We talked to Gali Meiri about Comonetize which is a platform that enables leaders of professional and local communities to make money and turn their communities into profitable businesses, and she had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Gali Meiri: Well, Covid in Israel meets us in quite a complicated political reality, with a non-functioning government and an allegedly corrupt prime minister, so decisions are not being made on a reasonable and scientific basis. In our daily lives, we feel it strongly inside the family unit, with kids that study on Zoom and hang around the house all day, so it’s a bit more difficult to sustain a standard daily business routine.
The community I’m running, which is a community of cinema and culture professionals, suffers immensely from the situation with hardly any government support and 8 months of total shutdown, so we feel it inside the house and in our community.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Comonetize.
Gali Meiri: A few years ago, I launched a local marketplace for my community called “Taasiya” (“The industry”) with a unique business model. It is a website for the creative, content, and production community. This platform has been my main and stable income channel for the last decade.
I’m not sure if you’re all familiar with the term “Online communities” – these are networks of individuals who come together, and they gain benefit from one another. There are leaders, like me, at the top of these communities that care about the communities, but they also have to make a living. Many of them saw my business – Taasiya – and started consulting me on how I did it. With the experience and know-how that I gathered from fighting on this battlefield, I’ve created Comonetize – a SaaS platform that enables leaders of professional and local communities to make money and turn their communities into profitable businesses while giving immense value to their members.
We’re available in 6 different languages and active globally.
How does Comonetize innovate?
Gali Meiri: The problem that leaders of professional or local communities face today is that they work really hard, but other people are harvesting the field that they’ve worked so hard to sow. Everyone’s getting amazing value from the community, but the leader’s hard work almost never pays off.
Using our platform, community leaders can put a paywall between community members and business or recruiters. This happens in 2 ways: by charging a subscription to the community or by charging people who want to get access to the community members.
Also, using our product, community leaders can also sell digital products and community merchandise or sell tickets to events. There’s a lot of money that can be generated, but it’s not because these community leaders have no idea where to even begin to build a platform to generate this income, and we help them with that.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Gali Meiri: On the startup level, it’s more challenging to raise money and recruit workers. But on the marketing level, it’s a different story, and there is a bigger demand for our product.
COVID 19 has rocked the boat of the world economy, causing many people to suffer great financial losses. Naturally, in times of distress, we tend to support people that we know and care about, so people often consider using one of the members in their community rather than a complete stranger from one of the massive gig marketplaces. This is where community leaders become especially significant. We provide leaders of professional communities or a community of small businesses a simple tool to engage a marketplace for their community with various available business models.
Generally speaking, Covid has increased the need for our product.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Gali Meiri: Entrepreneurs’ lives are a series of difficult choices and lessons. I’ve made many mistakes, but my motto is that I’d rather do something the wrong way than not do it at all…
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Gali Meiri: I take a deep breath, look at my kids, try to be thankful for the things I have, and of course, consult with friends and colleagues
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Gali Meiri: Focusing on community entrepreneurs as our target audience, Comonetize brings together four growing markets – community management and subscription tools, the massive gig economy marketplaces that enable freelancers to get projects (we do the same but on the community level), the marketplace creating platforms that provide a variety of options to launch a marketplace and the massive job boards and career management tools. I can say we take the best of each section and bring it together in our product. Each of these markets has several players in the game, so it’s difficult to point one out.
We plan to stay in the game by providing the best service we can and a simple yet powerful product.
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