Eight years ago, out of work and considering his next steps, Ruben Alverez enrolled in a marketing communication program at the University of California – Irvine. In addition to learning new skills, Alverez walked way with a new business idea thanks to his instructor.
“My professor told me I’m very good at connecting people. ” Alverez explained.
So I realized I needed to take stock of my God given talents and do something.
That something became “Stay Connected OC –Emerging Markets Network” — an e-newsletter with a burgeoning database of movers and shakers in the Orange County business community. Alverez went about creating his successful newsletter in a very unique way. Instead of starting with the product, he started with the people.
A former director of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, Alverez was (and is) well-connected. So he created a database of about 500 people before he started building the strategy for the weekly newsletter. In fact, originally in order to get on the email list you had to know Alverez personally.
Today, that personal touch is difficult because Stay Connected OC’s database exceeds 6,000. Plus, subscribers are encouraged to forward the newsletter to friends and associates. Alverez says that happens frequently. And although it is in its infancy, there is a web site now where you can to subscribe online. Alverez plans to enhance the web site in the near future.
There’s no charge to subscribe to the Stay Connect OC newsletter. In fact, I subscribed so I could keep up with what’s happening in Orange County. Non-profits can submit event information for no charge; however, Alverez encourages them to do so at least one month in advance because of the number of requests. For companies interested in reaching the loyal database of subscribers, there are advertising fees which vary depending on location and frequency of ad materials. That’s the revenue model and how Alverez makes money, of course.
What’s next for this industrious man who took something many of us take for granted and turned it into a lucrative business — our contacts? Alverez says he’s considering franchising the concept to other “connectors.”
By the way, I was pleased to note, Alverez uses SBTV.com’s Internet Market partner Constant Contact to power his newsletter. Imagine what you could do with your contacts, Constant Contact and SBTV.com.