This is Chapter 2 of a 4-part series. Please read Chapter 1: MadSociety – The Beginning if you haven’t already.
- Chapter 1: MadSociety – The Beginning. It all started with an iPhone app and a cup of coffee.
- Chapter 2: Building MadSociety. The original FB group didn’t work and why we moved to a private, premium forum.
- Chapter 3: A Peek Inside MadSociety. A real MadSociety review and the first sneak-peak ever released to the public. I’ll also share some success stories and what some of our members have to say.
- Chapter 4: Opening The Doors. When this series ends we’ll re-open the doors. But be warned, there is a limit to how many people will get in.
Join MadSociety: If you want to get on the waiting list for our launch, go to MadSociety.net. (When we open the doors, it’ll be on a first come, first served basis so don’t be last in line.)
The MadSociety FB Group
When we left off, I was saying how everyone from The Morning Coffee Family wanted a place to hang out between Periscope sessions.
Most people said a Facebook group would work – so we created one called ‘The Morning Coffee Fam’.
To my surprise – over 100 people joined it right away. “Hmmmm… that’s kinda crazy…” I thought as I watched new members coming in every second.
So the Morning Coffee Family started talking in the Facebook group in between Periscope sessions. They were sharing information, forming Mastermind groups and talking about ad campaigns.
I only logged in a few times, to welcome some new members and see what everyone was up to.
And after a week or so everyone wanted to know why I wasn’t more active in the group?
They were hoping that I would be there to answer questions and share ideas with them.
I was completely honest with them – and told them that there was no way I had the time to be active in the FB group.
Part of me expected my honest response to piss some people off. But it did the exact opposite.
It created a doorway…
During the next Periscope session we talked about the Morning Coffee Family Facebook Group and how they could get me in there.
With no prompting from me – the Family came up with an idea.
“Charge us for the damn FB group!”
“Make the FB group $150/month!”
“I’d pay up to $199/month if needed…”
At first I didn’t think they were serious. But over the next few days they just kept hammering me about it.
So I started asking very specific questions about what they wanted, how much they would pay and how it should be setup.
They told me exactly what they wanted and gave me all of the feedback I needed to get started.
A Secret Place
We decided we needed something hidden from the general public and not on Facebook.
In my opinion Facebook is a terrible place to hold a premium forum.
- What if FB decides they don’t like our group?
- What if someone shares a weird image that gets us flagged?
If FB had any kind of problem with us – they could shut the entire thing down.
So we had to build something of our own.
They wanted a private/premium forum.
“Ok” I said, “We’ll do a forum, how much do you want it to cost?*”
They suggested price ranges from $40/month to $400/month.
They even said they would set it up for me if needed.
So I took them up on it and started planning the build out.
Several Family members had offered to help. So I asked them to send me an email with their experience with forums and what they could do. In exchange they’d get free memberships for life.
Within a few minutes I had 15 emails from people who wanted to help.
I read through them all, asked a few follow up questions and found someone who had a lot of experience with forums and could set it up right away.
We talked about it a bit, sealed the deal and got started setting things up.
Choosing A Name
I spent a day or two checking domain names and finally decided on MadSociety.net.
There are 2 main reasons:
- I think modern society is completely “mad” and batshit crazy
- My real initials are M.A.D. (middle name = Anthony)
I started working on a quick logo design and after going through a few ideas I had a logo that worked.
The MadSociety.net logo
Now that I had a domain name and a logo, my forum guy went to work setting things up.
The Build Out
Luckily he was a forum ninja and knew exactly what to do, which softwares to use and how to tie them together and make it all work.
It would have taken me weeks to set it up, he had it live in a few days.
In the meantime, I was keeping the Morning Coffee Fam updated on our progress. Every Periscope session was focused on the build out.
They wanted to know when it would be live and I wanted to know what they wanted me to have inside.
We went back and forth for several more days figuring it all out and adding some initial content.
The Soft Launch
When I felt like we were ready – I jumped on Periscope to say that MadSociety was ready to enlist it’s first few members. Everyone who joined this early version got a discounted price and bragging rights for being an OG.
I asked 3 people to send me an email requesting membership details. This way I could test the signup and billing process to make sure it worked.
After the Periscope session I checked my email and I probably had 20 membership requests. I laughed out loud in my apartment and thought “what they hell is going on here?”
I let 5 people inside the forum to see what happened. We made sure everyone made it in smoothly and ironed out a few errors.
The next week I said we were going to let 5 more people in. Again, I received a ton of requests and had to select just a few of them to come inside.
We weren’t ready to open the floodgates yet because I wasn’t sure if the forum would break under the pressure.
Building An Army
I continued to let 5–10 people in per week and slowly but surely we built a small membership of about 50 people.
Everyone started posting threads about their campaigns.
They asked questions, told stories and outlined exact blueprints to follow to create profitable campaigns. I was pretty shocked at a few of the golden nuggets they dropped in there.
People started trying out the advice they saw in the forum and sharing their successes.
A few people made their first dollars, some lost a few hundred and other had their first xxx/day profits.
At this point I knew we had something special. And it was totally different than any other forum I’ve ever seen.
- It’s small and focused
- The content is kept very minimal so it’s very easy to understand
- Everyone in the group is supportive and transparent
- No affiliate network or ad network reps are allowed in, so zero spam
- I do a monthly Live 1–2 hour Q&A/Webinar/Mastermind for free
After a month or so of working out the bugs I decided to go ahead and open the doors to everyone in the Periscope group. But not to the general public.
Remember – at this point, no one outside of The Morning Coffee Family knew what we were doing. There was no public talk about it at all.
“The first rule of MadSociety is you do not talk about MadSociety”
When we opened the doors there was a big rush of new members.
Everyone joined in the conversations and started sharing their stories, experiences and campaign information.
Creating The Vibe
We wanted MadSociety to share the same vibe as the Periscope sessions so we added several non-affiliate marketing related sub forums to the mix.
We made places to talk about inspirations, music, motivations and help for being more productive.
We created an area to talk about health and fitness. Most affiliate marketers spend way too much time in their chairs and not thinking about their health.
I’ve focused on the work/health balance over the years and so have many of our members (and they’re ripped) so everyone started sharing their workout and diet routines.
Posts started coming up about dealing with depression and the loneliness that can be associated with working from home.
Members helped each other every step of the way, some even offering to meet up in person to help if needed.
Masterminds started forming, people were getting together on Skype and sharing information about Native, Facebook and PPC.
We planned a few real-world meetups at conferences and met each other in person. The whole thing started taking off and it was 100% natural.
One member printed up a huge box of MadSociety teeshirts and flew from Florida to San Diego with them. He carried them on the plane the entire trip in a big cardboard box.
MadSociety.net teeshirts at San Diego Meetup
He went through all that trouble and then just gave them away to the group at lunch.
I’ve never seen anything like it before.
The community continued to grow and turned into an incredibly useful place that is unique as hell.
- And no one even knew it existed.
- No one knew it was there.
- No one knew what was going on.
I think that was the best part. 🙂
Soon word started to get out about us. And people started asking me what we were doing.
They wanted to get inside.
So what’s inside?
Stay tuned and in the next post I’ll give you a sneak peek.