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Street teams

6 Street Team Software Applications To Help You Manage Your Street Team.

Managing a street team can be a time consuming job, and one which can end up being particularly resource heavy.

Fortunately there are a number of street team software applications that can help you get the most from your team.

From recruitment to ongoing communication and motivation, there’s usually a digital tool to suit.

We’ve picked out a few of the most useful…

1) Google Forms
One of the simplest methods of street team recruitment is the time honored clipboard and sign up sheet at events, particularly at concerts.

However, it’s not without its problems: bad handwriting, mis-spelled email addresses and a lack of depth of information are all common issues which can decrease the effectiveness of this form of recruitment.

Using a tool like Google Forms can enable you to obtain a greater depth and range of information, as well as decreasing the likelihood of bad quality data.

Depending on your resources, taking a tablet pre-loaded with your form to an event instead of a clipboard can be a great way to marry these two recruitment methods.

Alternatively, the link for the form can be sent via email, or easily posted to a website.

What’s also useful about Google Forms are the ways in which you can manipulate the data once you have it.

For example, if you’re communicating with your team mainly through email, Google Forms will allow you to easily get email data into a format suitable for a bulk upload to an email client like Mailchimp.

2) Mailchimp
Mailchimp is a bulk email client, which is particularly well suited to use with smaller operations.

You can use it as a direct sign up tool (although you will lose out on depth of information compared to using something like Google Forms), or you can upload lists which you’ve gathered elsewhere.

The Mailchimp interface is very simple, and deals well with administration and data protection tasks such as the unsubscribe option.

The functionality and reporting facility aren’t as good as other tools such as Campaign Monitor, but it is free for up to 2000 addresses, which makes it very attractive to those on a tight budget.

It’s also very easy to use, more so than Campaign Monitor.

One of the features that both of these services have, and which can be very useful in measuring how engaged you team are, is to measure the open rate and click rate of any email you send out.

This is a massive advantage over other email clients such as Outlook, where sending bulk email is impractical.

3) Google Hangouts
When you’re working remotely, you don’t often get the chance to talk to team members face to face.

The Google suite of products have a lot of potential uses in terms of street team management – Groups, Forms and Documents in particular – but one product you might not have thought of is Hangouts, one of the more interesting G+ features.

It’s group messaging with the ability to add photos, but which can then also be turned into a video call for up to 10 people, which makes it good for small teams, or for groups of more senior team members.

Users will need a Google account (and obviously a webcam of some sort for video chat) but that’s all, so there’s a low barrier to entry.

4) Mobomix
With small teams, texting members is easy, but once the group gets over a certain size, it’s impractical.

Bulk text messaging can be used as a prompt to action, to confirm details or to provide sub 160-character updates.

There are quite a few text messaging services to choose from, and they tend to be country-specific, but Mobomix in the US, and Textlocal in the UK, both have some good features.

One feature of Mobomix which makes it great for recruitment is keyword signup: prospective team members send a keyword to your shortcode, which signs them up to your messaging list.

Pricing is either by message or by month, so it’s fairly flexible, and one nice touch is the provision of sign up widgets which you can add to a Facebook page, or a website.

5) Basecamp
Basecamp might not be the first piece of street team software you’d think about, but with packages starting at $20 per month, it’s surprisingly affordable.

This piece of project management software is more often used in corporate contexts, but with the ability to add files, to-do lists, and chat with other group members it’s well suited to working with a street team.

It also has a mobile app, and you can have multiple projects going on at once under your account, so if you’re working with different teams in different parts of the country, or teams working on different events, you can easily partition the work.

There’s also a calendar feature, so it’s easy to set deadlines and reminders for getting posters out, for example.

6) SimpleCrew
Our own piece of street team software would dovetail well with any of these apps, or any combination of them.

Because it’s specifically focussed on internal photo sharing, and analyzing the data from those photos, it’s a tool that can give you some great insight.

The storage space on Basecamp might not be enough to handle the amount of photos you’d need to keep track of a particular campaign, but it is great for sharing task lists.

If you’ve noticed that one member hasn’t posted as many photos as others, and you’re concerned, you could drop them a call (or a message) through Google Hangouts.

If you find that tickets aren’t going well in one particular city, and you see a correlation with the number of posters which have gone out, you could send out a quick text message blast to see what you could do to increase distribution.

There are a number of other applications that could help you get the most from your team, but one thing’s for certain: the days of driving round a city to check up on a street team are most certainly over, and that this kind of street team software can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the job’s been done.

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Street teams

[Video] Street Team and Brand Ambassador Marketing for Local Businesses

Earlier this week, I was featured on Carmen Sognonvi’s local business and entrepreneurship blog.

In the video, Carmen and I discuss:

  • What is street team marketing?
  • How did I originally get involved in street team marketing?
  • What are some tips on doing hand-to-hand flyer distribution well?
  • What was it like working for Red Bull’s marketing team?
  • What can local businesses learn from Red Bull’s street team?
  • What’s the importance of wearing branded shirts, hats, polos, etc. when street teaming?
  • How do you hire and find street team members?
  • Where did we get the idea for SimpleCrew?
  • What is SimpleCrew, and how it can help local businesses manage their street team marketing campaigns?
  • How do you use SimpleCrew to manage hand-to-hand flyer distribution?
  • How can less glamorous businesses like a dry cleaner start a street team?

It was awesome speaking with Carmen, and she recently got ramped up with her own street team on SimpleCrew and has been loving it 🙂

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Street teams

3 Awesome Apps for Street Team Communication

SimpleCrew solves a very particular communication issue for groups and teams – namely, internal photo sharing for businesses.

Whenever your group needs to take and share photos internally – whether for documenting work, accountability, project management, or communication – SimpleCrew makes that sharing process easy, efficient, and painless.

But whenever you’re working with teams, broader communication is important. Whether through email, chat, or phone – other tools can help you keep in touch with your team, so you can work together more effectively.

Here’s a few tools we recommend that will fit nicely alongside SimpleCrew as you and your team do your thing:

1. HipChat (Group Chat)

HipChat is a group chat application for teams.

Remember those old AOL chatrooms back in the day? A/S/L?

HipChat’s kind of like that – it gives your team a common room to chat in.

With group chat, you’ll be able to have a single, central communication channel to communicate things like project goals, ask questions, have general chit-chat, etc…

If, like most street teams, your team is somewhat loosely associated and doesn’t meet in person very often, it can be helpful to have a central chat like HipChat to bring everyone together and give everyone a chance to connect and interact.

One killer thing about HipChat is that it’s cross-platform. Meaning you can download HipChat apps on iPhone, Android, Mac, Windows, and you can even use it from the browser.

Other features of HipChat include file-sharing, the ability to go 1:1 chat with anyone else in the group, search history, and even video chat and screen sharing as a premium feature ($2/mo per user).

The only thing I don’t like about HipChat is that you can’t join multiple groups with one email address. Meaning if you’re a part of multiple teams using HipChat, you have to use different email addresses for each group.

That’s kind of a pain in the ass for folks like me (and, most likely, you) who juggle multiple projects.

Other than the premium video and screen-sharing features, HipChat is free for unlimited users. Check it out at HipChat.com

HipChat Alternatives:

  • Slack – Very close HipChat competitor. More functions/features and more polished design. A little more complex UI. Free for unlimited users, premium features additional monthly.
  • Flowdock – Free for up to 5 people, $3/mo/user after
  • Check out this comparison chart of HipChat vs Slack vs Flowdock
  • CampFire – 37Signal’s group chat offering. Plans start at $12/mo for up to 12 chatters.

2. Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are an awesome, free central communication channel for your team.

First, everyone’s already on Facebook and checking it regularly, so the on-boarding process is painless. Just enter everyone’s names and they’ll be on board.

You can use the group to coordinate your team, share files/photos/videos, start discussions, and engage your team.

And because of the social aspect, you can give your team a chance to interact with each other and connect on a social level if they don’t all already know each other already.

We see a lot of SimpleCrew customers using Facebook Groups as a great free compliment to SimpleCrew, so it might be something your team can implement as well.

To create a group, go to Facebook.com/groups and click the “Create Group” button.

3. Google Groups

The last tool I wanted to share was actually what inspired this post. I set up a private Google Group recently for some business contacts and realized it would be a perfect tool for street team communication.

If you’re not familiar, Google Groups (https://groups.google.com/) are kind of like a hybrid between an email list and a forum.

In fact, I have mine set up to do both.

Basically, when you create a Google Group and invite a bunch of people, Google Groups sets up a group email address.

When anyone in the group emails that address, it goes out to everyone else in the group, creating an email thread that people can reply to and see everyone’s responses.

In that way, it’s like a group email list.

The group also accessible as a message board-style interface (pictured above). You can access the groups message board on the Google Groups site, or even embed it as an iframe on a page of your website if you like.

If you access the group from the message board and create new topics or respond to existing topics through the board, your team will receive updates the same way they received email responses, so it’s a pretty seamless experience.

So there you go.

Wanted to share the quick run-down of group chat and communication tools I thought might help you guys work together alongside SimpleCrew.

Do you have any other project management tools in your arsenal? Or any questions about the tools I listed above? If so, drop a line in the comments and let me know.

Read Next: 6 Street Team Software Applications To Help You Manage Your Street Team.

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Street teams

Street Team 101: Part 5 – How to Communicate with your Street Team

This is the fifth 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.
4. Street Team Marketing Ideas.
5. Street Team Communication. <= You are here!

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

Welcome back to the next entry in our Street Team 101 series!

In this post, I’ll lay out the best practices for communicating with your street team, so everyone stays on the same page and works together like a well oiled machine.

First, a word on why you should be communicating with your team and what’s the importance. Basically, as common sense would betray, it’s important that you maintain clear lines of communication to and from your street team.

Good communication will ensure that your team clearly understands their goals and responsibilities at any given time, and that they can get in touch with you or someone else on the team for help when they need it.

Additionally, good communication should foster a sense of community (something we’ll touch on later in the post), which will in turn make the street team more fun to be a part of, which in turn will make the whole thing more effective for you!

So, let’s get to it. In this post we’ll break down a couple key channels of general communication you should use, then we’ll touch on the importance of accountability and reporting, and last we’ll circle back to the concept of meetings – not a necessity for all street teams, but certainly a bonus for extra credit.

General Communication

The three tools that I’ve seen most successful street teams using are private Facebook groups, email, and phone/text. Each of these tools serve different purposes for different times, and together, they will work to help you and your street team do your thing.

Remember back in the first part of the series, How To Recruit A Street Team, we put together a Google form for your street team members to fill out, including email address, phone numbers, etc…

The Google form will put your entire team’s contact info into a spreadsheet for you, so you have all this information handy. Now, let’s look at how each of these tools might be used.

Private Facebook Group
Private Facebook Groups are terrific. Go here and make one for your team: https://www.facebook.com/about/groups. After you make one, invite everyone on your team. If you have an assistant or a team leader, you can give them the job of getting everyone on the group, otherwise it’s not too hard to do yourself.

Private Facebook Groups are great because of their convenience. A lot of people check Facebook quite often, and by default they will receive notifications when there are posts and updates to the group.

The group also facilitates interactions – so your team members can post and share stuff themselves, and comment/interact with all the other content in the group.

Because of the notifications and the convenience, Facebook Groups are a great place to post quick updates and smaller things that you want the group to know. Things like new tasks, giving props to any individual for good work, or other random updates for your team are all fair game for a private Facebook group.

However, because of the social, constantly updating nature of Facebook, it’s not necessarily the ideal place for bigger, more important messages and updates. For that you have Email.

Email
Slightly “heavier” than Facebook, email is the best way to send the more important messages to your team. Things like new project launches, project recaps, and more important updates are all better done through email.

A great idea we’ve seen teams do is send a bi-weekly or monthly Street Team Update to their entire team. These recaps can basically serve as a regular newsletter to your team, and can include things like all the important announcements from the last few weeks, all the initiatives for the next few weeks, upcoming events, and even fun stuff such as “most valuable player” shout outs and other rewards.

Phone/Text
Finally, the last obvious piece of the puzzle is phone and text. This channel is highly personal and real-time, making it most ideal for important details *during* a campaign or mission.

Things like confirming guest lists, coordinating marketing materials, and checking in on your team during their work hours are all best suited for calls and texts.

With a Facebook Group, emails, and phone/text, you’ve got a solid foundation for general communication with your team. Next, let’s look at how you’ll manage accountability and reporting with you team.

Accountability & Reporting

Accountability and reporting will play a critical role in making sure your team is running smoothly. We like to compare reporting to working out at the gym with a partner – when you know you’re not alone, you end up pushing yourself harder and doing your best work.

Reporting helps in a couple ways. First, as mentioned, it will help your team hold themselves more accountable for their work. Second, if you’re responsible for reporting your team’s work to a boss or client, it’s important to have documentation to show them.

Finally, ideally your team will have access to the rest of the teams reports, so they can see what everyone else is doing. This transparency will give them the bigger picture of what your team is doing, so they can work together more effectively and get that special feeling they get when they see they’re part of something bigger than just themselves.

Reports typically come in three forms: written, photos, and video. For reasons I’ll explain here, I think photos are the best way to go, but let’s take a look at all three.

Written reports
The first and arguably least effective of the three methods of reporting are written reports. In a written report, you can ask your team members for brief paragraph descriptions of their work including things like date/time, event, number of flyers & posters distributed, crowd reactions/interactions, and general reflections.

Because these reports aren’t necessarily easy to go over at a glance, they don’t scale as well – meaning once you start getting more than 7 or 8 in a day, it becomes hard to digest all the info. Also, they’re more of a pain and more friction for each team member to write and send to you.

The best use of written reports I’ve seen is when managers have split their team up into smaller groups, each with a team leader. They then have put the team leaders in charge of submitting a weekly written recap of their sub-groups activity for the week, along with photos of the work that’s been done.

So, yeah… photos are key. Let’s talk about that.

Photos (SimpleCrew)
This is where our internal photo sharing app, SimpleCrew shines as the perfect solution for your street team accountability needs. We focus on photos, so let’s talk about why photos are necessary for you, and how you should use them.

As I’ve experienced, photos have been the best way for street teams to repot their work and maintain accountability. Photos are easy to take, and easy to digest (and with the right tools *cough*simplecrew*cough*, easy to send & collect).

The saying would have it that every photo is worth a thousand words. In a photo, you’ll be able to see exactly what your team’s been doing on the ground. Everyone on your team will be able to see exactly what everyone else has been doing on the ground.

What you should be asking your team to do is simple – take photos of the work they’re doing in the field, and send them to you.

Enter SimpleCrew. The idea for SimpleCrew actually came from having a ton of street team photos emailed to me – it was a ridiculous pain in the ass. You can imagine – a messy inbox filled with photo attachments of all different file types, and none of the individual team members being able to see what the other folks were doing.

SimpleCrew solves that problem – team members take photos of their work using the mobile app for iPhone or Android, and then everyone can log-in online to see organized timelines of all the photos that have been submitted.

Every photo includes who took each photo, the date and the time, and then we use the GPS location from the smartphones to pin every photo on a map. It’s beautiful, see for yourself.

We offer 14 day free trials of SimpleCrew. Start yours here.

YouTube videos
Back when I was just cutting my teeth in street teaming for the Disco Biscuits, I stopped taking photos during flying missions and just kept a camera rolling. After a few minutes, I’d have a video to upload to YouTube and would send that to my manager Erik over at FanManager.net.

Here’s one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lade7Lo0ku8

Pretty self explanatory. They’re great, but probably not the easiest thing to glance-over if you’ve got more than a handful of people sending them to you.

Clients will love them though, so keep this option in mind if you’re being contracted to do work on behalf of a client.

Meetings

Finally, we can return to the idea of the meeting. Back in “Part 2: How To Prepare A Street Team” we went over how to run an orientation meeting so your team would get started on a good foot. Well, turns out that regular meetings are a great thing to keep doing over time, if everyone’s local. (Obviously if you’re managing a team outside one regional or locale, this becomes less feasible).

So, given that you’re a local or regional team, meetings are great for a couple reasons: they help reduce team member turnover, they keep your team motivated, and they help your team build a greater sense of community.

Reduce turnover
A common challenge many street teams face is dealing with team member turnover – that is, the challenge of dealing with team members who just sign up and then leave the team. Turnover’s a challenge because it makes it harder to plan, harder to manage, and less cohesive.

With regular meetings, you can help reduce turnover by keeping the team more engaged. Meetings will give your team face time, so you can become familiar with everyone and they can all become familiar with each other. With this, team members will be more motivated to stay on board and not leave the team.

Another tip to reduce turnover is just to make sure that there’s consistent things for everyone on the team to be doing. That doesn’t mean just make up shit for them to do. More, that means not over-hiring and building a team of people that you don’t need in the first place. If you don’t have that much work going around, it makes sense to keep a smaller, reliable, consistent team.

Motivate & Reward
The second thing you can do through meetings is keep your team more motivated. Linked in with reducing turnover, meetings will give your team members a sense of reward. They’ll feel a part of something bigger, and will have a chance to meet their manager and peers which is a huge benefit for internal motivation.

You can also use meetings to give recognition to team members that have been killing it for you, either on a monthly or possibly annual basis.

Build sense of community (fun!)
Last but not least, regular meetings will be fun! They’ll inspire a sense of community in your team, giving them, again, something to be a part of. And the tighter that community gets, the stronger your team will grow for you. It’s a win win, so if you can swing it, regular meetings are the way to go.

Next: 3 Awesome Apps for Street Team Communication

Categories
Street teams

What Is A Street Team?

In today’s marketplace, artists, brands, and promoters have to get creative in order to stand out from the crowd and reach their target audience. The proliferation of free and cheap online marketing channels has made it easier for everyone to market their products and services, but this proliferation has caused an information overload.

Would be customers and buyers are bombarded with impersonal emails, Facebook invites, and display ads, and they tune out. What’s a promoter to do?

Enter the street team.

A street team is a group of passionate people who promote and market an event, product, etc… Working a combination of both online and offline tactics, street teams help get the word out on a much more personal and direct level:

  • Hanging posters and other promotions materials around town
  • Distributing flyers at relevant concerts and shows, and throughout local businesses
  • Posting and sharing stickers with friends
  • Inviting Facebook friends to events, and to like Fan Pages
  • Sharing links and event fliers on Facebook and Twitter

On social networks, on the street, and on message boards – street teams work for you to generate buzz and hype on a peer-to-peer basis. It’s word-of-mouth, but organized and executed by you and your team.

Street teams typically work on a volunteer basis. Usually, it’s a passion for the artist, venue, or festival that drives a team to get involved and help spread the word.

To help inspire their passion, teams often work for non-monetary incentives, which can include things like free concert tickets, products, merchandise, meet-and-greets, and more. (For ideas on how to incentive your street team, check out our blog post on Street Team Incentives).

Street teams are a powerful way to engage your most passionate fans and help spread the word about your event. With the right combination of passion, action, and incentives, they’ll be a win for everyone involved.

Do it.

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Street teams

This Is How You Manage A Street Team

This is too good, we had to share it… For over half a year now, our number one homies at Blackspy Marketing have been crussssshing it with SimpleCrew on behalf of their growing roster of music festivals, concert venues, artists, and promoters who turn to Blackspy when they need marketing done right. One of Blackspy’s more well known clients is Live Nation Colorado, the regional concert-promotion arm of Live Nation Entertainment – the worlds largest concert promoter, ticketing agency, and talent management conglomerate in the world. Yesterday, Jon (Blackspy Founder/President) forwarded us a copy of the weekly recap emails he sends to Live Nation Denver. We couldn’t help but take pride in it – Jon’s showing us and Live Nation what’s possible when a well orchestrated street team pushes SimpleCrew to the limit. In Jon’s own words, “SimpleCrew is the perfect tool for street team accountability. It gives us quantitative data to pass along to managers, production companies and festival producers. The app allows us to strengthen our bonds between our most respected clients.” Check it out 🙂 ———- Forwarded message ———- From: J.E. <[email protected]> Date: Wed, May 22, 2013 at 10:59 PM Subject: LiveNation x SimpleCrew update :: Week of May 22, 2013 To: G.F. <[email protected]>, E.C. <[email protected]>M.A. <[email protected]>
Here is the latest updates of SimpleCrew campaigns.
You can see when each campaign was created and # of logs per show.
Name Created # Logs # People
1/22 Justin Timberlake 05/16/13 2 38
11/09 Rihanna 05/21/13 0 39
5/16 Imagine Dragons 03/05/13 33 30
5/18 Limp Bizkit 04/08/13 73 34
5/18 Miranda Lambert/Dierks Bentley 03/05/13 60 34
5/29 Dropkick Murphrys 04/08/13 101 38
5/31 & 6/1 Bassnectar 03/05/13 88 34
6.01 Rocky Mountain Roller Girls 05/21/13 2 39
6.07 Summer Jam 05/21/13 1 39
6.09 Celtic Woman 05/21/13 0 39
6/01 Daniel Tosh 03/14/13 50 38
6/03 The xx 02/11/13 87 38
6/05 Sting 02/11/13 149 38
6/07 Umphrey’s McGee 03/25/13 178 39
6/11 Pitbull & Ke$ha 04/17/13 31 38
6/15 Tim McGraw 04/17/13 24 38
6/19 Barenaked Ladies 05/08/13 9 38
6/30 Warped Tour ’13 04/26/13 34 38
7/07 Mayhem Festival 04/17/13 26 38
7/15 Matchbox Twenty & Goo Goo Dolls 04/17/13 15 38
7/15 Tracy Morgan 05/21/13 2 39
7/18 Cirque Du Soleil 04/08/13 107 38
7/23 Wiz Khalifa 05/14/13 1 38
7/26 Hollywood Undead 05/08/13 0 38
7/29 311 05/13/13 6 38
7/31 Bob Dylan 05/08/13 15 38
8/01 Brad Paisley 05/13/13 1 38
8/01 HARD Presents 03/14/13 109 38
8/02 Rush 03/14/13 42 38
8/03 Kid Rock 04/24/13 3 38
8/03 Thievery Corporation 05/10/13 37 38
8/05 Gipsy Kings 04/17/13 16 38
8/09 Brian Regan 02/11/13 40 38
8/20 Heart 05/16/13 0 38
9/05 alt j 04/24/13 31 38
9/06 & 9/07 STS9 04/09/13 46 38
9/13 Lotus 04/09/13 133 38
Archived Campaigns (40)
Categories
Street teams

Street Team 101: Part 4 – Street Team Marketing Ideas

This is the fourth post in the “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.
4. Street Team Marketing Ideas. <= You are here!
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.

So now you’ve got a street team (which you’re recruiting continuously), you’ve onboarded them smoothly with a welcome pack and street team orientation meeting, and your team knows exactly what’s in it for them.

You’re ready to roll, let’s put your street team to work.

These days, the work street teams do is divided between two camps: online and offline marketing.

The distinction is simple enough, with online affecting your digital presence on social networks, message boards, and calendar sites, and offline efforts generating awareness for you via printed marketing materials in the real world.

Online Street Team Marketing Ideas

The proliferation of social networks have made online marketing a breeze. Since Facebook is usually the first place promoters have their street teams get the word out about their events, we’ll start there before winding through online concert calendars, message boards, and then on to other offline marketing techniques.

Facebook

Facebook doesn’t need much introduction or explanation. It’s The Book, you already know how to work it. Just to be sure though, here’s a couple bullet point ideas for how to promote a concert on Facebook:

  • Create Facebook events and have your team invite all their Friends. (Protip: use our free Facebook Invite All browser extension)
  • Have team members share recent press or SoundCloud/YouTube links for artists upcoming in the calendar
  • Share the event fliers on Facebook and tag your team members
  • Ask your team members to change their profile pictures or cover photos to the event flier (more intrusive, so don’t push them if they don’t want too.)

Calendars

Concert calendar sites like JamBase and SongKick have become a standard way for many people to find upcoming concerts in their area. They allow you to search for shows in your area, and let you filter by date or genre and create personalized calendars of your favorite upcoming shows.

The relevance of these sites varies from genre to genre and region to region, but in our experience, enough people were going to these sites that it was important for us to maintain and manage our presence on them.

For us this meant making sure all of our events were listed and the event information was correct, then asking our team members to join the events as “Attending” to increase their relevance.

The Make-Your-Own-Calendar Trick

Another calendar-related method we used to use back when we promoted concerts around DC – we had an open group for DC/Baltimore area jam and electronic shows. Then every week we’d keep it updated with the latest show announcements, and clear out the old shows that went passed. For a couple hundred students at University of Maryland, the group became a go-to – a curated list of shows that they knew they’d be interested in.

Then, we made a special section underneath the general local listings for just our shows. It was a perfect way to create some value for local concertgoers while also bringing more awareness to our shows unintrusively.

Feel free to steal this idea – have your team members manage a local concerts calendar group on FB (or message boards), and include all the local concerts relevant to a particular genre. Place a section below for your shows, and you’ve got a great channel for promotion.

Message Board Sites

Every niche has their own. In my world it was site like Phantasy Tour for Phish and the Disco Biscuits fans, the Low Down for STS9 fans, and The Bort for Umphrey’s McGee fans.

Do a search or ask around for what message boards your target fans congregate around, as your mileage will vary for different niches, genres, and artists.

Once you find your target message boards – the trick here again is to not be too intrusive. For communities like these, there’s nothing worse than promoter trolls dropping in and leaving a sales-y promo post – and for you, there are few things less effective.

In my experience with message board sites, our approach was usually a combination of two things:

First – we’d run the weekly “concert calendar thread”, which, like their Facebook counterparts, would aim to bring attention to all the interesting local concerts. This usually turned into a pretty active thread with members chiming in about which ones were coming up.

Second – with message boards that allow user signatures, titles, and customer avatars or signature graphics – we’d have our team put some updates in there. Don’t go overboard with the message intensity by overhauling your entire profile to promote the gig – just a line or two in the signatures of an active message board member or two usually suffices.

For our biggest events like festivals and special events, we’d create individual threads hyping it up and getting a discussion going around the solo event, though that was something we’d typically hold back from for individual club shows.

Offline Street Team Marketing Ideas

With the amount of noise on online channels these days, it’s becoming more and more challenging to stand out from the crowd. Would-be concertgoers sometimes face information overload, and end up tuning out the Facebook event invites and promotional emails.

That’s where your offline presence comes in. With offline, you offer your audience a much more tangible and “real” presence.

“Active” marketing tactics like hand-to-hand flyers and sampling come with the added benefit of personal interaction and community engagement. For our promotions, we used to take our list of relevant upcoming shows in the region and hook up 2 team members per show with guest list spots and a couple hundred fliers each. After the show, we would usually ask them to skip the encore and post up outside the exit to hand out fliers.

If you think about it – there’s pretty much no better way to target local concertgoers in any given genre. By targeting people leaving a show related to ours in our region, we were getting lot of bang for a buck with the fliers we were putting out.

Pro-tip for post-show flying: teach your team to make eye contact and have something to say while they’re promoting. The passive stand-their-quietly-and-try-to-be-ignored loses half the value of being there. Have them make their presence known. The message will come through stronger, and they’ll have more fun.

The other half of offline marketing is “passive” tactics:

  • Flyers/posters at local shops, cafes, and restaurants
  • Community bulletin boards/kiosks
  • Chalking (for college campuses)

Pro-tip for passive street-team marketing: remember the marketing “rule of three” – for methods such as unmanned flyers and posters (or radio/tv/banner ads…) a general rule of thumb is that we need to see any given imagery and message 3 times before actually tuning in to it.

In terms of budgeting for printed marketing materials – we’ve heard huge ranges. For us, we would typically allocate $1,000-$1,500 per month on the monthly concert calendar posters and fliers, and then $200-300 per show on individual flyers for the medium sized shows. Special events and festivals would typically get around a $1,500 budget for printed marketing materials. We’d be interested in hearing more though, so if you have different budgets, leave them in the comments.

Fin

That’s pretty much it. Using Facebook, Concert Calendars, and Message Boards, your team will help you develop a strong online presence. And with passive street teaming tactics like flying, posturing, and chalking, you can increase your reach into the real world. Your event will be front and center in front of your fans, and everyone will have a great time.

Next week, we’ll cover communication with your team, and close it out the week after with thoughts on building a community. Until then, hasta luego!

Next: Part 5 – How to Communicate with your Street Team

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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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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