Social Tech Helps Company Grow GloballyBy Robert Kiyosaki Print
Innovative ways of reaching customers allows a small business to expand.
From my book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, The Rich Dad Co. (TRDC) has expanded into a comprehensive financial education and coaching business with a global audience of more than three million. We would not have achieved this success without implementing new technology developments in social media, live streaming of events and interactive games.
To compete in any industry, you need the latest technological advances and must challenge the status quo. With that in mind, I assembled a team of top-notch developers and designers and let them go to work. My internal team of seven, headed up by Shane Caniglia, director of technology, and Robert LeCount, manager of Web development and data, coordinates a larger pool of outside talent.
Their first project was to create a new, content-rich Website. LeCount describes the technology: “We used Kentico CMS (farmed and load-balanced) as the content management system, the Microsoft SQL database (clustered) to store data and ensure constant availability, and HP servers for reliability. Completed in six months, the site included a newsletter-registration process we custom-developed, interactive forms tied directly into our email marketing system, PDF digital workbooks and an online community forum provided as part of Kentico CMS.”
In addition, we assigned two team members to manage social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs. Greg Arthur and Shannon Crist, our social media specialists, review my posts and monitor social media activity throughout the day.
Realizing the potential for sharing our financial education processes online, my team used technology to publish Rich Dad’s Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money. This was the first book written completely online.
Caniglia details how I “posted draft chapters and then invited feedback, commentary and questions from readers worldwide via Website forums and blogs using Kentico CMS. This feedback was then incorporated into the book as it was released, chapter by chapter, free on the Internet.” Today, I post updates for more than 150,000 registered readers.
We began looking at electronic publishing differently. In June 2011, we presented the first live Kindle e-book-signing of Unfair Advantage: The Power of Financial Education. And in October 2011, we provided live e-book signatures of Midas Touch, the book I wrote with Donald Trump.
Caniglia explains how it worked: “During the Facebook live-streamed event, we captured signatures using Autodesk SketchBook Pro painting and drawing software. Instead of waiting weeks to receive their exclusive signed books online, buyers could purchase them in the iBookstore within 48 hours.”
Using Technology to Succeed
From these technology activities, our site traffic has doubled, and our social media audience has increased by more than 3,000 percent. We also obtained significant publicity, which increased book sales and mentions on the top-seller lists. Also, a new audience learned about our programs and services related to financial education.
Through our live-streaming technology, we’ve delivered content to more than 110 countries around the world. Participants can see and hear us in real time and interact with our team on a personal level.
Enhanced e-books, articles and archived videos are now part of our online library. We’ve surpassed a milestone of one million Cashflow games played online, reaching beyond the physical board game on a global scale.
By listening to feedback, we’re able to provide our customers with the products and information they want, in the way they want it. For example, we used technology to take our Cashflow board game online.
Caniglia describes the process: “We built the Cashflow Financial Calculator app to make it easier to play our traditional Cashflow board game. This included improved retina-display graphics, icons, stability and performance enhancements, support for iOS up to 5.0 and updated language translations.”
When we realized that players around the globe wanted to connect, we created the online version of the Cashflow game. Complete with cartoon characters, music, video tutorials and automatic calculations, the online version makes it fun and easy for people of all ages to learn about finances at any time and to play with anyone in the world.
“The technical work is intensive, but it’s been a fascinating challenge taking The Rich Dad Company to a new level of technology to reach a loyal global following,” Caniglia says.
These technology initiatives allow us to change and communicate quickly to meet the needs of our worldwide audience, exceed our sales goals and, most important, help more people get a financial education. After all, knowledge is the new money, and the way it’s delivered makes all the difference.
Robert Kiyosaki is creator of the Cashflow board game, founder of the financial education-based The Rich Dad Co. and author of the personal finance book Rich Dad Poor Dad. Additional books include Rich Dad’s Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money; Unfair Advantage: The Power of Financial Education; and Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich—And Why Most Do Not.
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