Communications Plan DELITELABS

1. GOALS

  •       Showing the positive effects of economic integration
  •       Creating a community
  •       Having a successful crowdfunding campaign
  •       Associate the brand with creativity, entrepreneurship, success values
  •       Disseminate no borders philosophy and equality values
  •       (HOW) Placing Delitelabs in the startup ecosystem 

2. TARGET AUDIENCE

  •       Smart educated refugees between 20 and 30
  •       Unemployed local people between 20 and 30
  •       Companies with a social department to fund initiatives
  •       People that are related with other initiatives involving tech, business and innovation

3. MESSAGE

  •       Is easier to startup a business after the program
  •       Our program helps to develop economic integration
  •       Delitelabs is a professional education
  •       Delitelabs is a big step to develop yourself: professional and personal
  •       We want to empower people who don’t get much chances
  •       We tell personal stories

4. STRATEGY

  •       Geographical Scope: Amsterdam, Nederland, Europe
  •       Tone: Smartass tone.
  •       Super smart responses in a super nice way.
  •       Open mentality to criticism. Questioning
  •       Suspense. People are exciting to know what’s next
  •       Resourceful. We get the things done
  •       Hands on and learning by doing

5. ACTIONS

Offline:

  • An event on the 29th of September where we will have a public lecture given by Founders 
  • The prototyping week at the University of Twente the 10th till the 14th of October
  • The final pitch event which will be on the 19th of October

Online:

  1.  CORPORATE PLATFORMS:
  •       Web
  •       Blog
  •       Facebook
  •       Twitter
  •       Linkedin
  •       Instagram
  •       Youtube / Vimeo
  1. PLATFORM CONTENT

It is important to standardise the visualisation of the different communication means. Although these may differ for each communication tool we use, in our case a set of social media platforms. Which are the following media outputs:

http://delitelabs.com/

Web with basic information about the project. We need to show more the power of the organisation by the faces of the team and the board behind it.

http://delitelabs.com/blog

The strategy of content marketing needs a good content generator. Blog categories:

  1. Successful stories
  2. Events review
  3. Diary
  4. Program (During the program 1 chronic everyday)

https://www.facebook.com/delitelabs

  •       Publish our own blog content
  •       Team strengths
  •       Good indicators
  •       Program explanations
  •       Another news and inspiring stories from other pages and blogs
  •       3 times/week: 1 picture and 2 blog posts (it could be one external content too)
  •       Alumni group. This is our community! We should share valuable content: job offers, events… We should have a extra person taking care of it and posting 3 times per week. (Adel?)

https://twitter.com/delitelabs

  • Gifs that show the problems that we are solving
  • We share the content of blog. Daily interactions with related profiles and persons in the themes innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and social initiatives.
  • 200 tweets explaining the program and the feelings that your have during the program #adayindelitelabs
  • 200 tweets #delitelabsisforyou explaning why you should apply.
  • At least one post a day

 

Facebook Analytics: PART 2

In the last post I made about the Facebook Insights I laid down a framework of this interesting tool. This post will be about the progress we made with the usage of this tool and the experiments and insights we’ve gotten from it so far. We started our Facebook page in May 2015. Since August 2016 we started posting on a regular basis. Between the 5th and the 26th of September we did an experiment where we used two kinds of parameters to assess our progress. The amount of postings we put out and the type of content these contained. Especially the statistics and progress of these last couple of months will be the object of inquiry, because this is the period we’ve been actively busy with the building of our crowd and her involvement.

In this post we will go over:

  • Our starting point
  • The experimentations fase
  • Latest progress
  • Our best messages
  • Best frequency of posts
  • Who is our audience?
  • When is our audience online?

Within this post you’ll get insight into the steady progress we’ve made so far with looking for the best ways to communicate and build our crowd. We start with the very beginning of our work. As I said we started in August of 2016.

Our starting point

Our starting point with Facebook was around a few hundred people a week who viewed the messages on our Facebook page. We almost got no visitors on our site before we started posting regularly. This was not very strange since we didn’t put out any messages. The page only contained a few things about DELITELABS.

2-8aug385views

In the overview above you see the week 2 till 8 Augustus. You see that the reach of our page (shown in the below left graph) is around 385 and had an increase of 6% that week in comparison to the previous week. This was the week before we started posting more frequently than we had before. You can see an enormous change the week after when we began the week after this one, like you see in the graph below.

8-14aug7-200views

So only posting a couple of post that week made a huge change to the amount of views and involvement we got from our audience. We continued this for a couple of weeks until we wanted to conduct an experiment with this.

Experimentation fase

What we did. We had a couple of weeks where we actually tested with the amount of messages that we posted. To be very precise we did 3 weeks of experimenting with this, from the 5th till the 26th of September. The first two weeks we scheduled two post per day. The main subjects of the post we put out were: Our upcoming course, posts about entrepreneurial subjects and famous entrepreneurs like Ramit Sethi, Gary Vaynerchuck and Simon Sinek. The views we got per message were actually pretty poor, but went way up if it was about applying for the course or pictures of the students that had started on the 19th of September. You see in the next paragraph “Best messages” that two of the most successful messages that we have put out so far were on this very day.

Reach facebook 5 sept - 26 sept

The last week we put out a few messages in a week. These messages were mostly about our course because we had seen that these were the messages that got the most reach and the most involved people behind it. I was curious why there were such deep lows in this graph. Reason: The 16th and 17th nothing was posted and on the 23th, 24th and 25th of September, same story. So one of the things to keep in mind, every day needs at least one post.

We wanted to know what made the most impact. So here is an overview of the things we have been checking to improve our Facebook output.

Latest progress

26sept-23oktfboverview

This is the progress we have made in the last month. From 25 till 22 of October. We see that we have an increase of the pageviews, the involvement and videoviews. Only in the amount of likes we see a small decrease of 17%. According to Jordan, digital marketing expert, involvement is what it all comes down to, so in that respect we are on our way.

Best messages

To know what the best messages were I checked a couple of factors. The parameters I took in account were what kind of post it was(photo, link or video), the time it was posted, the amount of people saw the post, the clicks on the messages, the reactions or shares that these messages had and last but not least the kind of content was provided.

To give you an overview of our best messages in the last period (Sept – Okt)

 

Type of post Date Time Reach Clicks Reaction/share Tags (y/n) Type of content
Link 8 Oct 11:10 1,4k 337 5 n Getting to know our participants with pictures of 4 of them
Photo 11 Oct 12:17 1,3 222 72 n Usual hashtags, @utwente
Photo 5 Oct 13:57 1,1k 190 25 y, 12 students picture of students, hashtags
Video 17 Oct 10:23 869 165 42 Video and hashtags
Picture and link 7 Oct 0:01 1,3k 133 20 First CFpost and hastags
Picture 19 Sep 14:28 1,1k 118 55 y, Violeta and guestlecturer Hashtags
Picture 13 Oct 18:55 879 103 3 n hashtag and pitching @utwente
Picture and link 10 Sep 12:20 1,9k 100 72 n Apply course
Video 19 Sep 12:15 958 90 30 n hashtags
Picture and link 7 Oct 0:01 1,3k 90 2 n post CF 25%

Analysis done 2016

What’s interesting in this table is that most of the messages are pictures of video. But almost all the messages have in common is that our students are in the picture. Not our company, not posts of famous entrepreneurs we also posted, but our own students. The mission we have to help these people. The advice that for example Jordan gave us in an interview I did, was very accurate to the findings we have here. The advice was that we should make our posts as personal as could be and we did. Another advice we only used a couple of times paid off as well, the tagging of other people in the post we made. You can see this in the photo we posted in the 5th of October, third best post on our Facebook page so far.

Best frequency of posts

We have began frequently posting from August 2016 onward. But we waited till the beginning of September to devise a more structured system to it and set up an experiment. In the three weeks from September 5th till the 26th of September we did our experiment. In the first 2 weeks of the experiment we scheduled Facebook messages twice a day. From the messages that we put out in the first two weeks we could conclude that 2 a day was a bit over the top, especially because in the third week, when we put out 5 messages in stead of 14 we got more reach than the previous two weeks.

We had seen that the amount of posting was incredibly important, too many posts was a turn off for our audience. What also very much mattered were the kind of posts we put out. Especially the third week showed a big difference in the amount of viewers.

Who is our audience?

With these statistics we can start to describe our target user. For example the following image will show what percentage of a certain age group has the most interaction with our Facebook page. Additionally the image shows what percentage of age groups are most involved.

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-00-28-11

The highest amount of people that visit or interact with our Facebook page are people between the age of 25 and 34. The younger or the older people in comparison to this group, the less likely it will be that they will interact with our page. The ratio between men and women is pretty similar in the clicks they give. You see that the percentage of involved people (people who react or share a message) is higher with the men.

Another interesting statistic that you can see in Facebook Insights is the geographical information of our target user. We see, if we look at the places where most people live that this is actually where we were stationed. Amsterdam and Valencia.

targetusergeographics

 

What time is our target group online?

Facebook Insights has a very handy tool to find an answer to this question. When you click on the button messages when you are in the statistics screen of your Facebook page you can have an overview of the amount of people per hour are online.

OktoberOnlineMensen op facebook

This is the graph I was talking about. The thing that immediately draws the attention is the large gap between midnight and 8am. After 10pm the amount of fans that are online drops. Furthermore you can see that on the rest of the graph that its very slightly rising. You can also choose a day to see if the pattern changes during the days. We have found slight changes in behavior. For example, On Mondays and Sundays our fans approximately are an hour later online in the morning than the rest of the days. This difference is shown in the graphs below.

Monday

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-00-09-53

Tuesday

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-00-13-36

 

Conclusion

A couple of conclusions I can draw out of this. First is that, because of our effort we set up a Facebook page that has a couple of thousand views, and growing, in stead of a couple of hundred.

Second, from the experiment we did we can now say that people get oversaturated when you post more than two or more times a day

Thirdly, personal messages, messages about Delitelabs and their students get a much higher involvement and view rate than other postings. This is what you can see in the “best messages” paragraph. Another, rather obvious finding was that video and pictures work better than just plain text

Fourthly, our audience consists of almost a fifty/fifty division of male and female, although we can see that men are a little more involved than the women. Most of them are between the age of 25 and 34. The main languages are English, Spanish and Arabic and most of the people that visit our site are from Amsterdam and Valencia. There is also an interesting pattern found in the time that our target group is online. Roughly sketched they are online from 9:00 to 22:00, with a small variety on Mondays and Sundays.

 

Science of Persuasion

I always had an interest for persuasion, but like most other people do, for a long time I thought some people had it and some people had it. Well according to this talk it’s not at all, we can learn to be persuasive. And there are special ingredients you probably will need to achieve it.

Most Sales people will know the 6 most powerful rules of persuasion. It’s interesting that most of these principles I’ve encountered many times before in other books, all together or a few of them. This gives me the idea that there must be some kind of truth to these. The book “How to win friends and Influence people” by Dale Carnegie is one of the most popular examples of sales techniques and be a better human being if you’d ask me. All these principles are being recommended by a whole variety of experts in sales. Here we go!

The 6 most powerful persuasive techniques

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Scarcity
  3. Authority
  4. Consistency
  5. Liking
  6. Consensus

Reciprocity

Reciprocity. Roughly defined its getting something back once you’ve given something yourself. Otherwise put it: It’s the obligation you feel whey you receive something. Almost every person has this bias in their system. They can’t do anything about it. The same goes for example a question. A pending question just waits to get answered. A couple of months ago I worked for a sales company and they gave me this insight. If you want to hold people one of the best ways to do it is asking a question or during the talk giving something to them.

There are even numbers on this researched on in a restaurant. An example of this is the waiter that is bringing a gift with the bill, like a mint. This increased the amount of tips with 3%. When there where 2 mints on the platter the tips even increased with 14%. But when the waiter walked away, turned around with another mint saying: “you people can have more than one mint” even increased the tips with 23%.

It’s very interesting to know what these seemingly unimportant behaviours can cause in terms of change.

Scarcity

Scarcity is also a big pillar in sales as well. To summarise it in one phrase would be: “People want more of those things they can have less of.” We see this all the time. I myself see this in the way people I follow try to sell their courses. “you have one day left to register for course x”, “This unique course will teach you what only other people dreamed of having”.

These kinds of phrasing are very compelling for most people and very understandably. I don’t know the main reason I heard correct, but it seems very logical to me. I heard it from Tai Lopez. The reason is that evolutionarily we came from circumstances where we were in a constant state of scarcity. Scarcity of food, of security, almost everything was in scarcity. This is biologically been framed in our hardwiring. This makes it very difficult to say no to things like, sugar and fat for example. Resources we needed to have but was very scarce. Industries like the food industry play this card all the time. Very effective sales tactic that is being used in so many commercials and marketing. You won’t believe.

Authority

This says that people will follow the credible experts. When talking about what they will be willing to do. The Milgram experiment is one of the most popular quoted experiments conducted on this bias.  We listen to people who we think knows more than us in a specific subject. We see this as well in commercials of toothpaste. Providing the right credentials and we follow almost everyone if the deal seems reasonable.

Consistency ( or Commitment)

This comes down on the consistency of our actions and what we said to other people or to ourselves. People tend to want to be consistent, how paradoxical a situation might be. We want to be the person we say we are if not we feel bad about the actions we take. In sales we try to take advantage on this to let a person say yes at a very specific set of questions. Getting them into the “yes-state” is one of the things you do by leading them in a stream of their thoughts that you steer.

So if you want to persuade people to do something for you try to let them to do a very small favor for you first. They are way more likely to comply after doing this.

Liking/Likeableness

This is a very interesting and powerful tool as well and now to come and think of it, I use this actually all the time. The ability to be liked by other people in a sense. One of the most important ones. It’s fairly simple put. People want to give you more if they like you. There are two things to take in account when you want to increase this powerful tool. And I think it’s highly recommended for everyone because this is one of the most genuinely morally good tools you can actually use for yourself.

  1. Similarity
  2. Pay (genuine) compliments

Similarity

If you want to be likeable to the other person, the other person has to see a part of themselves in you. In face-to-face situations you can use body language and the tone of voice to persuade them. The more you act like them the more, oftentimes, will people like you. But again, you have to be genuine in your pursuit. But this also means, provide what people want from you. Don’t say one thing and do the other.

A nice statistic on this is what they’ve done with two groups of sales people. One group got the objective to especially be very careful with the time they had. i.e. Close the deal ASAP. The other group was instructed to try and share and ask for personal stories of people. And wouldn’t you know, the first group got a 55% of people closed, the second group 90% closed. For a large part you could almost say that good Sales is all about making friends.

Pay (genuine) compliments

Pay people compliments this makes people feel good, and when happy, especially when you make them happy, want to do much more for you. A nice phrasing is in place: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel ” And if we assume this is true, it is very important that we make people feel good.

Consensus or Social proof

“People will look to the actions of other to determine their own.” We are herd animals. We tend to follow the herd. You see this very much in trends in fashion for example. People who work in marketing are highly aware of this bias of us and is using this oftentimes in their commercially outputs. Messages in commercials like: 9 out of the 10 people who recommended this is happier/skinnier/has more hair or whatever. And it works.

This video that I once watched as part of a sales training program will let you see what some of these tactics can do.

Conclusion

Not all of these tactics can be put to use by us, or maybe better said, I see some ways working way better than others. So the tactics I will want to use are Scarcity, Authority and Consensus.

Scarcity

The methods of scarcity we can always use. Especially for events, and we did that with the event of the 19th of October, we really press the uniqueness and the pressing of time to get more people to come and it was our biggest event yet.

Authority

Authority is a bit tricky, but since our last course we can see the outcome of our actions and these are definitely positive. This means our courses work. Not necessarily to create businesses, but better peoples lives. The people that joined DL have a higher chance of getting a job, know how hard they can work, we provide them with a network. All these things have benefitted the people that do a course with us. And when you ask these people what they think of DL they are all very grateful that we were there to give the course. This we can use to profile ourselves as authority, especially after so much of experimenting and just doing it and see what happens. We have grown as a business. Every course we know better what tactics work better and implement this in the following course.

Consensus

Consensus. We can show how many people support us and have joined us. At this point this amount is already pretty high, but we can even put it up a notch. We can actually see that during the last three courses Delitelabs has become every time more popular. And I can say from experience that everybody that joined DELITELABS as a participant was very grateful to have given this opportunity, which we can use when we profile ourself when we communicate with the outside world. Especially stories from our participants are now one of our key ways of communicating to the outside world. This is to build more connection with our audience and so far this method has been proven quite solid. See this also in the movie we did for the crowdfunding campaign, the photos on Instagram we put out and the stories we share on our blog.

 

 

First blogpost for DELITELABS

Today, 20th of September, was all about communication. One of the first days that I could actually be totally into the output that we provide as a organisation. This output should lead to a couple of things for us. We want to build a crowd around our venture so if we launch our crowdfunding campaign it will have a higher chance to succeed. Secondly we want to get more awareness so we will have a better ground in negotiations with other ventures or institutions. And lastly we want to let people know what we do and why we do it.

Our savior from Spain

violeta

A great help with this was Violeta, a woman who has come all the way from Spain to strengthen our team. This woman, 30 years old, has already a lot of experience in the field of communication and especially with organisations as ours. Read here about our first meeting with the new communications team. Here we also discussed many interesting things on communication within an organisation but even more on the output that you provide as a venture.

Blog, Instagram and Twitter

Today I was in charge of three types of output, which was actually a handful at first. I had to write the blog, my first blogpost for Delitelabs. I was in charge of Instagram and Twitter. I was given a few instructions to begin. The photo’s that we put on Instagram should be, if anything, beautiful. So this meant: good lighting, good framing, interesting setting, nice coloring. A few posts a day will do. Short strong sentences that resonate with the viewers. So here are a couple of examples:

Halah Instagram Delitelabs

Post text
delitelabs Mapping out your life, a practice of getting to know yourself.#adayindelitelabs #refugeestakeaction #knowthyself #lifeplanner #lifeplan

Delitelabs Postits

Post text
delitelabs Assessing the situation afterwards reduces the chance of mistakes the next time. #adayindelitelabs #learning #scrummaster #refugeestakeaction

Samer Presenting Delitelabs

Post Text
delitelabs Pitch training. “Short and sexy”#adayindelitelabs #refugeestakeaction #pitch #innovativeideas #learning #business

I especially like the phrasing of the last one. “Short and Sexy“. Violeta tells me this phrase oftentimes when I need advice. Even if it’s the same advice she has given me, it always pushes me a little harder into the right direction. To read a little bit more on Violeta check our blog!

About the blog by the way… This was the first day that I had to do the blogpost for Delitelabs. Although I have made already plenty posts on my own blog, writing for someone else is a whole other story. I was pretty nervous and really was looking for the right angle. The perfect tone. Again Violeta was there to help me out. Not specifically with the blog but with the push that I needed:

“Perfection is the enemy of productivity.” – Violeta Garín and many other before her

I just started writing and after some time the post was done. We looked over it together and polished it here and there where we could improve readability, SEO and attractiveness. After that I got a compliment and that was it. A great day, with a lot of learning moments.

Thank you Violeta!

Conclusion

It was a great experience to be in charge of the communications this day. I learned a lot on how to use Instagram and Twitter and writing a blog in a different form than I’m used to. Twitter is all about short, sexy and with a high value rate. Instagram is all about spreading beautiful pictures. Also writing the blog was a interesting to use, because it had a couple of tools to check your the quality of your SEO and the readability of your post.

Crowdfunding Marketing: Creating a story

There is a youtube video of a talk given by a man by the name of Darren Marble, the CEO of CrowdfundX. He has shown that there is a method to the success of a crowdfunding campaign. He mostly talks about equity crowdfunding, but the three principles he talks about in his talk are just as applicable to other crowdfunding campaigns. You’ll see in a minute.

darren-marble

The three elements of Crowdfunding

  1. Crafting a story
  2. Producing the story
  3. Distributing the story

Part 1: Crafting a story

There are a couple of things he tells about this, but the most important one is that you have to create a story that emotionally connects with the audience. The impact of your company, product or service has to be much bigger than just making money for yourself. You should ask yourself the question: “What is your contribution to society?” and be able to answer this very concretely. In other words, as Simon Sinek would have asked it, “Why do you do what you do?”. If you have the specific and concrete answer to this question you can start with step 2, that is producing the story, preferably visually.

Part 2: Producing the story

And a visual one at that, at least that’s what I got from the talk. Darren talks again about a couple of questions you need to ponder on as a business to really know what it is all about and why your story is more compelling, better, funnier or just more authentic than that of the other. The questions to ponder on are:

  • What does your company really do?
  • How are you different than your competitors?
  • How are you going to make money?
  • How are you going to return the money to the investors? Or in our case: how are you going to show our backers that it is not only for a good cause but it creates the impact they want to see. Another way is to provide perks. Small or large gifts that come as a counterpart of the donation.
  • Why the backers need to take action now? In other words: How do you create an urgency with your crowd that they feel they have to give money this instance.

This is one of the more important and cognitively more difficult challenges to counter when you have a campaign I’ve already seen. Now the part where it is actually all work.

Part 3: Distributing the story

In this part they explained or better said Darren explained what they exactly did to distribute the story. He shows that the best campaigns make a huge community. To create this you need to do a lot of different things. He talked about PR and blog outreach, the journalists and bloggers they helped out, two months of preparation, email marketing, lots of press hits and with this creating a huge community.

For example the amount of effort putting into this one CF-project they had. They spend 50.000 on the campaign and roughly got 1 million back.

During this campaign they reached out and try to use 1000 journalists and bloggers to write about the project, had dozens of press releases, used digital marketing tools like: thunderclap, reddit, AMA check, product hunt campaign and hacker news.

Darren also talks about paid media. 80% of their budget goes to Facebook ads. To lock the target audience. With this you can target your audience very specifically. So if your definition of your target group is valid, it can have amazing results. The way to do that is to check your first 500 investors. Get their emails. Facebook matches them u to people that own the profile and does an analysis of the demographics of  this baseline audience. This creates a look alike audience/persona and Facebook gives you 500k to 1 million people with the same demographics. Then buy 100.000 ads and use them to target new investors.

One of the last tips he mentions and als adds that it is maybe one of the most important things to consider when doing business with another company is: “You have to believe in the company you’re doing business with”.

Conclusion

To get a very large community in a small period of time for a crowdfunding campaign you need to invest money into Facebook ads and a large enough team to execute the other activities that will be needed. Creating a target group, structuring and creating your story, setting up a list with journalist and bloggers, contact them all try to draw attention from the conservative media and much more.

Since we don’t have a budget, or at least a very small financial source we can use for this campaign, we aim to use the other mentioned methods. We’ve been busy with many things that are being called under the attention of this movie, which is, I think, a good thing. For example we have made long contact lists, have used and are using digital marketing (social media and mailing), We have created a storyline and with that a tagline “We take them to the starting line”.

I think it would be very interesting to see how Facebook in this sense works. I’ve only had the liberty to check out Facebook insights these last couple of weeks. This was very helpful, but I think when you have some budget to spend on it it becomes even more interesting. The ideal place to find, communicate and getting involved with your target audience.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

– Bas

 

The Crowdfunding Video

In one of my previous posts I told you guys about the video which I completely detested at the moment. Well I worked at it and since we haven’t got the budget, time or connections at the moment I had to do the crowdfunding video. I have to say, it is far from perfect, but with the time I had available and the resources that I had it turned out quite nice I think. Let me know what you think!

A link will be provided when our Crowdfunding Campaign on One%club will be launched, which will be the coming week. Stay tuned!!

I’ve learned a lot from the making of this movie. I had to dive in After Effects after some time and I did some cool interviews with a couple of friends.

Conclusion

It’s better to work with what you’ve got and make it the best that you possible can, than think that you won’t succeed and give up, which in this case I luckily did not. Thanks again for the help with feedback and the finetuning Toon and Bob!

– Bas

Yet another marketing expert met by coincidence

An interview with Jordan Pijnenburg. I find it so interesting that when you dive in a subject that you tend to find the people that are connected to that subject. Some people say it is the universe answering your desires, others say faith and there is a group that calls it the Law of Attraction.

jordanpijnenburg
Jordan Pijnenburg – Sales/Digital Marketing Expert

The mechanisms of these thought experiments tend to work for me, but I have to say the theoretical framework of most of these metaphysical concepts I find not very meaningful. For me they don’t give a satisfying answer to these questions. But I get distracted.

I met Jordan on the street when I was working at a sales job that I’ve been doing the last couple of months. Jordan works in sales as well, but after a couple of minutes it became very clear to me that he had a lot more experience in the field of digital marketing as I had. Not long after this I asked him if he was open for a chat on this, where I would show him how we worked at Delitelabs and if he had any tips that he could share with me. He was more than happy to go over a couple of things and so it happened that we planned an interview. Yet another expert I could learn from!

The interview

Before the interview started I wrote down on one page on what I wanted to go over with him. I wanted to show him our Social Media output, our blog, I wanted to know about frequency of Social Media output, SEO and some tips on efficiency and effectiveness of digital marketing in general.

The blog & SEO

We started out with the blog. I showed him our blog and what we did already did to improve the awareness and engagement of our business. We showed him a couple of things that we did to improve our blog and make it more noticeable for our readers.

One of the first tips I got from him was to have contact with other blogs. Try to write about what you read about other blogs and point out what you like about those blog posts. If you connect in this way you are more likely to create awareness for yourself BY providing traction towards the other blogs. In other words “be nice to others”. Also the other way around. When you would write an article about a subject like entrepreneurship or a personal story about one of our participants that is good enough, ask the blog you’re connected with to post this on their posts. Ramit Sethi also talks about this and he calls it “guest posts“. This is how he creates lots of new likes, clicks and therefor impact.

There are a couple of plugins you can use to check and measure how well your SEO of your blog is. Luckily we already have two of these tools built into the blog of Delitelabs.

SEO Delitelabs Blog

Facebook, Engagement and Awareness

There is also a lot to say about Facebook. Facebook has a lot of features you can use to improve your company page. We could see that our page was the last two weeks degrading in worth. Worth as in the amount of people that have been reached and engagement in our page. From around 4000 that we reached in a week to 1750 people right now. He advised me two very general but important things to take into account.

Target audience

First, we have to look at who is our main user or target user. Male, female, old, young, newcomer, etc.. We can check this in the analytics of Facebook. This can be very interesting to see. Below is an overview of these statistics and I’ve also done a couple of other posts on this, but here it is again as an overview of our target audience.

Delitelabs Facebook Target audience

Here you can see that our target audience is almost a fifty/fifty rate between male and female. That most of our target audience is between the age of 25 and 34 and that most of the people that come to our pages are located in the Netherlands. Interestingly, but also very logical is that the second group is from Spain, because we had also a settlement in Valencia.

Another great feature of Facebook Insights (analytics) is that you can view at what time and day your audience is most active. Below two examples of our Facebook page. This is very important because this effects your engagement and reach/brand awareness. The first example is a graph that shows the general times of the week that people are active and the second is an example of a specific day compared to ‘the normal day’.

The normal Day

Delitelabs facebook page days of the week and views

Tuesday

Delitelabs Facebook page views at time of the day

Engagement and Awareness

We talked also a great deal on engagement and awareness. He said that it was clear, and I could concur this from other well known entrepreneurs that I follow, that awareness doesn’t necessarily means improving engagement. But Engagement definitely improves awareness. We talked about ways I could increase the engagement of our Facebook page for example. One of the ways is to create discussions on our page. We can do this by asking questions to our audience. Another thing is that you can have small questionnaires that people can fill in on how they feel about a certain subject.

Actuality and inspiring communication

Two other points of of communicating with our Facebook page is look at actuality and react to it. As in, if there is something very interesting in the news that a lot of people follow or watch, try to combine this with your brand. Another thing is when we continue on this s when there is something that is happening in our niche (refugees & entrepreneurship) than you can also immediately share this content and you’ll be thanked for the spreading of interesting content for your followers.

This also goes for inspiring messages that you put out yourself, e.g. the story of our refugee students. That’s another tip I got. Emotions work and sell. Try to get under peoples skin. Try to be inspiringly persuasive with your messaging. This works.

Conclusion of this interview

Blog

I had a couple of things that I want to go and implement more in our own way of spreading good messages and improving our following. I want to link more with other blogs about entrepreneurship. I already have a couple of blogs in mind that I find interesting and have a lot of content to share about starting your own business (Ramit Sethi, Tim Ferriss, Tai Lopez, Simon Sinek and Emily Wapnick)

Follow ups / New Research

As a few tips Jordan gave me also a couple of new follow ups to consider. Moz.com is a website that has many articles on how to be more visible on the web. Especially their youtube channel I should be looking at in his opinion. In the episodes that are called: “Whiteboard Friday” they go over a large range of subjects that all have to do with online visibility. From SEO, to link building, from content creation to Google Analytics. So I’m going to go over a couple of these videos and see if I can get a better grasp on what we can do in terms of spreading and SEO.

A Hashtag Trick

One last tip that I got from him in regards of Twitter and Instagram which I really liked he called “cheating hashtags”. When you put something out on twitter, you should load it with relevant hashtags. But what you also could do as in cheating, and you should be careful with this, to put hashtags that are really the trend right now in the comments of your Twitter/Instagram post. Bots will give likes to it, because they only react to posts that use hashtags that are really popular at the moment. At the time you have a lot of likes you delete the comment and you have a lot more awareness without your brand image getting degraded. And this is the tricky part. If people find out, this could also cause damage to your brand. But this is definitely something to think about of doing.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more interesting information regarding crowdfunding and digital marketing tips!

Steve Vick: Let an expert do the talking

Steve Vick is de founder van non profitally. This is a company that helps building a non profit from the ground on up. They take you through the whole process. One of the subjects also discussed on the site in deeply, luckily, is how to successfully run a crowdfunding campaign. There are a couple of videos on this and one of them gives a very good overview of what a crowdfunding campaign in essence always needs, unregarded on what type of project you want to start a crowdfunding campaign for.

stevevick

This is him, Steve Vick. In the Youtube video: How to start a crowdfunding campaign? He lays out a couple of ground rules if you really want to launch a crowdfunding campaign. There is actually a whole lot more prep work than I initially thought. Not only man hours have to be put in to execute the things that needs to get done, but a lot more strategically think work that you need to get your head around before executing. Here are a couple of things to ponder on, that I will get into later:

  • The team
  • Set period of CFcampaign and target amount
  • The story
  • PR/marketing
  • Sollicitation
  • CF-video
  • Webpage

These are the subjects he touched upon and where very helpful to have an overview of the activities that we have to spend time and maybe money on to make it a success. So I’ll go over them step by step. First of…

The Team

Because there is so many activities to get done you really have to get a team. If you don’t find one. Defining the roles of the team is an essential part. If you define the roles and responsibilities beforehand the activities that need to get done will be so much more efficient and effective, so very important to divide the roles that need to get done. Roles that need to be divided are: Content creation, phone calls that needs to be made, managing and enlarging your network (making a crowd), the creation and maintenance of the webpage, devising a story (and creating perks and incentives). All these things have to be done and handled by the team and if you don’t have your roles and responsibilities well organised the effect will be a lot less than it can be.

Set a period for the CF-campaign and target amount

This is another essential part of running a crowdfunding campaign. The donator wants a couple of things. Before he donates any amount of money he wants to know if the campaign is for a good cause, if the amount will be reached (or if it is likely to be reached) and there has to be an urgency.

The urgency that we, as the creators of the CF-campaign, need the money ASAP. You can say we’ll run the CF-campaign for 5 months, than we’ll have plenty of time to get funded, but the research has shown that the results of this strategy is counter-intuitive. The incentive or urgency for the funding is out of the window. Most successful CF-campaigns run a period of 7 to 9 weeks.

Some people will answer to the question: “For how much would you like to get funded?”. “As much as possible”. But normally this is a bad incentive for the donator. You have to show them why you need that kind of money. You can do this with a couple of things. The most successful CF-campaigns they also have the most interesting and beautiful videos. They show you quality, beauty and most of the time the credentials that back up the quality that they already shown. Tell your audience who is going to benefit from the money that they give, most campaigns on Kickstarter have perks that they give away for a pittance price for example. So also think about how it will help the donator. Will it only make them feel good by contributing or like the projects on Kickstarter let them also buy an interesting new innovative product? So make your target amount reasonable and feasible.

PR and Marketing

There are many things that you have to and can do when it comes to PR and marketing of your CF campaign. But if we get to deep in the matter it will be gibberish for your so I thought to myself how can we make this a bit easier. To do this here are a couple of questions you should ask yourself that will keep you starting with the PR and marketing the same as we have done. Guided by this video and a couple of others. Here are the questions that you should ask yourself when you’re working on the marketing:

  • How much pre-made content has been made for every (social) media output that you are going to use? (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Phonecalls, mailing)
  • What content should you spread and how should it be structured? Check this link to learn this.
  • Which tools are you going to use to systemise your media output so that you can be more efficient and effective? (think about the social media named above, but also tools like Thunderclap, Mailchimp, Hootsuite, Heroes&Friends, Nouncy, etc. Check this link if you want to know what these tools can bring.)
  • Who are we as a company, what is our mission and how are we going to convey this message?
  • When are the milestones of your campaign and how are you going to let your crowd know when these have been reached?
  • Have you written a Pitch text that is inspiring for people to listen? (max. 500 to 800 words long)
  • Which platform are you going to use?

CF Video

The crowdfunding video is also a crucial part of the campaign. This is your opportunity to shine and persuade your costumers to actually incest in your product. Here are a couple of tips on a interesting CFvideo. To really know how to make a great video I’ve compared 10 very successful Crowdfunding campaigns of Kickstarter in one of my articles. I’ve also visited a couple of events that get a little more into storytelling. Check my visit at the Campus Party, my evening on storytelling or my visit at the Filmschool Amsterdam.

CF Platform

Before you go into the platform here are also many things to consider before you choose the right one. Ponder on the following questions so that you can make a better decision on what the best platform would be for your campaign.

  • Does the platform allow multimedia (video, pictures, integrated social media functionalities, etc)
  • How much effort (amount of clicks) does a potential donator has to do before he can actually donate? This really is a huge factor in how well your campaign will go.
  • Can you import a mailing list in the platform?
  • What are the fees that are being asked? (AKA how much money keeps the owner of the platform in what situation, success or fail?)
  • Can you keep the money even if your campaign does not reaches its goal?
  • Can you place updates (e.g. about milestones) on the platform?
  • Is the page customisable?
  • Is it also a customisable url?
  • 30% of the platforms needs an approval process. How long is this process?

I hope this was a good read for you guys! If you have any questions, remarks or suggestions just let me know!

Keep you posted!

Conclusion

This was a very interesting talk. I got a way better idea how much work is in the creation of a successful crowdfunding campaign now and that frightens me a bit, because it is so much work and we are only with a small team. On the other hand, we know now that it is a lot of work so we can be better prepared for this. see here how we went about social media, here what we did to create a good story and here is the actual campaign we launched and created success.

Meeting with the new Communications team

Since a few weeks we have a new team at DELITELABS. We have a couple of new members that can help us with setting up the course and everything else to help the organisation. Therefor there have been some interesting changes in the way we work.

The biggest influence on the team is now a woman from Valencia, Violeta Garin. She has done a many projects involving social entrepreneurship and is an expert in communication. We are very lucky to have her. Since she has so much experience in the area of communication we have set up a couple of new systems to work way more efficient.

Trello and Hootsuite

hootsuite

We have talked about things like Trello a activity managing tool, using Hootsuite only for Twitter, setting up a blog on our website and explaining how we can use the other social media (Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn). Because she does set up systems to work from everything works so much smoother and more efficient since she’s in our team. We even made a Communication plan to see what we want to convey, how we are going to do that, which media we should use and who our target audiences are.

My Role

We had two meetings about this, yesterday and today. We divided roles and responsibilities within our three-man-strong communications team. I’ll be responsible for the output in Twitter. This doesn’t mean I have to do the 200 posts all by myself or that I don’t have to take any other activities for my part. It means that it is my responsibility that it has to be done before the deadline. So if I need help or are having trouble with it I can rely also on the others.

Twitter

We set a goal for ourselves for the different social media. For Twitter it is to post 200 posts in the coming 5 weeks. This means about 4 Twitter posts a day. 80% of the posts will be with one of the hastags that are created: #adayatdelitelabs, #delitelabsisforyou and #refugeestakeaction. The last one will only been used if it is a post about the collaboration between Delitelabs and the organisations that teamed up with us, like Refugee Startforce, Hack Your Future and Refugee Company for example.

Facebook & Blog

Facebook will be linked to the blog and will mostly contain the links to blogposts. We will do three Facebook posts per week that will be mostly out of our blog. The blogposts will contain success stories of our former students, posts on why we should be more entrepreneurial, a review like a diary every day, interviews with acquaintances of Delitelabs and the speakers of the week. The blog was an idea that Violeta came up with. She used it already in one of the projects that she did in Valencia and that was pretty successful. Especially the interviews that she did for the blog where by far the most effective in terms of reach and involvement. Here is her blog.

Instagram

On Instagram we are going to do two things. Post beautiful pictures that we made in, around or with the people of Delitelabs and we want to do a quote with that. At least one post per day. The advice Violeta gave us was that Instagram was about making the most beautiful pictures possible. This means we have to be very selective of the pictures we will post on this medium.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is probably the most serious of the Social Networks that we will use. The output on this medium is at its minimum. We will only post something here if we really have a great article on our blog or found one on the web that is really helpful or interesting to the crowd that we have on LinkedIn. At the most we shall post 2 articles a week.

Conclusion

There is a new wind in the company. An actual communications team is put together. Jana, me and Violeta are part of it. We all have our own roles within this team. I’ll be responsible for the output provided on Twitter. Second, we are going to use Trello. This is a management tool that will help us with internal communications. In the following post, this one, I’ll show you how a communications plan looks like.

An interview with the German entrepreneur I met on a ferry

The day was a couple of months back. I had a long day of work behind me and I just got back from a course on storytelling. The course indeed was pretty interesting, given by a man called Eldridge. Me and Michaela Krömer, one of my supervisors, went there to learn more on how to present and tell a good story. I think we both walked away a bit wiser on this topic.

Two flies in one hit

Excuse me for my bad Dutch translation there. But to begin… It was already 10AM when Eldridge finished and luckily I had arranged that I could stay at a friends’ house in Amsterdam. Me and Michaela walked together towards central station where it went wrong, but I’m glad it did. I had taken the wrong fairy, which took me like an hour more to reach my friend. But in that time I’d met a very interesting person. Chris Mueller, an German entrepreneur and the owner of Creatando.com, was working with software that creates apps. One of the most interesting people I’ve met in person. A very creative person with an even more pragmatic mindset. Thinking in effective and efficient solutions that could be provided through the internet. I was flabbergasted and exchanged numbers, in the first place so he could give a lecture at Delitelabs. Later I heard that we were already completely booked till the beginning of September. I found this a pity, to wait for so long for a person who clearly had an interesting perspective on doing business. So not long after this I contacted him and requested if I could have an interview with him. He accepted and so started a very fruitful and intriguing dialogue.

What questions to ask an expert?

I had made a whole list of questions I wanted to ask him. Part on crowdfunding, but for the larger part questions about internet marketing, in the broadest sense possible. I wanted to accumulate as much as I could from the man. Therefor it could be that I could have been a bit more effective the next time if I demarcate better when I look back at the way I’ve done the interview. Nevertheless, it was a very interesting talk where I learn very much from. We started talking about his business, what he does, how he came about it and why he found the internet business so interesting in the first place, which was money. Later on it became abundantly clear that this was not the case, at least if you don’t have the right strategy.

He devised a piece of software together with a few other software engineers that can actually create an app in a few minutes or less. Really extraordinary software and I immediately saw the immense benefits of the the type of working. Software as it supposed to be. Quick, easy to use and for everybody beneficial. The creator of software, the user of the app and the buyer of the app. During this conversation he also handed me a couple of websites he uses himself to optimize and automate certain necessities as in content, posting, doing research and finding customers.

Useful Websites for internet marketing

archive.org is a website that is being used to look for the layout and content of a website a year or more ago, even before it existed. With this tool you can easily see when the owners have made changes and hereby you can estimate how the business is doing and if it is for example a potential client.

Another is buzzsumo.com. An awesome site, if you have the money for it, that can provide you with content that is about to go viral. You can search for the content by category, theme or keyword. You can imagine the interesting things you can do with services like this when you have an internet marketing company.

buffer.com is another awesome website, which is a bit similar to Hootsuite, which I describe in another post right here. Buffer.com provides you with a social media control panel. You can load your social media in here and can create, design and schedule your posts to be send to a broad audience. Hootsuite has the same functionalities only is a bit limited on the designing of your content, which is as basic as the social media you are already using.

A couple of questions on entrepreneurship

Do you see a difference between the entrepreneurs a couple of years back and now?

“Well the new entrepreneurs are working less for money. Most of the entrepreneurs that I encounter only are involved in projects that they actually like. I have the idea that ten years and more back there were actually more entrepreneurs who were doing it mostly for the money they thought they could earn when making it big. Many entrepreneurs nowadays have more heart for the projects and outcomes that they can achieve by setting up these projects. Also there is way more sharing in ideas then there was in the past. In the past people were way more secretive about there ideas. Now they really want to share and with a good reason. Most of them see the benefit of constantly grinding and remoulding their ideas, so they can evolve into better ones. “

What would your advise be to new entrepreneurs who are now starting to search of create new businesses?

The most valuable or important things to keep in mind are I think two. First of all you have to do the opposite of what everybody else is doing. That’s is how you divide yourself from the saturated crowd. Secondly, you have to have a very specific skillset and match the very specific topic or theme your are very interested in. When you mix this skill with a very specific topic or theme you’ll be able to provide very unique product and therefor you’ve created a very specific niche market for yourself. This way you have more enjoyment in the work you do and you will have way less competition. 

A couple of things on crowdfunding

We also talked on the subject of crowdfunding. A few things I already had read or heard myself, but Chris was able to provide me with a nice overview on a couple of ‘rules’ or guidelines on what to do with a crowdfunding campaign.

  • Have a website with a landing page and a video
  • Contact bloggers to write about your crowdfunding campaign and your product or service
  • collect as many email addresses as you possibly can so you can use these when you start a crowdfunding campaign.
  • the first three days a successful crowdfunding campaign will accumulate 20% of its goal amount
  • Use as many contacts as needed, in as many media needed to achieve your goal, which is most of the time a financial goal

As a conclusion

To revise myself already a bit, the interview I did was exhilerating, fun, very interesting and I have learned so much of it. To take in account for the next interview is to demarcate as a said the topics that I want to talk about and the topics I don’t want to talk about. When I do that I can have a better outcome of the interview probably. This interview was a great interview as I look at it through the perspective of personal growth and the understanding of marketing, but was pretty poor on the specific subject, crowdfunding. Next time I’ll try to prepare myself more in the spirit of crowdfunding.

The things I want to implement that I have learned from this interview are for example:

  1. If we have the CFvideo, post it on our landing page to attract attention.
  2. Contact more bloggers and other journalistical professions to write about us.
  3. Collect as many mail addresses as you can to spread the word of our campaign.

Thanks for reading!

– Bas