This week I will again be looking at some club turnaround focussed issues.
I’m going to kick off with a look at what your club can do for the local community without charging!
The readers and members of this site represent the tip of a large pyramid of bowlers. By this I mean that if you are reading this you are among a minority of bowlers and parties interested in the health of the game of bowls that actively engages with others in the online environment and also that you are among the small number of people within the game that are actively looking for solutions to the difficulties the game is experiencing.
As an internet and world wide web user, you can’t have failed to notice the impact the technology has had on the cost of things, especially information.
Almost everything I do on this site is available for free (except for a handful of premium content eBooks and member resources). However, this information is something that I could and do charge for in the offline world; it is essentially free consulting.
So why do I do it?…and why do the millions of niche websites run by specialists in a multitude of fields covering every aspect of human existence do the same?
The answer is that it spreads the word about the site and the content I am keen to share with readers around the world. It gives the site exposure and it puts my premium content and resources in front of more people every day. In fact each time I publish an article like this I can almost guarantee that site user numbers will increase.
It’s also becoming more and more expected that a certain level of information, resources and functionality will be free. A few days ago a friend asked me if I could convert some music she had on her pc to play on a normal CD player. Within an hour I had a newly burned and operational CD back to her, even though I didn’t have a clue how I was going to do it when she asked. I downloaded a piece of free software from a website in Australia and the job was a piece of cake.
So, why would someone who is obviously very skilled in writing software that works very well and does an excellent job even in the hands of a novice give it away for free?
Well, the software only works for 14 days without being registered (for which you have to pay a very reasonable fee). So if someone comes along and quickly needs a hand with a one off task he can do it for free like I did, but if I had been someone who regularly needs to convert music like this I would immediately have bought the license.
Now the interesting bit comes along; I have now emailed a link to the software site to my friend who originally asked me to convert the music so she can do it herself next time. She will probably buy the software.
She co-ordinates the admin for a school and is in touch with a large network of people doing similar work all over the UK, so when she next comes across someone else with this issue, she will recommend the software to them and send them a link to download the free version; hence a whole new free promotional campaign kicks off and the software developer hasn’t lifted a hand or spent a minute of his/her time to make it happen. Of course I will also do the same with my network of contacts.
So what on earth does all of this have to do with making your bowling club more successful?
I’ll leave you to ponder that until tomorrow…