A week ago, after reading this upfront and inspiring post by Dave McClure, I decided to radically change the Barkles pitch and share it on SlideShare. Just to give you an insight into my thought process; my successful aim was mass visibility, not funding. This post will help you when setting up your marketing/visibility campaigns.
In under 4 hours of posting to SlideShare
- Dave McClure (and others) retweeted it
- 585 views
- Featured in the Hot On Twitter section of SlideShare's homepage
In under 8 hours of posting to SlideShare
Currently (1 Week Later)
- 4,135 views
- Downloaded 30 times
- 50 signups to Barkles.com (from the presentation)
What I Did Right
Over the years of sharing my music and designs I have learned that it's often more effective to target a certain person or core group of people to get the message out. I refer to it as the Sniper Approach - Aimed directly at the person intended instead of the 'fire-anywhere' Machine Gun approach. In this case, Dave was the first person to retweet it via Twitter, starting the ball rolling.
Going deeper into the Sniper Approach allows you to direct it a specific person literally. I did this by including the words: This is for you Dave McClure (Thanks for the inspiration) on slide 10. It's hard to ignore something when your name is printed on it. Another great example is the YoZuck Tumblr by Youssef Sarhan which got the attention of Zuckerberg and many other startups, landing Youssef a job (in less that 2 months).
Clear Problem and Solution
Before you share anything to the world make sure you have a Problem and Solution. This needs to be explained with crystal clear vision in your presentation, mockup, product or email. As my inspiration was drawn from Dave's blog post called Your Solution is Not My PROBLEM I knew exactly what I had to do to get the message across.
I could have easily created a 'pretty' SlideShare and sent it through to Dave, but there is a good chance it would have gone unnoticed (or ignored) amongst the noise. This presentation works because it stands out, is something that takes you by surprise and is direct (no fluff). Would I do this every time I release a new product? Of course not (It wouldn't really be unique then!).
Although this presentation contains heavy language and strong opinions which can turn many people away, the core (One column debates are confusing and messy) and solution (Barkles allows clean and simple, side-by-side opinions) is a solid presentation with truthful points backed up by examples. If I replaced the heavy language with PG content it would still display the same problems and solution clearly.
What I Did Wrong
The clickable link to Barkles.com doesn't appear until slide 12 (click it and sign up!). Slide 9 displays the website address but the link is not actually clickable - a slight mistake. Although I could go back and reupload it the main rush has gone, so there would be little point.
On Barkles.com above the sign up box it used to read "Get in before everyone else!" instead of something simple like Sign up to get notified when we launch. I have no doubt this would have made a few people skip the signup altogether based on the confusing message. i.e. Some may have thought it was an actual signup form but confused when there was no password option and others may have wondered what was going to happen with their email address etc.
Using heavy language can be a hit or miss scenario. It can work well at the start, but can backfire later down the line. I still freak out when I see the front page of the presentation but once I watch it over again I am satisfied with the substance. Also, heavy language can impact your future market, how people use your service and possibly put off investors. *It was worth the risk.