with Aliza Sherman
If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.
To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.
Last year, I blogged about my foray into Second Life from a business standpoint. To bring you up to speed, here are my latest endeavors and how my previous ventures have morphed over time.
My Evolving Work
Last year, I was working on several things in Second Life for income (in the Second Life currency Linden which can be converted into dollars - about L$268 per $1 US). My work included:
1. Business reporter for SLNN.com
2. Virtual tshirt shop
3. Custom tshirt business
4. Real world tshirt shop through CafePress.
5. Writer-in-Residence on Elysian Isle
Today, my work is different. I still occasionally report for SLNN.com on real world companies and organizations coming into Second Life and have added SLEntrepreneur magazine to my writing roster where I publish a twice-monthly column about women business owners in Second Life. But writing is taking more of a backburner because it consumes a lot of time for little pay.
The virtual tshirt shop - Snark Attack - has been woefully neglected by both me and my business partner due to our hectic schedules. It still exists, but neither of us are currently promoting it. I am producing custom tshirts and make about $8-$10 US per shirt although I have also donated a few to nonprofit organizations online. The real world tshirt shop - Second Life Swag - has probably brought in under $50 but also due to lack of marketing on my part.
I left Elysian Isle late last year to pursue my own projects, namely getting my own small parcel of land and promote my own events. I “bought” 1/16th of a sim from a nice couple and called it Athena Isle. I think I spent about $100 and then paid $30/month “tier” or maintenance fee. Until only recently, I was holding 3-4 live events every single week for my clubs Second Life Writers Club, Second Life Women’s Club, Second Life Entrepreneurs Club, Second Life Marketers Club and Moms in Second Life. I brought in experts and authors as guest speakers, created their avatars, trained them on using Second Life, and moderated all the events. Guests have included marketing guru Don Peppers, author Barry Moltz, president of Sisters in Crime and mystery writer Roberta Isleib, and other authors such as Janice Taylor, Rachel Weingarten, and Maria Liberati, and the CEO of Passion Parties Pat Davis.
Now I am in the process of purchasing the entire sim where Athena Isle is situated with a “consortium” of 8 women, some of whom I know in real life and others who I only have met through Second Life. We have a vision to empower women through Second Life and will hold live events, workshops and classes and offer a variety of activities and opportunities for women in SL.
Also, due to the recent announcements by Second Life creators Linden Lab regarding the trademark “Second Life” and the usage of the mark, I have changed my group names to Athena Isle Writers, Athena Isle Women, Athena Isle Entrepreneurs, Athena Isle Marketers and Athena Isle Moms. I’m focusing mostly on the Women’s group, the Mom’s group and the Writers group.
So What is My Business Model?
By being in Second Life, I’ve been able to expand my real world consulting services into virtual world consulting. Because of the work I’ve been doing with authors, I have formed a relationship with a book marketer to provide Second Life services to their clients. Recently, I brought a foundation client into Second Life, building an art gallery to promote Alaskan artists.
I’ve also met a Second Life marketer in Second Life who is bringing me onto client projects to provide Second Life and social media marketing services. This proves to me that Second Life not only augments the services I can offer but also expands my network globally for new strategic partnerships and clients.
And in the meanwhile, I started a television show filmed entirely in Second Life called REAL BIZ in SL featuring a tour each week of a real world company’s island and a sit-down interview with their company rep asking business-related questions. I’ve completed 10 shows and have both sponsorship and advertising revenues coming in from that.
I guess my business in Second Life is Multimedia Content Production, Marketing and Community Building in Second Life. So many businesses, so little time. But boy is it exciting!
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