Wednesday, November 28

Alignable For Local Businesses: Three Cities In

I got an initial invitation to Alignable from a former student when I was still living in Wisconsin. The idea seemed like a good one and came at the right time, since I'd recently been laid off. I was also trying to take my career in a new direction. But Alignable has been a bit of a disappointment in a long line of time-consuming disappointments when it comes to running my own business.

I was hoping Alignable would be a better version of Linkedin, which was supposed to be better than Facebook or Twitter for businesses. I was hoping it would be less about recruiters than Indeed or Linkedin, which it has, but still not a great use of my time. It's a better alternative to Bark, but that's a scam. I want Alignable to be good. I'm probably not using it right.

The idea is that local business owners can find other local business owners. Some of those people might need website work or editing, which I do. Then, those people might befriend me or contact me. So far, I've gotten three messages. One is from my initial contact, former student, and makeup salesperson:
Welcome! Let me know when your profile is ready - looking forward to finding ways to help each other.
The next is from the local rep from Lenexa, KS:
 Hi  - My name is Gabe and I'm the Community Manager for Lenexa. So great to have you here! What are your business goals for Alignable?It would be great to learn so I know how to help you out.
And the last was from some guy who does some of the same work I do:

Thanks for connecting on Alignable. If your business has any IT or Web Development needs please let me know. Thanks.
I assume I'm supposed to be searching for connections myself. Commenting on questions. Spending time on the site or app.  I generally accept connections, so feel free, but I'd rather spend my time uploading old teaching lessons on TeachersPayTeachers when I'm not writing or building sites. Those endeavors have proven more fruitful than all the social media marketing I tried early on.

With Linkedin, I created a pretty good profile and tried to grow my network. But the people I found weren't really close to me, and most of my former colleagues weren't even on Linkedin, probably because they had jobs. It's a website for businessy types and recruiters, not for those who hoped to be employed at the same company or school for 30 years. And the recruiters just want lists of people who have worked with PHP at some point, not caring that my own experience isn't exactly a perfect match for the jobs they're trying to fill. (My experience with PHP in implementation, not writing the code.)

Meetup for businesses has also been a total disappointment. Everyone is trying to run a group in order to make a living off the connections rather than trying to provide a good opportunity for all group members to make meaningful connections. And I tried SCORE back in Wisconsin. A bunch of retired guys tried to help me, but all of them also tried to tell me to do things the way THEY did to be successful, so I was pulled in all kinds of directions, but they didn't actually provide any leads, which is more of what I needed than them telling me I needed a business plan (my plan was to get leads). 

My goal for this week is to get back on Alignable and give it another try. Maybe I'll be connecting with you, or you can use the link above to connect with me.

I was starting to work on my JAX connections when I noticed I only have 10 credits on Alignable. I guess it's free until I use those 10, so they better be good ones. Once again, a website purporting to be about helping the small business owner is really about making money. I feel bad because I just accepted a connection request from over a year ago. That poor guy wasted one of his credits on me. Also, you can connect with me for free through this contact form