The world is evolving away from agricultural-intensive economies and labor-intensive economies, and we are in transition to a global "knowledge economy” whereby knowledge and expertise are the primary drivers of tangible and intangible value.

But until recently, it has been mostly infeasible to consume small bits of knowledge held by others, that is, to contract with another person for a one-off, short duration discussion where knowledge and expertise could be shared or readily transferred. Transaction costs were too high for a one-off discussion and the alternative might require someone to go through an intermediary — such as a privately managed “Expert Network” — where the annual subscription fees to access the Expert Network could run $300k-$400k per year (and that’s even before the first call is ever made!)

Our company, Brainsy, powers Expert Calling Networks (or “ECNs") which allow an organization -- such as a professional society or trade association -- to facilitate knowledge sharing among members, or between members and non-members under the association’s own brand. At the core of each feature-rich ECN is the technology that gets an expert paid for participating in a phone call of 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or 60 minutes in duration.

One of the most frequently asked questions we hear from prospective experts is “What am I worth?” or alternatively, “What should I post as my call rate?” Now I’m sure that your mother would say that you’re priceless, but in the knowledge marketplace, how you price yourself depends in part on what motivates you to participate in an ECN.

Some experts price below their “standard" rate as an “introductory” rate with the goal of generating leads for bigger business opportunities. Others price at exactly what they expect should be the “market” rate. Regardless, we encourage experts to price so that some discounting occurs for longer duration calls. In fact, we’ve outlined 10 tracks that follow this discounting strategy based on 15 minute, 30 minute, and 60 minute time intervals:

Track 1:   $15-$25-$40
Track 2:   $20-$30-$50
Track 3:   $25-$40-$65
Track 4:   $30-$55-$90
Track 5:   $40-$75-$120
Track 6:   $50-90-$150
Track 7:   $75-$120-$200
Track 8:   $100-$165-$275
Track 9:   $150-$240-$390
Track 10: $350-$600-$1,000

We recommend an expert follow the rates in one of the tracks and then be prepared to adjust it to encourage an increase or reduction in the number of incoming ECN call requests. All that being said, we do want to provide one cautionary note - consumers don’t always act rationally.  “You get what you pay for” is a strong heuristic for many people that equate: expensive = good. Therefore, if you raise your rate to lower the volume of call requests, it’s possible that it might have the opposite effect and it could actually INCREASE the number of incoming call requests.

In any case, the ability to sell expertise in short-duration increments is such a new phenomenon that I’d encourage experts to experiment with the posted call rates and the many other features available within the ECN platform.


Is your Association a candidate to deploy an Expert Calling Network? If you’d like to learn more, send us an email ( or call us at t: 855-74-BRAINSY.

Register for FREE to comment or continue reading this article. Already registered? Login here.