Okay let’s start with a disclosure: I won’t join your Mafia family, I don’t spend my money buying virtual farm animals, and I’m not going to water your God damned plants. I don’t have time to play Internet games.
But I’m all over EmpireAvenue.com, and I suggest you do the same. Why?
Because it’s about your prosperity. It's much, much more than an online game and it has a great deal more value than as simply a pleasant diversion. It can actually help you monitor your brand, and cultivate business.
So that’s the next caveat...
If you’re looking for gaming tips, this is the wrong article for you. There are plenty of places to get that info. This Manifesto is to tell you how I use Empire Avenue to grow my business, and how you can grow your own business. So let’s start with…
What is it?
Glad you asked. EA combines the buying and selling mechanics of trading stocks with the connections of a social network. The best way I can describe it is Monopoly meets social media, RISK meets the stock market. You set up your account (which is free), and then connect it to all your social media profiles like Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and your Blog. Then EA will show you and your mother just how influential you REALLY are. (I love Klout and what they’re trying to do. And they’re especially near and dear to my heart because I’m rated high enough there to get some swag now and then. They also have a new beta version which looks promising. But so far, EA has been much more current and helpful showing my reach.)
With EA, you "invest" in people and their stock rises or falls, based upon their social media presence. (Either by their activity on EA and/or their activity on social media sites.) So by grabbing shares in people that really get social media, you build your portfolio. In the future, you will even be able to trade your virtual shares to buy some stuff in the real world.
You buy and sell with virtual currency, known as “eaves.” While they hold no monetary value yet at Pizza Hut, they’re everything in relation to how much you can invest in other stocks. Eaves are like money – you can never have too much. But they lose value if they’re just sitting in your account. You want to invest them to grow. And the more you have, the more shares you can buy to increase your portfolio. The key is don’t buy people: invest in the value their shares will have.
It’s much more than a game. It’s actually a fascinating way to track your social media metrics, and see how the serious players do it.
Even more intriguing, I believe it provides some fascinating lessons on investing and prosperity.
Curiosity got the best of me when I started seeing lots of buzz about EA from some savvy social media players and early adopters. I think it has the possibility to be the next really BIG thing in the space. It’s very sticky, the programming is brilliant, and it has all the psychological factors of inclusion and social proof that make this kind of site do well.
Now to be fair, not everyone feels that way. I suggested Scott Stratten (a/k/a Unmarketing) reserve his name and he replied it was a total waste of time. But I’ve been impressed with how many serious players in the dot-com space are on the site. Not a few of which, are quite active.
Now by most accounts, I have a very successful social media presence for my own business. I have loyal followings on my Twitter and Facebook feeds, and more than 300,000 upload views on YouTube. But I actually joined all three at least a year too late. I promised myself that when I spotted something that could be the next breakout in social media, I was going to jump in early. (And have lost some time getting on platforms that didn’t ever take off.)
So what’s so sexy about Empire Avenue? And why should you jump on it now?
First, it doesn’t cost you anything but a little time. In all sites like this, it’s better to get on, set up a profile, and reserve your name. Otherwise you may have squatters trying to sell it to you later, or people whoring out your name to sell their crap.
Imagine my surprise when I first went to get on MySpace, Facebook, and some other sites and found profiles with my name and photos, put up by a lady selling some renegade marketing drek. The profiles made it look like I was offering it, complete with fake endorsements from me! It’s always best to protect your image, trademarks and reputation.
The next reason is it can provide you with some great lessons on saving, investing, and creating wealth. If you’re a parent, encourage your kids to set up an account. Make it a family activity and get together once a month and check everybody’s portfolio. They’ll learn that it’s not about buying shares in people they know or like, but actually doing some critical thinking about why the shares they are considering to invest in will go up or down and pay dividends.
I went from zero to millionaire in six days, using the philosophy that I would invest my eaves exactly as if they were real currency. So there are some great lessons for the real world.
Which leads us to what may be the sexiest part of the site…
The social media marketing benefits. These are three-fold:
1) You can see exactly what kind of reach and influence your social media accounts are actually getting;
2) You can monitor what’s being said about you or your business in the social media space; and,
3) You can actually increase your fans, followers, and website or blog traffic.
Which leads us to the fourth auxiliary benefit: turning that exposure into a better connection with your tribe and ultimately more business. This is not to say you won’t get the benefits of meeting people, making connections, and enhancing the pleasure you get from your online presence. You will. But you can do those things on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. The difference with EA is those first benefits I mentioned.
So what follows are some suggestions of how you get more shareholders, make your stock price rise, and increase you virtual wealth. Some of these will help you do good or “win” in the gaming aspect, but that not my purpose here. There’s nothing wrong with playing online games for diversion, bragging rights, and fun. Just not my thing. The purpose here is so you can:
So how do you do all this?
Well it’s getting old school to say this, but like most online initiatives, it still goes back to the three C’s of content, community and commerce. Provide feeds with stuff people find interesting, engage with them instead of broadcasting at them, and then provide some opportunities for them to throw cash at you.
As far of the mechanics of EA, here’s how you add to your value:
How do you do this all without making it a full-time job?
I only spend about 10 or 15 minutes a day on EA. Truth is I don’t really understand all the dividend tactics yet and don’t pay much attention to all that. You’re better served to not let the tail wag the dog: I don't blog and do social media well so I get a good score on EA. I get a good score on EA because I blog and do social media well.
And the reason I blog and do social media well is to better connect with my tribe, increase my following, and turn that into money so I can feed my cat. If I was going to waste two or three hours a day online, I would be looking at videos of birds flying into mirrors.
The bottom line on EA is when you are active on the site and in social media, your share price goes up. That makes you a good investment to people, so they buy and recommend you, and your shares and dividends go up more. This gives you mores eaves to invest, which can raise your profile more. You get more shareholders and more traffic, your price goes higher and you pay more dividends...
It can become a self-perpetuating cycle of steadily rising price and exposure. What I’ve seen so far is that this has translated into a lot more web traffic for my blogs and sites, and this has led to more sales. And I like more sales…
Now a couple things to know:
If you just use this exposure to pitch people for your amazing jungle juice, they’ll bail on you fast. If you follow my feeds, you’ll see I almost never talk about the products, consulting, or seminars I offer, other than the occasional launch announcement.
My blogs offer real value to people, so they recommend them and stop back often. And a lot of them then explore around my site, see some of the resources offered, and then whip out a credit card. And I like it when people whip out credit cards…
The other thing to be aware of is what you’re actually doing on your social media feeds. If you’re just broadcasting at people instead of talking with people, they’ll get tired of that right pronto. If you actually engage with them, you make some real connections and strengthen your business. (Not to mention have a lot more fun at all this.) If you haven’t read The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuck, you’ll find that book really helpful in this area.
Now there are all kinds of secret tricks and tactics to increase your share price. Groups are developing with strategies such as all agreeing to buy each others’ stock, recommend each other, and clicking “like” on each others’ Facebook posts. If you’re a shareholder of mine, be warned I’m not doing any of that. In fact, I’m not doing anything different on my social media accounts than I was doing before EA. I try to provide good content and let it create demand.
You can try to game the system with tactics to increase your share price a little short term, but it kind of defeats the purpose if you’re really looking to track your metrics and develop real connectivity. You can also buy eaves, but again I think that kind of takes you off track. (Now if you’re a gamer and looking to “win” for ego or bragging rights, game away!)
Likewise I’m not giving prizes, bribes, and awards for people to buy or recommend me. I want my work to stand on its own. If you read my blogs and find them helpful, please endorse them. I do the same for the blogs I like. But don’t beg people or pay them off if you want to see your real results.
And please don't beseech for a reciprocal buy back when you purchase someone’s shares. It’s not like Facebook where you are friending people. People will buy your shares based on the return they can expect. Work your social media accounts the right way, and you will become a good investment and people will find you.
And don’t bother sending me threats that if I don’t buy some of your shares, you’re going to sell mine. Sell off to your little heart’s content, Homeslice! You can use the money you get back to buy some more farm animals.
The Commons Mistakes…
1) Buying people because they’re your friends.
2) Getting guilted into reciprocal buy backs.
3) Buying big brands just because they’re household names.
4) Holding every stock you buy regardless of what the price and dividends are.
5) Buying only low priced stocks.
6) Buying only high-priced stocks.
7) Not buying the maximum shares of (e) RGAGE!!!!
Just because your 97-year-old mammie has a Flickr account to post pix of her cats doesn’t mean you should invest in her on EA. If she doesn’t really do other social media, her stock will go down, your share price and dividends will drop, people will sell you off like you’re a Godless Communist with AIDS, and next thing you know, you’re sleeping under a bridge!
Just send her a card and some flowers on Mother’s day.
Same thing with your Facebook friends: Remember, you don't really like those people anyway; you just went to school with them. The same goes for your real friends: you can chat with them on Twitter, friend them on Facebook, and help them move a sofa on the weekend. But don’t buy their stock unless they get social media. It’s a bidness!
If a big brand opens an account, that doesn’t mean anything, unless they actually get and engage on social media, which very few actually do.
There are lots and lots of communities and interest groups on EA. It certainly does help you to join the appropriate ones. You’ll connect with like-minded people and they’ll get better exposure to you.
Buying Eaves and Luxury Items…
I haven’t bought any eaves because I’m just letting my social media actions speak for themselves. But you can buy some exemptions for instance that let you join more groups and even invest past the 200 share limit on people you want to invest big in. I noticed quite a few serious players on the site bought 500 shares of mine, so they must have handed over some cash.
As far as the luxury items, they seem to be more of an ego thing and take money or eaves you could be spending on growth stocks. However, I will confess to purchasing a castle (for $100 real US smackers), and a sports car 2 for ten real bucks. That was at the suggestion of Chris Pirillo because the Castle produces an extra 25,000 eaves for you a week, and a net wealth increase of 4,000 eaves a day. The car is another good luxury pick because you get 1,000 eaves net wealth increase per day and 2,500 eaves per week.
That makes sense to me, because it gives me more eaves to buy grow stocks and increase my worth. But if I start buying farm animals, just kill me.
So what to do now?
If you’re not on yet, go to: http://empireavenue.com/?t=exxb7lwe set up an account, and reserve a good trading name. If you move fast, you can probably still get your name or initials. That link will give you some eaves to start trading. Then hock your lungs and buy all of my stock you can grab. Thanks, I need the money. Search by my name, or stock symbol is (e)RGAGE.
If you’re already on, make sure you max out on my stock. I’ve gone up every day since I joined so far. I just broke the millionaire twice over mark and the 111 mark. The club can’t even handle me right now!
Seriously, you may want to send out a shareholder email linking to this blog. The more your shareholders understand what to do, the better it will be for you.
If you find this blog helpful, or are into prosperity and self-development (which is my usual topic, without so much snark), please endorse it on EA.
Finally, Chris Pirillo wrote a great article on his EA strategy that influenced me greatly for this post. You can find it here:
Okay kids, that’s all for now. Got some other tips and comments? Please share below. Next post we’ll be back on the self-development topics. Until then have fun on the Avenue!