Toastmasters Club Software

Formerly MyTLog.tk

Introducing ToastmastersClubSoftware.com — December 1, 2016

Introducing ToastmastersClubSoftware.com

screenshot-www-toastmastersclubsoftware-com-2016-12-01-14-04-40

After about a year of no change or updates to http://www.mytlog.tk, and based on the interest and good feedback I received when the app was first developed in 2013, I decided to spend some more time on improving the platform and rebranding it.

MyTLog.tk is now Toastmasters Club Software. The new name is a better representation of what the platform could be. And I will be allocating more time to its development. My vision is to have a platform that makes managing the progress of clubs an easy and enjoyable experience.

As it is now, the platform is the Minimum Viable Product as of today, December 1st, 2016. Based on feedback within the next couple of months, I will decide what new features and options to prioritize and work on.

I am open to receiving feedback and suggestions for improvement are expected and always welcome.

Go ahead and send me an email to tell me how the platform is helping you manage your Toastmasters club: Lionnel@Yamentou.com

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Business Cards as Marketing Tool — January 16, 2015

Business Cards as Marketing Tool

Last week I attended the Founder’s District LACE event. The conference is held twice a year and usually sees attendance of well over 400 Toastmasters. That was a great opportunity to market the MyTLog.tk app. I took it. I prepared business cards which I placed on the appropriate table at the event.

mytlog.tk-business-card-v1

Since I was a presenter at the event, I also included a reference to MyTLog.tk in my presentation. I can confidently say that the MyTLog.tk service was exposed to between 50 and 100 people only on that day. I was expecting about 30 new member registrations from marketing that day, but only about 2 new registrations derived from that. That is less than 10% success rate.

What happened? It is not important what happened. What is important is what I will do different next time. I still have more than 300 MyTLog.tk business cards with me and I will distribute them differently this time. I will only give them out to people I have had a one-on-one conversation with, or groups I have clearly presented the benefits of the platform to. This will work when I go on the “30 Speeches in 30 Days” tour in March this year (2015). That way, it will increase the likelihood of new signups based on the business cards.

I won’t quickly dismiss business cards as a marketing tool for this service. It could be that the people who took the business card have not yet had time to check the service out and signup, maybe the signup process (requiring an invitation code – which is easy and free to get) discourages some users. I am not very sure on this. Until I have handed out all the business cards and tracked how effective they are, I cannot dismiss this channel. What I can do is start looking for a different tool and experiment with that one in parallel.

Maybe I will go for Facebook  or Google Adwords ads with a $25 budget? I will keep you posted! 😀

Why is MyTLog.tk Not Free For Toastmasters Clubs? — December 20, 2014

Why is MyTLog.tk Not Free For Toastmasters Clubs?

When I started developing MyTLog.tk it was not my intention to make a product out of it. I was a weekend project to scratch my own itch and as I spent time working on it, it revealed to could have been more useful than I initially planned. not-free-01

If I had stopped on the features for members only (primarily keeping the progress towards the DTM), there was no way I could have possibly justified charging for usage. But when I started adding all the features that make it very useful for club operations and management, it felt right to set a minimal fee for usage.

Here are 3 reasons why there is a monthly fee:

  • Greater Perceived Value

Free is so ubiquitous almost in every industry that in most cases, the perceived value of free is very low. $3 per month is low enough to be a affordable for any club. From my experience, most online services that are free sell advertising. I have a few other online services I created and they are 100% free, but supported by advertising.

To be honest, unless you have a significant traffic (a few thousands a day), you will not be able to cover your costs of keeping a free service online. And the more traffic your service gets, the higher it costs to maintain the service.

  • Development & Maintenance Costs

I spend on average 4 hours per week working on MyTLog.tk. At the rate of $65 per hour, that is about $260 per week in spending for development. Hosting costs are currently less than $10 per month. It would be great when I am able to generate revenue from the application to cover those expenses.

It only makes sense to generate revenue from a good product you offer to the marketplace. I am building a great product. 😀 At $3 per club monthly, when there are 200 paying clubs in a couple of years, the monthly revenue will be around $1,300.00 ($1,500.00 – $200.00). $200 is the cost of credit card payment processing fees. I used the http://standtomake.com/ service to get the estimate.

  • Quality Customer Service & Job Creation

True, there are lots of free products that provide legendary customer service. But for a side project that I am turning into a business, in order to provide customer service of a very good quality, there needs to be a reward. Ultimately I want to be able to create jobs through my entrepreneurial ventures.

Last time I checked, there is no sustainable business model with employees that does not generate a revenue. You could mention a lot of start-ups that don’t have a revenue, but they are backed by investors who will at some point in time ask for revenues to get their moneys back. Like I read in the book Rework by Jason Fried of Barcamp (formerly 37 Signals), a start-up that does not start with a good product that generates revenue is a gamble (paraphrased).

Toastmasters International is a not-for-profit organization, and they do not endorse or support any product that is not free for membership, even if the product is very useful and helpful. It is my hope that in the future there will be a marketplace accessible through the Toastmasters International website where people like me display services like MyTLog.tk.

But that a conversation for a different day.