TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2011-01 > 1295994741
From: "Michael Hait" <>
Subject: [TGF] How does the loss of Expert Connect affect your business plan?
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2011 17:32:21 -0500
This message is being cross-posted on both the APG Members mailing list and the Transitional Genealogists Forum mailing list.
Ever since Ancestry announced the discontinuation of Expert Connect, many people have weighed in on the subject. The expressed opinions have ranged from extreme disgust and betrayal to “so what?”
I would invite those professionals and “transitionals” with these negative emotions to reflect a little on their own businesses.
Ancestry launched Expert Connect in the summer of 2009—less than two years ago. If their decision to discontinue the program—for whatever reason—is devastating to your business plan, then you must really reexamine your business plan itself. Expert Connect was a program maintained entirely by a third party, with no true working partnership, etc., with its providers. Does reliance on the program create a sustainable business plan? Absolutely not.
On both of these lists over the past few years, many of the more established professional genealogists, in an unofficial “mentor”-like capacity, have offered advice to those of us just beginning in the profession. Among the suggestions from those who established their own careers long before Expert Connect have been:
- multiple sources of “passive income,” through writing, publishing, and lecturing
- marketing ideas, including non-traditional
- even recently, discussion of various ways that genealogical skills can be used in other fields, such as “forensic genealogy”
Did you explore these other options in your business plans? Or did you (on some level) expect Expert Connect to provide you with an endless stream of clients forever?
There are many good articles online on creating a formal business plan. All self-employed professionals, regardless of profession, should consider creating one. This should be a “living document,” so that changes can be made as necessary. The discontinuation of Expert Connect is a perfect example of a market change that would require the revision of your business plan.
This message is meant to be productive advice for those who are hurt the worst by the loss of Expert Connect. It is not meant to be disparaging or negative, in any way.
For the record, I have been a provider with Expert Connect since its beginning. I also use the “Genealogy Freelancers” and “Genlighten” websites to find clients. However, none of these websites have ever provided the majority of my income. I have my own website whereby I attract the majority of my clients. I advertise my services through various means, including links on the APG website, and the websites of several repositories where I research. I supplement my client research income through prolific writing and publishing, as well as lecturing wherever and whenever possible. I have created web-based courses. In other words, I actively seek out and create opportunities to earn money through any means and methods possible. The loss of Expert Connect will remove one of the sources of income for my genealogy business, but it will not destroy my genealogy business.
|[TGF] How does the loss of Expert Connect affect your business plan? by "Michael Hait" <>|