Wednesday, February 17, 2010

F4F Dinner - Bootstrap PR

Had a great time at the Finance For Founders (search #f4f on twitter) dinner. Great speakers and very smart people in the room. Some of the people at my table were on their 2nd or 3rd company, so the fact that they were so respectful to a rookie like me made me feel appreciated. I guess they were first time founders once too. Thanks to the hardest working people in the founder circuit @davemcclure and @danmartell  for hosting this smarty pants event.

The topic was important, as the founder of we are always looking for ways to get our names out there without spending money. Social computing has been a great boon for that and let me promise you I work it any way I can to grow awareness about what we are trying to do.

Here is who was there: Ross Mayfield,, David Weekly,, Rebecca Lynn, . My favorite by far was Ross, but David had some great simple gorilla approaches too. Not crazy about Rebecca, nice enough but kind of old school PR mentality.

Here are some of the notes that came out of the dinner:

  • Build Repuation - Placement by some heavey hitters such as mashable, tech crunch or eaven old school like WSJ grows your rep. Easier said than done panel. We are microscopic, try to get those guys to care about you for even a millisecond. STILL TRYING!
  • Engage Bloggers with Stories NOT Pitches - This we do in spades. Our bloggers are our friends. Literally.
  • Have Interesting Content - Create content that relates to your space and engages. That means that at we want to post more about the service industry, funny service related articles and foodie content. 
  • Credibility Takes Time - You dont get street cred overnight. You will build it with a consistent commitment to what you are doing.
  • Launches Are Mental - You dont have to blow your wad on a launch. Having an event that celibrates a major accompishment at a brew pub is enough. Its the celebration that matters not the ice sculpture.
  • Give Bloggers a Stake - Let bloggers invest in the brand and product by being part of testing groups and the product feature set, this investment means they are on your team.
  • Creativity Builds Credibility - By being a creative passionate involved party in the the discussion your credibility will grow.
  • SEO? I don't know - SEO can be a rabit hole. Make sure its organic and by all means don't let a SEO specialist sell you snake oil.
  • Campaign for Votes - Treat your PR effort like a political campaign. Who do you want to win?
  • Love Your Cheerleaders - Give them stuff that shows you care.  

This is isnt all that was said, just the things I liked and of course I added my wacky servicetattler spin on it. Bloggers and blog PR dominatated the discussion entirely, which I think is a little disappointing because there is a lot more a micro CEO like me does to grow credibility.

First of all I love mailchimp. For a company like ours it is essential for managing our contacts based on their segmentation and communicating directly with them with well crafted communications, it also supports forms and surveys so I can feedback from my users and customers.

Google Wave
We used a wave during our test to aggregate all the feedback related to the test and communicate with our testers as a group. Its a great free way to create a shared conversation.

I hope there are other micro CEOs out there who can benefit from this. If you are interested in this please leave a comment and become part of the conversation.

1 comment:

  1. ready to go to a launch and, as one of your best cheerleaders, ready to get stuff that shows you care!