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I am in the processes of completing my website and have a question.

I offer a service to people that is kind of like a resume profile service. A person can pay a monthly, quarterly, or yearly fee to post a resume of their work on my site.

I was wondering if people could tell me what the smartest method would be to get it going and to look like it is popular. I was thinking of offering about 20 people a free subscription to my service just to get some resumes. Then it will look like it is moderatley popular to new visitors. Do you all think this is smart, or should I not sacrifice the revenue to free subscribers.

My fear is that if I do not have some people already registered, no one will have confidence in my site to initially pay the fee to get listed.

Any words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated.

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Last Post by baker011
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Oh, I thought this was one of those threads that you posted because you didn't want people to comment on. Thanks for clearing that up in your title. /sarcasm

I think you'll definately have to give away free accounts to make the service look popular.

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Try some kind of a free trial, or make it invite-based for free accounts, anyone can get a paid account. :)

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I offer a service to people that is kind of like a resume profile service. A person can pay a monthly, quarterly, or yearly fee to post a resume of their work on my site.

If your service really is for posting resumes, I imagine that you'll get eaten alive by the big fish in that pond. How will your site compete against monster.com, guru.com, and the 100 other sites that are similar, and FREE? I guess I'll have to trust that you have some differentiating factor that gives you a legitimate edge. But it sounds like you're in for an uphill battle.

I was wondering if people could tell me what the smartest method would be to get it going and to look like it is popular. I was thinking of offering about 20 people a free subscription to my service just to get some resumes. Then it will look like it is moderatley popular to new visitors.

I guess if you're in a super-small niche, 20 might be reasonable. If you're taking resumes from all-comers, you might have to do a lot more than 20.

I might do this: the first 100 signups get a month free, and then every month after that, hold a contest, giveaways, or some kind of promotion. The trick is to get people in and using the system, and then after they've enjoyed the system for a few weeks, charge the fee. In fact, now that I think about it, that might be my approach. I'd let everyone signup for a free 30 days, with automatic billing after 30 days, unless they cancel first.

-Tony

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i think you should give as many people that sign up in one month a free month of memberhip. Then at the end of 30 days they have to renew for a fee. then they will have a chance to be hooked on it and pay the money easily.

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employees wont pay , and employers same, unless you have solid membership. in fact you should pay them to register.

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Another avenue you might consider is adsense. Depending on your traffic this could potentially be a great way to make up for the free signups and considering your more than worthy competition it might be the best way to earn money all together. People love free stuff and if you decide after a month that adsense could provide a steady source of income (only for the web sites with a good amount of traffic) then I would definetly consider going that route.

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I, as well, like the idea of giving everyone a free 30 day trial, and if they don't cancel within those first 30 days, their billing cycle automatically starts. The way many "ISPs" (ie AOL) do it! :)

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in the start i would not charge but when your site takes off i would start to charge people

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Bit of a false economy here, if you offer resumes for free at the start you will no doubt get some people interested. But they will be interested for one reason - its free! Not because the quality of service is great or anything else. As soon as you charge, people will not be interested. The worst thing you can do, in past experiance, is to offer a service for free then take it away.

If you are serious about this then there are a number of ways round this:

1. A trial, like Dani has said a trial where you get payment info from them and say you will offer them 30 days for free, if you dont cancel then you will be subscribed on a month to month basis.

2. A "lite" service. Most companies now offer free versions of there service, they do this by basically offering them a not so feature rich alternative. I dont know how you would do this, but if you could think of offering a tiered level of services, which rise in cost the better the service, then you will have a much greater chance of turning subscribers into paying subscribers. This in my opinion will be the best option for you.

3. Charge from the start, if you are serious about running a paid for service, then sod the consequences and just charge from the start. Add a couple testimonials saying how good the service is (if need be offer a couple free accounts to friends) and start an advertising campaign.

If your service is good enough, and original enough, you should be able to command a fee from the start. It only takes one really happy customer to spread the word and you will have more and more people join.

Hope some of this helps!

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