one another. We remain committed to that.
On Friday, February 10, 2012 all membership in Biznik comes with a nominal fee.
In order to do our job most effectively we felt it was necessary to set some new parameters on who gets to engage with members. Our intent is to:
- prohibit spammers and bogus profiles who never return
- increase the quality of content and engagement
- stay focused on the micro-niched needs of independent businesses
- continue to facilitate the powerful and beneficial connections that start in this community
Biznik remains committed to offering you...
- an advertising-free site
- extraordinary SEO
- a community guided by the 95/5 Principle
- generous editorial & membership support
All this is available in the NEW Biznik, a low-cost membership site for independent businesses and entrepreneurs.
When you browse through Biznik today, you’ll notice some things have changed. The goal is to facilitate an environment that supports independent business people to network with the highest degree of and trust and efficiency, resulting in solid business relationships that yield growth for everyone.
Letter from Lara, CEO
Catch NEW comprehensive tutorial on...
Maximizing your SEO
On February 10, 2012 Biznik retired the free membership. For those who joined Biznik prior to 2/10/12, here is an outline of the changes that occurred. Watch your email for a notification if there was a specific change to your paid account.
We have no doubt that the changes we've made will make Biznik stronger, healthier, more vibrant, and more valuable for each person who networks here.
Membership in Biznik is no longer free. Users may join at either a Basic or premium level. Upgrade now
Biznik Lite is free. Using Biznik Lite does not include membership benefits, such as a profile, messaging or the ability to comment or create content. (With one exception. Legacy Lite users will always be able to comment on content they "own", such as articles they published and conversations they started when their membership privileges permitted the creation of that content.)
Claim your profile for only $79/year.
Pro membership is now required for content creation. Content creation includes initiating contact with another user, hosting an event, publishing an article, forming a group, or starting a new conversation in Biz Talk. Upgrade now
All users may respond to messages from other members, including Lite. NO ONE will lose their network or their inbox of messages, and we're not going to make you look like a jerk by prohibiting you the capability to respond to people who reach out to you.
The network has changed from "invite" to "follow", putting an end to required acceptance. Network inclusion is no longer reciprocal. As a result -- anyone you invited to your network in the past (whether they accepted the invitation or not) has been added to your "Follows" network. It's easy to cull this back. Simply click 'stop following' next to their name.
NEW: Network updates in the form of an email digest make it easy to keep tabs on the activity of those you follow. Do you enjoy bantering with Laura Dodson in the forums as much as we do? Follow her on Biznik and your digest will contain the conversations she's commented on.
Also NEW: Discounted annual membership now available for premium membership. See all membership plans
Have some questions? We have some answers.
Do free users lose their accounts?
No! Free users will not lose their accounts. On February 10, 2012, free users' participation level simply changed to Biznik Lite. Biznik Lite users can RSVP for events and respond to direct messages from members. If you'd like to participate, you'll need to upgrade. (And if you'd like that awesome SEO that Biznik has such a reputation for, you'll need to upgrade to claim your profile.)
If I don't want to pay right now, what happens to all my stuff?
Lite profile information is safe & sound. Biznik Lite comes with a webcard that serves as a placeholder for membership. The webcard contains your contact information and an About summary.
Lite users also retain their inbox of messages and their network with the ability to follow others.
There's no pressure. When you're ready to start networking, you can upgrade again, and all the information on your profile will magically reappear including your compliments, About content, and all the SEO benefits you enjoyed as a member. What is Lite?
I host events, do people have to be a paying member to RSVP?
Nope! Users can RSVP for your event by using Biznik Lite. If they'd like to participate in the event discussion, they'll need to upgrade to a Basic membership. Pro membership is required for those who wish to message others they met at the event.
Never fear, we're here!
We are confident that you will find a new level of value in your participation in Biznik. We are constantly improving our networking platform and strive to provide you with more customer service and membership support. If at any time you have questions or feedback about how to get the most from your paid membership, our Community Manager, Matt Lawrence, is available by phone or email.
We invite you to take time for a 15 minute call for a custom review of your profile and networking habits.
By creating a paywall/a community where everyone pays something we've just upped the ante. Every member you meet is someone who wants to be here. The quality of engagement will only increase. When you meet a fellow Biznik, you've met a peer who shares something in common -- you both get what it means to run your own show.
Open letter from the CEO
Change is good.
February 10, 2012
When Dan and I started Biznik, we were craving community and we were on a personal quest to create "business networking that doesn't suck." Almost 7 years later, nearly 100,000 independent businesses have joined us and turned Biznik into a community that shows an authentic interest in the success of one another's businesses.
All of this came about in an organic way. What started as a pet project hosted on a server in our garage, grew and grew. Many people have helped fastened the tent straps but the largest contribution has come from you and your fellow "Bizniks". Each of you is responsible for turning Biznik into a community that is helping each other succeed.
I get asked -- why independent business? It comes down to this: when people are living their passion, the world is a better place. If your passion is running your own business, then the world is a better place because you and your business is in it.
The most challenging part of my job is walking the line between being one of you -- a fellow indie business owner living my passion -- and being in charge of the container for the connections that occur here. One of my responsibilities is to ensure the viability of Biznik-the-business. Reinvention is part of every business. Improvements are sometimes a difficult pill to swallow. As we continue to grow, changes are inevitable. Change is scary. But change is good!
I am committed to supporting you on your path of becoming an expert and getting your business found. So we bumped up our commitment. With these changes, your membership became more valuable. Check it out!
By creating a paywall/a community where everyone pays a nominal membership fee, we've just upped the ante. Every member you meet is someone who wants to be here. The quality of engagement has already increased!
You hear that 50% of small businesses go out of business in the first 5 years, if that's true, then WE SHARE the responsibility to help each other thrive.
Join me in making the world a better place. When you join Biznik as a member, you are putting yourself in a position to help a fellow business professional stay in business.
Go one extra mile. Come to Biznik today.
Answer ONE person's question.
Seek out ONE person you respect, who you haven't been in touch with for while and catch up!
Send them ONE referral this month. Make ONE introduction.
These little things can make a HUGE impact if we all commit to doing them regularly and consistently.
We'll all benefit from it. You'll benefit from it.
What does the future hold for Biznik?
We have drawn from six years of experience -- learning from this community -- and have created what we think will be the most highly evolved business networking platform on the planet.
We are super excited to bring this to you very soon. We've named it MyFive [TM]. It's a peer relationship management tool that helps you take care of your 5 most important business relationships. Visit myfive.com for an invitation to join the beta in April.
Biznik's not like Facebook and Twitter (& neither is MyFive.) We don't give you another platform for broadcasting a message to your fans. We do create a HOME for your indie business community. Here, you will find your tribe.
Come engage with us. I look forward to continuing to engage with you as a fellow "Biznik".
Lara Feltin, Biznik Cofounder & CEO