Lift Off #10 – Clever Marketing by Crew

Podcast Notes:

Crew is from Montreal and they have a wonderful marketing strategy.

First, you need to know how Crew works. They act as the middle man, connecting professional designers and developers with entrepreneurs who have a website or an app they want to develop.

It’s not like elance or Freelancer where the developers bid on the project. Crew picks the professional they believe best fits the project. Once the client and developer agree on what they want out of this project, the client sends full or partial payment to Crew, who hold the funds until the project is complete. Crew charges a 15% service fee and everyone is happy.

What impresses me about Crew is how they market.  They do advertising and all that, but their primary marketing strategies are pretty clever.

Unsplash.com is a website they developed that gives away beautiful photos for anyone to use online. I use Unsplash all the time for my blog post images. I’ve seen their images on websites from many companies in the states and around the world.

Crew has many photographers that they refer to for design work. These photographers can submit pictures to unsplash. In fact, anyone can submit photos now. The photographers get exposure, users get great free images, and crew gets a list of users that they can advertise to for free.

Recently they launched “Coffee & Power.” It’s a list of coffee shops in major cities that have the right combination of good coffee, good wifi, and enough power outlets so you can plug in your laptop and work. You can also submit coffee shops that you’ve found to have the perfect combination.

Both websites allow you to subscribe for updates. Crew’s delivering an excellent service, and building an audience.

Both websites serve their target market: entrepreneurs, businesses with a thing for design, professionals who enjoy getting out of the office, or who might not even have an office, and people who are comfortable doing business digitally.

That’s the kind of brand awareness you can measure. Deliver a service and capture an audience.

  • If you own a snow removal business, organize a community event where you and your employees shovel a parking lot (of a hospital, church, charity, etc) by hand with the help of people from the community. Serve hot chocolate. Have competitions to see who can shovel the most.
  • If you own a storage facility, offer your empty units for free to people who want to have garage sales. This way, rain or shine, they can sell their stuff.
  • If you’re an event promoter, design a section of your website as a list of attractions for venues to browse. And do a separate section as a list of venues for the attractions to see. People can subscribe to your lists for updates.

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