What is an Expert Calling Network (ECN)?
An Expert Calling Network or “ECN” is a feature-rich social media service and online knowledge exchange for selected consultants and consumer. An ECN is about community, promotion/marketing, and monetization or lead generation. An ECN can support your personal branding goals. An ECN also includes a transactional "InCall" calling platform so experts (consultants) can get paid to share their knowledge or expertise over the phone.
What are the benefits of participating in an ECN?
There are many. Here's the "short list":
- Raise your profile and visibility on search engines with the ECN’s SEO optimized features
- Publish blog articles on ECN that showcase your knowledge and support your personal brand
- Respond to written Q&A from prospective students or their parents to show your expertise or thought leadership
- Generate leads from prospective clients
- Get paid for one-on-one phone conversations from prospective clients
- Participate in an ECN Group to learn about issues affecting the community or to lead discussions on one
- Content distribution: watch as your ECN activity gets promoted through tweets on HECA’s new twitter account
- Watch as tweets from your personal Twitter account tweets display in the ECN's Feed
- Integration w/ social media - put an ECN Badge on your LinkedIn profile drive interest or caller to your ECN profile
- Many more!
How much time should I dedicate to setting up my ECN profile?
Setting up your ECN profile is similar to setting up a LinkedIn profile or a Facebook account and you can set up a simple profile in 10-15 minutes. You can even import elements from your LinkedIn Profile to your ECN profile. However, we'd recommend you invest 30 minutes to 1 hour to make your profile fabulous. Your profile will be SEO friendly and searchable and indexable on all the major search engines and over time will help you get discovered. If you've been pre-authorized, then we've already imported elements from your HECA membership info into your ECN Profile -- and so you need only edit your existing ECN information.
What are ECN categories and tags?
When you edit your ECN profile, you can add custom tags to your individual profile to indicate areas of specialty. HECA has created some pre-set categories and you can add your profile to one these categories. At launch, these categories include:
How did HECA determine the order that consultant profiles should display on the ECN?
Consultant profiles are currently listed in random order in each category you select for your profile. This applies to consultant profiles that have been created or edited by the consultants themselves (and not to the placeholder biographies of pre-authorized consultants).
I usually don’t charge for an inquiry call, but I also do not provide any specific consulting during these conversations. Many of my colleagues operate similarly, but just as many charge for an initial consult that includes more specific guidance. What should I do since the ECN system requires me to charge for an ECN call?
If you usually don't charge for an inquiry call, then you could offer to refund the cost of the ECN call for anyone that hires you for extended services. If you decide to take this approach, then we'd recommend you mention that explicitly in your ECN Profile biography section. Currently, there is no word limit in your ECN profile -- but we ask that you do not include your personal email or phone number in your biographical information.
What rate should I post for participating in an InCall call?
We encourage people to post at market rates but to allow for slight discounting for a longer duration call. Here's a longer response by the CEO of Brainsy (the company that powers this ECN), on this very topic. https://ecn.expertcallingnetwork.com/ask/brian/what-rate-should-i-charge-for-an-ecn-call
As an Expert, how much can I earn?
As an Expert in our ECN, you post your own rate for participating in a phone discussion. After completing a discussion, you earn 70% of your posted rate and it will be deposited directly into your bank account. (Depending on your bank, it usually appears 2-3 days after completion of the call). The total amount you may earn depends on your commission and the number of calls in which you participate.
Am I obligated to have calls with just anyone?
You have full control over your ECN profile and may decline any Call Requests in which you don’t wish to participate. You can set your ECN call availability on “unavailable” when you are not available to respond to Call Requests.
My service model is set up on primarily a comprehensive fee basis. Can I limit the number of hours that I am available hourly through the ECN?
Yes, you absolutely can limit the hours you make yourself available. Calls are not made on-demand. Instead, you’ll receive an email notification that someone has requested a call from you and you’ll have up to 5 days to make the call (through the ECN system) before the request expires. You can cancel the request if you are not available - or if it comes from someone that has exceeded any limits you’d like to place. The consumer is not charged (and you are not paid) until completion of the call.
For Consultants that primarily offer a package of services, feel free to indicate on your ECN Profile that your participation in any ECN calls is for introductory purposes. (e.g. "ECN calls limited to 1 introductory call for prospective new clients").
Should I market or promote my ECN profile?
Yes! The ECN is an SEO "rocketship" that, over time, can help you get discovered in a contextually relevant way. We encourage consultants to actively use the ECN tools to promote your visibility and to interact with your clients.
What are ECN Groups?
ECN Groups allow you to lead or participate in a set of discussions on a topic that you care about. You can create your own private Group and use it to invite existing or prior clients to keep in touch. Or you can lead or participate in a public group to learn more or demonstrate your thought leadership. Note that creating Groups on certain topics may be subject to HECA's approval.
Is it true that overseas consultants can't be listed on the ECN?
For consultants that want to use the platform's InCall feature (and get paid for phone calls), our ECN platform provider (Brainsy) can only accomodate ECN listings for US based consultants. If you're an overseas HECA consultant but have a valid US bank account, US address and US telephone number, then you can set up an ECN profile with the InCall feature enabled. Other overseas consultants cannot access the InCall feature but can participate as "Experts" in the ECN and still use the one-on-one Q&A, community forums, and other promotional tools of the platform. If you don't have a required US bank account or US telephone number but would like to proceed (without the InCall feature) then we can authorize you to create a profile and when the enrollment wizard asks you to input your bank information, you can skip that step.
I see most of the profiles have a follow button on them. How do I add one to my profile?
Your profile will automatically show a "Follow" button once you've set it up. You will not see the button when you are signed into your own account but other people will. By default, you will receive an email notification when you have a new follower. You can disable this notification under your control settings.
Can prospective international students or their families access the ECN?
Yes, consumers from anywhere in the world can access the ECN, create a consumer profile, and pay for ECN calls using an internationally recognized credit card.
I got a "KYC error" when trying to set up my ECN account. What does that mean?
Know Your Customer or “KYC” is a term used by bank regulators in relation to identity verification and is utilized to help prevent fraud, money laundering, and the financing of terrorism. Our service providers, such as our payment gateway provider, may perform or require Brainsy to perform certain checks on customer identity before approving a Consultant's payout account. This is usually done with third party databases or through other sources. If our third party service providers cannot automatically verify your identity, then they may request copies of identifying documents (such as a driver’s license or other government issued photo ID) and proof of residence (such as a utility bill) before they can authorize your ECN account.
Other questions? Contact HECA or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org