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How to map a yard sign route for sign placers

If you want to succeed with yard signs (or bandit signs), Google My Maps is a must-have tool.

For the reason that, without this tool … putting out yard signs will be much more difficult than it should be.

Because imagine if you can do this:

Create custom driving routes – Hop into your car, open up Google My Maps on your smartphone, and in seconds, get the step-by-step directions to each sign placement location – without spending an ounce of brainpower! Making it easier for you to finish putting out signs faster so you can get home to bed early before your spouse gets worried sick.

Discover new places to put your signs – Use this tool to find unexplored cities, suburbs, or towns to map out new locations for your yard signs or bandit signs that otherwise would’ve been impossible to find.

Prevent miscommunication with your team members – Share GMM with your yard sign placers so they can know where to place each sign without ever having to consult with you. Thus, saving time for you and your team members.

I recommend any business using yard signs to snag this tool.

Go here to get Google My Maps for free.

In this blog post,
we’ll go over the three different ways to use google my maps:

  1. Targeted Zone
  2. Location List
  3. Driving Route
Targeted zones, location list, driving route
Each option has its own pros and cons.
 
But all of them will make it easier for your yard sign placers to go out in the field and complete their jobs faster.
 
Make sure you stick around until the end to become a pro at using all three.
 
Okay, let’s get started.
 
If you haven’t already, open up google my maps.
 
1. Create a targeted zone 
Targeted zoneThis isn’t exactly a driving route but it’s a great way to get started quickly.
 
With a “targeted zone”, you can quickly draw boundaries around the areas you want to place your signs. Then, give this “targeted zone” to your team for them to get started with their yard sign placements right away without having to plot out everything.
 
So what we’re going to do first is this.
 
Step 1: Click on create a new map
 
Step 2: Give it a quick name by clicking on “untitled map.” You can leave a description in there as well
 
Step 3: Click the “draw a line” button
How to find draw a line button
Step 4: From there we’re going to go through and click an outline of this area where we want our team to place the signs
Outline of the area
 
Step 5: Give the outline a name and some instructions, such as “place signs every 20 yards.”
 
Step 6: Hit save.
 
Pro Tip: Change the color of this area to make it stand out a little bit more.
 
2. Create a Location List
 
Location listA location list is a great way to map out the strategic areas you are already familiar with.
 
And if you’re aiming to create a driving route, I highly recommend creating this location list first because it will make it easier to set up the driving route later on.
 
There are two different ways to create a location list.
 
Option 1: Manually add each location
 
This option is great if you want to quickly add a category of locations, such as supermarkets or shopping centers.
 
Step 1a: Do an individual search
 

In the search box, you can type in an exact address or the location’s name.

For example, if I type in the search box, “West Seattle Thriftway Supermarket”, then that exact supermarket will show up on the map.

Step 1b: Do a bulk search

Alternatively, you can do a bulk search to find a category of locations.

For example, if I type in, “Supermarkets in West Seattle”, then every supermarket in West Seattle will pop up on the map.

And when the pin shows up on the map, go to the next step.

Step 2: Go to the pins that you want to add and click on “+ add to map” and you should see that location show up in the layer that you created.

Step 3: Repeat steps 1-2 until you have every location you need.

There you go you’ve just added a whole list of locations very quickly.

Pro Tip: Create new layers to keep different categories organized. For example, you can have a layer for just “supermarkets” and another layer for “shopping centers”. It’s not necessary but it’s there if you need it.

Option 2: Import a spreadsheet of addresses

If you already have a list of addresses in a spreadsheet somewhere, then you can use this option.

Importing a spreadsheet makes it incredibly fast to map out all of your locations on google map.

So for example this one that I have on google drive

It just has the column headers as restaurant and address and the name of the restaurant and the addresses that they’re at:

Sample spreadsheet

To upload a spreadsheet of locations into google my maps, then follow these steps.

Step 1: Create a new layer

On the left-hand side of your screen, you’ll see a button called “add a layer”. Go ahead and click on it.

Otherwise, you won’t see an option to import the spreadsheet file.

Step 2: Click on “import”

After you click on the button, upload an excel file or CSV. If you’re on a desktop, you could just drag it or click the select a file from your device.

Import button

Step 3: Select the column to position your placemarks.

This basically means to click on the column that has the addresses of each location.

Step 4: Select a column to title your markers.

Pick a column to use as the title for the placemarks, such as the name of the location, and in the example case, the name can be the “restaurants” column.

Hit finish.

3. Create a Driving Route

The sample of driving routeIf you want to do that extra prep work and create a step-by-step route for when you’re actually in the field or your team member is in the field placing signs, follow the next steps to create a driving route.

Step 1: Click this add directions button that’ll create a new layer automatically.

Add directions visualization

Give it a name.

Note: You can change the transportation mode to walking or biking by clicking on the “driving” icon.

Step 2: Click on the point A type box and do one of the following options.

Driving route visualization

You have two options here.

Either you can type in the name or address of the location, or you can click on a pin from the map like in the image below.

Pins on the map visualization

(If you don’t have any pins on the map yet … go to the “Create a Location List” section above for learning how to create one.)

Now, we’re going to keep adding destinations and you can play around and see what’s the most efficient way to drive there.

Step 3: Keep adding destinations until you have an entire route.

But there are some downsides. The biggest one is that google my maps only allows you to do a driving route of 10 stops per layer. The solution is you could create multiple layers and have multiple driving routes on a single map.

Finally, share the map to your sign placers

Now it’s time to take all of your hard work and hand it off to your sign installer so that they’re able to go out in the field and know where you want them to place their signs.

To share your map, click on the share button on the left panel:

How to find share button

Next, enable link sharing and then turn it on to public so everyone gets access to it that needs it:

Enable the link sharing

Copy that link to your clipboard and send this as a text message to your team members.

What’s next?

Send your team members
out into the streets to place your yard sign🙌

However, most business owners don’t always trust their sign placers.

What if … they don’t follow your instructions.

Or worse … they throw away your yard signs.

This is where SimpleCrew comes in.

SimpleCrew verifies that your sign placers are outside (going to places such as supermarkets, shopping centers, etc), following your instructions and perfectly placing your yard signs.

How does it work?

First, sign placers use SimpleCrew to snap photos of each sign they place.

Next, those photos are immediately populated on a map inside our software, letting you see all their work getting done in almost real time.

SimpleCrew campaign example

As a result, this makes it the easiest experience of managing a sign placer. 

SimpleCrew pairs seamlessly with Google My Maps

Copy and paste your Google My Maps link within SimpleCrew so that your sign placer will never have to ask you where to find the link to the map. It’s always in one place.

How to share Google My Maps map to SimpleCrew

And when your team members are inside the app they’re going to go into that campaign and they’ll be able to see the instructions by clicking the link to the map.

How to open Google My Maps in SimpleCrew

To keep your sign placers accountable, start your free trial with SimpleCrew.

If you learned something from this blog post make sure you leave a comment and if you try it out let us know in the comments below.

To learn more about SimpleCrew and how you can hold your team members accountable by tracking all of your signed placements in the field … check out the video and introduction to simple crew for sign marketing.

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Marketing SimpleCrew Story Street teams

The key to motivation is tracking

Without results to track, self motivation is like swimming upstream.

As Ben Horowitz wrote in The Hard Things About Hard Things, “there are only two ways for a manager to improve the output of an employee: motivation and training.” That probably comes as no surprise to business owners and entrepreneurs, but is much easier said than done.

After all, difficult and laborious tasks can make motivation hard to maintain–even among the most driven of individuals. This is where a little hack comes in handy: tracking. Deliberate, consistent, active tracking.

What makes tracking effective in pushing through limits and
resistance points?

At SimpleCrew, we hear (and see first hand) how tracking can change the trajectory of a business. But what does that really mean? In reality, tracking is simply data. And much like any set of data, how you use it and what you use it to measure is more important than anything else. Afterall, too much data can be equally ineffective as no data.

At the end of the day, when we correlate tracking and motivation, the best way to look at it is through the lens of the individual. I found myself sinking into this realization when I experienced how beneficial tracking was in my personal life, particularly in the fitness arena.

1. Performance tracking inadvertently leads to performance enhancement.

Over the last two months, I have been swimming every single week. This is notable because my fitness regime is usually a bit more sporadic, and a lot less consistent (ha). Initially, I figured it was likely due to Olympics 2020 fever. But I’ve since realized that my new routine is actually due to the purchase of a new gadget.

I got an apple watch.

Somehow, I never knew how similar personal fitness tracking was in comparison to business tracking until I started using the watch. It is incredibly easy to track a workout with a few quick taps and swipes. Once I got past the initial hump of starting, tracking my workouts became as second nature as brushing my teeth.

In fact, it is more than second nature, it has become… dare I say it, addictive. After 2 months of consistent use, I can say with confidence that tracking my swims is the single most motivating element of my current workout routine. It keeps me going week in and week out.

I want to see what I can do. How many laps can I swim this week? How long can I swim for? The tracking gave me something to show for my workouts. It created a competitive drive within myself which motivated me to keep showing up, keep competing against myself, and keep attempting to do better than my last performance.

While the tracking itself gamified my swim experience, what got me hooked was the unexpected outcome. The results. While I didn’t set out to swim every single week, the workout tracking kept me going again and again, and inadvertently led to better performance in my swims.

2. Reports highlight tangible results and showcase quantitative progress.

The more you track, the more you want to track. Ever since I began tracking my swim, I’ve been more consistent with my workout frequency. While I don’t check the reports of my apple watch often, I can feel my excitement each time I do. 

Knowing that I have been pushing myself, feeling the level of motivation with my weekly swims, performance reports are like little gifts waiting to be opened. This is in sharp contrast to when I was inconsistent with my swims. Now, with the amount of tracking I’ve done, I eagerly look forward to seeing quantitative progress.

For example, in a recent peek into my performance, I compared two workouts roughly 6 weeks apart (June 10 vs July 20). Crazy enough, I not only swam 34% further– I also swam 30% faster. Seeing the results is about as motivating as it can get. Especially when it was an unexpected side effect of tracking.

The comparison of 2 workouts, screenshots from Apple watch tracker
  • 36.96% More laps
  • 34.04% Further
  • 22.44% More calories burned
  • 30.77% Faster

3. Goal setting becomes easier when you know what is possible.

Goals can feel lofty and ineffective if they are either too hard to achieve or too easy to accomplish. The ideal goal is one that challenges you within reach, pushing you outside of your limits to what is possible, without making it too easy. Tracking helps establish these goals. 

Before I tracked with my apple watch, I had no benchmark or starting point. I wouldn’t even know what a proper goal should be. I would swim without any intention of hitting a number of laps, or any amount of time. If I wanted to set a goal, I wouldn’t be motivated to hit it if I didn’t know I could accomplish it.

The data made available from tracking has made it easy for me to push myself. Since I’ve seen real numbers on what I can do, it creates an easy starting point for me.

The Key Takeaway

After experiencing the dramatic results from fitness tracking, it has become even more clear why tracking is so crucial to businesses. Much like in your personal life, business tracking requires two core elements. A device to do the tracking, and software to store the data and generate the reports.

You don’t need to be an olympic athlete to do the same tracking that professionals do. The Apple watch is always on you, and it’s easy to use. On that same note, you really don’t need to be an enterprise business to track your field crew. Phones are always on your team, and using SimpleCrew is as easy as snapping a photo.

If you need more motivation to do grassroots marketing try simple tracking with photos using SimpleCrew

Categories
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.

Categories
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 🙂

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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

Categories
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