Location: 1467 Market St., Chattanooga
Contact information: 423-709-8955, SociallyU.com
Products/services: Online courses on a variety of niche topics taught by leading industry professionals. For people who are experts in a certain field, SociallyU helps create a way to monetize sharing their expertise.
Professional side: Founder Andre Dantzler noticed people who were far and away the best at something -- be it magic, playing the dulcimer, or running a grass-roots initiative -- could build a huge following online, but weren't able to get compensation for sharing their work. "You built your value and your brand, let's take that up a few notches," he said. "We've built a platform, and this learning platform is ready for experts to come on board."
User side: Gathering top-tier professionals in one place is great, but getting people who are enthusiastic about the professionals' craft to pay for their knowledge can be a challenge. "We've been trying to break the code of how you get people to pay money online," Dantzler said. He believes the best way to do that is by giving users an elegant experience where they can easily access the content they want. If a person is interested in magic, for example, there are thousands of free websites dedicated to the topic, but sorting the quality from the spam can be a near-impossible task. "When you have an unlimited supply of choices, we feel like that's just as bad as having few choices," he said. SociallyU provides a framework for users to quickly and easily access the information they want.
Five-year goal: SociallyU focuses not just on creating quality content for users with niche interests, but finding ways to get their content in front of those users. Dantzler and his team have created a sophisticated marketing tool that collects data from users and sends them messages specifically crafted to entice them to SociallyU sites. In the coming years, they plan to expand that program and find more uses for it.
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