Karma – Social Bandwidth and Referrals as a Business Model

My new Karma hotspot arrived just before I left for the holidays. What is a Karma hotspot?

The Karma hotspot gives you WiFi access on the go. I believe it is a branded Clear device, running on the Clear network, which means you get 4G internet access if you are in their coverage area.

The Karma hotspot costs $79 and you can prepay for data – $14 per gigabyte, no expiration date. But here is the twist – you can also earn data by sharing your hotspot with friends and strangers. Every time a new user logs onto your Karma hotspot, you’re rewarded with 100 megabytes of extra data. There person who logs into your Karma also receives 100 megabytes to get them started.

Here is a photo of the hotspot on top of an iPad and next to an iPhone

karma-hotspot

Not only is Karma a great service for small business owners on the go, it is also a great example of how you can combine two steps of the marketing hourglass – try and refer. (you can grab a copy of the marketing hourglass eBook here).

Karma has made it super easy for people to try before they buy by making it super easy to connect as well as providing the 100mb. They also give people an incentive to refer them with their bandwidth reward scheme. Technically, their sharing scheme also helps people come to know them, so they are really combining three stages of the hourglass.

The folks of Karma added another nice touch by hand signing a card inside the box, thanking me for my purchase. My card was signed by Dave – @daveofthefuture. I know it sounds like a little thing, but I’m sure they were rushing to get things out the door for Christmas and I appreciate that they took the time to do this.

I could also see this as a great opportunity for local coffee shops and business owners to provide free WiFi while keeping their costs down.

Get some free bandwidth while you work on your Karma in 2013, and follow Karma’s example for improving your marketing as well.

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