DevReady PodcastUnderstanding the Subscription Economy with Jonathan Callinan | Episode 66 – DevReady Podcast

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In this episode of the DevReady Podcast, Andrew talks to Jonathan Callinan, business coach, co-founder and marketing strategist at the Online Business Accelerator.

Jonathan discusses the subscription economy, why trust is better than “tribe”, and why you should be building your own communities. Human behaviour and the world at large is moving toward lifestyles that favour a subscription model for consumer services, it only makes sense that all businesses that want to survive need to think about how to build that into their business plan.

But what really makes brands stand apart is the sense of shared community that subscribers feel. Think of one of those meal kit delivery services. The people that would be willing to subscribe to that box (and especially the premium tiers) are people who most likely would engage in a community of people with similar values. Jonathan’s point is that you’ve got to establish those values early on and do what you can to show your customer base that you want to build that community up.

“Every small business needs to be thinking in terms of subscription and retention because that’s exactly how humans are being conditioned.” – Jonathan Callinan

At the heart of Jonathan’s message is the idea that people are drawn into opportunities for networking and community. He explains to us that because of this, your brands are more likely to succeed if they feel they are part of a community. Retailers have long made use of Facebook for this reason, but the limitations of the platform and the privacy concerns are enough to look elsewhere. Businesses that are trying to build a community of supporters really want the freedom to create an online culture all their own.

In order to do this, you may have to start on an accessible platform like Facebook, but only for the time being. More importantly, though, you have to establish a real sense of trust for the people supporting your service. Once enough people have solidified the neighbourhood, so to speak, the founders of the platform should take it somewhere else. Perhaps host your own website and allow subscribers to interact with people who share their own values. This is the key to exponential growth on a subscriber model.

Topics Covered:

  • What underpins successful subscriptions.
  • People ultimately want to be connected in community.
  • Trade tribe for trust to be connected to like minded people.
  • Why businesses should be trying to create their own communities?
  • The challenges of transitioning a free community to a high-value, paid service.
  • How to build communities around a target audience?