Each month, I hear from loads of companies for my work as Product Review Editor at Small Business Trends, and here at AllBusiness, and at my Sales Kickstart project. It is a lot of fun and I’m fortunate – I get to talk to fellow entrepreneurs who are hitting homeruns. Indeed, part of Sales Kickstart was to talk about companies that are doing online sales right.
Docstoc is one of those Doing Sales Right leaders. They are a terrific resource for small business owners, startups, entrepreneurs of all types. If you’ve been in the business of creating documents, of just about any type, you can resell them here. I think of them as Amazon meets Slideshare meets Facebook. They’ve built a powerful community and done some brilliant social media things.
Quickly, if you are a business owner and have documents or research or studies you want to sell, Docstoc splits the rev 50/50 with content owners. That may seem high, but when you look at their traffic and social tools, it is just another great distribution outlet with tons of traffic. Not to mention there’s some likely link value out of it. It is a self-serve model where you can upload ’em and price them and you’re done.
With start-ups, entrepreneurs, and other business owners downloading more than 1M documents a month, they probably have resources (like employee handbooks, business plans, marketing plans and legal agreements) that are valuable to you and other business owners.
The part that really caught my eye, though, for the Doing Sales Right series was that they have woven themselves into the social fabric. They have integrated with Facebook Connect. When you do something on the site, you can send it out via Twitter, LinkedIn, FB, you name it. They are part of the social graph. You can autofeed all of this to your social accounts (or not). Content on Docstoc often goes to Digg and gets leveraged in various big news sources. If you are an online publisher (blogger), they have a listing of Featured Partners that is worth taking a look at to see how you might leverage their site.
All in all, I consider Docstoc a winner and they are growing rapidly. They have over 15M publicly available documents and most are free. You can help spread the word about your work through their social tools and build some traffic, too.
TJ McCue is founder of Sales Kickstart, a small business sales educational effort.
He just compiled a list called 195+ Social Media Measurement Tools which can be found on his Sales Rescue Team site.