A whole new approach and new tool to growing your network.
When you are looking to grow your network you can come up with some pretty creative stuff as some creators have done here. I am about to take the something that is no longer used here on Creators and turn it on it's head. If you can follow my logic you may see why this would help grow your network - maybe even to 10,000 members in 3 months or less.

The Invite Method used successfully by Facebook and many other social networks.
Remember the "Invite" tab? It allowed your members to send an invite to their friends through  gaining access to their email address book so they could choose who to invite. A script would actually ask them to enter their email username and password (WTF? I know ). Apparently this helped Facebook grow really fast. A lot of social networks used this kind of script including Ning. It's a 1 to many approach. As each "1" member joins they have an opportunity to invite "many" in their email address book. In fact, below is the kind of html email invite their friends would get. I had to send one to myself to investigate what could be done to improve the process.

I invite you to take a look at this.

This is an invite makeover I took some time to work on. One of the things you'll notice is that it has been updated to include the new social sign in options (Something the last invite wasn't updated to take into account) This is very important because there is a certain segment of the population for whom social sign in would make a difference in their choosing to join your network.  What is different?

  • I took out the members photos (Unless those members will be recognized by the person being invited they are just colorful pics)
  • I took out stats info about the network. (A new network may not want to show they have 5 members and 2 discussions).
  • I switched focus from the person doing the inviting to the Network. We are niche communities. The community should hold enough interest to the person being invited. 
  • Also the message in the footer is a further call to action for the invitee to continue sharing the invite that is now generic enough to pass on and not limited to the person initiating the invite.

This invite will allow you to customize the text for both key site bullets & "About" section as well as the images. In this way you have full creative freedom in how you share your network. You can just copy the html below and paste it to the HTML Tab of your Broadcast message window then click the Visual editor and replace with your own text

This is where you can really make this invite shine because you can really detail out why someone should join your network more than ever before.  I really feel this is something new and useful for any network and you can see the clear logic behind it. It's actually simpler and too the point. This is an invite I sent to my email inbox showing how the invite would look like. The html is attached to this discussion.

Instructions

  • Copy the attached code to the HTML Tab of your Broadcast Message. 
  • Flip back to the visual editor tab and admire it for a few seconds before editing the text for you network. 
  • Send yourself a preview. It's that simple.

The actual html is below. If someone actually prefers to fill out a form fot the text and images I will have one available on my other network but it is probably just as simple to edit inside the Visual editor of the broadcast message.

Context and overview and Logic

You are basically sending your members a broadcast message with an invite template that they can forward to people in their address book. Given you let your members know ahead of time that this is what you plan to do in a future broadcast message you can enlist their help to spread the love and grow your network. Benefits to your members:

  • They don't have to enter their username and password in a script to access their address book. THEY ARE ALREADY THERE! All they have to do is hit forward and add as many people as they want.
  • They can customize the forwarding text to add their own unique pitch to their friends about why your network is so cool to join. This takes care of "Social Proof" as one of the Network Creators mentioned below.
  • The Social Sign in buttons are instantly recognizable to potential members. You may need to customize for which ones you use on your network.
  • Those potential members can themselves continue to spread the word by forwarding the invitation as you suggest in the footer.

I recommend you get your own social sign in buttons. I will be deleting the ones in this template since the draw on the server where these image are hosted may be too much if everyone and their mother uses this.

You can download them yourself at from this site (PSD files), create your own or right click and save these images and upload them to your Network to get the image URLs. You can use my images to see how it would look for a few days but you'll want to get your own images because if I delete mine (which I will) your invite template will not show the images.

If you would like more creative ideas like this join my group here on Creators called "Creator's Dashboard"

I also run a pay network for Creators called Creator's University. I invite you to join. One of the reasons I can share something like this which seems like advice some would pay for is that as good as this tip is I have even better ones in reserve for my network. Stuff I will never share on Creators for several reasons and my members wouldn't wan to share either because they will be that much more ahead of the game. Join if you want and don't you don't want to.

If you have any questions about this invite or anything else leave a comment.

A network creator has already used this for their network and even customized it and made it their own which I love.

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Sorry, have another question.

I'm getting ready to launch my new website at the end of the month and have thousands of contacts already in my mailing list that I want to make sure they are informed of the new site. At the moment, I'm planning on just creating an email via Constant Contact and adding the link but curious if there's a way to implement the above. 

From what I understand, this template is to be used when we use the Message Broadcast to request our current members to assist in inviting their contacts. But what about the Invite function available for NC to invite our contacts to join the network? Can the above be used for that as well? If so, where and how to update it?

It's just HTML, so yeah it could be used that way. Just think of it from the point of view of someone who knows nothing about your site. Would this invite give them enough info to make them want to join?  Actually even though this is meant to get assistance from your members, the invite is actually designed for non members. The benefit of using your network is that your members have a relationship with the person they will be inviting but if you have a mailing list it sounds like you already have a relationship anyway so it sounds good.

Yes, I already have had a relationship with my contact because I've been running my social club for a few years already and had another website that was just crap so switched to NING. lol

So how can I use the above as an invite to non-members? I'm really knew to all this and still learning the in's and out's of the network. I'm clueless when it comes to programming. I'm an event producer. 

Thanks again.

You said it yourself you have a relationship with your contacts. You are in the position to know what would work with them. You might even want to make the invite more club invite like. You are the expert for your community. Being able to let them know the many ways they can join is a good move because that just makes their options to join even easier if they don't have to create a new account. I suggest brainstorming and getting advice from those in the field besides yourself.

Ok, not sure if you're just not understanding my question or just not willing to help. In either case, thanks anyways. 

We should probably chat so we understand each other better. Maybe I'm assuming you know more technology than you do. I have a chat window at this group and will be up for a little bit or if not send me a message.

Dear Garfield, thank you so much for sharing this great tool. I was not out to create a new invite right now, but it helped me find the solution to what I wanted to do on our network, which is to create a new gift system. Everything fell in place with this HTML code you posted.

But I have one problem that I don't know how to solve and I wonder if you can help. When I paste your code (or my re-made code) into a page, the background color doesn't show. I see the background color in Visual Mode, but on the finished page it is gone, the color of the network page shines through.

Here is the link to your code pasted into a page for example, you can see that the bluish color under "Join me on Creators" is not visible.

And here you can see my own page and the code I changed, the background is supposed to be black and is not showing.

Do you know what I can do to change that?

Best,

Aurora

Ok, I just paste the code, and sent it to myself, but the "Sign In as Facebook" or Sign In as Twitter" links are not showing. How do we change this, or fix this? My website is www.dallasflow.com

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