If you have a burning mission, and you’re short on the money you need, this story is for you. This is the three simple (but not easy) steps Matthew Inman (better known as The Oatmeal) took to raise $1 million with a tweet.
STEP ONE – Follow your talent and delete the rest
Few years ago Matthew Inman was a web designer who stumbled on a new talent. As he says: “I actually used to build websites for a living, and I did that for a long time but got tired of working for people…”
“So I started a dating site, but I didn’t know anything about marketing, so in order to get people to actually come to the website, I started making funny things: comics, quizzes, and illustrated stories about dating just to draw people in.”
“The comics were more popular than the actual dating was, so I decided to build a site full of the humor stuff. That’s when I decided to launch a career as a comedian rather than a marketer.”
Over the next few years, ‘The Oatmeal’ grew in popularity, and Matthew figured out how to make money from merchandising and books. With books like “5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in The Mouth” and “How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You”, by 2012 The Oatmeal was making over $500,000 a year and attracting millions to his site each month
STEP TWO – Champion a worthy cause
Matthew Inman didn’t just create comics on cats and bears but on things that interested him, including one called “Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived” on his hero, Nikola Tesla.
In 2012, Matthew found out that the old laboratory of scientist Nikola Tesla, Wardenclyffe (in Shoreham, New York), was at risk of being sold to a retail developer. So he put together an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to help a non-profit buy it instead and turn it into museum.
Why help? As Matthew said “Tesla is a hero of mine, and very rarely does an opportunity present itself where you can make a difference to your hero’s legacy nearly a century after his time. It’d be like starting a crowdfunding campaign to keep Mahatama Gandhi’s or Abraham Lincoln’s original home from getting bulldozed and turned into a Krispy Kreme.
Called “Let’s Build a Goddamm Tesla Museum”, Matthew’s crowdfunding campaign appealed to his followers and it ended up raising $1.3 million. On his success, Matthew said “I’m like the Tesla evangelist, sorta. Teslavangelist?”
STEP THREE – Give first, then get
The problem? The crowdfunding campaign raised enough to buy the land. But not enough to build the museum. Two years later, Matthew thought about what it would take to get Elon Musk (whose electric car company is called “Tesla” after Nikola Tesla) to contribute to the build. He decided to create a comic “What it’s like to own a Tesla Model S – A cartoonist’s review of his magical space car”.
Matthew then created a second one “Part Two: Man vs Motor” where he wrote about Elon Musk and Nikola Tesla. This second one made the case of why Elon was the man to help the Tesla Museum, together with an appeal, and a few compliments: “He’s like Hari Seldon but with wicked biceps.”
Then he sent the fateful tweet: “@elonmusk I wrote a review of my Model S, and then asked you for a little favor here…”
Within a day, Elon replied “I would be happy to help”.
From that tweet, Elon pledged $1,000,000 towards the museum, as well as making the museum a part of the nationwide Tesla recharging network for Tesla cars.
The million dollar tweet took less than a minute. But the build up took years.
We all have the power to get instant, massive results – if we’re willing to put in the legwork first. Now it’s your turn:
What are you building your community around?
What worthy cause are you supporting?
And who are you giving to today?
As you build your value, don’t use social media as a radio antenna, creating noise. Use it, like Matthew, as a lightning rod, creating opportunity.
“Unitil you remove the noise, you’re going to miss a lot of signal.” ~ Seth Godin
Image : (CC) Randy Stewart, blog.stewtopia.com.
Why Your Startup Needs Digital Media
In today’s rapidly evolving, technology-driven business landscape, digital media has become indispensible for startups striving to carve out a robust online footprint, engage with their intended audience, and stimulate growth. Whether it’s via social media, websites, blogs, or online advertising, digital media bestows upon startups a multitude of advantages capable of profoundly influencing their achievements. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why digital media is imperative for your startup in the current competitive environment.
1. Wider Reach and Visibility:
Digital media allows startups to reach a global audience like never before. With the internet as your platform, your business can be accessible to potential customers from around the world 24/7. This extensive reach can help you expand your customer base and increase brand visibility.
2. Cost-Effective Marketing:
Conventional advertising approaches, like print ads or TV commercials, often pose budgetary challenges for startups with constrained financial resources. Digital media provides affordable marketing alternatives, such as email campaigns and social media marketing. These avenues enable precise targeting of specific demographics, optimizing the effectiveness of your marketing investments.
3. Audience Targeting:
One of the foremost benefits of digital media lies in its capacity for precise audience targeting. By harnessing data-driven analytics and tools, companies like Join the Dots can tailor your messaging and content to align with distinct demographics, interests, and behaviors. This guarantees that your startup’s message reaches precisely the individuals it intends to at the opportune moment.
4. Instant Feedback and Engagement:
Digital media facilitates real-time engagement with your audience. You can interact with customers quickly through social media comments, respond to inquiries via email or live chat, and receive immediate feedback on your products or services. This direct interaction builds customer trust and helps you refine your offerings based on customer input.
5. Brand Building and Credibility:
Having a strong online presence through a well-designed website, active social media profiles, and informative blog content enhances your startup’s credibility and trustworthiness. A professional online presence demonstrates that you are a serious player in your industry, which can attract customers and potential investors.
6. Data-Driven Decision-Making:
Digital media offers invaluable data and analytics tools for monitoring the efficacy of your marketing endeavors. You can gauge metrics like website traffic, click-through rates, conversion rates, and beyond. This approach empowers you to make well-informed decisions, fine-tune your strategies, and allocate resources efficiently.
7. Content Marketing and Thought Leadership:
Through digital media, startups can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry by creating and sharing informative and valuable content. Blog posts, whitepapers, webinars, and podcasts allow you to showcase your expertise, educate your audience, and build trust over time.
8. Scalability and Flexibility:
Digital media strategies are highly scalable and adaptable. As your startup grows, you can expand your online presence and marketing efforts accordingly. Whether you’re a small team or a rapidly expanding enterprise, digital media allows you to adjust your strategies to meet your evolving needs.
Digital media stands as a fundamental element of success for startups in the contemporary business landscape. Its capacity to reach a broad audience, cost-effectiveness, precision in targeting, and data-driven insights render it an indispensable asset for growth. By embracing digital media and harnessing its benefits, startups can establish a solid foundation for enduring success and confidently navigate the competitive terrain. Whether you belong to the tech startup realm or a traditional brick-and-mortar business, the integration of digital media into your strategy is imperative in today’s digitally-driven world.
Best Product Packaging Strategies For Startups
Hey entrepreneurs, launching a startup can be a lot of work! You stress about funds, operations, and team building. And while you prioritize product development, packaging may take a back seat, right? But did you know that it drives the buying decision for 72% of Americans? That’s surprising, but true.
And it also means that product packaging is one of the ways to stand out and grab customers’ attention in a cutthroat world. That’s a good reason to go the extra mile to nail a strategy. So, if you’re wondering how to make your package pop without breaking the bank, we’ve got some killer tips for your startup.
Here is what you need to know to win an incredible unboxing experience for your customers.
Know your target audience
You’ve got to know your target audience to create a successful product. And the same applies to packaging. Who are you trying to reach and sell? What are their preferences? What would they want in the product package?
By understanding your target customers, you can pick an option that speaks directly to them. For example, if your target audience is health-conscious millennials, choose a minimalist and eco-friendly one that emphasizes your product’s sustainable ingredients.
Focus on customer experience
Your product packaging is more than a pretty face. It’s also about enhancing the customer experience. Think about how you may create a memorable unboxing process.
Consider adding unique features, such as easy-open lids, tear strips, or resealable packages. By making the components easy to access, you get the benefits of brand loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.
Consider what’s inside
That’s a no-brainer because your product determines the packaging material. Things are easy if you sell a single offering, but CBD entrepreneurs may struggle to choose different materials for different products.
For example, you will need a tincture bottle, boxes, mylar bags, cartridges, and tin containers for different items in your portfolio. Additionally, you’ll have to ensure that they are child-resistant and preserve the flavor and aroma of the components.
As a startup brand, you can gain a lot by joining the sustainability bandwagon, and packaging is a good place to start. Buyers care more than ever about the environmental impact of products and brands.
So eco-friendly packaging options are surely ideal. Prioritize biodegradable materials and minimize excess packaging. It’s the best way to make your offerings pop in a market saturated with competition.
Branding is key
Remember that your packaging is a crucial part of your brand identity. So ensure that it aligns with your company’s values and messaging. It should replicate your brand’s color schemes, fonts, and imagery.
The text labels should also match your brand’s personality and tone. The idea is to remind buyers of your brand every time they see the product on the shelves.
Is packaging a big deal? Yes, it actually is when it comes to the product packaging for your startup. You’ve got to ensure it makes a great first impression and drives a buying decision. Well, there are no shortcuts to winning the packaging game. But you can try these tips to ace it!
What Startups can learn from the Special Forces of Armies around the world
Startups and special forces of armies may seem to have very little in common. However, upon closer examination, there are several key lessons that startups can learn from these elite military units. Special forces teams are highly trained, flexible, and able to operate in rapidly changing environments. Startups, too, must be able to pivot quickly in response to market changes and evolving customer needs. In this article, we will explore several key lessons that startups can learn from special forces teams.
Lesson 1: Build a strong team
Special forces teams are composed of highly skilled and specialized individuals who work together to achieve a common goal. Similarly, startups must build a strong team of individuals with diverse skills and backgrounds who can work together to bring their products or services to market. A successful startup team should have a mix of technical, business, and creative skills to ensure that all aspects of the business are covered.
Special forces teams also place a strong emphasis on teamwork and communication. They must be able to work together seamlessly, and each member must understand their role and responsibilities within the team. Startups can learn from this by fostering a culture of collaboration and open communication within their team.
Lesson 2: Adapt quickly to changing environments
Special forces teams are often deployed in rapidly changing environments, where they must adapt quickly to new situations and changing conditions. Similarly, startups must be able to pivot quickly in response to market changes and evolving customer needs. This requires a high degree of flexibility and agility, as well as the ability to quickly assess and respond to new information.
Startups can learn from special forces teams by adopting a mindset of constant adaptation and improvement. They should be willing to experiment and iterate on their product or service, and be open to feedback from customers and other stakeholders.
Lesson 3: Embrace risk and uncertainty
Special forces teams operate in high-risk and uncertain environments, where the stakes are often very high. They must be willing to take calculated risks and make difficult decisions under pressure. Startups, too, must be willing to embrace risk and uncertainty in order to succeed. They must be willing to take chances and make bold moves, even in the face of uncertainty.
Startups can learn from special forces teams by adopting a mindset of calculated risk-taking. They should be willing to experiment and try new things, while also being mindful of potential risks and taking steps to mitigate them.
Lesson 4: Focus on the mission
Special forces teams are highly focused on achieving their mission, which is often critical to national security. Similarly, startups must be highly focused on their mission and vision, which should guide all of their decisions and actions. This requires a clear understanding of the company’s purpose and goals, as well as a strong sense of commitment to achieving them.
Startups can learn from special forces teams by adopting a mission-driven approach to their business. They should be clear about their purpose and goals, and ensure that all of their decisions and actions are aligned with these objectives.
Lesson 5: Train and prepare rigorously
Special forces teams undergo rigorous training and preparation in order to be able to perform their duties at the highest level. Similarly, startups must invest in training and preparation in order to build a strong and capable team, and to ensure that they are able to execute on their mission effectively.
Startups can learn from special forces teams by investing in training and development programs for their team members. This includes technical training, as well as leadership and management development. By investing in their team members’ skills and abilities, startups can ensure that they are well-prepared to succeed in a competitive and rapidly changing business environment.
In conclusion, startups can learn a great deal from special forces teams of armies around the world. By building a strong team, adapting quickly to changing environments, embracing risk and uncertainty, focusing on the mission, and training, Startups can achieve goals that may seem impossible at first.
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