I met Andrew James, Director of OnHand Counsel Limited a couple of years ago when I was first starting my business and he’s subsequently become a very reliable contact and resource both for me and my clients. If you are looking for legal assistance then I can thoroughly recommend his services.
Andrew has recently launched a new web platform called WottleDo. WottleDo is a platform designed to help businesses maximise the potential from their key network relationships. It provides a permission-based sales and marketing environment with simple applications to assist, encourage or incentivise collaborations and word of mouth marketing.
I was so intrigued by this idea that I asked if he would participate in a simple Q&A. You can read his (unedited) answers below and then I would suggest you take a look at WottleDo for yourself. There’s really no reason not to register!
What is WottleDo?
- It’s a bit different so it’s hard to get across in a few words!
- It’s basically aimed at helping small businesses everywhere to give and to receive more word-of-mouth business referrals. The best kind of new business is from a good word-of-mouth referral. But a lot of business networkers are frustrated that after all the effort and cost they put into networking they aren’t really seeing a very good return on their investment in terms of new business leads.
- WottleDo is a new type of business platform. Businesses and networkers who use this platform will be more informed, focussed and proactive in looking out for new business referral opportunities for each other. So WottleDo should be the missing link which helps to turn all that business networking into more effective generation of business referrals.
- BTW it’s also a business directory!
- The website has a ‘find out how’ Guide document linked off the home page which briefly explains how to use it to get results: http://www.wottledo.com/pages/guide.
Where does the name come from?
WottleDo had a few working titles. I was going to call it ‘BARF’, which could have stood for ‘Business Associate Referral Forum’ or ‘Be a Real Friend’ or a few other things. But I was persuaded to change the name because of the sick association! So I called it WottleDo which I think is quite distinctive, unique (a Google search asks ‘what will Wottle do’ – Dave Wottle is a cyclist!), and it sounds a bit like ‘What I’ll do’ – as in ‘if you refer a new client to me this is what I’ll do’, eg in terms of a referral reward.
What makes WottleDo special?
- WottleDo is on a mission to help small businesses and business communities everywhere and to protect them from the increasing destabilisation caused by the internet! I want to change the world by facilitating a more focussed and proactive culture whereby businesses go out of their way more to help and support other businesses in their business community. Helping to turn your best contacts into an informed and motivated outsourced sales force for your business!
- WottleDo will hopefully become THE place to go for businesses which want to use referral rewards as a way to encourage their networking contacts to try that little bit harder to get to understand their businesses better so they can recognise referral opportunities and make referrals.
Why should a business use WottleDo?
- Firstly, to help businesses you want to help to get more business!
- Secondly, to help to get more business for yourself by making it easier for business contacts who want to help you to help you get business!
Why should a business use WottleDo in preference to say, LinkedIn, FreeIndex, Twitter or Facebook?
- Again, it’s hard to give a short answer. Here is a link to some FAQs on the site giving all sorts of reasons: http://www.wottledo.com/pages/faq#WottleDiffersShort.
- Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are social media sites. They are much more about engaging with contacts and making new contacts. And subtle brand promotion. They are not designed as a sales and marketing platform for a business to use to actively push itself onto a willing audience (although of course this is what lots of businesses try to do on social media)! Also, there is already too much ‘noise’ on social media. And inefficient use of time!
- WottleDo tries to help you focus on selling your business using less ‘noise’ and more efficient use of time. WottleDo encourages businesses to focus more on strengthening and getting more value from the relationships they already have rather than just going out and meeting and engaging with ever more people. It’s better to have 20 or 30 good contacts actively making an effort to look out for you than it is to have 300 who can’t really find the time or inclination (let alone another 1000 or more ’open networkers’ who often can’t remember how you got to be ‘connected’ to them anyway!).
- I don’t know what FreeIndex is. Is it yet another business directory? WottleDo is also a business directory of course, although with WottleDo you can hook this in to your own personal network.
How much does it cost to register?
Nothing! I will think more about the revenue model if and when WottleDo takes off and starts providing undoubted value to its Wottlers! I would rather not see outside advertising on WottleDo as this somewhat goes against the ethos of the site, which is all about helping small business communities to help themselves. But I don’t envisage charging more than £10 or so a month to Wottlers, or charging anything at all to Members.
There aren’t that many people currently registered on WottleDo. If a business registers, how do they encourage more users?
A number of ways:
- You’re right that as a business directory WottleDo is currently rather limited with fewer than 200 businesses on it (and under 100 Members who might or might not be using WottleDo to Watch Wottlers they know)! But the value of WottleDo to any Wottler business is much more in how it provides a way of working more effectively with the Wottler’s own existing business contacts.
- What WottleDo really needs is small business communities, eg members of local networking groups, to all join as Wottlers. The first thing they should then do is to ‘Watch’ other Wottlers who they want to HELP. If a Wottler knows he or she is being ‘Watched’ by other Wottlers and Members they will be more encouraged to update their profile with useful new information from time to time, which their ‘Watchers’ will then receive. Even if there is no-one else using WottleDo, if a community of say 20 or 30 businesses are all using it to help each other then they will get good value out of it!
- Wottlers can import their contacts into their personalised directory on WottleDo. They can easily search this directory to find if business they know are already Wottlers, and can easily click through to their profiles and press that ‘Watch’ button.
- And Wottlers can easily send a one-off message through WottleDo to their imported contacts inviting them to help them by Watching them on WottleDo. I am hoping that more people who receive these messages will have a look and will decide to help in this way, whether they register as a Wottler (ie with their own business profile) or as a Member (no business profile, but can still import contacts to their personal WottleDo database to help them find Wottlers). And hopefully some of them will like what they see and will build their own Wottler profile and invite their own contacts to ‘Watch’ them!
- Also, any Wottler can create a referral reward arrangement (‘WottleReward’) and send a message to selected contacts telling them about it.
How does an individual (or business) make the most out of WottleDo in say 3 easy steps?!
It’s hard to simplify (there are useful FAQs on the website giving answers to this (http://www.wottledo.com/pages/faq#wottlerStart) and to most other questions). But as a starter:
1/ Register as a Wottler and fill in your profile.
2/ Import your contacts. Do a quick filtered search and ‘Watch’ any of them you want to help.
3/ Send a message to your contacts inviting them to ‘Watch’ you.
How long does it take to sign-up and complete a profile?
About 15 seconds to sign-up. Then you get an email to click on to activate your account, and you can complete your profile at your leisure. Say, 5 minutes. As with all these things it’s worth putting some thought into it though – you want your army of supportive Watchers to find it informative and relevant!
Is WottleDo the only platform currently, what else are you planning?
The aim of WottleDo is to provide ‘a permission-based sales and marketing environment with simple applications to assist, encourage or incentivise collaborations and word-of-mouth marketing within business communities, particularly small business networking communities.’ I have lots of ideas about how WottleDo could be improved and extended in line with this aim, and will always be keen on feedback.
I suggest you visit WottleDo right away and complete your profile – do watch the great little video too!
And, of course, do let us both know what you think! Andrew’s details can be found below:Andrew James Director OnHand Counsel Limited 01727 867289 07734 793976 (mob) www.onhandcounsel.co.uk WottleDo: http://www.wottledo.com/publicprofile/view/onhand-counsel-limited LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/andrewjamesonhandcounsel