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SimpleCrew Story

We were voted a Top 20 Start-Up Chile company :)

We’re super pumped to report that we were voted a Top 20 Start-Up Chile company!

On Monday and Tuesday this week, all 100 companies in Generation 6 presented their 3 minute progress update pitches. (Read about our presentation!)

The pitches were judged by a panel of professionals and our peers, and the results tallied. The top 20 teams were notified earlier this week, and we were one of them 🙂

We’re flattered and excited to take part in Start-Up Chile’s “Highway” program, a program to connect the top 20 teams with extra resources and mentorship from local professionals.

Thanks Start-Up Chile!

 

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Street teams

Street Team 101: Part 3 – How to Incentivize and Motivate your Street Team

This is the third installment in the epic “Street Team 101” series

1. How To Recruit a Street Team.
2. How To Prepare a Street Team.
3. How To Incentivize a Street Team. <= You are here!
4. Street Team Marketing Ideas.
5. Street Team Communication.

Bonus: 3 Awesome Apps for Street Team Communication.
Bonus: 6 Street Team Software Applications To Help You Manage Your Street Team.

In this post, we’ll discuss incentives for street teams, and how to leverage them to make the most of your marketing team.

The Question

This part is obvious enough – you have to have an answer when your team members ask: “What’s in it for me?”

It’s the grease that makes the wheels turn smoothly. The good news is, chances are you’re working on something cool that people want to be involved in. Especially if you’re a concert promoter, band, venue, or a cool brand, some number of your fans will be excited and enthusiastic to help spread the word.

Leveraging Passion

Think about this – when someone really falls in love with a brand (this bond is especially strong with music/arts), they’re doing more than just appreciating it or getting pleasure from it. In many ways, when someone truly subscribes to your brand, they’re aligning part of their identity with it.

I’m guilty of this. The band that I first started street teaming for back in the day was The Disco Biscuits. Over the course of 7 years, I saw them literally over a hundred times. If that sounds obsessive, it sure was. But more than just loving the shows and loving the music, which I did (and do), being a Disco Biscuits fan was part of who I was. I aligned myself with a wild community of friends from shows, tours, and festivals. And I helped spread the word.

To handle their street team management, The Disco Biscuits hired FanManager – a full service street and digital marketing agency out of LA. It was through street teaming with tDB that I first connected with FanManager’s founder Erik, and eventually worked my way up to managing street team campaigns with FanManager as a Marketing Coordinator.

Managing street teams with Erik and FanManager showed me how powerful a team’s passion can be. Leverage that passion and combine it with a clear, compelling incentive structure for your team to work towards, and you’ll create a powerful win-win for everyone.

So, now what?

Here are some specific ideas that we’ve used to motivate our fans to action. Think about these and see what fits for you. Get creative. And if you have any ideas that we haven’t covered, leave them in the comments!

Free tickets

Free tickets are easy enough to offer your team members. Set a clear benchmark of what’s expected in order to get free tickets, and communicate them clearly (like in your welcome pack). Pro-tip: after a while, free tickets can get old. What never gets old is an extra +1. Give your team members the gift of bringing a friend along. Everything is better with friends.

Merch/Product

T-shirts, coozies, etc… If you’re an artist or venue this is especially cool. Signed posters work really well. If you’re a product/consumer brand, this might not be as applicable. In that case, actual product for your team members could be huge. When I was a Regional Brand Manager at Red Bull we had access to unlimited cases of Red Bull. In college, this was a powerful currency. Things that will go a long way in making your team extra enthusiastic.

Meet-and-Greets

This is another low-cost way to do something extra-special for your team. If you’re a venue or artist, arrange pre-show meet-and-greets with your team members. We’ve run this for teams several times and it always been special. Invite them early for a sound check too, and maybe take a request or two from the team.

STS9 used to sell these pre-show meet & greet/soundcheck packages, which is a great idea, but providing these events for your community of team members can be even more special.

Alternatively, phone calls with people in the band or your organization work really well too. I remember hustling to get some work done on a Crystal Method promo team years ago that ended with a signed poster and phone call with the band. I had the chance to speak with Scott Kirkland for 15 minutes and their agent before the call. Something I never forgot.

(This will even work if you’re not an artist/concert venue/etc… if you’re a business with a street team, scheduling a 15-20 minute meeting with the CEO or one of the business founders can be a very special opportunity for your team).

College Credit/Internship

We did this all the time – it’s easy to offer college credit for this type of work, usually as a marketing internship credit. It takes just a little bit of paperwork, and you can help your team work towards graduation.

Structured internships can be a great way to make sure your team members are getting the most out of the opportunity, and usually include some time for goal setting and recaps/reflection. This is usually a good opportunity to “promote” a team member to manager. If you can help set up a team member to manage your street team operations, you’ll benefit from having a more self-sustaining operation, and they’ll benefit from the experience.

Professional Development

This is sort of an expansion of the internship point – but you can certainly offer team members the chance for professional development. I credit my experiences managing street team efforts as being a key building block in my own development as a marketer. You can offer your team this same opportunity with great results.

If you do something along these lines, you’ll want to be sure to maintain great communication with the standout team members who are looking to take advantage of this opportunity for professional development. Again, work with them to set goals, keep tabs on their progress, and review their performance regularly.

Pro tip: Interns and other ambitious folks looking for professional development are terrific candidates for managing the entire team. You can have them handle the recruiting, the creation of the welcome packs, the planning and running of street team meetings, and more. Just send them links to these guides and have them run with it.

Community

Building community is so important to your overall brand strategy that we’ll cover it in an post of it’s own. Just keep in mind that if you can build a community around your venue, band, or brand, you’ll have an endless source of motivation for your team. It’ll keep it fun, and just like when you work out with a friend, you’ll go the extra mile.

Money

We usually recommended against offering money as an incentive for street teaming. The biggest reason not to pay team members is that if promoting is something people are doing for love, money will trivialize that and then can, ironically, kill the passion. If people are working for non-monetary incentives, the passion will be fostered and they’ll enjoy it.

Second – it’s just not a good use of money. If you took the same amount of money that you’d be spending monthly on paying team members and instead hosted a bi-weekly or monthly party with food and drinks, you’d build community and show appreciation in a way that your team members will really appreciate.

As soon as you pay team members a dollar, it can confuse the incentives and makes things messy. So we always avoided paying for street team work, but that was just our experience. Your mileage may vary – if you’ve found success with paid teams, then by all means, go for it 🙂

Think about it

These were just a handful ideas that I’ve experimented with in the past. Use them to your benefit and give your team members something special to work towards, and they’ll crush it for you.

Whatever you decide to do, communicate the incentives clearly up front so there’s no ambiguity as to what they can expect. As we discussed in the last section, the welcome pack is a great place to lay these ground rules.

In the next section, we’ll cover how to support your team in order to help them do their job successfully.

Next: Part 4 – Street Team Marketing Ideas

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SimpleCrew Story

Start Up Chile Progress Day

Hey guys!

I’m Romain, the newest member of the SimpleCrew team. I’m French, and I’m very excited to work with Alan and Mike! I’ll be in charge of the new business opportunities here in Chile, so wish me luck 🙂

Today was the first day of Start Up Chile Progress Day, where we all had to pitch our current business activities – what we’ve done so far and what is left to do during our 6 months here. SimpleCrew went 42nd out of 50, so we had to wake the crowd up after the passionate but long series of presentations of our fellow suppers! So Alan started by a demo of a example campaign with a photo of the room, and it went well 🙂

 

Here are the slides from SimpleCrew’s presentation. Check it out!

The idea for SimpleCrew came when Alan and his mother realized they shared a similar pain in their respective jobs – Alan as a brand manager of Red Bull and his mother, Tara, as a agricultural scientist for the USDA.

Tara and her team used photos to track the progress of research experiments in the field, and Red Bull’s team used photos to track the progress of marketing work in the field.

They were both using point-and-shoot cameras, and then transferring files or sending emails with their teams to sync-up photos. It was a mess, and with mobile, they realized there was a better way.

The SimpleCrew solution is simple – a mobile photo app for teams. For a live demo, we took the photo of the group and showed the photo on the SimpleCrew campaign, check it out SimpleCrew Start-Up Chile Live Demo

We then walked through three examples of photo campaigns from some SimpleCrew customers.

As for the business model, here are the 4 different subscriptions that we offer ranging from $20/month to $180/month, depending on how big the teams are.

So far, we’ve been able to have 9 paying customers, up from 7 since the start of Start-Up Chile. Our goal is to reach 60 by October with big expectations for the Chilean market!

Then we showed this market size slide that included a great stat – 49,000+ businesses in the Live Music, Sports, and Event Promotion industry in the United States.

If we maintain an average revenue per customer of $50/month, we’ll be a $1MM/year business when we reach 1,667 customers.

And event promotions are just the tip of the iceberg, there’s plenty more use cases for SimpleCrew!

We can see from this graph huge rises in the number of photos uploaded per week with more than 1000 photos uploaded last week! We look forward to seeing the future results!

Due to critical bug issues after the iOS 6 release, we also initiated a fully native mobile app development for iOS and Androïd with new features and higher “fluidity” in the apps.

This is it for Start Up Chile Progress Day, thanks for reading!

Romain

Categories
Street teams

Street Team 101: Part 2 – How to Prepare your Street Team

 

This is the second post in our “Street Team 101” series

1. How To Recruit a Street Team.
2. How To Prepare a Street Team. <= You are here!
3. How To Incentivize a Street Team.
4. Street Team Marketing Ideas.
5. Street Team Communication.

Bonus: 3 Awesome Apps for Street Team Communication.
Bonus: 6 Street Team Software Applications To Help You Manage Your Street Team.

In this post, I’ll share with you a couple quick thoughts about how to prepare your team for the job.

Preparation

You know how there’s that myth that says that like a goldfish will grow to a size in proportion with how big it’s environment is? So if you put a fish in a small bowl it’ll stay small but if you drop it in like a pond it’ll grow big?

…Okay that’s a totally weird and random anecdote and I don’t know if this analogy is going to make much sense but screw it, we’ll do it live.

The thought I have there is the first thing I always felt about running a street team: your team members will do amazing work if they see that the team is being managed and supported with care and love, and they’ll flounder and fall apathetic if the team is managed as an afterthought.

It’s a simple enough concept. In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the Broken Window Theory, probably another analogous situation. The bottom line – you want your new recruits to get the feeling, right off the bat, that the team they’re joining is fun, but organized and here to get. shit. done.

The best way to make this impression on them from the start is by putting in a little bit of effort up front to get the team prepared and onboarded smoothly.

The Welcome Packet

For as long as you’re running a street team, you’re going to be constantly recruiting (and churning) street team members. Of course, you’ll have the die-hards that will stick with you for years and will make up the core of your team. But there will always be new people interested in getting involved with your company and you should always be open to giving them that opportunity.

When these new people join, there’ll always be some things that you’ll want them to know about the team, how it works, and what’s expected of them. The best way to do this is by making a simple Welcome Packet.

It can be simple. Very, very, simple. In fact, “Packet” might even be a little strong: a couple pages outlining the need-to-know info in a PDF or Word Document can suffice. And the best part – it’s the gift that keeps on giving. After you make it once, it can remain relevant (with minor changes as necessary) for years.

What To Include

The reason a packet like this is important is because, again, these people are going to be your front line. They’re going to be your brand advocates, interacting with hundreds of people on your behalf and representing you in the field. You want them to know what their shit, and know it well.

What’s included in a Welcome Pack can vary from team to team, but generally, it’s nice to know this kind of stuff:

– Welcome letter
– History of your company/band/venue
– Description of the role/what’s expected
– Clearly defined objections
– Do’s and Don’ts
– Calendar of Events
– Directory of friendly shops/promotion locations/venues
– Map of promotion locations

You can elaborate (or eliminate) on any of those ideas, but that gives a good gist of the kinds of things that make it easier for a new team member to take part and get excited. Especially if this is a volunteer team, your team members will be more enthusiastic if it’s clear that the team their signing up for has it’s shit together. Ironically, or not, most people thrive in more structured environments and will be relieved to see that they’re investing their time in a team that cares.

Again, you don’t need to write a novel on each topic. Brevity can be strong, and outline format can be fine. Just have something to send them or hand them when they’re first signing up, and it’ll go a long, long way.

Orientation Meeting

These days, you could easily get away with never pulling the team together for in-person gatherings. Email, telephone, text, and online communications can suffice, but if you limit your teams interactions strictly to those impersonal channels, you’ll be missing out on a lot of what makes street teams effective and fun in the first place.

Remember that the whole essence of street teams, what separates them in a world of growing online and digital promotions, is their personal element. These teams engage with other people, they transfer enthusiasm, and they build community – and they do it all in person.

It’s the human element that makes street teams special. So bring your team together in real life to help foster that.

Community is so important that it’ll have it’s own post later in this series, but to kick things off, an introductory orientation meeting is a terrific way to get everything off on the right foot.

An initial meeting can be as simple as a couple pizzas in a living room, some time to mingle, and simply going through the Welcome Packet. You’ll give people the chance to ask any questions they have, and most importantly, the chance to connect with other team members.

Meeting the other team members is important, because in doing so, individuals on your team will become more engaged. They’ll see that they’re part of something bigger, and just like when you work out with a parter, they’ll go the extra mile as a member of a team.

A Little Energy Up Front Goes A Long Way

A street team managed correctly will be a powerful driver in your marketing and brand. The power of a vocal community to amplify your message and spread it to an audience can rival digital marketing in ways that will never fully be replaced.

Remember, your team wants to get involved. They WANT to be associated with the magic, and that’s always a very powerful connection. So help them help you. Give them the welcome they need up front, give them clear directives, and let them know that they’re part of an organized team. Then put them together, and start building your community of advocates. Let them see that they’re part of a bigger picture.

It’s all uphill from there.

Next: Part 3 – How to Incentivize and Motivate your Street Team

Categories
Street teams

Street Team 101: Part 1 – How to Recruit and Start Your Street Team

 

This is the first post in our “Street Team 101” series

1. How To Recruit a Street Team. <= You are here!
2. How To Prepare a Street Team.
3. How To Incentivize a Street Team.
4. Street Team Marketing Ideas.
5. Street Team Communication.

Bonus: 3 Awesome Apps for Street Team Communication.

I thought it’d be fun and valuable to draft up a series on how to create and manage a street team based on the experiences I had as a Marketing Coordinator for FanManager.net back in the day. What you see here is the first in a series I’ve drafted up which we’ll call “Street Team 101”.

Look out for the next installments rolling out over the next several days 🙂 Enjoy!

Build your team

The first and most obvious step in creating your promotional powerhouse is recruiting your team.

What you want to do here is put together a group of your biggest fans and advocates. These will be people that are the most passionate and outspoken about your events/music/brand, and who you trust can convey their enthusiasm and stay motivated to spread the word.

Recruiting Online

The simplest way to do this is using a Google Form.

“Let’s all join this awesome street team!”

Go to Google Drive, and create a Form. After you create the form, you can embed it onto a page on your website or share a link with the form on it via emails, your Facebook/Twitter feeds, etc…

When people fill out the form, their answers will automatically be entered into a spreadsheet, and just like that, you’re building your team.

Be sure to collect all the vital information you’ll need to contact them and get them involved. At the minimum, this will include:

  • Full Name
  • Email Address
  • Mailing Address
  • Phone Number

If you want to get selective, you could include some open-ended questions that can help you screen for the best/most passionate fans:

  • Are you a part of any other street teams, college activities board, or any other organization you’re passionate about?
  • Are you outgoing and love meeting new people?
  • Do you go to a lot of concerts?

You might also want to know:

  • Availability
  • What Markets They’re Nearby (if your marketing will be spread out over multiple cities)
  • T-Shirt size

Recruiting In-Person

In my experiences I always preferred web recruiting because it was the easiest to promote and manage once the information was in your system, but you can also recruit in-person during events.

Recruit a street team in person - Street Team 101 by SimpleCrew

“Hey there… Wanna join my street team?”

The most convenient way to do this is, instead of asking for all the same information that you would online, just ask for Name and Email address on a sign-up sheet, and follow up via email later.

Have sign-up clipboards on your merch table, at the bar, and other visible places. After the show, add all your sign-ups to your email list, and send them an email asking if they want to join your street team along with a link to the sign-up form.

A Word on Selection

When it comes to picking your team from the list of sign-ups, you’ll want to strike the balance between quality and quantity. You don’t have to be overly selective, especially if this is going to be a volunteer street team. But you also want to be aware that these are going to be your representatives on the ground. They are going to interact with hundreds of people on your behalf, so ideally they’ll be the kinda peeps you wouldn’t mind doing just that.

An Ongoing Process

The last thing to keep in mind when it comes to building your street team is that should be an ongoing process. Just like building your email list or your social followers/subscribers – it’s not going to be a once-a-year initiative or something you focus on every couple weeks. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

What it should be is something you’re constantly pushing, building, and working to grow.

Make the link to the sign-up form prominent on your website. Include the link in emails, and blast it on your social channels regularly. Keep the sign-up clipboard on the merch table and the bars at your events, and shout out to them regularly. Let it be known that you’re recruiting your army, and they will come.

Don’t forget: music and events are sexy, and everybody wants to be a part. When I was street teaming for my favorite bands and local promoters, I was tying in my identity with them. I wanted to be involved with what to me was the coolest music and the coolest parties in town, and street teaming was the perfect way to do just that.

Leverage that sexiness, let your fans get involved and be your promotional army, and everybody wins.

Next: Part 2 – How to Prepare your Street Team