Iam very excited to announce the new Private INDIE site. I'd like to provide a little background first, but you can skip that and go straight to a list of the new site's features by scrolling down to the numbered paragraphs below. Since 2000, I have managed the private IBN member area at IBN's flagship website. The site has been re-launched a few times and the IBN member directory, products liability insurance information, and member application and renewal forms are still housed there. As technology has evolved, our member area has evolved with it.
In 2008, I added a public social networking site, with a private area attached to it. Today, our public social site is thriving, with nearly 7,000 active, like-minded small and independent business owners. IBN members use the public site to promote their brands using our Events Calendar, Photo Gallery and Video Gallery.
That public social site is free and easy for anyone to participate. The old private members only site mirrored the public one, also built on a Ning platform. While the Ning site is great for our public interaction, I wanted a unique private, branded platform for my members that was not dependent on Ning. After a few fits and starts, I am pleased to announce the opening of Private INDIE.com! Here's what you'll find at our exclusive new site:
Events And Webinars. Our live online events take two forms: MasterMinds and Live Q&A. A MasterMind is a discussion with me or an invited expert guest. We discuss a particular topic in detail and then MasterMind about how to best accomplish specific goals.
For example, tomorrow's event entitled, “Trade Shows 101: How To Pick ‘Em, How To Do ‘Em, And How To Make Money At ‘Em”. Our guest is Aubin Wilson, founder of Ex*Tracts Trade Show, part of the New York International Gift Fair. Aubin will share her 25+ years of experience with IBN members, and everyone who participates will get 30 minutes of free consulting from Aubin. To register, click here. Log in at the prompt, and when you do, you'll be taken to the page describing the event. Follow the registration link to reserve you spot!
A past even that may interest you is, “Three Steps To Painless Online Newsletter Publishing” I delivered an inspiring presentation on the topic, with specific things you can do to maximize the performance of your online newsletter. The MasterMind portion was amazing, with several members chiming in with tips and tricks that work for them.
The Q&A Events are like group coaching sessions. Members can submit questions in advance and I answer them live. We also have discussions designed to fully explore the information shared and hold each other accountable for taking action. Knowledge without action, after all, is pretty useless, right?
Indie Business Podcast. Members can enjoy my podcasts at the site, along with a summary of the podcast, plus a discussion forum devoted specifically to the topics discussed in the podcast. For example, INDIE Business Podcast with Small Business Expert Anita Campbell is a lively discussion of how women can get the confidence they need to be successful in small business, plus a look ahead to important trends in 2011.
New And Archived Video Training. As you know, I use a lot of video to communicate my message here at the blog. The new private site will be no different, but there will be more of it. I will be showing you how to do things, as well as hosting live, interactive training to answer your questions and share tips to help you maximize your success personally and professionally as a small business owner.
Discussion Forum. Like all discussions forums, the Private INDIE Discussion Forums offer opportunities for members to connect, collaborate, and succeed. Members can start their own threads or participate in threads started by others. It's a place where professionals can connect privately to share the challenges they face in a supportive environment, and also to help each other celebrate business success.
We can speak freely without having to worry that prospects and customers will be looking over our shoulders. Unlike the public social site, and our discussions are not indexed in public search engines. Also unlike our public social networking site, you must be logged in as a dues paying member to enjoy the Private INDIE.com Discussion Forums.
Law And Public Policy Advocacy Updates. This is pretty self-explanatory. While I will continue to post public updates in the Advocacy category here at the blog, I will save my most useful, relevant, and specific commentary for my members at Private INDIE.com.
There's a whole lot more, but I wanted to just include a few highlights here. Content is easily searchable, using the Search window in the upper right hand corner of each page at the site where the training and resources content is. If you're in the Discussion Forum, you'll find a handy Search Forums tool at the top of each Fourm page.
I am in the process of migrating the content from the other members only areas to the new Private INDIE site. There are years of content, so it will take some time. In the meantime, the private site hosted by Ning will remain open until all of the learning and resources content has been moved.
How To Log In
Log in using your name — your real name, as in Mary Smith — and the IBN member password chosen by you when you joined IBN. If you cannot recall your password or aren't sure how your name appears (for example, if you have a hyphenated name), email my assistant, Sophia President at indiesoaphia [at] gmail [dot] com. If it's easier, leave a comment below and Sophia will see it and respond to you privately by email.
My goal is to serve my members better. I hope that by launching this new site, I am doing a good job of that.
Question: So, members (or anyone), what do you think?