So you’re running a crowdfunding campaign (through Kickstarter, Indiegogo, ICO, etc.) and at some point, you need to spread your message to the masses. The message is packed into a press release and ready to be shipped to the keepers of the informational channels: bloggers, vloggers, media channels and news websites. The problem is that the media space is over saturated and your message might a) be lost among other applications received daily by the informational gate-keepers b) be not well-constructed due to the lack of emotional investment of the authors c) be too expensive to afford.

While this guide may not be a panacea to the existing informational pollution it offers a comprehensive strategy towards building your Media Networking Capital.

Media Networking Capital is a category of the Main Business Networking Capital which consists of all of the first level connections with the gatekeepers of the informational channels.

H2H is for Human to Human

First of all, you have to understand that the communications with the media and bloggers are still the social interactions with the real humans. Treat them accordingly. Asking to publish a story about you right away is like forcing your date to have sex within 2 minutes of knowing them.

Sure some writers have their price tags to deliver a quick standard solution and if you have no time to build the relationships you can always follow the fast lane. By the way let’s not extend the sex metaphor here I don’t to heart anyone’s feelings with paid-sex ethics rhetorics 😉 The framework of social interactions I want to present is time-consuming and requires social skills but as a result, you’ll gain long-term relationships with more effective outcomes.

Following this road, you won’t need to pitch any blogger with a cold email ever again and the overall writing quality will be improved through the genuine emotional investment towards your project.

Social interactions

Start building your networking capital by gaining social currency.

Social currency can be described as all of the social transactions (likes, comments, dms, emojis) that you exchange with your contacts. Positive transactions add up to your overall budget of social tokens, while negative transactions subtract from it. The tokens may also fade with time with the lack of activity. 

Social media effect

Think of social media as the sandbox for generating the social media currency and start playing the game of relationships.

  1. Twitter is a great place to start as people have discussions with strangers on a topic which could be a great icebreaker. Writers and media personas are more keen to use Twitter due to the platform’s“let’s discuss what’s happening right now” mood.
  2. Blogs, Medium, Steemit, Youtube channels have the comment sections which is the right place to get onto anyone’s radar. Make sure your comments are smart and add value to the original content or provoke a further discussion to raise your chances of being noticed.
  3. Lastly, let’s not forget Facebook and its amazing blogging opportunities. If your contacts have public pages where they actively blog or share company news make sure you tap that opportunity to get noticed by participating at the discussion. That’s what you would do on your regular Tuesday Night Networking Meetup anyway.

Setting up the CRM

Whether you’re going to use a notebook, spreadsheets or an actual CRM software it’s a good idea to set up your workflow process before you start your networking campaign. Otherwise, you might quickly end up with a lot of lost contacts, missed opportunities, and forgotten skype calls.

I personally use Hubspot CRM (because it’s free and highly effective). No advanced functionality is available in the free version but still, you can do important things like:

  1. You can keep a log of notes on every contact, company, and deal
  2. Integrate with your email
  3. Create custom sales pipeline
  4. Add new users to your team (with various right)
  5. Schedule calls and add tasks to the accounts
  6. Track your performance on the Dashboard

I’ll post a link on the note with the detailed instructions on how to set up the CRM workflow once it’s published.

After you’ve exchanged some likes and meaningful conversations in public it won’t be awkward anymore to develop your relationships in the DM or Email format.

Following through

Make sure your first email or DM is more about them and their sphere of interests and not about your pitch. In fact, your business should only be mentioned in a relation to their sphere of interests to help build the logical bridges. A signature section is also a great spot. Your goal at this stage is to establish the connection and open the meaningful discussion.

I’ll place a link on how to make a killer email signature here.

Collaboration

A great way to build relationships is to collaborate on a project together. Try to work with your contacts, helping them first. Maybe you can be their industry expect or have a clever opinion on the current market problems/situation.

Feed them the information they would profit from, first of all. Develop context for your relationships. On top of this context your pitch will be built later on in the process.

Finally, once you have enough social currency to ask for a favor you should pitch your product or ask for the coverage. I’d recommend coming up with a clear and concise proposal in a form of 3 paragraphs, with 2 sentences each.

Maintaining the relationships

Don’t forget to maintain the relationships after you get what you want. In fact, make it your competitive advantage, be nice to people and follow up with them even after you’re original request was fulfilled. You never know when you’ll need to ask them for another favor or be of use to them. Always think about tomorrow.

Invest in the future

Lastly, make sure you invest some of your time into researching the uprising talents. Some of them may become significant players in the field only 3-16 months from now. Being an early believer both motivates the creators to keep up the great work and grants you with a unique level of personal relationships.

Ethics

Lastly, I foresee people arguing about the ethical side of building the transactional relationships and their validity. I’d like to argue that if you strip down all of the cosmetics from any relationships you’re left with the transactions. In fact, I believe that transactions are a much necessary product of the Time. Without transactions, the World will be static and thus transactions can be seen as the cornerstone of the Universe’s dynamics. Or at least in our 4-dimensional perception. Yet on a more earthly level, business is nothing but transactions and the communication of value between the Economy Agents.

Feel free to drop me a line at kirill@kichmedia.com if you have any questions or use the comment section down below to expand on the current proposal.

With much love and respekt,

-K.