15+ years management and specialist experience from banking, mortgage industry and insurance in analytical roles in Finance, Marketing and Personal Lines. Currently working with data management, analysis, strategy, sales, business development, project and people management in an analytics consultancy. See Q&A at https://www.quora.com/profile/Kenneth-Wolstrup-1
I think you build the fundation beautifully yourself in your "About us": "RealTalk is a new age social media, semi-anonymous platform for you to be your true self without filters. We want to provide you a safe space, free from any toxic validation and judgemental remarks. Unbottle as much as you want and relieve yourself from your inner barriers".
So your core audience in my view should the ones looking for true, human interaction, but are held back by the "numbers game" or vicious comments that can be part of the experience on other platforms (Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, etc.). I think, your timing is good - people are fed up with all the online-vitriole and "senseless self-expression" (people posting content with the purpose of just being "seen" - me-me-me!).
So it is not either 1 or 2 for me; but 2 is the most true to your core in my view; people looking for true human interaction avoiding being judged - through numbers or vicious comments.
The question is, if you can achieve critical mass using this approach. In f.ex. Quora, I see a lot of "true" human interaction without any judgement; some people really want to help without judging. So in that sense, there may be platforms, that already offer what you want to, and that already have critical mass. So if you can add any value on top of the interaction, your business case would be stronger, imo.
Good luck with your platform. I hope it will do well as I think a lot of people are holding back in our current environment. Should you want to, I am happy to chat with you about any thoughts you may have about the platform.
Mailchimp, SurveyMonkey and Google Forms are the easiest places to start. Think about running a smaller survey to understand, if the results give the picture, you are looking for - and scale after the initial testrun(s). And make sure, that the platform supports an export format, that you are happy with, when you need to process the responses of the survey.
Scaling it can be done in multiple ways. You can do it organically by posting your survey on online platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, etc. etc.) depending on where you believe your audience is. You can find a number of groups, where you can post the survey. Or you can buy marketing of the survey, if you can afford it. Or give prices to participants.
But if you want a lot of participants, you have to make it a topic that generally interests a lot of people, and you need some good introductory copy to convert the interested audience to participants. Be honest about your intention; if it is a survey for lead generation, say so.
No way around promotion - either paid, or through the grind of posting and expanding yourself.
Always happy to set up a call, if you want to discuss further options.
Best of luck and best regards
Doing as suggested and just raising the price until your conversion rate goes down, is definitely one way to go shortterm. It is a simple approach, and you determine, what is the optimal price point.
However, it feels like more value is hidden here. A few ideas:
1. Think about changing it into subscriptions, so 4 postings a month cost f.ex. 50$ (or more depending on your newfound price point). Your model is very transactional, and a subscription model would give your more stability earnings; your customers would pay for capacity, not just for each individual post.
2. Understand what your advertisers get from posing through you. Traffic? Leads? Charge accordingly; leads are worth much more.
3. Understand your followers: Do segmentation, and offer analysis of the segments, that follow individual postings for an additional fee. You have monopoly on those data, and I am sure, that the businesses will pay you to understand, who your followers are and what they like.
4. Develop you model, so they pay for traffic: 10$ if you reach 5000 on day 1, and and additional 2$ for each extra 1000. They pay for more gain, and lower gain will not cost them.
Good luck with it! And reach out and let's talk, if you want to dive further into any of these ideas.
I am so sorry for your loss. Sounds like a really bad and stressful experience.
I would suggest you contact a lawyer to understand, whether you have a case against the previous employee - either for wrongful termination of your mother or a consequence of the loss of benefits.
At this point in time, however unjust and frustrated you may feel, this is a legal matter, and a lawyer is your best bet to understand, if it is worth your while to pursue this.
Is your hesitation moral (you shall not cheat), or if the quality of the service from Meowessay? I can not help you with the last part, but I am sure, that if you search on Meowessay you would hear some war stories - good and bad.
I hope, you are thinking about the first part. And you should. If you can look yourself in the mirror, and truly say, that your circumstances justify this, then look into it. But one thing is your (potentially) guilty conscience; another is, that you will graduate with a degree, that you actually did not qualify for.
When you try to get a job afterwards, you run the risk of employees either thinking you are a fraud, or just haven't learned enough, if you can not talk about the subject, that Meow Essay solved for you.
Guilty conscience you can learn to live with, if you really want to - not getting hired will not bring you food on the table.
Depends on your platform. The more "online", you are, the shorter the patience from your customer. On emails, I am thrilled, if I get answer within 30 minutes. Happy within a couple of hours. Unhappy, if I don't get response on the same day; I will assume, you have forgotten about me.
I think all experience from marketing and sales is, that time is of the essence. So the sooner you solve a problem, the better.
I hope this answers your question. If not, feel free to set up a call to talk further.
Support Rachels suggestion: Establish good content showcasing your expertise (whitepaper, video or something similar) and set up a landing page (in Mailchimp or similar tool), where you ask for registration with mail in exchange for access to your contents. Thought leadership sells.
On top of registered mails/phonenumbers, you can follow up with a call to understand, how you can help. Then you know, you talk to the right people. That will take you much longer with cold-calling.
You can support it with a segmented campaign on f.ex. Linkedin, adds on Google, if you can pay for that. Otherwise, it is just your own postings on social media or websites, where your prospects are.
Good luck - and keep in touch, if you want to talk further.
Adding to Assaf's great suggestions, I will say, that you need to make it easy and hassle-free to interact with you. Easy decisions feel good, and your prospects will be busy people, that don't want to understand your technical challenges; they just want leads.
So if you provide good leads at a fixed price, and they have to do as little as possible, that will increase your chances of success.
Good luck with it - and keep in touch, if you want to discuss this further.
I note, that you prefer not to polute your new solution. That will reduce the subscription count, but if you get better leads, then that is fine.
One way would be to run a campaign on Linkedin or Facebook (depending on what you know, and where your audience is). There you can upload the single opt-in mailadresses, and campaign towards them. And then support that with a landing page with signup to your new environment.
You could also do "twin-identification" (at least on Facebook), where Facebook will match your audience with similar prospects based on demographics and interest.
You could also just import the 10.000 emailadresses in your new environment and give them a specific tag. Then you can easily delete them again, if they just continue to perform in the same way as they have always done.
There a many ways to do it, so good luck with your implementation. It would be a shame to just lose them.
If you want to, let's set up a call to discuss this further.