Navigating the Internet Marketing Minefield
Time Traders Club is a collaborative, online businesses skills exchange for creative and solo entrepreneurs.
It includes a Time Bank that allows members to exchange skills and expertise without spending money – instead they trade ‘time’ with each other, an hour for an hour, where everybody’s time is worth the same. Our time bank is different in that WE focus on what people do rather than where they are. We would be the first global time bank aimed purely at skills and expertise for (mainly) internet-based businesses.
The internet should enable you to do what you love and make a living doing it – but the internet minefield kills the hopes of millions through not knowing how to navigate it or which path to follow or not follow. Time Traders Club is a peer-to-peer skills trading site where you can get the help you need, and the right help, from people going through the same process as you – and where you can safely go knowing you are not going to get prayed upon by the self-styled “gurus” and short-cut merchants.
Further, that by allowing you to spend more time in your zone of brilliance and trading those skills for the stuff that saps your time energy and money, you become better and more successful faster and with less stress and hassle and a lot more joy. Through that success, you become an example and an inspiration to countless others. By becoming a member of Time Traders Club you are not only helping yourself to succeed, you are helping a whole bunch of others to avoid the internet marketing minefield and make THEIR dream a reality.
As a business owner – or would be business owner – you will benefit because:
- You can work in your zone of brilliance right from the start (instead of messing with learning how to put up a WordPress site)
- You can get the things YOU need – especially in the early stages – without having to spend money
- You can hone your business practices
- You can get referrals/testimonials/social proof early on
- Business owners that are further along can use it as a way of finding both potential new clients and/or team members, and help others work in their zones of brilliance as its a way of paying forward their success.
Why Time Traders Club?
Time Traders Club came about as a result of the 100 plus interviews that Meredith Eisenberg and Jasper Blake conducted with solo entrepreneurs for their Paycheck To Passion Podcast [All the interviews are now in the MasterClass Archive & available to Associate members]. It became clear from the stories they recorded that the main problems solo entrepreneurs encountered were:
1) Not having a concrete plan (or path) to follow
2) Not having people around them who understand what they are going through or trying to achieve
3) Getting overwhelmed by trying to do everything there is to do in a business all by themselves, and thus not ending up doing the thing they went into business to do in the first place.
The lack of a good plan led to Meredith and Jasper writing The ESCAPE Plan – 6 Steps to Leaving the Job You Hate by Creating a Business You Love. But they wanted to provide a way for solo entrepreneurs to to overcome the isolation and overwhelm factors as well.
Read Jasper’s Story
No Solopreneur Succeeds Alone!
Working with several high-level coaching clients, Meredith knew that a major factor in their creating successful businesses was having a good team of people around them. You don’t get to be a big name coach by doing all the administration of the business yourself. You need a team. By having a team to do all those admin tasks, website updates, marketing and social media etc etc, it leaves you, as the business owner, the space you need to do what you do best – in this case, coaching people. But if you need that level of success to afford a team of assistants, how do you reach that level of success to start with?
That is where time Traders club comes in. As a member of Time Traders Club you can trade the skills you have for HOURS (essentially a time credit), and then you can exchange those HOURS with members who have the skills you need.
That way you spend more time in YOUR zone of brilliance and less time staying up til 2am trying to learn how to fix some php code on your website.
This is NOT Barter – this is better than Barter
Many solo entrepreneurs barter for skills, especially in the early stages of their businesses when they have more time than money to spend. That’s great if the person you are bartering with has something you need, but more often the situation is that they want what you have, but you don’t need what they have to offer in return. Its not ideal.
With Time Traders Club it doesn’t matter. Someone who needs what you offer pays you with a time credit (called HOURS). Then, you can spend the HOUR you earned offering your skills with a different member who has the skills you need. It is good for getting both individual tasks done, or even trying out potential permanent team members, trying out new offerings, getting those all important first testimonials!
Everyone’s HOUR is worth the same
Everyone’s HOUR is worth the same in Time Traders Club, regardless of what you charge for services in normal monetary terms. There is no monetary equivalent to what an “HOUR” is for anyone. This is so that it doesn’t become taxable under the current IRS rules. As soon as you assign a value to what an HOUR is worth it immediately becomes taxable exchange. Think of “HOURS” as pay-it-forward type credits – donations of expertise that are logged and reciprocated as per individual needs. If you think that your time is more valuable than someone else’s then Time Traders Club is probably not for you.
You can’t pay the rent with HOURS
One objection we hear from people all the time is “I’m fed up with giving away my time for free – i need to earn money.” We certainly understand the need to make money – you can’t buy food or pay the rent with HOURS. And we are not attempting to replace cash transactions with time trades. The first thing to understand is that you are not giving away your time for free – you are receiving HOURS for time you spend helping others, and that you can then spend with different members to get the help YOU need in your business – help that would otherwise have costed you either cash, or a lot of time and energy to learn how to do yourself – how much business would you lose in the time you took to learn how to code php, or whatever?
Secondly, we are not expecting people just to trade for HOURS. It is perfectly reasonable to trade an HOUR for consultation and then go on to negotiate a fee for the actual work as you would do with any client. What the time trade will do is get you in front of potential new, fee-paying clients. Note: monetary transactions fall outside the remit of Time Traders Club – there are no mechanisms to facilitate transactions beyond the trading of HOURS.
The number of HOURS you offer is entirely up to you. Offering 2 HOURS a month on a first-come-first-served basis is perfectly acceptable, for example. Just let people know that you are offering limited HOURS on your listing.
People Do business with People They Know, Like and Trust
I’m sure you have all heard that phrase many times. That is because it is true – that’s how it works. A big part of being a Time Traders club member is the fact that it gives a lot of potential clients the opportunity to get to know, like and trust you. That is one of the reasons we place so much emphasis on providing good personal profiles. People are going to gravitate to those who help potential clients get to know them. I know that if I have a choice between contacting someone with a profile, and someone with the same skills but no profile – I’m going to choose the person with a profile, because I feel I know them better because of it.
There is also an internal rating system. After you complete an exchange, the person receiving the help can give you a review/testimonial and a rating of between 1 and 5 stars. Like on Amazon, people are going to gravitate to people who have good ratings and it encourages members to provide their best work and value to other members. Members can also earn Veteran and Elite Trader badges for undetaking 10 and 25 exchanges respectively, and highlights them as members who provide a lot of value to other members.
Find Your Team
We often hear solo entrepreneurs say how difficult it is to find the right team members. Time Traders Club provides an excellent opportunity to try out potential full or part-time team members by getting small tasks done for time trades. If you like them and the their work, then you can negotiate an ongoing fee-based hiring contract.
Most of us are working on our own, and being a solopreneur can be really scary.
But collaboration is very powerful. Its a lot more fun, and it is the best way to eliminate stress and overwhelm.
It is not just a choice between competition and collaboration – it is a choice between struggle and ease. Its a choice between lack and abundance. Its a choice between protecting yourself in a cruel world, and living your passion in a big way that serves your mission.
Are you seeing what a game-changer this could be for you?
A Community That Gets YOU
We always knew that our members would become our greatest advocates so we provide a way that members can invite their friends. The more people we have in the Club, the greater the variety of skills on offer, the more members can benefit. We wanted to create a collaborative environment where people not only understand what each other are going through and trying to achieve, but also understand that by collaborating in each other’s success everyone benefits.
Even though people can join – and trade – for free, they cannot spend HOURS until they have earned them first. Members have to give in order to get. That negates the possibility of people joining with the wrong motivations in mind. But we want to encourage people to benefit through trading skills which is why we have several ways for people to earn hours for completing community tasks – including creating their initial profile and listing!
The Benefits of Becoming a Paid Member
We also have 2 paid levels of membership, both designed to give you more options and functionality within the site, raising your profile within the membership and creating many more opportunities to succeed:
Check those out here.